Wisdom fuel is a positive stimulant for the mind, body, and soul. If you think it’s easier said than done, I’ve already taken that myth into consideration. I’ve written and designed the book to accommodate your learning needs. Whenever someone advises me on a matter and the dictum “it’s easier said than done” springs to mind, I remind myself that I must still make the effort rather than allow inertia to set in. I’m encouraging you to do the same too. For a healthy mind, body, and soul, you need the right kind of spiritual fuel; this book goes a long way in providing it. You can use the book for your benefit and, by doing so, increase the likelihood that, through you, it may benefit others too. Remember the saying, “Little drops of water … make a mighty ocean and a bounteous land.” The book may be read in any number of ways—sequentially, by title, or through use of the categorical index. However you choose to engage with the material, it can offer you great benefits.
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post–World War II America—a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. Vonnegut offers a pitch-perfect portrait of a singing instructor cum lothario whose perfectly ordered bachelor lifestyle is thrown into chaos by a jilted chanteuse who won't take "Go away" for an answer—and knows how to turn the force of habit against him. Little Drops of Water and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut's unique voice had been stilled forever—and provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.
T his book consists of eight short stories, three memoirs, and eleven essays written over a period of several years by the author. Some are excerpts from his other books, Hillbilly in the Real Estate Jungle, My Border Patrol Days, Forged in a Country Crucible, NRA, the Inside Story, and Amor in Appalachia. The oldest of seven children, Joe White grew up on a dirt-poor farm in Tennessee during the depression of the 1930s. He was an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II. Later he worked as a real estate salesman, broker, and investor. He was an officer in the US Immigration Service for 21 years, beginning as a GS-6 Trainee and retiring in grade GS-15. After retirement he worked for three and a half years in the executive suite of the National Rifle Association, the last two years as the Deputy Executive Vice President (CEO.) He has written four memoirs and one fi ctional romance novel.
Milton Butts always had a dream. Strong sons would help him build his farm and one day his lush fields would extend as far as he could see. The Butts name and the farm would live on for generations to come. Caroline Simonds became part of the dream when Milton was still a boy. He was too shy to tell her, but he never doubted she would share his dream. The time came when he found out that she did, and he was overjoyed. Life on his Vermont farm had it's ups and downs. A healthy little daughter was born the first year but after that, illness and bad weather plagued him. The final blow came when bears killed all of their sheep. In search of his dream, Milton relocated his family three times. Finally, in Illinois, he found the place of their dreams. The day came when Milton stopped his horse at the edge of his homestead and his land stretched as far as he could see. But there was still no son and Caroline's time was running out. Milton's most important dream, however, was still to be fulfilled in a strange but wonderful way.