BOOK ENDS – Authors of March

  • Friday, March 9, 2018 1:30am
  • Life

The month of March seems to be a very busy time for birthdays and publishing dates for some famous authors. The books these authors have written were not only well received, but are still a great read.

“The Blue Afternoon” by William Boyd was published on March 3, 1995. This line from that book might help you decide to read the whole story: “Dignity was the first quality to be abandoned when the heart took over the running of human affairs.”

Something else you might enjoy, or maybe you know someone who would enjoy this book, “Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks,” by Zack Hample. The book was published in March 2007.

This smart and funny fan’s guide to baseball explains the ins and outs of pitching, hitting, running and fielding while offering insider trivia and anecdotes that will appeal to anyone, whether you’re a major league couch potato, lifelong season ticket-holder or a beginner.

It will also answer such questions as: What’s the difference between a slider and a curveball? At which stadium did “the wave” first make an appearance? How do some hitters use iPods to improve their skills? Which positions are never played by lefties? And, why do some players urinate on their hands? It also features a glossary of baseball slang, an appendix of important baseball stats and a section of uniform numbers.

On March 2, 1943, horror writer Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, In 1995, he published his book that is a “world full of ghosts, and some of them are still people.”

This book is “The Throat.” Straub is a prolific author and if you are into this genre, you have many titles to explore. In this book, the character Tim Underhill, now an acclaimed novelist, travels back to his hometown of Millhaven, Illinois, after he gets a call from an old Army buddy who believes there’s a copycat killer on the loose, mimicking the Blue Rose murders from decades earlier. He thinks his wife could be a potential victim.

Underhill seeks out his old friend, an aging hermit who has attained minor celebrity as an expert sleuth, to help him investigate. They quickly discover that Millhaven is a town plagued by horrifying secrets. There is a twisted killer on the loose who is far more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Another book about criminals you might enjoy is written by author Misha Glenny, whose birthday is in early March, too. The book is “McMafia.” It is about “seriously organized crime.”

A blurb about this book says that, in America, “Our guys were just playing at being gangsters. The Yugoslavs had been thieving and killing in Europe for real and for decades. They were seriously tough, and to this day, if you want to kill somebody in Bulgaria and you want the job done reliably and cheaply, then you hire a Serb. They are the best assassins.”

And this note from the Washington Post says it all: “Glenny’s obsessive interest in his subject is infectious, and his colorful writing and eye for detail gives McMafia the feel of a juicy tell-all.”

Finally, have you read D. H. Lawrence’s book “About the Plumed Serpent”? Lawrence died in France on March 2, 1930, at the age of 44, but he left many stories for us to enjoy — and “The Plumed Serpent” is one of the best.

This author was “used to all kinds of society, and watched people as one reads the pages of a novel, with a certain disinterested amusement.” This story in “The Plumed Serpent” was written in 1926, and tells of a “European woman’s self-annihilating plunge into the intrigues, passions and pagan rituals of Mexico. It is his great work of the political imagination.” The original working title of an early draft was “Quetzalcoatl,” a reference to the cult of the plumed serpent in Mexico.

Happy reading.

Quote for today: Theodore Seuss Geisel, known all over the world by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was an acclaimed illustrator and author who published more than 60 children’s books. He said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

Donna Lee Anderson is a columnist for Kitsap News Group. Anderson can be reached at well toldtales@aol.com.

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