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January 25, 2018 - Longer Days

This is the fourth Thursday of January, and there are still six more days left in the month. This has been an interesting month. It shall have had five Mondays, five Tuesdays, and five Wednesdays which, in and of itself is a little unusual. We have also had a couple of January thaws – not that I’m objecting, mind you. But, there is still a fair amount of winter yet to come. We started gaining daylight in the morning on January 8th (we have been gaining daylight on the sunset end of the day since December 11th but those minutes have been adding up and gaining momentum recently). Sunset went past 5 p.m. today when it sets at 5:01. The days have gotten noticeably longer—which in January is often not good news. The weather-lore says “As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens” which it did a bit at the beginning of this month. So we’ll have to wait and see. A week from tomorrow is Ground Hog’s Day and then we will get the “official” forecast about the remaining length of winter. In the meantime, when there isn’t a whole lot to do outside (what with the snow cover disappearing and rain and freezing rain in the forecasts), there are plenty of new books to read. Below you will find a sampling of the books that arrived recently. Enjoy!

  • “The Meaning of Birds” by Simon Barnes. An illustrated examination of the lives of birds looks at how birds achieve the miracle of flight; why birds sing; what they tell us about the seasons of the year; the uses of feathers; what the migration of birds can tell us about climate change; and much more.
  • “How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal” by Wayne Jonas. A revolutionary approach to injury, illness and wellness draws on four decades of research and patient care to explain how 80 percent of healing occurs organically, outlining how readers can take charge of their health and pursue appropriate care while implementing practices to activate the body's natural healing processes.
  • “The Spice Diet: Use Powerhouse Flavor to Fight Cravins and Win the Weight-loss Battle” by Judson Allen. The executive chef of Healthy Infused Cuisine, LLC and contributor to Next Food Network Star outlines the culinary practices that helped him lose weight, sharing meal plans and dozens of flavor-enhanced recipes designed to help dieters to stay motivated on their health goals.
  • “The Super Metabolism Diet: The 14-day Plan to Ignite Your Fat-Burning furnace and Stay Lean for Life” by David Zinczenko. The best-selling co-author of “Eat This, Not That!” draws on the latest scientific research and his 500-person test panel to outline a diet that improves the body's fat-burning systems and promotes muscle building without deprivation, in a guide that is complemented by a selection of customized workout plans.
  • “The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook” by Niall Ferguson. A reevaluation of history's turning points as collisions between old power hierarchies and new social networks explains how networks have always existed and have been responsible for key innovations and revolutionary ideas, from clustering and degrees of separation to contagions and phase transitions. By an award-winning author.
  • “The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica” by Laurie Shapiro. Documents the true story of a scrappy teen from New York's Lower East Side who stowed away on a daring expedition to Antarctica in 1928, tracing the sensational heyday of the time and how high schooler Billy Gawronski jumped into the Hudson and snuck aboard the expedition's flagship, eventually becoming an international celebrity.
  • “A State of Freedom” by Neel Mukherjee. Five characters in very different circumstances—from a domestic cook in Mumbai to a vagrant and his dancing bear—find the meanings of dislocation and the desire to get more out of life. By a Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author.
  • “Woman at 1,000 Degrees” by Hallgrimur Helgason. A octogenarian living out her final days in a garage with a laptop and a hand grenade reflects on her life as the daughter of a prominent political family in idyllic western Iceland, who in the aftermath of her father's fateful alliance with the Nazis is forced to rely on her wits to survive in the United States, Argentina and a native Iceland vastly changed by technology and economic crashes.
  • “The Black Painting” by Neil Olson. Four adult cousins from a family that has been estranged for decades amid suspicions regarding the theft of a cursed Goya painting gather at the mansion of their grandfather, who is found murdered. By the author of “The Icon”.
  • “Scones and Scoundrels, No.2 (Highland Bookshop Mysteries)” by Molly MacRae. The latest mystery from the author of Plaid and Plagiarism brings together a body outside a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer and a murderously good batch of scones.
  • “The Bomb Maker” by Thomas Perry. A lethally clever designer of explosives tests the skills and collective strength of the highly experienced LAPD Bomb Squad. By the award-winning author of the Jane Whitefield series.
  • “City of Endless Night, No. 17 (Pendergast)” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Heading an investigation into the murder of a wealthy tech billionaire's daughter, Lieutenant CDS Vincent D'Agosta teams up with FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast, only to uncover the work of a serial killer whose agenda threatens an entire city. By a pair of #1 Wall Street Journal and #1 New York Times best-selling authors.
  • “Robicheaux, NO. 21 (Dave Robicheaux)” by James Lee Burke. Struggling with PTSD, alcoholism and wrenching loss, Dave Robicheaux discovers that he may have committed the homicide he is investigating and endeavors to clear his name and make sense of the killing. By the Edgar Award-winning author of “Creole Belle”.