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September 17, 2020 - Feels Almost Normal

What about those Packers, eh? I was surprised by the sudden arrival of the first game of the NFL season. It was nice to have something that feels almost normal happening in real time. It was interesting that the NFL used specially tailored crowd noises to add "Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative." (Gilbert & Sullivan, "Mikado, Act 2). I would have to say if the cameras hadn't panned the empty stands, one might have believed we weren't in the midst of a pandemic -- except for the masks. The masks were a bit of a giveaway. This past Sunday was also of note because the clouds that glowered upon our houses for the past week were finally displaced with sunshine and slightly warmer weather. All the past rain has done nothing to slow the advancing of the fall season. Plants are dying back, pollen makers -- such as ragweed -- are slowing down in the pollen production area. Birds are flocking up and eating very heartily at neighborhood feeders as they start booking their trips for further south. Geese are doing formation flying in anticipation of migration too. All the signs of fall and harvest have assembled and it won't be long.... (you provide the finish to this sentence). In the meantime, there are plenty of new books to choose from at the library. Below is a sampling of some of those titles. Enjoy!

cover artEverything is Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager. The former first daughter and granddaughter, best-selling author, and co-anchor of the Today show, shares moving, funny stories about her beloved grandparents and the wisdom they passed on that has shaped her life.

 

cover artThink Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty. The host of the popular On Purpose podcast draws on the wisdom he learned as a monk and social-media influencer to outline practical steps that can help readers reduce anxiety and find greater life purpose.

 

cover artWe’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy by Elijah Cummings. A memoir by the late Congressman details how his experiences as a sharecroppers' son in volatile South Baltimore shaped his life in activism, explaining how government oversight can become a positive part of a just American collective.

 

cover artTwilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific 1944-1945, No. 3 (Pacific Trilogy) by Ian Toll. A conclusion to the trilogy that began with “Pacific Crucible” is based on the final year of World War II and follows MacArthur's pledge to the Philippines, the kamikaze attacks on Allied fleets and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

cover art12 Seconds of Silence: How a Team of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon by Jamie Holmes. The World War II story of “Section T”, a team of physicists, engineers, and everyday people created one of the world’s first smart weapons that helped neutralize the Nazi superweapon that threatened countless lives.

 

cover artThe Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals by Becky Mandelbaum. The award-winning author of Bad Kansas traces an emotionally charged weekend at an animal sanctuary in Western Kansas, where personal and community bonds are tested in the wake of an estranged daughter's homecoming. A first novel.

 

cover artLost Souls at the Neptune Inn by Betsy Carter. Three generations of family women running a popular bakery in a 1950s upstate New York town find themselves gradually opening up to a quiet but friendly musician who is hiding a mysterious past.

 

cover artThe Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth II’s Childhood by Wendy Holden. Accepting the position of a lifetime tutoring the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, young Marion Crawford defies protocol to introduce the princesses to the experiences of everyday people while witnessing some of the 20th century's most seismic events.

 

cover artA Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne. From the award-winning, best-selling author of “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” comes an epic tale of humanity, a novel that aims to tell the story of all of us.

 

cover artThe Falcon Always Wings Twice, No. 27 (Meg Langslow) by Donna Andrews. Volunteering at her grandmother's craft-center Renaissance Faire, Meg is challenged to prove the innocence of her grandfather when he is wrongly accused of murdering a fairgrounds performer who was suspected of mistreating a rare falcon.

 

cover artThe Finisher, No. 19 (Peter Diamond Mysteries) by Peter Lovesey. Tasked with crowd control during the Other Half, Bath’s springtime half marathon, Detective Peter Diamond catches sight of a violent criminal he put away years ago and believes he may be responsible for a runner not crossing the finish line.

 

cover artFor Whom the Book Tolls, No. 1 (Antique Bookshop Mysteries) by Laura Black. Accepting shelter and a job from her uncle in the wake of unsavory events in her Charlotte hometown, Jenna finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore and teams up with new friends to clear her name of suspicion.

 

cover artSqueeze Me by Carl Hiaasen. When a high-society dowager murdered at the height of Palm Beach's charity gala season is declared a political martyr by the colorful president she supported, a talented wildlife wrangler uncovers the truth amid the discovery of a controversial affair.