What’s HOT: Top Nonfiction Books at the Library Right Now – May 2017

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Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy by Nicholas Reynolds.jpg10.) Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy by Nicholas Reynolds

An international cloak-and-dagger epic ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the liberation of Western Europe, wartime China, the Red Scare of Cold War America, and the Cuban Revolution, here is the stunning untold story of a literary icon’s dangerous secret life — including his role as a Soviet agent code-named “Argo” — that fueled his art and his undoing.

In 2010, while he was the historian at the esteemed CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime American intelligence officer, former U.S. Marine colonel, and Oxford-trained historian, began to uncover clues suggesting Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in mid-twentieth-century spycraft was far more complex, sustained, and fraught with risks than has been previously understood. Now Reynolds’s deeply researched and captivating narrative, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy, reveals his discoveries for the first time, bringing to light the whole story of this hidden side of Hemingway’s life: his troubling recruitment by Soviet spies to work with the NKVD, the forerunner to the KGB, followed in short order by a complex set of secret relationships with American agencies, including the FBI, the Department of State, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the CIA.

Starting with Hemingway’s sympathy to antifascist forces during the 1930s, Reynolds illuminates Hemingway’s immersion in the life-and-death world of the revolutionary left, from his passionate commitment to the Spanish Republic; his successful pursuit by Soviet NKVD agents, who valued Hemingway’s influence, access, and mobility; his wartime meeting in East Asia with communist leader Chou En-Lai, the future premier of the People’s Republic of China; and finally to his undercover involvement with Cuban rebels in the late 1950s and his sympathy for Fidel Castro. Reynolds equally explores Hemingway’s participation in various roles as an agent for the United States government, including hunting Nazi submarines with ONI-supplied munitions in the Caribbean on his boat, Pilar; his command of an informant ring in Cuba called the “Crook Factory” that reported to the American embassy in Havana; and his on-the-ground role in Europe, where he helped OSS gain key tactical intelligence for the liberation of Paris and fought alongside the U.S. infantry in the bloody endgame of World War II.

As he examines the links between Hemingway’s work as an operative and as an author, Reynolds reveals how Hemingway’s secret adventures influenced his literary output and contributed to the writer’s block and mental decline (including paranoia) that plagued him during the postwar years — a period marked by the Red Scare and McCarthy hearings, which destroyed the life of anyone with Soviet connections. Reynolds also illuminates how those same experiences played a role in some of Hemingway’s greatest works, including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea, while also adding to the burden that he carried at the end of his life and perhaps contributing to his suicide.

A literary biography with the soul of an espionage thriller, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy is an essential contribution to our understanding of the life, work, and fate of one of America’s most legendary authors.

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The World Remade by GJ Meyer.jpg9.) The World Remade by GJ Meyer

After years of bitter debate, the United States declared war on Imperial Germany on April 6, 1917, plunging the country into the savage European conflict that would redraw the map of the continent—and the globe. The World Remade is an engrossing chronicle of America’s pivotal, still controversial intervention into World War I, encompassing the tumultuous politics and towering historical figures that defined the era and forged the future. When it declared war, the United States was the youngest of the major powers and militarily the weakest by far. On November 11, 1918, when the fighting stopped, it was not only the richest country on earth but the mightiest.

With the mercurial, autocratic President Woodrow Wilson as a primary focus, G. J. Meyer takes readers from the heated deliberations over U.S. involvement, through the provocations and manipulations that drew us into the fight, to the battlefield itself and the shattering aftermath of the struggle. America’s entry into the Great War helped make possible the defeat of Germany that had eluded Britain, France, Russia, and Italy in three and a half years of horrendous carnage. Victory, in turn, led to a peace treaty so ill-conceived, so vindictive, that the world was put on the road to an even bloodier confrontation a mere twenty years later.

On the home front, Meyer recounts the break-up of traditional class structures, the rise of the progressive and labor movements, the wave of anti-German hysteria, and the explosive expansion of both the economy and federal power, including shocking suspensions of constitutional protections that planted the seeds of today’s national security state. Here also are revealing portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, Robert La Follette, Eugene Debs, and John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, among others, as well as European leaders such as “Welsh Wizard” David Lloyd George of Britain, “Tiger” Georges Clemenceau of France, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

Meyer interweaves the many strands of his story into a gripping narrative that casts new light on one of the darkest, most forgotten corners of U.S. history. In the grand tradition of his earlier work A World Undone—which centered on the European perspective—The World Remade adds a new, uniquely American dimension to our understanding of the seminal conflict of the twentieth century.

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Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils by Dr. Marzia Snyder.jpg8.) Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils by Dr. Marzia Snyder

Offers over 50 of the most useful essential oil recipes for tackling every mom’s daily needs

The primary concern for you, as a mother, is making sure your family is in good health and your home is a safe environment—a more difficult task than ever in an increasingly toxic world. Using the carefully crafted recipes and healing practices in this book, smart moms everywhere can take advantage of the incredible power of essential oils to overcome this vital dilemma. Packed with hundreds of practical, holistic solutions, this complete guide to essential oils covers the most fundamental applications, from creating non-toxic homemade cleaners to relieving common aches and pains. Included are recipes for everyday emergencies and on-the-go first aid, while other concoctions aim to enhance individual mood, sleep, and weight. The book also includes special blends for pet health, making sure that even Fido stays well. With detailed information on the benefits of every type of oil, tips for safe practice, and a comprehensive list of resources, Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils is an indispensable reference for moms looking to get the most from their oils.

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The Lose Your Belly Diet by Travis Stork, MD.jpg7.) The Lose Your Belly Diet by Travis Stork, MD

We want to be healthy. We want to be lean. And we want to lose that annoying fat around our bellies!

We can achieve ALL of these goals with the Super-G Life. Based on exciting new research about the dramatic benefits of vibrant gut health and a diverse gut microbiome, the Super-G Life nurtures your gut while burning off excess weight and harmful belly fat.

The Super-G Life is built around a very clear, research-based concept: Eating food that increases, feeds, and protects the microbes in your gut paves the way for weight loss, a slimmer middle, and better overall health.

It s not just about weight loss. Having great gut health is linked to good health throughout your body. Scientists in this rapidly growing field are finding connections between the gut microbiome and a healthy immune system and gastrointestinal system, as well as autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease), allergies and asthma, and even cancer. With every study that s published, scientists become more convinced that a healthy gut leads to a healthy body.

We re accustomed to thinking of bacteria as bad and some are but most of the bacteria and microbes in our guts do amazing things, like working with our immune system to fight disease and helping our bodies digest food. Not only can t we live without them, but as their numbers and diversity increase, so too does our health. I like to think of the microbes in my gut as my little buddies who are helping me stay healthy every minute of the day. And I love the idea of feeding them the foods they need to flourish foods that you ll find in abundance in the Super-G Life.

Research is uncovering ways to boost gut health and nurture the gut microbiome. In this book we ll look at all of the ways you can improve your own gut health. We ll start with diet. The Super-G daily eating plan, which picks up where The Doctor s Diet left off, provides gut-enhancing foods, meal plans, and recipes based on the latest research into gut health. Foods in the Super-G diet help increase, feed, and protect the microbes in the gut.

But diet is just one factor in gut health. We ll also look at the many other steps you can take to support your gut microbiome, from avoiding unnecessary antibiotics to worrying a little less about dirt and germs. Even the choices you make about how you bring your children into the world can have an impact on your family s microbiomes.

And here s another reason to take good care of your gut health: Every part of your body benefits, including your skin. That s right: When your gut is happy, your skin glows with health and you look and feel younger.

In the Super-G Life, we ll cover all the bases, giving readers everything they need to make dramatic changes in their GI health, their weight, their belly fat, and their overall health.

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Earning the Rockies by Robert D Kaplan.jpg6.) Earning the Rockies by Robert D Kaplan

An incisive portrait of the American landscape that shows how geography continues to determine America’s role in the world–from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and Balkan Ghosts

As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father tell evocative stories about traveling across America in his youth, travels in which he learned to understand the country literally from the ground up. There was a specific phrase from Kaplan’s childhood that captured this perspective: A westward traveler must “earn the Rockies” by driving–not flying–across the flat Midwest and Great Plains.

In Earning the Rockies, Kaplan undertakes his own cross-country journey to recapture an appreciation of American geography often lost in the jet age. Traveling west, in the same direction as the pioneers, Kaplan traverses a rich and varied landscape that remains the primary source of American power. Along the way, he witnesses both prosperity and decline–increasingly cosmopolitan cities that thrive on globalization, impoverished towns denuded by the loss of manufacturing–and paints a bracingly clear picture of America today.

The history of westward expansion is examined here in a new light–as a story not just of genocide and individualism, but also of communalism and a respect for the limits of a water-starved terrain, a frontier experience that bent our national character toward pragmatism. Kaplan shows how the great midcentury works of geography and geopolitics by Bernard DeVoto, Walter Prescott Webb, and Wallace Stegner are more relevant today than ever before.

Concluding his journey at Naval Base San Diego, Kaplan looks out across the Pacific Ocean to the next frontier: China, India, and the emerging nations of Asia. And in the final chapter, he provides a gripping description of an anarchic world and explains why America’s foreign policy response ought to be rooted in its own geographical situation.

In this short, intense meditation on the American landscape, Robert D. Kaplan reminds us of an overlooked source of American strength: the fact that we are a nation, empire, and continent all at once. Earning the Rockies is an urgent reminder of how a nation’s geography still foreshadows its future, and how we must reexamine our own landscape in order to confront the challenges that lie before us.

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A Wretched and Precarious Situation by David Welky.jpg5.) A Wretched and Precarious Situation by David Welky

In 1906, from atop a snow-swept hill in the ice fields northwest of Greenland, hundreds of miles from another human being, Commander Robert E. Peary spotted a line of mysterious peaks looming in the distance. He called this unexplored realm “Crocker Land.” Scientists and explorers agreed that the world-famous explorer had discovered a new continent rising from the frozen Arctic Ocean.

Several years later, two of Peary’s disciples, George Borup and Donald MacMillan, assembled a team of amateur adventurers to investigate Crocker Land. Before them lay a chance at the kind of lasting fame enjoyed by Magellan, Columbus, and Captain Cook. While filling in the last blank space on the globe, they might find new species of plants or animals, or even men; in the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, anything seemed possible. Renowned scientific institutions, and even former president Theodore Roosevelt, rushed to endorse the expedition.

What followed was a sequence of events that none of the explorers could have imagined. Trapped in a true-life adventure story, the men endured howling blizzards, unearthly cold, food shortages, isolation, a fatal boating accident, a drunken sea captain, disease, dissension, and a horrific crime. But the team pushed on through every obstacle, driven forward by the mystery of Crocker Land and faint hopes that they someday would make it home.

Populated with a cast of memorable characters, and based on years of research in previously untapped sources, A Wretched and Precarious Situation is a harrowing Arctic narrative unlike any other.

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Attitude by Jay Wright.jpg4.) Attitude by Jay Wright

When Kris Jenkins sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the 2016 NCAA Tournament, it was a victory not just for a team and its coach but for an entire program. In his twentieth season with the Villanova program, including a five-year stint as an assistant to Coach Rollie Massimino, Coach Jay Wright had achieved his lifelong dream—and witnessed the culmination of a decades-long effort to build a culture of winning around a set of core values.

In Attitude, Coach Wright shares some of the leadership secrets that have enabled Villanova, a private university with an undergraduate enrollment of less than 6,500, to thrive in the hypercompetitive world of college athletics. As he recounts the story of the 2015–16 Wildcats, Coach Wright offers anecdotes from his own journey up the ladder of success, with lessons learned on the Little League playing fields of his youth and wisdom passed down from his coaches and mentors.

Each step of Villanova’s journey to a national championship incorporates a signature term torn from Coach Wright’s own motivational playbook. Here are key principles that aspiring leaders can apply, not only on the basketball court but in the boardroom, the classroom, and the living room. From learning to accept your role to remembering to honor those who came before us, Jay Wright’s core values provide a positive blueprint for transformational team building based on the idea that anyone—from the head coach to the last player on the bench—can be a leader when the moment demands it.

The product of a lifetime’s worth of championship-level preparation, Attitude is perfect for anyone looking to build a team, achieve a goal, or nurture their own winning culture.

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Havana by Mark Kurlansky.jpg3.) Havana by Mark Kurlansky

Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky presents an insider’s view of Havana: the elegant, tattered city he has come to know over more than thirty years. Part cultural history, part travelogue, with recipes, historic engravings, photographs, and Kurlansky’s own pen-and-ink drawings throughout, Havana celebrates the city’s singular music, literature, baseball, and food; its five centuries of outstanding, neglected architecture; and its extraordinary blend of cultures.

Like all great cities, Havana has a rich history that informs the vibrant place it is today–from the native Taino to Columbus’s landing, from Cuba’s status as a U.S. protectorate to Batista’s dictatorship and Castro’s revolution, from Soviet presence to the welcoming of capitalist tourism. Havana is a place of extremes: a beautifully restored colonial city whose cobblestone streets pass through areas that have not been painted or repaired since the revolution.

Kurlansky shows Havana through the eyes of Cuban writers, such as Alejo Carpentier and José Martí, and foreigners, including Graham Greene and Hemingway. He introduces us to Cuban baseball and its highly opinionated fans; the city’s music scene, alive with the rhythm of Son; its culinary legacy. Once the only country Americans couldn’t visit, Cuba is now opening to us, as is Havana, not only by plane or boat but also through Mark Kurlansky’s multilayered and electrifying portrait of the long-elusive city.

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March 1917 by Will Englund.jpg2.) March 1917 by Will Englund

“We are provincials no longer,” declared Woodrow Wilson on March 5, 1917, at his second inauguration. He spoke on the eve of America’s entrance into World War I, just as Russia teetered between autocracy and democracy. In the face of chaos and turmoil in Europe, Wilson was determined to move America away from the isolationism that had defined the nation’s foreign policy since its inception and to embrace an active role in shaping world affairs.

Just ten days later, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian throne, ending a three-centuries-long dynasty and plunging his country into a new era of uncertainty, ultimately paving the way for the creation of a Soviet empire.

Within a few short weeks, at Wilson’s urging, Congress voted to declare war on Germany, asserting the United States’ new role as a global power and its commitment to spreading American ideals abroad. Yet at home it remained a Jim Crow nation, and African Americans had their own struggle to pursue. American women were agitating for the vote and a greater role in society, and labor strife was rampant. As a consequence of the war that followed, the United States and Russia were to endure a century of wariness and hostility that flickers and flares to this day.

March 1917 reexamines these tumultuous events and their consequences in a compelling new analysis. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary Russian and American diaries, memoirs, oral histories, and newspaper accounts, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Will Englund creates a highly detailed and textured account of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations. March 1917 considers the dreams of that year’s warriors, pacifists, activists, revolutionaries, and reactionaries, and demonstrates how their successes and failures constitute the origin story of our complex modern world.

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Dawn of Infamy by Stephen Harding.jpg1.) Dawn of Infamy by Stephen Harding

As the Pearl Harbor attack began, a U.S. cargo ship a thousand miles away in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean mysteriously vanished along with her crew. What happened, and why?

On December 7, 1941, even as Japanese carrier-launched aircraft flew toward Pearl Harbor, a small American cargo ship chartered by the Army reported that it was under attack by a submarine halfway between Seattle and Honolulu. After that one cryptic message, the humble lumber carrier Cynthia Olson and her crew vanished without a trace, their disappearance all but forgotten as the mighty warships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet burned.

The story of the Cynthia Olson‘s mid-ocean encounter with the Japanese submarine I-26 is both a classic high-seas drama and one of the most enduring mysteries of World War II. Did I-26‘s commander, Minoru Yokota, sink the freighter before the attack on Pearl Harbor began? Did the cargo ship’s 35-man crew survive in lifeboats that drifted away into the vast Pacific, or were they machine-gunned to death? Was the Cynthia Olson the first American casualty of the Pacific War, and could her SOS have changed the course of history?

Based on years of research, Dawn of Infamy explores both the military and human aspects of the Cynthia Olson story, bringing to life a complex tale of courage, tenacity, hubris, and arrogance in the opening hours of America’s war in the Pacific.

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About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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