Expand your mind.  What's it like to go to war?  Why do Americans move so frequently?  A brilliant neurosurgeon learns he has inoperable cancer, read how he decides to meet this challenge.  Women 'rocket sciences'? Yes!

The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered : Aren't we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family's perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it-- no matter what. How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Warnick sets out to discover.

"From master storyteller and historian H.W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, 'The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has.' This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era"--.

There is something about a non-fiction book that challenges people to change, to reflect upon their lives, to explore new worlds...

'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries-- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise-- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.

The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds-- from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome-- unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children .

If You Like Amy Tan...

If you like strong female characters with a sense of adventure such as the women featured in Amy Tan's stories, may we suggest...

Beautiful ruins: a novel by Jess Walter

The inheritance of loss by Kiran Desai

Beside a burning sea by John Shors

Daughter's keeper by Ayelet Waldman

The round house by Louise Erdrich

The madonnas of Leningrad: a novel by Debra Dean

Lest We Forget Movies for Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established in 1868 following the end of the American Civil War as General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters:

II. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

Over the past two centuries, wars continue to be fought, and Hollywood has immortalized them on film:

Gettysburg [videodisc] by Turner Pictures presents a Mace /Neufeld/Robert Rehme presentation of an Esparza/Katz production ; a film by Ronald F. Maxwell ; screenplay by Ronald F. Maxwell ; produced by Robert Katz, Moctesuma Esparza ; directed by Ronald F. Maxwell

Johnny got his gun [videodisc] by Roxbury Entertainment ; Arch Oboler Productions

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