New and popular titles at the Juniata County Library

BOOK REPORT

You can find all of these titles at the Juniata County Library.

Visit our online card catalog at juniata.sparkpa.org to search today or call (717) 436-6378 to have a helpful library staff member assist you.

Before I offer my weekly reviews, I would like to mention that this Thursday, Dec. 21, we will begin our first Winter Reading Program. It will run all winter until March 20, 2018, and is billed as a fun, bookish activity to get our passionate readers through the cold winter months. Complete a book bingo card and you get to pick the next book the library buys. All of the information can be found on our website, social media pages, and, as always, in person.

“Gorbachev: His Life

and Times” by

William Taubman

I am finding many books published today on Russia are necessary to read so to understand our current geopolitical circumstance. What better source to turn to than William Taubman, who won a Pulitzer on his biography on another Russian leader, Nikita Khrushchev.

In his latest book Taubman tells of Mikhail Gorbachev, who assumed the leadership role of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1985. At that time, the USSR was one of the world’s two superpowers.

By 1989, his liberal policies of perestroika and glasnost had permanently transformed Soviet Communism, and had made enemies of radicals on the right and left.

By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in 1991, after barely escaping from a coup attempt, he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union he had tried to save.

A course I took for my undergraduate degree in history was on the history of the Soviet Union, and some of the lasting thoughts from the course focused on Gorbachev’s policies of perestroika and glasnost, which stood for reform and the policy or practice of more open consultative government and wider dissemination of information, respectively.

As seen with Barack Obama, radical change is often desired by many of us, but we cannot always anticipate the practical ramifications it will bring in the years thereafter.

Deemed the equivalent of a great Russian novel and the recipient of several starred reviews, you can find this book in the New Adult Nonfiction section.

“Exposed” by

Lisa Scottoline

Book No. 5 of the Rosato & DiNunzio series is a starred review recipient of the arduous reviewing site Kirkus Reviews, and it offers another storyline of heated courtroom drama that will leave you waiting for the final curtain.

The story’s crux is based on a wrongful-termination suit where the employer lets the employee go for charging the company too much for his daughter’s medical needs. Isn’t that what medical insurance is for? Everyone seems to have a friend who is a lawyer, and the main character, Simon Pensiera, files suit and wants to enlist his friend, Mary DiNunzio, for legal representation. Unfortunately there is a conflict of interest for the legal firm Mary works for, relating to their past history of representing the same company Simon wants to sue.

In a tense but well written exchange that reveals the larger powers-that-be behind the scenes in these matters, in addition to a murder and further lawsuits, this book offers you all of the legal fireworks you could ask for. You can find this book in the New Adult Fiction section.

“Spider-Man:

Homecoming”

How many sequels can Marvel, DC, and other movie companies come out with? There was nothing wrong or bad about this movie. It was witty, comical and funny, and had many twists and turns along the way as well. I have been a big fan of Spider- Man for years and it was honestly better than the Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire (spanning 2002 to 2007) and much better than the Amazing Spider-Man movies starring Andrew Garfield (2012-2014). It stuck to its comical roots; Spider-man is just a young kid trying to prove himself. The Amazing Spider-man series focused too much on the action and tried to make the movie look cooler in 3-D and did not focus on the story line too much. Homecoming had a perfect blend of action, drama, and story-line and that is what makes this movie great. Add to that an all-star cast that includes Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau and Gwyneth Paltrow and you have a great weekend movie for a cold winter night. You can find this DVD in the New $1 DVD section.

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Vince Giordano has been the director of the Juniata County Library since 2015.

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