Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Carnegie Medal for Fiction and Nonfiction Winners Announced

If you love to read books from award lists, try the winners of the first ever Carnegie Medal for Fiction and Nonfiction:

Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright.

The momentous drama of everyday life; the volatile connections between people for those entangled in an adulterous affair; the wry, accurate take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age. With The Forgotten Waltz Enright turns her attention to love, following another unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart.

Catherine the Great by Robert Massie

Massie presents a reconstruction of the eighteenth-century empress's life that covers her efforts to engage Russia in the cultural life of Europe, her creation of the Hermitage, and her numerous scandal-free romantic affairs.  SH

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Karsh : Beyond the Camera

Edited by David Travis,  Karsh : Beyond the Camera is a retrospective of the famous photographer's career spanning 50 years. The black and white collection is spellbinding even in its reproduction due to Karsh' expert use of light and setting in the pre-digital age.Travis, former Curator of  Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, draws on several hours of taped recollections between Karsh and Jerry Fiedler, his longtime assistant, of portrait sessions which have previously been unreleased. These narratives, paired with each photograph, reveal the photographer's psychological insight and personal thoughts about his subjects.
Yousuf Karsh was born in Turkey in 1908 and was a survivor of the Armenian genocide before escaping to Canada. The memories of the horrors he witnessed as a boy remained with him all his life.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Space Race

Neil Armstrong the first man to walk on the Moon has died at the age of 82. Remember the race to the Moon with these books.

John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon
     by John M. Logsdon
JFK actively involved himself in space decisions and several times reviewed his decision to go to the Moon, each time concluding that the benefits of being the leader in space outweighed the massive costs of the lunar landing enterprise. Logsdon traces the evolution of JFK’s thinking and policy up until his assassination

The Race: The Uncensored Story of How America Beat Russia to the Moon
     by James L. Schefter
The messy and glorious saga of the golden years of the American space program, told in never-before-revealed detail by a man who was there. Life reporter Schefter could not write a fraction of what he saw then for PR reasons.Now, at last, he can tell it all.

Race to the Moon: America's Duel with the Soviets
     by William B. Breuer
Race to the Moon is the first book to trace the entire story of how America got to the moon before Communist Russia.
The book reads like an espionage thriller.

One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 Remembered
     by Piers Bizony
The first moon landing in July 1969 captured the imagination of the world as no subsequent "space spectacular" has.  Forty years later, space historian Piers Bizony has produced a stunning visual record of this unparalleled mission.
The Book of the Moon
     by Rick Stroud
To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of man's first steps on the moon, a visually striking cornucopia of everything worth knowing about our closest neighbor in space.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's new in Fiction and Mystery for August?

Here are some books coming out in August:

Bones are Forever
by Kathy Reichs
Forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan and Detective Ryan are back.  This case involves the world of diamond mining.

The St. Zita Society
by Ruth Rendell
Interactions between residents and their servants in a fancy London neighborhood turn to violence.

by Benjamin Black
A bizarre suicide leads to scandal in another mystery by acclaimed novelist John Banville. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tyson Recommends: Napoleonic Wars

"History as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science, and government – history as our roots and our illumination, as the road by which we came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide us into the future." "It is, as Napoleon said on St. Helena, “the only true philosophy and the only true psychology.”

 - Will Durant

by Roy Adkins

Nelson's Trafalgar  is a brutally vivid, gunport level account of the 1805 clash between Britain’s Royal Navy under the command of Horatio Nelson and Napoleon’s forces off the coast of Spain.

by Allesandro Barbero, Translated by John Cullen

This account by the Italian historian stands apart from previous histories by giving voice to all the nationalities that took part in the titanic and bloody struggle, invoking the memories of British, French, and Prussian soldiers.

by David A. Bell

Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleon's day and our own -- including the way that ambition "wars of liberation," such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into a gruesome guerrilla conflict.

 by Charles Esdaile

Historian Charles Esdaile argues that the chief motivating factor for Napoleon was his insatiable desire for fame and portrays Europe’s infighting as the consequence of rulers who were willing to take the immense risks of either fighting or supporting Napoleon.

by Michel Franceschi, Ben Weider, Translated by Jonathan M. House

The authors argue that the caricature of the megalomaniac conqueror who bled Europe white to satisfy his delirious ambitions and insatiable love for war is groundless.

 by Gerard Gengembre, Pierre-Jean Chalencon, and David Chanteranne

Lavishly illustrated, this volume includes rare and previously unpublished material, not only on Napoleon's military victories but also on his innovations in government, banking, universal education, a well organized code of law, public museums, and an efficient civil service.

 by Alastair Horne

The Battle of Austerlitz was Napoleon's crowing victory. It was also the beginning of his downfall. Historian Alistair Horne chronicles the rise and fall of Napoleon, drawing parallels with other great leaders of the modern era.

 by Dominic Lieven

A fresh examination of Russian military archives only open to Western researchers since 1991, Lieven provides the first-ever history of the longest military campaign in European history told from the Russian perspective.
 by Noel  Mostert

 This narrative ranges from the Mediterranean to the West Indies, Egypt to Scandinavia, showing how land versus sea was the key to the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars.

by Jonathon Riley
A major general in the British army uses three campaigns - Napoleon's first campaign in Italy, the conquest of Prussia in 1806, and the Battle of the Nations in 1813 - to analyze Napoleon’s generalship.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Books into Movies for September

The Eye of the Storm is based on the 1973 novel by Nobel Prize-winning Australian novelist Patrick White. Directed by Fred Schepisi, the drama stars Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis, Colin Friels, and Dustin Clare.

Killing Them Softly is based on George V. Higgin's 1974 crime novel Cogan's Trade. Directed by Andrew Dominik, the film stars Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini and Ben Mendelsohn.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's 1999 coming-of-age YA novel. Directed by Chbosky, the film stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, and Nina Dobrev.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who Speaks for the Negro?

 In 1965 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren published Who Speaks for the Negro? Warren, a white southerner, interviewed a few dozen people influential in the struggle for civil rights and published the interviews in the book. His tapes of the interviews, recorded on his reel-to-reel tape recorder, are now available digitally from Vanderbilt University. They are no less than fascinating. Here are Martin Luther King, Robert Moses and Adam Clayton Powell speaking  in offices or living rooms--not from the pulpit or stage. Here are James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison speaking in conversation rather than from the pages of their books. And Warren is no slouch himself. Listen to him spar with Malcolm X on the culpability of individual White people (however well-meaning) for the oppression of Blacks. (And listen too, to James Farmer's put down of Malcolm as a talker, not a doer.) The interviewees include-- in addition to the who's who of top leaders--rank and file activists, women, and white sympathizers.If you have any interest at all in the Civil Rights Movement in the US, you will surely appreciate these recordings.(Thanks to the ResearchBuzz blog for the recommendation.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sue Recommends Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins

Are getting bored with the lazy days of summer?  Try an action packed suspense novel by James Rollins titled Bloodline: ASigma Force novel.  

Rollins brings together a team of elite operatives, a holy treasure (the staff of Jesus Christ) that was uncovered by a Templar knight, Somali pirates, a kidnapping of a mother and her unborn child, and a centuries-old conspiracy to manipulate our genetic code to weave a story that leaves you anxious to see what happens next.
I listened to the book on cd and the reader is excellent.  Believe me, this book is anything but boring!  SH

Mars With Life

The Curiosity Rover has successfully landed on Mars.  It's mission is to find sings of ancient prehistoric life on the planet.  Here are a few books in which Mars has life.

      by Stirling, S. M.
In the parallel world aliens terraformed Mars (and Venus) two hundred million years ago, seeding them with life-forms from Earth. By the year 2000, America, Russia, and the other great powers of Earth are all contending for influence and power amid the newly-discovered inhabitants of our sister planets. On Mars, early hominids evolved civilization earlier than their earthly cousins, driven by the needs of a harsh world growing still harsher as the initial terraforming runs down.  Now, in a new stand-alone adventure set in this world's 2000 AD, Jeremy Wainman is an archaeologist who has achieved a lifelong dream; to travel to Mars and explore the dead cities of the Deep Beyond, searching for the secrets of the Kings Beneath the Mountain and the fallen empire they ruled.

Mars Trilogy: A Princess of Mars - The Gods of Mars - The Warlord of Mars
     by Burroughs, Edgar Rice; Fischer, Scott M. (Illustrator); Gustafson, Scott (Illustrator); Zug, Mark (Illustrator)

The first three John Carter of Mars books in a 100th anniversary edition. Ever since A Princess of Mars was published in 1912, readers of all ages have read and loved Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series. Still fun even after 100 years.

War of the Worlds: New Millenium
     by Niles, Douglas
First the Mars probe picked up an anomaly. Then NASA saw some strange activity, and many stargazers noticed meteorites rocketing towards earth. A cylinder surreptitiously landed in Wisconsin, then another, and another. The War of the Worlds had begun. Niles follows in the great tradition of Wells' original masterpiece. As tripods leave a swath of destruction across the Americas, Washington groups some of its great minds to solve the problem as the Pentagon throws at the invaders the latest hardware the military has to offer. At stake is the survival of the human race and the dominion of planet earth.  A Clancy like techno-thriller.

What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the Worlds not as entertainment but as a warning to the complacent people of Earth? International bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson, writing here as Gabriel Mesta, explores that tantalizing theory in this unique, thrilling novel that expertly evokes the Victorian era. From drafty London flats to the steamy Sahara, to the surface of the moon and beyond, The Martian War takes the reader on an exhilarating journey with Wells and his companions -- and is pure delight from start to finish.

The Day the Martians Came
     by Pohl, Frederik
Henry Steegman is hardly "Mr. Personality" aboard the Mars-bound Algonquin 9. Yet it is he who bungles upon the spectacular Macy's-like city beneath the Red Planet's crust. For better or worse, the name Steegman will be immortalized by a discovery that will transform millions of lives. A collection of connected stories which investigate the impact the discovery of life on Mars has on the everyday life of humans.