New at the library

Peter White Public Library has received a number of new fiction and nonfiction titles just in time for blustery winter weather.

Imperfect, an Improbable Life by Jim Abbott and Tim Brown is the story of baseball pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott was raised in Flint, Mich., by parents who challenged him to rise above his disability and succeed. Born without a right hand, Abbott played baseball at the University of Michigan, won an Olympic gold medal in 1988 and landed a coveted job as pitcher for the New York Yankees. This book chronicles his golden career, fall from grace and efforts to return to the game he loves.

Another Michigan native, Bettye LaVette, tells her story in A Woman Like Me. Despite her association with musical legends like Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Aretha Franklin, LaVette’s career never made her a household name. Each time the spotlight looked like it would shine on her, luck would change and her hope of fame would be dashed. In 2008 she performed at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony and at President Obama’s pre-inaugural concert in 2009. Both performances captivated audiences and changed her career. LaVette honestly and frankly discusses her life and career in this wonderful autobiography.

Consigned to Death is Jane K. Cleland’s first novel, and the mystery is based on her career as a purveyor of antiques and used books. Josie Prescott is forced to leave her high-paying New York auction house career as a result of a much-publicized price-fixing scandal. She moves to New Hampshire where she sets up her own antiques auction business. Unfortunately, her new business venture is cut short by a nasty murder. The local police chief is convinced she is the prime suspect, and she must fight to clear her name.

Jane Wheel is author Sharon Fiffer’s detective in Lucky Stuff. This is the eighth book in a series about an antiques picker who just happens to be at the center of murder. Wheel travels to her hometown of Kankakee, Ill., and her mother asks her to investigate Lucky Miller, an obscure comedian making a comeback. Lucky feels threatened by Jane’s attentions, but his comfort level is truly exceeded when one of the drivers on his crew turns up dead just hours after he claims Lucky tried to kill him. Can Jane save Lucky and satisfy her mother at the same time?

Scurvy, How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail, is a combination mystery, adventure and historical novel. Stephen R. Bown weaves a tale of medical discovery with the swashbuckling adventure on the high seas as he recounts the three men who worked separately to eliminate the dreaded affliction of Scurvy during the 18th century. This book is an evocative journey back to the era of wooden ships and sails when disease infiltrated every aspect of seafaring. Battles were lost, explorations were doomed and money was lost until the cure for this dreaded disease was discovered.

The cure for scurvy, once identified, is an easy one to implement. Not so with the rabies virus. Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy present a cultural history of the world’s most diabolical virus in Rabid. One of mankind’s oldest and most fearsome foes can travel from one stricken animal to another. The story of rabies has been perpetrated from Greek Myths to zombie flicks and from the laboratory of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment. Rabies kills nearly 100 percent of its victims once the infection reaches the brain. Despite its deadly reputation, it can hold promise for the solution to other diseases such as AIDS, SARS and avian flu.

Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words, Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia by Kate Whouley documents her mother’s struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. Kate is forced to become her mother’s advocate and protector and thereby learns that Alzheimer’s can be an unlikely teacher and healer. An inspirational read for anyone who fills the caregiver role with someone suffering from dementia, Whouley combines emotion, wit and detail into a memoir that will ring true for anyone facing this important issue with a friend or relative.

Stacy London is best known as one of the hosts of the hit TV show “What Not to Wear.” She uses her unique talents to share the principals of how to dress well in book form. The Truth About Style features nine real woman who work with London to determine what they like and dislike about themselves and to develop their own flattering style. Even if you aren’t a fashionista, this readable book will provide insight into how you can proudly wear clothing that fits your style.

I’m Your Man by Sylvie Simmons is the biography of songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen. Dubbed one of the most important and influential artists of all time, Cohen hides from the spotlight, never looking for attention. Simmons had the blessing of Cohen and access to his closest friends, lovers, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians, as well as his personal archives. This is a deeply insightful portrait of a man of vision, depth and talent who continues to influence the world of music and literature.

Kitchen knives and the ways to care for them is the topic of An Edge in the Kitchen, the Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives by Chad Ward. Text and diagrams provide a how-to for buying them, keeping them sharp and using them like a pro. For many, knives are a mystery. Ward sets out to debunk the myths and mysteries of knives while educating the reader. This in-depth guide to the most important tool in the kitchen includes how to choose the best knives in your price range, provides step-by-step instructions for sharpening and practice tutorials on knife skills.

Don’t let winter weather keep you from a new book. The library has lots to offer to warm up your winter with books.

– Pam Christensen

Library Director