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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Call Me Commander’

As a Navy veteran, I was interested in Commander Bobby Thompson, a crook who operated a fraudulent Navy veterans’ charity.

The Short Life of Hughie McLoon (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Short Life of Hughie McLoon’

Veteran sportswriter, reporter, and author Allen Abel’s “The Short Life of Hughie McLoon: A True Story of Baseball, Magic, and Murder,” recounts the life of a deformed youngster who navigates through 19th-century professional baseball, boxing and organized crime in Philadelphia, my hometown.

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Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers by John Gierach (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers'

- The Washington Times

Eric Engberg, one of my fishing buddies a couple decades ago, was an on-the-air reporter for CBS News for 26 years until he had emergency bypass surgery, bagged his television career in 2002, bought a used trawler and retired to Florida to fish and enjoy the good life.

Dare to Fly  by Martha McSally (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Dare to Fly'

When she was 12, Martha McSally's father died unexpectedly, telling her on his deathbed, "make me proud." And that, throughout a distinguished career of service to her country, is precisely what she's done, as she tells us in this well-written, highly-readable personal narrative of overcoming a battery of obstacles to become a genuine American hero.

Black Flag by David Ricciardi (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Black Flag'

His superb 2018 debut thriller, "Warning Light," found readers and critics proclaiming that in David Ricciardi this genre had a new star. "One of the best thrillers you'll read this year," Lee Child called it.

A Most Wicked Conspiracy  by Paul Starobin (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'A Most Wicked Conspiracy'

There's something about gold. Since earliest times it has obsessed mankind like no other element. The ancient Greek legend of the "Golden Fleece" is both myth and fact. The factual side is based on the real practice of prehistoric prospectors in Colchis, part of what would become the modern-day Republic of Georgia.

Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir by Alan D. Gaff (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir'

- Associated Press

In the pre-television and Internet era, it's hard to imagine the wattage a star player such as Lou Gehrig created or the emotion generated by his famous 1939 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Tales From The National Press Club by Gil Klein (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Tales from the National Press Club'

As current National Press Club President Michael Freedman points out in his foreword to this engaging pocket history of one of Washington's most colorful institutions, "The National Press Club is 'the stuff of legends,' most of which have the added benefit of being true." Substitute the word "many" for the word "most" and the argument is unassailable.

The Book of Longings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd  (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Book of Longings'

- Associated Press

"I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder." With these opening words, Sue Monk Kidd launches into her ambitious new novel, "The Book of Longings."

If It Bleeds Stephen King (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'If It Bleeds'

- Associated Press

I like to think of Stephen King as a high-paid starting pitcher. Between starts -- bestselling novels often thick enough to be doorstops -- he works in the bullpen, writing novellas. Over the years, many of those have been made into movies that are now essential parts of the King canon like "Stand By Me" and "Shawshank Redemption."

The Shanghai Factor (book cover)

A look back at spy novelist Charles McCarry

I wonder what the late, great spy novelist Charles McCarry would make of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Chinese connection, be it the Wuhan "wet markets" or the science labs near Wuhan. McCarry, who died last year at the age 88, set his 2013 novel "The Shanghai Factor" in China.

The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Moment of Tenderness'

- Associated Press

"The Moment of Tenderness" gifts readers with a new batch of stories from the late Madeleine L'Engle, beloved bestselling author of "A Wrinkle in Time."

Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the vendetta ride from Hell by Tom Clavin (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Tombstone'

- Associated Press

In 1881, five Earp brothers gathered in hopes of finding their fortunes in Tombstone, Arizona, the last boomtown in what was still left of the untamed American West. They were relatively young men - Wyatt, the middle brother, just 31 - when they joined a growing community of shopkeepers, prospectors, gamblers, prostitutes, and rustlers drawn by a silver strike in the nearby Dragoon Mountains.

'Broken' (book cover)


After publishing a big crime novel like "The Cartel," "The Force" and "The Border" every two years, Don Winslow decided to publish "Broken," a collection of five novellas and one short story. Inspired by the novella collections of Jim Harrison and Stephen King, Don Winslow sees the quick potential of selling the six stories to television and films.

'Simon the Fiddler' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Simon the Fiddler'

- Associated Press

"Simon the Fiddler" is the origin story of Simon Boudlin, a traveling musician who appears in Paulette Jiles' 2016 novel, the National Book Award finalist "News of the World."

'Hid From Our Eyes' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Hid From Our Eyes'

- Associated Press

Julia Spencer-Fleming makes a triumphant return to her series about Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and her police chief husband, Russ Van Alstyne with "Hid From Our Eyes."

'The Meritocracy Trap' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Meritocracy Trap'

Meritocracy has taken quite a beating lately. Even as COVID-19 has reduced the global power elite to awkward Zoom chats and toilet paper humor, we are still not spared the obligatory weekly article about unfulfilled millennials, overburdened baby boomers, and failed promises to the best and brightest.

 'Me and Patsy' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Me and Patsy: Kickin ' Up Dust'

- Associated Press

Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn only knew each other a short time before Cline's death at the age of 30, but the friendship formed between two trailblazers of country music is enough to fill a book.

'Winning Your Audience' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Winning Your Audience'

Republican presidents have had constant difficulty in communicating their initiatives and accomplishments to the American people, due to an overwhelmingly hostile, activist and politically liberal/left press corps.

''Redhead by the Side of the Road' (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: ''Redhead by the Side of the Road'

- Associated Press

After more than 20 books, Anne Tyler still finds ways to challenge herself. Her new novel, "Redhead By the Side of the Road," is, of course, set in her longtime home of Baltimore and features the family and romantic entanglements and other narrative touches Tyler fans know well.

Devoted by Dean Koontz (book cover)

BOOK REVIEW: 'Devoted'

- Associated Press

In this vast universe, Dean Koontz notes, two species have formed an unbreakable bond: Dogs and human beings. And this bond, he predicts in his new thriller, "Devoted," is about to become even stronger.