MAY 19, 1938
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—In spite of all my fears, I had a very pleasant time at the American Booksellers Association dinner, enjoyed my neighbor, Mr. Traver, retiring president of the Association, and Mr. Cass Canfield, the president of Harper Brothers.
Somewhere around midnight I boarded one of those new, very modern trains. They have little single compartments with a curtain which zips across the door and a bed which lets down out of the wall and hooks itself into place.
A friend came down with me, so we had a drawing room with more space than I have ever before encountered in one. Two very wide, comfortable beds and plenty of space in which to dress make this a really luxurious way to travel. The porter's bell is a musical affair, The air-brakes made a curious sound which my friend insisted was a new way the porter had of waking up the travellers. At 6:15 the brakes were applied and she was all for dressing and being ready to leave the train at a time long before the scheduled hour of arrival.
Finally, we did get up and at 7:15 were ready to leave, but the train was standing still in the midst of a green countryside. I rang for the porter and was told that a car had broken down and we were some miles out of Baltimore and would be anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours late. We finally reached the Washington station at half past eight. My brother drove up with us and joined us at breakfast.
This being the day scheduled for the veteran's garden party, I was not at all surprised to find it raining. I cannot remember a year since we have been here when we have not worried about the weather. We have put off the party until tomorrow and may, if the weather reports are correct, have to put it off until next week!
Instead of a ride along the Potomac, I spent an hour with the dentist, caught up on mail, had a few friends lunch with me, and am trying to receive a number of people this afternoon whom I expected to see tomorrow.
A most interesting book has come to me. I have seen no reviews of it, but I can not help feeling that it will be of great interest to many people. It is called: "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Mr. and Mrs. S.A. Spencer. It is an awkward book to read because the pictures take up so much space and it therefore needsvery large pages, but this history of the economic cycle showing "what forces have moulded and conditioned our lives", should be extremely interesting to anyone over 15 years of age.
I have also finished a novel by Wellington Roe: "Begin No Day". This is a story of a particular trade in a New England village with an interesting character study in the young here. The difficulties of labor and management are truthfully pictured, as are the adjustment of purely economic problems. No conclusions are reached, but I think it is a book which will interest people who are concerned about similar problems and it certainly contains many suggestions which point the way to clearer thinking.