My 2020 highlights were:
“What It’s Like to be A Bird” by David Allen Sibley. This coffee table book features beautiful paintings as well as amazing facts about flying, singing, making feathers, etc., cleverly cross-referenced so that it can be opened to any page and start a fascinating bird-themed “rabbit trail”! (Thank you for the gift!)
“Print the Legend” by Scott Eyman. John Ford gave us film classics like “The Searchers” (1956), “The Grapes of Wrath” (1940), and “The Quiet Man” (1952), and is still the most awarded director ever, but, as this biography reveals, was a very troubled, often terrible man. Well-written, and well-researched, “Legend” prints the hard truth.
“The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss. A gift from our son, this fantasy novel follows the early life of a tragic hero though a world in which art, music, and the “name” of things really matter. While the Hogwarts-like setting in the second half of the book may feel familiar, this book is more about survival, hard choices and lasting consequences. Of course, this is a planned series, but I’m eager to read on…
“The Silent Clowns” by Walter Kerr. This book is the one I pull out over and again, as its tattered cover will prove. I never get tired of reading how comics like Buster Keaton, Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin and so many others INVENTED screen comedy, and the wildly different ways they did it.
The painting at the top of the post is entitled Portrait of Edmond Duranty, 1879, by Edgar Degas. Louis Edmond Duranty was a French art critic who supported the Realism movement and later Impressionism.