People around the world are fascinated by weather generally and in particularly these days with so many unusual events. This intriguing book describes the explorations and discoveries of people who changed weather from a local phenomenon into a science that explains the why, where, and how of weather.
More importantly these new scientists could warn people before harsh storms struck to allow them to postpone travel, particularly by sea, or to mitigate the damage.
On Nov. 23, 1703 an intense storm rammed England with no warning. The Great Storm, as it came to be called, sent ships from the North Sea into Sweden. Many were shipwrecked; thousands of others drowned. Leaders discussed the need for weather forecasting to warn the population of danger before it struck and produced casualties and massive property damage. But alas little happened until the nineteenth century.
Did you ever wonder how meteorology got its name? Historically, “meteors” referred to any object in the sublunar zone. This included meteors of course, but also lightning, rainbows, clouds, and gusts of wind. The famous Dr. Johnson of dictionary fame defined meteors as “any bodies in the air or sky that are of flux and transitory nature.” Read more about The Weather Experiment: the pioneers who sought to see the future
Although migration is obviously a hot topic in the news these days, this beautiful MoMA art book is about an earlier internal movement that began during World War 1 when many blacks left the south for the industrial north of our country to find work and better living conditions. In the end, over six decades, more than six million African Americans left the South for northern cities and towns.
When he was only twenty-one years old, Jacob Lawrence completed a series of striking tempera paintings. Lawrence himself knew many of these migrants, having moved to Harlem with his parents when he was a young teenager from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
First lines – “Take a look at a castle. Any castle. Now break down the key elements that make it a castle. They haven't changed in a thousand years. 1: Location. A site on high ground that commands the territory as far as the eye can see. 2: Protection. Big walls, walls strong enough to withstand a frontal attack. 3: A garrison. Men who are trained and willing to kill. 4: A flag. You tell your men you are soldiers and that's your flag. You tell them nobody takes our flag. And you raise that flag so it flies high where everyone can see it. Now you've got yourself a castle. The only difference between this castle and all the rest is that they were built to keep people out. This castle is built to keep people in.”
Are you looking for a big, absorbing book of nonfiction to fill these long winter nights? One to give as a present to a friend or relative who loves nonfiction? Want to get lost in another time, another place? Want to take a sea journey the old-fashioned way in grand style? In any of these cases, Dead Wake’s the book for you.
Larson brings the era just before the U.S. entered World War 1 to vivid life. Having just completed it, I feel as though I recently crossed the Atlantic in one of the most modern and luxurious vessels of the early 20th century.
Not only is Larson excellent at capturing everyday life in earlier times, but he also provides a cast of highly believable characters from the famous: President Woodrow Wilson to the obsessed: rare book dealer Charles Lauriat, to the vanguard: early feminist architect and spiritualist, Theodate Pope. Read more about Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
We are approaching the holidays, and for many of us it is a time when the family gathers together in celebration. Yet in some families secrets, past hurts, jealousies and who knows what else can turn a time of celebration into a time dedicated to tip-toeing around each other while trying to maintain the spirit of the season. The Lion in Winter based on a play by James Goldman, tells of just such a gathering. Set during a family Christmas gathering in 1183 this dark comedy is about the Royal Family of England made up of King Henry II, his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, their children, Richard, John and Geoffrey, the King’s mistress Alais, and the newly crowned King Philip, who was visiting from France. As you can imagine there is politics, innuendo and backstabbing throughout the visit. Read more about Lion in Winter
“It must be a good book,” my husband said as I read by flashlight in the car on the way home from our Thanksgiving holiday.
What not to like: a spirit talking from beyond the grave, two writers practicing (or not) their craft, Lindy Hop lessons, a blue cat warming itself by the radio, birdwatching by the sea, and crocks and crocks of fresh fish chowder?
This novel takes place in Halifax and in a small village in Nova Scotia. The seaside village setting is spectacular with its wild Atlantic coast, historic graveyard, and old library.
The book tells the stories of two writers Sam Lattimore and his new wife, Lizzie. It’s the 1970s and they live in a Halifax hotel where they also had their honeymoon. Lizzie orders a chaise-longue for their living room in honor of the topic of her dissertation, The Victorian Chaise-Longue, a minor book by a minor writer that Lizzie has chosen for what it teaches about life. Read more about Next Life Might Be Kinder