Sunday, June 01, 2008

Every Good Bird Does Fly

There are memoirs and there are memoirs. These days, the word is usually associated with what are called literary memoirs, generally angst-ridden confessions of youthful transgressions seen from the mature side of the statute of limitations. And of course there are political memoirs (tell-alls like Scott McClellan’s new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception as well as quieter reflections on recent history). And then there are the puff pieces of retired corporate chieftains, successful trial lawyers, and other masters of spin. But there is an older tradition, still very much alive, of professional memoirs—personal explorations of a particular craft by a master practitioner. One such master is Bob Kline. Bob was a pilot for four decades, for the Air Force and for TWA. Bob’s book, Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Pilot’s Memoir, is chock full of great stories sure to delight anyone who ever harbored the fantasy of flying big birds. It’s a fast-paced book where you’ll learn a lot about flying at the same time you’re reliving scenes with Bob that range from the terrifying to the side-splitting.
Bob came to me for editing (he’s a good writer and didn’t need much of that) and design, as well as a website for the book, which just went live a few days ago. He’s about to launch a publicity campaign, but meanwhile the book has been selling well through word of mouth. With the price of airline tickets going up daily, reading Fasten Your Seatbelt may be the only flight you take this summer.

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