Archive for August 18, 2011

In The Garden of Beasts

Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, has come up with another great read. The new title is In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. It tells the frightening story of the first ambassador to Nazi Germany, William E. Dodd,¬† and his family’s experience of Nazi Berlin. Initially they found the Nazi movement attractive. But after encountering some of its brutal negative characteristics at first hand they quickly soured on it. After the family returned to the United States, daughter Martha married millionaire Alfred Stern and they set up houses in Manhattan and in Ridgefield. She and her husband became spies for the Soviet Union and eventually had to flee the United States.

Better Than Border’s Ever Was

The late, great Border’s was considered so unique because besides books, magazines, music CD’s, DVD’s; it also offered storytimes, entertaining programs, wireless, places to sit and read.
I find it odd that media reports about Border’s demise give this ‘where will we go now’ emphasis when it should be pointed out that all of the above and more is available at your local public library–for free.

Patrick Leigh Fermor 1915-2011

It is with great sadness that we belatedly note the passing of the preeminent travel writer of our time. Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10, 2011. He was a British author, scholar and soldier and had a career which is the envy of all of us. When he was eighteen years old he left Britain and embarked on a walking tour of Europe which resulted in his masterful books A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He was going to write a third volume but sadly was not able to do this. He was a member of the Special Operations Executive during World War Two and served on Crete. He was part of a team which kidnapped the German commander of the island and brought him to Egypt. He loved Greece and wrote several books about it and built a house in the Mani in Greece and divided his time between there and the United Kingdom. We shall not see his like again.