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Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

Here are some interesting facts about the author Philip Roth:

His full name is Philip Milton Roth.

He was born in Newark, NJ in 1933.

He is one of the most award winning US authors of his generation.

His family was Jewish and his parents were first-generation Americans.

He is an atheist.

Category: Book Reviews

Author Profiles are contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library.

LOUIS L'AMOUR

Here are some interesting facts about the author Louis L’Amour:

 

Louis Dearborn Lamoore was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, in 1908 and was the seventh child.

 

His father was, Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore, and was a large-animal veterinarian who arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1882.

 

As a child he and his family worked as cattle skinners, hay balers, miners, and lumberjacks all across the Southwest and West.

 

As an adult he worked as a mine assessor, professional boxer, and merchant seaman.

 

Over his lifetime he visited all the Western states along with England, Japan, and China. Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Arabia, Egypt, and Panama.

 

He changed his name to Louis L’Amour when he decided to pursue a career as a writer, but the over the course of his career he used several pen names like Jim Mayo and Tex Burns.

 

He started his career getting short stories published in pulp magazines.

 

During WW II he served in the US Army as a Lieutenant with the 3622nd Quartermaster Truck Company.

 

Even though he is most famous for Westerns, L’Amour has written non-fiction, historical fiction, contemporary thrillers, and Science Fiction.

He has over 100 novels and 250 short stories published.

 

Several of his books have been made into films including Hondo, Crossfire Trail, and numerous movies based on his western Sackett series.

Category: Book Reviews

Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

Beverly Lewis was born Beverly Marie Jones in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She began her artistic career with piano lessons at age four and at the age of five she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned and she started writing at the early age of age of nine with short stories and poetry. Her first manuscript was a semi-autobiographical story about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music." She went to Evangel University and became a schoolteacher. Beverly is married to David Lewis and they have three grown children and three grandchildren and they live in Colorado.

Category: Book Reviews

Author Profiles are contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library.

Sherryl Woods

Sherryl Woods is an author with more than 100 romance and mystery novels to her credit. She grew up in Virginia and she graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a journalist with most of those years working as a television critic for newspapers in Ohio and Florida. She also worked as a coordinator for a motivational program for the more than 8,000 employees at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center. She has lived in numerous states in her lifetime including Ohio, Florida, and California. Today she divides her time between Key Biscayne, Florida and Colonial Beach, Virginia. When she isn't writing or reading, Sherryl pursues and follows many of her other interests including gardening, tennis, theater, and ballet. She also is a huge fan of baseball and loves the movie “Bull Durham.”

Category: Book Reviews

Captain Joseph Bannister… if the name fails to bring you to your knees, trembling in a state of fear, you’re not alone. Bannister is without question one of the most overlooked principals of piracy’s Golden Age, yet there are sound arguments to be made that he was one of the most fascinating men ever to terrorize the waterways of the Caribbean, and also one of the most successful. In short, one of the best pirates ever.

 

 

A once-respectable Englishman who willingly traded a good transcontinental shipping commission for a black flag, Bannister stole the same ship twice, escaped from prison, cavorted with notorious French swashbucklers, and fought the Royal Navy head-on before his career (and his life with it) came to an end.

 

The book Pirate Hunters follows world-renowned shipwreck divers John Mattera and John Chatterton on their quest to find the burned and sunken remains of Bannister’s ship, the Golden Fleece. From their first meeting with an eccentric backer in the United States, the reader feels like part of the crew. The book takes all these various narratives—Joseph Bannister’s life and turn to crime, Mattera and Chatterton’s backgrounds, the technical aspects of shipwreck salvage, political and familial drama—and weaves them around the reader until, suddenly, we’re right there in the middle of a complete and coherent story that spans a handful of centuries and several main characters.

 

 

 

The fact that I knew next to nothing about Joseph Bannister or the Golden Fleece (or Mattera, or Chatterton, or shipwreck diving) before picking up Pirate Hunters was in no way a hindrance to my enjoyment of the book. If anything, it made for a more exciting read. As the facts were revealed one-by-one through Kurson’s expertly-paced narrative, it felt like I was right there with Chatterton and Mattera: on the boat, tediously weaving back and forth to drag newfangled magnetic imaging equipment over the turquoise bay; in a library in London, squinting at stacks of four-hundred-year-old commerce records and ships' logs, desperately hoping for any class of clue; under the water, shoving aside debris and abandoned lobster traps, hoping to find a cannonball, a fragment of pottery, anything.

 

And what about the actual author of Pirate Hunters, Robert Kurson? Frankly, he doesn’t need my endorsement. The fact that Mattera and Chatterton sought him out after their adventure, eager to the put the story in his capable hands, says more about his literary abilities than anything I could type up. Kurson is that rare sort of nonfiction talent who is able to write someone else’s true story in a way that is nonetheless conversational and deeply personal. It takes a certain kind of writer to keep a story urgent and engaging when the topic turns to the procedures by which one might scrape the barnacles from a ship's hull some four hundred years ago. Kurson is that kind of writer.

 

Pirate Hunters is highly recommended by your library director—not just for those readers interested in shipwrecks, pirates, diving, or the Dominican Republic, but for anybody who likes a good story.

 

Pirate Hunters can be found in nonfiction at call number 910.9 KUR, and is also available to check out as an eBook through OverDrive!

Category: Book Reviews

I've gotten way behind on posting these Author Profiles, so enjoy a holiday 4-for-1! Author Profiles are contributed to OTL by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library.

CLIVE CUSSLER

Clive Cussler was born in July, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois. He grew up in Alhambra, California and earned the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14. After graduating from high school he went to Pasadena City College for two years before enlisting in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. While serving he was promoted to Sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service (MATS). After being discharged Clive Cussler married Barbara Knight in 1955. They were married for almost fifty years before Barbara died in 2003. The couple had three children Teri, Dirk, and Dayna.

Category: Book Reviews