Page Turners

Here is a list of books that have been shared on KMA's Page Turners with the Shenandoah Public Library.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

158) DARK LIGHT—Randy Wayne White—A hurricane strikes near Sanibel Island, and Ft. Meyer unburying from the sandy sea-bed a previously unknown ship which contained artifacts of Nazis' and WWII memorabilia; as well as clues to the potential ownership and the history of long lost loves. Hero 'Doc' Ford together with his gang from the marina work against those involved with greed, graft and development who also have a tie to the mysteries buried in the Gulf. Written in part in the 1st person, that of Ford and in the 3rd person, that of the major villain, .tons of information and facts flow together with a good dash of understated humor. Quick, fast and fun and just enough 'south-Florida characters' to give a very realistic flavor.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

HEMMINGWAY'S HURRICANE:The Great Florida Keys Storm of 1935—Phil Scott—A great synopsis of an amazing physical event, the most powerful storm, probably in history, to affect the United States coupled with the tragedy of death of hundreds due to bureaucracy, misunderstandings, arrogance and unmet expectations. Scott's work builds, much as a hurricane itself, from the inception of hurricanes through the brutality of it's landing and the devastation it creates. The work is woven with stories of workers at the site the hurricane struck which, to a great degree, contradict the 'official' findings of various governmental agency's investigations following which attempt to smooth over the failings of those in charge. Succinct and layman's terms the birth and death of a hurricane are portrayed; their mission—to disperse heat from the tropics to higher latitudes.(p.206). Because “at full blast a hurricane expends more than enough energy to power all the dams, steam power plants, trains and ships in the world (p.37) we must be more than aware as “Climatologists say that global warming may well brew harsher, stronger storms in this century. As with the flu, we have no way of knowing how bad the next season will be.(p.223)

Friday, March 16, 2007

LORDS of the NORTH—Bernard Cornwell—Continuing from The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, Cornwell explores in novel form, King Alfred's slow but constant consolidation of power in Britain. Set in 878 AD hero Uhtred returns to the North to reclaim his 'kingdom' there discovering rebellion and chaos. With the fates spinning his web of life, Uhtred rescues Guthred who has claims to significant lands and learns how to work with both Dane and Saxon, while keeping the Church in mind at all times. Full of battles, intrigue, descriptions of every-day-life, Uhtred ultimately partially succeeds, moving the story toward the next 'installment'. Entertaining read with less battle descriptions than the last books.

THE SENATOR and the PRIEST—Andrew M. Greeley—Greeley explores politics; negative campaigning which can lead to violence (and in this book, does) immigration, taxes, and other subjects of current interest as well as the Catholic Church's demands that their parishioners in power support the position of the Church, rather than the electorate's or elected official's views. Fast moving in the Greeley style, Tommy Moran and his family of red-headed Irishwomen are the centerpiece of the action. Greeley fun and fast.

Monday, March 12, 2007

THE LAST MAN WHO KNEW EVERYTHING:--Andrew Robinson. A biography with a definite scientific bent about Thomas Young, who was described in the Preface. “Not only did he make pioneering contributions to physics (the wave theory of light) and engineering (the modulus of elasticity), to physiology (the mechanism of vision) and to Egyptology (the decipherment of the hieroglyphs), but he was also a distinguished physician, a major scholar of ancient Greek, a phenomenal linguist, and an authoritative writer on all manner of other subjects, from carpentry and music to life insurance and ocean tides.” Of many of those subjects there are his writings and often those of his detractors. Young's quote on P 183 is highly instructive about the man: “Scientific investigations are a sort of warfare, carried on on predecessors; I have often gained a signal victory when I have been half asleep, but more frequently found, on being thoroughly awake, that the enemy had still the advantage of me when I thought I had him fast in a corner—and all this, you see, keeps one alive.” Interesting book about a fascinating man; not a gossipy book, but one dealing with Young's learning and continued questioning. Not an easy novel to read, but, in the end, worthwhile.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

OCTUPUS ALIBI—Tom Corcoran—Key West photographer becomes involved in yet another mystery, investigation of murder, or was it, (this time a double) in Key West. Set from Miami to Key West the characters are “keys”, the plot complicated with the actual push for construction of new laying at the base. Fun, in addition, for those who know the geography of Miami and the keys as well as the toils of U.S. 1.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Train your mind, change your brain: how a new science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves, by Sharon Begley (2007). I purchased and downloaded this to listen while I quilted, and ended up quilting for longer than I had planned because I wanted to hear about the next study discussed, and the next...The framework for this book about neuropolasticity (it turns out our brains CAN re-map themselves in adulthood) is the Dalai Lama's acute interest in science, and an annual conference he holds at his home in India. As I am also a reader of the Dalai Lama's work that aspect had some interest for me, but it is neuroplasticity that is the focus of this book by science journalist Sharon Begley and that is fascinating me. She describes the years of research and studies that reveal the brain's capacity to change and adapt--if one cortex of the brain is underused for its usual purpose, then it may take on additional "tasks" normally done in a different cortex. The implications for education are enormous, as are the potentials for medical and health therapies. Thoughts and mental processes can change the brain--changing your mind can change your brain.

Now I am going to have to seek out "The brain that changes itself" by Norman Doidge, and "The mind and the brain, neuroplasticity and the power of mental force, " by Jeffrey Schwartz.