John Jakes books
We have a large selection of John Jakes novels in the Fiction section, under J of course. Mr. Jakes wrote a large number of books on historical fiction and one of his trilogies on the Civil War was made into a mini-series for ABC television. His website is at http://www.johnjakes.com/
40 More Years of ???
We have a copy of James Carville's 2009 book, 40 More Years: How The Democrats Will Rule The Next Generation. This book was totally wrong of course, given the whooping the Democrats took in the 2014 mid term elections, but sometimes it's good to go back and do a post-mortem when any prediction fails to come true. Why did James Carville think that the Democrats could not lose any future elections? Did he believe that President Obama would transform the country so radically that Republicans could not be elected to any post? What signs did Mr. Carville read incorrectly?
Whatever your political persuasion it might be fun to see if you can read the "tea leaves" and dissect the failure of the Democrats to bring Mr. Carville's fantasy to life.
Murder, A to Z
For those who love murder mysteries, we have three of the Alphabet Murder books by Sue Grafton, "D" Is For Deadbeat, "L" Is For Lawless and, oddly, "M" Is For Malice. Why would an author commit to writing 26 books about murder? It's an interesting story. After a rather acrimonious divorce, Sue found herself daydreaming about different ways to murder her ex-husband. She realized that rather than wasting her time stewing in anger, she could make money and be productive putting her ideas down in novel form. All of Sue's books in this series follow the exploits of Kinsey Millhone, an orphan who was raised by her aunt Gin and who now makes her living as a private investigator in the small town of Santa Teresa California investigating all kinds of foul crimes. After a few volumes you will find Kinsey a very likable person who is very good at her job, sometimes too good! Interestingly the audiobook versions of this series are all narrated by one person, Judy Kaye who does a fantastic job, she is Kinsey Millhone. Currently the total audio book time is 222 hours in the series.
On the Origin of The Origin of Species
Those of us who are crazy about books are very often also crazy about movies, and especially movies about the origin of books. The movie Creation tells the story of Charles Darwin's struggle to produce his masterpiece, On The Origin Of Species and his "war with God." In this movie, Paul Bettany reprises the role he played in Master and Commander which borrowed heavily from another book by Darwin, Voyage Of The Beagle. Both books can be had in one volume with the call number 576.82 DARWIN. In the movie, Darwin's wife is played by Jennifer Connelly (Rocketeer, A Beautiful Mind) who is also in real life, Paul Bettany's wife. The most interesting twist in this story is that Paul Bettany is an atheist and his wife Jennifer is a Christian, exactly the same as Darwin and his wife and cousin, Emma. The movie makes the point that had Darwin not married his first cousin, he might not have been able to see the effects of inbreeding on his children and might have missed the boat on evolution. Agnostics, atheists and religious people can all enjoy this movie because it shows the mental anguish Darwin went through trying not to offend his wife, his friend and pastor and society in general. We highly recommend that you read both books before watching Creation to get the most out of it. The only error in the movie was to cast the diminutive Toby Jones as T.H. Huxley, who was in real life as tall as Darwin, but Toby was chosen (according to insiders) for his irascible and combative portrayal of the irascible and combative Huxley. Still, it's a great way to see how one of the most important books of all time was created.
Volunteers crazy about books.