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JAMIE'S BOOKSHELF: Entertaining Books Arrive for Fall Reading

Compiled by Jamie H. Vaught


(This is the first of a two-part series about recently-published nonfiction books.)

--"The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers" by Maxwell King (Abrams Press, $28) is a full-length biography of an American icon who was the face of children's television for many years. The author traces Rogers' personal, professional and artistic life with original interviews, oral histories and archival documents. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood television program. Rogers, who grew up near Pittsburgh, died in 2003.

--"First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power" by Kate Andersen Brower (Harper, $28.99) is a fascinating look at the powerful men who are next in line for presidency, exploring the lives and roles of 13 modern vice presidents — eight Republicans and five Democrats. The author, who wrote New York Times bestsellers First Women and The Residence, interviewed more than 200 people, including all six living former vice presidents. Former White House press secretary Dana Perino wrote, "First in Line is a nonfiction book that reads as quickly as a novel you can’t put down. As Kate Andersen Brower pulls back the curtain on the relationships between Presidents and Vice Presidents, readers will be delighted by a trove of stories, secrets, and life lessons. Her interviews and research supplemented my own experience in watching the importance of a strong, loyal, and trusting relationship between the two highest officeholders in the land."

--"Jim Brown; Last Man Standing" by Dave Zirin (Blue Rider Books, $27) is a revealing biography about an outspoken football legend who starred for the Cleveland Browns. The author had considerable access to Brown, speaking with him at length about his life and career, and came up with a remarkable 320-page hardcover that is a must-read for sports fans and students of the black freedom struggle. Brown's public support of Donald Trump and criticism of Colin Kaepernick are the lastest examples of his ongoing, public conflicts. A Hollywood actor after his football days, people thought Brown would become "the black John Wayne."