This week’s selection of books features a novel about U.S. soldiers in Iraq, a children’s classic, and a collection of wild science experiments.
‘The Princes of War: A Novel of America in Iraq’
By Claude Schmid
The setting is Iraq. It’s hot inside those Humvees. Two U.S. Army officers deal daily with an elusive and dangerous enemy. One analyzes intelligence; the other leads a platoon. Will they find the sniper? Fight the fear. Stay motivated. Keep your soldiers alive.
Warriors Publishing Group, 2016, 340 pages
An American Favorite
‘Gone With the Wind’
By Margaret Mitchell
Set in the South immediately before, during, and after the Civil War and without offering a modern view of slavery, this historical novel has enthralled readers since its 1936 publication. It features scores of characters, but central to the plot is Scarlett O’Hara. She’s raised as a Southern belle on her family’s plantation, Tara, but after the war becomes a hard-hearted businesswoman intent on triumph and wealth. Her romance with Rhett Butler remains one of U.S. literature’s great love stories.
Scribner Reissue, 2011, 960 pages
Americans in China During WWII
‘Blackboards and Bomb Shelters’
By James P. Bevill
Paul Springer grew up in New Jersey during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1937, he won a full scholarship to Ivy League Yale. Yale sponsored a school in Hunan Province, China, and every other year sent three Yale graduates to teach there. Springer wanted adventure and applied with two other Yale graduates. They then sailed to China in July 1941. U.S. neutrality ended before Springer’s first semester of teaching. The author follows the three Yale companions through World War II in China.
Schiffer Military, 2022, 320 pages
Science You Can Try at Home, Maybe
‘Theodore Gray’s Completely Mad Science’
By Theodore Gray
Depending upon your personality, “Don’t try this at home” is a warning or an invitation. Popular Science magazine’s “Gray Matter” column writer, Theodore Gray, collected some of his wilder experiments in this book. It’s the kind of science book in which pyrotechnics abound and emphasis is placed on the spectacular. Know some teens who think science is boring? Get them this book. It might ignite a lifetime of interest in science.
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2016, 408 pages
A Free Market Proposal
‘Free to Choose’
By Milton & Rose Friedman
Milton Friedman was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. His book, written with his wife, demonstrates how free-market principles help boost an economy and how government intrusion promotes the opposite. The Nobel Laureate’s book was such a hit that it was turned into a 10-part series on PBS in the 1980s.
Mariner Books, 1990, 338 pages
Her Words Still Live
‘The Poems of Emily Dickinson’
By Emily Dickinson
One of the greatest American poets, Dickinson published little of her work during her lifetime. In this collection, editor R.W. Franklin assembled 1,789 of her poems. Considering that she edited her verse again and again to alter a word or phrase, we now realize the vast amount of time she spent perfecting her work. A solitary soul—some would call her a recluse—she devoted her later years to the care of her mother and father—and to her writing. In this collection, Franklin gives us an excellent compendium of her poetry.
Belknap Press, 2005, 696 pages
So We Packed Our Bags
‘We Were Tired of Living in a House’
By Liesel Moak Skorpen
Four siblings in trouble for rambunctious play leave home to live in a tree, a cave, near a pond, and by the sea. Each time they must pack up and move, until they finally return home. Lovely illustrations and a sweet story. The book was written for children ages 4 to 7.
Purple House Press, 2021, 40 pages
A Definitive Childhood Read
By A.A. Milne
Delightful for kids of any age, A.A. Milne’s fanciful tales circa 1926 featuring his son Christopher Robin and his stuffed animal friends epitomize classic children’s literature. Read it aloud or enjoy the delightful audio version.
Dutton Books, 2017, 176 pages