Andy and Don by Daniel de Vise

Andy and Don

A lively and revealing biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, celebrating the powerful real-life friendship behind one of America’s most iconic television programs.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy went to Hollywood to film a TV pilot about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if the sheriff could use a deputy. The comedic synergy between Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife ignited The Andy Griffith Show, elevating a folksy sitcom into a timeless study of human friendship, as potent off the screen as on. Andy and Don—fellow Southerners born into poverty and raised among scofflaws, bullies, and drunks—captured the hearts of Americans across the country as they rocked lazily on the front porch, meditating about the simple pleasure of a bottle of pop.

But behind this sleepy, small-town charm, de Visé’s exclusive reporting reveals explosions of violent temper, bouts of crippling neurosis, and all-too-human struggles with the temptations of fame. Andy and Don chronicles unspoken rivalries, passionate affairs, unrequited loves, and friendships lost and regained. Although Andy and Don ended their Mayberry partnership in 1965, they remained best friends for the next half-century, with Andy visiting Don at his death bed.

Written by Don Knotts’s brother-in-law and featuring extensive unpublished interviews with those closest to both men, Andy and Don is the definitive literary work on the legacy of The Andy Griffith Show and a provocative and an entertaining read about two of America’s most enduring stars. – See More


This book wasn’t as interesting to me as I thought it would be. There were a lot of facts that made the book seem dry to me. There were some sections interesting – when it was Andy and Don interacting with one another. When I was younger, I watched The Andy Griffith Show with my mom and I’ve seen several of Don Knotts’ movies, as well as some episodes of Matlock, so my perspective of them resulted from those shows and movies. However, this book kind of changed my perspective of them, with the drinking, partying, affairs, and the anger and abuse. Maybe I just had the wrong impression of them before reading the book, but reading it affected my view on them.

The book also seemed all over the place, where it wasn’t ordered by theme or time frame. For the most part, I think it was written by time frame, but then there were times when it seemed to be written by themes.

At the end of the book, the author includes an annotated list of some of the best Andy Griffith Show episodes and a selected filmography of both men. This is a neat feature so those who read the book can look at the lists if they want to watch some of Andy’s and Don’s movies, as well as some of the episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, if they don’t want to watch all of them or want some episodes to start off with.

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On This Foundation by Lynn Austin

On This Foundation

Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God’s City

When news reaches him that Jerusalem’s wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God’s guidance in fasting and prayer. Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall–never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall’s reconstruction forever. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles. This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe. – from author’s website


I will start of this review by saying that I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book in Lynn Austin’s The Restoration Chronicles. Even though this is the third book in a series, you don’t have to the read the first two in order to understand this one. I enjoy it when a series can be read as stand-alone novels because then I don’t have to read all the books in a series if I don’t want to, and it’s a lot easier to wait for them to come out.

I like biblical fiction, especially ones written by Lynn Austin and this book is no different. She brings the Bible passages come alive. This time, she brings the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls to life. You can tell she’s researched the time period because the wall she has written it has made it understandable, but also believable that it could have happened that way. Of course, since the book is fiction, not everything that she included in the book actually happened in the Biblical account, but it’s fairly accurate to what is in the Bible.

This book included many elements, like romance, action, forgiveness, and other things. After I finished reading the book, it made me want to read the book of Nehemiah in the Bible to see it through new eyes.