Monday, July 28, 2014

World War I Begins: 100th Anniversary

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife were assassinated at Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a Serbian nationalist on June 28, 1914, touching off the global conflict that became World War I.  The "Great War" pitted the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire against the Allied forces of Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Italy and Japan.  The introduction of modern technology to warfare resulted in unprecedented carnage and destruction, with more than 9 million soldiers killed by the end of the war in November 1918.

Here are recent titles on the First World War:
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives!: a world without World War I
The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the romance that changed the world
Catastrophe 1914: Europe goes to war
The Great and Holy War: how World War I became a religious crusade
The Great War: a photographic narrative
The Great War: July 1, 1916: the first day of the Battle of the Somme
Hundred Days: the campaign that ended World War I
An Illustrated Guide to Bombers of World War I and II
July 1914: countdown to war
The Last of the Doughboys: the forgotten generation and their forgotten World War
Lawrence in Arabia: war, deceit, imperial folly and the making of the modern Middle East
A Mad Catastrophe: the outbreak of World War I and the collapse of the Habsburg Empire
The Month That Changed the World: July 1914
Sergeant Stubby: how a stray dog and his best friend helped win World War I and stole the heart of a nation
The Sleepwalkers: how Europe went to war in 1914
The War of Attrition: fighting the First World War
The War That Ended Peace: the road to 1914
World War I: the definitive visual history, from Sarajevo to Versailles

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Club Book Reviews

Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Review: A blind girl from Paris and a child prodigy from Germany travel through WWII with their lives finally converging near the end of the war. Loved it!!
Rating: 5

Title: Sycamore Row
Author: John Grisham
Review: One of his best. Story of a man who changes his will and cuts out the family. Family past is revealed through the story.
Rating: 4.5

Title: The Husband's Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Review: Amazing story about how many different lives can be affected by a single event. The beginning was a little slow, but after that I could not wait to finish reading and discover the rest!
Rating: 5

Title: Natchez Burning
Author: Greg Iles
Review: After a long wait, due to a car accident, Greg Iles returns! Once again he explores race relations in the South.
Rating: 5

Title: The Orphan Train
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Review: Excellent! Great story... didn't want to put the book down.
Rating: 5

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Club Review: Lucky Us

Title: Lucky Us
Author: Amy Bloom
Review: From the author of "Away", half-sisters Iris and the younger, good-girl, Evie, take off to Hollywood where Iris experiences brief stardom, has to leave,and ends up as a nanny on LI, toting Evie, her father and a Hollywood make-up artist across the country with her. Quirky characters, a wandering professor father and colorful characters in 1940s America.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from July 24

People left their backyards, swimming pools and vegetable gardens last night to attend the book discussion group, and their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

Our book was Charlie Wilson’s War: the extraordinary story of the largest covert operation in history by George Crile. Charlie Wilson was an obscure congressman from an equally obscure congressional district in east Texas. He was an alcoholic, a womanizer, and a drug user, earning the sobriquet of Good Time Charlie. But he also had a knack for politics, collecting dozens of favors and I.O.U.s in Congress. When he took an interest in tribal resistance against the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, he called in those favors to turn what had been a minor, secret C.I.A. operation intended to bleed the Soviets into a multi-billion dollar effort to defeat the Russians. Where the Afghanis had been fighting with WW I era Enfield rifles, they now had AK-47s and Stingers, a state of the art anti-aircraft missile. The book reads like a novel, full of spies, soldiers, belly dancers, exotic locales and C.I.A. infighting. Our conversation covered the folly of government, the nature of different cultures, religious fundamentalism, political extremism, and much more.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The book to be discussed, The Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland boys, and the dawn of a new America by Gilbert King, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Club Review: Summers at Shea

Title: Summers at Shea
Author: Ira Berkow
Review: A collection of essays and articles from Ira Berkow, NY Times columnist, that bring to life memories of America's pastime. Some funny, some touching, and some insightful.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Club Review: Violets are Blue

Title: Violets are Blue
Author: James Patterson
Review: I have read many books by this author and this book is by far the scariest book he has written. It's an excellent read and you just can't put it down. It is exciting from cover to cover!
Rating: 5 out of 5

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Club Review: Eleanor & Park

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Review: This young adult novel of a HS romance is filled with all the joys, wonder, and angst of first love.
Rating: 4 out of 5