Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Great History Books of 2015 (Part 1)

 These books look at the important historical figures, and events, and ordinary people that made the world what it is today. It was not inevitable that history would turn out the way it did.

spqrS.P.Q.R. A History of Ancient Rome
by Mary Beard
Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others. Beard expands the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome’s glorious conquests.  Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record.

Ardennes 1944
Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge
by Antony Beevor
Prizewinning historian Antony Beevor takes an in depth look at the Ardennes offensive, one of the greatest battles of World War II. Deeply researched, this riveting new account examines a battle that would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.


The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
by Joseph J. Ellis
The unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history.

The Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War That Won It

by John Ferling

Written in Ferling’s engaging and narrative-driven style that made books like Independence and The Ascent of George Washington critical and commercial successes, Whirlwind is a fast-paced and scrupulously told one-volume history of this epochal time. Balancing social and political concerns with a careful examination of the war itself, Ferling has crafted the ideal book for armchair military history buffs, a book about the causes of the American Revolution, the war that won it.

Great DivideThe Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson t hat Defined a Nation
by Thomas Fleming
Acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming examines how the differing temperaments and leadership styles of Washington and Jefferson shaped two opposing views of the presidency–and the nation. The clash between these two gifted men, both of whom cared deeply about the United States of America, profoundly influenced the next two centuries of America’s history and resonates in the present day.

Guest at the shooters banquet
A Guest at the Shooters’ Banquet: My Grandfather’s SS Past, My Jewish Family, a Search for the Truth
by Rita Gabis
Rita Gabis comes from a family of Eastern European Jews and Lithuanian Catholics. She was close to her Catholic grandfather as a child and knew one version of his past: prior to immigration he had fought the Russians, whose brutal occupation of Lithuania destroyed thousands of lives before Hitler’s army swept in.  Five years ago, Gabis discovered an unthinkable dimension to her family story: from 1941 to 1943, her grandfather had been the chief of security police under the Gestapo in a Lithuanian town.

SpainSpain: The Center of the World, 1519-1682
by Robert Goodwin
The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change, it was a time when Spain learned to rule the world. Spain is a sweeping and revealing portrait of Spain at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of the modern age.

Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women

by Sarah Helm
A masterly and moving account of the most horrific hidden atrocity of World War II: Ravensbrück, the only Nazi concentration camp built for women.  While the core of this book is told from inside the camp, the story also sheds new light on the evolution of the wider genocide, the impotence of the world to respond, and Himmler’s final attempt to seek a separate peace with the Allies using the women of Ravensbrück as a bargaining chip. Chilling, inspiring, and deeply unsettling.

Struggle for israel Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947
by Bruce Hoffman
A landmark history, based on newly available documents, of the battles between Jews, Arabs, and the British that led to the creation of Israel.  The  story of how Britain, in the twilight of empire, struggled and ultimately failed to reconcile competing Arab and Jewish demands and uprisings. This towering narrative, is essential to anyone wishing to understand not just the origins of modern-day Israel, but also the methodology of terrorism and the current situation in the Middle East.

our man in charleston
Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South
by Christopher Dickey
Between the Confederacy and recognition by Great Britain stood one unlikely Englishman. When Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunch’s job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


The Last Armada: Queen Elizabeth, Juan Del Águila, and the 100-Day Invasion of England

by Des Ekin 

Ireland: Christmas Eve, 1601.

As thunder crashes and lightning rakes the sky, three very different commanders line up for a battle that will decide the fate of a nation. General Juan del Águila has been sprung from a prison cell to command the last great Spanish armada. His mission: to seize a bridgehead in Queen Elizabeth's England and hold it.

Facing him is Charles Blount, a brilliant English strategist whose career is also under a cloud. His affair with a married woman edged him into a treasonous conspiracy, and brought him to within a hair's breadth of the gallows.

Meanwhile, Irish insurgent Hugh O'Neill knows that this is his final chance to drive the English out of Ireland.

For each man, this is the last throw of the dice. Tomorrow they will be either heroes or failures. These colorful commanders come alive in this true story of courage and endurance, of bitterness and betrayal, and of drama and intrigue at the highest levels in the courts of England and Spain.

The story of the last great naval battle between England and Spain, evoking a number of colorful and dangerous personalities who fought in the climactic conclusion to these two countries’ great rivalry on the sea.


Monday, December 21, 2015


By: Neal Shusterman

Find out what happens to Connor, Risa, and Lev now that they've finally destroyed the Proactive Citizenry in this collection of short stories set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman. Connor Lassiter's fight to bring down Proactive Citizenry and find a suitable alternative to unwinding concluded in UnDivided . Now Connor, Risa, and Lev are free to live in a peaceful future--or are they? Neal Shusterman brings back his beloved Unwind characters for his fans to see what's left for those who were destined to be unwound.

Shared by: Cara

Saturday, December 19, 2015


The Social Media Job Search Workbook: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Work in the Age of Social Media 

By: Joshua Waldman, MBA

You've probably heard that social media can make or break your search for a job. But exactly how do you conduct an effective social media job search? Where do you turn for the best job search advice? What does it take to find a job today?Joshua Waldman knows. He wrote the popular book Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies. And now he has created this workbook, The Social Media Job Search Workbook. What can this workbook help you accomplish? - Get interviews faster- Attract recruiters- Increase your chances of finding meaningful work in record timeWhy a workbook? Because landing your dream job takes more than knowledge--it takes action. This workbook's friendly format helps you translate valuable knowledge into invaluable action based on your unique skills, interests, and appeal to employers. Waldman takes the worry out of the process as he guides you through the right steps in the right order, from positioning to polishing to publishing. He shares his proven process for crafting a job-attracting message that works for the online audience you want to reach. Waldman's tips on using today's tools--especially LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter--will give you the confidence and clarity you need to fine-tune your own powerful social media job search.


Eisenhower's Armies: The American-British Alliance During World War II

by Niall Barr
This dynamic new history provides a fresh perspective on many of the controversies and critical strategic decisions of World War II. 

The Anglo-American relationship from 1941-1945 proved to be the most effective military alliance in history. Yet there were also constant tensions and disagreements that threatened to pull the alliance apart. This book highlights why the unprecedented level of cooperation between the very different American and British forces eventually led to victory but also emphasizes the tensions and controversies which inevitably arose. 

Based on considerable archival research, this work considers the breadth and depth of the relationship from high-level strategic decisions, the rivalries and personalities of the commanders to the ordinary British and American soldiers who fought alongside one another. 

The book also looks back and demonstrates how the legacy of previous experience shaped the decisions of the war.  Eisenhower's Armies is the story of two very different armies learning to live, work, and fight together even in the face of serious strategic disagreements. 

In highlighting the cooperation, tensions, and disagreements inherent in this military alliance, this work shows that Allied victory was far from pre-ordained and proves that the business of making this alliance work was vital for eventual success.  
Eisenhower's Armies is a very human story about the efforts of many individuals, famous or otherwise, who worked and argued together to defeat Hitler's Germany.


Friday, December 18, 2015


Walking Wounded: Uncut Stories from Iraq
Written by: Olivier Morel
Art by: Maël
Translated by: Edward Gauvin

For thousands of young Americans, after the shock of 9/11, there was Ar Ramadi, Baghdad, Abu Ghraib and then the war in Iraq. Then came the trauma. Olivier Morel gave them a voice in his compelling documentary On the Bridge. Walking Wounded is the story of Morel getting close to the young vets, their troubled experience and their lives after the war. He and artist Mael relate through these veterans the impossible return of those who aspire to get back to a normal life.

A graphic novel illustrating the challenges and victories of Iraq War veterans. A new addition to our graphic novel section. On display on the second floor at the main library. 

Shared by: Cara

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Never Always Sometimes
By: Adi Alsaid

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliche high school kids--the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school. Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember. Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love. 

Watch the book trailer

Shared by: Cara

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
By: Leslye Walton 

Named a 2015 Morris Award finalist by YALSA, which "honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature."

Born with bird wings, Ava Lavender is well aware that love has long made fools of her family. When pious Nathanial Sorrows mistakes her bird wings for angel wings, 16-year-old Ava faces the man's growing obsession, which comes to a head with the rain and feathers that fly through the air during a nighttime summer solstice celebration.

"Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga."

Watch the book trailer!

Shared by: Cara