Did You Know…World War II Began On September 1, 1939?

Did You Know…World War II Began On September 1, 1939?

The history fans out there will know that World War II broke out in earnest when the German Army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 – an event that took place 79 years ago today.

In marking the anniversary of this historic event, I’m going to recommend a number of titles you can check to learn more about what went on during the World War II era, which can be seen as starting at the end of World War I with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and running through U.S forces dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the subsequent  Japanese surrender in August of 1945.

And, disclaimer alert, this librarian was indeed a history major in college – so you may find this posting is longer than usual!

And I would like to note before I start, that there are many, many, many great books out there that chronicle the events and the lives of people that lived and fought through the World War II era – so my list of suggestions – is simply a short list of selected titles.

Books:

Fiction:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne:

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle:

1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the warden, Colonel Saito, Nicholson will nevertheless, out of a distorted sense of duty, aid his enemy. While on the outside, as the Allies race to destroy the bridge, Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty: his patriotism or his pride.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres:

Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Corelli’s Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history.  The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad.  Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island’s shores in the form of the conquering Italian army.

Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love:  Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island.  Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Corelli’s Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.

Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks:

Charlotte Gray tells the remarkable story of a young Scottish woman who becomes caught up in the effort to liberate Occupied France from the Nazis while pursuing a perilous mission of her own.

In blacked-out, wartime London, Charlotte Gray develops a dangerous passion for a battle-weary RAF pilot, and when he fails to return from a daring flight into France she is determined to find him. In the service of the Resistance, she travels to the village of Lavaurette, dyeing her hair and changing her name to conceal her identity. Here she will come face-to-face with the harrowing truth of what took place during Europe’s darkest years, and will confront a terrifying secret that threatens to cast its shadow over the remainder of her days. Vividly rendered, tremendously moving, and with a narrative sweep and power reminiscent of his novel Birdsong, Charlotte Gray confirms Sebastian Faulks as one of the finest novelists working today.

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett:

The worldwide phenomenon from the bestselling author of The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and A Column of Fire

His code name was “The Needle.” He was a German aristocrat of extraordinary intelligence—a master spy with a legacy of violence in his blood, and the object of the most desperate manhunt in history. . . .

But his fate lay in the hands of a young and vulnerable English woman, whose loyalty, if swayed, would assure his freedom—and win the war for the Nazis. . . .

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

The Guns of Navarone by Alistair Maclean:

The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense. Now reissued in a new cover style.

Twelve hundred British soldiers isolated on the small island of Kheros off the Turkish coast, waiting to die. Twelve hundred lives in jeopardy, lives that could be saved if only the guns could be silenced. The guns of Navarone, vigilant, savage and catastrophically accurate. Navarone itself, grim bastion of narrow straits manned by a mixed garrison of Germans and Italians, an apparently impregnable iron fortress. To Captain Keith Mallory, skllled saboteur, trained mountaineer, fell the task of leading the small party detailed to scale the vast, impossible precipice of Navarone and to blow up the guns. The Guns of Navarone is the story of that mission, the tale of a calculated risk taken in the time of war…

The Naked And The Dead by Norman Mailer:

Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since become part of the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially for the occasion by Norman Mailer.

Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters: Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watchtells the story of four Londoners—three women and a young man with a past—whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, stunning surprise and exquisite turns, only to change irreversibly in the shadow of a grand historical event.

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk:

War and Remembrance is the sequel to the Winds of War and picks up the story of the Henry & Jastrow Families in early 1942. The book chronicles the lives of the main characters from 1942 until just after the Atomic Bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.

Captain Victor Henry, later Admiral Henry remains a source of information for President Roosevelt while continuing to work at a variety of presidentially assigned tasks. The younger Henry son becomes a submariner. Eldest son and navy aviator Warren serves in the Pacific theatre of operations and daughter Madeline continues her work radio.

And in Europe, and in increasingly precarious situations, Byron’s wife Natalie Jastrow Henry and her uncle – Aaron Jastrow, try desperately to escape the advancing German Army as it moves out across Europe.

The events of the Holocaust are also featured as is a series of writings by a German army office – Armin Von Roon who offers the German point of view about the reasons for the war and why German collectively did what it did. The Von Roon writings are interspersed in the book and are written years after the war when Von Roon is serving a prison sentence for war crimes.

So a great deal goes on in this book. And it is a great book, but it is very, very long – just FYI.

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka:

The debut novel from the PEN/Faulkner Award Winning Author of The Buddha in the Attic

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family’s possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert.

In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today’s headlines.

The Winds of War by Herman Wouk:

As the book opens, the family patriarch, Navy Commander Victor “Pug” Henry and his wife Rhoda are setting sail for Germany. Pug Henry is to take up a new post as a naval attache at the Americna Embassy in Berlin. The Henry’s have three children. Their younger song Byron has just landed in Italy where he accepts a job to work for an American professor named Aaron Jastrow. Professor Jastrow’s niece Natalie is also in residence.

The other two Henry children are in the U.S., Eldest son Warren is a navy aviator and daughter Madeline a recent high school graduate.

During the story historical events interweave with the lives of the main characters – Byron and Natalie wind up at a Jastrow family wedding in Poland on September 1, 1939 and must flee across the country as the German army invades. Pug files a report on German combat readiness that reaches President Roosevelt and then becomes an unofficial source of information for the President and meets Hitler, Churchill, Stalin and Mussolini along the way, and even takes ride of Berlin on a RAF Bomber to see how the new technology of RADAR is working for the British Military. The first book ends just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the second book – the much more lengthy War and Remembrance picks up the story.

The Women in the Castle: A Novel by Jessica Shattuck:

Three German “widow[s] of the resistance,” who spend time together at a run-down castle when World War II ends, embody aspects of the catastrophe that overcame their country.Germany, 1945: in this devastated landscape where “no one was innocent,” there is misery for all and plenty to spare. Guilt, shame, suffering, and silence go hand in hand as the German people emerge from war and fascism, and Europe is awash with displaced persons. Shattuck’s (Perfect Life, 2009, etc.) third novel centers on the von Lingenfels castle, a place of aristocratic indulgence in prewar years, now a ruined shell owned by Marianne von Lingenfels, the widow of Albrecht, one of a group of men who failed in an attempt to assassinate Hitler and were hanged. It’s this group which links Marianne to the two other women and their children, whom she invites to the castle for shelter: Benita Fledermann, widow of the charismatic Constantine, who survived the Russian occupation of Berlin but paid a heavy price; and Ania Grabarek, who walked west, out of the wreckage of Poland, with her two sons and is also keeping secrets about what she has seen and done.

In this primer about how evil invades then corrupts normal existence, Shattuck delivers simple, stark lessons on personal responsibility and morality. Inevitably, it makes for a dark tale, more a chronology of three overlapping, contaminated, emblematic lives than a plot. Some final uplift does arrive, however, via the views of the next generation, which apply a useful layer of distance and some hope on the sins of the fathers—and mothers. Neither romantic nor heroic, Shattuck’s new novel seems atypical of current World War II fiction but makes sincere, evocative use of family history to explore complicity and the long arc of individual responses to a mass crime. Kirkus Review.

Non-Fiction:

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose:

Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler’s Bavarian outpost, his Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.

Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Dick Winters and Cole C. Kingseed:

“Tells the tales left untold by Stephen Ambrose, whose Band of Brothers was the inspiration for the HBO miniseries….laced with Winters’s soldierly exaltations of pride in his comrades’ bravery.”—Publishers Weekly

They were called Easy Company—but their mission was never easy. Immortalized as the Band of Brothers, they suffered 150% casualties while liberating Europe—an unparalleled record of bravery under fire. Winner of the Distinguished Service Cross, Dick Winters was their legendary commander. This is his story—told in his own words for the first time. On D-Day, Winters assumed leadership of the Band of Brothers when its commander was killed and led them through the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany—by which time each member had been wounded.

Based on Winters’s wartime diary, Beyond Band of Brothers also includes his comrades’ untold stories. Virtually none of this material appeared in Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. Neither a protest against nor a glamorization of war, this is a moving memoir by the man who earned the love and respect of the men of Easy Company—and who is a hero to new generations worldwide.

Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope by Wendy Holden:

The Nazis murdered their husbands but concentration camp prisoners Priska, Rachel, and Anka would not let evil take their unborn children too—a remarkable true story that will appeal to readers of The Lost and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Born Survivors celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children life.

Eastern Europe, 1944: Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS.

In April 1945, as the Allies close in, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train, and Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die, but then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom.

On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers, renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable—yet ultimately successful—fight for survival.

The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg:

This student edition of The Destruction of the European Jews makes accessible for classroom use Raul Hilberg s landmark account of Germany s annihilation of Europe s Jewish communities in 1933 1945. Perhaps more than any other book, it answers the question: How did it happen? This is an adult level book and easy to read as far as the text is considered – the subject matter is, of course, very dark.

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank:

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

The Elie Wiesel Trilogy:

Elie Wiesel wrote three seminal books that illustrate his experiences during and after World War II. He was a teenager when he was sent to Auschwitz with his family. The books in the series are: Night, Dawn and Day. Night is a memoir in which Wiesel tells the story of his experiences in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. The second two books in the trilogy, Dawn and Day are fiction but follow the lives of Holocaust survivors after the war. And since the books are generally considered to be a trilogy – I’m going to list all three here – even though the second and third books in the trilogy are fiction titles.

Night by Elie Wiesel:

Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

Dawn by Elie Wiesel:

Elisha is a young Jewish man, a Holocaust survivor, and an Israeli freedom fighter in British-controlled Palestine; John Dawson is the captured English officer he will murder at dawn in retribution for the British execution of a fellow freedom fighter. The night-long wait for morning and death provides Dawn, Elie Wiesel’s ever more timely novel, with its harrowingly taut, hour-by-hour narrative. Caught between the manifold horrors of the past and the troubling dilemmas of the present, Elisha wrestles with guilt, ghosts, and ultimately God as he waits for the appointed hour and his act of assassination. Dawn is an eloquent meditation on the compromises, justifications, and sacrifices that human beings make when they murder other human beings.

Day by Elie Wiesel (All three books are contained in this one collection titled The Elie Wiesel Trilogy):

The publication of Day restores Elie Wiesel’s original title to the novel initially published in English as The Accident and clearly establishes it as the powerful conclusion to the author’s classic trilogy of Holocaust literature, which includes his memoir Night and novel Dawn. “In Night it is the ‘I’ who speaks,” writes Wiesel. “In the other two, it is the ‘I’ who listens and questions.” In its opening paragraphs, a successful journalist and Holocaust survivor steps off a New York City curb and into the path of an oncoming taxi. Consequently, most of Wiesel’s masterful portrayal of one man’s exploration of the historical tragedy that befell him, his family, and his people transpires in the thoughts, daydreams, and memories of the novel’s narrator. Torn between choosing life or death, Day again and again returns to the guiding questions that inform Wiesel’s trilogy: the meaning and worth of surviving the annihilation of a race, the effects of the Holocaust upon the modern character of the Jewish people, and the loss of one’s religious faith in the face of mass murder and human extermination.

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley & Ron Powers:

In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima—and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island’s highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag. Now the son of one of the flagraisers has written a powerful account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever. To his family, John Bradley never spoke of the photograph or the war. But after his death at age seventy, his family discovered closed boxes of letters and photos. In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley draws on those documents to retrace the lives of his father and the men of Easy Company. Following these men’s paths to Iwo Jima, James Bradley has written a classic story of the heroic battle for the Pacific’s most crucial island—an island riddled with Japanese tunnels and 22,000 fanatic defenders who would fight to the last man. But perhaps the most interesting part of the story is what happened after the victory. The men in the photo—three were killed during the battle—were proclaimed heroes and flown home, to become reluctant symbols. For two of them, the adulation was shattering. Only James Bradley’s father truly survived, displaying no copy of the famous photograph in his home, telling his son only: “The real heroes of Iwo Jima were the guys who didn’t come back.” Few books ever have captured the complexity and furor of war and its aftermath as well as Flags of Our Fathers. A penetrating, epic look at a generation at war, this is history told with keen insight, enormous honesty, and the passion of a son paying homage to his father. It is the story of the difference between truth and myth, the meaning of being a hero, and the essence of the human experience of war.

The Girls of the Atomic City by Denise Kiernan:

The incredible story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it didn’t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships–and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men! But against this vibrant wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work–even the most innocuous details–was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb “Little Boy” was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb. Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there–work they didn’t fully understand at the time–are still being felt today.

In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant–a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way.

The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War by Halik Kochanski:

Kochanski, a British military historian, integrates concise, clear, and persuasive campaign analyses with an account of the brutality suffered by Poles under German and Soviet occupation during WWII. She also examines the complex internal politics of Poland’s armed forces in exile, and Poland’s international position. She incorporates the creation and performance of the 1st Polish Army on the Eastern Front into a narrative that in most Western accounts is too often dominated by action in Italy and Northwest Europe. Her treatment of the Polish Resistance and the 1944 uprising is excellent. She also establishes the complex mix of operations, logistics, and politics behind the Allies’ limited support for the Home Army in Warsaw. Kochanski’s sympathies clearly lie with Poland’s exile government in London, but she neither conceals nor trivializes policies and decisions that often proved self-defeating. Kochanski also gives an account of the Holocaust and the thorny issue of Polish collaboration in it. Above all, this is a story of expedience: the critical decisions that had to be taken, the terrible role of sheer chance, …the simple desire to survive under the most difficult circumstances. And expedients, as Kochanski ably demonstrates, are not always wise.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson:

In 1933, President Roosevelt personally selected William E. Dodd to be the United States ambassador to Nazi Germany. Dodd took his family with him, including his daughter Martha. Initially enamored with the Nazi party and its passion, Martha supported the Third Reich. However, when Hitler’s violent policies became apparent, Martha changed her opinion and watched in horror. Here, author Erik Larson offers a chilling first-person account of Germany’s transformation under Hitler’s rule.

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.

In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings. But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

Irena’s Children, “a fascinating narrative of…the extraordinary moral and physical courage of those who chose to fight inhumanity with compassion” (Chaya Deitsch author of Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family), is a truly heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.

The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin:

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith’s protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret. In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells how German officials casually questioned the lineage of her parents; how during childbirth she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal something of her past; and how, after her husband was captured by the Soviets, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street. Despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document, as well as photographs she took inside labor camps. Now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., these hundreds of documents, several of which are included in this volume, form the fabric of a gripping new chapter in the history of the Holocaust—complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright:

Drawing on her own memory, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly-available documents, former US Secretary of State and New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. Before she turned twelve, Madeleine Albright’s life was shaken by some of the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century: the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, the Battle of Britain, the attempted genocide of European Jewry, the allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War.

In Prague Winter, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family’s Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland’s tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exile leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong.

Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind, a journey with universal lessons that is simultaneously a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history. It serves as a guide to the future through the lessons of the past, as seen through the eyes of one of the international community’s most respected and fascinating figures. Albright and her family’s experiences provide an intensely human lens through which to view the most political and tumultuous years in modern history.

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman:

A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.” Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story—sharing Antonina’s life as “the zookeeper’s wife,” while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award.

And as I’m running out of week here, I’m just going to put up the photos that link to the StarCat pages for the DVDs and you can read a description of the videos and request them from the StarCat page.

DVDs:

Fiction:

All The King’s Men (BBC):

Darkest Hour:

The Eagle Has Landed:

Foyle’s War:

Holocaust:

Land Girls:

Pearl Harbor:

The Purple Plain:

Sands of Iwo Jima:

The Tuskegee Airmen:

War and Remembrance: Part 1:

War and Remembrance The Final Chapter:

The Way Back:

The White Cliffs of Dover:

The Winds of War:

Wish Me Luck:

Non-Fiction (Documentary):

America and the Holocaust:

The Bielski Brothers:

Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust:

Holocaust Ravensbruck and Buchenwald:

Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers:

Memory of the Camps:

Time Of Fear:

The War (Ken Burns):

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Linda, SSCL

Suggested Reading Week of April 9, 2018

Hi everyone, in anticipation of the coming of warmer weather and an increase in people driving to and from vacation locations, and people just plain driving more in the warmer weather because it is fun, we’ve recently purchased a bunch of new audiobooks both the downloadable kind, accessible through the STLS Digital Catalog, and the traditional kind on CD.

So this week I’m going to suggest ten digital audiobooks and ten audiobooks on CD for your listening pleasure!

 (Just click on the photo of the audiobook you’re interested in to check it out or request it)

We’ll jump back into book recommendations next week with titles that include the new Madeleine Albright and James Comey books coming out April 10 and April 17 respectively.

Now, on to the audiobooks!

Digital (Downloadable) Audiobooks:

The Bishop’s Pawn: Cotton Malone Series, Book 13 written by Steve Berry & read by Scott Brick & Kevin R. Free:

In this audiobook, Steve Berry and Macmillan Audio team up again to bring listeners an expanded, annotated Writer’s Cut edition of The Bishop’s Pawn. This Writer’s Cut edition features fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary read by the author. Critically-acclaimed and award-winning narrator Scott Brick returns to tell the thrilling first case of Cotton Malone — eponymous hero of Berry’s iconic New York Times bestselling series.

History recalls that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr. — marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files — ended on April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case.

Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis.

It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, was trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces, the Justice Department and the FBI, are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination — information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement’s greatest martyr.

Malone’s decision to see it through to the end — from the raucous bars of Mexico, to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas, and ultimately into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself — not only changes his own life, but the course of history.
Steve Berry always mines the lost riches of history; in The Bishop’s Pawn he imagines a gripping, provocative thriller about an American icon.

The Crow Trap: Vera Stanhope Series, Book 1 written by Ann Cleeves & read by Anne Dover: 

Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal…For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide…

When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide—a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.

Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture—the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women’s tangled lives in The Crow Trap.

Doing Harm: The Truth about How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick written by Maya Dusenbery & read by Dara Rosenberg:

Editor of the award-winning site Feministing.com, Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with experts within and outside the medical establishment, and personal stories from women across the country to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today.

Dusenbery reveals how conditions that disproportionately affect women, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease, are neglected and woefully under-researched. “Contested” diseases, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, that are 70 to 80 percent female-dominated are so poorly understood that they have not yet been fully accepted as “real” conditions by the whole of the profession. Meanwhile, despite a wealth of evidence showing the impact of biological difference between the sexes in everything from drug responses to symptoms to risk factors for various diseases-even the symptoms of a heart attack-medicine continues to take a one-size-fits-all approach: that of a 155-pound white man.

In addition, women are negatively impacted by the biases and stereotypes that dismiss them as “chronic complainers,” leading to long delays-often years long-to get diagnosed. The consequences are catastrophic. Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its effects, Doing Harm will change the way we look at health care for women.

Faith: A Journey For All written and read by Jimmy Carter:

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this powerful reflection, President Jimmy Carter contemplates how faith has sustained him in happiness and disappointment. He considers how we may find it in our own lives.

All his life, President Jimmy Carter has been a courageous exemplar of faith. Now he shares the lessons he learned. He writes, “The issue of faith arises in almost every area of human existence, so it is important to understand its multiple meanings. In this book, my primary goal is to explore the broader meaning of faith, its far-reaching effect on our lives, and its relationship to past, present, and future events in America and around the world. The religious aspects of faith are also covered, since this is how the word is most often used, and I have included a description of the ways my faith has guided and sustained me, as well as how it has challenged and driven me to seek a closer and better relationship with people and with God.”

As President Carter examines faith’s many meanings, he describes how to accept it, live it, how to doubt and find faith again. A serious and moving reflection from one of America’s most admired and respected citizens.

The Fallen: Amos Decker Series, Book 4 written by David Baldacci and read by Kyf Brewer & Orlagh Cassidy:

Amos Decker is the Memory Man. Following a football-related head injury that altered his personality, Decker is now unable to forget even the smallest detail–as much a curse as it is a blessing. And in #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci’s gripping new thriller, Decker’s life might be about to change again…

Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes–obscure bible verses, odd symbols–have the police stumped.

Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex’s sister and her family. It’s a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has only been there a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene.

Then the next killing hits sickeningly close to home. And with the lives of people he cares about suddenly hanging in the balance, Decker begins to realize that the recent string of deaths may be only one small piece of a much larger scheme–with consequences that will reach far beyond Baronville.

Decker, with his singular talents, may be the only one who can crack this bizarre case. Only this time–when one mistake could cost him everything–Decker finds that his previously infallible memory may not be so trustworthy after all…

Memento Park: A Novel written by Mark Sarvas & read by David Ledoux:

A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to him

After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family.

As his journey progresses, Matt’s revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt’s narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it.

Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas’s Memento Park—about family and identity, about art and history—a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

Night Moves: Alex Delaware Series, Book 35 written by Jonathan Kellerman & read by John Rubinstein:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The master of the psychological thriller makes all the right moves in this new novel of spellbinding suspense.

Even with all his years of experience, LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis knows there are crimes his skill and savvy cannot solve alone. That’s when he calls on brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware to read between the lines, where the darkest motives lurk. And if ever the good doctor’s insight is needed, it’s at the scene of a murder as baffling as it is brutal.

There’s no spilled blood, no evidence of a struggle, and, thanks to the victim’s missing face and hands, no immediate means of identification. And no telling why the disfigured corpse of a stranger has appeared in an upscale L.A. family’s home. Chet Corvin, his wife, and their two teenage children are certain the John Doe is unknown to them. Despite that, their cooperation seems guarded. And that’s more than Milo and Alex can elicit from the Corvins’ creepy next-door neighbor—a notorious cartoonist with a warped sense of humor and a seriously antisocial attitude.

As the investigation ensues, it becomes clear that this well-to-do suburban enclave has its share of curious eyes, suspicious minds, and loose lips. And as Milo tightens the screws on potential persons of interest—and Alex tries to breach the barriers that guard their deepest secrets—a strangling web of corrupted love, cold-blooded greed, and shattered trust is exposed. Though the grass may be greener on these privileged streets, there’s enough dirt below the surface to bury a multitude of sins. Including the deadliest.

The Origins of Totalitarianism written by Hannah Arendt & read by Wanda McCaddon:

A recognized classic and definitive account of its subject, The Origins of Totalitarianism traces the emergence of modern racism as an “ideological weapon for imperialism,” beginning with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in the nineteenth century and continuing through the New Imperialism period from 1884 to World War I.

In her analysis of the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in the twentieth century: Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, which she adroitly recognizes as two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of the Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses, the role of propaganda, and the use of terror essential to this form of government. In her brilliant concluding chapter, she discusses the nature of individual isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

Red Alert: An NYPD Red Mystery written by James Patterson and read by Marshall Karp & Edoardo Ballerini:

The richest of New York’s rich gather at The Pierre’s Cotillion Room to raise money for those less fortunate. A fatal blast rocks the room, stirring up horrifying memories of 9/11. Is the explosion an act or terrorism–or a homicide?

A big-name female filmmaker is the next to die, in a desolate corner of New York City. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald of the elite NYPD task force investigate, and the intimate details of the director’s life remind them of their own impossible situation–their personal relationship seems as unsolvable as the murders.

The crimes keep escalating as a shadowy killer masterfully plays out his vendetta–and threatens to take down NYPD Red in the bargain.

Twisted Prey: Prey Series, Book 28 written by John Sandford & read by Richard Ferrone:

Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now a powerful U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series.

Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.

A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He was also convinced that she’d been responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.

He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she’s made from it, to be very…useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.

But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end.

Audiobooks on CD:

City of Endless Night written by Douglas J. Preston and read by Luke Daniels:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A consistently exciting and never predictable series.”–Associated Press
When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman’s body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.

Lieutenant CDS Vincent D’Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D’Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case. “I feel rather like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch,” Pendergast tells D’Agosta, “because I have found you here, in charge. Just like when we first met, back at the Museum of Natural History.”

But neither Pendergast nor D’Agosta are prepared for what lies ahead. A diabolical presence is haunting the greater metropolitan area, and Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims to be murdered . . . and decapitated. Worse still, there’s something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil eye of the killer.

As mass hysteria sets in, Pendergast and D’Agosta find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who has threatened the very lifeblood of the city. It’ll take all of Pendergast’s skill to unmask this most dangerous foe-let alone survive to tell the tale.

The Great Alone written by Kristin Hannah and read by Julia Whelan:

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

“A TOUR DE FORCE.” ―Kirkus (starred review)

Alaska, 1974.

Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Journey to Munich written by Jacqueline Winspear and read by Orlagh Cassidy:

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.

Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

My Not So Perfect Life written by Sophie Kinsella & read by Fiona Hardingham:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News written by Bob Schieffer & read by David De Vries:

In this 2016 election post-mortem, veteran reporter Schieffer (This Just In: What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV) interviews journalists at media organizations of all types, including NBC, the New York Times Company, Politico, and NPR, to find out how Americans are receiving and interpreting the overwhelming deluge of news—both real and fake. Schieffer shows how powerful events such as J.F.K.’s assassination, which was one of the first major news stories reported in real time on television, and the September 11 attacks, which saw the proliferation of misinformation on the internet, altered how news was presented and consumed for better or worse and set the stage for Donald Trump’s tumultuous 2016 campaign. The 24-hour news cycle and web-enabled communication technology enabled fake news sites to flourish (and profit) while traditional outlets often struggled to keep up. Schieffer maintains a optimistic outlook as he shows the rapid changes in news media. He notes how organizations are adopting new formats, such as podcasts, and revitalizing old-school ones, such as newsletters. Schieffer also highlights successes of smaller and equally vital outlets like the Texas Tribune, which successfully shifted to a fully free-access model, and the Root, an online magazine focusing on African-American culture that helped bring national attention to stories such as the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. This vital, impressive study adroitly sums up the current and ever-evolving state of news coverage and the vital need for journalism and educated readers alike. (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

About the Author: Bob Schieffer, one of America’s pre-eminent television journalists and former host of CBS’s Face the Nation, is the author of This Just In: What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV (Penguin, 2003), Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast (Simon & Schuster, 2004), and Bob Schieffer’s America (Penguin, 2009). He is a member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and in 2009 was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. He resides in Washington, DC.

Proof of Life: A J. P. Beaumont Novel written by J. A. Jance & read by Alan Sklar:

Be careful what you wish for . . .

Before he retired, J. P. Beaumont had looked forward to having his days all to himself. But too much free time doesn’t suit a man used to brushing close to danger. When his longtime nemesis, retired Seattle crime reporter Maxwell Cole, dies in what’s officially deemed to be an accidental fire, Beau is astonished to be dragged into the investigation at the request of none other than the deceased victim himself. In the process Beau learns that just because a long-ago case was solved doesn’t mean it’s over.

Caught up in a situation where old actions and grudges can hold dangerous consequences in the present, Beau is forced to operate outside the familiar world of law enforcement. While seeking justice for his frenemy and healing for a long fractured family, he comes face to face with an implacable enemy who has spent decades hiding in plain sight.

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine written by Joe Hagan & read by Dennis Boutsikaris:

A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others.

The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone’s founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O’Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.

Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner’s personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan of who exalts in youth and beauty and learns how to package it, marketing late sixties counterculture as a testament to the power of American youth. The result is a fascinating and complex portrait of man and era, and an irresistible biography of popular culture, celebrity, music, and politics in America.

Two Kinds of Truth written by Michael Connelly and read by Titus Welliver:

Harry Bosch, exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town’s three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse. To get to the people at the top, Bosch must risk everything and go undercover in the shadowy world of organized pill mills.

Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s days with the LAPD comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues are not keen on protecting his reputation. But if this conviction is overturned, every case Bosch ever worked will be called into question. As usual, he must fend for himself as he tries to clear his name and keep a clever killer in prison.

The two cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way, Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

Tense, fast-paced, and fueled by this legendary detective’s unrelenting sense of mission, Two Kinds of Truth is proof positive that “Connelly writes cops better than anyone else in the business” (New York Post).

The Wanted written by Robert Crais and read by Luke Daniels: 

Investigator Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike take on the deadliest case of their lives in the new masterpiece of suspense from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais.

It seemed like a simple case—before the bodies started piling up…

When single-mother Devon Connor hires Elvis Cole, it’s because her troubled teenage son Tyson is flashing cash and she’s afraid he’s dealing drugs. But the truth is devastatingly different. With two others, he’s been responsible for a string of high-end burglaries, a crime spree that takes a deadly turn when one of them is murdered and Tyson and his girlfriend disappear.

They stole the wrong thing from the wrong man, and, determined to get it back, he has hired two men who are smart and brutal and the best at what they do.

To even the odds, Cole brings in his friend Joe Pike, but even the two of them together may be overmatched. The police don’t want them anywhere near the investigation, the teenagers refuse to be found, and the hired killers are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Pretty soon, they’ll find out everything they need to know to track the kids down—and then nothing that Elvis or Joe can do may make any difference. It might even get them killed.

What Unites Us written and read by Dan Rather: 

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do.” —Dan Rather

At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.

Have a great week!

Linda, SSCL

You can request physical items, i.e. print books, DVDs & CDs, online via StarCat:

or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!

Linda, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

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:

RBDigital

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.

About Library 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.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Non-Fiction DVD Recommendations 9 15 17

Hi everyone, here are our recommended non-fiction DVDs for this week!

(Click on the photos to request the DVDs)

Wattstax: The 30th Anniversary Edition:

Description: They called Wattstax the “black Woodstock,” but there are many differences between that seminal hippie event and the 1972 concert documented in this 30th-anniversary special-edition reissue. Woodstock was all about peace, love, and music. Wattstax, held three years later in Los Angeles, had those elements as well; but as this 103-minute film reminds us, it was a more socio-politically charged event, with its emphasis on black pride and the simple opportunity for African Americans to assert that, in opening speaker Jesse Jackson’s words, “I am somebody.” There’s also a good deal less music in this film than in the Woodstock movie. As the title suggests, a host of great Stax Records artists (including Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Bar-Kays, the Staple Singers, Albert King, and show closer Isaac Hayes) performed, but much of Wattstax doesn’t even take place inside the L.A. Coliseum, where the concert was held, but rather in the churches and shops and on the streets of Watts itself (music fans would be better off checking out the Wattstax double CD). Wattstax, in fact, is much less a music movie than a chronicle of black life seven years after the Watts race riots, as well as what comedian Richard Pryor (who delivers several hilarious but scathing bits) calls “a soulful expression of the black experience.” –Sam Graham, Amazon review.

Dewey: DVD 781.64 WAT

Trailer:

The Ritchie Boys:

Description: Run out of Germany by the Nazis, a small contingent of German Jewish intellectuals exacted the perfect revenge–returning to Europe as U.S. soldiers to defeat the enemy. Groundbreaking and unforgettable, THE RITCHIE BOYS is the never-before-told tale of a handful of German nationals who used their language and cultural knowledge to wage psychological warfare against the Nazis and to liberate Europe. Still sharp as octogenarians, The Ritchie Boys –a medley of hilariously unlikely soldiers–vividly recall their treacherous and heroic slog through World War II, from their training at Camp Ritchie, Maryland to the beaches of Normandy, from dark weeks spent in a German POW camp to D-Day ebullience. Now highly successful artists, businessmen, and professors, The Ritchie Boys laugh at their clumbsy fit within the U.S. military, cry at the horrors of war, and marvel at the unorthodox–but effective–forms of interrogation and subterfuge that helped them to defeat the Nazis.

Shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and widely acclaimed upon its release, THE RITCHIE BOYS mixes newsreels with razor-sharp interviews to spin a touchingly personal saga of men whose chutzpah, ingenuity, and playful camaraderie had a lasting effect on world history. A great human tale (San Francisco Chronicle), THE RITCHIE BOYS is a documentary of staggering importance.

Dewey: DVD 940.5481 RIT

Trailer:

Panihari: The Water Women of India:

Description: Indian-American filmmakers Abi Devan and Sudhi Rajagopal return to their homeland to document life in the desert communities of Rajasthan. Their journey leads them to the Panihari (women who fetch water). The film centers around one woman, Paru, a shoemaker’s wife, as she struggles against nature and society to attain self-reliance for her family and herself. Paru’s story coveys the richness and complexity of desert life as well as the extreme obstacles women in India still face today. Vibrant imagery, music, and folklore combine to paint a vivid picture of life as a Panihari.

Dewey: DVD 954.05 PAN

Trailer:

Have a great day!

Linda, SSCL

 

Daily Digital & Print Suggested Reads: Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for today.

Our digital suggestion for today is the e-book:

Dragon Teeth: A Novel by Michael Crichton:

Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic.

Here’s a link to the checkout page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/2911291

And our print book suggested read for the day is:

Threads of Suspicion (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case) by Dee Henderson:

Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

Here’s a link to the request page in StarCat:

https://goo.gl/XvU7US

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Bonus Print Recommend Reads/Views:
In honor of today being the seventy third anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944, here’s are two suggested reads and one suggested view that focus on World War II.

Book 1:

Normandy: From D-Day to the Breakout: June 6-July 31, 1944

by Dominique Francois:

This coffee-table book, packed with prints and photographs covering the Allies’ June 1944 invasion of France is clearly a labor of love by French military historian François. A preinvasion bombing killed his grandfather, a Norman farmer, and barely missed his father, age 10 at the time. Chapter one offers family photographs as well as posters and photos of the 1940–1944 German occupation. Even better is an epilogue of before-and-after photographs juxtaposing images of locations like Omaha Beach in 1944 and 60 years later. In between, the pages teem with images of the massive Allied buildup in England, the invasion itself and the battles in Normandy interspersed with sidebars on generals and soldiers awarded medals for their bravery. Readers familiar with the iconic Normandy photographs will not find them; among the myriad of images in the archives, François’s choices emphasize modest soldierly activity and civilian miseries. The extensive text delivers a conventional, undistinguished history of events, so readers will lose little by skimming. Picture books on the Normandy invasion would fill a substantial shelf, but this one offers some modestly unusual features. 100 color and 400 b&w photos. – Publishers Weekly Review.

Here’s a link to the StarCat request page for the book:

https://goo.gl/aQBbWT

Book 2:

Shadow Warriors of World War II: The Daring Women of the OSS and SOE

by Gordon Thomas and Greg Lewis:

They were told that the only crime they must never commit was to be caught. Women of enormous cunning and strength of will, the Shadow Warriors’ stories have remained largely untold until now. In a dramatic tale of espionage and conspiracy in World War II, Shadow Warriors of World War II: The Daring Women of the OSS and SOE unveils the history of the courageous women who volunteered to work behind enemy lines.

Sent into Nazi-occupied Europe by the United States’ Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), these women helped establish a web of resistance groups across the continent. Their extraordinary heroism, initiative, and resourcefulness contributed to the Allied breakout of the Normandy beachheads and to the eventual victory over Hitler. Young and daring, the female agents accepted that they could be captured, tortured, or killed, but others were always readied to take their place. So effective did the female agents become in their efforts, the Germans placed a price of a million francs on the heads of operatives who were successfully disrupting their troops.

Here’s a link to the StarCat request page for the book:

https://goo.gl/xwZ8aL

Movie:

Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII’s D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller’s men slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach littered with bodies is one with the name “Ryan” stenciled on his backpack. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell), learning that three Ryan brothers from the same family have all been killed in a single week, requests that the surviving brother, Pvt. James Ryan (Matt Damon), be located and brought back to the United States. Capt. Miller gets the assignment, and he chooses a translator, Cpl. Upham (Jeremy Davis), skilled in language but not in combat, to join his squad of right-hand man Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore), plus privates Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi), cynical Reiben (Edward Burns) from Brooklyn, Italian-American Caparzo (Vin Diesel), and religious Southerner Jackson (Barry Pepper), an ace sharpshooter who calls on the Lord while taking aim. Having previously experienced action in Italy and North Africa, the close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. After they lose one man in a skirmish at a bombed village, some in the group begin to question the logic of losing more lives to save a single soldier. The film’s historical consultant is Stephen E. Ambrose, and the incident is based on a true occurrence in Ambrose’s 1994 bestseller D-Day: June 6, 1944.

Here’s a link to the StarCat request page for the DVD:

https://goo.gl/ZAAEnr

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

 

Daily Print & Digital Suggested Reads: Thursday, February 9, 2017

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:

midnight-in-broad-daylight

Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese-American Family Caught Between Two Worlds by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto:

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.

As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.

Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.

Here’s a link to the checkout page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/2216977

And our physical format suggestion for today is the print book:

muslim-girl

Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh:

Required reading from the founder of MuslimGirl.com—a harrowing and candid memoir about coming of age as a Muslim American in the wake of 9/11, during the never-ending war on terror, and through the Trump era of casual racism.

At nine years old, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh watched from her home in New Jersey as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That same year, she heard her first racial slur. At age eleven, when the United States had begun to invade Iraq and the television was flooded with anti-Muslim commentary, Amani felt overwhelmed with feelings of intense alienation from American society. At thirteen, her family took a trip to her father’s native homeland of Jordan, and Amani experienced firsthand a culture built on pure religion, not Islamic stereotypes.

Inspired by her trip and after years of feeling like her voice as a Muslim woman was marginalized and neglected during a time when all the media could talk about was, ironically, Muslim women, Amani created a website called MuslimGirl. As the editor-in-chief, she put together a team of Muslim women and started a life dedicated to activism.

This is the extraordinary account of Amani’s journey through adolescence as a Muslim girl, from the Islamophobia she’s faced on a daily basis, to the website she launched that became a cultural phenomenon, to the nation’s political climate in the 2016 election cycle with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. While dispelling the myth that a headscarf makes you a walking target for terrorism, she shares both her own personal accounts and anecdotes from the “sisterhood” of writers that serve as her editorial team at MuslimGirl. Amani’s honest, urgent message is fresh, timely, and a deeply necessary counterpoint to the current rhetoric about the Middle East.

You can request the title by clicking on the following link to StarCat:

https://goo.gl/7O9WZu

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

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.

Daily Print & Digital Suggested Reads: Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Monday everyone, here are our suggested daily recommended titles in print or media and digital formats:

Our Digital suggestion for today is the  streaming video:

nothing-like-the-holidays

Nothing Like The Holidays:

It’s Christmastime and the far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging on their parents’ home in Chicago, to celebrate the season and their youngest brother’s safe return from combat overseas.

For Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez of SIX FEET UNDER), coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, though she won’t forgive him for leaving in the first place. Jesse’s older sister Roxanna, a struggling actress, has been chasing her Hollywood dreams for years with little to show for it. And much to the dismay of their mother Anna, eldest brother Mauricio (John Leguizamo of THE HAPPENING, THE TAKE) brings home a high-powered executive wife (Debra Messing of WILL & GRACE, THE STARTER WIFE) who would rather raise capital than a child. But when the Rodriguezes learn that one of their own is facing a true crisis, all resentments are forgotten and familial bonds are re-affirmed.

Here’s a link to the checkout page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/1560903

And our suggested media item for today is the DVD set:

a-french-village-season-1

A French Village, Seasons 1 

The blockbuster French drama, A French Village (Un Village Francais), starring Audrey Fleurot and Thierry Godard (Spiral) chronicles the impact of World War II on a small village in central France. The German occupation changes the life of the village of Villeneuve forever, and as its residents come under the pressures of war, they make choices that are inspiring and heartbreaking. In this gripping drama, ordinary citizens become patriots, traitors, Nazi employees or activists. Beginning with the Germans’ arrival in June 1940, they endure five years of rationing, fighting and betrayals, and strain to keep some semblance of their existence intact. The war shatters all their lives, but a few of them, even in the shadow of destruction, reach out to find fleeting moments of connection and love.

Here’s a link to the request page in StarCat:

https://goo.gl/XY7Zsx

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

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.

Daily Print & Digital Suggested Reads: Friday, November 18, 2016

Hi everyone, here are our suggested daily recommended titles in print and digital formats.

Our Digital Catalog suggested title for today is the e-book:

golden-age

The Golden Age: A Novel by Joan London:

A Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2016

Winner of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction

Joan London, author of Gilgamesh, gives her readers an immensely satisfying and generous-hearted story about displacement, recovery, resilience, and love with The Golden Age.

Thirteen-year-old Frank Gold’s family, Hungarian Jews, escape the perils of World War II to the safety of Australia in the 1940s. But not long after their arrival Frank is diagnosed with polio. He is sent to a sprawling children’s hospital called The Golden Age, where he meets Elsa, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, a girl who radiates pure light. Frank and Elsa fall in love, fueling one another’s rehabilitation, facing the perils of polio and adolescence hand in hand, and scandalizing the prudish staff of The Golden Age.

Meanwhile, Frank and Elsa’s parents must cope with their changing realities. Elsa’s mother Margaret, who has given up everything to be a perfect mother, must reconcile her hopes and dreams with her daughter’s sickness. Frank’s parents, transplants to Australia from a war-torn Europe, are isolated newcomers in a country that they do not love and that does not seem to love them. Frank’s mother Ida, a renowned pianist in Hungary, refuses to allow the western deserts of Australia to become her home. But her husband, Meyer, slowly begins to free himself from the past and integrate into a new society.

With tenderness and humor, The Golden Age tells a deeply moving story about illness and recovery. It is a book about learning to navigate the unfamiliar, about embracing music, poetry, death, and, most importantly, life.

Here’s a link to the request page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/2596338

And our Print Book Suggested Read for today is:

lowcountry-christmas

Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe:

A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.

Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can’t afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.

You can request the title clicking on the following link to StarCat:

https://goo.gl/wmWRZe

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

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.

Daily Print & Digital Suggested Reads: Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hi everyone, here are our suggested daily recommended titles in print and digital formats.

Our Digital Catalog suggested title for today is the digital title:

cooked

Cooked by Michael Pollan

This title isn’t brand new as it was first published in 2014. However, the subject of eating healthy foods is still a timely one! And, I for one – did not know that Michael Pollen had a documentary food series on Netflix! So if you have Netflix and are interested in eating a more healthy diet you might want to check out the e-book and the TV series!

Here’s the info on the e-book itself:

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan:

In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.

Cooked is now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney executive produces the four-part series based on Pollan’s book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth.

Here’s a link to the e-book page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/981138

And our Print Book Suggested Read for today is:

gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency by Kathryn Smith:

The first biography of arguably the most influential member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, FDR’s de facto chief of staff, who has been misrepresented, mischaracterized, and overlooked throughout history…until now.

Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt—both personally and professionally—for more than twenty years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: If you wanted access to Franklin, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children.

With unprecedented access to Missy’s family and original source materials, journalist Kathryn Smith tells the captivating and forgotten story of the intelligent, loyal, and clever woman who had a front-row seat to history in the making. The Gatekeeper is a thoughtful, revealing unsung-hero story about a woman ahead of her time, the true weight of her responsibility, and the tumultuous era in which she lived—and a long overdue tribute to one of the most important female figures in American history.

You can request the title clicking on the following link to StarCat:

https://goo.gl/Wkf3yK

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

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.

Daily Print & Digital Suggested Reads: Monday, September 19, 2016

Hi everyone, here are our suggested daily recommended titles in print and digital formats.

Our Digital Catalog suggested title for today is the digital title Jeremy Poldark – this is the third book in Winston Graham Poldark series and it picks up where the new Poldark TV series left off last year with Ross in quite a bit of trouble! You can read the book and see how closely season 2 of the series, which makes is debut on PBS this Sunday, September 25, follows the book!

Here is a description of the plot of the book! 

(Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to know what happens in season 2 of the series — don’t read any further!)

poldark

Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham:

Ross Poldark faces the darkest hour of his life in this third novel of the Poldark series. Reeling from the tragic death of a loved one, Captain Poldark vents his grief by inciting impoverished locals to salvage the contents of a ship run aground in a storm-an act for which British law proscribes death by hanging. Ross is brought to trial for his involvement, and despite their stormy marriage, Demelza tries to rally support for her husband, to save him and their family.

But there are enemies in plenty who would be happy to see Ross convicted, not the least of which is George Warleggan, the powerful banker whose personal rivalry with Ross grows ever more intense and threatens to destroy the Poldarks.

And into this setting, Jeremy Poldark, Ross and Demelza’s first son, is born…

The Poldark series is the masterwork of Winston Graham’s life work, evoking the period and people like only he can and creating a work of rich and poor, loss and love, that you will not soon forget.

Here’s a link to the e-book page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/467192

And a link to the downloadable audiobook page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/2100651

And for the curious readers, here is a list of the titles in the entire swashbuckling historical series which chronicles the lives of Ross Poldark and his family from the early 1780s through 1820:

The Poldark Series by Winston Graham

1. Ross Poldark
2. Demelza
3. Jeremy Poldark
4. Warleggan
5. Black Moon
6. Four Swans
7. Angry Tide
8. Stranger from the Sea
9. Miller’s Dance
10. Loving Cup
11. Twisted Sword
12. Bella Poldark

And our Print Book Suggested Read for today isn’t actually a book at all!

Instead of a book, I’m going to suggest the first season of a French language TV series that we’re getting great feedback about – it is titled simply A French Village and open in 1940.

Here’s a synopsis of the plot:

french-village

A French Village (Season 1):

The blockbuster French drama, chronicles the impact of World War II on a small village in central France. The German occupation changes the life of the village of Villeneuve forever, and as its residents come under the pressures of war, they make choices that are inspiring and heartbreaking. In this gripping drama, ordinary citizens become patriots, traitors, Nazi employees or activists.

You can request the first season of the series by clicking on the following link to StarCat:

https://goo.gl/XY7Zsx

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

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.

Daily Digital & Print Suggested Reads: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Here are our suggested daily recommended reads in both print and digital formats!

Our suggested daily Digital Catalog item for today is the e-book:

Commander in Chief

Commander in Chief: FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943 by Nigel Hamilton: “In the next installment of the “”splendid memoir Roosevelt didn’t get to write”” (New York Times),  Nigel Hamilton tells the astonishing story of FDR’s year-long, defining battle with Churchill, as the war raged in Africa and Italy.

Nigel Hamilton’s Mantle of Command, long-listed for the National Book Award, drew on years of archival research and interviews to portray FDR in a tight close up, as he determined Allied strategy in the crucial initial phases of World War II. Commander in Chief reveals the astonishing sequel — suppressed by Winston Churchill in his memoirs — of Roosevelt’s battles with Churchill to maintain that strategy.  Roosevelt knew that the Allies should take Sicily but avoid a wider battle in southern Europe, building experience but saving strength to invade France in early 1944. Churchill seemed to agree at Casablanca — only to undermine his own generals and the Allied command, testing Roosevelt’s patience to the limit. Churchill was afraid of the invasion planned for Normandy, and pushed instead for disastrous fighting in Italy, thereby almost losing the war for the Allies. In a dramatic showdown, FDR finally set the ultimate course for victory by making the ultimate threat. Commander in Chief shows FDR in top form at a crucial time in the modern history of the West.”

Here’s a link to the description page in the Digital Catalog:

https://stls.overdrive.com/media/2287322

And our print book suggested read for today is:

The Arm

Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports by Jeff Passan: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times the salary of all NFL quarterbacks combined. Pitchers are the lifeblood of the sport, the ones who win championships, but today they face an epidemic unlike any baseball has ever seen.

One tiny ligament in the elbow keeps snapping and sending teenagers and major leaguers alike to undergo surgery, an issue the baseball establishment ignored for decades. For three years, Jeff Passan, the lead baseball columnist for Yahoo Sports, has traveled the world to better understand the mechanics of the arm and its place in the sport’s past, present, and future. He got the inside story of how the Chicago Cubs decided to spend $155 million on one pitcher. He sat down for a rare interview with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, whose career ended at 30 because of an arm injury. He went to Japan to understand how another baseball-obsessed nation deals with this crisis. And he followed two major league pitchers as they returned from Tommy John surgery, the revolutionary procedure named for the former All-Star who first underwent it more than 40 years ago.

Passan discovered a culture that struggles to prevent arm injuries and lacks the support for the changes necessary to do so. He explains that without a drastic shift in how baseball thinks about its talent, another generation of pitchers will fall prey to the same problem that vexes the current one.

Equal parts medical thriller and cautionary tale, The Arm is a searing exploration of baseball’s most valuable commodity and the redemption that can be found in one fragile and mysterious limb.

You can request the book by clicking on the following link to StarCat:

http://goo.gl/mDL74c

Or by calling the library at: 607-936-3713 x 502.

Have a great day!

Linda, SSCL

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.