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"
Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd (English History, 2017). Of late, noted author Peter Ackroyd has been producing books on the history of England. This volume centers on the hectic and unstable seventeenth century, a time of constant political maneuverings, double-dealing and turmoil (both domestic and in foreign relations). There was one outright Civil War, the execution of […]Read more "REVIEWED: Rebellion"
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"
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. (Popular Science Book, 2017). As the title suggests, this rather slim volume (209 pages, not counting the index) provides a crisp and quickly paced overview of current space science knowledge. Tyson includes thumbnail background histories of how the relevant theories have evolved and have been verified […]Read more "REVIEWED: Astrophysics For People in a Hurry"
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"
The American Spirit by David McCullough (Nonfiction/Collected Speeches, 2017). The respected winner of a fistful of major history awards, David McCullough is also something of a familiar voice from his many appearances on Public television. He’s in demand as a commemorative speaker, as well, and this relatively brief (173-page) collection of speeches he has delivered over the years […]Read more "REVIEWED: The American Spirit"