One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson. This is the same guy who wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything, which made me nervous because I didn’t love that book. Too much science for me. But Summer 1927 blew my mind. It’s a history of all the many (many!) significant events that took place in just one summer in America. There’s a lot about aviation, a lot about sports, and a good dose of presidents, Hollywood, and crime. It’s crammed with fun facts and can be pretty funny.
The Abominable Bride. Going into it we couldn’t figure out how this was going to fit into the Sherlock series–was having all the Sherlock characters step back in time to when Sherlock is actually set just a fun little experiment, was it a new direction in the series, or was it somehow part of the over-arching plot? I won’t say. But it was good. I love BBC Sherlock.
My great grandma Valoy. Most of my great grandparents are a bit of a mystery to me, but Valoy is the most mysterious, even to my dad and grandma. Grandma Valoy died of breast cancer when my grandma was 12, and you can only know and notice so much about about your mom when you’re twelve.
Anyway, I was looking at the 1910 census of Valoy’s parents’ family, and where Valoy should have been (only a few weeks old at the time) was instead a baby Ella. What makes this strange is Valoy had a sister two years younger named Ella. Did her parents name her Ella, decide it didn’t fit, then switch to Valoy, but tried Ella out on the next daughter and it kept? And the switch from Ella to Valoy is very unusual. I did a general search of Valoys in census records, and it’s kind of a unicorn name. Very rare for 1910. I have so many questions.
I asked my grandma about it this weekend, and she had no idea. I’m not sure if we’ll ever figure out why Ella became Valoy. But then she pulled out an album full of pictures of Valoy and family. There is only exactly one picture of her on FamilySearch right now! So I borrowed the album to get some of the pictures scanned. I’m so excited about this album.