Greeting-card philosophy, as light and common as feathers.

TRAVELS WITH PUFF

A GENTLE GAME OF LIFE AND DEATH

The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and numerous volumes about flying returns with an account of a cross-country flight in his new SeaRey amphibious plane.

In 2012, Bach suffered a near-fatal crash in this craft right after he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, so the text overflows with torrents of dramatic and other ironies, especially in his characteristic effervescent homilies about how “you call down your angels, and somehow they see you through your storms.” The journey the author describes—from Florida, where he bought the plane he named Puff, to Seattle, his home—took 62 hours in the air and was punctuated by minor mechanical problems, multiple landings on water, many conversations with his plane (yes, the aircraft replied), some hassles with storms, and some rhapsodizing about geology, rivers, lakes, the wilderness and feathers. Bach saw feathers several places and decided they signified something. Many chapters (all are brief) conclude with a sentence that begins, “If I’ve learned one lesson in all my days…,” a sentence completed with some banality that will appear soon in a Facebook meme—like “True for others isn’t true for me.” Bach shows an odd insensitivity to people who have not made a fortune writing best-sellers. On one remote lake, he sniffs: “These places are a few miles from where some folks live, stressed in I-have-to lives. To get from there to here you need a quest, and a way to travel.” Not to mention lots of money.

Greeting-card philosophy, as light and common as feathers.

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-937777-03-6

Page Count: 232

Publisher: NiceTiger

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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