June 2014 Archives

The Wrong Enemy

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Click for availability and more information The Wrong Enemy, by Carlotta Gall
 
Suffice it to say, the United States is once again stuck in a quagmire that is the War on Terrorism. Author and New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall lays out the proof that we have been fighting The Wrong Enemy in attacking Afghanistan and Iraq. As evidenced by the location of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan just down the street from the Iraqi military academy, Pakistan has provided aid and comfort to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Unlike other wars, there is no clear cut enemy. The coalition we are fighting is engaged in a "Jihad" of Islam, which embraces extreme religious zealots from many countries (Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan). Gall has information about Pakistani ISI (intelligence operatives) attending high level briefings of Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders. Unfortunately, the collateral death of innocent civilians has turned some into mortal enemies. Furthermore, some have joined the Taliban for money to support families as their economies have been destroyed by war. This is indeed a story of shifting alliances. And she states we missed a golden opportunity to end the war when the Taliban was weakened by unrelenting American bombing. This book, which is available in print and electronically, will give the reader a new perspective on war in the Middle East.
-Carl

Floors

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Click for availability and more information Floors, by Patrick Carman
 
The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future!
-Deirdre

The Show Must Go On

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Click for availability and more information The Show Must Go On, by Kate Klise
 
When Sir Sidney, a kindly old circus owner, becomes too tired to travel with his show, he places a Help Wanted ad in the newspaper. Enter Barnabas Brambles: "I have a degree in lion taming from the University of Piccadilly Circus." But does Leo the lion need taming? Will Elsa the elephant still get her gourmet peanuts? And what will Brambles say when he discovers Bert and Gert--two mice who travel with the circus on popcorn cleanup patrol? Brambles has big plans: More cities! More shows! No more free popcorn. Soon he's made a big mess of Sir Sidney's Circus, but Leo, Elsa, Bert, Gert, and the rest of the performers agree: The Show Must Go On! -
-Deirdre

The New Yorkers

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Click for availability and more information The New Yorkers, by Robert Herman
 
The New Yorkers is more than just a photo study of the people and places in the Big Apple. It's a tool that author Robert Herman used to help him cope with his years of mental illness. Initially, he studied at Boston University; but when his father suddenly died In 1975, he found himself in a deep depression and became withdrawn. Herman was given medication and electroconvulsive therapy. He decided to return to college and attended the NYU Film School. Although he thought he would become a filmmaker, he became interested in photography. After graduation, he became a serious street photographer. Between 1978 and 1984, he took the pictures that make up The New Yorkers.

There's a knack to taking photographs with meaning, and I think Herman has the skill. The photos capture not only the various neighborhoods and people of the city, but also serve as social commentary on humanity. Herman credits photography with helping him overcome his mental illness by making him focus on his art. Knowing this gives the reader a different perspective when reading his book. I'm anxiously awaiting the publication of his next book.
-Carl

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