July is here, and our big patriotic holiday is already a memory. Did you celebrate the Fourth of July (or Independence Day, if you prefer) in proper fashion despite the terrible heat and humidity? What is the proper fashion? John Adams gave us the instructions. On 7/4/1776, when the final version of the Declaration of Independence had been approved, he said, "It (this day) ought to be solemnized with pomp and parades, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore." John Adams was a man of deep convictions, as were the other men who deliberated and compromised, (on language, but not on conviction) and brought forth the documents which delineate the freedoms we cherish. It is very enlightening to read of the conditions that brought about their decisions. There are biographies of many of these men available in the Library. David McCullough writes books that are eminently readable, and his biography of John Adams (entitled John Adams) and his book entitled 1776 are showcases for the events and the characters that make up that era. Notable also are great biographies of George Washington: George Washington -- Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback, and His Excellency, George Washington by Joseph Ellis. Of interest are biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. I guarantee that you can read and relish them; you will not be bored, and you will come away with an even greater appreciation of our country and its ideals.
There are also some books to give you a "jump-start" on the Summer Olympics, which will begin July 27. Some are found in the young readers section, but they are full of fascinating tidbits of information. More about this next month.
The featured authors for the month are Janet Evanovich and Richard Paul Evans. Both great authors in very different genres. Be sure to check the new book section, as they each have a new novel that has just been released. "Wicked Business" by Evanovich and "The Road to Grace", the awaited third journal of the walk series by Evans.
We also have new releases for Clive Cussler, Janet Dailey, Karen Kingsbury, and Luanne Rice, among others.
July in Iowa is usually hot and steamy, and this year is no exception. So the best advice I can give you (and you have heard it many times) is keep cool, stay in the air conditioning, drink lots of water, and I will add -- relax and read a good book.
'Til next time