I’ve just started a really fun biography, Irrepressible: the Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham by Emily Bingham. It’s a wild ride through the roaring twenties and beyond with an outrageous heroine and the author is one of her descendants. And, I’ve just completed the life of a very different woman living in an equally tumultuous time, The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe by literary scholar Elaine Showalter. If you know JWH only as the author of the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic during the Civil War prepare to be surprised by this complex, highly educated and very political woman. There is something about the long slide from winter into spring that makes biography an especially compelling read — the narrative arc of a life from spring to winter is somehow comforting, reminding us that there is value in all the seasons. Read about a life different from yours, explore, challenge yourself!