While looking up something else, I happened to notice today is William Shatner's and James T. Kirk's birthday:
William Shatner, b. March 22, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec.
James T. Kirk, b. March 22, 2233, in Riverside, Iowa.
Only 225 years to go till Kirk's birth. ;-)
Coincidentally, I'm reading Crucible: Kirk--The Star to Every Wandering by David R. George III now. It's not that good; George is using the Nexus to do a confusing time-loop plot. Kirk-present and Kirk-past skip through their mutual history, meeting each other and reliving their experiences. It's exactly the kind of plot that I feared someone would attempt (and fail) when Star Trek: Generations introduced the Nexus.
But George wrote one thing worth noting. Something almost no other author has said: that Miramanee was one of the great loves of Kirk's life. Kudos for that.
Also coincidentally, I'm reading Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion by Jeff Ayers. It's not that good either. I was hoping Ayers would do a mini-review of each novel, noting its strengths and weaknesses. Instead he's provided only a brief blurb--less information than you could find on the book's back cover. And interviewed the writers about how they got into Trek. It's mildly interesting, but not that helpful.
But it does make one worthwhile point: Paramount Studios reviews every novel and demands changes if it deems the plots or characters incompatible with Trek. Nothing in the books is unacceptable to Paramount, which owns the Trek license. The content isn't part of the "canon," but it's not contrary to the canon, either.
In other words, the books are potential canon fodder. If they explain something, Paramount's attitude seems to be, "That sounds reasonable to us. It could well be part of the canon someday. If a film or TV show confirms it, it's in."
In fact, many Star Trek "facts" were established in the books first and confirmed on-screen later. For example, Kirk's middle name (Tiberius), Kirk's birthplace (Iowa), and Sulu's first name (Hikaru). Everyone "knows" Kirk's middle name is Tiberius, but it wasn't canonized until Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
So the books are source material for Trek. That's more than enough justification for studying them. Whatever they tell us about Miramanee, Kirk, and the Preservers, for instance, just may come true someday.