Maryland -- a literary fountain; BOOKS OF THE REGION : 1999

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Closing time, for the 1900s. Herewith, a publishing census of the past year's books by Marylanders, or about Maryland, that would hold interest for a general reader. A companion installment, covering other subheadings, will appear next week. Congratulations to the authors -- 1999 has been a fecund year in these parts. (O) means oversize. (P) means paperbound.

Art

"Painting the Eastern Shore: A Guide to Chesapeake and Delaware Places and How to Capture Them in Watercolors," by James Drake Iams (Johns Hopkins, 105 pages, $32.95). A newcomer may find Iams' own (reproduced) artworks hard to equal.

"Wladimir de Terlikowski, His Life and Art," by Bennard B. Perlman (W. Vance Brown, 188 pages, $60). A Polish expatriate whose milieux included French countryside and Venice.

"Baltimore Album Legacy," by Elly Sienkiewicz (C & T Publishing, 40 pages, $16.95) (O) (P). Modern homage to the 1800s' famous Baltimore pattern quilts.

Biography, Autobiography

"William and Henry Walters, the Reticent Collectors," by William R. Johnston (Johns Hopkins, 310 pages, $39.95). A definitive study of the father-and-son millionaires who gave Baltimore art-world standing.

"William Osler: A Life in Medicine," by Michael Bliss (Oxford, 581 pages, $35). Johns Hopkins Hospital's first physician-in-chief, until Oxford grabbed him.

"William Donald Schaefer, A Political Biography," by C. Fraser Smith (Johns Hopkins, 310 pages, $39.95). Recent times' most famous Baltimorean, and how that happened.

"Soul Connection: Memoir of a Birthmother's Healing Journey," by Ann H. Hughes (Otter Bay, 264 pages, $14.95) (P). The search, movingly told, for a daughter long ago put up for adoption.

"Down on the Shore," by Adele V. Holden (Woodholme, 250 pages, $21.95). A Baltimore professor recalls childhood in a repressive Eastern Shore.

"Mordecai: The Man and His Message," by Richard I. McKinney (Howard University Press, 349 pages, $21.95) (P). The 24 years of Mordecai Johnson's presidency saw Howard University in Washington go mainstream.

"A Cup of Honey: The Story of a Young Holocaust Survivor," by Neile Sue Friedman (Smelkinson, 237 pages, $22). The Nazis send teen-age Lazorek Hershenfis to Polish, then German, then Austrian concentration camps; liberated, he settles in Israel as Eliezer Ayalon. A replay of wartime horrors, well and simply told.

"Nat King Cole," by Daniel Mark Epstein (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 438 pages, $27). The singer, dead 27 years but still famous; the first black to have his own network TV show. A detailed, insightful account.

"The Big Picture," by Dr. Ben Carson with Gregg Lewis (Zondervan, 271 pages, $12.99). From the noted Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, opinion on current issues -- and inspiration.

"Terra Infirma: A Memoir of My Mother's Life in Mine," by Rodger Kamenetz (Schoken/ Random House, 116 pages, $18). A Baltimore Jewish mother who sometimes came close to smothering her son the poet -- but not quite.

"John McCain: An American Odyssey," by Robert Timberg (Simon and Schuster, 227 pages, $13). The Arizona senator now challenging the Texas governor.

Chesapeake Bay

"Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America's Giant Meteor Crater," by C. Wylie Poag (Princeton, 183 pages, $24.95). Not until the 1980s was it discovered that a massive Eocene meteor had walloped what is now the base of Chesapeake Bay. The crater is 50 miles across.

"Green Shingles: At the Edge of Chesapeake Bay," by Peter Svenson (Faber & Faber / Farrar Straus & Giroux, 193 pages, $24.95). The setting beguiles two city types who have settled near Tolchester.

Education

"Through All Our Days: A History of St. Paul's School for Girls," by Mary H. Bready (Braun-Brumfield, 296 pages, $25). (The author is this reviewer's spouse.)

"We Have Kept the Faith: The First 150 Years of the Boys' School of St. Paul's Parish," by Angelo Otterbein (St. Paul's School, 279 pages, $40). Downtown, then the suburbs, narrated by a member of '91.

"Dear Principal: A Behind -the-Scenes Peek at Humor in the Schoolhouse," by Betty Dixon Moreland (Moreland, 62 pages, $10) (P). An Anne Arundel collection of grade-school stories, notes, excuses, misspellings and wrong words.

Fiction

"30: Pieces of a Novel," by Stephen Dixon (Holt, 672 pages, $30). The complicated story of a writer who lives, teaches and churns out words in Baltimore.

"Sleep," by Stephen Dixon (Consortium, 277 pages, $15.95) (P). A collection of short stories.

"The Falcon at the Portal," by Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) (Avon, 366 pages, $24). Once again Amelia Peabody, wife to an American Egyptologist, is in danger; who in her entourage is the villain?

"Night Tales," by John Maclay (Maclay, 142 pages, $9.95) (P). Nineteen gothics from a virtuoso in that field.

"Challenge," by John J. Noone (Noble House, 424 pages, $26.95). LaPlata, the 1970s and people who have full lives regardless of handicap.

"The Celestial Connection," by Roman France (Mantle Hood) (Tale Spin, 190 pages, $16.95) (P). A New Age story of near-death experiences.

"The Reappearance of Sam Webber," by Jonathon Scott Fuqua (Bancroft, 237 pages, $23.95). Sam, small and vulnerable, is sent to school in mill-hand Hampden; his salvation is the school janitor.

"Lovely Lady," by Earl Arnett (ENE Productions, 191 pages, $10) (P). Developers threaten a waterfront estate in southern Maryland. The very wildlife are against it.

"Papa Toussaint," by C. Richard Gillespie (toExcel, 391 pages, $14.95) (P). In Haiti, Toussaint L'Ouverture struggles to expel the French, end slavery and create an independent nation.

Nature

"Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening," by Vigen Guroian (Eerdmans, 95 pages, $9) (P). A Loyola College professor grubs in the soil, and is in touch with the divine.

"Days Afield: Exploring Wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay Region," by William S. Sipple (Gateway, 558 pages, $19.95) (P). Sipple has led some 1,500 field trips, or "tramps," on either shore.

Philosophy

"What, Then, Is Time?" by Eva Brann (Rowman & Littlefield, 237 pages, $29.95). Past and future are a construction; time is now, and it comes from within. A philosopher and a long-haul St. John's College faculty member, Brann can make abstruse speculations readable.

Photography

"A Place to Dream," by Randy Shropshire (Nedlos, 71 pages, $30) (P)(O). Student life at the Baltimore School for the Arts, in a graduate's knowing black-and-white photos.

"Photozoo," by Philip Macht (Maryland Zoological Society, 64 pages, $12.95). Verses of amusement to go with Roger C. Birkel's photos of the great and small beasts.

"Baltimore Portraits," by Amos Badertscher (Duke University Press, $24.95). In black and white, gay world figures during the 1970s.

"A Century in The Sun: Photographs of Maryland," Joseph R. L. Sterne, editor; Amy Deputy, photo editor (Baltimore Sun, 288 pages, $39.95) (O). The highlights of Sun photography, with topical essays.

Poetry

"Heroic Measure," by David Bergman (Ohio State, 85 pages, $14) (P)

"Crossing Into Fire," by Chezia Thompson-Cager (Maisonneuve, 100 pages, $12.95)

"Penny Land," by Hugh Burgess (Lite Circle, 28 pages, $4)

"Territories, Here and Elsewhere," by Judith McCombs (Mayapple, 216 pages, $6)

"Longs Peak," by Chester Wickwire (Chestnut Hill, 80 pages, $10)

"I Like My Lips to Know . . . They're Not Being Jived," by Amanina Baraka (Timpson, 34 pages, $5)

Romance Fiction

"Bachelorette Blues," by Roby Amos

"An Officer and a Hero," by Elizabeth Ashtree

"Flowers by Moonlight," by Lynn Bailey

"The Poet and the Paragon," by Rita Boucher

"A Ranger's Wife," by Lyn Ellis

"Dying to Get Even," by Judy Fitzwater

"The Heather Moon," by Susan King

"Jake Walker's Wife," by Loree Lough

"A Rose at Midnight," by Jacqueline Navin

"The Wild Child," by Mary Jo Putney

"His Only Son," by Kelsey Roberts

"River's End," by Nora Roberts (and 11 other novels)

"The Man She Married," by Dani Sinclair

"Hi, Honey I'm Home!" by Linda Windsor

The Soul

"The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible," by John J. Pilch (Liturgical Press, 224 pages, $17.95) (P). Arranged in alphabetical order, each chapter suggrsts the cultural meaning behind key portions of Scripture.

"The Journey Home: Our Evolving Consciousness," by Kathy Oddenino (Joy Publications, 528 pages, $33) (P). A Pythagorean metaphysician's seventh book. She helps people know themselves and live a balanced life.

Sports

"Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles, the Team That Gave Birth to Modern Baseball," by Burt Solomon (Free Press, 342 pages, $25). The hallowed Willie Keeler is central to this graphic reconstruction of our forefathers' dirtiest diamond dealings.

"The Ripken Way: A Manual for Baseball and for Life," by Cal Ripken Sr. with Larry Burke (Pocket Books, 224 pages, $22). Many a father and son could gain by taking to heart the lessons Senior drew from the game.

"Chesapeake Sails: A History of Yachting on the Bay," by Richard (Jud) Henderson (Tidewater, 292 pages, $39.95) (O). "Yachting" means racing, amateur and pro, in boats ranging from more than 50 feet to less than 8.

"Catching Dreams," by Frazier Robinson as told to Paul Bauer (Syracuse University Press, 230 pages, $27.95). When Leroy Campanella went on up to the show, Robinson, nicknamed Slow, was his replacement as catcher for Baltimore's Elite Giants.

"Home of the Game: The Story of Camden Yards," by Thom Loverro (Taylor, 256 pages, $24.95). If only 1999's Orioles had shown this much enthusiasm.

"The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary," by Paul Dickson (Harcourt Brace, 579 pages, $20) (O) (P). Bring it, real estate, cashew -- long live locutions. Remember Mike Boddicker's foshball?

"Uncle Robbie," by Jack Kavanagh and Norman Macht (SABR, 202 pages, $12.95) (P). Wilbert Robinson, catcher for the Orioles, 1890-99 and 1991-02.

"Born to Play: the Eric Davis Story," by Ralph Wiley (Viking, 278 pages, $24.95). The Oriole outfielder who, surviving cancer, was traded away.

Thrillers

"In Big Trouble," by Laura Lippman (Avon Twilight, 236 pages, $6.50) (P). Looking for a musician boyfriend from her past, Tess Monaghan, private investigator, is off to Texas. This series' first non-Baltimore setting proves just as bloody, just as criminal. Come back and be unsafe here, Tess.

"The Flower Master," by Sujata Massey (Harper Collins, 291 pages, $24). In Tokyo, the nimble Rei Shimura's third brush with violence. What starts with flower- arranging ends in corpse-discovering.

"Dead Man's Fingers," by Barbara Lee (St. Martin's, 276 pages, $22.95). Summer along the beery Anne Arundel waterfront, where realty corruption produces one more homicide for Eve Elliott, an engaging sleuth.

"The Waterman," by Tim Junkin (Algonquin, 312 pages, $22.95). A young Shoreman, in his dead father's workboat, copes with weather, girls, big-stuff crime. Good feel for the bay.

"Tom Clancy's Op-Center: State of Siege," created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik (Berkley, 368 pages, $7.99) (P). The bad guys have taken over United Nations headquarters. Their ransom demand: $100 million.

"Hidden in Plain View," by Blair S. Walker (Avon, 229 pages, $22). Baltimore is becoming a capital of virtual crime. Here the detection is performed by a staff member of the (resurrected) Baltimore Herald.

"Giving Up the Ghost," by Helen Chappell (Dell, 246 pages, $5.99) (S). Hollis Ball of the Watertown Gazette, judge for an Elvis Presley lookalike contest, instead once more contemplates dead bodies.

"Bone Music," by Lee Moler (Simon & Schuster, 320 pages, $23). Modern Montana, but the showdown between good guys and bad is in fine counterpoint to the shootouts of yesteryear.

"Sharp Shooter," by David J. Healey (Jove, 368 pages, $6.99) (P). Desperate by 1864, the Confederates assign their best marksman to a single target: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

"Sing It to Her Bones," by Marcia Talley (Dell, 290 pages, $5.99) (P). How to take your mind off personal troubles: find a missing girl's body floating in a down-county well.

"Dead Luck," by Gregory Yawman (American Literary Press, 280 pages, $12.95) (P). The mob has made off with a medieval manuscript Bible from Walters Art Gallery.

"Shattered Lullaby," by Rebecca York (Ruth Glick) (Harlequin, $3.99) (P). The longest-ever Baltimore novel series? In York's 43 Light Street crime-solvers, this is the 17th.

"SlowBurn," by Peter Lalos (American Literary Press, 425 pages, $14.95). At an Oregon mining camp, a huge vein of violence.

"Halloween House," by Ed Okonowicz (Myst & Lace, 305 pages, $9.95) (P). It's 2009, in DelMarVa (the 51st state); a local propertyholder is too big for his breeches.

"The Warrior's Legacy," Robert A. C. Bunn (American Literary Press, 112 pages, $8.95) (P). Two brothers, adept at martial arts, face the evil Lord Kenneth.

James H. Bready writes a monthly column on regional books on these pages. Previously, he worked as a reporter, editorial writer and book editor for The Evening Sun. He has compiled an annual survey here since 1954.

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
59°