Book bits

Three books about golf, plus readers' picks.

Three books about golf

"The PGA tour is one of the few jobs on earth where someone can make more than $500,000 in a year and get fired," writes John Feinstein. Only the top 125 money earners keep their jobs. The rest must go back to Qualifying School - three, six-day long qualifying stages. Only the top 30 qualify for the PGA. That makes for many tales of woe. Feinstein follows dozens in the Q School, so many that it's hard to keep track of the players and many of the stories are similar.

Bob Cupp has designed 140 golf courses and written one short novel, Edict, which is as deftly crafted as any of his fairways. Historians mark the start of golf as 1457 and Cupp believably sets his tale in a medieval world of players, tournaments, romance, and skullduggery. Even if you don't enjoy reading greens, you'll enjoy this read.

During a holiday in Bhutan, Rick Lipsey is invited to be the tiny kingdom's first golf pro. Golfing on the Roof of the World tells how he spent three months in 2002 dining on yak meat, touring Himalayan temples, and giving swing tips to men dressed in ghos. It's more travel tale than golf manual, but it's hard not to like a story set in a nation that counts the Gross National Happiness Index as one of its best inventions.
– David Clark Scott

Readers' picks

Hooray – another John McPhee! Uncommon Carriers. Who'd a thunk that commercial transportation could be so fascinating! Be sure to read the part on wholesale lobsters and UPS. (Of course, his "Coming Into the Country" was great ... and "Assembling California," too. Oh yes, and "Oranges" – and on and on!
– Carolyn Dain, Truro, Mass.

I highly recommend Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner. It's a true story of the little-known life in Nazi work camps based on five years of letters written to Sala by family and friends. It chronicles the intense hardships, fears, death, longing for family, final reunions, and a new life in the US as the wife of an American soldier.
– Joanne Anderson, Edina, Minn.

Boomsday, Christopher Buckley's latest satire, is about subjects we are often warned not to publicly discuss: politics and religion. It's also about government, life, and death. Cassandra Devine works in PR by day and blogs at night. She proposes that the government give the 77 million baby boomers poised to retire economic incentives to die in order to save the Social Security system. Buckley successfully takes on several controversial issues without being offensive and adds just the right touch of humor to events that seem all too real for the Washingtonians among us.
– Jim Patterson, San Francisco

I am reading the most amazing book, Desert Queen by Janet Wallach. It is the story of Gertrude Bell, taken from her diaries and the writings by and about her. It almost word for word describes our current conflict in the Middle East even though Bell drew the boundaries of Iraq in 1924. She put Faisal I [the first king of Iraq] on the throne, yet it is a well-kept secret.
– Nancy Luddeke, Cincinnati

Anyone in education will gain many rich hints by reading Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire by Rafe Esquith. Esquith allows no mediocrity in Room 56 where he has inspired fifth-graders for 22 years. It's amazing what he has accomplished. A joy to read!
– D.J. Nylin, Merritt Island, FLA.

What are you reading? Write and tell us at Marjorie Kehe.

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