A Slight Trick of the Mind
by Mitch Cullin
Picking up where Conan-Doyle left off, A Slight Trick of the Mind is a touching and beautiful tribute to Sherlock Holmes. Set in 1947, the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, aged 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. But the legendary detective, whose mental powers are fading, remains haunted by the unsolved case that forced him into retirement. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case and searches for answers to the mysteries of love and life before it’s too late.
Mitch Cullin, an American writer, is the author of seven novels, and one short story collection. His books have been translated into over ten languages, including French, Polish, Japanese, and Italian.
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 9, 2006)
by Andy Weir
The Martian, a New York Times best seller, is a science fiction novel about NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, who is left stranded on Mars and presumed dead when his crew is forced to evacuate. Somehow managing to survive, Watney finds himself alone on the hostile planet. Drawing on his ingenuity and engineering skills, he confronts and surmounts seemingly impossible obstacles as he struggles to remain alive until he can be rescued. The Martian is currently being made into a major motion picture.
Andy Weir, an American novelist and software engineer, currently lives in Mountain View, California.
Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 2014)
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
by Phillip Hoose
This book tells the true story of two Danish teenagers, Knud and Jens Pedersen, who took extraordinary risks to challenge the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II. Deeply ashamed of their nation’s leaders who surrendered to the Nazis without a fight, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen and his brother, Jens, organized a resistance group to take action against the Nazis. Naming their secret group, “The Churchill Club,” after British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the young patriots carried out numerous guerilla-style acts of sabotage against the Nazis before they were tracked down and arrested. Their exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance movement.
Phillip M. Hoose, an American author living in Portland, Maine, won the 2004 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2009 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (May 12, 2015)
The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers
by Gillian Tett
This new book by award-winning journalist Gillian Tett asks the question: “Why do organizations fail?” Sometimes they fail because their markets disappear, as in the case of video-rental shops, but often it is because, as they grow, they lose the innovative spirit that made them a success. Ms. Tett calls this the “Silo Effect.” She argues that internal divisions and classifications within an organization hold back creative thinking and encourage turf wars, but breaking these barriers down can lead to innovation and success. In a series of case studies, from the Bank of England to the Chicago Police Department to Facebook, Ms Tett illustrates how silos can undermine organizations and how they can be overcome.
Named British Business Journalist of the Year in 2008, Gillian Tett oversees global coverage of financial markets for the London Financial Times.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 1, 2015)
The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy
by David Hoffman
Relying upon published and unpublished sources, including interviews with political leaders, scientists, military officials and diplomats, David Hoffman tell the story of the ruinous Cold War arms race and how President Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and a previously unheralded collection of scientists, soldiers, diplomats, and spies changed the course of history. This riveting account of how the Cold War arms race finally came to a close contains many lessons for modern-day policymakers who continue the effort to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
David E. Hoffman, a contributing editor at the Washington Post, has been a journalist for 30 years. The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.
Publisher: Anchor; First edition (August 3, 2010)
Diving deep into the waters that sustain all of mankind, this Disney documentary reveals the astonishing mysteries that lie beneath the surface of the earth’s five oceans and reflects on the negative impact of human activity on the oceans’ vital role for human existence. Shot over four years in more than fifty different locations using latest underwater technology, the cameras take us to almost every corner of the planet. The film concludes that “human indifference is the oceans’ greatest threat.”
Although intended for a younger audience, Oceans is a “must see” movie for people of all ages.
Available: DVD; Rated G
The Winslow Boy, 1999
A British period drama, set against background of the strict codes and conduct of the Edwardian Age, this film depicts the Winslow family’s refusal to back down in the face of injustice. Fourteen-year-old Ronnie Winslow is accused of petty theft and expelled from Osbourne Naval College without a fair trial. His father, convinced of the boy’s innocence, mounts a long and costly legal campaign to clear the boy’s name and defend the family’s honor. In the end justice prevails, but at what cost to the Winslow family?
The Winslow Boy is based on true events which set a legal precedent in the British courts.
Available: DVD; Rated G
The Girl from Paris, 2001
This stunning French film depicts Sandrine, a thirty-year-old Parisian computer programmer who decides to flee the city and live out her dream of becoming a farmer. After an obligatory training program, she buys a dairy farm and sets about, with boundless energy and enthusiasm, to implement her own innovations. The harsh onset of winter and the loneliness and the isolation of the Rhône-Alps region prove to be her greatest challenge.
The film powerfully depicts the beauty, simplicity and hardships of farm life, and the ever-present conflict between city and rural living. Nominated for two awards in France, including Best First Feature Film, The Girl From Paris was a box office success, grossing over $12 million.
Available: DVD; Not Rated
Paddington, a live-action family film, follows the comic misadventures of a polite young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British. After a deadly earthquake destroys his home in the Peruvian rainforest, the young bear makes his way to England in search of a new home and finds shelter with the family of Henry and Mary Brown. Although Paddington’s amazement at urban living soon endears him to the Browns, someone else has her eye on him: the evil taxidermist Millicent Clyde who is eager to add this rare Peruvian bear to her “collection.”
Paddington is adapted from Michael Bond’s beloved children’s books.
Available: DVD; Rated PG
Tucker: The Man and His Dream, 1988
Based on a true story, this film tells the story of Detroit engineer Preston Tucker and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry. The 1948 Tucker Sedan, the most advanced automobile of its time, featured revolutionary new safety designs including disc brakes, seat belts, a pop out windshield, a padded dash board, and push button controls. However, completely baseless accusations effectively ruined Tucker’s business and the company went bankrupt.
Undeterred, in 1951 Tucker began anew to “build the car of future.” When the new project was nearing completion, Tucker was diagnosed with lung cancer and died December 26, 1956. Today forty-six of the fifty-one remaining Tucker Sedans are housed in museums and private collections around the world.
Tucker: The Man and His Dream was nominated for the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics.
Available: DVD; Rated PG