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Nancy's Notes - October 30

“Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Thomas L. Friedman, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski, “ The Sand Castle” by Rita Mae Brown,

Nancy’s Notes


            Thomas L. Friedman’s “The World is Flat” was a number-one bestsellers for many months. He has now written another best seller, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”.  The book discusses America’s loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11. Friedman is also concerned with the global environmental crisis which is affecting everything from our food to fuel to forests. He explains how global warming, growing populations, and expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is “hot, flat, and crowded”. Already the earth is being affected in ways that threaten to make it dangerously unstable. In just a few years, it will be too late to fix things-unless the United States steps up now and takes the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices.

            Another recent bestseller we recently purchased is “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads a peaceful life with his parents on their farm in northern Wisconsin. For generations the Sawtelles have raised and trained dogs. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar’s paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelle’s tranquil home. When Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Claude works his way into the life on the farm and into Edgar’s mother’s affections. Grief-stricken, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father’s death, but his plan backfires. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father’s murderer and devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar homeward.

            Well-known author Rita Mae Brown is back with “ The Sand Castle” where she revisits sisters Juts and Wheezie, and Jut’s young daughter Nickel. The story begins in August 1952. Nickel spends a day at the seashore with her mother, aunt, and cousin Leroy, who is recently motherless and frightened of the world around him. As the group begins work on a magnificent sand castle, the sisters try to coax Leroy out of his shell by telling stories about their own childhood trips to the shore. But Nickel’s jealous taunting of her cousin escalates, and the weight of family history between her mother and aunt rises to the surface until a surprise attack forces them all to come together.

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