Wendell Berry.
What else is there to say about Wendell Berry?

Hijacked by a great idea.

Today I was going to post more about Wendell Berry's essay collection Bringing it to the Table, but last night I was hijacked by another little book that kept me enthralled for the night (and therefore kept me from finishing the Berry).

Madison The book is titled, simply, Madison, and is by David Sakrison. This was a book I found on one of my regular toodles through the "new nonfiction lists" that my library system is kind enough to embed in their catalog on a monthly basis, so it was a nice surprise when it came in. As a Wisconsin resident I'm always interested in local histories and pictorial works about the state.

But what truly sets this one aside is its format: it's a collection of really old postcards of Madison (contributed by collector John Powell), which are then captioned with informative bits of history by Sakrison. It was a quick little book that could be read in an hour or two, but I learned a lot about the city, and I loved the old postcards. I particularly loved it when you could glean a little of the senders' writing off the front. For example:

"Arrived here O.K. Had a fine time at Madison. Went down and had lunch at this place ("Keeley's Palace of Sweets"). Am really tired so I will go to bed right away. With love, Harriet."

That's awesome. And now I totally want to eat at a place called "Keeley's Palace of Sweets."

The book is published by Arcadia Publishing and is part of their Postcard History Series. Check out their list; it's a wonderful format for learning about history.