Persistence, Then Peace

ONE WRITER'S RELENTLESS JOURNEY

A charming, but bumpy recollection of a writer’s love of his work.

A memoir recounts a life of tribulations and wordsmithery.

Mach (The Invisible Twins, 2015, etc.) was a precocious youngster, and like so many authors, discovered his love of the written word through voracious reading. He wrote a novel before he even finished high school fashioned in Baroque style (he includes an excerpt), and despite his failure to publish it, a lifetime of devotion to the craft was sparked. Mach received an MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and spent the bulk of his professional career as a market research analyst and business writer. He also tried his hand at several entrepreneurial ventures, and taught advertising and business writing at San Jose State University in California. He experienced some jolts of authorial success—in 1977 he was invited to join the well-regarded California Writer’s Club, and in 1981 he published an article that graced the cover of Writer’s Digest. He trudged through a period of troubles that lasted for nearly 10 years, grappling with serious financial challenges, a cancer scare, his inability to publish a novel he was proud of, and problems finding employment (at one point, he donned a Santa Claus outfit for money). He clashed with a business partner (he briefly owned and operated an ice cream business), and was sued for a substantial sum. All the while, Mach discusses his experiences as creative fodder for future writing, always mining his life for inspiration. His prospects eventually improved, and he found both solace and guidance in religion, not to mention some success as an indie author. This is a quirky and sometimes meandering remembrance, and bears the stamp of a business writer; Mach loves to include bullet-pointed lists cataloging everything from his personal trials to the market research projects he’s written. Mach, a prolific author, lists and excerpts his own work liberally. Unfortunately, the writing, especially for an author’s recollection, is uneven at best. Mach recalls teaching a writing seminar: “I showed attendees how to open up their creative channels so they can come up with methods for sparking new ways to thinking about their writing—whether it be a novel, article, or advertising copy.” In addition, Mach’s account is too idiosyncratic and personal to be of universal import; its primary value will be to those who know and love him.

A charming, but bumpy recollection of a writer’s love of his work. 

Pub Date: May 5, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 290

Publisher: Hill Song Press

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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