Hi everyone, here are our suggested daily recommended titles in print or media and digital formats.
Our digital suggestion for today is the e-book:
Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner:
In this illuminating and deeply moving memoir, a former American military intelligence officer goes beyond traditional Cold War espionage tales to tell the true story of her family—of five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years, and their miraculous reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Forty Autumns makes visceral the pain and longing of one family forced to live apart in a world divided by two. At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own.
Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart.
In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.
A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family.
Here’s a link to the checkout page in the Digital Catalog:
And the physical item for today is a print book:
The Mexican Flyboy by Alfredo Véa Jr.:
Abandoned as a child, brooding and haunted as an adult, Simon Vegas, “the Mexican Flyboy,” toils for years to repair a time machine that fell into his hands in Vietnam. With the help of his friend, eccentric Hephaestus Segundo, Simon uses the device to fly through time. Wherever acts of human cruelty take place, in the past or in the present, the machine lets him lift the suffering away and deliver them to a utopian afterlife. Blending magical realism, science fiction, history, and comic-book fantasy, The Mexican Flyboy swoops readers from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the vineyards of Northern California, from Ethel Rosenberg’s execution to Joan of Arc’s pyre, in a tale of justice, trauma, regret, and redemption.
The dead pass through the narrative in a parade at once heartbreaking and hopeful, among them Vincent van Gogh and Malcolm X, Ernest Hemingway and Amadou Diallo. But the living—Simon’s pregnant wife, Elena, his old friend Ezekiel Stein, prisoner Lenny Hudson—all throw doubt onto Simon’s story. Is Simon truly a “magus,” transporting martyrs to a shared community in paradise? Or is he just a man broken by loss, guilt, and the trauma of war, hopelessly lost in an illusion of his own making?
Crossing genres and blending comedy with tragedy, Alfredo Véa imagines a world where we can rewrite our pasts and heal the wounds inflicted by history. Inviting comparisons to the work of James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges, Junot Díaz and Michael Chabon, this powerful book is like nothing else you have ever read.
Here’s a link to the request page in StarCat:
Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.
Have a great day!
Online Catalog Links:
StarCat: The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD etc. http://starcat.stls.org/
The Digital Catalog: The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos: https://stls.overdrive.com/
Freegal Music Service: This music service is free to library card holders and offers the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial free music each day: http://stlsny.freegalmusic.com/
Zinio: Digital magazines on demand and for free! Back issues are available and you can even choose to be notified by email when the new issue of your favorite magazine is available: https://www.rbdigital.com/stlschemungcony
About Library Mobile Apps:
You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or Zinio app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at: 607-936-3713 and one of our Digital Literacy Specialists will be happy to assist you.