Vineyard Birds II Tracks Island’s Avian Changes

VINEYARD BIRDS II: Where and What to See on Martha’s Vineyard. By Susan B. Whiting and Barbara B. Pesch. Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, Mass. 2007. 152 pages, photographs and illustration. $19.95, softcover.

Unfolding a Map of Island Life, Page by Page Through History

THE 1858 MAP OF CAPE COD, MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET. By Henry F. Walling, with contributions from Robert Finch, Theresa Mitchell Barbo, Elliott Carr, Jim Coogan, Charles Fields, Gail Fields, Adam Gamble, Joseph Garver, Kathleen Schatzberg. On Cape Publications Inc., 2009. 122 pages. $50, hardcover.

Beatles Book Follows Fab Four From Liverpool to Abbey Road

It’s irresistible to start this review of Vineyard author Tom Dresser’s new book about the Beatles, It Was 40 Years Ago Today, by saying it’s a Magical Mystery Tour of the Fab Four who Please Pleased [Us] through a Hard Day’s Night lasting six years, spanning the spectrum of I Feel Fine, to wanting to give each other A Ticket to Ride, all of them — and us —– trailing apart in a mood of benediction, Let It Be.

Hidden Art Insights in One Book, Open Visual Wordplay in Another

ICH SEHE DEN KOPF DES PANTHERS IM DUNKEL DER NACHT. By Dietmar Goessweiner.

AMERGIN AGAIN. By Joe Eldredge. hUMILITY pRESS, West Tisbury, 2009. $15, softcover.

The Lives Beyond the Legends

For the first few pages of Paul Schneider’s Bonnie and Clyde, The Lives Behind The Legend, we see tall, willowy, sultry Faye Dunaway as the infamous gangster moll, Bonnie Parker, and we picture tall, broad-shouldered Warren Beatty as her outlaw boyfriend, Clyde Barrow. It doesn’t take long for the author to get the real people back in focus: Bonnie is petite (under five feet tall), more adorable than sultry, and Clyde also is short but a head taller than his energetic pip-squeak girlfriend.

Action is Between the Lines in Tale of Love, Loss, Politics

EXILES IN THE GARDEN. By Ward Just. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. July, 2009. 288 pages. $25.

Anyone who has spent time in London, Paris, Tokyo or any other major capital inevitably is dissatisfied in Washington, D.C.

Chosen by compromise, built atop a swamp, and provincial to its core, it offers some of the nation’s most appalling architecture (e.g., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, or the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building) and weather to match.

Intrigue Every Inning: Thriller Has Curves Beyond Usual Pitch

James Grippando’s Intent to Kill is fixed firmly in the thriller genre, but with more twists than most. The lead character, Ryan James, is a baseball star who has suffered tragic loss with the death of his wife in a hit-and-run accident — and not handled it as well as he might.

Author Enters Existential Life of Tragic Idol, Albert Camus

CAMUS, A ROMANCE. By Elizabeth Hawes. Grove Press. July 2009. 304 pages. $25 hardcover.

As an undergrad, Elizabeth Hawes became fascinated with Albert Camus and embarked on an exploration of not only the work but also the world of the brilliant, handsome and charismatic writer and philosopher. Although she was physically half a world away and metaphorically a universe away from her subject, she was determined to somehow enter her idol’s world.

Sports Agent Shows You the Money

NEGOTIATE LIKE THE PROS: A Top Sports Negotiator’s Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships, and Getting What You Want. By Kenneth Shropshire. McGraw-Hill. October, 2008. 224 pages. $19.95.

Professor Kenneth Shropshire is a former all-state athlete who grew up in inner city Los Angeles and attended Stanford on a football scholarship. He is a sports fan who can discuss ESPN news with enthusiasm and will knowledgeably forward his opinions on shady college recruitment practices and sports agent scandals.

A Few Words from the President

Believe me, being a college president is dauntingly difficult. Better yet, read Steve Trachtenberg’s perceptive and stimulating discussion of his 30 years on the hot seat. Eleven of those years were at the University of Hartford and nineteen at George Washington University. He was a great success at both institutions, which may account for his conclusion that, despite the frustrations, his career was rewarding. The reader of Big Man on Campus will come away not only with a more subtle understanding of the complexities of university leadership, but also with a sense of why Trachtenberg was good at it.

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