February 4, 2017 | madame librarian
Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life. With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy. Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Richard A. Serrano's new book American Endurance: The Great Cowboy Race and the Vanishing Wild West is history, mystery, and Western all rolled into one. In June 1893, nine cowboys raced across a thousand miles of American prairie to the Chicago World's Fair. For two weeks they thundered past angry sheriffs, governors, and Humane Society inspectors intent on halting their race. Waiting for them at the finish line was Buffalo Bill Cody, who had set up his Wild West Show right next to the World's Fair that had refused to allow his exhibition at the fair. The Great Cowboy Race occurred at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: many believed the frontier was settled and the West was no more. The Chicago World's Fair represented the triumph of modernity and the end of the cowboy age. Except no one told the cowboys. Racing toward Buffalo Bill Cody and the gold-plated Colt revolver he promised to the first to reach his arena, nine men went on a Wild West stampede from tiny Chadron, Nebraska, to bustling Chicago. But at the first thud of hooves pounding on Chicago's brick pavement, the race devolved into chaos. Some of the cowboys shipped their horses part of the way by rail, or hired private buggies. One had the unfair advantage of having helped plan the route map in the first place. It took three days, numerous allegations, and a good old Western showdown to sort out who was first to Chicago, and who won the Great Cowboy Race.
No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, built an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project when it was already well along, and, in desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship—at the time, the single most complicated machine ever made. Abraham Lincoln himself was closely involved with the ship’s design.
January 3, 2017 | madame librarian
If you enjoy reading Robert Ludlum's suspenseful stories, you may enjoy these authors as well.
The Delta Solution is an action-packed novel dealing with the Somali pirates operating off the southerly reaches of the lawless East African republic on the Indian Ocean. For the past three years, these heavily armed tribal brigands have been capturing and holding for ransom massive cargo ships, especially oil tankers, and violently demanding millions of dollars for their return. Pirating out of the tiny Somalian village of Haradheere has become a very lucrative, dangerous business, so much so that the village has its own Stock Exchange with a reputed $78 million cash, all in crisp $100 bills, in the town vault. And each time an owner pays big for the return of their ship, the pirates immediately do it again, enraging the Pentagon more and more by the day. That is, until the "Somali Marines" make a big mistake, seizing at gun point two United States ships and demanding a $15 million ransom for their return. Hero Mack Bedford, previously encountered in Diamondhead and Intercept, is deployed to SEAL Team 10 to form The Delta Platoon. His objective: obliterate the Somali Marines in the middle of the Indian Ocean, at all costs, once and for all.
What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain--in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos. Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States. Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still embedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Inauguration Day--noon on January 20th--is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to disaster and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest. Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He's aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America's oldest fraternal organization--the Society of Cincinnati--a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three invasion plans of what was intended to be America's 14th colony--Canada. In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront a crippling fear that he's long denied, but which now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry's trademark mix of history and speculation is all here in this provocative new thriller.