Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ category

THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morgenstern

December 23rd, 2019

Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories.  The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight.  But those who seek will find.  Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door.  When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library, he begins to read & is entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, nameless acolytes.  Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood, impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.  Zachary meets two people who will change the course of his life.  The three of them venture deeper into an intoxicating world searching for answers.  A timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, & ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a number one national bestseller that has been sold around the world & translated into 37 languages.

GPL:  F MORGENST

ALONE AT DAWN— by Dan Schilling & Lori Chapman Longfritz

November 30th, 2019

Alone At Dawn—Medal of Honor recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force

In the pre-dawn hours of March 4, 2002, just below the 10,496-foot peak of a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, a fierce battle raged.  Outnumbered by Al Qaeda fighters, Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman & a handful of Navy SEALs struggled to take the summit in a desperate bid to find a lost teammate. Believing he was dead, his SEAL leader ordered a retreat.  Chapman regained consciousness alone, with the enemy closing in on three sides.

Chapman knowing he was mortally wounded, single-handedly engaged two dozen hardened fighters to save the lives of an incoming rescue squad.  This posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor.  Chapman is the first airman in nearly 50 years to be given the distinction reserved for America’s greatest heroes.

Written by Dan Schilling, a 30-year special operations & Combat Control veteran, and  Lori Chapman Longfritz, sister of John Chapman, was a long-time advocate for John’s Medal of Honor & is proud to share the story of her brother, who stood out from the ordinary long before he ever put on a uniform.

GPL: 92 Chapman

 

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