On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. My grandmother, Nana, had two portraits on the walls of her home that I will never forget. One portrait was of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other was of JFK. Later, she hung a poster of Larry Bird, but that is an entirely different story.

To my childish mind, the pictures were similar, both were 8- by 10-inch prints with unadorned frames, both were muted pictures with beige undertones. Whenever I asked about the JFK print my Nana would say “pauvre bonhomme” which was pronounced rapidly and sounded like one word “puvbonhomme”. The translation would be “poor man,” but it was clear to me that there was considerable meaning behind the phrase. John F. Kennedy Jr. was “John, John” to Nana. I wasn’t alive in 1963, so it was not until much later in life that I understood there was very serious emotion to her words. To her, America had changed so much in a single day.

This morning, one of my favorite authors posted a picture from Dallas with the caption, “Do you remember where you were on the day JFK died?” It got me thinking about one of my favorite books, “11/22/63,” by Stephen King. The novel explores in great detail the death of John F. Kennedy. The book explores the fantastical idea that a man could travel back in time and alter history, thus preventing the assassination.

The story follows Jake Epping in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who travels through time to 1963 to right wrongs, not only the assassination, but other terrible events as well. King’s thoroughness to research sheds light on each facet of the day Kennedy died, and speculates on the possibility that the outcome could have been different. At times brutal and heart wrenching, the author proves why he is a master storyteller.

For non-fiction readers, “Killing Kennedy” is also a worthy exploration into the life shattering day, 11/22/63. Authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Duggard are not exceptionally talented writers, but they have compiled a series of books about the deaths of significant historical figures that are, nonetheless, interesting. Essentially the works are straight timelines of the significant events. Despite being a bit light on content they give the reader an overview of the deaths of Patton, Kennedy, Lincoln, Jesus and Reagan.

We all have those moments in our lives that we will remember forever. Where we were the day we found out a loved one had passed from this world. Our reaction to the shuttle explosion. Watching the towers collapse on 9/11/2001. It takes a genius mind like Stephen King to wonder what life would be like if we could go back and rewind the clock. If we could undo death and the consequences of terrorism. He creates a work of escapism at its finest. If you need book suggestions, please feel free to stop by for a visit McArthur Library. We love to help you find reading materials.

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