Delayed opening

The Nichols Library plans to be open today from 1-6pm. 

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For the young (and young at heart)

J. K. Rowling’s“Fantastic Beasts” series.  In “The Crimes of Grindelwald”, the dark wizard escapes and spins a new web of intrigue.   In “The Meltdown” by Jeff Kinney, a winter storm turns wimpy kid Greg Heffley’s neighborhood turns into a snowy battlefield as rival groups stage epic snowball fights.   

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Real life on DVD

rise.jpgAs a student at the University of Texas in 1956, Afro-American soprano Barbara Smith Conrad was cast as the romantic lead in a student musical.  Local conservatives, offended that having a black women was cast with a white male, succeeded in having her removed from the role. Their victory was pyrrhic.  The event generated a national outcry,  Smith’s career was not derailed, and, in 2010, she returned to sing at the Texas State House. “When I Rise” tells her story.

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Stories from real life

passBob Cousy was by all accounts one of the finest ball-handlers to have played pro basketball.  But his story, told in “The Last Pass”, is part of a bigger picture, of a team that won 5 straight titles and of teammates who were in the forefront of civil right controversies.    “Brief Answers to the big Questions” by Stephen Hawking probes the mysteries of time and space; “Identity Crisis” by John Sides probes the mysteries of 2016. “Killing the SS” by William O’Reilly is a breathless account of the hunt for Nazi war criminals.

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“The day the guns fell silent”

Why we celebrate Armistice (Veterans) Day.*   On the the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the First World War, war that turned Europe into a wasteland came to an end, with the hope it might be the war to end wars.  The novel and subsequent film “All Quiet on the Western Front“, captures the sentiment of the moment.

*The Nichols Library will be open for service.

 

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Throne wars

wolfIn “War of the Wolf” by Bernard Cornwell,  Lord Uhtred is sent relieve the siege of Ceaster and rescue   King Edward’s son.  In fact, he has been sent “to rescue a man who did not need rescuing.”   Uthred, who has neither pledged loyalty to the throne nor embraced the Christian faith, is an odd man out in the king’s realm.  His risky mission deters him protecting his own lands from Viking invaders.   This is “great entertainment for fans of historical epics” (Kirkus Reviews).  If you have missed earlier entries in the series and your are gripped, we can take you back to the top.

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New in fiction

dreamThose looking for drama can turn to “A Well-behaved Woman by Therese Fowler, a novel about an outsider in the world of the Vanderbilts.  21-year-old Alva Smith has impeccable antecedents but no money. She sets her sights on railroad scion William K. Vanderbilt.  Kirkus Reviews, which gave this story a starred review, found it “nothing short of mesmerizing.”  In ‘The Dream Daughter” by Diane Chamberlain, a woman travels through time and save the life of her unborn child.  In “The Next Person you meet in Heaven”, Mitch   Album reunites a rescuer and the girl he saved in the great beyond.  In “No time to Blink” by Dina Silver, Dina, a western woman marries a Lebanese businessman.

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