This fabulous selection of letters provides a glimpse of a wide range of personalities who changed history as well as the personal side of both famous and not-so-famous people. There are letters by presidents, businessmen, school children, criminals, musicians, artists, and soldiers from the 1340 BC to modern times.
William Alexander loves the French language, the music and landscape of France, French food, French history, French politics; in fact he loves everything about France. At the advanced age of 57 he decides to overcome his horrible memories of Madame D., his high school French teacher, and attempts to become fluent in French over the period of thirteen months.
This is a lovely telling of the author’s meeting, relationship, and marriage to her husband, Miles, an Army Apache pilot, and the first years following his death as she finally starts to reclaim her own life. Her writing is clear, honest, and to-the-point, but always deeply felt.
January is National Puzzle Month, and the 29th is National Puzzle Day! If you would like a great book to help you celebrate before the month is out, try this visual feast, published by National Geographic Kids. It features a variety of photo puzzles: optical illusions, hidden pictures, “Spot the Difference” (on two-page spreads), and more! It’s full of fun facts about nature, including how animals use camouflage for safety, how humans use vision and the brain in concert to understand the world around them, and how our perceptions can be fooled by visual tricks. There
Dr. Patricia McConnell is an applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years experience. The Other End of the Leash is a fantastic read for dog owners or those interested in animal-human interaction. Dr. McConnell very practically illustrates the differences between primate and canid behavior and mannerisms, and explains why many things we as humans do can be difficult or impossible for dogs to understand.
Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, was born to gifted and well-to-do parents. Her mother was a singer and her father was a well-known preacher who marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights movement. Life wasn’t a piece of cake. Aretha’s mother left the family when she was young leaving the father as a single parent. Her father showcased her childhood talent by waking her up in the middle of the night to play piano and sing for his party guests.
Shooting at the Stars is a fictionalized account of the Christmas truce that occurred in the trenches between British and German troops during World War I in 1914. The story is told conveyed through a letter by a British soldier to his mother. He tells of December 24th, when the British soldiers heard singing coming from the opposing trench 30 paces away. Stille Nacht--Silent Night. The next morning, they woke up to calls from the German soldiers. Warily, soldiers from both sides began to step out into “No Man’s Land”. They first buried their d
The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, is a familiar figure to those of us addicted to those documentaries about space that pop up on PBS and the History Channel. Tyson is an affable figure on TV, and proves to be the same in print. This book is a collection of articles that he wrote for “Natural History” magazine. They present complex topics in a clear, conversational manner, infused with humor. Thought-provoking and entertaining.
A fascinating introduction to the history and design of tree forms used to explain knowledge in a visual way, this book is filled with historical and modern tree designs. From hand-lettered medieval trees showing the relationship of Biblical characters to modern computer-generated trees of Twitter feeds, there are 200 wonderful examples of all sorts of tree styles. There is something for everyone—square representations of states by area in 1939, the X-Men family tree, or icicle trees used by statisticians.
Diego Rivera was twice the size and age of Frida Kahlo when they married in August of 1929 but they seemed destined to be together. Rivera was a famous Mexican muralist who used the fresco method of painting on wet plaster. Kahlo was known for her self-portraits showing her suffering due to internal injuries resulting from a bus accident and for her depictions and deep love of animals. As a child, she contracted polio. She had always been sickly. Reef has written a book about one of the most interesting artist couples in history.
Janet Leigh was best known for her portrayal of Marion Crane in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller, Psycho and her eleven-year marriage to Tony Curtis. She starred in mostly low-budget films throughout her film career which spanned from 1947-1999. Hollywood film moguls were attracted to her natural beauty. She endured the unwanted attention of Howard Hughes.
Randall Munroe earned a degree in physics at Christopher Newport University (VA) and went on to work on robots at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia before quitting to become a cartoonist (xkcd.com: “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”). He employs humorous stick figure sketches to help provide scientific answers to absurd hypotheticals submitted to him through his website.
Drawing Autism showcases the artistic talents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder while giving perspective on how these artists relate to the world around them. Temple Grandin has written the forward which is a perfect introduction and sets the tone for the rest of the book. Author Jill Mullin, a behavior analyst with a clinical background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), divided the selected works into themes. Her goal was to provide an overview of the autism spectrum while celebrating the individuality of each person. Artists selected for the b
If your country needed your help would you give up your career, your comfortable home and endanger your relationships for an unknown job in a location that didn’t appear on any map? Could you handle never speaking of your job to your spouse, or knowing where and why they had to leave for weeks? Could you work on just one small job over and over for years, not knowing what came before or would come after?
This book reminded me a bit of watching West Wing. We don’t realize how the White House is buzzing 24/7. Kantor takes us inside for an eye-opening expose of life in America’s most famous mansion. Michelle and Barack Obama managed to adapt to a very dramatic change in their lifestyle with grace and maturity. But it wasn’t all rosy.
"Unbroken" is the story of an undaunted human spirit presented by author Laura Hillenbrand; who chronicles the extraordinary life of Olympic runner, Louis Zamperini. When faced with supposed insurmountable obstacles, Louie proves to be a survivor and an example of the power one person can have over his own destiny.
If you like pouring over old atlases or scrolling though Google maps, you will probably like this book. The author is a geographer, not a travel guide, and this comes through in the tone of the book as well as subjects covered.
The connection of what makes each of these places so strange is human intervention, either through physical occupation or mapmaking. The book’s first entry is about Sandy Island, which was neither sandy nor an island. But it was on maps for centuries.
Those of us of a certain age grew up to the strains of comma comma down dooby doo down down, comma comma, down dooby doo down down, breaking up is hard to do. That is Neil Sedaka’s signature song, Breaking up is Hard to do. It was released in 1962. Podolsky tells the story of Neil’s early days in Brooklyn. He started his musical training at the prestigious Juilliard School at the tender age of seven.
He was honest, witty, loyal, brilliant, and indefatigable.He was also pompous, arrogant, insecure, petty, and cranky.He probably did more than anyone else to persuade Congress to declare American independence, bu
Richard Nixon graduated number three from his Duke University Law School class. Thelma (Pat) Ryan was an orphan in Depression-era California yet she attained the equivalent of a master’s degree in merchandising and she taught high school typing and shorthand classes. Swift tells the story of the Nixon courtship, political life and death after 53 years of marriage. Along the way we read about Nixon’s involvement with the Communist scare, 1960 presidential election footing Nixon against John F.
My interest in street art has led me to view numerous pictures on the internet. Many are wonders of creativity and determination—from murals on a building to 3D art made from objects already in place. Street art can have an important message or be a small scale drawing, there just to make you smile.
One of my favorite types of street art is chalk art. While temporary, in the hand of a master artist they can be incredibly detailed and convincing. Chalk art combines art, creativity, perspective, and even performance.
The writer Andrew Ferguson set out to explore how Abraham Lincoln is viewed and commemorated across the nation nearly 150 years after his death.He visits Lincoln places across the country and talks with those obsessed with our 16th president, wheth
I love burgers and trying new recipes. While the (rumored) arrival of summer is bound to make most all of us happy, trying nearly all of this title's beef recipes will further sweeten the deal for me. Also included are recipes for bison, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian burgers, as well as condiments and sides.
The intro to this book begins with the quote- “Every Pet is a tiny tragedy waiting to happen”, (George Carlin). But apart from facing the relatively short mortality of our pet “children”, this book is also an affirmation of the joys and idiosyncrasies that are part of sharing our lives with pets.