Anniversaries of the outbreak of World War 1 and JFK’s assassination have ensured these topics are well represented in our latest arrivals. But there are also the accounts of the life of Henry VIII’s mother, the man behind Red Cloud’s War, and how an Englishman became Champion Fromager. Plenty of variety and historical intrigue to build into your plan for holiday reading.
“The Prime Minister’s ironing board and other state secrets : true stories from the government archives, by Adam Macqueen.
“Stored in Whitehall’s archives are everything from blood-chilling warnings of imminent nuclear attack to comical details of daily life in the corridors of power. Concerned notes from ministers on the subject of the Heir to the Throne’s potential brainwashing by Welsh terrorists are shelved alongside worries about housemaids ‘on the wobble’ at Chequers. These, and other unlikely revelations are revealed in this constantly surprising book.” (description from Syndetics)
The heart of everything that is : the untold story of Red Cloud, an American legend, by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
Red Cloud (1822-1909) was an Oglala Sioux war chief who successfully led his warriors against the U.S. Army. “From 1866 to 1868, Red Cloud proved such a brilliant tactician that the United States sued for peace to end what became known as Red Cloud’s War.” (Library Journal) Red Cloud’s story deserves wider readership. Recommended.
Fighting on the Home Front : the legacy of women in World War One, by Kate Adie.
When a generation of men left home and country to fight, women emerged from the shadows to take up more public and non-traditional roles including transport, policing, munitions. They were acquiring their own independent income, which was a new venture for many, which changed the way they viewed themselves and the world, after the War. Next year is the anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 and the tide of new books is beginning to arrive. This treatment is a welcome addition to the collection.
A farewell to justice : Jim Garrison, JFK’s assassination, and the case that should have changed history, by Joan Mellen.
At 647 pages, this book is not for the faint-hearted. It aims to examine the case through District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation and the complexities he faced. But the reader is not assisted to unravel the enormity of Garrison’s task – with a topical rather than chronological arrangement. The book’s strength is the new information uncovered from access to previously unreleased documents. The library has also recently received Not in your lifetime : the assassination of JFK, by Anthony Summers, and They killed our president : 63 reasons to believe there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK , by Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell and David Wayne.
The conquest of the ocean : the illustrated history of seafaring, by Brian Lavery.
As with all one volume outlines, the author is challenged to scamper through waves of material without drowning in detail, and somehow make it all readable and interesting. In this case, Lavery tries to tell thousands of years of stories of those who sailed the seas from explorers to traders. Technological milestones such as the development of the sextant or shipping design are also touched on. Publisher Weekly writes “salty sailors should slake their thirst elsewhere,” but if you’re a plebian land-lubber like myself, there’s plenty of interest here.
The cheese and I : an Englishman’s voyage through the land of fromage, by Matt Feroze.
“Matt Feroze had a rather unusual dream: to become a cheesemonger in the highly competitive French cheese industry. To accomplish this, however, he would have to give up a good job as an accountant in England and say goodbye to his friends and family, moving to a country in which he struggled with the language and knew next to nothing about the profession he wished to enter. Yet only a year later he was being crowned Champion de France des Fromagers, beating veteran French cheesemongers to the title and opening up a wealth of new opportunities for himself. The Cheese and I is the remarkable story of how he pulled off such an incredible feat.” (drawn from the publisher’s description)
Preemptive love : pursuing peace one heart at a time, by Jeremy Courtney.
An account of the author’s efforts to establish the Preemptive Love Coalition in Iraq. Their aim is to save children with life-threatening heart defects by selling locally made shoes. The narrative is approached through the thoughts of both patients and adversaries. This is a true story of people trying to live with an attitude of “love first, ask questions later”.
Elizabeth of York : the first Tudor queen, by Alison Weir.
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV, was caught up in the Wars of the Roses. As wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII, she had tremendous influence, but the woman herself is an puzzle. After her marriage she emerges as a model consort and wife, mild, pious, and the mother of 7 children. “In “Elizabeth of York, ” Alison Weir builds a portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the image.” (publisher’s description)
1914 : the year the world ended, by Paul Ham.
“Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did. In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history. In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War….” (drawn from Syndetics description)
The faithful scribe : a story of Islam, Pakistan, family and war, by Shahan Mufti.
“Journalist Mufti, incorporates the stories of his family and ancestors into a larger history of Pakistan and its post-9/11 political turmoil. He begins on the eve of his parents’ wedding in 1971, which coincides with the day India intervened in Pakistan’s civil war… Mufti describes his family’s alienation and harassment while briefly living in Ohio at a time rife with anti-Muslim sentiment and memories of acclimating when they moved back to Pakistan. He recalls living in Pakistan during the deadly protest at the Red Mosque and attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female prime minister. … This astonishingly detailed, well-researched history is brought to life by the addition of Mufti’s personal story and journalistic acumen.” (drawn from Publisher Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)