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Larry’s Pick: How the States Got Their Shapes

Larry Staff picks photoHey trivia buffs, ever wonder why Michigan is in two pieces, why Oklahoma has a panhandle appendage, or why California and Texas aren’t rectangular shaped? How the States Got Their Shapes, by Mark Stein, will give you the answers and a unique view of American history.

By Readers' Advisor on November 27, 2012 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Larry’s Pick: The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763 – 1789

Larry Staff picks photoRobert Middlekauff’s The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763 – 1789 is a well-researched history of colonial life and politics during the American Revolution. Middlekauff describes the social, economic, and political conditions that led to the War for Independence in this worthy read for both history buffs and the curious layman.

By Readers' Advisor on September 18, 2012 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Larry’s Pick: Battle Cry of Freedom


Larry Staff picks photoBattle Cry of Freedom
describes the political and social environment that led to the Civil War. A glimpse into the human experience of both soldiers and civilians adds greater depth to the flowing, easy-to-follow prose. Considering the writing style and the scholarship, it is no wonder that James M. McPherson won a Pulitzer Prize for this book.

By MPPL on July 26, 2011 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

War

War book coverLarry of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends War by Sebastian Junger:

Journalist Sebastian Junger describes the experiences of a platoon of American troops with whom he was imbedded in the remote Korangal Valley of Afghanistan. Junger describes the constant danger and discusses how soldiers cope with nonstop fear and being alert to respond at any time. Soldiers encounter an inhospitable environment, no privacy and the inability to maintain personal hygiene. Junger describes the bonds that form among the troops under these adverse conditions. Then there is how the physical and mental stress affects soldiers when they attempt to return to civilian life.

This is a story of survival, fortitude and maintaining a sense of purpose. War is a testament to personal strength and dedication, written in a fast-paced prose with all the emotion and imagery of the experience. As with his previous books, Junger has written an excellent work of nonfiction.

By MPPL on March 7, 2011 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Larry’s Pick: The Shawshank Redemption


Larry Staff picks photoThe Shawshank Redemption
is a tale of courage in the face of adversity, hope in the midst of despair. Tim Robbins plays a convicted murderer, Andy Dufresne, who’s efforts at maintaining a sense of self have a powerful impact on his fellow inmates, especially “Red” Redding, played by Morgan Freeman.

By MPPL on November 2, 2009 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Mostly Good and Competent Men

Mostly Good and Competent Men book coverLarry of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends Mostly Good and Competent Men by Robert P. Howard:

Mostly Good and Competent Men, written by the late journalist and historian Robert P. Howard chronologically describes the strengths, weaknesses, and foibles of the governors of Illinois and the resulting successes and failures of their administrations.  In a succinct readable style, Howard links together biography, politics, and history in his review of each of the thirty-seven governors who served during the 170 years from 1818 to 1988.  This book sheds light on the personalities and events that contributed to the shaping of modern Illinois.  The author’s journalistic writing style makes the story of Illinois’ governors informative and easy to read while on the train or over lunch.  It’s a book that you can learn a lot by reading a little bit at a time.

By MPPL on July 2, 2009 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Larry’s Pick: Jennifer Government

Larry Staff picks photoIn Jennifer Government, a story of capitalism running amok, corporations control world affairs and governments operate for profit.  When one company resorts to murder, agent Jennifer Government must prevent a full-scale war.  This fast-paced and twisting story is both a fun read and a cautionary tale of greed and power.

By MPPL on October 20, 2008 Categories: Books, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Larry’s Pick: Travel by Pullman

Larry Staff picks photoEver wondered what travel was like before standing shoeless at security gates, crowded seats with no elbow room, and “meals” consisting of pretzels and a swallow of soda?  If so, check out Travel By Pullman by Joe Welsh for a look at travel when it was civil, pleasurable, and relaxing.

By MPPL on September 22, 2008 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks