The Writer’s Almanac is an excellent resource for writers of all ages, or just for people who love books and love to read. It features a few writers each day, usually ones with a birthday or who have had a major book published on the date they appear, and gives a brief yet usually very insightful biography that illustrates how the worldview presented in their novels, poems, or stories developed and the paths that their lives took. It also serves as an excellent checklist of great writers to read. If you’re looking for a new novel or story collection, you would do well to take a look at the website, find a biography that interests you, and pick up a book by the author it belongs to.
One of the authors featured in the Writer’s Almanac today is F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer who made a major mark on American literature and whose books are still very widely read in schools today, especially The Great Gatsby. When reading this book as an adult at your own leisure, the beautiful language and resonating themes may make you say to yourself something people nostalgically utter frequently about classic books and classic movies: “They just don’t make them like that anymore.” While I don’t abide by the idea that writers of generations past are better than writers today – there are bound to be some great writers in any time – you do have to wonder sometimes if there was something in the water back then. It’s quite remarkable to think that writers the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce were writing not just at the same time, but in the same city – Paris – at one point.
It appears I have meandered a bit, but that often happens when one reads the Writer’s Almanac, and thoughts drift from writer to writer and book to book. I would encourage anyone interested in literature to take a look at this great website.