Monday, December 19, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Amelia Lost

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart Candace Fleming

Much of what we know about Earhart is myth and legend. Much of the myth and legend developed after her mysterious disappearance over the Pacific, but much of the myth and legend was invented by Earhart herself. In this stunning biography, Fleming strips backs the layers of the myth and legend to show us a woman who soared to unimaginable heights, even if she did so in a different way than we thought.

Some cool things I learned--

Earhart had straight hair. To get that tousled, trademark look, she took a curling iron to it every morning.

She was the captain, but not the pilot on her first trans-Atlantic flight.

She and her husband were excellent at marketing Earhart as a brand, the money that resulted allowed her to keep flying. Part of this marketing was deliberately playing with and highlighting the physical similarity between Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.

What I really liked about this book was the structure. It starts with the crew of the Itasca, a Coast Guard cutter off the coast of Howland Island, waiting for Earhart. When she doesn't arrive, it then jumps back to her early childhood. In between the chapters of her life, sections chronicle the search for Earhart and some of the eeriness of her disappearance-- including the stories of several people who claimed they heard her distress calls over their short-wave radios. Even though we know how the story ends, these interspersions keep the tension high as everyone's on edge, listening to the radio static, hoping to hear a voice.

Overall, it's an excellent biography that sheds new light on a person and events we thought we knew.

Today's Nonfiction Monday Roundup is over at Practically Paradise.


Book Provided by... my local library

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1 comment:

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

This is the second review of the same book this week that I've read through Nonfiction Monday. With such glowing recommendations, I do need to find this book and read it for myself! :)

I hope you're having a fun time reading through so many books as a Cybils Judge! Must be tough but enjoyable too :)