War of the Whales

WarWhalesWar of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz

Two men face off against an all-powerful navy – and the fate of the ocean’s most majestic creatures hangs in the balance.

“A gripping, brilliantly told tale of the secret and deadly struggle between American national security and the kings of the oceans.” –Bob Woodward

War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound – and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth.

When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

UnrulyPlacesBy Alastair Bonnett

A tour of the world’s hidden geographies – from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts – and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today

At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite’s remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it’s hard to imagine there’s any uncharted ground left on the planet. In Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.

Bonnett’s remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man’s lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, an island included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery store’s produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.

An intrepid guide down the road much-less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, Unruly Places will change the way you see the places you inhabit.

My Salinger Year

My Salinger YearBy Joanna Rakoff

Poignant, keenly observed, and irresistibly funny: a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself entangled with one of the last great figures of the century.

At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office, where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and old-time agents doze at their desks after martini lunches. At night she goes home to the tiny, threadbare Williamsburg apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic instinct, Rakoff is tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the candid, heart-wrenching letters from his readers around the world, she finds herself unable to type out the agency’s decades-old form response. Instead, drawn inexorably into the emotional world of Salinger’s devotees, she abandons the template and begins writing back. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and liberating terms.

Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

SixthExtinctionBy Elizabeth Kolbert

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

FlashBoysBy Michael Lewis

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading source of the most intractable problems will have no advantage whatsoever.

The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think Wall Street guy. Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.

The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.”

Fairfield County Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Connecticut’s Gold Coast ( Chef’s Table )

Fairfield CountyBy Amy Kundrat. Amy Kundrat is the executive editor of CTbites, the award-winning website devoted to chronicling great food in Connecticut, especially her home in Fairfield County. A communications specialist with a concentration in new media, Amy’s career leading external communications teams has taken her from world-class art museums, to technology start-ups, and academic institutions. She currently works in New Haven at Yale University, where she indulges in the city’s vibrant food-truck scene. Amy lives in Bethel.

The Scraps Book

ScrapsBookBy Lois Ehlert

The renowned Caldecott Honoree and illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom provides a moving, intimate, and inspiring inside look at her colorful picture book career.

Lois Ehlert always knew she was an artist. Her parents encouraged her from a young age by teaching her how to sew and saw wood and pound nails, and by giving her colorful art supplies. They even gave her a special spot to work that was all her own.

Today, many years and many books later, Lois takes readers and aspiring artists on a delightful behind-the-scenes tour of her books and her book-making process. Part fascinating retrospective, part moving testament to the value of following your dreams, this richly illustrated picture book is sure to inspire children and adults alike to explore their own creativity.

Mike Stobbe joins us for a discussion and signing of his new book, “Surgeon General’s Warning”

Please join us for a very special discussion with Mike Stobbe, author of “Surgeon’s General’s Warning: How Politics Crippled the Nation’s Doctor” on Sunday October 12th at 12:00 noon. Surgeon General

What does it mean to be the nation’s doctor? In this engaging narrative, journalist Mike Stobbe examines the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, emphasizing that it has always been unique within the federal government in its ability to influence public health. But now, in their efforts to provide leadership in public health policy, surgeons general compete with other high-profile figures such as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, in an era of declining budgets, when public health departments have eliminated tens of thousands of jobs, some argue that a lower-profile and ineffective surgeon general is a waste of money. By tracing stories of how surgeons general like Luther Terry, C. Everett Koop, and Joycelyn Elders created policies and confronted controversy in response to issues like smoking, AIDS, and masturbation, Stobbe highlights how this office is key to shaping the nation’s health and explailns why its decline is harming our national well-being.

About the author:

Mike Stobbe is a national medical correspondent for The Associated Press and is based in New York City. He covers the CDC and writes on a range of health and medical topics. He has a doctorate in public health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina.

Reviews:

“A richly detailed account of the rise and fall of the United States surgeon general. . . . An important book for policymakers. Many readers will lament the declining state of a post that has contributed much to the country’s health.”—Kirkus
“Stobbe’s skillful, engaging report is especially relevant today as the public’s health continues to challenge the nation’s leaders.”—Publishers Weekly
“With the rare blend of a reporter’s nose for a story and a scholar’s fastidiousness, Stobbe chronicles the past century and a half of Surgeons General. The result is a stimulating perspective on the history of American public health.”—Dave A Chokshi The Lancet
“Mike Stobbe’s history of the U.S. surgeon general is more than a grand tour of American medicine. It is a thoughtful and engaging analysis of what the surgeons general did and do while pursuing the not-always-so-straight line of advancing the public’s health.”—Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, Director at the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, and Editor-in-Chief of The Milbank Quarterly

 

Math Doesn’t Suck

Math Doesnt SuckMath Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail
By Danica McKellar

From a well-known actress and math genius – a groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators.

As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to drop – especially for girls – in large part due to the relentless social conditioning that tells girls they “can’t do” math, and that math is “uncool.” Young girls today need strong female role models to embrace the idea that it’s okay to be smart – in fact, it’s sexy to be smart!

It’s Danica McKellar’s mission to be this role model, and demonstrate on a large scale that “math doesn’t suck.” In this fun and accessible guide, McKellar – dubbed a “math superstar” by The New York Times – gives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. The book features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica’s own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today’s teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonials – ultimately revealing why math is easier and cooler than readers think.

St. Peter’s Bones: How the Relics of the First Pope Were Lost and Found . . . and Then Lost and Found Again by Thomas Craughwell

In this fascinating account of the search for the remains of the world’s first pope, none other than Peter, the chief apostle of Jesus, Thomas J. Craughwell takes us on one of the most exciting archaeological finds of the twentieth century. ST Peter's bones
In 1448 a team of architects and engineers brought Pope Nicholas V unhappy news: the 1,100-year-old Basilica of St. Peter suffered from so many structural defects that it was beyond repair. The only solution was to pull down the old church–one of the most venerable churches in all of Christiandom–and erect a new basilica on the site. Incredibly, one of the tombs the builders paved over was the resting place of St. Peter.
Then in 1939, while reconstructing the grottoes below St. Peter’s Basilica, a workman’s shovel struck not dirt or rock but open air. After inspecting what could be seen through the hole they’d made in the mausoleum’s roof, Pope Pius XII secretly authorized a full-scale excavation. What lay beneath? The answer and the adventure await. In this riveting history, facts, traditions, and faith collide to reveal the investigation, betrayals, and mystery behind St. Peter’s burial place.

Pre-order a copy by calling the store: 203-730-2973……or order from the online store on the webpage- 20% off and $.99 delivery

 

 

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