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Archive for May, 2012

 

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The Underside of Joy by Sere Halverson

The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts

Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe

Against the Night by Kat Martin

Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby by Ace Atkins

Love Lifted Me by Sara Evans

The Proposal by Mary Balogh

Need You Now by Beth Wiseman

 

Non-Fiction

House of Stone by Anthony Shadid

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham

It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell

American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy –How to Save Yourself and Your Country by Peter D. Schiff

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro

The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet by The Weight-Loss Experts at Mayo Clinic

You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You by Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz

The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to THIN by Bob Harper

Building Projects for Backyard Farmers and Home Gardeners: A Guide to 21 Handmade Structures for Homegrown Harvests by Chris Gleason

Bombshell: Explosive Medical Secrets That Will Redefine Aging by Suzanne Somers

Self-Sufficiency on a Shoestring!: Recipes for a New, Fun and Free Lifestyle by Alan and Gill Bridgewater

I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

Codes for Homeowners

The Joy of Decorating by Phoebe Howard

100 Best Log Home Floor Plans

The 10 Best of Everything

Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl

Landscaping For Privacy

Forks Over Knives

Five Chimneys by Olga Lengyel

Breasts by Florence Williams

The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill

Making a Difference by Sully Sullenberger

The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney

Uneven Ground: Appalachia Since 1945 by Ronald Eller

 

New Fiction

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

Canada by Richard Ford

Aerogrammes by Tania James

The Lost Daughter by Lucy Ferriss

The Lion is In by Della Ephron

Secondworld by Jeremy Robinson

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore

The Reckoning by Jane Casey

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell

The Storm by Clive Cussler

Cliff Walk by Bruce DeSilva

The Blood Spilt by Åsa Larsson

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez

The Waiting Room by F.G. Cottam

 

 

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Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

I read this book on a  trip this past weekend. It was a quick and funny read. Born Standing Up is not a complete autobiography of Steve Martin, although he does delve into a bit of family history. This book is primarily the story of his comedy career – beginning with his job at a magic shop in Disneyland and taking the reader through the success of his first movie, The Jerk. It was very interesting to see the behind-the-scenes work of a stand-up comedy routine. I really enjoyed reading about the difficult and winding road Steve Martin took to achieve success and all the people he worked with along the way. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys comedy.

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These books are now ready and waiting to be checked out!

Fiction:

I am Forbidden by Anouk Markovitch

When Captain Flint was Still a Good Man by Nick Dybek

Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe

The Innocent by David Baldacci

The Master’s Muse by Varley O’Connor

Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart

A Gift for My Sister by Ann Pearlman

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Objects of my Affection by Jill Smolinksi

Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman

In One Person by John Irving

Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry

Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lydia Rutledge

Fall From Grace by Richard Patterson

What Doesn’t Kill You by Iris Johansen

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark

Ice Fire by David Lyons

They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? By Christopher Buckley

The Lower River by Paul Theroux

The Ranger by Ace Atkins

Chasing Destiny by Eric Dickey

Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James

 

Non-Fiction:
Choose Joy by Kay Warren

Ninety Days by Bill Clegg

Stand Up and Garden by Mary Moss-Sprague

Free- Range Chicken Garden by Jessi Bloom

201 Healthy Smoothies & Juices for Kids

The Naked Foods Cookbook by Margaret Floyd

Road Trip USA

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Gardening for a Lifetime by Sydney Eddison

From Container to Kitchen by D.J. Herda

65 Things to Do When You Retire

Happily Even After : Surviving The Grief of Widowhood by Carole Brody

National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States

Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year

The Kentucky Derby by James Nicholson

Martha’s American Kitchen by Martha Stewart

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek

Doing More with Less by Bruce Piasecki

 

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Memorial Day books

Shelf Life: Memorial Day Books

By Tod Owens

While we normally take time each Memorial Day to remember to honor those who have died in the service of our country, it may also be a good time to read about some heroic soldiers.  While the origins of Decoration Day, as Memorial Day was first called, date back to the Civil War, there is no shortage of worthwhile material on heroes and heroines of earlier conflicts.  The French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years’ War) propelled a young George Washington to the center of military affairs when a routine mission for Virginia’s Governor Dinwiddie ultimately became a complex struggle over land rights that expanded into a global conflict.  The war was marked by frontier action in which the French and their Indian allies opposed the British and their colonial allies. It could be seen as the war that prepared Washington to become the Revolutionary War’s indispensible man!   The war has famously been called the “war that made America” and its history is detailed expertly in William Fowler’s book Empires at War  and Fred Anderson’s Crucible of War.  It may seem strange for readers who are more familiar with the American Revolution to see the British as “the good guys” but that was the case in the French and Indian War.  Of course, the American Revolution has spawned a vast body of studies on notable heroes like Washington, Hamilton, Greene, and Putnam as well as lesser known citizen soldiers.  Thomas Fleming’s Liberty! and 1776 are extremely readable accounts of the war.  James Flexner’s multi-volume biography of George Washington truly brings the Father of Our Country to vivid life.  Flexner restores his humanity and in doing so brings him down from his pedestal and shows him as a man with emotions, flaws, and a resolute heroism that went beyond his popular image. The War of 1812 has been viewed as a “sequel” to the American Revolution; however, any conflict in which future U.S. Presidents like Andrew Jackson and William Harrison distinguished themselves deserves additional study. The War of 1812 by Donald Hickey and Walter Boneman’s 1812 are well-written surveys of the war that produced the Star-Spangled Banner!  If the French and Indian War was a proving ground for many who would later fight the American Revolution then the Mexican-American War certainly shaped many young soldiers who would find greater prominence during the Civil War. So Far From God by John Eisenhower provides a good general history of the war.

Memorial Day’s origins are often traced back to efforts to decorate the unmarked graves of the fallen from America’s Civil War. Thanks to the popularity of the documentary “The Civil War” by Ken Burns, most history buffs became aware of The Civil War- a Narrative– the epic multi-volume history written by Shelby Foote. Foote combined an almost poetic diction with the scholarly rigor of a historian to create a truly compelling story of the war that threatened to destroy young America.  James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom is a powerful one volume look at the War Between the States.

The Spanish-American War may rival the War of 1812 as a candidate for America’s forgotten war.  Frank Freidel’s The Splendid Little War covers the conflict.  For books on these wars, the heroes who died protecting America, and the global conflicts of the twentieth century, come by your public library.

Reading about the sacrifices of American heroes and heroines is one way to ensure that they will never be forgotten and it will enrich your own appreciation for the courage and resourcefulness they displayed.

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These are ready and waiting to be checked out:

Non-Fiction

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

DNA USA by Bryan Sykes

Drop Dead Healthy by A J Jacobs

Top of the Rock by Warren Littlefield

Crossing the Borders of Time by Leslie Maitland

Unconquered: Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggert, and Mickey Gilley

Rather Outspoken by Dan Rather

The Admirals by Walter Borneman

 

Fiction

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry

The Shadow Patrol by Alex Berenson

Fifteen Digits by Nick Santora

All Woman and Springtime by Brandon Jones

Stolen Prey by John Sandford

Viva la Madness by J. J. Connolly

The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg

Skinnydipping by Bethenny Frankel

Hard Country by Michael  McGarrity

Into the Dreaming by Karen Moning


 

 

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Moms the Word!

 Moms the Word!

By Tod Owens

We owe it all to Mom! It’s normal to associate some of our first experiences with our mothers. After all, the mother is usually the person who spends the most time with a child and serves as the primary caregiver in his or her life. This leads to the mother playing any number of vital roles ranging from “doctor” to “teacher.” I know that I owe my love of learning to the fact that my mother took the time to expose me to the wonders of the written and spoken word by devoting hours of time to reading to me when I was small. I can still recall some of the earliest stories and colorful characters that together comprised the first literature in my life.  As a little boy I always loved the usual childhood favorites like Curious George, Madeline, and anything connected to the “Peanuts” characters but I also had some less famous favorites.  I remember a story about an ambitious goat who found work pulling a soda pop cart! Obviously, the fact that the labor market was able to support a working goat and that there was a demand for something called soda pop…delivered in a cart no less… marks the story as an old one! I also liked the story of a rabbit (Mr. McGrabbit) that was greedy enough to stockpile dozens of hats, coats, umbrellas, and assorted items and refused to share any of them. Today that might make an interesting episode of “Hoarders” but when I was a kid it was merely a good story with a slightly cautionary ending. The greedy rabbit’s refusal to let go of some of his multiple umbrellas nearly causes him to be blown away during a storm. While the story taught me to avoid the dangers of possessing too many umbrellas it also always made me hungry for vegetable soup since the greedy rabbit was also something of a gourmet!

Naturally, I learned lessons from all of the books my mother and I read together. It’s not a good idea to leave a curious monkey unsupervised.  French school girls have way too much fun.  A goat can find self-esteem through hard labor in the soft drink industry. However, I think while I learned a lot from the characters, it was really my own character that was being developed.  I gained a love of reading and writing and became enthralled with words. I realized that words were magical in the sense that they could bring any number of amazing worlds to life within the confines of the printed page and the limitless boundaries of a childhood imagination.  It was a short leap from experiencing the pleasure of reading words to the desire to combine my own words into ideas or stories of my own.

As Mothers’ Day approaches, I realize once again that time reading together was just one of the priceless gifts my mother gave me. It paved the way for all my future learning and writing.  I lost those early books long ago but I’ve never forgotten their stories or the colorful illustrations.  While those stories linger in the recesses of my mind, the time my mother spent with me teaching me to read when I was three, remains as vivid a memory and as treasured a gift as anything I’ve ever received! Thanks, Mom!

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Behind the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forever allows you a glimpse into the lives of a half dozen people trying to make a life for themselves and their families in the slum settlement of Annawadi, surrounded by luxury hotels. The subject of the book reaches out and grabs the reader to pull you right in for a ride.  I found this ride to be intense and at times very painful. It’s clear that the author did extensive research on life in Mumbai.  I loved this book because it captured the human spirit of the families featured. There are 7 billion people in the world and far too many live in situations like the Mumbai slums featured in this book.  Yet these people live, create, and work all the same despite little opportunity for upward mobility and rampant corruption by those charged with their protection. If you want to learn more about the lives of people you’ll never meet and whose lifestyle you’ll likely never experience, this book opens that door. For those who talk about the concept of a “global economy,” here it is for real. Boo’s writing style is very real and honest. Enjoy!

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