Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ category

“KIRK and ANNE” by Kirk & Anne Douglas, with Marcia Newberger

June 24th, 2017

kirk & anne

KIRK and ANNE :  Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, published in 2017, takes a look back on a lifetime filled with love and drama both on and off the screen.  Sharing priceless correspondence with each other as well as the celebrities and world leaders they called friends; a candid portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls of a Hollywood life.

Kirk’s and Anne’s vivid descriptions of their 60+ years of  experiences reveal remarkable insight and anecdotes about legendary figures they knew so well.  From the very beginning they were opposites who could not help but attract.  Kirk wears his heart on his sleeve; Anne protects hers with a caution borne of bearing life’s burdens with dignity and strength.

Kirk has distinguished himself as an actor, producer, philanthropist and author.  Anne built her career in the film industry as a publicist. She met Kirk during the making of Act of Love (1953) and they married a year later.


GPL: 920 Douglas


May 9th, 2017

the canal house“The Canal House takes the reader to far-away and troubled places and tells the story of four people whose lives are forever changed by their experiences with violence, disaster and treachery.  While there is plenty of action, the real story—the story of a photographer so divorced from his subjects and from life that he cannot be said to be fully alive—moves with telling subtlety toward a gripping denouement.” -Robert Bausch, author of The Gypsy Man.  

Mark Lee is an experienced foreign correspondent.  His knowledge of that life comes across powerfully in this somber novel.  Lee clearly knows his locations and a great deal about aid organizations, journalistic scoops and human suffering and need.

Daniel McFarland, the main character, has refined his life of a war correspondent down to an art.  He falls in love with Dr Julia Caldell, an idealistic doctor and begins to see the world anew.

GPL: F Lee



April 22nd, 2017

Underground AirlinesThis novel takes place in present day America except for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

“Victor”, a young black man, is acting as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service returning runaway slaves from the Hard Four, the places that slavery is allowed to exist: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Carolina [North and South Carolina are only one large state.

Victor suppresses the memories of his childhood on a plantation and works to infiltrate the abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines.  A figure of speech: it’s the root of a grand, extended metaphor, “pilots”, “stewards”, “baggage handlers”, “gate agents” “connecting flights” and “airport security”.  The Airlines flies on the ground, in package trucks,unmarked cars and stolen tractor-trailers.  It flies in the illicit adjustment on packing slips, bribery of border security agents…

A rich novel of a terrifyingly alternate America.  Everything is possible.

GPL: F Winters

FEAR OF BEAUTY -by Susan Froetschel

March 23rd, 2017

fear of beautySusan Froetschel makes the Afghanistan conflict real on a personal level.  It is a tale rich with thought-provoking themes.  The Afghan way of life is expressed mostly by the main character, Sofi.  She is an industrious, hard-working,introspective woman in her village and she cares for her family as well as she can.  But Afghan ways for women are much different than for men and boys.  Sofi begins to understand written words but she must keep that secret to herself.

The American military unit arrives outside the village and sets up camp with the mere purpose of enhancing Afghani agriculture. The Taliban infuses its ugly face into the villagers’ lives.

These three entities-the villagers, the Americans, the Taliban-come together in this novel in a way that helps our understanding of what it really is like in Afghanistan.

“Fearing beauty in itself is not evil.  It’s understandable to fear what’s new or what we cannot control.  The Koran warns against suspicion, and evil emerges when we prevent discovery of beauty by others.  I’m sure more than ever before that it’s best to live life intent on controlling ourselves more than on controlling others.”  -Sofi

GPL : F Froetsch

WILD BY NATURE by Sarah Marquis

January 24th, 2017

wildWild by Nature is vibrant epic of human ingenuity, resilience and persistence. For the last twenty-three years, Sarah Marquis has circumnavigated the globe, solo, on foot.  She is a National Geographic Explorer.   In Wild by Nature, Ms Marquis takes you on the trail of her ten-thousand-mile solo hike across the remote Gobi Desert from Siberia to Thailand and then she was transported by boat to complete her three-year trek in the Australian bush.

Against nearly insurmountable odds and relying on her own wits, Sarah Marquis survived the Mafia, drug dealers, thieves on horseback who harassed her tent every night for weeks, temperatures from sub-zero to scorching, a dengue fever delirium in the Laos jungle, life-threatening wildlife, tropical ringwormin northern Thailand, dehydration, and a life-threatening abscess.

One woman, 10,000 miles on foot, 6 countries, 8 pairs of hiking boots, 3,000 cups of tea, 1,000 days and nights.  For Marquis, her story is about freedom and being alive and wild by nature.

GPL 613.69