American Sky is life as seen through the lens of a regular guy who loves to fly; it’s his passion. If a rocker, say Pete Townsend, or a politician such as Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about life, one expects there to be a lot of information about that person’s rocking or politicking. It’s too bad Elon Musk doesn’t have one yet or we might have a book about pure awesome. Tribuzzo’s title is all about flying small aircraft and loving it. Short chapters explore different episodes of Mr. T’s life in a straightforward, conversational style. Naturally, it is chock-full of anecdotes about cockpits, flaps down, lipstick-and-oranges sunsets, throttles, and switches. It’s also full of observations of people from grumpy cab drivers to his many, many friends and family. So when Uncle Gus, who was himself a flyer, dies, Tribuzzo’s tendency is to consider the legacy that’s obviously there. The stories about his wife are wrapped inside the stories of where they flew. In all the author proves himself a patient, likable student of life. “Early on,” he writes, “I learned that a teacher could often be a place, a stranger, a storm, the sky itself.” It’s pretty matter-of-fact in tone, but that’s probably more a function of him being of the “pilot” breed. VERDICT While nonflyers will find this a bit hit-or-miss, fellow flyers will pore over this and pick up on Tribuzzo’s ability to convey mucho information about trips and life lessons.
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