February 20, 2014 - Vernal Equinox

By the time you are reading this - February 20th - It should be exactly 4 weeks until the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox is when astronomological (and meteorological) spring begins. This has something to do with the plane of Earth's equator passing the center of the Sun. So at the time of the equinox (vernal or autumnal) the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun which results in day and night being about the same length. Now that the hard cold has at least momentarily let go of the strangle hold it has had around our collective necks, snow has become the next exciting winter feature. And we all know what March brings with the high school basketball tournaments and their accompanying blizzards. But that's something we can still look forward to. In the meantime, the days are definitely getting longer, the cats have started to shed their winter coats, male cardinals have started their morning serenades, the chickadees have switched to their "phoebe" song, and, according to a posting on a Nebraska Audubon website, the first sandhill cranes started arriving on the Platte River on February 13th. As you wait for spring and less foolish weather to arrive, there are plenty of new books to read. Enjoy!

  • cover art Burn / by Julianna Baggott. Patridge attempts to bring down the Dome from the inside as the Pures battle the Wretches in the first book of a new trilogy from the author of the best-selling "Girl Talk".
  • cover art Pillar to the sky by William Forstchen. Three visionary scientists and an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire become humanity's only hope in the face of a global resource crisis that has prompted a daring effort to obtain essential needs from outer space.
  • cover art To sail a darkling sea / by John Ringo. A sequel to "Under a Graveyard Sky" finds Wolf Squadron scouring the Atlantic for survivors of the biological zombie plague while clearing an assault carrier of infected predators before its trapped human crew starves. By the best-selling author of the Posleen Wars series.
  • cover art Confessions of a wild child : Lucky, the early years / by Jackie Collins. A prequel to the Lucky Santangelo series features a headstrong teenaged Lucky, who after the murder of her mother escapes her notorious father's protective stranglehold to pursue a life of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll. By the best-selling author of "The Power Trip".
  • cover art This dark road to mercy : a novel / by Wiley Cash. After their mother dies unexpectedly, 12-year-old Easter and her 6-year-old sister Ruby are kidnapped by their errant father Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, while their court appointed guardian races against time to find them before a vengeful killer does.
  • cover art The days of Anna Madrigal : a novel / by Armistead Maupin. The ninth and final novel in the best-selling Tales of the City series follows 92-year-old Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane, as she joins her former tenant Brian on a road trip to Nevada where she attends to unfinished business she has long avoided.
  • cover art The girl with a clock for a heart : a novel / by Peter Swanson. When Liana Dector, a woman who is possibly a cold-blooded killer wanted by the police, storms into his favorite Boston tavern demanding his help, George Foss, unable to say "no" to his first love, is drawn into a world of murder, betrayal and secrets from which there is no escape.
  • cover art Lost Lake / by Sarah Allen. Seeking solace in a Georgia lakeside cottage with her eccentric 8-year-old daughter, recently widowed Kate wonders if the area's almost-magical ability for sparking romances has been imagined before experiencing a poignant renewal. By the best-selling author of "Garden Spells".