Here are two books that I read last week. Both are non-fictional (my staple reads). One is heart-wrenching and the other is heart-warming;
DON ELDON; The Art of Life by Jennifer New
This young man was only 22 when he lost his life on assignment in Somalia, photojournalist Dan Eldon left behind much more than the journals. He left a lifetime of adventures that continue to inspire. Raised in Kenya, he took numerous expeditions across Africa that helped him to understand and love the continent. Through his safaris and benevolent crusades and with interludes of study and work in the US and London, and trips around the world, he crafted a philosophy of curiosity, creativity, adventure, and charity.
Intensely visual, like the life it describes, Dan Eldon: The Art of Life is more than a biography. It is an exploration of one man's will to take in everything life has to offer; an example of a life lived for art, and art experienced as life.
Jennifer New escaped big-city life a few years ago to return to her hometown of Iowa City, where she runs an educational consulting business with her husband. She writes non-fiction for local and national publications.
Kathy Eldon is co-producing both a feature film about her son's life and a documentary about journalists who put their lives at risk to tell a story. She lives in Los Angeles.
A BARN IN NEW ENGLAND by Joseph Monninger
Published to glowing reviews in hardcover and now in a handsome paperback edition, Joseph Monninger's finely crafted memoir of moving with his family to a barn in rural New Hampshire is part dream come true, part unexpected adventure. "An utterly charming story, told with grace and insight" (Booklist starred review), A Barn in New England perfectly captures the beauty of the New England countryside, the tests of renovating a home, and the pleasures large and small of making a new place your own.
Joseph Monninger is the author of the memoirs Home Waters and A Barn in New England and seven books of fiction and nonfiction. He lives in New Hampshire.