These days I’ve been reading non-fiction and biography – with a sprinkle of
historical fiction. . .
Short Nights of the Shadow
Timothy Egan is a fascinating biography for readers interested in the American
West from the late 19th through early 20th century. Edward Curtis (1868-1952)
was charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, and famous photographer -- the Annie
Liebowitz of his time. In 1900, he abandoned his lucrative portrait studio
to begin a thirty-two year project to capture the Native American
nation on film before it disappeared. This incredible adventure narrative tells
the story of Curtis's iconic photographs following him through Indian country
as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes.
Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, Curtis died
destitute, divorced, but left an amazing historic legacy.
Clover Adams: A
Gilded and Heartbreaking Life
by Natalie Dykstra is the biography of Marian "Clover"
Hooper Adams (1843-1885), American socialite and accomplished amateur
photographer. Born into an elite Boston family, Clover
married the renowned American historian Henry Adams (a great-grandson and
grandson of American presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams). She thrived
as an intimate of power brokers in Gilded Age Washington, where she was admired
for her wit and taste by luminaries Henry James and H. H. Richardson.
Clover possessed, as one friend wrote, “all she wanted, all this world could
give.” Yet at the center of her story is a haunting mystery. Why did
Clover end her life by drinking a chemical developer she used in her
photography darkroom? The key to the mystery lies in Clover's
Mawer’s Trapeze is a novel of World War II espionage. Barely
out of school and doing her part for the British war effort, Marian Sutro has a
quality that makes her stand out—she is a native French speaker. This attracts
the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which trains agents to
operate in occupied Europe. Drawn into this strange, secret world at age nineteen, she finds herself undergoing commando training, attending a “school
for spies,” and ultimately, one autumn night, parachuting into France from an
RAF bomber to join the WORDSMITH resistance network. A fascinating blend of
fact and fiction, Trapeze is both an old-fashioned adventure story and a
modern look at a young woman’s growth into adulthood.
Quiet: The Power of
Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain may help you understand
something about yourself or someone you know. According to Cain, American culture
has more and more belonged to the brash,
the loud , and the extroverted. Those who talk, network, and collaborate
aggressively are seen as the most intelligent and smartest. The quiet and
reserved are often viewed as boring and less intelligent. Cain offers advice on
relationships, business negotiations and helping introverted children. She
explains why introverts and extroverts are the way they are and how people can
succeed in a world that doesn’t seem to value them. A powerful book that helps
underscore the value that all personality types bring to a successful world.
Sandy @ Woods
Labels: What We Are Reading Now...