Friday, November 4, 2011

Robert Macomber - Library Advocate

Many years ago I read an article in the Fort Myers News-Press about a former sheriff's office employee whose love of sailing, charts, and history was taking him on a mid-life adventure, a career change of interest to me since I too was embarking upon a new career. Robert Macomber is a writer. I'm a librarian. Need I say more?

 I've been following his trajectory from local author to internationally recognized purveyor of deeply researched maritime novels and fascinating guest lecturer for the Cunard line of cruise ships. His quarterly newsletter is one of my favorite reads.

Yesterday I attended the annual meeting of the Southwest Florida Library Network where Mr. Macomber was the guest speaker. He had just made a PSA for Florida libraries and was full of support and kind words for researchers of all stripes. More to the point though, was his deeply held belief that a free public library is, and always will be, a cornerstone of a democracy. I was very moved.

Bob Macomber has traveled the world. I believe he said he has done "eye ball reconnaissance" in over 70 countries since he began writing his Honor series of books about naval intelligence officer Peter Wake. He holds one in thrall when he talks about the smells of a market in Marakesh or the sounds one hears on the Mekong River at night. You can't make this up. It needs to be experienced in the flesh.

 It reminded me of something I read and loved on Barbara Hoffert's Library Journal blog a few weeks ago, a quote from St. Augustine: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Military history, fiction or non, has never been my cup of tea. Yet I'm going to open myself up to a new genre, go outside my comfort zone, and read Bob's newest book in the series, Honor Bound (I understand that they can stand alone), which is centered in Haiti.

On another note, Thrity Umrigar has accepted an invitation to appear at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival in March and I had the opportunity to read and review her latest novel which will be released in January. I enjoyed The World We Found very much, as I have all of her books and look forward to meeting her soon. You can read my review at the link below: as always, scroll to the bottom.

1 comment:

TooManyBooks said...

Oh, I knew you would write about Bob!