by Erin K. | | 8 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club!

I’m glad you found us here this week. We’re reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough this month. Not only is this a great book about some local heroes, but it’s also The Big Read book for our area. If you’re enjoying the book so far, make sure you check out some of the local Big Read events to talk to more people who also love the book.

Before I talk about the book, I just have to say that I have really enjoyed learning about the history of Dayton through the story of the Wright Brothers. I have to confess and say that I didn’t really know much about Dayton or the Wright Brothers before reading this book, even though I grew up in the area! So I have really enjoyed seeing how Dayton used to be. One of the most interesting tidbits to me was the fact that Katharine was a school teacher at Steele High School. Steele High School was really beautiful—it looked like Hogwarts! I wish it was still in existence, but unfortunately, it was torn down in the 1950s. Dayton Metro Library has a really cool collection of postcards of Steele High School if you’re interested to see what it looked like.

The first section was really helpful because it let me know more about how the Wright Brothers became interested in flight. I just couldn’t get over how the boys were able to do so many things and were able to figure out so much about flight without any formal training. That is just incredible to me. I loved how they observed birds in an effort to learn more about flight. And, I loved reading about how they just started building and experimenting. They were so brave to attempt to fly when so many other people came to disastrous ends.

I also really loved reading the section about how they set up camp in Kitty Hawk. Every section of this book shows their ingenuity and work ethic.

If you’re like me, this book has made you want to do a lot of extra research about the brothers. I have found The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s page on the Wright Brothers to be really interesting. Check it out if you want to see artifacts, or if you want to just read more about Dayton and the first flyers.

Let me know what you thought of this first section in the comments! I can’t wait to hear if you are enjoying the book as much as I am.

And let me know if there are any cool Wright Brothers things around Dayton that I should visit!

8 Responses to “The Wright Brothers: Week 2”

  1. Carrol

    This book is definitely a surprise. I usually don’t choose a biography, but I am really glad I decided to read this book. I am really enjoying it. David McCullough is such a good writer, and I am learning so much.

    Thanks for the Smithsonian site. The artifact pictures were so interesting.

    My knowledge of the Wright brothers was pretty basic before this book. I am so impressed with their work ethic. What commitment and dedication. I don’t know how they were able to endure all of the hardships of those early days at Kitty Hawk.

    I also liked learning about the family. They certainly were an interesting group. I like reading their personal notes and letters.

    I was recently in downtown Dayton. I found myself looking at old buildings with more interest after reading about the city’s growth and development.

    I am looking forward to reading the next section of the book.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I am so glad that you are enjoying the book so far. I, too, don’t read a ton of biographies, so it was a stretch for me to pick up this book in the first place.

      I’m glad you were able to find some interesting pictures to look at at the Smithsonian website. I couldn’t believe all of the things on there!

      I’m glad this book is helping you look at Dayton a little differently. I really want to visit Carrilon Park–maybe we should have all coordinated a field trip!

      I hope the book is still enjoyable to you as you keep reading! Thanks for chiming in this week!


  2. Jane Engle

    I have been having problems with posting and keep getting a 404 error code.

  3. Jane Engle

    Having been very familiar with the history of the Wright Brothers and the City of Dayton, when I first saw this month’s book selection available in stores, it immediately drew my attention. Unlike so many others that do not require a great deal of time or effort to produce, Dave McCullough presents a detailed and very well researched compilation of evidence that confirms what he writes. As a result it was on my To Read List. Having participated in The Big Read for several years, I was also wanting to do the same in 2017.

    In this week’s reading, I particularly enjoyed details about Bishop Milton Wright and his feelings regarding how his children could best pursue their God-given talents and abilities. He provided them with toys, books he had in his own library, a good, strong work ethic and the freedom and support needed for them to accomplish whatever they wanted. All of his parenting skills seem to have created the formula for success.

    With my family and me having many ties to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and Dayton, it is interesting to see the old pictures and map My Dad first came to this area when he was stationed at Clinton County Army Air Field. As a member of their Glider Unit responsible for weights and balances, much of his work involved going to Wright Field where they were doing testing. Both my Mom and I were employed at WPAFB and I worked for several Air Force contractors. As a child, my parents often took me to the Air Force Museum when it was located in Fairborn. Since then it is a place my husband and I have visited many times as it has moved and grown in its current location. My parents and I have visited Greenfield Village in Michigan and sites in Indiana where the Wrights lived.
    Some of our close friends worked and traveled with the Wright B Flyer.

    For those who are interested in visiting local sites I would suggest you start out by choosing those you find interesting from

    • Erin K.

      How cool that you have so much experience with WPAFB! Thanks for sharing how your family is so connected with the area and flying. That was really neat to read.

      I know I went to the Air Force Museum when I was younger, but I don’t remember much. I know I also went to the Henry Ford museum, but again, it’s been so long that I don’t remember many details. I think it’s time for me to visit both again!

      I totally agree with your assessment of Bishop Wright. I loved that he provided his kids with a wide range of things to read and do–I definitely think that helped to make them curious and industrious.

      Thanks for suggesting that link–I will definitely check it out!


  4. Jane Engle

    aviation heritage area .org Type with no spaces.

  5. Elizabeth

    I am really enjoying this book! I am so impressed with the Wright brothers strength of spirit! They were so determined! I think I would have given up long before Kitty Hawk, but if I hadn’t, being cold and having nothing good to eat would have definitely made me quit. I can’t imagine wanting something so much. This is a great book so far!

    • Erin K.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book, Elizabeth! I totally agree with you about the Kitty Hawk stuff. I can’t imagine staying there with all of the mosquitoes. And, I wouldn’t do too well with the cold. I am a pretty big wimp.

      Thanks for chiming in!


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