Books for the History Buff

Our Concord neighbor Doris Kearns Goodwin has a new title – The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.  “

The gap between rich and poor has never been wider . . . legislative stalemate paralyzes the country . . . corporations resist federal regulations . . . spectacular mergers produce giant companies . . . the influence of money in politics deepens . . . bombs explode in crowded streets . . . small wars proliferate far from our shores . . . a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.

These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.”

Image

 

Bill Bryson uses his superb storytelling skills in One Summer to explore the summer of 1927 – when Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth was beginning his home run record, Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business and the first “talking picture” was made – among other things that transpired in that epochal summer.   

Image

 

 

The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester is subtitled America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks and the Creation of our Nation, Indivisible.  How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped, with their multitudes of callings, to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizens and the geography of the United States from its very beginnings.

Image

 

 

Vanished by Wil S. Hylton explores the story of an American bomber carrying eleven men that vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries.  

For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. They trolled the water with side-scan sonar, conducted grid searches on the seafloor, crawled through thickets of mangrove and poison trees, and flew over the islands in small planes to shoot infrared photography. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.

Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long.

Image

 

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance  by Edmund de Waal  – 

Two hundred and sixty-four Japanese wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great-uncle Iggie’s Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the netsuke, they unlocked a far more dramatic story than he could ever have imagined.

From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siècle Paris, from occupied Vienna to postwar Tokyo, de Waal traces the netsuke’s journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. With sumptuous photographs of the netsuke collection and full-color images from de Waal’s family archive, the illustrated edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes transforms a deeply intimate saga into a work of visual art.

Image

ANDRE DUBUS III AT THE MAYNARD LIBRARY – DEC 5 AT 7

Because we love books and the people who write them, I want to be sure you know that one of our favorite authors and speakers will return to the library on Dec 5.  He will be talking about his short story collection, Dirty Love, which is getting great reviews.

With “an eye for searing detail that is unequaled so far this century” (Dallas Morning News) celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.

Free and open to the public as usual – plan to be there early to get a good seat – he always gets a good crowd.Image

Today’s topic is gifts for the gardener in your life (even if it’s you)

1.  From the 2013 American Horticultural Society awards – A Rich Spot of Earth by Peter J. Hatch – This engaging, first-person account of the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s edible garden at Monticello is “unquestionably a superb work of scholarship,” says Rand Lee. It is an homage to Jefferson’s contributions to our national gardening heritage as well as a treasury of information about the many varieties of plants he experimented with in his Virginia garden.Image

2.  From the Garden Writers Association 2013 Media Awards – The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage – Brandywine Cottage is David Culp’s beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering — interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

Image

3.  The Well Tended Perennial Garden (my go to for all perennial questions) – Tracy DiSabato-Aust – This is the first, and still the most thorough, book to detail essential practices of perennial care such as deadheading, pinching, cutting back, thinning, disbudding, and deadleafing, all of which are thoroughly explained and illustrated. More than 200 new color photographs have been added to this revised edition, showing perennials in various border situations and providing images for each of the entries in the A-to-Z encyclopedia of important perennial species. In addition, there is a new 32-page journal section, in which you can enter details, notes, and observations about the requirements and performance of perennials in your own garden.Image

Lynette’s suggestions for great gift books (and this is her short list)

I have sorted by categories but we could have a long discussion of when mystery crosses over into fiction and what constitutes a thriller rather than a mystery.  (I just took the publisher’s word for it )  Non-fiction is pretty clear.  But lots of excellent suggestions here – happy reading.  Please share your lists.  We can all use some ideas.

 

title and author

category

Me Before You    Jojo Moyes

fiction

*Wise Men  Stuart Nadler

fiction

*Cascade   Maryanne O’hara

fiction

A Possible Life   Sebastian Faulks

fiction

*The Book of Jonas   Stephen Dau

fiction

*Beside a Burning Sea   John Shors

fiction

*Mary Coin   Marisa Silver

fiction

*All the Mountains Echoed  Khaled Hosseini

fiction

*The Daughter of  Mars   Thomas Keneally

fiction

*The Girl You Left Behind   Jojo Moyes

fiction

**The Signature of All Things   Elizabeth Gilbert

fiction

*Ordinary Grace   William Kent Krueger

fiction  

*The Lemon Grove Ali Hosseini

fiction  

*The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope  Martha Riley

fiction  

*The Son  Philipp Meyer

fiction  

*The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells   Andrew Sean Greer

fiction  

*The Road from Gap Creek   Robert Morgan

fiction  

*Fugitive Colors  Lisa Barr

fiction  

*One of Ours   Willa Cather

fiction (pulitizer prize winner)

*Snow White Must Die   Nele Neuhaus

mystery

*Bookman’s Tale:A Novel of Obsession   Charles Lovett

mystery

*Nine Dragons  Michael Connelly

mystery

*The Other Typist   Suzanne Rindell

mystery

Lost Light   Michael Connelly

mystery

*Blind Justice   Anne Perry

mystery

*The Last good Day  Peter Blauner

mystery

*The English Girl   Daniel Silva

mystery

*How the Light Gets In   Louise Penny

mystery

Prague Winter  Marilyn Albright  

non-fiction

*Frozen in Time  Mitchell Zuckoff  –

non-fiction

*The Lost City of Z   David Grann  (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*Judgment Ridge   Mitchell Zuckoff   (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*The spy who loved:the secrets and lives of Christine Granville   Clare Mulley (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*Hellhound on his trail   Hampton Sides   (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*The Black Count   Tom Reiss   (nonfiction)

non-fiction

*The Long Way Home   David Laskin   (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*The Avengers:A Jewish War Story   Rich Cohen  (non-fiction)

non-fiction

**The Boys in the Boat   Daniel James Brown  (non-fiction)

non-fiction

*Ghostman  Roger Hobbs

thriller

*The Andalucian Friend  Alexander Sodenberg  

thriller

*Capital Punishment  Robert Wilson

thriller

*Tuesday’s Gone   Nicci French

thriller

*Murder as a Fine Art   David Morrell

thriller

*Creepers  David Morrell

thriller

Scavengers  David Morrell

thriller

*The Redeemer   Jo Nesbo

thriller

*Red Sparrow   Jason Matthews

thriller

*The Star of Istanbul   Robert Olen Butler

thriller

*Police  Jo Nesbo

thriller