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New Books for August


The start of the school year is right around the corner, and we’re ordering new books just in time for all the returning students! Here are some highlights of the new books you’ll find in the collection this month:

Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire by Peter Stark “documents the 1810 to 1813 expedition, financed by millionaire John Jacob Astor and encouraged by Thomas Jefferson, to establish Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.”

Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West, edited by Virginia Scharff. “Empire and Liberty brings together two epic subjects in American history: the story of the struggle to end slavery that reached a violent climax in the Civil War, and the story of the westward expansion of the United States. Virginia Scharff and the contributors to this volume show how the West shaped the conflict over slavery, and how slavery shaped the West, in the process defining American ideals about freedom and influencing battles over race, property, and citizenship. This innovative work embraces East and West, as well as North and South, as the United States observes the 2015 sesquicentennial commemoration of the end of the Civil War. A companion volume to an Autry National Center exhibition on the Civil War and the West, Empire and Liberty brings leading historians together to examine artifacts, objects, and art that illuminate this period of national expansion, conflict, and catharsis.”

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell. “In the wanting months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood. Throughout the summer of 1944 — until one father forbids it — the subterranean space becomes their “secret garden,” where the friends play games and tell stories. Six decades later, beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the discovery makes national news, the friends come together once again, to recall their days in the tunnel for the detective investigating the case. Is the truth buried among these aging friends and memories? This impromptu reunion causes long-simmering feelings to bubble to the surface. Mild-mannered Alan, stuck in a passionless marriage, begins flirting with Daphne, a glamorous widow who was once his teenage sweetheart. Michael, lonely after the death of his wife, considers contacting his estranged father, who sent Michael to live with an aunt after his mother vanished in 1944. Lewis begins remembering details about his Uncle James, an army private who once accompanied the Children into the tunnels, and who later disappeared. In THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, Rendell brilliantly shatters our assumptions about age, showing that the choices people make — and the emotions behind them — remain as potent in late life as they were in youth”

Stop by the Library’s second floor to browse all our new books, or check out the list in our catalog.