New at the library
Murder as a Fine Art. David Morrell. 2013. Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier. The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey’s essay “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.” Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives. In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London and the Radcliffe-Highway murders from history.
Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel. Sherill Tippins. 2013. The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all in one astonishing building. Sherill Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivers a masterful and endlessly entertaining history of the Chelsea and of the successive generations of artists who have cohabited and created there, among them John Sloan, Edgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Sam Shepard, Sid Vicious and Dee Dee Ramone. Now as legendary as the artists it has housed and the countless creative collaborations it has sparked, the Chelsea has always stood as a mystery as well.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. Eric Schlosser. 2014. Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deeper to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism and technology breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them?
Frozen in Time. Mitchell Zuckoff. 2013. This is a gripping story of survival, bravery, and honor in the vast Artic wilderness during World War II. On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, the B-17 assigned to the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on board survived, and the US military launched a daring rescue operation. But after picking up one man, the Grumman Duck amphibious plane flew into a severe storm and vanished. Frozen in Time tells the story of these crashes and the fate of the survivors, bringing vividly to life their battle to endure 148 days of the brutal Arctic winter, until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen brought them to safety. Mitchell Zuckoff takes the reader deep into the most hostile environment on earth, through hurricane-force winds, vicious blizzards, and subzero temperatures.
By Stanley F. Peterson