Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reference books and ongoing preparation
A new year has dawned and along with many other acquisitions during the holiday season, I have been gifted with three reference books published through Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Reference books, and the library, play prominent roles in The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes.  My characters wander through the stacks, come across books and one is even writing a reference guide.
  So, in short, I love to have big, thick reference books sitting around so that I can thumb through them when looking for information or just pick a page at random and start reading.

5,000 Years of Royalty is written by Thomas J. Craughwell, who seems to be a veteran at pumping out quick overviews of history and historical personages.  I say this with absolute respect because as a reader you have to start somewhere when you want to know who King Stephen I of Hungary was. 
  A glance through Craughwell's Amazon.com listings reveal dozens of titles with a special emphasis on Catholic Saints and urban legends.
But enough on that.
 What excites me about 5,000 Years of Royalty an the other two EB guides I've gotten (The Book of Art and The Book of War) is the combination of words and illustrations that reward and encourage my curiosity.
 As I continue work on the second Manny Tippitoes book I plan on keeping these tomes by my side.  I'll be using them for edification, distraction and inspiration - three processes that I find to be intertwined.

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