Book Buzz Episode 11 – Say Nothing & The McCartney Legacy

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Air date: Aug. 20, 2023

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Say Nothing

The McCartney Legacy

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the Assistant Director of Collection Services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.

Today's reading recommendations include a true crime mystery with a strong sense of place and a rock star biography.

First, we’re going to hear from Jennifer, librarian at the Mill Creek Library, who will take us on a historical journey. Over to you, Jennifer.


If you’re a fan of history and true crime, you’ll enjoy “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland” by Patrick Radden Keefe.

“Say Nothing” opens with the abduction of Jean McConville, a Belfast widow who was taken in front of her children and never seen again. In telling the story of her disappearance, the author also tells the story of the Troubles: a period of brutal sectarian violence that seized Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to 1998.

We learn about McConville and her family, but also about the various people and organizations who were part of the struggle. I learned so much about how this undeclared civil war in Ireland started, how it escalated, and the terrible things that were done in its name.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is what happened to all of those people and groups after the Good Friday Agreement ended the bloodshed. The issues that led to the Troubles are all still there, as are many of the people who took part, balanced in an uneasy truce.

I found this story as deeply touching as it was informative. “Say Nothing” is fascinating, as suspenseful as a thriller, but frighteningly true.


Thanks, Jennifer! We get a mystery AND a history lesson with that one.

Next, get ready for a history lesson of a different kind – let’s dive into the life of a music icon, with Rob, a librarian at the Stanwood Library. Go ahead, Rob.


In the world of rock and roll biography, there’s probably no better-travelled ground than Beatles history. Over the past 50+ years, the history and music of the legendary group have been examined from every possible perspective, from narrative history to musical criticism to academic analyses of their socio-cultural importance. With such a proliferation of literature, it can be difficult sometimes for longtime fans of the group to learn something new.

This is what makes “The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969 – 73” by Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair such a great read. This book, the first of a projected 3-volume series detailing McCartney’s life and work since the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, sheds new light on the early days of his career as a solo artist, from the release of his first solo album in spring 1970 to the release of the landmark “Band On The Run” LP in fall 1973.

Kozinn and Sinclair have done their homework. The book functions both as a traditional and a creative biography of McCartney, deftly weaving biographical fact and recording session data into a single fascinating narrative. This is one of the best Beatles-related books of the past several years, and is highly recommended for fans of the group, and for fans of McCartney’s solo work.


Thanks, Rob! I always liked the Beatles but the Get Back documentary really made me a fan. This book sounds like the perfect read for folks who also loved Get Back!

Our recommendations this week are: “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland” by Patrick Radden Keefe and "The McCartney Legacy. Volume 1, 1969-73" by Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair.

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations – interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.

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