10
May
07

Summer Plans

“School’s out for summer! School’s out for…” Well, only a couple of months. Still, I couldn’t be more relieved. I am seriously in need of a break.

I have several things planned for this summer, many of which are still academic in nature, but I’m glad to finally be able to do them at my own pace. Plus, I’m hoping to have time to post here bit more often, and I’m really looking forward to reading some books of my own choosing (including fiction!). Here’s some of my reading list for the summer, in no particular order:

The Dante Club (Matthew Pearl)
The Dixiecrat Revolt (Kari Frederickson)
All God’s Dangers (Theodore Rosengarten)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
Clemente (David Maraniss)
Radio Free Dixie (Timothy Tyson)
The Last Days (Charles Marsh)
The Confederate Battle Flag (John Coski)
Dear Senator (Essie Mae Washington-Williams)
Plus as much John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell as I can squeeze in

Some of you might be wondering: “Harry Potter?” I admit it, and I’m unashamed. (OK, I’m a little ashamed.) But the previous four have been thoroughly enjoyable, and since the fifth movie will be in theaters July 13, I’ve got to read the book before they butcher it.

I also have several small research trips planned: Chapel Hill, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Auburn. Possibly Sewanee, Tennessee, as well, although I think that was probably shot down this morning when the archivist got back to me with news that the collection I was interested in had nothing of what I was looking for. Because I’m broke, I think I’ll probably be camping out or sleeping on various friends’ sofas and floors. Ask me about it in a couple of months, but for now, I have a very romantic vision of how this will go. Something akin to Kerouac perhaps.

I’ll also be writing an article for the Encyclopedia of Alabama. Although I fear I don’t know enough about my topic to write something substantial, I do have several books piled up on the floor, and some of my archival research this summer will overlap. I do think that my entry will be a worthwhile inclusion, and I was a little surprised (and thrilled at the same time) that it wasn’t on the list the editors sent me to choose from.

I’m also looking forward to visiting family and friends in Virginia and Mississippi. It will be good to revisit all the old stomping grounds and get out of town for a couple of weeks. I could certainly use a brief change of scenery.

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Dennis Covington, Salvation on Sand Mountain

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