Book: Letters of Note

Hey guys, just want to pop in and share a book I just borrowed yesterday on Libby.

This book is about 'correspondence deserving of a wider audience'. It is a wonderful collection, ranging from the Queen's letter to Eisenhower about a recipe of drop scones that serve 16 people, heartbreaking letters before imminent death (execution, suicide, war defeat, expedition dangers, or kamikaze), to absolutely motivating ones about pursuing one's art. 

There are also letters about race ('IS IT A DISGRACE TO BE BORN A CHINESE' where a mother writes in to the school which refused to enrol her Chinese daughter) and slavery ('TO MY OLD MASTER' where a former slave writes back to his master who asks him to return and work for him after they are freed. The letters reflect the realities of the time period.

Here are some images from the book. I like how some of these include scans of the original handwritten letters, as well as drawings. Handwritten letters really hit different!

A creepy letter from Jack the Ripper, which came with a package of half a kidney preserved in wine. Ew...

I found this letter, 'SWEETHEART COME' very heartbreaking.

These love letters were also very heartwrenching.
'I LOVE MY WIFE, MY WIFE IS DEAD' where the writer writes to his dead wife.
'I CAN'T FIGHT ANY LONGER' a last letter from Virginia Woolf to her husband 

'MY MUSE IS NOT A HORSE' by Nick Cave to MTV, writing in to ask respectfully to be withdrawn from the BEST MALE ARTIST category.

Other letters include heartwarming ones like a reply from Roald Dahl to a child who sent him her 'dream in a bottle' just like in BFG. ('THANK YOU FOR THE DREAM')

Humorous, light-hearted and witty letters abound too, like the one from Peanuts creator Charles M Schulz to a reader who wanted him to get rid of one of the new characters ('THE AX'), as well as 'DON'T TOUCH HIS HAIR' where three Elvis Presley fans write in to the military to beg them not to cut Elvis' famous hair when he joined the army.

'WHY EXPLORE SPACE' is a reply from the Director of Science at NASA to a Zambia-based nun who asked: "How could you possibly suggest spending billions of dollars on a project (piloted mission to Mars) at a time when so many children were starving here on earth?" His response is very passionate and goes along the line of how the advance of science can bring about more change to the world. While a space mission will not directly improve the hunger situation, the high visibility of the project can bring about opportunities for science due to increased national budget, artificial Earth satellites can help with agriculture*, and also draw more brains and minds to the cause of science. 

*Also: Is the hunger problem due to resource production or resource distribution? What can money do?Which is better in the long term? 

There are 125 letters in this compilation and I look forward to reading them all. In fact, I'll write some letters of my own too, just like I used to.

I really recommend this! Available on Libby.


P.S. HELP! I really do not know what to read next anymore... I think I need a visit to the physical library to browse more effectively. Book recommendations are welcome and very much appreciated.