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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

             The literary character of Sherlock Holmes, created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, began his reign in 1887 with the publication of A Study in Scarlet. Doyle continued to write Holmes’ stories, until 1927, completing 4 novels and 56 short stories. His character remains popular today, with several writers imagining new adventures for Holmes.
            The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad, edited by Simon Clark, contains 15 short stories featuring the great detective in his travels abroad to such places as Austria, Morocco, Egypt, and Norway. Contributing authors include Clark, Andrew Darlington, Paul Finch, Carole Johnstone, and others.
            The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, written by Lyndsay Faye, features stories earlier published in literary journals and two new stories “The Lowther Park Mystery” and “The Adventure of the Thames Tunnel”.
            Laurie F. King has written several novels featuring Holmes. In Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Russell and Holmes are a married couple remembering a hazardous assignment they completed for the emperor of Japan. In The Murder of Mary Russell, Mary goes missing and the carpet of 221B Baker Street is drenched in blood. Sherlock Holmes investigates.
            The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, edited by Otto Penzler, contains 83 stories featuring Holmes and Dr. Watson. The authors include such notables as James Barrie, O. Henry, A. A. Milne, Stephen King, Kingsley Amis, Anthony Burgess, Loren D. Estleman, and more.  
            A bibliography, listing these and other books featuring Sherlock Holmes, is available at the library.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Deadly Diseases

            No matter how many medical breakthroughs occur every day, humans still are threatened by new and mutating diseases with the ability to turn into epidemics. Here are some new books on this topic.
            Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them is written by Jennifer Wright. Filled with details of the world’s worst diseases over time. Learn about experiences with the Bubonic plague, dancing plague, smallpox, syphilis, cholera, leprosy, and more, and the people who worked toward the abatement and/or cure of the diseases. This is a very informative book with a sprinkling of humorous anecdotes.
            Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs is written by Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and Mark Olshaker, an author of several books about public health. Using the most current medical science, case studies, and policy research, they describe how such diseases as Ebola, MERS, yellow fever, and Zika threaten to overwhelm world health at large. Our overuse of antibiotics and rapid worldwide travel also are contributing factors to the spread of disease. After explaining all of these possible threats, Dr. Osterholm presents a plan of action for prevention.
            Zika: The Emerging Epidemic is written by Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science reporter for the New York Times. He traces the history of the Zika virus, which began as a minor disease but then by 2015 exploded as a major player in Brazil where pregnant women infected by the disease gave birth to babies with microcephaly. Contracted through mosquito bites and sexual transmission, Zika has the potential to infect people worldwide. The author offers information on the history of the disease, methods of prevention, and the work being done to develop a vaccine.

Friday, August 11, 2017

When Marriage Leads to Mayhem

            In fiction, as in life, marriage is not always a bed of roses. Here are some new novels that prove this point.

            In the Shadow of Lakecrest, written by Elizabeth Blackwell, is set in 1928 where heroine Kate Moore seeks to hide her past life of poverty and violence and start anew. She meets the handsome and wealthy Matthew Lemont while working as a governess on a transatlantic cruise. After marrying him, she discovers that her new life isn’t perfect: Matthew suffers bouts of PTSD from combat in World War I, and Kate is kept isolated at Lakecrest, the family estate, with his controlling mother-in-law and aloof sister-in-law who have their own dark secrets.

            The Good Widow: A Novel is written by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Here, Jacqueline Morales, an elementary school teacher who has been married to James for eight years is stunned to learn he has been killed in a car accident in Maui when he was supposed to be on a business trip in Kansas. And, he was with another woman named Dylan. Devastated, Jacqueline stumbles through a deep depression until Nick, Dylan’s fiancĂ©, shows up at her house. Together they travel to Hawaii to investigate.

            The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel, written by Randy Susan Meyers, tells the story of Phoebe, married to childhood sweetheart Jake. They both share in the luxurious lifestyle resulting from the financial empire that Jake has built. Then the trusting Phoebe discovers that Jake’s success is based upon a Ponzi scheme. What to do? Leave her husband, as her children want her to do, or stay by his side?

            Behind Closed Doors is written by B.A. Paris, and is about Jack and Grace, the perfect couple; he is a successful lawyer and she is a full-time homemaker preparing gourmet meals and hosting glamorous dinner parties. But she never leaves the house unless she is accompanied by Jack. And why are some of the windows barred? Can Grace set herself free?

            Mr. Rochester, written by Sarah Shoemaker, presents the story of Jane Eyre from Mr. Rochester’s viewpoint. We learn of his upbringing as the younger son of a wealthy man; he is not to inherit the Thornfield estate but instead sent to Jamaica to learn the family business after his education is completed. There, after a whirlwind courtship and marriage to Antoinetta, who is becoming increasingly mentally unstable, he is called home to Thornfield where the Jane Eyre story begins.

            A bibliography with these and other suspense novels is available at the library.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Cuisine

            During the hot days of summer, we all look for easy, quick ways to prepare our meals. Perhaps some of these books can help you.

            Endless Summer Cookbook, is written by Katie Lee, a cookbook and food magazine author and television personality. Influenced by her summer cooking experiences in the Hamptons, Lee presents one hundred recipes based on the season’s produce and other fresh ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes, drinks, and desserts. Beautiful color photos accompany the text.

            Master of the Grill: Foolproof Recipes, Top-Rated Gadgets, Gear and Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips and Fascinating Food Science is a publication from America’s Test Kitchen. The book includes step-by-step instructions for all of the grilling techniques you need to know, accompanied by many photos, as well as almost 700 recipes featuring beef, chicken, pork, poultry, vegetables, and more. Consumer advice on the purchase of grills and grilling tools also are provided.

            Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling is written by Meathead Goldwyn, the author of online barbecuing site and also writes articles for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Learn about the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories required for the best barbecuing and grilling, as well as 118 recipes to prepare meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, pizzas, marinades, and sauces.

Picture1Picture1            The Art of Making Gelato: 50 Flavors to Make at Home is written by Morgan Morano, a professional chef and gelato expert. She presents 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto. Gelato differs from ice cream in that it is churned more slowly and at a warmer temperature than ice cream, giving it a denser texture. Sorbets are dairy-free and egg-free, made from whole fruit and a simple syrup. Flavors range from the traditional chocolate and strawberry to the unusual—Torta della Mimosa, Biscoff, avocado, and more.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Design Your Outdoor Space

            Design and decorate the outdoor area of your home. You’re sure to benefit from your efforts year-round, but especially during the summer. Here are some books to help you get started.

            Building Outdoor Kitchens for Every Budget is written by Steve Cory, a builder, remodeler, and author. Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, you will learn to plan and execute your project. See how to select the best materials for a tight budget, and install such items as counters and appliances. Options such as pizza ovens, fire pits and fireplaces, pergolas, mosquito abatement, and more also are included. In-depth instructions and more than 300 photos are provided.

            Stanley Decks: A Homeowner’s Guide is written by David Toht. Building a deck requires basic carpentry skills, the right tools, and investment of time in designing and planning your project. This book gives step-by-step instructions to building four types of decks: patio deck, first- story deck, raised deck, and multi-feature deck. Learn the basics such as installing footings and ledgers, framing, building stairs and rails, then continue with built-ins such as benches, planters, and more. Information also is given on deck maintenance and repair.

            Taunton’s All New Backyard Idea Book is written by Sandra S. Soria. She shows you how to plan your outdoor space for a variety of activities, from children’s play to reading and relaxing to dining and entertaining. Soria starts with the basic structures of patios, decks, and porches, and continues with pergolas, arbors, and sheds; adding such landscaping features as beds and borders. Advice on furniture, lighting, fabrics, and accessories also are provided. Includes more than 275 photos.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Afternoon Book Discussions: July through December 2017

Join us for our afternoon book discussions, held on the third Wednesday each month, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Here is what is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

            On July 19th, we will discuss The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood. This chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States. Now it is an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction. There will be an additional discussion of this book on Tuesday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m. Registration begins June 21st.

            On August 16th, we will discuss The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coehlo. This classic work is a fable about undauntingly following one’s dream, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens, featuring dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. Registration begins July 19th.

            On September 20th, we will discuss The Buried Giant, written by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is a novel that imagines a war-ravaged Britain where Axl and Beatrice, an elderly Briton couple set out on a journey to find the son they have not seen in years. They are joined in their travels by a Saxon warrior, his orphaned charge, and a knight. Registration begins August 16th.

            On October 18th, we will discuss Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, written by Margot Lee Shetterly. Here is an account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program, even while they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws. Registration begins September 20th.

            On November 15th, we will discuss Girl on the Train, written by Paula Hawkins. The thriller portrays Rachel, a woman who tries to escape the pain of her own losses by obsessively watching a breakfasting couple every day while on her train ride. Then she witnesses a shocking event that inextricably entangles her in the lives of strangers. Registration begins October 18th.

            On December 20th, we will discuss Swans of Fifth Avenue: a Novel, written by Melanie Benjamin. This is a fictionalized version of the friendship between writer Truman Capote and New York City socialite Babe Paley, and its resulting emotional destruction. Registration begins November 15th.

            Please join us for one or all of these discussions.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May is Older Americans Month

            Here are some new non-fiction books to keep you current with the latest medical and financial advances for seniors.

            The Age Fix: a Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals how to Really Look Ten Years Younger is written by Anthony Youn. This board-certified plastic surgeon outlines skin-care and dietary strategies for enabling youthful wrinkle-free skin without surgery or invasive treatments.

            The Age of Longevity: Reimagining Tomorrow for Our New Long Lives is written by Rosalind C. Barnett, a senior scientist at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She conjectures that since life spans are lengthening, adult vigor can be extended well into the nineties. How will this affect us as individuals and as a society? She offers recommendations on changing our institutions and attitudes for our longer life spans.

            Ageproof: Living Longer without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip is written by Jean Chatzky, a financial expert and Michael F. Roizen, MD, an anesthesiologist and internist at the Cleveland Clinic. They explain the vital link between health and wealth, outlining science-driven ways for maximizing life quality, longevity, and retirement savings.

            Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level is written by Roxy Dillon, a nutritionist and scientist. Here she offers a practical, natural approach to fighting the effects of aging by using exercise, skin care and nutrition to get cellular and hormonal functions back under control, resulting in both looking and feeling years younger.

            Disrupt Aging: a Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age is written by Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP. She explains how people over fifty can all be active, financially unburdened, and happy as they get older, in a book that covers everything from caregiving and mindful living to building age-friendly communities and attaining financial freedom.

            Relax into Yoga for Seniors: a Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief is written by Kimberly Carson and is based on the Yoga for Seniors program at the Duke Integrative Medicine and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This book teaches seniors the twelve principles of practice, step by step, in a six-week program.

            Younger: a Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years is written by Sara Gottfried, MD. She presents this seven-week program that aims to slow down and reverse the aging process through lifestyle changes, including environmental modifications, improved diet, and enhanced exercise.