A great gift book for the holidays | Bookends

I think every family has a favorite member who is a great story teller. That person can regale us with stories on almost any subject and make them seem so real and true. William Mash, the author of “The Magical Pen, a Fountain Pen Journal,” has written a book full of stories like that, part memoir, part people stories, and perhaps some fiction. But all of it is a great read.

The book begins by quoting Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than your knowledge, because knowledge is but a reservoir of information and your imagination is an endless adventure.”

Very true words, and Mash lives by them.

The first story is about “the pen,” and tells of its place in history when Abraham Lincoln used a pen that needed to be dipped into the liquid ink-well several time to replenish ink so he could finish writing his signature. Two associates of Lincoln’s, Klein, an engineer, and Wynn, a writer, realized the problems of the ink dipped pens and decided writing should be so much easier. So they set out to build a better pen. In July of 1866, the fountain pen was patented.

After this introduction to the pen, the stories begin. The first story is set in California and how tells how Mash met a newspaper seller in a book store. He sold his papers on the streets in Hollywood by going into businesses yelling “Papers for sale. Anyone here want a paper?”

Seems this seemingly simple man had found a pen one time and that inspired him to write two books that ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list. Mash and this man struck up a friendship and it becomes a very interesting introduction to the rest of this book.

There’s a story about a pen being found, so that a man could write a “stick-‘em-up-note” when he planned to rob a bank. Another is a mystery of a missing boy. There are several pictures drawn and painted by the author, and a lovely poem is given to us at the end of the book, prefaced by a note from the author, “As I write my stories, you, too, can believe in both magic and miracles.”

This creative book is available on Amazon.com.

Now, I know it’s a little early to start thinking about Christmas gifts, but I do have a few recommendations for book giving because books are something that keep on giving.

“Poems for Las Vegas” is just what it says. This book was initiated and the poems gathered by Richard Walker, managing editor at Sound Publishing, Inc. Profits from the sale of this book will go to the National Compassion Fund, established by Clark County, Nevada, and the National Center for Victims of Crime. Funds benefit the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and their families. Great writing and for a good cause. This book is available from Kitsap Publishing (www.finnhillpublishing.com) in Poulsbo, and soon on Amazon.com.

“Nevermoor, The Trials of Marrigan Crow,” by Jessica Townsend is for middle-grade readers. “Engaging characters and great descriptions of the whimsical world of Nevermoor will leave you wanting to return,” writes reviewer Melissa Thorkilsen, of Elm Street Books.

It has magic and an 11-year-old girl who shows her talents and bravery. It is available at Liberty Bay Books, Eagle Harbor Books and at Amazon.com.

I’ll give more books for holiday giving in my next few columns.

Quote for today: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

Donna Lee Anderson writes a weekly literary column for Kitsap Weekly. You can email her at welltoldtales@aol.com.