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December 19, 2019 - Boxing Day

A week from today is December 26th, also known in the UK and many Commonwealth countries as Boxing Day. In the 1830s this day was observed as a secular holiday on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas box of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. Samuel Pepys diary entry for the 19th of December, 1663 mentioned this custom. The origin theory of Boxing Day links it to an older British tradition where the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day off to visit their families since they would have had to serve their masters on Christmas Day. The masters or employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food. A second origin theory is that alms boxes were collected during Advent and distributed the day after Christmas, on St. Stephens day – The day good king Wenceslaus rode out--. If you've got the post-Christmas blues, you can always celebrate Boxing Day with gift giving instead of gift returning, post-holiday sales shopping, or just sitting around starring at all the empty gift boxes that have suddenly occupied your house.

If these recent dark days have been getting you down, the good news is that the 8th, 9th, and 10th of December had the earliest sunsets of the year. Those days the sun set at 4:22 p.m. While we continue to lose daylight at the morning end of the day even after the winter solstice on December 21st at 10:19 p.m., we have already started gaining it on the evening end of the day. We actually won’t start gaining light in the morning(i.e having an earlier sunrise) until January 10th. But by then we shall of gained a solid 20 minutes at the end of the day. The dark days of winter provide the perfect opportunity to turn on a lamp and read. Below are some of the recently-arrived books at the library. Enjoy!

“Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine” by Maria Goodavage. The best-selling author of Soldier Dogs and Secret Service Dogs investigates the current state of canine research to document the remarkable ways dogs are opening new avenues of health care, from disease detection to therapy assistance.

 

“Letters from an Astrophysicist” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The astrophysicist and best-selling author offers a follow-up to “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”

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“The Little Book of Bob: Life Lessons From a Streetwise Cat” by James Bowen. The author of the best-selling “A Street Cat Named Bob” shares feline-inspired advice and wisdom about friendship, steadfastness, balance and joy that can result from being kinder to oneself and others.

 

“Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything: A Theory of Human Misunderstanding” by Bobby Duffy. A leading social researcher shares scholarly insights into the sources of misinformation in today's highly connected world, examining public perceptions in more than 40 countries to explain the role of society in shaping human beliefs.

 

 

“The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era” by Gareth Russell. In a researched narrative history, the author of Young and Damned and Fair uses the sinking of the “Titanic” as a prism through which to examine the end of the Edwardian era and the seismic shift modernity brought to the Anglo-American world

“Resistance Reborn (Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)” by Rebecca Roanhorse. Poe Dameron, General Leia Organa, Rey and Finn struggle to rebuild the Resistance after their defeat at the hands of the First Order in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. By the award-winning author of “Trail of Lightning”.

“The Rise of Magicks, No. 3 (Chronicles of The One)” by Nora Roberts. In a conclusion to the trilogy that began with Year One, Fallon finds the limits of her magick skills tested by the needs of the Purity Warrior victims at the same time she is confronted by an old nemesis.

 

“The Dog I Loved” by Susan Wilson. Offered a job at a crumbling estate, a wrongly convicted former inmate tackles painful secrets at the side of a cantankerous disabled former soldier and his devoted service dog. By the best-selling author of “One Good Dog”.

 

“An Irish Country Family, No. 14 (Irish Country)” by Patrick Taylor. A latest entry in the internationally best-selling series follows two periods in the life of a young doctor, from his high-tech internship to his days as a family practitioner whose Ballybucklebo neighbors support his family's struggles with infertility.

 

“Noel Street (Noel Collection)” by Richard Paul Evans. A single mother finds unexpected revelations and healing in her relationship with a recently returned Vietnam POW whose personal demons have created a stir in their small Utah community. By the award-winning author of “The Christmas Box”

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“Spy” by Danielle Steel. Recruited as a spy during World War II, a stunningly beautiful young woman hides her dangerous double life from her foreign-service husband throughout the decades of the Cold War. By the best-selling author of “Accidental Heroes”.

 

“Scarlet Fever. No. 12 (“Sister” Jane) by Rita Mae Brown. Facilitating romantic matches during the hunting season at Tattenhall Station, proud Master of Foxhounds "Sister" Jane Arnold uncovers a link between a suspicious death and an inheritance scam. By the author of the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries.

 

“A Minute to Midnight, No. 2 (Atlee Pine)” by David Baldacci. A high-action sequel to Long Road to Mercy continues the story of FBI agent Atlee Pine in the remote wilds surrounding the Grand Canyon in Shattered Rock, Arizona.