Renegade Champion, the Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada

Friday, May 29, 2009
Richard R. Rust

This book is about Jane Pohl, a daughter of a West Point army officer, and the horse, Fitzrada, with whom she forged a great partnership. If you love horses, you will really like this book. Even if you are not interested in horses, you may be interested in the historical aspects of the book regarding the army, West Point, and women’s lives in the 1940s and 50s. Fitzrada came from the U.S. army calvary stock and was scheduled to be destroyed. He was rescued by Jane and her father and became one of the most well-known show jumpers in the late 1940s. They won many championships together. Most men could not ride him but over the course of 5 years of training and riding, Jane and Fitz became true partners. Jane was a pioneer of her time—leading the way for women to be included on the Olympic equestrian teams. My only complaint is that I would have liked more photos to be included in the book.

Margaret B., Reference

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Three Cups of Tea...One Man's Mission to Promote Peace and Build Nations...One School at a Time

Friday, May 29, 2009
Greg Mortenson

An extraordinary story. Greg Mortenson, a former mountain climber, discovers his true life mission by building schools for the poor, mountainous villagers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His journey is an inspiring adventure tale. You will be enlightened and discover interesting facts about this region of the world seen through his eyes. This book is inspiring. Greg has turned a single promise to a small village into a life mission. His determination to build schools in remote areas that have hostile environments that sometimes include hostile insurgents is awesome. The story is one of hope and encouragement. One person can make a difference that can change the world.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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The Gift of Years, Growing Older Gracefully

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Joan Chittister
Wonderful advice for people facing retirement and who are reaching 70 years of age. The author tells how to live these years productively and with purpose. Each chapter, labeled Fear, Joy, Loneliness, Sadness, etc. explains what to do and ends with a 'burden of these years' and a 'blessing of these years.' I found this book very helpful as I plan to retire in a year or so.
Sue N., Youth Services

The New Earth

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Eckhart Tolle

Tolle is able to take complex concepts about enlightenment, human nature and behavior and weave in examples from the Bible, Buddhism, Taoism, as well as history’s greatest thinkers and artists. His skill at tying all of this together is very impressive. He thoroughly describes all the facets of living a life with presence and awareness, rather than living out the roles and inner thoughts by which we have come to define ourselves. Some of his terminology can be challenging, but he usually gives clear definitions as he goes along. For example, his explanation of a human being: Human is "...the functions you fulfill, whatever you do--all that belongs to the human dimension". Being is "found in the still, alert presence of Consciousness itself, the Consciousness that you are." "Human is form. Being is formless. Human and Being are not separate but interwoven."

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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Running With the Bulls; My years with the Hemingways

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Valerie Hemingway

An interesting look at a life style that is so different from my own. As a teenager, Valerie Danby-Smith gets a job working for Ernest Hemingway during his years in Spain and Cuba (about 1959-1961). Her relationship with the Hemingways is what this book is all about. She does have a lot of insight and revelations about the years spent with them and tells her story in a interesting way. I didn't care for all the name dropping but it was probably necessary to tell the story of their lives. After Ernest death, Valerie marries Gregory, his son. This was one roller-coaster of a marriage and a tragic story itself. It was brave of her to tell it.

Margaret, Reference

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The Peacock Princess

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sara Harris and Barbara Mosallai Bell

I found this book while looking for princess stories for the kids. It is the true life story of an American woman (and her daughters) who married an Iranian man and was trapped in Iran with brutal conditions and home life. It reminded me of Sally Field's "Not Without My Daughter" and its always amazing to me how some of the middle eastern men do a complete turnabout when they leave the U. S. and return to their homeland.

Sue N, Youth Services

Forgotten Ellis Island: the Extraordinary Story of America's Immigrant Hospital

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Lorie Conway

Most of us know something of Ellis Island and the amazing number of immigrants who entered the United States in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.We study the hows and whys that so many left their native countries and traveled here.We know of the terrible conditions that many traveled in on the long journeys.But, did you ever stop to think of the number of immigrants who arrived on the shore of Ellis Island ill or carrying a contagious disease?What happened to those people?

Enter America’s Immigrant Hospital.“The hospital was massive and modern- 22 state-of-the-art buildings crammed onto two small islands, which were man-made from rock and dirt excavated during the building of the New York subway system.” (page 5).Read about the controversy surrounding ill immigrants, the building of the hospital, the staff that provided amazing care, and the patients.This is a fascinating look at an extraordinary institution, filled with photos of both then and now.Lorie Conway produced a documentary about the hospital, and this is the companion book.I haven’t been able to find a copy of the documentary available for purchase, but I’ll keep looking.

Holly, Youth Services

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Beautiful boy, a father's journey through his son's addiction

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
David Sheff

This is a must-read for anyone interested in drug/alcohol addiction.

Sheff, an author/ journalist, tells the story about his struggle with his meth-addicted son, and how it affected him, his entire family and group of friends. It is both heart- warming and heart-wretching . He has meticulously researched the dependency ... to the drug and to the addiction.

The New York Times Magazine article, My Addicted Son, won an award from the American Psychological Association. The son, Nic Sheff, published a memoir from his perspective, entitled Tweak, soon to be available at HCDL.

Donna O., Reference

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Monday, April 14, 2008
Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? How do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators, and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. The brothers assert that “sticky” messages of all kinds—from the infamous “organ theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a product vision statement from Sony—draw their power from the same six traits. It’s a fast-paced tour of idea success stories (and failures)—the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher’s simulation that actually prevented prejudice. This book was written for everyday people and may be applied to everyday life.

Sue A2, Reference

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How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Michael Gelb

Oddly enough, I picked upHow to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday by Michael Gelbbecause it was referenced in an article I read in the paper about creatively budgeting money.The author of the article said that after years of failed budgets, she was able to apply the DaVinci principals to her personal finances.What???I couldn’t help myself; I had to check out this book.And you know what I found out?There are lots of ways to apply the DaVinci principals to the problems of everyday life.When I was reading the book, I kept thinking “Hey, I used to do that…”But you all know how it goes.You get busy, you have to make dinner every night and take your kids to birthday parties and swim practice and pretty soon you feel like the least creative person in the world.The questions posed in the book really made me think (like Leonardo DaVinci?)…and it was fun!I’ve even started keeping a journal again for the first time in many years.If you’re in a rut try How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci - it’s a breath of fresh air.

Kathleen M., Administration

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