New at the library

Many people say they would like to read every book in the library starting with A and finishing with Z. Since most libraries add materials to the collection on a regular basis, this goal might be impossible. It got me thinking about books with some connection to the letter A. I have pulled some of the A books I have enjoyed from the Peter White Public Library shelves.

One of my all-time favorites is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Not only is this a book that appeals to a wide range of ages, but it is a classic that can be enjoyed over and over. This captivating story of the March sisters and how their mother struggles to maintain a normal life for the girls while their father is away at war never loses its appeal.

Martha Saxton brings the story of Louisa May Alcott to life in her biography of the author Louisa May. Not only the story of Louisa May, it is a chronicle of the times featuring Hawthorne, Emerson and Thoreau. New England is bustling in the mid-1800s and Alcott’s life is explained against this backdrop and society of the period.

Kate Alcott is a politicial journalist in Washington D.C. Her novel The Dressmaker is the story of Tess who accompanies famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon as her personal maid on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Lady Duff Gordon is accused of saving herself at all costs, and is embroiled in controversy soon after the survivors reach New York.

Using actual testimony from the Titanic hearings and news accounts of the time, this novel follows survivor Tess as she struggles to become a skilled dressmaker in the aftermath of the Titanic tragedy.

Pitcher Jim Abbott recounts his struggle with a disability in Imperfect, an Improbable Life. Abbott was born in Michigan without a right hand, but that never stopped him from dreaming of a big league baseball career. His career has spanned highs and lows, but perhaps his biggest win is the inspiration he gives to children and adults with disabilities. Author Tim Brown helps Abbot share his life in this Michigan Notable Book.

Jeff Abbott is an international bestselling author of mystery and suspense novels. He has three series of novels featuring different heros. Whit Mosley, Jordan Poteet and Sam Capra all have come to life through Abbott’s writing. Capra is the latest hero and focus of Abbott’s current writing. A CIA agent living the life of his dreams, Capra and his wife love London. Unfortunately, that is all lost when a bomb explodes, his wife and child disappear and Capra is called a traitor. Adrenaline is aptly titled and it is a fitting introduction to the work of this talented writer.

Stephen Ambrose was one of the United States’ most influential historians. He chronicled almost every major historical event during his 66 year career. To America is his personal reflection about his life and the events and biases that have shaped our country. This book is a testament to the unflappable American spirit and accurately reflects some of the controversies that continue to impact history and society today.

Ambrose is best known for his historical works about World War II. Band of Brothers, Citizen Soldiers and the Wild Blue are all titles that bear reading. My favorite of his works is Undaunted Courage the tale of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s voyage across the country as seen through the eyes of Lewis. The reader accompanies Lewis and Clark as well as their band of intrepid explorers as they travel to the Pacific Ocean.

Sue Grafton lets the reader begin with A and travel through the alphabet in her Kinsey Milhone alphabet mystery series. A is for Alibi is the first book in the series (available in audio book) and the most recent book is W is for Wasted. Kinsey’s adventures, continual character development and well-crafted plots make for great reading.

Author Peter Straub is known for his love of the supernatural, and serves as a fitting editor for the two volume work American Fantastic Tales-Terror and the Uncanny published by the Library of America.

The first volume traces tales from Poe to the Pulps while the second features tales from the 1940s to Now. This set is an introduction to some of the best fantastical short stories in the United States.

Whether you read from A to Z, or whatever strikes your fancy, there is always something waiting for you on the shelves of the Peter White Public Library.

By Pam Christensen

Library Director