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Author Topic: Some Book Highlights from My Recent Travels
Robert Nowall
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Sometimes I think the reason I go on vacation is to acquire and read new books. It's not like these aren't available at home---I just seem to have a little more time on the road to devour them.

Anyway, in no particular order, here are some interesting volumes:

Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife, Francine Prose. This is of some interest to the writers among us in that this book demonstrates that Anne Frank was a serious writer, that she rewrote and polished her famous "diary," with an apparent eye to publication. It wasn't, say, a found work of art.

No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864, Richard Slotkin. There's a semi-famous unfinished and unpublished novel by C. M. Kornbluth concerning this battle of the Civil War---I first heard of the battle by reading a commentary by Frederik Pohl about said novel. This is the most detailed account I have yet found of the battle itself.

1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon, David Pietrusza. It would seem Theodore White's The Making of the President: 1960 didn't scratch the surface of what went on in the election year of 1960...anybody with an interest in politics should pick this one up.

Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, James Piereson. I've recommended this before, I think, but it's newly-out-in-paperback...before you groan, "Oh, not another book about the assassination of JFK," I'll add that this deals with a whole other area affected by the assassination...raising some ideas about the event you may not have taken notice of.

Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America's Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century, Barry Mazor. This covers a lot of territory...and not just country music.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicker: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, Kate Summerscale. A true-crime mystery that shocked Victorian England...proposes a possible and plausible solution, though, like any ancient true-crime story, it's impossible to know what really happened.

There were others, but I'll pass over them for them moment, except to note that Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a novel by our old friend Jamie Ford, is out in paperback, and I picked up a copy while away. (Had a nifty display stand, too.)


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