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The Library will be closed on Monday, January 18th for MLK day and will reopen on Tuesday the 19th.

Several biographies are in: “The Big Bam: Life and Times of Babe Ruth” (B RUT) and while not a new book, “John Wayne, American” (B WAY). The biography is written by Randy Roberts and James S. Olson. In a review by Gordon Flagg in Booklist, comes a balanced, thoroughly researched portrait that traces his career from a lengthy apprenticeship in countless western potboilers through the wartime films that established his character as an American ideal to the later ones that played upon his real-life status as a proud but anachronistic icon. They’re particularly insightful about the development of Wayne’s distinctive acting style--the halting cadence of his speech, his distinctive walk, and other studied mannerisms. This is the first serious biography of him. The copyright date is 1995.

In “The Big Bam”, written in 2006 and authored by Leigh Montville, He was the Sultan of Swat. The Caliph of Clout. The Wizard of Whack. The Bambino. And simply, to his teammates, the Big Bam. It is a thoroughly original, definitively ambitious, and a exhilaratingly colorful biography of the largest legend ever to loom in baseball and in the history of organized sports.

Another larger than life person was General George Armstrong Custer. In “Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn” (973.8 CON) by Evan S. Connell wrote what continues to be the most reliable and readable account of the Battle of Little Big Horn. Connell makes good use of his meticulous research and novelist’s eye for the story and detail to re-create the heroism, foolishness, and savagery of this crucial chapter in the history of the West.

Since biographies are the order of the day, here is one on two stars of a long-running television show: “Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show” (791.45 DEV) by Daniel deVise. Andy Griffith and Don Knotts first met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy moved to Hollywood to film a TV pilot for a comedy about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if Andy’s sheriff could use a deputy. The friendship and comedy partnership between Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife ignited The Andy Griffith Show, elevating the folksy television sitcom into a timeless study of human friendship. Written by Don Knotts’s brother-in-law, Andy and Don is “a rewarding dual biography that is also a lively look inside the entertainment industry in the latter half of the twentieth century” (News & Observer). Entertaining and provocative, it “captures a golden moment in modern Americana. You’ll not only return again to Mayberry, you’ll feel as though you’ve never left” (Tom Shales, Pulitzer Prize–winning television critic).

From Jane Leavey, comes “Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood” (B MAN). Leavey writes the definitive bio on a soul that was touched by greatness but tarnished by alcoholism and crippling injuries. She plumbs the depths of the complex athlete, using copious first-hand research as well as her own memories, to show why The Mick remains the most beloved and misunderstood Yankee slugger of all time. He was a player way before my time, (my Daddy probably listened to the games on the radio), but I didn’t know he was from Commerce, Oklahoma where he was known as Mickey Charles. He didn’t have a good home life which was reflected in his own life. Banished from baseball, Leavey was able to interview him in 1983 in Atlantic City. He died in Dallas, August of 1995.

Comanche Public Library

Mon. and Tues. 9 am-5 pm

Wed. and Fri. 9 am-5 pm Closed Thur.

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