Sun writers' books: Kasper, Olesker, Rascovar

October 18, 1998|By Michael Pakenham

Sun staff writers continue to publish books: Three new ones are coming on the market. Following our established practice, they are listed here in alphabetical order, without critical judgment except to record that all of us at The Sun wish the books and their authors the success they unquestionably deserve.

"Raising Kids and Tomatoes: Amusing Tales and Appetizing Recipes," by Rob Kasper. (The Baltimore Sun, 215 pages, $11.95).

Kasper has been on The Sun's staff for 20 years, and has written a regular column since 1981, beginning as a once-a-week "The Happy Eater." He now does two food columns a week and a third about family life - or, in delightful fact, about whatever he happens to think is interesting or useful or surprising that week, or all three.

The book is a compilation of various of those columns, liberally supported by Kasper's favorite recipes - some borrowed, some original developments of his own. There is a great deal in the book about family and kitchens and seasons - about life at its most straightforward. And yes, raising kids and tomatoes are akin: Both, Kasper laments, refuse to stand up straight.

"Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe," by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker (Woodholme, 273 pages, $23.95).

Bretholz managed to survive the Holocaust with escapes and evasions that constitute the armature of this book - superhuman successes, unrelenting danger.

After the war, he came to Baltimore and gradually became an honored local fixture, operating two bookshops that became magnets. Michael Olesker, The Sun's illustrious local columnist and raconteur, met Bretholz at his shop and, over the years, the collaboration produced this volume.

"The Great Game of Maryland Politics," by Barry Rascovar with political cartoons by Mike Lane (The Baltimore Sun, 225 pages, $11.95).

Rascovar has worked at The Sun since 1969, as a reporter and editor covering virtually every policy-related beat in the city, the state and in Washington. Since 1979 he has been deputy editorial page editor.

Besides writing and editing editorials, which speak for the paper, Rascovar writes a Sunday signed column that has long been a major and distinct voice and vantage of regional politics.

This book contains 81 Rascovar columns, culled from 800 or more that have been published by this newspaper. Many are illustrated by Mike Lane's cartoons drawn at the time the columns appeared on Jan. 14, 1980, and the latest was in The Sun on Sept. 20 of this year.

The intervening pieces, published chronologically, are grouped in nine categorical chapters, ranging from "The Quiet Years" of the early 1980s to "Electing a New Governor" - nine columns from Dec. 8, 1996 forward to the present, about Parris N. Glendening, Ellen R. Sauerbrey and those around and about them.

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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