Monday, June 19, 2006

Preview Shelf -- Good Reads by Barnes, Cloncs, Lingeman, and Quirk

Wabash professor of history James Barnes and researcher Patience Plummer Barnes have published a study of the role and fate of German party members and British sympathizers called Nazis in Pre-War London 1930-1939. With suspense it answers who they were, what they were doing, whether they were professional espionage agents or simply residents, and when war broke out, if they were interned or expelled. The excitement includes one conclusion that "The British must be seen as having been very effective as well as very lucky in curbing attempts at espionage on the part of the Third Reich."

Michael E. Cloncs, retired German and history teacher, has composed his first story called Hominids in Hoosierland: Along the Creek. Recalling childhood time on his aunt and uncle's farm between Crawfordsville and Darlington when he fished and hunted, his writing pretends that a survivor like homo erectus (Big Foot) dwelled along Sugar Creek. The plot about a young boy and elder protector in ancient times is enhanced with his own photographs, sketches, and artifact images. He states, Even though it's a work of fiction, it also has historical accuracy (Wade Coggeshall, Journal Review, October 21, 2005). Richard Lingeman, who grew up here and graduated from Crawfordsville High School has issued Double Lives about American writers' rich and volatile friendships. Studs Terkel notes, "He comes through as a major literary critic, revealing surprising truths in the celebrated friendships and feuds of writers whose lives and art intersected." He explores friendships between notables like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, Henry James and Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser and H. L. Mencken, even F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. He begins with Rainer Maria Rilke's quote, Love consists in this: that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. Bob Quirk, Wabash College graduate, is retired in Wingate after 24 years of teaching and 10 years in administration, including service at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. He collected 43 of his articles in the Fountain County Neighbor (Attica, Indianaereere a) in 2001 and added a few unpublished pieces in Real American Stories. His final story begins, "It has been said that everyone's favorite style of music is the music they grew up with." Others are full of observations about windmills, outhouses, basketball, the Horse Thief Detective Association, his great uncle's diary as a Civil War soldier, and other interesting reminiscences we all can enjoy.

Here are other new books to borrow: Spell of the Highlander by Purdue graduate Karen Moning is her latest romance bringing together a Celtic warrior trapped in time and an archaeology student who'll pay the price for freeing him. A Little Love Story by Roland Merullo is classic with a modern twist as a governor's aide meets a carpenter/portrait painter with a shadow over his romantic history. The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Richie, star of the TV show The Simple Life portrays a typical Hollywood child with a life of glitz, who becomes spokes-model for a national compaign. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah finds a six-year-old girl emerging speechless and alone from the heart of the Olympic National Forest in the Washington state. The plot of course is to figure out her past.

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