My 19th book was The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. First, let me say that I may have cheated with this book, although I will leave the interpretation up to the reader. I didn’t actually “read” this book. Instead I went to librivox.org and downloaded the free audiobook. They have a great service where volunteers record books that are in the public domain and then give them away for free. I love this because I’m able to get a book like this, through it on my iPhone, and then listen to it while I’m in the car. Each chapter is no more than 30 minutes (with many as short as 5-10) so if you plan it right you can listen to a chapter each trip and be done before you know it.
Now, that said, I may have missed out of the full effect of the book by listening to it. You see, this book was one of the most quotable I’ve ever read (heard) and I wasn’t able to make my usual notes on an index card as I read it. That’s a shame, but thankfully a simple google search like this one will give you a pretty good overview of the words of wisdom you can expect from it.
The first half of the book talked about his early years in life; how he got started in the printing business, how he educated himself, and how he formed the ideals that would define the rest of his life. I found that to be much more interesting than the second half where he talks about creating public libraries, fire departments and the University of Pennsylvania. Don’t get me wrong, those were great accomplishments. I just enjoyed much more being able to see what made Franklin into the kind of person who was able to do things like that.