March 26, 2015 - Spring Has Sprung

Last week I told you about some of the avian signs of spring’s approach. This week, let me tell you about the astronomical signs of spring and other things that happened at the time of the vernal equinox – also known as astronomical spring-- arrived on March 20th at around 5:45 p.m. At that moment the sun crossed the celestial equator going from south to north and we experienced the equinox( the hours of daylight and night are equal). From now on, with the sun heading further north we’ll be adding more hours of daylight until we hit June 21st. Also on March 20th the moon turned new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee (the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit). This means that this was a super moon (a new or full moons closely coinciding with perigee) at the new phase so it is not visible in our sky, but it was still having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. This new super moon also swung right in front of the equinox sun on March 20th, so that the moon’s shadow fell on parts of Earth thus creating an eclipse. Unfortunately the best spots to have watched this total solar eclipse from land were the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard archipelago(Up near Iceland & Greenland). So while the arrival of spring was very exciting in some parts of the world, there wasn’t actually much to see around here. Except the robins. Robins returned to the area the beginning of last week (at least on South Street) and what with the robins, red-winged black birds, and having passed the vernal equinox, I think it’s pretty safe to say that spring has sprung. A baker’s dozen of new book titles are listed below. Enjoy!

  • cover art Epitaph : a novel of the O.K. Corral / by Mary Russell. A sequel to “Doc” is based on the true events of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Wyatt Earp's survival against a backdrop of volatile politics in 1881 America. By the award-winning author of “The Sparrow”.
  • cover art Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule : a novel / by Jennifer Chiaverini. A reimagining of the life of Civil War general's wife and First Lady Julia Grant traces her unlikely courtship and marriage, her relationship with a psychic slave who shared her name and their shared lives during and after the war. By the best-selling author of “Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker”.
  • cover art A dangerous place / by Jacqueline Winspear. Arriving in turbulent 1937 Gibraltar in the aftermath of a tragedy, Maisie Dobbs raises the British Secret Service's suspicions through her involvement in the murder of a Sephardic Jewish photographer. By the Agatha Award-winning author of “Leaving Everything Most Loved”.
  • cover art The edge of dreams / by Rhys Bowen. After her police-captain husband receives taunting notes from a serial killer whose victims appear to have nothing in common, Molly Murphy is injured in a train crash that identifies her as an intended target.
  • cover art Murder on the Champ de Mars / by Cara Black. Struggling to run her business and care for her newborn, sleep-deprived Aimée Leduc reluctantly takes the case of a French Gypsy boy whose dying mother has been kidnapped by adversaries who would hide a dangerous secret about Aimée's murdered father.
  • cover art Night life : a novel by David Taylor. In 1954 New York City, cop Michael Cassidy, whose father is a successful Broadway producer and his godfather is a Mafia boss, investigates the brutal murders of young men that garners the attention of the FBI, CIA and the Mafia, while spending his nights with a beautiful new neighbor--who may actually be his enemy.
  • cover art The assassin / by Clive Cussler. Preparing to investigate Standard Oil's monopoly when a sniper shoots key opponents and blows up an independent refinery, Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell engages in a daring cat-and-mouse chase through America and Russia to stop the killer.
  • cover art Cold betrayal : an Ali Reynolds novel / by J.A. Jance. While Sister Anselm considers parallels between a hit-and-run targeting a pregnant former cult member and a similar case from years earlier, Ali Reynolds investigates threats against an aging in-law.