And for our final selection of 2021, we will dive into Stories from the Heartland by Max Armstrong. This memoir covers the career and experiences of the popular farm broadcaster. This book fits the end-of-year trifecta: it’s compact (for easy travel), it’s short (we know December is a busy month for most), and – best of all – it’s loaded with pictures!
Max Armstrong’s broadcasting career began at age 11 when he strung an antenna wire from his bedroom window to a pole behind the chicken coop. That was on Jim and Stella Fay Armstrong’s corn and soybean farm in Indiana s Wabash River Valley. Max turned on the transmitter he built from a mail-order kit, and WMAX was on the air. Its signal barely covered a quarter-mile, and who knows if anyone was listening, but the seeds were sown. Although WMAX didn t last long, Max has been broadcasting ever since. As a boy, Max dreamed of working at one of the big Chicago radio stations, a dream that came true at age 24. But he couldn t have imagined that his 40-year career would also mean originating broadcasts from every state and more than 30 countries. Whether traveling to big farm shows or to visit individual producers, Max got to know remarkable people with compelling stories of struggle and of triumph. And now and then, he bumped into one of those colorful characters with an infectious zest for life who just makes you shake your head and smile. As you read Max’s warm tribute to the people he met and the places he went, a few words of caution: You may catch yourself smiling, and perhaps tearing up a little, and you may have trouble putting the book down. With a passion fueled by the lessons he learned on the farm, Max has become, as the cover states, one of America’s favorite farm broadcasters as he advocates for the men and women who feed the world.
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Here’s what you need to do this month:
Get the book. Buy it, borrow it, download and listen to it, read it over your neighbor’s shoulder — we don’t care. But don’t steal the book.
Read the book.
- Week 1: Intro + Chapters 1-11 [pages 1 – 73] (Twitter chat on 12/1)
- Week 2: Chapters 12-23 [pages 74 – 130] (Twitter chat on 12/8)
- Week 3: Chapters 24-34 [pages 131 – 192] (Twitter chat on 12/15)
- Weeks 4 & 5: It’s the last two weeks of 2021: take a breather, enjoy some family time, and we’ll see you back in January!
Join the chat (#AgBookClub) on Wednesdays at 8:00pm Central on Twitter. Learn how to participate in a Twitter chat here. While we hope you can participate in our discussion every week, we know that everyone has busy schedules. We always include general questions following the topic(s) of the book that can be answered by anyone, so please don’t hesitate to jump in the Twitter chat if you didn’t have a chance to read the section we’re discussing. We welcome any and all to join the discussion!