Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne Du Maurier by Tatiana De Rosnay (Biography, 2017). The title here is, of course, a reference to the fictional mansion in Du Maurier’s best known novel, Rebecca. As the author makes clear, real life homes fascinated and repeatedly inspired Du Maurier. In particular, ones she lived in (as well as […]Read more "REVIEWED: Manderley Forever"
Be Free Or Die by Cate Lineberry (Nonfiction/Civil War History, 2017). About a year into America’s Civil War, a enslaved man named Robert Smalls made an epic break for freedom from that hotbed of succession, Charleston, South Carolina. A skilled boatman and born leader, he was by this time the de facto pilot of a steamer […]Read more "REVIEWED: Be Free Or Die"
Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission by Bret Baier, with Catherine Whitney. (Historical Biography, 2017). The title of this fascinating and generally insightful book refers to the last 3 days of Mr. Eisenhower’s Presidency and the dual-purposed personal mission he set for himself over that time. On the one hand, he was intent on […]Read more "REVIEWED: Three Days in January"
Chasing Space by Leland Melvin. (Memoir, 2017). Leland Melvin has led an interesting and high-achieving life. How many people have played pro football (no matter how briefly), become a top-flight engineer, then joined NASA, eventually becoming an astronaut (with two space flights to his credit) and later moving on to a career as a tireless education […]Read more "REVIEWED: Chasing Space"
Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison (Biography, 2017). In this book, Matthew Dennison, a prize-winning author (his Vita Sackville-West bio was named a “Book of the Year” by the London Times), has produced a winning and moving portrait of another revered literary figure. Assisted by telling photographs, quoting […]Read more "REVIEWED: Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter"
In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gray. (Biography, 2017). This compelling biography charts the life and loves of one of the most successful and pivotal authors of literature for children in the 20th century. Despite the fact that Margaret Wise Brown died at the absurdly young […]Read more "REVIEWED: In The Great Green Room"
Chuck Noll: His life’s Work by Michael MacCambridge. (Biography, 2016). For my money, a truly involving and compelling sports biography like this is among the rarest of rare literary birds. I say this although I personally enjoy watching pro football (among many other things) and particularly follow the Pittsburgh Steelers. In my experience, famous and successful […]Read more "REVIEWED: Chuck Noll"