Feb slide show


The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin (BOTD Feb 1)

Nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and appointed for life, the 9 Justices that comprise the Supreme Court are amongst the most influential people in the world. Author Jeffrey Toobin, a senior legal analyst for CNN, presents a history of the Court and its members with an emphasis on the past 2 decades. The 1st session of the Court was held on Feb 1, 1790.

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce (BOTD Feb 2)

Irish author James Joyce was born on Feb 2, 1882. In this novel he abandoned many of the conventions of plot and character in favor of an experimental style in an attempt to recreate the experience of dreams and sleep. Scientists borrowed the word "quark" from a passage in this book. Quarks are the smallest particles of matter, even smaller than atoms.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (BOTD Feb 3)

On Feb 3, 1950, physicist Klaus Fuchs was arrested for selling top secret information about U.S. and British atomic weapons to the Russians. This kind of espionage was common in the decades after WW II. No other character captured the essence of the Cold War more than British super spy James Bond who made his 1st appearance in this 1953 book. Author Ian Fleming was a real life British Naval Intelligence Officer.

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (BOTD Feb 4)

This early American novel was published on Feb 4, 1826. The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War when France and Britain battled for control of the North American colonies. Much of the action takes place in New York near the real life village of Cooperstown which was named after author James Fenimore Cooper's father. The town is famous today as the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (BOTD Feb 7)

Author Charles Dickens was born on Feb 7, 1812. This novel tells the story of an orphan named Pip whose life is transformed by an encounter with an escaped convict on Christmas Eve while visiting the graves of his parents and younger brother. The convict becomes Pip's benefactor and one of the many memorable characters who Dickens weaves together in a complex tapestry.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (BOTD Feb 8)

After deciphering a secret message written in Icelandic runes in an ancient text, a college professor discovers the location of a passageway that leads downward towards the center of the Earth. He and his nephew hire a guide and attempt the perilous journey. Author Jules Verne is often referred to as "the Father of Science Fiction." He was born on Feb 8, 1828.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (BOTD Feb 9)

This novel tells the story of a poor, uneducated black woman named Celie who grew up in rural Georgia in the 1930's. Celie is abused by her father as a teenager. Eventually she finds herself in a loveless marriage where the pattern of abuse continues. Through the support of a close friend she finds the courage to stand up to her husband and break the cycle of abuse. Author Alice Walker was born on Feb 9, 1944.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (BOTD Feb 10)

Aristotle defined tragedy as the downfall of a great man. Playwright Arthur Miller turned that definition upside down with this play which chronicles the death of an ordinary man. It premiered on Broadway on Feb 10, 1949 and would continue on for 745 more performances. Miller died on Feb 10, 2005 on the anniversary of the play's debut.

Sacajawea by Joseph Brushac (BOTD Feb 11)

Sacajawea was a Native American woman from North Dakota. She and her husband, a French Canadian guide, joined the Lewis and Clark expedition in the fall of 1804. She was pregnant at the time and gave birth the following year on Feb 11. She became one of the most important members of the expedition acting as a translator, peacemaker, caretaker, and guide.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (BOTD Feb 14)

It's Valentine's Day so you might want to brush up on your relationship skills. Though stereotypical and oversimplified at times, this bestseller does make some important and valid points. For example, many relationship problems can be avoided if we remember that different genders have different communication styles and react differently to stressful situations.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (BOTD Feb 15)

Author Lucy Maud Montgomery is from Canada and this story is set on a farm called Green Gables in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. A brother and sister who run the farm decide to adopt a boy, but through a series of mishaps an imaginative, red-headed orphan named Anne shows up instead. Canada adopted the modern Maple Leaf flag on Feb 15, 1965.

The Complete Tutankhamun by Nicholas Reeves (BOTD Feb 16)

On Feb 16, 1922 archaeologist Howard Carter made a small opening in the top left hand corner of a door and was able to peer by the light of a candle into a tomb that had been unopened for centuries. When asked by an onlooker if he saw anything his response was, "Yes, wonderful things." King Tut has become synonymous with the wealth and mystery of ancient Egypt.

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (BOTD Feb 17)

The Senate passed the Missouri Compromise on Feb 17, 1820. This agreement between pro and anti-slavery factions of Congress was a key event on the path that would inevitably lead to the Civil War. This historical fiction set during the Civil War is unique for 2 reasons - the action is west of the Mississippi and the protagonist fights for both the North and the South at different times during the conflict.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (BOTD Feb 18)

This famous and famously controversial book was 1st published on Feb 18, 1885. Huck Finn had been introduced almost a decade earlier in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a lighthearted novel of boyhood high jinks. This sequel was originally meant to be in the same light but it gradually evolved into a far more serious look at the ills of society.

NASCAR Nation by Scott Beekman (BOTD Feb 21)

The National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) was officially founded on Feb 21, 1948 and the 1st official race was held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway the following year. NASCAR is the number one spectator sport in America and it's interesting to note that women comprise about 40% of the current NASCAR fan base.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss (BOTD Feb 22)

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville - did not. This Dr. Seuss classic about the mean-hearted Grinch was adapted into a TV special by animator Chuck Jones who was famous for his work with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters. Jones died on Feb 22, 2002.

The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (BOTD Feb 23)

The generation of Americans that grew up during the Great Depression, fought in WW II, and gave birth to the Baby Boom had a profound influence on the modern world. One of the most iconic moments of this generation was the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima on Feb 23, 1945 during the battle for the Pacific in WW II.

The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (BOTD Feb 24)

Wilhelm Grimm was born on Feb 24, 1786. From an early age the Grimm brothers were interested in language and stories and both eventually became college professors. Jacob was also the school's librarian. They began collecting fairy tales in 1806 and published their 1st collection in 1812 which included classics such as the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Rumplestiltskin.

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers (BOTD Feb 25)

This biography of the talented and controversial sports figure follows his life from his youth in segregated Louisville, through his Olympic glory and professional career, and finally looks at his current battle with Parkinson's disease. Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight champion of the world on Feb 25, 1964. Clay would later change his name to Muhammad Ali.

Genome by Matt Ridley (BOTD Feb 28)

This book has 23 chapters - 1 for each of the 23 chromosomes in the human body - and discusses different ways in which genes affect human life, from physiology to disease and behavior. The history of genetics is also covered including the contributions of Gregor Mendel, James Watson, and Francis Crick. Watson and Crick discovered the chemical structure of DNA on Feb 28, 1953.