Analecta By Jim Whiting
If you’re looking for a trite phrase to describe the essence of this book, try “A trip down memory lane.” It might be as apt as any. And Jim Whiting’s Analecta fits that mold. His bittersweet telling of a  childhood filled with sometimes warm and fuzzy anecdotes may trigger fond memories of your own younger days. The more unpleasant aspects of growing up are also visited here and these tales will have you grateful that your experiences–perhaps similar–are in the past . . . only to be remembered, sometimes painfully.Analecta begins at a critical point in the author’s life. He is on the final lap of a solo car journey from upstate New York to Southern California. Six days ago he had left a life that had become routine, comfortable, and very much a part of himself– in retrospect, perhaps too much so. He would, in a matter of hours be reunited with his wife, who had taken a job a month prior, in Solana Beach. In New York State they had left behind four of five of their grown children and five grandchildren. He also left behind almost twenty-nine years in broadcasting and an overlapping career in cartooning-that’s his resume. Flashbacks to his preteen years reveal a kid who shows very early entrepreneurial leanings. He has a tendency to want to “belong” but he has difficulty being at ease in belonging. Whiting touches on the uneasy relationship with his older brother (is that so different from many siblings have?) There are interludes about a twelve-year-old kid getting lost in on his first visit to New York City; a high school girl friend; Navy boot camp; magic in New Orleans; personalities in Radio; poems (some very good– some not so– but fun); observations made in classrooms, business offices, and on the tennis court. Don’t look for gossip, accusations, or grievances; none of them are in this book. It’s definitely not a downer.Returning to Mell Lazarus’s Introduction for a final note: “It’s a great book! If you’re like me, you’ll love it. If you’re not like me, you’ll love it.”
I loved Analecta, All in all a truly engaging read that I would not hesitate to recommend.
Analecta was well written and I continued to read even though I really didn’t want to read it.