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Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Fictional Abraham Lincoln

            Most readers of non-fiction are aware of Abraham Lincoln’s life and accomplishments. However, they may not be aware that he also is the subject of many novels. Here are some recent ones.
            In Perish from the Earth: A Lincoln and Speed Mystery, written by Jonathan F. Putnam, the newly minted trial lawyer and his friend Joshua Speed, the son of a steamboat owner, defend a young traveling artist wrongly accused of a murder linked to a rigged card game.
Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel, written by George Saunders, traces a night of solitary mourning and reflection as experienced by the sixteenth president after the death of his eleven-year-old son at the dawn of the Civil War.
In Murder in the Lincoln White House, written by C.M. Gleason, when a man is found stabbed to death only yards away from Abraham Lincoln during the inaugural ball, the president dispatches his assistant, and former frontier scout, Adam Quinn, to investigate.
            A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, written by Stephen Harrigan, depicts Abraham Lincoln in his twenties and thirties, as he works as a lawyer and in the state legislature and spends time with a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

More February Birthdays

            Ready to see what other authors have been born in February?
            James Joyce, born on February 2, 1882, was an Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet. He wrote such classics as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Dubliners, Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake.
            Toni Morrison, born on February 18, 1931, writes novels that reflect her African-American culture and focus upon the themes of racism and sexual oppression. Some of her titles in our collection are Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Sula, as well as others.
            Ayn Rand, born on February 2, 1905, was a Russian-born American writer of both fiction and non-fiction that focuses upon the theme of “rational self-interest”, and are in the dystopian fiction and science fiction genres. Her works include Anthem, Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead.
            John Sandford, born on February 23, 1944, is the best-selling author of crime thrillers, both in series – Prey series and Kidd series – and standalone novels. His most recent books are Deep Freeze, Golden Prey, and Escape Clause.
            Amy Tan, born on February 19, 1952, also is a popular author of literary fiction focusing on Chinese and Chinese-American culture and the relationships between mothers and daughters and between women. Some of her well-known books are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Valley of Amazement.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Authors Born in February

            Let’s celebrate February by honoring the famous authors who were born in that month.
            Meg Cabot, born February 1, 1967, focuses on chick-lit, mystery, and romance genres, as well as young adult and children’s books. Some of her books include The Princess Diaries series, The Boy is Back, and Royal Wedding.   
            Kate Chopin, born February 8, 1850, is considered to be a forerunner of twentieth-century American feminist authors. She is best known for her novel The Awakening and a number of short stories.
            Charles Dickens, born February 7, 1812, was a critically acclaimed, prolific, and very popular writer during England’s Victorian era. Some of his works include A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol.
            Gillian Flynn, born February 24, 1971, writes mysteries and thrillers. Before turning to fiction, she was a journalist for fifteen years. Her novels include Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places.
            John Grisham, born February 8, 1955, is an internationally popular author who writes legal thrillers based upon his education and experience as a lawyer. Some of his bestselling books – The Firm, Pelican Brief, A Time to Kill, and The Client – and others, have been turned into feature films.

            Langston Hughes, born February 1, 1902, was an African-American poet, author, and playwright who produced much of his work during the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his works in our collection are The Big Sea: An Autobiography, The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, and The Political Plays of Langston Hughes. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Healthy Diet

            New Year, new diet books. Here are some recently published ones.
            The Economists’ Diet: The Surprising Formula for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off is written by Christopher Payne and Rob Barnett. They are two economists who met while working at Bloomberg, both were formerly obese. They modified their diets using behavioral techniques based on economic principles. Their recommendations include weighing yourself every day, being calorie conscious but not a calorie counter, occasionally splurging, limiting variety, and more.
            Brain-Powered Weight Loss: The 11-Step Behavior-Based Plan that Ends Overeating and Leads to Dropping Unwanted Pounds for Good is written by Eliza Kingsford, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in weight management, food addiction, and eating disorders. Her goal is to show the reader how to modify high-risk situations, cope with stress, and prevent a slip from continuing to a setback or binge. Learn how to overcome your addiction to fatty, sugary, and salty foods.
            The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection is written by science journalist Scott C. Anderson, and medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan. They explain how a healthy gut can manage depression and anxiety, by adjusting your intestinal bacteria. The typical American diet, often highly processed and rich in sugar and white flour, is very unhealthy for the body’s microbiota. It also is blamed for causing such illnesses as Crohn’s Disease and diabetes.
            Diet Right for Your Personality Type: The Revolutionary 4-Week Weight-Loss Plan that Works for You is written by health and fitness trainer Jennifer Wlderstrom, featured in NBC’s The Biggest Loser. She describes the requirements for the five personality types and presents a four-week diet and exercise plan for each. Recipes are included.

            Food Can Fix It: The Superfood Switch to Fight Fat, Defy Aging, and Eat Your Way Healthy is written by Dr. Mehmet Oz, well-known television host and health book author. He presents a 21-day weight loss jumpstart plan, and includes healthy recipes accompanied by full-color photographs. Learn to fix problems such as fatigue, pain, bad moods, run-down immunity, and more.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Personal Finance: How to Make the Most of Your Money

           With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. And money management is on almost everyone’s list. Let these books guide you in reaching your goals.

            Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter is written by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler. They identify the psychological aspects of poor money management styles and discuss how to override them. They will help you cope with the financial bombshells inherent in credit card debt, household budgeting, holiday spending, and real estate sales, and keep your interest with the book’s breezy, anecdotal style.

            Ageproof: Living Longer without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip, written by Jean Sherman Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, MD, is a two-pronged approach to living securely in your senior years. Chatzky, a financial expert, and Roizen, an internist at the Cleveland Clinic, explain the very important connection between health and wealth and demonstrate ways to maximize your quality of health, longevity, and financial well-being.         

            The Motley Fool Investment Guide: How the Fools Beat Wall Street and How You Can Too, is written by David and Tom Gardner, investors and authors of earlier editions of this guide, other investor manuals, and co-founders of The Motley Fool, Inc. They present a simple and effective investment strategy that espouses their theory that making money through investments involves some risk.

            Rich Dad, Poor Dad: With Updates for Today’s World – and 9 New Study Session Sections is the latest in the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series. Written by Robert T. Kiyosaki, the book presents the history of money, investing, and the global economy over the past twenty years. Then the author demonstrates how to modify your investment style to complement today’s economy. The book provides financial literacy lessons for both the reader and his or her children.            

            Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook is written by Tony Robbins, an investment author and financial coach. In this book, Robbins interviews fifty international financial masterminds who offer their formulas to attaining financial freedom.  Your investments can grow no matter what stage of life you start or how much you earn, and whatever political and economic crises come into play.