February 27, 2014 - Last Day of February

Only a day left in February and I don't know anyone who will be sorry to see it go. This winter seems interminable and persistent. We had that nice warm up last week with rain and thunderstorms so you just begin to hope that we're seeing the beginning of spring and then, wham!, another shot of polar air comes to visit. However this polar outbreak isn't predicted to be quite as deep as previous ones and the daytime highs are predicted to recover to higher temperatures. These daytime rebounds of temperatures are undoubtedly due to the longer days which in turn are due to the angle of the sun. One has to believe that eventually the power of the sun will vanquish the polar express and bring spring once again to the land. I'm beginning to understand why people anthropomorphize and need myths to explain the weather and the seasons. Some sandhill cranes and snow geese have returned to the Kearney, Nebraska area so I'll be heading out there any minute now - to verify with my own eyes that the cycle of nature is rolling forward. If spring is arriving on the Great Plains (and a little bit south of here) it won't be all that long until it gets here. While you're waiting for spring there are a number of new books for you to read. They're listed below. Enjoy!

  • cover art The mad sculptor : the maniac, the model, and the murder that shook the nation / by Harold Schechter. An account of a brutal triple homicide in an exclusive neighborhood in Depression-era New York draws on archival records to profile the killer, a brilliant but deeply disturbed young sculptor, while documenting the nationwide manhunt, tabloid scandals and courtroom dramas surrounding the case.
  • cover art The news : a user's manual / by Alain De Button. The author of "The Art of Travel" presents a philosophical assessment of the role of news in today's gadget-driven societies, exploring subjects ranging from politics and crime to celebrities and the paparazzi while considering how the news shapes everyday worldviews.
  • cover art The race underground : Boston, New York, and the incredible rivalry that built America's first subway / by Doug Most. Documents the late-19th-century story of the dramatic and sometimes deadly competition between New York and Boston to build the first American subway, describing the rivalry between two brother subway engineers and their famous supporters against a backdrop of period economics and politics.
  • cover art What addicts know : 10 lessons from recovery to benefit everyone / by Christopher Lawford. Draws upon the collective life lessons and skills from people in recovery to help those who aren't change their habits for the better, improve their frame of mind and recognize and manage unhealthy impulses.
  • cover art What Makes This Book So Great / by Jo Walton. Originally appearing online on her blog, the award-winning author of "Among Others" presents a collection of essays on present and past fantasy and science fiction books highlighting the underappreciated and taking a critical look at the mainstream.
  • cover art The bombers and the bombed : Allied air war over Europe 1940-1945 / by Richard Overy. A history of the Allied bombing campaigns of World War II questions the morality of British and American attacks on occupied European cities while offering insight into the course of the civilian front line of the Allied air war as it was shaped by political strategies.
  • cover art I always loved you : a story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas / by Robin Oliveira. The best-selling author of "My Name is Mary Sutter" presents a tale inspired by the romance between Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas that finds young Mary struggling with self-doubt after being rejected by the Paris Salon before entering into a tempestuous relationship with a fellow artist.
  • cover art I am Abraham : (a novel of Lincoln and the Civil War) / by Jerome Charyn. Written in period style and peppered with 19th-century humor, a narrative portrait of the 16th President in his own voice reflects on his major life events from his picaresque youth in Illinois and improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd through his visit to war-shattered Richmond days before his assassination.
  • cover art I shall be near to you : a novel / by Erin McCabe. A tale inspired by true accounts and a real female soldier's letters home follows the extraordinary experiences of a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight next to her husband in the American Civil War, an effort that tests the bonds of their relationship and their respective gender perceptions.
  • cover art The Museum of Extraordinary Things : a novel / by Alice Hoffman. The daughter of a Coney Island boardwalk curiosities museum's front man pursues an impassioned love affair with a Russian immigrant photographer who after fleeing his Lower East Side Orthodox community has captured poignant images of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. By the best-selling author of "Here on Earth".
  • cover art My name is Resolute / by Nancy Turner. Captured by pirates in Jamaica and sold into slavery in New England, Resolute Talbot and her siblings are taught to spin and weave before Resolute finds herself alone in a harsh Lexington culture torn by a brewing Revolutionary War.
  • cover art The drowning spool / by Monica Ferris. Complemented by a free embroidery pattern, a latest entry in the best-selling series finds craft shop owner Betsy Devonshire teaching a class on a tricky technique only to become entangled in a suspicious drowning case involving the victim's three lovers.
  • cover art Miss Dimple picks a peck of trouble / by Mignon Ballard. Teaming up with her fellow teacher sleuths when a missing girl from their 1944 Georgia community is found murdered, Miss Dimple learns that the victim had been hiding scandalous secrets and that the only witness is a delusional local. By the author of the Augusta Goodnight series.
  • cover art Do or die : Reluctant Heroes / by Suzanne Brockmann. Sent on a mission to rescue two kidnapped children being held in a South American embassy, former Navy SEAL Ian Dunn teams up with intelligent young lawyer Phoebe Kruger in a race against time that is complicated by a mob hit. By the award-winning author of "Born to Darkness".