Non-Fiction Books - Reviews

Book Review by Ann Jonas, Tradebook Buyer - CSB/SJU Bookstores
this review was published in the St. Cloud Visitor

Going Blind: A Memoir by Mara Faulkner, OSB, published by State University of New York Press, 2009

Sister Mara Faulkner, a member of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, and an English professor at the College of St. Benedict, grew up in an Irish Catholic family in rural North Dakota. Her father had retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that gradually blinded him.  Her memoir tells of his blindness and how he and his family coped with this hardship. The book is really much more than a memoir, however.  Sr. Mara explores numerous metaphors and definitions of blindness to tell her family’s story. The Irish Potato Famine, the Japanese interned in Bismarck during World War II, and the Native American tribes adversely affected by the Garrison Dam Project are all part of this interesting and informative memoir.


Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, by Larry Tye, published by Random House, 2009

Many readers, especially baseball fans, have heard of Leroy “Satchel” Paige, and are familiar with some of his exploits as a legendary Negro League pitcher.  Author Larry Tye thoroughly researched Satchel’s story, interviewing more than two hundred former teammates and opponents, family members, and friends of Satchel. The book details Satchel’s early life, growing up in Alabama in the early 1900’s, his barnstorming across the country as a superstar pitcher in the Negro Leagues, and his later years, when he finally gets the chance to pitch in the Major Leagues, well past his prime.  History buffs and baseball fans will find this book engaging.  It is a fascinating and enlightening portrait of a unique character, who may have been the greatest pitcher in baseball.