CBA Record July-August 2020

THE ROMANCE OF LEONARDO DA VINCI by Dimitri Merejkowski (authorized translation from Russian by Herbert Trench) The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci was fantastic. Also recommend Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Moses f rom an Old Manse. Two great reads. Recommended by Terrence M. Murphy, CBA Executive Director

A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA by Isabel Allende This is political history made personal. It starts during the Spanish Civil War with a young couple joining refugees fleeing to France only to find themselves in a concentration camp; recounts the purchase of a ship by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to bring the refugees to new lives in Chile; and ends with tales of South America up through the 1990s. It’s a page-turner written by a master storyteller who writes of unlikely love, exile, and belonging. Recommended by Anne Ellis


THE PRINCE by Niccolo Machiavelli The original book (written in 1513) is in Italian but it’s available in almost every language. It is written as advice to a member of the ruling class but is frequently interpreted as a satirical commentary about them and was written perhaps for a different audience. The book’s shrewd perspectives on politics give the mind some- thing to chew on. It is thin and will fit in a purse or even a coat pocket. Free digital copies are also available. Recommended by Clare McMahon

MORTAL ERROR: THE SHOT THAT KILLED JFK by Bonar Menninger After watching a television documentary re-air during the Covid-19 pandemic, I read this book about another scary time in our nation’s history. On November 22, 1963, Sister Mary Trinitas coerced the janitor of my grammar school to locate a small television so all of us in that crowded classroom could watch the events that unfolded. Students stayed home the day of JFK’s funeral, and I watched a small boy salute his dad’s coffin as the horses marched in step. “This will be an historic day for you to always remember,” my mom said. And she was right. Recommended by Pamela Sakowicz Menaker

THE TRIAL OF JACK RUBY by John Kaplan and Jon Waltz Anyone old enough to remember the assassination of President Kennedy might remember the trial of Jack Ruby. On live national TV, Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. No longer having Oswald to try, the prosecutor opted to try Ruby, and to seek the death penalty. This book is the story of Ruby’s trial. Defense attorney Melvin Belli, a flamboyant California plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer, thought he could be a great Texas criminal defense attorney. Belli was in way over his head and made mistake after mistake. Recommended by Richard Stavins

44 July/August 2020

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