Saturday, November 6, 2010

Book Review Alert

Turn and Jump: How Time & Place Fell ApartTurn and Jump: How Time & Place Fell Apart by Howard Mansfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Howard Mansfield is a local author.  My husband regularly runs into him at the local wellness center, and one day came home and asked me to get him a book Mansfield had written.  My husband is not a reader, so when he asks to read a book, it is a momentous occasion.  I immediately purchased another of Mansfield's books, The Bones of the Earth, which my husband devoured.  When Turn and Jump was published, I was sent back to the bookstore to buy a copy of that.  I haven't read Bones of the Earth yet, but I just finished this newest one.  I really enjoyed it.  Mansfield uses local history to illustrate the concept of how our ideas of time and place have changed.  His first essay traces the development of how we measure time: first, by the placement of the sun, moon, and stars; next by clocks with each village keeping its own local time; and the eventual standardization of clock time.  Along the way, he comments on skills that are lost or changed.  Another essay describes the evolution of a store, from a general store to a department store to its demise.   The development of vaudeville is described and its relationship to the railroad which gives the book its title.  Part of my interest in the book of course comes from the local history aspect, but I've always been interested in how concepts/places have evolved and changed.  I am looking forward to reading The Bones of the Earth and other books by Mansfield.

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