Maryland connection speaks volumes in the books of 1993


January 02, 1994|By James H. Bready

Amid all the fuss about reading, let's salute those Marylanders who in 1993 had something to say to the general reader, and those authors, wherever based, who wrote about Maryland.

Here's the annual census. Some worthy book will doubtless fall off the table -- to be picked up apologetically in a subsequent addendum.


From Maryland's three large-audience suspense masters came (chronologically) "Point of Impact," by Stephen Hunter; Tom Clancy's "Without Remorse" and "Houses of Stone," by Barbara Mertz (as Barbara Michaels). Mr. Clancy also got a nonfiction best seller with his "Submarine."

Madison Smartt Bell wrote "Save Me, Joe Louis." Out of the Vietnam War came "Ghostrider One," published shortly after Gerry Carroll's death in October. World War II life in the Pacific was fictionalized in "The Watery Hell" by Ray Thompson of the Merchant Marine; same war, same theater occupied William P. Mack in "New Guinea."

In "The Divorce: A Lawyer-Bashing Epic," Sylvan Shane bashed lawyers. "The Keeper of the Ferris Wheel" was Jack McBride White's first novel. Glenn Moomau's "Don't Look Back" came with art. "Risks" was by Barbara Cummings and Jo-Ann Power; "Bayou," by Pam Jekel.

And the master of short story writing, Stephen Dixon, gave us "Long Made Short."

For detective fiction with a local angle: Martha Grimes' "The Horse You Came In On," Howard Smead's "Kak Drenner," Michael Mewshaw's "True Crime" and "HomeBody" by Louise Titchener, from whom also came a fantasy novel. Representing science fiction and fantasy were James Luceno (Jack McKinney), with two titles, and Thomas F. Monteleone.

Happy endings in 1993 for many a reader in romance fiction: Cheryl B. Bacon, Cynthia Bailey-Pratt (also writing as Lydia Browne) (two titles), Sonia Crowne (writing as Rita Boucher), Barbara Cummings and Jo-Anne Powers (Ann Crowleigh) (four titles), Mary Ann Frounfelker (Mara Fitzcharles), Ruth Glick and Eileen Buckholtz (Rebecca York -- the "43 Light Street" series), Rhonda Harding-Pollero (Kelsey Roberts), Kathryn Jensen (Nicole Davidson), Anne Knoll, Mary Jo Putney (two titles), Ellen Rawlings, Candace Schuler (three titles) and Linda Shertzer (Melinda Pryce).

Nora Roberts (three titles), tops in the genre nationally, is gaining internationally -- off soon to Italy for a reader party.


In biography and autobiography, the books included "Becoming Brothers," by Howard Waskow and Arthur Waskow; two more lives of Thurgood Marshall, Carl T. Rowan's "Dream Makers, Dream Breakers" and "Thurgood Marshall: Justice for All," by Roger Goldman with David Gallen; Daniel Mark Epstein's "Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson"; "Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black Innovators," by James Michael Brodie; Neil McAleer's "Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography."

In history: "America in the Age of Soviet Power," by Warren I. Cohen; Andrew Billingsley's "Climbing Jacob's Ladder: The Enduring Legacy of African-American Families"; Blaine Taylor's "Guarding the Fuehrer: Sepp Dietrich, Johann Rattenhuber and the Protection of Adolf Hitler"; "Free at Last," documents on slavery, freedom and the Civil War culled by Ira Berlin, Steven F. Miller and Leslie S. Rowland; Donald G. Shomette's "The Hunt for HMS DeBraak" off the Delaware coast.

Also, "Sojourners in the Sun: Scottish Migrants in Jamaica and the Chesapeake, 1740-1800," by Alan L. Karras; Jack P. Greene's "The Intellectual Construction of America: Exceptionalism and Identity"; "Wealth and the Demand for Art in Italy, 1300-1600," by Richard A. Goldthwaite; Donald L. Canney's "The Old Steam Navy: The Ironclads, 1842-1885"; "Sharks of Steel," by Yogi Kaufman and Paul Stillwell; Mr. Stillwell's "The Golden 13: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers"; "The Salzburg Transaction: Expulsion and Redemption in 18th Century Germany."

And, Harrison E. Livingstone's sequel, "Killing the Truth: Deceit and Deception in the JFK Case."

The many voices of local history spoke well and often. "The Great Road: The Building of the Baltimore & Ohio, the Nation's First Railroad, 1828-1853," by James D. Dilts, was a monumental tale of now-departed glory. In "Slavery, Slaveholding and the Free Black Population of Antebellum Baltimore," Ralph Clayton recorded Johns Hopkins, Baltimore merchant, as once a slaveholder. New evidence was a feature also of Eric L. Goldstein's "Traders and Transports: the Jews of Colonial Maryland."

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