Reporting on Life by Taylor Pensoneau a book review

I’ve known Taylor Pensoneau for quite a few years and long admired both him and his writing.  He and his wife Liz had been friends of my late father and my mother for years.  I had previously read his books Brothers Notorious: The Sheltons: Southern Illinois ‘Legendary Gangsters  and his mystery, The Summer of ’50.  I knew he had written other political books one Dan Walker: The Glory and the Tragedy; Richard Ogilvie: In the Interest of the State; and Powerhouse: Arrington from Illinois.

Taylor Pensoneau recently penned his own story Reporting on Life – and people along the way.taylor

Growing up in Belleville, Illinois during the 1940’s, Pensoneau’s childhood reads like a Norman Rockwell story. He weaves the people that were important in his life in his story like a weaver with a loom.  As Pensoneau proceeded from childhood into his writing career first with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I found it interesting to get more details about events that happened in my early life that I really didn’t understand.

Taylor Pensoneau has led an interesting life from being a hard-hitting reporter first covering sports, then delving into the ins and outs of Illinois politics.  Later he was with the Illinois Coal Association, the trade organization for the state’s coal industry.  He retired in December 2003 as president of the association. While with the Illinois Coal Association, he used his journalistic skills negotiating in this industry that affects much of the state.  Then after retirement, he took on the mantle of author and has completed several successful novels.

Reporting on Life – and people along the way is an interesting read that provides insight into many of the events and especially political wrangling that have affected the formation of Illinois politics yesterday and today.  Pensoneau holds your attention and gains a lot of respect for the contributions he has made although he would say he was just making a living, he was helping disseminate information in understandable bites whether reporting, clarifying coal issues, or later writing about history and the men that made history.  Pick up a copy at a local bookstore, or you can order one from his publication company Downstate Books at