The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019

What began as one small step for [a] man, is now one giant leap through half a century of the calendar of human history, as we commemorate the first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.

With the anniversary comes books and other resources highlighting the landing, the astronauts, and the space race—which was an echo of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After some early experiments in space, President Kennedy in 1961 set the mission for the nation, to land a person on the moon by the end of the sixties. This story had it all, great characters, drama, heroes and villains, pathos and tragedy, and finally triumph. Also, microwaves, Teflon, and the never ending development of technology that came about as offshoots of the space missions during that half century.

Some of the newer titles out for the anniversary year include the books American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings by Roger Launius, and One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman.

DVDs include First Man (based on the book by James Hansen), and from director Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11. Continue reading “The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019”

Books for Two or More

There’s no need to go to the trouble of getting a large group together for a book group each month (unless you want to). I have a book group for two, sometimes more, and it’s going just fine. We get together once every two months to discuss our read.

My book group’s previous selection was French Exit: A Tragedy of Manners by Patrick deWitt:

Cover image of French Exit“Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin – to riotous effect.” (publisher description)

Continue reading “Books for Two or More”

New Nonfiction Roundup – July 2019

What’s new in nonfiction this July? Page-turning chronicles of crises close to home and abroad, women stepping out of the shadow of men, and a pair of graphic adaptations highlight the best this month has to offer.

Amazing DecisionsA graphic guide to making better decisions, from Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational). 

America’s Reluctant PrinceHistorian Steven M. Gillon looks at the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy Jr.

American PredatorMaureen Callahan delivers a gripping true crime tale of serial killer Israel Keyes. Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup – July 2019”

Bee Smart! Books about Pollinators for Kids

National Pollinator Week logoAs National Pollinator Week comes to a close, discover books about bees and other pollinators to enjoy with your children and to help kids understand the roles pollinators play in our environment. And then on Monday, June 24, sign them up for Summer of Learning so they can continue to Explore Your World!

 

The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall
Told in rhyming couplets, the poem of this book follows bees as they search for nectar, gather pollen, and make the nectar into honey. For readers preschool-grade 2. Continue reading “Bee Smart! Books about Pollinators for Kids”

#BookBingoNW2019: Science

Looking for something to fill in your Book Bingo “Science” square?  Something that will stretch your brain? How about a fascinating page-turner that somehow makes complex topics easy to grasp? Here are some titles that bear no resemblance to a dusty chemistry textbook:

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford
The first complete sequencing of the human genome in 2003 (as part of The Human Genome Project) opened the floodgates to voluminous scientific data which are changing our understanding of the human species. Rutherford, a British geneticist and science writer, explains how recent genetic research upends much of what we thought we knew about evolution, migration, race and more. He writes in an engaging and at times humorous style. According to the New York Times Book Review, this book is “Nothing less than a tour de force–a heady amalgam of science, history, a little bit of anthropology and plenty of nuanced, captivating storytelling.” Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: Science”