Linda's Past Picks - 4
Linda's Staff Picks
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 Staff Picks here!
Title: Coyote America
Flores writes an engaging natural history story of the evolution of the coyote. It's NOT simple. The story entails geology, sociology, politics and religion.
The wolf, coyote & jackal all shared a common ancestor but they separated about 3 million yrs. ago.
In North Amer the wolf & coyote did exist together because their prey were different-think of those large carnivores who roamed 10,000 yrs ago, then extinctions, climate changes and you can see how the coyote 'evolved' to become the omnivore it is today.
They are everywhere and doing well in the urban areas even after their horrid persecutions (experiments in social engineering) from the 1880s thru 1930s and beyond.
You may have seen one or heard them; maybe tracks in the snow. And they are so like us-social, reading body language, expressions community or individual=surviving.
Yes the coyote was native to North Amer and was appreciated mby Nativ e Americans for their cunning and skills.
Great read for anyone wanting to know who is out there. And don't predict anything because it is said-'coyote will make a liar out of you'!
You can also thank Walt Disney for bringing nature to everyone thru his programs and helping change the attitude about some creatures.
Title: The Firebrand and the First Lady
TWO INCREDIBLE WOMEN dealing w/their times, place sex & social levels. The First Lady of The World, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Firebrand, Pauli Murray a civil rights activist. What began in the 1930s with Pauli writing to Mrs. R about issues Pres. R was facing & maybe trying to influence his stand, became a lifelong friendship between the two women.
Their "fights" for women's rights, equal pay, civil/racial rights, education AND HUMANITY continued thru their lives.
Personal struggles in their own lives were eased by their friendship. Incidents heartbreaking and others heartwarming will keep you reading on and wondering: how far have we come after all these years of hard work???
Perhaps Pauli & Mrs. R are reminding us to continue....
Wonderful biographical stories of these two women & their lives. Don't forget to visit Val Kill & Hyde Park!
Title: Surrender, New York
Is there a clear line between good and evil? Can you confront, head on, those who are wrong?
There are disturbing issues of child trafficking, foster care politics, police issues and those with lots of money.
Carr has brought all the investigative technique of the 21st century to take on the challenge of solving seemingly child suicides.
This is top notch and fast paced and complicated.
Dr. T.J. Jones and Dr. Mike Chang analyze NY & NYC as they use real (not TV) science.
The characters, the setting and Marciana become totally meshed to the end!
But not is all crime. There is humor, love, loyalty, and history with the Jones family and the town of Surrender, NY.
Great mystery with lots of procedures in forensics. I did mention Marciana- another special character (an odd dog, you think??).
Title: Cold Silence
Joe Rush- never to find peace wither its a hot climate or cold! In a drought area in Africa, he gets a call from a war zone, and make a decision-GO.
Unknown illness has struck the research geologists and Joe is determined to find out what it is. Leprosy, comes to mind but is it? Curse/plague from God? Well, this leads to more religion then he thought and quite an involved "cure".
Thought provoking with action!
Title: Protocol Zero
Joe Rush just can't seem to do routine work. He and his partner/ friend Eddie began checking old army testing sites in Alaska for any toxins/leakage of "past" projects and interviewing residents for health issues. Simple enough.
Then strange illness hit a research group (family) and the entire family-dead. And there were strange symptoms. First comment made by Eddie- " looks like rabies" but not likely, well, don't dismiss your first impressions. With climate changing, permafrost melting, who know? There are issues of land being sold, ecology groups, pharmaceutical companies interested in life forms, not to mention military and D.C. issues which certainly keep Joe busy.
But Joe also works hard (extra hard) since his emotional and physical traumas are challenging his work.
Title: Presumption of Guilt
Mayor is really a wiz at developing his mysteries. They are fresh out of the local police log.
A body in the old concrete floor at the Vernon Nuke Plant which is being demolished- shows up after 50 years!
Of course you have the latest police work (and great detective work at that) from Joe Gunther's incredible staff. But it starts to involve, personally, some staff members- and that's unsettling.
You may want to read Tag Man as that character appears here- using his expertise!
Great action and drama!!
Title: White Plague
What a guy, Joe Rush. Colonel U.S. Marines, seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Has been in situations where he had to analyze, think fast, and make HARD decisions. He is an M.D. and deals with infectious disease and toxicology issues. And now he's trying to spend quality time in Alaska away from the military and Washington D.C. crowd. But he's sought out for "special" work. There are issues with Native Alaskans, international intrigue (Chinese, Russians) and something about global warming and new (??) diseases.
Abel blends together a totally complicated picture with action from page one. You'll have a hard time putting the book down! Well worth your reading time if you need some action as well as little history.
Title: The Last Days of Night
Historical fiction fan? Like the turn of the (20th) century? Enjoy your reading by "light" not candle?
This books will take you back in time and those special characters like Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla were battling and trying to sell their products- of light. These men were tinkerers, businessmen, and true scientists. Developments were fast, but were they safe? AC or DC?
Cravath, the lawyer (hired by Westinghouse), delves deep in the men's mind and business. There is action, romance, and twists of fate.
Great historical novel! Lights on!
Title: Hero of the Empire
I had no particular interest at this time for Churchill or the Boer War. But Candice Millard wonderfully brings facts into a compelling story and you want to read it!
So I learned about South Africa and the Boers and Churchill, who was looking for action (in any war) to prove himself, had really found his action.
He was privileged, but worked hard and used his talents in the time of great stress.
A wonderful history of times and people!
Title: A Great Reckoning
A map tells many things- like getting from point A to point B and all that may be on the road between. But in this latest Gamache mystery, the old map of three Pines which was a gift to Gamache, is moving back and uncovering more than directions!
Those who've followed the character will now find more intertwining stories and a growing anxiety for the future of Gamache.
Gamache is back at work trying to straighten out the police system. That means dealing with older recruits (trained roughly) and the new ones (specially selected by Gamache) who are more sensitive to the case. But this chore has brought old issues- personal ones- to the front lines where the action is active!
Penny blends the whole village and police into a very personal dilemma for G- stressful yet heartwarming.
Title: Patient H.M.
This book is full of medical history, practice and procedures, and very graphic surgery on the brain. 1950's, not much known about the areas of the brain and what they controlled. But one doctor, Scoville (Dittrick's grandfather) was a pioneer in lobotomies. Beginning with trying to understand and control epilepsy to more extensive surgery.
This story is a medical experiment, "Do no harm" ethic but learn and try to help. Doctors and psychologists from Yale, Harvard, and MIT were sharing information.
But the common factor was the patient Henry.
This is also a personal journey for Dittrick as his research uncovered family history- Dr. Scoville and his wife who suffered through many early, painful and unsuccessful treatments.
Dr. Scoville was also known as Wild Bill- Wild in his driving, supervising his own surgery(!) and making all kinds of implements to use for brain surgery!!!
Sad medical history which is disturbing but also funny at times, especially with this doctor.
It shows where we came from (in history and the brain) to where we may be going- and still trying to learn from Henry.
Title: Capital Dames
Take a step back in history (Civil War with Cokie Roberts) and you will be immersed, totally in emotional ups and downs of the people, war, death...
The North and South were not absolutely separate. There were families who were divided and politics was always changing. But what you may not realize--women as wives, mothers, sisters, nieces had influence AND fought in their own ways. There are remarkable stories of Mary Lincoln, Varia Davis, Elizabeth Blair Lee, Julia Grant, Virginia Clay, Clara Barton, Adele Douglas, and Dorothea Dix. And don't forget Sojourner Truth and the special Mrs. Keckley. From the front lines to the back rooms, the women were working hard. And here too began the suffrage movement with more issues.
This is a book to be reread and is great on CD which is read by Cokie Roberts.
Also read: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott.
Title: Lab Girl
Title: An Orange in January
A Story of a life--the beginnings of an orange!
Beautiful colorful pictures bring summer thoughts to you. The time of sunshine and sweet, juicy foods. BUT in January??
You'll follow the orange from tree to store until the child picks it up. He imagines all kinds of things to do with this round fruit. But the best thing of all is sharing that juicy, sweet, sunshine orange with friends--in January!
Need more books, Diane Aston!
Title: The Road to Little Dribbling
Looking for Dribbling? Don't bother, forget it, move on... People walk a lot in Great Britain through the fields (may even be molested by cows!), woods (can be very dark) and villages (with tea shops good and bad) but Dribbling is not really anywhere (or did you pass it?)
From one end of Great Britain to the other, follow Bryson. He's been there before, 20 years agoe he wrote of his travels in a book titled Notes from a Small Island.
You can visualize this rambling man commenting on every little thing (don't look for batteries) with factual, fancy, and funny remarks. BE PREPARED TO LAUGH (out loud, so choose your reading place discreetly).
And be prepared to consider changes-- the iconic villages now with empty store fronts; the "societies" of almost everything from birds to obscure topics and the land, hills, and buildings are still there full of history, heritage, and struggling for survival.
But never fear and slowly but surely, things will be taken care of...
Read this book from the prologue through afterward-- it'll take you away!
Like a kid in a candy store-- Alexander von Humboldt was fascinated by everything. He measured, sampled, experimented, explored, climber volcanoes and mountains and wondered. From the early 1800s he put 2+2 together-- interdependence of plants, animals, land, climate (and the humans changing and harming the natural balance ....1800!!) Through his South American exploration, he saw the abundance of the earth, the drama in the land. He was the first to posit a "tree of life" idea, as in the relationships of all living things, together.
This book brings a wonderful international picture of the world from the late 1790s to the mid 1800s: European wars, Spanish in South America where Humboldt hated the slavery of the indigenous peoples; he was impressed with Thomas Jefferson and US/freedom, Simon Bolivar...
He influenced many fellow scientists in ideas in biology, geology, chemistry, and on... Goethe, Coleridge and Wordsworth were part of his life and each inspires the others.
Understanding nature needs hands on, needs poetry to spread the messages she gives
Title: Dead Wake
I read all of Erik Larson's books—because in nonfiction, he brings real life stories and events to your heart and soul.
The sinking of the Lusitania was not just an event. It was an international awakening and it could have been avoided. The whole process of preparing a ship, passengers boarding, staff crew and the captain become part of this story. The people, their individual stories help us realize the immense tragedy of war even in innocence. And yet there is a question—was this ship as "innocent" as it seemed?
Larson blends in the other side—Germany. War time planning and spur of the moment turns add to the drama. You are there... wonderful descriptive visual and heart beating incidents make this action packed.
It was a time to remember...
Title: The Shepherd's Life
Roots -> LAND -> Heritage -> Tradition. Compassion -> Respect -> NATURE = FREEDOM
This is not just a year in farming and raising sheep but a way of life full of passion.
Rebanks blends his life story with the heritage of breeding sheep in the Lake District (think Beatrix Potter) and the way life has been changing for 1000 years. There are the seasonal changes, the harshness, survival, and then the overwhelmingly beautiful, peaceful LAND.
You will learn how to do "certain jobs" on the farm-- told with clarity, compassion, and humor. But what he reminds us of is agriculture, preservation of breeds, heritage of small farming (family operations), passion for this way of life (he did go to Oxford) and keeping the LAND (for animals and people) in a sustainable way.
It is very timely as changes in the US and Europe as well as developing countries have to make difficult decisions. The people need food. The water needs to be clean. And Rebanks offers and extraordinary view from his life!
Heartwarming and woolly!
Title: Do Unto Animals
Such compassion and enthusiasm for all life! Tracey has put together a wonderful source of information. Some things we may be aware of, other things may be new to you, but all these things should be front and center in today's world- their (animals large and small) lives and ours and our earth.
You will learn about animals- from pets to farm to wild; you'll understand the importance of pollinators (thank you bees!), learn some craft activities for adults and children- and hopefully pass on the compassion to others.
I think this is a timely book. It even can be used as a reference/field guide!
Thank you Tracey!!
Title: The Company She Kept
Intense. Absolutely intense. I think Mayor must be experiencing some heavy crime up in the beautiful Green MT State of Vermont!
With a horrid murder of Susan, state senator and drug deals reaching from the north all the way south to Holyoke, MA, forensics, bits and pieces of info being uncovered, the question remained- how is all this connected??
Willy and Sam doing some freelancing, state police, the feds, and Joe's whole VBI team driving up and down the state, finally come to some unexpected results.
This Joe Gunther mystery shows his team at their best and most personal...
Title: Daughters of the Samurai
The title intrigued me... Did these girls learn how to be female samurais? Well, no. BUT they became a special part of the changing Japanese history and culture in the late 1800s. I never thought about how and why Japan became the world power we see today and author Nimura brought this era to life with the stories of 5 little girls being sent to America.
Though only 3 completed theri education and their influence on the Japanese women upon theri return to Japan began. We think of the right to vote and equality but in Japan ion that changing time for them became a special hurdle. The girls were sent by the government to learn Enlgish, get an education, and learn western ways. this was to bring the new modern ideas to Japan who was going three politicsal changes.
The author blends the personal trials and lives of these 3 young women into a social/adventure/cultural/history story.
Wonderful learning experience of Japan and blends sensitivity of the times with a growing country.
Title: The Wright Brothers
There were 2 brothers, Orville and Wilbur, who made bicycles (and special ones at that) but started tinkering with flying machines. Well, they went far & high & fast!
Great US and internaional history related to the desire to fly. Wright brothers were not the only ones experimenting but they certainly worked hard! They studied birds' glight, reworked their machines and analyzed and persisted. Did not give up! They even were said to think as one.
And yet they did get help- one of their bicycle mechanics, friends they made in Kitty Hawk, and their dear sister KAtherine. These brothers form Dayton, Ohio were down to earth, full of energy, and modest when they became famous. Much more detail as to their family and the bicycle shop, US gopvernement (!), friends in Paris and their great desire- to fly!
McCullough does it again!
Title: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Who Knew? How could you tell? And they kept their "cool"!
This was a surprising history read. North vs South in all things. Women felt strongly to their side and did what they could to help their cause. Abbott goes into detail about 4 such women, varied in age and backgrounds but all much determined.
How does a woman disguise herself from being "Emma" to "Frank Thompson", a union soldier; Rose who used her young daughter to help in "activities"; southern belle who was an abolitionist and was part of a whole ring of spies and a 17 year old Belle who could shoot?
The story goes from North to South with Lincoln and Davis and generals that we may remember reading about. But here there is a turn, this is behind the scenes, in the trenches, on the front lines, riding, shooting, hiding, jailed (!) and still they go on.
This reads as a fast action story and you may learn deceitful technique!
Title: World Gone By
Joa Coughlin is back in this 3rd book. But have time changed?
From 1919 the world has raced forward til now, 1943, and has Joe's life changed? The gangs, the drugs the booze and now another war brings even more hard decisions for Joe to make: who is loyal or not, who stay, who goes. And that love in his life who he wants to protect, his son Tomas, is in the middle.
Lehaneis so good in brionging his characters out with that rough dialogue but their thoughts are so dense and hard. The gangs, the people, the families; the moral/immoral, the legal/illegal decisions. Then the same old issues: race, social levels, business, war- Joe deals with these issues.
If you've read (please do!) Given Day and Live by Night you may become attahced to Joe. You've seen him struggle at home and as an adult and wonder if there'll be some salvation for him.
This 3rd book is full of emotion and Lehane weaves all the issues and all the characters into the ending- and is that the end??
It's a sad, happy, funny, and real life. Lehane always handles his characters with the greatest of care. I just wonder if somehow... Joe might be back...
Title: Snake Bite (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #5)
Fans of Sherlock Holmes: ANOTHER action filled adventure!
I guess being Sherlock, thinking Sherlock, puts you in dangerous situations, so here you go!
This adventure is happening in the Far East aboard ship and then land in Shanghai. Sherlock is a true friend and always wants to study a situation BUT he and his friends need to act fast- save American Naval ship and crew, find that "snake" and keep themselves ALIVE!
Title: Master Thieves
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is beautiful museum filled with an extraordinary collections of various works of art and sculpture. Ms. Gardner was generous in creating this complex to house her treasures to be shared with the public.
Someone (or group) decided they needed 13 of the precious pieces of art- for what?? May 1990: thieves took the pieces- to where?? Who were these criminals?
This is an active file after 25 years and will the art work be returned? Kurkjian investigates and questions the FBI, gang members (rival gangs in Boston) and individuals.
This is an engaging trail of clues, leads, and lies. There is much I learned about the going on in Boston from the 1980s.
But no definitive answer to who or where; But the renewed hope that the art will be returned; but when?
With new informatiuon made public, the hope is that someone will come forward to lead the museum to the end, with the artwork safe and sound.
Great mystery read AND $5 million reward still on hand!
Title: A Garden of Marvels
We usually "marvel" at the extraordinary blooms and colors in our gardens. But we don't consider all the histroy and science behind how each plant got to be so special.
Kassinger takes us down the garden path and there we have encounters with various elements of life- plant, animal, and others. From early science experiments (1700s) concerning water and plants to the geologic past with the beginnings of branches of evolution to toxic remediation using our common ___ to how plants "eat" (!) and of course Darwin advising on plant sex.
Gardeners as well as natural history buffs will enjoy the fascinating information and humor. It should make you take a more informed look at the world at your feet- and beyond!
Title: Being Mortal
Gawande has written other books about doctors and medicine. One thing he stresses: people and feelings. Doctors (and nurses) need to be reminded of the art of medicine- the science and the humanity. One place this concept has become lost is caring for the aged and the infirm, ie nursing homes and assisted living. With the best of intentions, families try to find the best residence for family members with the safety a priority. Only safety is not what the aged are considering. They want a home feel. They look for the familiar or routines they're used to, NOT STERILE settings. They don't want to just exist but live with purpose their time. At a certain point, people value family, friends companionship more that striving for things and money.
With Gawande's thoroughness with medical issues and his sensitivity to people AND his sense of humor blending these together, you will take a second look at yourself just as he tells stories of people and places. And some can be quite outrageous!
No matter what the age, humans will stay happier if they have a goal, something where they'll feel useful and worthy. And that brings real living- no matter where.
Depressing- I think all the characters were in some state of upheaval. So why did I read this? I wanted a happy book!
Intriguing, you are totally drawn into the story- the incidents, the characters, the emotions. Kelly wrote an absorbing story. And, yes, it is sad and you get emotionally involved with the characters- as concerned for their welfare and who done it.
Murder, lies, twists and turns. And I'm ready for another of her books.
Broadchurch can be seen on DVD too. Check your local library.
Title: Chasing the Rose
A travel adventure? Family history? European history? And of course ROSES!
I guess this book is somewhat haunting to me- the size, the feel of it and the illustrations make it such an intimate read.
If you are a gardener (not just of roses), you'll appreciate the research Andrea has done to find the source of this special rose. A rose found surviving for hundreds of years on abandoned property and estates. But it is special because of it's fragrance- unique. AND there are references to Empress Josephine! A gently told tale of locations and passions of those who love and care for roses- and Andrea's great great great grandmother.
Title: The Long Way Home
Gamache is retired to Three Pines BUT he's back to work with his friend Clara. All the Three Pines residents are there except for Clara's husband Peter. And therein lies the mystery.
Another Penny novel delves more into the minds of the folks we've grown to love from the Three Pines. Clara's husband Peter, has seemed to disappear and the reason being??? And so Gamache and others research his past and whereabouts until they are led to an obscure village with some bizarre folks from Peter's past. It's an emotional episode...
Title: Travels with Casey
For Dog Lovers (and maybe others!) What is it about dogs and "their people"? That special bond? That understanding and feeling without speaking? Well, Benoit gets an RV and plans to travel with his dog Casey across America trying to understand relationships of dogs and humans.
Many encounters are laugh-out-loud funny, others terribly sad. Stops along the way tell tales that inspire dog lovers to, well, give their dog an extra hug!
Fun adventure- with dog!
Title: Elephant Company
incredible Burmese history
"Elephant Bill" started in Burma after WWI to work the forests and harvest teak. He was an animal lover and became the elephants' friend, doctor, schoolmaster. But the elephants also taught him about loyalty, commitment and love.
WWII touched Burma and the elephants were the only "tools" to use for building bridges, roads, and transporting refugees to India. These were NOT simple tasks. Dealing with various diseases, monsoon season, approaching Japanese army and little communication from military headquarters, Bill was on his own with a few good men- extraordinary villages too.
This is a hair-raising adventure, animal love story, reflection on war and a man who was special.
How were they going to get over a sheer stone mountain- with over 60 elephants and refugees in poor health? Read about THAT.
And don't forget to hug an elephant- so like humans with emotions...
Title: Spider Woman's Daughter
Chee and Leaphorn are back- thanks to Anne Hillerman, Tony's daughter. Those who have enjoyed these wonderfully descriptive scenes of Navajo territory, the traditional cultural stories AND the modern drama of mysteries will be caught up in this new drama.
Now we have a husband/wife teaming up to find who and why Leaphorn was shot. All the different leads are not connected-until they find themselves dealing with a cold case and new museum involvement.
A page turner of drama but also the thoughtful interrelations of family and coworkers which bring the team to caring and support for their mentor.
I hope she continues these stories!
Did you know there was a BIG difference with white women waitresses and black waiters? Do you remember Horn & Hardart Automat? Bet you didn't know this time period was the start of Fast Food where food was "just like mom's"- fresh and wholesome. Coffee was fresh ground and brewed- came out of ornate brass spouts after traveling through copper pipes! There was also segregated seating- for men and ladies BUT WHO was a lady?? Dyspepsia was a common ailment of the rush to eat big meals!
You may want to read The Jungle by Sinclair Lewis about the meat processing which this book goes into with some detail!!
Box lunches, lunch rooms, career girls, working men, sanitation, and extravagance (and bizarre) in eating plus the buildings and dining areas themselves- so much exciting history related to food and the public health.
You should read this entertaining and well illustrated book so you get an understanding of how far (or not) we've come with our food.
Strike is back and another twisted case of a bizarre* murder. Funny, that this focuses on writers and publishers! The twists, turns, re-interviews may confuse you since there are many "twisted" characters. But the author keeps them all connected and you guessing who done it. And then you'll learn more about Strike and his background, war injury, and family. Robin is back in the office but how is her fiance taking her job? There comes some heated discussions!!
Glad this team of Strike and Robin are back (they are a team). And I'll be looking for more intriguing plots for future investigations.
*bizarre is a kind word!
And it was delicious! The book that is, I still have to try the recipe.
It's a coming together of people and food. The characters are wonderful- all different in their eccentricities and yet they all are part of a neighborhood and passion for food.
But not just food for Billie and Sammy and Mitch- there is a mystery with history and- you guessed it- food!
You'll enjoy the interactions and be surprised at some. There is the neighborhood where (if some of us recall shopping in specific stores for specific items i.e. butcher, bakery, etc.) families and food interact which may bring your own memories from your history.
And a twist- unraveling a mystery of letters, hidden rooms, searching for people and a historical time of WWII dealing with food shortages and prejudice.
I think I did mention food- you may need to sustain yourself!
A "delight" of people, their interactions with the power of food and the power of friends and family.
Title: Dog Gone, Back Soon
I don't understand Doc Trout- he is just remarkable, extraordinary and sharp!
Between some chapters, I had to take deep breaths- because my ribs hurt from laughing. The story continues with Cyrus, ole Doc Lewa, beehive hairdo Doris (who knows us all) and Amy (Cyrus' heartthrob). The twisting romantic journey (you'll be surprised) of Cyrus and Amy, those teenage computer wizzes, the "rabid" business competition of a new high tech vet practice (vs. Doc Cyrus and Bedside MAnor). And of course people and their pets rattle your brains and body. Doc Cyrus shows his compassions for all AND there are many incidents of traumatic pet illness as well as human interaction.
The mystery of illness means Doc Cyrus is a detective (or I could say Doc Trout, the author). He is also a caring person. What he (Doc Trout) does is blend the serious and emotional issues with humar- that will keep you laughing and thinking.
Title: The Remedy
Consumption (TB), anthrax, rabies, cholera- diseases which have been infecting people around the world for generations. Were they caused by miasma, fate, heredity, or some "animalcules"? This book is certainly an enlightenment as to the personality and science of the mid 1800s medicine. Goetz brings this medical history to a race: Pasteur, Lister, Koch, Vinchrow; Germany, France, England. What were these men working on (investigating) and how did the scientific thought process, inventions (Koch made camera to photograph microbe) and experiments (sometimes on themselves) come together in a treatment or cure for an illness?
Sherlock Holmes? Conan Doyle was a doctor and a writer who blended his medical training in observations and details for diagnosis into his characters.
It's certainly interesting how we got to this modern point in medicine. But watch/listen/read the latest medical issues- "re-issue" of same illness because of humanity and conflict!
Title: Ice Dogs
If you're a girl who is looking for an adventure, of the uncommon kind AND loves dogs, this may be for you.
Alaska, racing with sled dogs, and then disaster- Victoria goes to the aid of an accident victim- young man and a snowmobile. The "aid" becomes a survival trip for Victoria and Chris AND the dogs. Snowstorms, injuries, breakdowns- and loss-
The story is full of all things related to survival and special care of sled dogs.
Action packed adventure!
Title: Savage Girl
Can a "wild girl" from a Nevada sideshow be brought to NYC and made into a "lady" circa 1900? The Delegate, wealthy family from NYC decided to experiment and began the challenge.
Zimmerman does wonderful non-fiction books and this, her second novel, blends all of the day to day life of the wealthy as well as all the background of living at that time. The railroads, politics, fashion, education, etc.
The book has a mystical feel to it as there are bizarre murders and lots of action. It pulls you right along through the brothels and streets and ball rooms as the family struggles with their diminishing finances.
The history is here and definitely the mystery as well!
Title: Black Ice
More adventures with Sherlock!
Brother Mycroft is supected of murder. AND the evidence is strongly against him! But as you can imagine, young Sherlock, still in training, is determined to find the truth and free his brother.
There are bizarre twists and turns and a variety of setting that are unsettling! Full of action and intrigue.
If you too are learning the ways of investigating, keep your notebook handy!
Title: Book of Ages
I'll have to begin this note with the author's ending- Jane Franklin: "-this archive, a quiet story of a quiet life of quiet sorrow and quieter beauty."
This book seemed to grow on me- Jane, Ben's sister, wrote to her brother through all her life with the trials and tribulations. Reading her letters was like being part of their family history in the time of British occupation, America Revolution and brother Bens public writings (quite humorous) in America and Europe.
The "visual" writing took getting used to, Jane was not educated but her spelling of words were still effective. Her thoughts, worldly at time, and yet so personal of what and how it was like to live in the mid 1700s. Disruptive and hardships with her family and the political changes in this new America. This was a real life, lived.
Jane and brother Ben were part of a big family, but they were always close with Ben teaching her how to write. They were called Jenny & Benny.
There is also insight into Benjamin Franklin's businesses, politics, and life.
Great historical read and I like Lepore's melding of personal and public issues of the family. Sensitive...
Title: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
This book is a special treat especially for those that enjoy British comedy as seen on PBS. You can picture the scenes and antics of all the characters as they go about their "doings" in the village. The characters are delightful. There is intrigue! A touch of romance and much laughter round out this uplifting story. With a "spot of tea" of course served in a "real mug", you'll be brought to terms with family, sons, religion, and race. But remember to enjoy the tour of the village via the people!
Some of the Major's words of wisdom:
> He is "medically allergic" to children
> Kids eat the icing off cupcakes and put them back on the platter naked and dissolving with spit!
> People spend so much time and energy on the adverse judgement of others.