Lindbergh Updates: Reader Reviews, First Podcasts, and a Sept. 14 Book Talk

It’s been almost three weeks now since my biography of Charles Lindbergh hit shelves, and it’s been a pleasure to read the first reader reviews — all of which have been stellar. I was particularly tickled to find this plaudit from historian-journalist Daniel Silliman, who is currently writing a religious biography of Richard Nixon for the same series from Eerdmans:

While we wait for the Nixon bio, Daniel has another book coming out next October…

Really stellar work. This is readable, compelling, complicated, and wrestles with big questions about spirituality, racism, and the life of an American icon. Highly recommend.

Exciting as such responses are, I have to admit to one frustration with the book’s launch: if you’re wondering why there are only three reviews at Amazon… well, so am I.

All I know is that Amazon has decided only to permit readers to leave reviews of my book if they bought it through Amazon. That’s not standard practice, but it’s their right. So all I can do is beg anyone who did buy their copy through Amazon to leave a review there, while others are more than welcome to leave reviews at Barnes & Noble, Good Reads, or other sites.

Meanwhile, if you want to hear more about the book, I’ve got three options for you:

• For my first Lindbergh talk since the book came out, I’ll be speaking in the Bethel University Library next Tuesday, September 14th, at 11:15am. I’ll surely revisit some of the spiritual themes of the biography, but my focus this time will be a bit different: how Lindbergh’s educational experiences underscore strengths and weaknesses of our own model of Christian higher education at Bethel.

If you can come to Bethel on the 14th (guests are welcome on campus, though I’d encourage you to mask), I’d be happy to sign copies of the book! But if you don’t live in the Twin Cities or otherwise can’t attend, you can also watch the talk live on Zoom. Just click here to join the event virtually. And I’ll share a recording when it’s available. UPDATE (10/4): it’s available.

• Then I’ve also been a guest on two podcasts the last two weeks… First, my thanks to historian Zach McCulley for giving me my first podcast interview, for New Books Network. Charles Lindbergh is an awkward fit for the “Christian Studies” channel at NBN, but Zach did a great job talking me through key aspects of my attempt at a “spiritual but not religious” biography. Only about 35 minutes long, it’s a great preview if you’re not quite sold on the book itself.

• Then over the holiday weekend, John Fea released his interview with me for The Way of Improvement Leads Home. It was like coming full circle: as I mentioned partway through our wide-ranging conversation, one of the original inspirations for my project was listening to a 2016 episode of TWOILH in which John first reflected on the challenge of feeling too sympathetic to his own biography subject and then interviewed historian Ann Little, author of a fascinating biography of an 18th century nun.