Collection Capers: August 2006

Collection Capers is a monthly newsletter of NEW interesting or unusual non fiction added to the Sutherland Shire Libraries collection.

Unknown soldier : a story of grief and the Great War by Jean-Yves Le Naour
The recreated life of an amnesic French soldier. An advertisement, placed in the hope of finding his lost family, found instead a bereaved multitude ready to claim him as the father, husband or brother who had never come home. Fills in some of the gaps as to what happens to the common soldier, the high price paid for fighting for one’s country.

House of war : the Pentagon and the disastrous rise of American power by James Carroll
This landmark work chronicles the most powerful institution in America, the people who created it, and the pathologies it has spawned. Argues that the Pentagon has, since its founding, operated beyond the control of government and society, and has changed the character of the United States more than any other institution.

Manhunt : the 12 day chase for Abraham Lincoln’s killer by James L. Swanson
Delivers an enthralling hour-by-hour account of the twelve days in 1865, between President Lincoln's assassination and the capture of his murderer. Forget all the parapsychological stories of Lincoln dying in the Kennedy room, and being followed as President by a man named Johnson. Here is a gripping story of planned murder and a police chase worthy of Bonnie and Clyde. Quick quiz, besides Lincoln and Kennedy who is the other US president to be assassinated?

Mobile mansions : taking Home sweet home on the road by Douglas Keister
Caravans are cool! OK, these recreational vehicles are a little more elaborate than your average caravan. Many people are embracing the motorhome as a luxurious and fun way to take a break, by taking home with them. A long way from the Kombi and the Merry Pranksters and perhaps a bit heavy on the juice.

Mere mortals by Jim Leavesley
A second look at medical peculiarities via historical figures including Michelangelo, Chopin, Picasso, Freud and many others. Filled with fascinating facts, enthralling events and a cast of eccentric, intriguing characters.

In search of the pangolin : the accidental eco-tourist by Satyadit Das and Jade Novakovic
Presents a potted travel narrative focused on eco-tourism, from the point of view of two eco-tourists, as they search for unusual animals around the globe. Combines wicked humour with insights into the natural world and the culture of conservation.

Dry : life without water by Ehsan Masood and Daniel Schaffer
Tells the diverse stories about people in very hot, very cold, or very high places, who spend their lives collecting, chasing, piping, and trapping water. Makes us realise that for most of the world’s population water is not easily available and that it doesn’t just come out of a tap.

The one percent doctrine : deep inside America’s pursuit of its enemies since 9/11 by Ron Suskind
Takes readers inside the defining conflict of our era: the war between the US and a growing shadowy army of terrorists, armed with weapons of alarming power. Relying on unique access to government officials, this book reveals how the US government is improvising to fight a new kind of war. A real life spy thriller.

The myth of the Great Depression by David Potts
We are all familiar with images of the Great Depression, long food queues, men lining up and hoping for work, families turned out on the street. Historian, David Potts postulates that the Great Depression, as a time of great suffering, is often untrue or exaggerated. He discovered through interviews and research of original documents that perhaps times were possibly better we have thought. Of course this wouldn’t apply to the swaggies with no shoes who came to the door for a bit of food.

The war of the world by Niall Ferguson
The 20th century proved to be violent, frightening and brutalized with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War. What went wrong? How did we do this to ourselves? This book provides answers for these questions. It’s ironic that when we have international bodies for peace and Geneva conventions we also have the most devastating weapons and the most horrible massacres the world has ever seen.

Bizarro and other strange manifestations of the art of Dan Piraro by Dan Piraro
Like a good songwriter or poet, cartoonists can often capture that elusive essence which can define a feeling or a point of view that expresses what we can’t do ourselves. Piraro is one of those people along with perhaps Leunig and Gary Larson. He discusses his life, from a poor religious upbringing to life with a well-paid job in New York, leading up to his present fulfilling life as a cartoonist. Bizarro is full of edgy and poignant cartoons.

Dogs of war : Columbus, the Inquisition and the defeat of the Moors by James Reston
Set against the fury and strife that arose from the cinders of medieval Europe, this book examines the Spanish Inquisition (which no one expects). Spain embarked on a campaign of extreme religious intolerance expelling Jews and Muslims from its world. This book brings the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition into focus.

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