Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ category

THE OVERSTORY -by Richard Powers

November 13th, 2019

An AIR FORCE LOADMASTER  in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.

An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut.

A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another.

These, and other strangers—each summoned in different ways by trees—are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.  From the roots to the crown and back to seeds, The Overstory,   by  Richard Powers unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet:  the one taking place between humans and nonhumans.  There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected,resourceful, magnificently inventive, & almost invisible to us.  This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world & who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.  If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us?

GPL:  F Powers

THE TRUFFLE UNDERGROUND -Ryan Jacobs

October 30th, 2019

A THRILLING JOURNEY THROUGH THE HIDDEN UNDERWORLD OF THE MOST PRIZED LUXURY INGREDIENT

Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy,sabotage,and fraud.  Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and they fear losing trade secrets to spies.  Hunters plant poisoned meatballs to eliminate rival truffle-hunting dogs.  Naive buyers and even knowledgeable experts are duped by liars and counterfeiters.

The Truffle Underground is deeply reported and elegantly written by Ryan Jacobs, who began this investigation for The Atlantic.  This page-turning expose documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash.  Through it all, a question lingers:  What, other than money, draws people to these dirt-covered jewels?

GPL: 381.415 JACOBS

THE INSTITUTION by Stephen King

October 16th, 2019

From America’s most trusted storyteller, #1  New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, tells the most riveting and unforgettable story about kids confronting evil since It. 

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’ parents and load him into a black SUV.  This takes less than two minutes.  Like will wake up at  The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window.  And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did.  These kids are all in Front Half.

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts.  There are no scruples here.  If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines.  If you don’t, punishment is brutal.  As each new victim disappears to Balk Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help.  But no one has ever escaped from The Institute. 

The Institute is Stephen King‘s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good versus evil in a world where the good guys don’t  always win.

                                                    GPL:  F King

WHERE THE LIGHT ENTERS by Jill Biden

October 4th, 2019

“How did you get this number?”  Those were the first words Jill Biden spoke to US senator Joe Biden when he called her out of the blue to ask her on a date.  An early heartbreak had left her uncertain about love, until she met Joe.  As they grew closer, Jill faced difficult questions:  How would politics shape her family and professional life?  And was she ready to become a mother to Joe’s two young sons?  Through the challenges of public scrutiny, complicated family dynamics, and personal losses, she grew alongside her family, and she extended the family circle at every turn:  with her students, military families, friends and staff at the White House, and more.

From the pranks she played to keep everyone laughing to the traditions she formed that would carry them through tragedy, hers is the spirited journey of a woman embracing many roles.  Where the Light Enters is a candid, heartwarming glimpse into the creation of a beloved American family, and the life of the woman at its center.

 

GPL: 92 Biden

DRACULA by BRAM STOKER

September 19th, 2019

A pale moon silhouettes the dark castle that sits on the distant mountain.  The howl of the wind seems far away but the cold chill hovers ominously in the fog that drifts along the path ahead.  It’s just a story, I tell myself as I turn the pages

In a series of journals, letters, & notes, Jonathan Harker & others take us through this deliciously scary tale of their encounter with the vampire known as Count Dracula.  Dracula has decided to move from Transylvania to London, where the strange lifestyle he leads will not frighten away those who might come across his path.  Jonathan Harker has traveled from London to Transylvania to facilitate the transfer of property in London for Count Dracula, so Jonathan stays at the Transylvania castle. Jonathan begins to question his own sanity:  Are the strange things he’s seeing real?   Could any of it be his imagination?

Although Dracula was first published at the end of the 19th century, the mystery is as compelling as any contemporary novel, & much, much scarier.

 

GPL: YF Stoker