Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Books at Your Alexandria Library: Time for Lunch!

A fresh semester and new books means that the staff members at YOUR Alexandria Library are as giddy as kids hopped up on sugar at a birthday party. Here are some highlights from our latest crop of new acquisitions.

Megan Elias’ book outlines the social history of our country’s most public meal. Learn how Americans forge bonds, tackle poverty, work, and fight for equality during our midday meals.

Iraqi war veteran Kevin Powers’ collection of poems examines the impact of violence, love, memory and loss on the soldier’s psyche. New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani described this volume as “a classic of contemporary war fiction” while other critics compare Powers’ gifts to those of Owens, Hemmingway, and O’Brien. 

Popular history solely credits Charles Darwin with the theory of evolution, but fails to take into account the influence of fellow scientist Alfred Russell Wallace on both Darwin and the general understanding of early evolutionary thinking. Author John van Wyhe attempts to correct the popular view by exposing readers to Wallace’s own deeply important scientific voyages and observations, and by teasing out the relationship between Wallace and Darwin that led them both men to present similar material at the July 1, 1958 meeting of the Linnaean Society.

Before Abraham Lincoln was a president, a commander of a wartime army, a polarizing figure, or a martyr he was a practicing lawyer in rough, rustic, and rural Illinois. Editors Roger Billing and Frank J. Williams curated a collection of essays that explore how Lincoln understood the law, and how that understanding influenced his subsequent political career.

The Wild West was full of drugstore cowboys, drummers, charlatans and snake oil salesman who treated the aches, pains, and ailments of their fellow citizens by dubious and often deadly means. Wayne Bethard writes entertainingly about the colorful and dangerous history of patent medicine and quackery on the America western frontier.

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