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Bumper year for Maryland writers Books of the Region -- 1998

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A memorable time for authors, 1998. The National Book Award for Fiction, presented to Alice McDermott of Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars, of itself makes the year stand out. In addition, the outpouring of general-reader books by Marylanders (or regarding some facet of Greater Maryland) has brought about the longest annual list yet.

What follows is a beginning. Next Sunday, a second parade marches by, with books categorized as fiction, food, local history, miscellany, romance fiction, travel, thriller and young readers. (O) means oversize; (P) means paperbound.

Art

"The Lives, Loves and Art of Arthur B. Davies" by Bennard Perlman (State University of New York, 469 pages, $35.50). The prime mover behind 1913's famous Armory Exhibition in New York, one of the Eight, and a bigamist.

"Henry Clay Frick, an Intimate Portrait" by Martha Frick Symington Sanger (Abbeville, 544 pages, $50) (O). What led the imperious capitalist into art-collecting? An obsession, his great-granddaughter maintains, with his dead daughter Martha.

Biography, Autobiography

"Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of Gen. Winfield Scott" by John S. D. Eisenhower (Free Press, 464 pages, $27.50). Scott was a three-war soldier (1812, Mexican, Civil), huge in frame and ambition. A Virginian, in 1861 he stood by the Union.

"Snapshots: The Thoughts and Experiences of an African-American Woman" by Rebecca Carroll (Fairfax, 397 pages, $20). A top-level administrator reflects on her career in the public school system.

"For Teaching Is Living: It's Liking What You're Doing That Matters" by E. S. DelRosario (American Literary Press, 117 pages, $10.95) (P). The author taught in the Philippines, then in Baltimore County.

"Leap Into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe" by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker (Woodholme, 273 pages, $23.95). A series of hairsbreadth escapes during Holocaust spared Bretholz, a young Austrian, from the fate of his relatives.

"Thurgood Marshall, American Revolutionary" by Juan Williams (Times Books, 404 pages, $27.50). A look at the man who may be singled out as this century's most important native Baltimorean.

"Jim Allen, His Memoirs," by Ollie J. Allen (American Literary Press, 86 pages, $9.95) (P). In the Army and then with Westinghouse Electric, Allen was an electronics inventor.

"Flying School: Combat Hell," by Ellis M. Woodward (American Literary Press, 191 pages, $14.95) (P). An 8th Air Force lead-crew pilot, he survived 30 B-17 missions over Germany.

"Korea, Frozen Hell on Earth: A Platoon Sergeant's Diary, 1950-51" by Boris R. Spiroff (American Literary Press, 84 pages, $12.95) (P). Grim times for an enlisted man.

"Songs of Myself: Episodes From the Edge of Adulthood," edited by Diane Scharper (Woodholme, 277 pages, $18.95)(P). Freshmen writing students narrate "the best" or "the worst" thing that ever happened to them.

"Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Father of Modern Italy" by Benedict LiPira (Noble House, 124 pages, $15.25). A popular account of that invincibly colorful combatant and ladies man.

Food

"Guess Who Died? Memories of Baltimore, With Recipes" by Mindell Dubansky (Women's Studio Workshop, 46 pages, $21). Bernie died. In Egypt. Fell down a pyramid. Rugelach. Lockshen Kugel. Toby's Cabbage Soup.

"A Taste of Catholicism" (Cathedral Foundation, 152 pages, $12) (P). Several hundred family-tradition recipes.

History

"The Osage Indian Murders" by Lawrence J. Hogan (Amlex, 285 pages, $16.95) (P). In the 1920s - perhaps the FBI's first great case. Oklahoma Indians, rich from selling oil lands, were being poisoned, bombed and shot.

"American Mobbing, 1828-1861: Toward Civil War" by David Grimsted (Oxford, 372 pages, $65). The roots of the civilian violence that led up to the firing on Fort Sumter.

"The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Anti-Slavery Movement" by Julie Roy Jeffrey (University of North Carolina, 311 pages, $10.95) (P) Their fairs, bazaars and sewing circles funded the long, slow print battle.

"Into the Fight: Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg" by John Michael Priest (White Mane, 278 pages, $34.95). Something was lacking - artillery support, infantry unanimity.

"Angels of Mercy: An Eyewitness Account of Civil War and Yellow Fever" by Sister Ignatius Sumner (Cathedral Foundation, 112 pages, $16) (P). By a Baltimore nun stationed in Vicksburg, Miss.

"Lincoln: The Road to War" by Frank van der Linden (Fulcrum, 410 pages, $29.95) (O). The Civil War needn't have happened, slavery would've gone away - this writer belittles Lincoln.

Literature

"A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies" by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel (Hazelden, 420 pages, $24.95). An anthology of the words in which literary figures, bereft of a son or daughter, have poured out that fiercest of griefs.

"Vintage Reading, From Plato to Bradbury: A Tour Guide to 80 of the World's Most Unforgettable Authors" by Robert Kanigel (Bancroft, 245 pages, $16.95) (P) A collection of "re-reading" columns, a book at a time.

"H. L. Mencken, a Descriptive Bibliography" by Richard J. Schrader (University of Pittsburgh, 628 pages, $99.50). Some day soon, there'll be more words in print about Mencken than by him.

Poetry

"Just Let Me Say This About That" by John Bricuth (John Irwin) (Overlook, 124 pages, $22.95). At a news conference, God (or the president, or everyone's father) debates three interviewers: what is life all about?

"Thy Mother's Glass: Poems for Mothers and Daughters" compiled and edited by Diane Scharper (Icarus, 48 pages, $8.95) (P). Eighteen poets, many from Maryland, ponder "this most essential relationship."

"Margaret: Remembering a Life That Was Poetry" compiled and edited by Marta Knobloch, Thomas Dorsett and David Diorio (Icarus, 96 pages $11.95) (P). A posthumous tribute to Margaret Diorio.

Public Affairs

"Pfiesteria: Crossing Dark Waters" by Ritchie C. Shoemaker (Gateway, 350 pages, $13.95) (P) The Pocomoke City physician who treated many of the first waterman lesions has boned up on marine biology; the affliction, he warns, is spreading.

"Civil Rights and Social Wrongs" edited by John Higham (Penn State, 223 pages, $23.50). Historians perceive, in the American journey, "an upward gradient."

"The Last Crusade: Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI and the Poor People's Campaign" by Gerald D. McKnight. The authorities set out to wreck the 1968 bivouac on the Capitol grounds, and succeeded.

"Riding the Bull: My Year in the Madness at Merrill Lynch," by Paul Stiles (Times Business, 323 pages, $25). Needing money, Stiles took a megabrokerage entry job, became a third-world bond trader, lost out amid office tension, insecurity, venality.

"The Color of Crime" by Katheryn D. Russell (New York University, 203 pages, $25). Practical suggestions toward countering the national tendency to analyze crime ethnically.

"The Great Game of Maryland Politics" by Barry Rascovar (The Baltimore Sun, 225 pages, $11.95) (P). Rascovar columns from three decades, umpiring the pols and the policies.

Religion

"In Search of a Meaningful Life" by Bibhuti Mazumder (Noble House, 114 pages, $15.95). Striving for fulfillment of purpose, try love and calm; know the models from ancient India, and the newer faiths.

Science, Medicine

"Riddle of the Ice: A Scientific Adventure Into the Arctic," by Myron Arms (Doubleday, 267 pages, $22.95). A voyage to Greenland, testing a theory that climate changes originate up by the Arctic Circle.

"Fighting Chance: Journeys Through Childhood Cancer" by Harry Connolly (Woodholme, 144 pages, $27.95). Photos and text, telling about oncology patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital. These three kids came through it.

Sports

"The Real McKay: My Wide World of Sports" by Jim McKay (Dutton, 293 pages, $24.95). It's 51 years since Jim McManus, Evening Sun reporter, metamorphosed into Jim McKay, network sportscaster and TV elder statesman. The same unaffected nice guy -with lots more great stories.

"Confessions of a Baseball Purist: What's Right - and Wrong - with Baseball as Seen From the Best Seat in the House" by Jon Miller with Mark Hyman (Simon & Schuster, 269 pages, $24). Most fans are too lazy to keep score. Jon, the former voice of the Orioles, does his scorebook in colors.

"Fighting for Fairness: The Life Story of Hall of Fame Sportswriter Sam Lacy" by Sam Lacy with Moses J. Newson (Tidewater, 272 pages, $29.95). The Afro-American's nonagenarian sports columnist reflects on his long career.

"Jimmie Foxx, the Pride of Sudlersville," by Mark R. Milliken (Scarecrow Press, 281 pages, $39.50). Of at least four Foxx biographies by now, this is the most detailed.

"Rube Marquard: The Life and Times of a Baseball Hall of Famer" by Larry D. Mansch (McFarland, 262 pages, $29.95). Pitcher and entertainer and, later on in Baltimore, racetrack figure.

"From Maryland to Cooperstown: Seven Maryland Natives in Baseball's Hall of Fame" by Lois P. Nicholson (Tidewater, 132 pages, $19.95). Baker, Foxx, Grove, Judy Johnson, Kaline, Ruth - and Vic Willis.

"Gaining a Yard:The Building of Baltimore's Football Stadium," by Jon Morgan, with Doug Kapustin photos (The Baltimore Sun. 157 pages. $29.95). Downtown's newest really big object.

James H. Bready writes a monthly column on regional books. Previously he worked as a reporter, editorial writer and book editor for The Evening Sun.

Pub Date: 12/20/98

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