Hemingway’s Boat, by Paul Hendrickson
This book concentrates on Ernest Hemingway’s life from 1934 to 1961. It has a unique angle in that instead of focusing on the famous author, it involves his fishing boat, the “Pilar”. The book initially talks about where the boat was built, who built it, what materials were involved, how much Hemingway paid for it, etc. But it is about so much more than that. It talks about Hemingway’s love of deep sea fishing and the huge blue marlins he catches from the Gulf Stream. He entertains many famous guests aboard “Pilar” and was clearly happiest when he was at sea. Hemingway’s Boat also talks about the people in Hemingway’s life, such as a drifter who became his apprentice for a summer, and his youngest son, who was most like him but also the most troubled. You see Hemingway’s physical and mental decline after he could no longer fish aboard his beloved boat. A great book for Hemingway buffs; extraordinarily well written.
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, by Dick Van Dyke, is entertaining reading. Dick Van Dyke made a decision to act mainly in family friendly productions, and his memoir follows that pattern. A funny, talented man with a very eventful life, Dick doesn’t dish the dirt, but the star of Mary Poppins, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Diagnosis: Murder, and Bye Bye Birdie shares enough to please his many fans. His long career included his first radio broadcast as a teenager, an early novelty act, television broadcasting, and success on screen, stage, and television. His family life, including his funny brother Jerry, his ex-wife Margie, their four children, and his longtime companion, Michelle Triola, are lovingly described. His spectacularly bad luck with cars is humorously told, while struggles with alcoholism and smoking are also shared. At 85, Dick Van Dyke is still going strong.