If it's Wednesday, I must be at The Bookloft - not the greenhouse, not leading a field trip, not at Naumkeag and not doing trail work on the AT! So many interests, like so many books, and so little time! That's why non-fiction books are usually my picks, because I try to keep up with my favorite subjects. As I heard once, "Act your shoe size!" We all need to slow down and see what there is to see. We need to reread some books, like Silent Spring. Sometimes it's children who help us grown-ups marvel at the wonders of the natural world, right in our own backyards. Stop and smell the flowers!
Find more of my archived Staff Picks here!
Linda's Staff Picks:
Title: Bomber's Moon
Comments: Mayor's latest Joe Gunther delves into current issues. His Top Notch Team PLUS investigating reporter Rachel and private investigator Sally work on multiple fronts. Methods as per police used but also the insider information that Rachel & Sally have acquired thru 'their means', cause some disruption.
This book is deep in the searching of why the victim was murdered which turns out to be very complicated.
Current news topics are covered here: drugs, prep schools, high tech thief, sexual harassment, past history and politics.
No quick read here; pay attention to the clues & details-yet you'll still be surprised!
Title: A Better Man
Comments: Inspector Gamache is faced with multiple situations where the stakes are high, solutions critical & the people involved are strained. One of Louise Penny's highest tension books.
the Three Pines residents all have a part in influencing the problems: the harsh Quebec police dept, the storm & flooding, the missing girl, the changes in the Village, all work together to challenge Gamache in his unexpected procedures.
Action packed and very personal for all involved.
You must commit time to just reading this...
Title: Almost Midnight
Paul Doiron is REAL good about giving you a thrilling story set in Maine-& environs.
Mike Bowditch, game warden & investigator, has his unofficial associates and those in higher places, who seem to access necessary information.
Current issues-wolves, prison reform, drugs, changing demographics & the 'ole boys club', all play a role in this newest fast paced mystery.
It's all about the people-good & bad-and Mikes' sensitivity to real life situations.
Well worth the drive north for adventure and beauty!
Title: Deception Cove
2 people: 1 ex-con, Mason who trained a service dog while in prison and Jess ex-Marine with PTSD and 'the dog'.
Lucy, the dog, is a binder between these 2 different people and helps solve the deep mystery about the death of Jess's husband.
These personalities are afraid to trust anyone but Lucy seems to know their traumas so she becomes the connection for trust.
Both Jess & Mason become involved in trying to solve a big drug deal gone wrong which involved Jess's husband AND the local law enforcement.
Lots of action, flash backs and a new team is formed, Jess, Mason & Lucy, to investigate on their own terms, the drug problem.
A few heavy twists & turns and some surprising outcomes.
Wonderful complex mystery with emotions...
Title: The Sakura Obsession
Title: D-Day Girls
Comments:I can't tell you much-its all 'hush-hush'. And Sarah Rose has a story that includes many different people and their personal lives that changed because of the 'work' folks did.
the training, disruption of lives and the high level of danger is extraordinary! We read about war stories but the undercover resistance fighters & spies made OR broke a mission.
How do you change your personality, focus on destroying wires & telephone lines; who could you trust & can you con your way past the German guards????
An historical record that will surprise you....
Title: Lessons From Lucy
We dog lovers know DOGS are smart, naturally!
And Dave Barry brings his humor & sensitivity to the question of the ages-HOW TO LIVE, via LUCY, his old dog.
I'll just list the rules of life here:
1)make new friends & keep the old
2)getting old BUT have FUN
3)pay attention to PEOPLE (or dogs)
4)let GO of your ANGER, waste of time & no good reason.
5)don't judge PEOPLE by how they LOOK
6) be HAPPY but not with THINGS
A warm hearted read for all with hope for living to the fullest!
Title: In Search of the Canary Tree
Lauren Oakes will engage you in the entire process of research, which of course is YEARS! But when you begin the study of seeking out the remaining yellow cedar trees in Alaska with Lauren & her team, it becomes more emotion than science...
The cedar is under threat due to climate change. The frozen ground with abundant snow cover has protected its roots during the long winters AND now that snow is going quickly. This bare ground leaves the roots exposed and the trees barely surviving.
It is a study of the environment-but also becomes a study in human dependence on the local environment including the beautiful Yellow Cedar.
Many Alaskans have opinions as to what will happen. But their personal adjustments differ and yet they are all connected to each other and their lands.
Lauren has interviewed many and studied her research information-to find out there is a close attachment of a place and its species.
Life continues with humanity & nature changing. She raises questions-how to change AND change we must!
Title: The Poison Squad
Food & Drug Safety -- the same today as it was back in 1900! WHY? Follow the money & the politics...
So follow Blum's story as she brings all the past situations of adulterations & unsanitary conditions regarding food & drugs RIGHT in your face!
UGH, how could we continue with poison dyes in candy (and more) but legislation was just not happening.
You'll be shocked and disappointed but be cheering the few scientists who worked for YEARS trying to protect the public.
And today, we are still confronted by additives and new chemicals AND more data. READ YOUR LABELS!!!!
Comments:Yes, climate change AND the rising waters. But have we really looked, personally, at the consequences of all the world's coastlines?
The author takes you up close and personal to the people who are suffering with the loss of their land, the fish, the vegetation. From Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, and beyond, it's not just the water, but the SALT moving in that is a critical factor. Everything from microorganisms to megafauna that evolved together are now challenged. How will they adapt? Can we adapt? This becomes destruction in a physical sense and mental sense.
Rush takes us to the edge, to see for ourselves. To understand the science, social interaction, the political forces of the past (and now future) and even more... of what we can do. Or can we?
Silence is communication. Think of a monastery. The quiet where there is serenity, to make your mind more open, to think, to be aware, peace and prayer.
But, silence or isolation can be torture, darkness, and unnerving. Think of prisons, the gulag.
The author has studied the various forms of silence. The institution of prison - even before America's idea of incarceration in the 1830s - has undergone many changes. Currently there is still debate of what to do. The human mind needs stimulation, needs communication, needs meaningful work and needs light!
Thomas Merton needed the monastery to develop his thoughts in silence. But he understood: we must change, reach out, communicate (as he did by his writing) to the current times.
Brox explores it all. And makes you think: is there too much noise today? Can we enjoy some silence to let our minds - and hearts - wander??
Title: Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City
This is a wonderful & timely book which reads like a play-by-play event. BASKETBALL.
Anyone could play with any "basketball" & have a game with anyone. Sounds like fun?
But in the 1950s, even Indiana had its racial issues. Times were changing across the country but no full civil rights anywhere.
Here was a team with an inspiring coach who beat the odds, opened minds & integrated schools. This was a time the KKK existed and the "great migration" of Blacks from the south going north and west.
The power was in the people, the common man and others who opened their eyes & felt the joy of being together -- for basketball and humanity.
Title: Seaweed Chronicles
Seaweed: SEA - the area that sustains some of our food; WEED - the plant that can nourish us. Seems simple?
But it is a complex system and becoming more mainstream (no pun intended!). It is worthy for humans to add it to their grocery list.
There are many varieties of seaweed and they do taste different. Very popular in the Far East, but also, Maine, Alaska, California, Ireland and well, almost anywhere!
The concern today is: clean water, right balance of the whole ecological niche and the dreadful commercial, rather than small farmers/aquaculture harvesting of a nutrient rich food source.
Here is where one species that needs monitoring with a hands on knowledge of its growth, development and interconnectedness to the sea, is critical.
And this critical part, the sea & earth, have been exploited where we can see the destruction.
Perhaps we can be moved to care for our caretakers-and use our resources wisely...
Nice details about seaweed growth which I never thought of before!
Title: The Trail
Is this the right way? Can you follow the white blazes? Toby HAS to do this. He & his friend made a list and hiking the AT from Norwich, VT to Mt. Katahdin, ME. was the last item.
What Toby feels, does and thinks about are his friend, his Gram and the folks he meets along the trail. And his best buddy is "Moose", a stray who becomes his partner.
Wonderful story-full of surprises, action, fun, sadness, fear AND drama!
But this book has very important & practical information about hiking & survival.
The author did a SUPER JOB!
Title: The Last Thing You Surrender
Comments: This is a difficult book-to write about. I was so moved by the story-strong feelings of anger, worry, sympathy, pain, trauma AND YET there was hope, forgiveness, friendship, family and love.
WW11 ear: Pearl Harbor, Jim Crow south, working class, the privileged, KKK, European war front, Japanese POW camp and the HOMEFRONT.
It was a book with so many questions (answers??) with such a mixture of characters bringing in their own drama to make changes, survive and keep life since there was (is??) so much hate & pain in the world.
What you have to keep is
Great writer, gotta read more