This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Under (Means Almost Over) ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U

     U means we're almost to the end of the alphabet.   Almost, I said.  We're not done yet.  I didn't find too many titles for the letter 'U' and I couldn't find anything on my shelves by John Updike.  I guess I could have used Upton Sinclair, but my paperback copy of The Jungle must be hidden away in some dark secret place.  And since I've posted many books so far about the United States (they fit in all sorts of other categories) there doesn't seem much point in setting aside this topic as something separate.

        However, there were still a few 'U' books to be found and they're pretty good ones...

Understanding Fiction edited by Cleanth Brooks & Robert Penn Warren

       In the previous post I was discussing textbooks and I've got another here by name:  Understanding Fiction.   This is a marvelous collection of short stories that includes commentary and discussion questions for each.  This book was edited by two major authors and literary critics who were highly regarded when I was in college in the 1970's.  This was a textbook in my Short Story class conducted by Dr. Robert Drake at the University of Tennessee. Considering the nature of this book I saw no reason to sell it back to the bookstore like I did with most of my textbooks.  I've gone back to this book several times over the past 50 years.

      As I had mentioned in my H post, John Hersey is among my favorite authors.  I have a few books by this great author.  Conveniently, one of them fits into my listings for the letter 'U'.   This one is in my to-read-again stack.  I read it many many years ago.  Time to read it again.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

        During a bout of sickness that kept me in bed for a couple weeks back in 2010, I read this huge book pretty rapidly.  Like other King books it's an easy read.  The story was pretty good though I thought the ending was weak.  I reviewed this book on Tossing It Out after I read it.  You can find the review here

       What author would you consider among your favorites?   Do you tend to buy many books by an author you enjoy reading?   Do you find short story compilations with expository notes to help you write better?


  1. Never read the book but the series version of Under the Dome wasn't good.

  2. Jamie (
    I don't read a lot of Stephen King, but when I was hold up at home at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, I read my mom's copy of The Stand, since it was on hand and I was temporarily unable to get books from the library (they started curbside pick up in June that year).

  3. My Top 10 favorites have long been Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, Hermann Hesse, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Dante Alighieri, Mark Twain, Bertolt Brecht, Leon Uris, Isaac Asimov, and Sholem Aleichem. I've never been the type to constantly change my lists of favorite writers, bands, actors, and artists.

  4. I tried my best to read "Under the Dome". A very large, incredibly heavy book. My knees kept falling asleep ;-) It took a couple weeks to binge-watch the movie.


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