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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Travel Ideas

            In the summertime, or anytime, planning a trip can be almost as much fun as the travel itself. Here are some new books for your enjoyment.
            111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss, written by Joe DiStefano, offers the opportunity to sample the many ethnicities of the world in one borough. Whether you are interested in food, the arts, religious edifices, shopping, and more, this concise yet informative guide, accompanied by plenty of color photos, will encourage you to visit our next-door neighbor.
            National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States, Fifth Edition offers concise, descriptive reviews of more than 950 parks within the United States, accompanied by full color photos of several of them. Listings are arranged by region of the country and then by state.
            Road Trips: A Guide to Travel, Adventure, and Choosing Your Own Path, is written by Jen CK Jacobs, an editorial photographer who has published work in several books and periodicals. This is a different type of travel book; it describes eight different trips, from solo traveler, to romantic getaway, to those shared by friends and gives tips on packing, snacks, photographing the sights, and more.
            The Solo Travel Handbook: Practical Tips and Inspiration for a Safe, Fun and Fearless Trip, is a Lonely Planet publication designed to answer many of the questions solo travelers have, such as managing your money, meeting people, staying connected, health, safety, and others.
Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia is written by Levison Wood, a British explorer whose previous books tell of his adventures walking the length of the Nile River and of the Himalayas. Here we follow him and his friend Alberto on a trek that took over four months and 1,800 miles, from Yucatan, Mexico to Colombia..

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Books for and about Older Americans

               Join us in celebrating May as Older Americans month by reading one or all of these recently published books.
            Aging Gracefully: Portraits of People Over100 is compiled by Karsten Thormaehlen. It features photographic portraits of 52 people who have lived beyond 100 years, accompanied by enlightening annotations about their lives.
            Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home is written by Amanda Lambert. This guide helps readers in finding superior at-home care for one’s aging parents or other relatives, based upon the level of attention they need. Real-life stories are included.
            Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year among the Oldest Old is written by John Leland, a reporter. Here he recounts his time spent with six of New York's oldest inhabitants, all eighty-five and older, who share their wisdom about aging, life quality, and the art of living.
            Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century is written by Jessica Bruder. The award-winning journalist sets out on the road to explore the new phenomenon of “workampers” who are migrant workers made up of transient older Americans who took to the road after discovering that their social security came up short and their mortgages were underwater.
            The RBG Workout is written by Bryant Johnson, the personal trainer for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fully illustrated book details her twice-weekly exercise workout, including warm-up, strength training, and cool-down that all of us can follow in our own homes.
            Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?  Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age is written by Joy Loverde. The book asserts that growing old does not mean a decline into helplessness, and argues that it is essential to have a plan in place in order to maintain a high  quality of life in later years.                                                  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Historical Fiction: World War II

            Although the war ended more than seventy years ago, novels depicting this time are relevant in today’s society.

            The Paris Architect, written by Charles Belfoure, is the story of a Parisian architect who is paid handsomely to devise secret hiding spaces for Jews in his Nazi-occupied country but struggles with risking his life for a cause towards which he is ambivalent. A personal failure brings their suffering home.

            Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written by Jamie Ford, finds a present-day Henry Lee looking back at his youth in Seattle during World War II, when artifacts from Japanese families sent to internment camps are uncovered, reminding him of the young girl Keiko he met at that time.

            The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, finds two French sisters reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II. Vianne and Isabelle find their bond and their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.

            Lilac Girls, written by Martha Hall Kelly, tells the story of three women whose lives converge at the Ravensbreuck concentration camp as one resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, one becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and one takes a German government medical position.

            A Thread of Grace, written by Mary Doria Russell, is about Claudette Blum, a fourteen-year-old, and her father. They are fleeing across the Alps into Italy with thousands of other Jewish refugees seeking safety, only to find an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allied forces, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italians struggling to survive the harsh realities of World War II.


Friday, April 20, 2018

More Sensational Spy Stories

            Read some or all of these thrillers to see how the experts handle intelligence operations.
            In The Kremlin’s Candidate: A Novel, written by Jason Matthews, Dominika Egorova overhears a Kremlin plot to install a spy in a high intelligence position so that the Russians can identify CIA assets in Moscow. She launches a desperate mole hunt, only to be exposed and arrested.
            In The Lost Order, written by Steve Berry, agent Cotton Malone becomes involved when rival factions of a clandestine organization begin a race to find billions in treasure hidden by their forerunners. Malone finds the case complicated by his personal ties to the Knights and a scheming politician.
            The Prisoner: A John Wells Novel, is written by Alex Berenson. Here, John Wells is forced to resume an old undercover identity as an al-Qaida jihadi to unmask a CIA mole. He gets close to an ISIS prisoner in a secret Bulgarian prison, where he confronts the profoundly cruel and ambitious plans of increasingly formidable terrorist organizations.
            The Quantum Spy: A Thriller, is written by David Ignatius. It tells the story of CIA agent Harris Chang, who uncovers a mole in a top secret American research lab where they are racing to develop a quantum computer before China does.
            In A Single Spy, written by William Christie, a World War II Russian spy with divided loyalties goes deep undercover in Nazi Germany and uncovers an assassination plot with the potential to change history.
            In Three Envelopes, written by Nir Hezroni, an Israeli intelligence agent receives a notebook written by a rogue agent and assassin who supposedly has been dead for years. He begins to investigate whether the rogue agent was a psychopath or actually part of a lethal, top secret operation.
            Find these and many more spy stories at your library.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sensational Spy Stories

            Return to the genre that promises plenty of intrigue and bravado. Here are some recently published spy stories, sure to keep you up at night to find out if the hero will triumph over the forces of evil.
            In Act of Betrayal, written by Matthew Dunn, former intelligence operative Will Cochrane investigates the poisoning of a CIA agent who uncovered a mysterious situation involving the assassination of a terrorist financier.
            Agent in Place: A Gray Man Novel, written by Mark Greaney, Court Gentry accepts a contract to abduct the mistress of a Syrian dictator in order to obtain any information she may possess. Then he discovers that the woman has given birth to the dictator’s only son; he must retrieve the child safely out of Syria in order to guarantee her cooperation.
             In Cold Harbor, written by Matthew Fitzsimmons for his Gibson Vaughn series, former Marine and gifted hacker Gibson Vaughn is free after a period of brutal isolation in a CIA black-site prison. However, he has no idea where he was or how much time he has lost. Struggling to maintain his grip on reality, he races to return to the life he left behind.
            Death at Nuremberg: A Clandestine Operations Novel, written by W.E.B. Griffin, tells the story of special agent James Cronley, Jr. who is assigned to the Nuremberg war trials to protect the chief prosecutor from a rumored kidnapping. Instead, he finds himself fighting wars on multiple fronts as he also hunts down an organization that helps Nazi war criminals escape to South America.
            In Ends of the Earth, by Robert Goddard, World War I flying ace turned secret service operative James Maxted travels to Tokyo to uncover the truth behind his British Diplomat father’s suspicious death. His goal: to take down the German spymaster he believes to be responsible.
            Forever and a Death, by Donald E. Westlake, features wealthy businessman Richard Curtis, who loses everything when Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule and vengefully plots to use a construction technology to destroy the city and steal its gold. Westlake originally wrote the storyline for a James Bond film, but it was not used for political reasons.

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Is Women's History Month

            Celebrate women from all over the world and throughout time by learning their stories. Here are some current books that will help you.
            In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules is written by Karen Karbo. The author reviews the lives and accomplishments of several women from recent history, celebrities all. They include Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Hillary Clinton, Nora Ephron, Frida Kahlo, Billie Jean King, J.K. Rowling and more. Learn what makes them an inspiration to us all.
            Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood? is written by Dee Gordon. From different countries, different centuries, and different cultures, these ladies aren’t the law-abiding citizens we usually honor. Whether they were cited because of sexual misconduct, murder, thievery, or other crimes, you will get the inside scoop on such women as Cleopatra, Bonnie Parker, Jezebel, Lizzie Gordon, and more.
            The Women Who Made New York is written by Julie Scelfo, a journalist who has written for the New York Times and Newsweek. The book features more than 100 women who contributed to the social, cultural, political and economic development of the city. Illustrations by Hallie Heald enrich the text.
            Bet you don’t know about all of these female radicals featured in Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History. Written by Kate Schatz, this book tells the stories of forty women, from Hatshepsut (a female king of Egypt) to Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) and accompanies each with an illustrated portrait done by artist Miriam Klein Stahl.  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Books Recommended by Librarians

             Do you want to know some of the favorite books of our librarians?
Here is what librarian Craig likes best.
            Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft is written by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures.
            The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography is written by Simon Singh. This is a look at the world of codes, tracing its history back from Mary, Queen of Scots to the world wars, and also hypothesizes what the future of cryptography will be. Simon Singh received his Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University and is a former BBC producer.
            Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is written by Dava Sobel. This book describes the forty-year effort of John Harrison to invent the chronometer, the first instrument to keep accurate time for navigational purposes.
            The Andromeda Strain is written by the late novelist and medical doctor Michael Crichton. Originally published in 1984, it tells the story of a team of scientists who struggle to save humanity when a deadly bacteria is brought back from outer space by a satellite. A movie based on the book also was produced.
            Enola Gay, written by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, tells the story of the
nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan at the end of World War II, as carried out with the Enola Gay bomber.