November 17, 2023 - Dinos & Cranes

After spending the early part of last Saturday with dinosaurs in many iterations and the people who love all things dinosaurs also in many iterations, I decide to jump forward in geologic ages from the “Age of the Dinosaurs” also known as the Mesozoic Era (which we all know was made up of three successive time periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous) to the Cenozoic Era and the Quaternary period – a mere 2.6 million years ago. I could go there because sandhill cranes have been found in the fossil record from about 2.5 million years ago and other crane-like birds go as far back as 6 million years.  To travel that distance on Saturday merely required a trip out to Goose Pond. Goose Pond right now is a bit of a misnomer. The east side of the road through the “pond” is filled with reeds. The west side is mostly mud with a few puddles scattered here and there. However, the lack of water hasn’t kept the swans from making a stopover to refuel on the tubers they can dig out of the mud. There were maybe 100-150 swans, a handful of Canada geese, ducks quacking away but very hard to spot, and 60 to 75 Sandhill cranes. The cranes were mostly along the “shoreline”, while the swans were everywhere. I am pretty sure there was a pair of Whooping cranes there as well. I am basing this on the vocalizing I heard. It’s hard to tell a swan on mud from a whooper at a distance with not-very-good binoculars. If you have time, those swans are really something to see (as, of course are the cranes).

Enjoy birding and the enjoy some of these great new books which recently arrived at the library!

New Non-Fiction

“Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education” by Stephanie Land. The author of the “New York Times” best-seller “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive”, which inspired a hit Netflix series, continues her story as she finishes college and pursues her writing career.,
“Fashion Killa: How Hip-hop Revolutioized High Fashion” by Sowmya Krishnamur thy. A music journalist and pop culture expert presents an oral history of the hip-hop artists, designers and stylists in New York, Paris and beyond who redefined worldwide fashion over the last fifty years.

“Flight of the WASP: The Rise, Fall, and Future of America’s Original Ruling Class” by Michael Gross.  This history of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite in America’s history traces its political and social influence and eventual decline through the lives of fifteen influential individuals and their families.

“A Memoir of My Former Self: A Life in Writing” by Hillary Mantel. A posthumous collection of journalism and other writings by Hilary Mantel reveals the beloved writer’s cutting wit and singular voice on books, films, the royals, and her own life.

“Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots” by Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. A photo-driven book featuring allthings-Reba invites readers to get back to the basics of life—fun, food, friends, and family—in a behind-the-scenes tour that shares the stories, recipes, and Oklahoma-style truths that guide her life.

New Fiction

“The Narrow Road Between Desires (The Kingkiller Chronicle)” by Patrick Rothfuss. This story, features the Kingkiller Chronicle’s most charming fae, Bast, who cares nothing for the laws of man, finds himself forced to choose between betraying his master and helping a hated enemy.

“The Olympian Affair, No.2 (Cinder Spires)” by Jim Butcher. Standing alone against the overwhelming might of Spire Aurora’s Armada and its new secret weapon, Lord Albion uses the trading summit at Spire Olympia to secure alliances that will shape the outcomes of the war with the help of a privateer and the crew of the AMS “Predator”.

“Slay, No 30 (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)” by Laurell Hamilton. Dreading introducing her fiancé, the newly crowned vampire king of America, to her ultra-religious human relatives, necromancer Anita Blake, as she tries to keep the peace between the family she left behind and the family she’s chosen, must battle against the dark forces putting her happily-
ever-after at risk.

“Treacle Walker” by Alan Garner. A coming-of-age novel filled with myth and magic, which was shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize.

“The Berry Pickers” by Amanda Peters. Growing up as the only child of affluent and overprotective parents, Norma, troubled by recurring dreams and visions that seem more like memories than imagination, searches for the truth, leading her to the blueberry fields of Maine where a family secret is finally revealed.

“Baumgartner” by Paul Auster. Still struggling nine years after his wife's death in a swimming accident, a soon-to-be-retired philosophy professor becomes lost in the memories of their relationship in the new novel by the best-selling author of “Sunset Park”
“A Grandmother Begins the Story” by Michelle Porter. Five generations of Indigenous women from Canada's Prairie Provinces struggle for healing and meaning through the strength of familial bonds in the debut fiction novel from the award-winning author of “Scratching River”.

“Knowing You” by Tracie Peterson. Working as a Camera Girl at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition where she’s captivated by the Japanese exhibits, which hold the key to her mother’s heritage, budding artist May Parker becomes entangled in a dangerous heist involving samurai armor, putting her newfound relationship with a police detective on the line.

“The Edge, No.2 (6:20 Man)” by David Baldacci. Sent to a small coastal town in 
Maine to solve the murder of a CIA operative who was in possession of countless state secrets, ex-Army ranger Travis Devine, with no one to trust, must unravel a long history of secrets while evading those who want him dead