Great Books
Our Library Is a Fun Place To Be.


Page Table of Contents

Books by author Scott Crosby

Challenging Nonfiction

Great Books - Fiction

Great Books - Nonfiction

Great Books - Poetry

Great Humorous Music

Great Libraries

Great Movies

Great Music

Great Places To Find Books

Latest Addition

Latest Addition - Fiction

Latest Addition - Hunorous Music

Latest Addition - Music

Latest Addition - Nonfiction

Our library is a fun place to be!

Of the many books in our library, the ones presented here are those we can most highly recommend as being especially interesting and enjoyable reading. Many are older books which are very interesting and great reading, but which are out-of-print (but still available via used-book sales, Amazon, etc.) or are no longer commonly advertised or promoted.

Except for the Challenging Nonfiction Books section, all of the books shown here require only your interest in a particular subject. They are written in langauge that is readable and enjoyable by anyone, with or without specialized knowledge.

Pique your interest!
Satisfy your curiosity!
Open the door to new worlds!

A Lifetime of Reading
Keeps You Alive

      New books, movies, music, and more
are being added regularly.
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Great Places To Find Books

Great article on the importance of kids having plenty of books!
    Growing up surrounded by books bolsters skills later in life

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– The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale   on August 11-13, 2024

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Great Books – Nonfiction Section

Solon the Thinker, John David Lewis, 2006
Solon originated the idea of freedom, about 600 BC, early in the Classical Greek era. This book is the best historical recounting and analysis of what Solon accomplished.
The Aristotle Adventure, Burgess Laughlin, 1995
Tracks the pathways over the past 2350 years of the tenuous survival of Aristotle's writings, which ended the Dark Ages and are the foundation for the civilized life we all enjoy.
The Middle Ages 395-1500, Strayer & Munro, 1924
Tells of the cultural decline into the Dark Ages, life in those times, and the rebirth.
A More Perfect Union, William Peters, 1987
Reads like a cliffhanger novel; telling the history of the Constitutional Convention, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout the months of that unique meeting of America's Founding Fathers.
(not to be confused with other books of the same name)
James Madison and the Struggle For the Bill Of Rights, Richard Labunski, 2006
The perfect follow-on to A More Perfect Union, this book reads like a suspense thriller; will the Constitution be ratified??? What changes will be made to it as each state makes its own demands for modifications? Even knowing the ultimate outcome, this book makes you feel the threats that seem to irreversibly darken the outlook. Will the United States that we know be born? Many famous Founding Fathers seem determined to unravel the efforts of the Constitutional Convention.
Note while reading this book, that Patrick Henry, during Virginia's ratification convention for the new U.S. Consitution in 1789, makes the first reference to an anti-Federalist "Republican" alliance – the precursor to a true political Party. Indeed, the rise of political parties ultimately led to the Federalist Party (pro strong central government) facing off against the Democratic-Republican Party (pro-rights), of Thomas Jefferson, in the early 1800s. Much later, after the demise of the Federalist Party and the subsequent Whig Party, and after the Democratic-Republican Party had been transformed by Andrew Jackson into the duplicitous (promising land to settlers given to the Cherokee Indians by treaty), big-government, pro-slavery Democratic Party, opposition to it arose in the form of the upstart anti-slavery Republican Party, in the 1850s. The Republicans' first winning Presidential candidate was Abraham Lincoln in 1860.
Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics, Tara Smith, 2006
The best and most thoroughly reasoned discussion of normative ethics.
Greeks and Romans Bearing Gifts
How the Ancients Inspired the Founding Fathers, Carl J. Richard, 2008

The greatest influence on the thinking of the Founding Fathers as they designed a wholely new and totally innovative type of government from the ground up was the history and writings of Classical Greece and the Roman Republic. This book describes those influences in detail.
The Capitalist Manifesto, Andrew Bernstein, 2005
Makes the point that historically and economically, that Capitalism is by far the greatest – actually the only – economic system for prosperity and freedom.
Doing What Matters, James E. Kitts, 2007
Describes the great ideas by a terrific innovator on business management. Kitts saved Nabisco in the 1990s, after KKR's 1989 LBO. This book makes an exciting sequel to the book Barbarians At the Gates, which describes that takeover.
A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich, 1982
Chronicles the history of the longest-lived country in history. From its start in the 400s until 1800, this remarkable country never suffered a successful invasion nor rebellion. Venice was a republic – bound by the Rule of Law – through centuries filled elsewhere with tyranny in all its forms; its residents had a remarkable degree of freedom. It survived and flourished on trade, at a time when trade was denounced and reviled by the Church as sinful. Venice traders brought new goods to all parts of Europe, from the Mid-East, India, and even China, as well as new ideas from Constantinople and Baghdad, which would help foster the European renaissance.
A History Of the Ostrogoths, Thomas Burns, 1984
Read the story of the people who took over the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, after its collapse in the 400s.
Almost Human, Shirley Strum, 1987
Describes the behavior of baboons, so similar to our own, provoking a lot of thought about the nature of the line between instinct, as in animals, and conceptual thinking, the distinctive characteristic of humans. In an excellent example of convergent evolution, both species independently solved the problem of survival in spite of lacking significant defensive capabilities such as claws, teeth, horns, etc., by living in social groups. The complexities which arose due to such an arrangement are in many ways similar.
Rules For Radicals, Saul D. Alinsky, 1971
Read the book that propelled the thinking of Barack Obama, authored by the person who most influenced Hillary Clinton in her career and the means she continues to use to this day in pursuit of her goals.
Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond, 1999, 1997
This very interesting page-turner is a fascinating description of how human culture evolved, and why it advanced more quickly in some places than others.
The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond, 1992; revised 2006
An exciting exploration of the origins of language, art, agriculture, mating habits, abuse of drugs, genocide, old age, and more. Jared Diamond's detailed grasp of an astonishingly wide range of disciplines enables him to make some great integrations and to resolve many of the mysteries of how we became who we are.
The World America Made, Robert Kagan, 2012
Contrasts the relative peace and progress in the world due to America's dominant role since World War II, vs. the resurgence of violent conflict and the decline of freedom should America let its influence wane. The recent threats by China in the South China Sea, and the attacks in the UN against Israel are only two examples.
The Life Of Francis Marion, William Gilmore Simms, 1844
This biography of Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion is a fascinating recounting of Marion's life. Born in 1732, the same year as George Washington, he was just as remarkable and exceptional an individual in his character, leadership, and military achievements against the British. Marion single-handedly kept South Carolina patriotic hopes alive, and prevented the British from using South Carolina as a base for invasion of North Carolina and Virginia. Using the events of the War as a backdrop, the author focuses on the remarkable integrity of a great human being.
The Archimedes Codex, Netz & Noel, 2007
This exciting tale reads like a mystery historical novel. It describes the 1998-2009 recovery process of lost works by Archimedes (287-212 B.C.), one of the greatest minds of the Classical era. Second perhaps only to Aristotle, he very nearly (or perhaps did) invent calculus – 1850 years before Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz finally achieved that feat in the 1600s. Both they and Gallileo all creditted Archimedes with being the foundation for their own work.
The 4% Universe, Panek, 2011
This is a fascinating description of the search for the make-up of the universe. Calculations show that 96% is "missing"; i.e., unknown!  Written in layman's terms, this book describes the recent discoveries that are revolutionizing the study of cosmology.
Bismarck: a Life, Jonathan Steinberg, 2011
Takes you into the mind of Otto von Bismarck, the masterful Prussian politician who deftly manipulated 1800s Germany, France, Russia, Austria, and Italy. His actions set the stage for World War I, and also laid the groundwork that would provide a general mindset in the German population which would lead to the acceptance and rise of a madman like Adolf Hitler.
A Culture Of Freedom: Ancient Greece and the Origins Of Europe, Meier & Raaflaub, 2011
This is the fascinating story of the beginnings of Civilization – the recognition and respect for the individual's rights – in Classical Greece, starting around 750 B.C.
Education Of a Wandering Man, Louis Lamour, 1989
This fascinating story of the life of Louis Lamour, begins when he left home at age 15 until he was finally able to establish himself as a writer. Traveling around the country and the world, the story also recalls the innumerable books he read along the way. That list alone would be reason enough to read this book.
One book mentioned by Lamour is:
The Ancient Explorers, by M. Cary & E. H. Warmington, 1929
This book recounts the history of the exploration of the world in ancient times, in the thousands of years before Christopher Columbus. It reveals many exciting and little-known travels. Surprisingly enjoyable, this book's authors are good story-tellers who know how to keep you interested in their recounting of this part of history.
The book includes an entire chapter recounting the Phoenicians' exploratory voyage, at the behest of King Necho II of Egypt, to circumnavigate Africa, about 600BC – 2,000 years before Portugal's Vasco da Gama did so.
Reading that book led to this book:
History Begins At Sumer, Samuel Noah Kramer, 1956, 1981
The Sumerian civilization invented writing, about 3000 B.C.; it was literally the place where prehistoric ended, and historic began. This book describes that and the many other components of that first historical culture which are still with us down to the present day.
1776, David McCullough, 2005
Recounts the details of the most audacious but also darkest hours in U.S. history – close to its doom and not yet a country. The future of America depended on barely 2,500 soldiers, untrained and inexperienced generals, and the signers of the Declaration – self-proclaimed traitors to the most powerful King on the planet. 1776 was the year that changed the world – ultimately giving humanity its most unique and advanced government ever: one authorized and run by its own citizens, and limited by a Constitution beyond its reach.
(not to be confused with the musical of the same name)
Nothing Less Than Victory – Decisive Wars and the Lessons Of History, John David Lewis, 2010
Reviews seven historic wars, from the Greco-Persian wars starting in 547 BC, up through World War II, in terms of their decisiveness and the achievement of national safety. Easy reading, clearly written. Demonstrates on a simple and evident level what must be achieved in war if the effort and cost is to be justified.
The Aquatic Ape, Elaine Morgan, 1978
Based on the theory put forward by Alister Hardy, explores the intriguing evidence that human ancestors passed through one or more evolutionary periods living in a semi-aquatic environment – shorelines, hunting for shellfish, etc., for survival.  Explains why we have a number of characteristics that (1) are uniquely distinct from homo-sapiens' most closely-related species (chimpanzees, apes, and orangutans), and (2) do not support savannah nor forest survival, but rather, are similar to that of other species which have had to adapt to an aquatic habitat.  This includes body features such as webbing between fingers, down-breathing nose, sub-dermal fat layer, loss of body hair, and more.  Convergent evolution evidence from other species corroborates the aquatic theory.
Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story, Lee Berger and John Hawks, 2017
This is the exciting story of the unprecedented discovery of hundreds of fossils of a previously unknown prehistoric member of our family tree, and the events that led up to it. Written in laymen's terms, this book takes you through the events of one of the most remarkable discoveries ever – an event that is reshaping our knowledge of our prehistoric past.
Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly, 2017
If you liked the movie, you will love the book, which covers a lot more history, in a lot more detail, and ties together the many intertwinings and interconnections of so many historical threads and events. This is a fascinating story that begins in the 1930s, with NASA's predecessor, NACA, charged with advancing American understanding and development of aerodynamic theory and technology – something which would soon become essential to victory in World War II. After the war that effort evolved into the Jet Age, set in the Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union. With the launch of Sputnik in October, 1957, that focus was quickly transitioned into the Space Race, and NASA. Through it all, the issues of gender and race affected and were affected by many major events. The acceptance of women as intellectual equals, the abandonment of segregation, and the recognition that successes not only made necessary but proved that such progress was right and good, all coalesced in concert with that ultimate goal of human exploration, landing people on the Moon. This story will thrill and touch your heart strings page after page.
Don't miss Katherine Johnson's famous quote on page 245.
Weekend Pilot, Frank Kingston Smith, 1957
A great story of one person's discovery of flying, and his experiences in owning his own airplane.
A Sky Of My Own, by Molly Bernheim, 1959
In the years after World War II, a woman in her 40s learns to fly.
For another great story about a woman who learned to fly, click here.
Deception in War, Jon Latimer, 2001
Written to be interesting to the layman, this fascinating presentation of the various techniques of deception covers those used in war from 1295 BC by the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, through D-Day in World War II, to that used in the Gulf War of 1990 against the Iraqis. It covers the techniques most favored by the British, by the Russians, by the Germans, by the Chinese, by the Americans, and by others, and the differences in guerilla warfare vs. full-scale warfare. The book points out that information has value, and presents a wide variety of techniques to use information to your advantage and to mislead an antagonist. Some techniques will sound very familiar in today's political climate in the U.S.
On Writing, Stephen King, 2010
Whether you like Stephen King's fictional books or not, On Writing is good reading – especially so if you have any desire to be a writer yourself. King combines stories of his own life with explanations of what has to be in your own writing to make it something that others will want to read. On Writing should be on every would-be author's bookshelf, right next to your copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style.
The Doomsday Myth, Charles Maurice, Charles W. Simpson, 1984
Oil shortages, wood shortages, coal shortages, labor shortages – history is replete with what people saw as factors that placed an absolute limit on humanity's future. In this book, see how the law of supply and demand works very well (and government intervention fails, to everyone's detriment). The book shows how limits have driven innnovation and new thinking – as far back as 10,950 BC (see this webpage about the Gobekli Tepe carving that documents the impact of comet fragments which made Earth colder at that time), when disaster forced the introduction and use of agriculture over the traditions of tribal hunter-gatherers.
The Great Extinction, Michael Allenby and James Lovelock, 1983
What happened to the dinosaurs? What could kill so many on land, in the seas, and in the air? Allenby and Lovelock show why the sizes of animals was the deciding factor in what species survived, and what species became extinct, 65 million years ago. Superb detective work makes this book a fascinating story.
Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People, Dr. Roy Spencer, 2018
This great book shows the lack of science behind the climate-change alarmists, the lack of consensus (1% vs. the claimed 97%), the claims without evidence, where the evidence actually points, and, as important, why climate change is being promulgated:   political control by people who want to be able to dictate how you lead your lives, and the 80% of the countries in the UN who are "third-world", who would like to "redistrbute" the wealth of the more-capitalist countries to themselves; i.e., to the dictators who rule those third-world countries. And the UN and the IPCC are their tools to do it. Worried about "too much" CO2? The world's plants would love more! The current CO2 levels are not much more than starvation-level for plants. If we could double the amount of CO2 in the air, agriculture would see trillions of dollars worth of more plant life grown (and that increase in absolute terms is still very small – not dangerous to us). There is lot more in this book you should know about. Being a Kindle book, the information provided is backed up with links to websites containing the research data, etc. – much better than a traditional bibliography. Don't delay:   you owe it to yourself and your children to read this book!
Dr. Spencer is one of those quoted on our webpage about Climate Change.
Railroader, Howard Green, 2018
Hunter Harrison was CEO of the Illinois Central Railroad, the Canadian National Railroad, the Candian Pacific Railroad, and the CSX Railroad – in itself an unparalleled accomplishment. Harrison was not an Ivy League grad; in fact, he never spent a day in college. He started out working in the railroad yards, a greasy and dirty job. By the time he died he was worth $500 million, and if he had lived another year he would have been worth about $800 million – all earned on the job, for the incredible job he did. Harrison created $50 billion as CEO, bringing his Precision Scheduled Railroading techniques to bear and adding incredible amounts of value to four different railroads – and forcing the others to respond with similar techniques, just to remain competitive. It would not be much of an overstatement to say that Harrison single-handedly revitalized an industry that seemed to be permanently stuck in the doldrums. Harrison lead by example, and Railroader is an inspiring, exciting book.
The Journey of Man, Spencer Wells, 2017
The ability to study and understand DNA has turned out to be a fabulous tool for discovering the location of the origin of Mankind, of his migrations around the globe, and to establish a timeline for those migrations. Those studies, combined with the historical discovery of Earth's changing climate, have made it possible to understand why Mankind migrated when and where he did. This well-written story is a fascinating page-turner that you will find difficult to put down.
If you like that book, you may also like this one.
From Savagery to Greatness, Scott Crosby, 2019
From Savagery to Greatness presents a history of humanity, from its origins in prehistoric times, beginning with its ancestors since about 5,000,000 years ago. The story focuses on explaining evolution generally, as well as that of the mental development of Homo Sapiens, beginning with its predecessor species, as they left behind animal instinct and progressed towards the ability to think and reason. The book also recounts the many migrations which pushed humankind's spread across the continents of the world, and what drove those migrations; a fascinating story in itself. See more here.
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, 2015
When America won its independence from Britain, its merchant ships were no longer protected by the bribes extorted from Britain to the marauding north African pirate-nations, of Algiers, Tangiers, Morocco, and Tripoli. The new nation was deeply in debt, and the extortion demands were more than could be paid. Thousands of Americans were taken into slavery. President Thomas Jefferson convinced Congress to build America's first naval squadron, to safeguard American shipping, and to retaliate against Moslem aggression. The fascinating tale of what happened is a dramatic story worth reading. At a time when all the European countries, with their massive navies, paid tribute, America was the country that put an end to the taking of ships of commerce and the enslavement of Christian men, women, and children by Moslems. In so doing, the American Navy and Marines became a force emergent on the international stage, winning the respect of every other nation.
With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace, Nikki Haley, 2019
A fascinating insight into the life and experiences of one of America's foremost women in politics. Read in her own words her thoughts, motivations, and goals while growing up, during her time as Governor of South Carolina, her efforts during the 2016 Presidential campaign, her first interactions with Trump after the election, and her time as America's Ambassador to the United Nations. Nikki Haley displays an exemplary nature of determination, political acumen, and moral standing throughout – an excellent role model.
Unreported truths about COVID-19 and lockdowns, Alex Berenson, 2020
The known facts about COVID-19 as of June 1st, 2020.  Reviews the mortality rates and other factors, as well as the facts not being printed by the media, and some of the media's misleading news articles.
Click here to see the news article on this book, which Amazon at first tried to prevent its publishing.
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History – 1660-1783, A. T. Mahan, 1894
In the author's own words, this book's "aim is not merely naval history but an appreciation of the effect of naval and commercial power upon the course of general history."  The book considers sea power within the larger context of national economic growth and government's powers; it compares and contrasts the consequences for nations with republican governmental constraints versus those existing under the destructive rule of depotism and of democracy.  Anyone who desires to have more than a casual perspective on politics at the national and world levels and the factors which impact it and are impacted by it should consider this book a must-read.
Inconvenient Facts – The science that Al Gore doesn't want you to know,
Gregory Whitestone, 2017

This great book presents the facts about the historic temperatures, atmospheric CO2 percentage, etc., over the centuries, millennia, and millions of years.  In doing so, it exposes the scam of human-induced climate-change, including the destructive calls to reduce CO2 and prevent higher global temperatures.
See more about this book here.
Rating America's Presidents, Robert Spencer, 2020
This is a well-written but easy-to-read summary analysis of each U.S. President.  For each, the book details his accomplishments and his faults.  That review is then followed by an evaluation of that President's overall tenure in office.  The text is simple and well written, and would make a great addition to every high school's civics or history class.  The book changed my opinions of a few Presidents, revealing facts and issues in some cases of which I was not aware.  It also discusses trends that have been fairly consistent over the years, most particularly the failure since 1933 of a number of Presidents to fail to uphold their oath of office – of not putting America first.  Don't miss this very good book.
Uprising – Who the Hell Said You Can't Ditch and Switch?, Diamond and Silk, 2020
This is an excellent exposé uncovering the Democratic Party's machinations to subvert our freedoms and take power in the U.S. at any price.  It is also a thorough description of the Democrat attempt to keep Blacks thoroughly bound and in subjection on the Democrat Plantation.  These two never stop doing their homework, never ceasing to ask, "Why?"  The results speak for themselves, from the millions who follow them on social media, to the censorship of their posts by Facebook and Twitter, to their vilification by the fake-news lamestream media, to the high compliments given them by President Trump.  No one is better than Diamond and Silk at explaining complex issues – like freedom vs. getting stuff for free – than these two self-taught girls from rural North Carolina.
Fossil Men:  The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind,
Kermit Pattison, 2020

The dramatic story of the search for clues – from fossils, geology, DNA, biomechanics, and more – in the exciting search for a detailed understanding and chronology of the evolution of human ancestry, stretching back ten million years and more.  Fossil Men is comprehensive and ground-breaking, revealing many unsuspected and surprising facets of our evolution.  It is the best and latest source for a consumate overview of human evolution, in laymsn's terms but with plenty of documented sources of information for anyone who decides to follow-up on any part of the journey.
The Universe:  From Flat Earth to Quasar, Isaac Asimov, 1966
This is a captivating, easy-to-read book about the nature of the Universe.  The book uses the motif of the historical story of the growth and expansion of our knowledge of the Universe as the backdrop, taking its reader through the suspense of each step in humanity's understanding, and then going on to explain what we currently know.  While a great many new discoveries have been made in the fifty-plus years since this book was written, everything covered is still correct, and the book still provides an excellent basis from which to comprehend those new advances.  Anyone from a young teenager on up will find it difficult to put the book down as events unfold page after page.
Lost Cities and Vanished Civilzations, Robert Silverberg, 1962
This easy-to-read book will be interesting to anyone ten years of age or older.  The book introduces the reader to the intrigue of archaelogical discovery, focusing on six sites found in Europe, Asia, and Central America.  Robert Silverberg's skills as a science-fiction author carry over into these six "short stories" of exploration, and will captivate any reader.
The Celts:  The People Who Came Out of the Darkness, 1975,
Gerhard Herm
An easy-to-read book about the origin of the Celts – The dominant people of Europe prior to the Romans.
This book also provides a very well-reasoned answer to the question of the origin and actual location of Atlantis – and the cause of its demise.

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Great Myths of the Great Depression, Lawrence W. Reed, 2012; 40 pages,

A great read about the U.S. Government's mis-steps and mishandling ot the country's economy by the Federal Reserve, starting in the early 1920s, and of the destructive actions taken by President Hoover and President Franklin Roosevelt, which led to the Great Depression, starting in October, 1929, and caused economic recovery to be delayed for 25 years, until 1954.  Hoover's support of the Smoot-Hawley Act, severely raising tariffs, and FDR's subsequent further entrenchment were directly responsible for Hitler's rise to power in Germany, and the outbreak of World War II generally.

Roosevelt's true nature, terribly ignorant but power-hungry in the extreme, with total disregard for the destructive impact on the lives of millions, is also made clear.

Phoenicians:  Lebanon's Epic Heritage, Sanford Holst, 2021
Holst wrote this book to summarize the many archaeological discoveries over the last half-century, putting them in laymens' terms and making for a fascinating story.
The extensive discoveries made by Archaeologists in that time have revolutionized our knowledge of the Phoenicians.  They are a far older and far more complex people than ever imagined; their culture spans about 3,000 years – enduring far, far longer than any other.
This book recounts their radically different philosophy, standards, and means for dealing with other cultures around them, which were universally driven by the destruction of conquest and the amassing of empires.
The influences wrought by the Phoenicians on the rest of the world, their contributions to civilization, and their connections to the Egyptians and their pyramids, the Minoan culture, the Sea Peoples, and others are fascinating eye-openers into what drove the world for three millenia.
The Last Days of the Dinosaurs, Riley Black, 2022
An exciting look at what happened on the day that the dinosaurs died – and what life was like after the first hour, the first day, the first month, the first year, and so on, up to the first million years, and the world of today.
The book describes in rapt detail why the Age of Mammals and the Age of Man were not inevitable, but were possible only due to the worst extinction event in all the history of the planet Earth.
The author describes the changes that ensued after the horrific infrared pulse and the years-long winter that followed disrupted the existing co-relationships and dependecies of the many animals and plants, and the details of what made it possible for some animals – and plants – to survive when the lives of the vast majority were extinguished.
Becoming Bulletproof: Life Lessons from a Secret Service Agent, Evy Poumpouras, 2020
The fascinating life and times of a Secret Service Agent, her experiences during the 9/11 attack, protecting American Preseidents, their First Ladies, and families, as well as foreign dignitaries, while integrating numerous self-help recommendations, such as how to read people, discern their intentions, and gather information while talking with them.  She also presents the significant attributes exemplified by several First Ladies and Presidents, which most impressed her and inflluenced her development of those traits in herself.

America’s Rifle: The Case for the AR-15, Stephen P. Halbrook, 2022

This book shows the central place of AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles in the American story.  From the founding to the present, rifles and other firearms have played a pivotal role in American history.  The story of America’s rifle is largely the story of American history.

Over forty-four million AR-15s and similar semiautomatic rifles are owned by Americans.  Popular adoption on such a monumental scale is indicative of more than a passing fad; only proven utility through long history creates such lasting—indeed growing—demand.

Halbrook also discusses in depth the war against the AR-15 and through it, against the Second Amendment and America's tradition of freedom.

The Swiss and the Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich, Stephen P. Halbrook, 2006
Surrounded by the Axis powers in World War II, Switzerland remained democratic and, unlike most of Europe, never succumbed to the siren songs and threats of the Nazi goliath.

This book tells the story with emphasis on two voices rarely heard:  that of scores of Swiss who lived in those dark years, told through oral history, and that of Nazi Intelligence, those who spied on the Swiss and planned subversion and invasion.

The Swiss mobilized to defend their country, labored on the farms, and helped refugees.  The Nazis, documents from the German military archives show, developed extensive attack plans, which were dissuaded in part by Switzerland’s armed populace and Alpine defenses.

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Challenging Nonfiction Books

These books will stretch your mind.  Frequent pauses will be the rule,
to allow time for the ideas presented – and their implications – to be considered and understood in depth.

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand, 1979

Epistemology – the study of how we know what we know, is presented in this book in a clear, concise, and thoroughly elegant format.  Objectivist epistemology is far superior to earlier studies, based on idealism, mystical, and other invalid philosophical fundamentals, as well as those denying the possibility of epistemology.

A Second Edition, published in 1990, is also available, and includes a good, in-depth discussion of Objectivist epistemology, between Ayn Rand and several professors of epistemology.

Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology,
Allan Gotthelf (Editor), James G. Lennox (Editor), 2013

This book is an excellent follow-up to Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, providing expositions of greater depth and breadth into the details, consequences, and implications of Objectivist Epistemology.  The book includes numerous point and counter-point discussions and analyses of Objectivist epistemology, comparing and contrasting its positions as described by leading proponents to that as held by other contemporary realist epistemologies.  The resulting in-depth elaborations – not only of epistemolgy, but also perception – from both sides bring a beautiful clarity and elucidation to this fundamental subject.

Basic Topology:  A Developmental Course for Beginners, Dan E. Christie, 1976

Have you ever heard of the "three houses – three utilties connection" puzzle?  Have you ever heard of a "Mobius strip", which has only one side and one edge?  Have you ever heard of a "Klein bottle", which has only one side, and no edge?


These are examples of issues addressed by the branch of Mathematics called Topology.  Christie's book is an excellent introduction to this subject, presenting it in a step-by-step manner and in as elementary a style as possible.

Simply Riemann, Jeremy Gray, 2019

Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) was a child mathematics prodigy.  Though he would live until only 40, his seminal work in a number of key areas — several of which now bear his name — has had a decisive impact on the shape of mathematics in the succeeding century and a half.

First Peoples In a New World:  Colonizing Ice Age America, David J. Meltzer, 2009

This is a definitve, in-depth, detailed integration and analysis of the compiled archaeological, genetic, and linguistic evidence for the migratory waves of the first groups of human immigrants into the North American and South American continents, at the end of the Pleistocene Period and the beginning of the Holocene Period.

Those first explorers journeyed in a climate and world very different from that we know now.  Meltzer provides an in-depth documentation of the evidence, discoveries, the proponents and antagonists, and the numerous theories put forward regarding what happened more than 10,000 years ago.

This recounting is interesting and even exciting for the person interested in obtaining a broad understanding of the discoveries and detailed knowledge that provide us with a good description of what happened to the hunter-gatherers who took humanity's first steps into what was truely a new world.

America's Revolutionary Mind:  A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration That Defined It, C. Bradley Thompson, 2019

"We hold these truths to be self-evident ..."

What Founding Father John Adams termed "the real American revolution" was a moral revolution in the minds of Americans that occurred in the 1760s and early 1770s.  That thinking ultimately led to the expression of America's political philosophy focused on the rights of the individual in the Declaration of Independence, made the Revolutionary War inevitable, and later led to the legal implementation of that political philosophy in the revolutionary U.S. Constitution.

The book provides a detailed analysis of how Americans came to embrace the political ideals of the Enlightenment, formulated primarily by John Locke in the 1680s and 1690s, which drove a divisive and unreconcilable wedge between them and contemporary British political thinking.

Whether you agree with those ideas or not, you must answer Thompson's definitive exposition convincingly.  This is an essential book.

The Quantum Handshake – Entanglement, Nonlocality, and Transactions,
John G. Cramer, 2016

Have an interest in Quantum Physics?  Would you like a better understanding of the history of Quantum Mechanics, its paradoxes, and the struggle of the greatest Physicists of the 20th century to understand Quantum Mechanics, and develop a fully-rational explanation?

This book provides a thorough overview of the subject.  While mathematical formulas are presented throughout the book, the author does a good job of also explaining the ideas in plain English as well, making the book quite readable even for non-mathematicians.

The author also presents his own thoughts on the subject, which he calls the Transactional Interpretation ("TI").  TI resolves the many paradoxes which have confounded understanding Quantum Mechanics from the first discoveries and issues raised down to the present day.

What Went Right?  An Objectivist Theory of History , Robert Tracinski, 2022

This is an excellent analysis of history, using an Objectivist perspective.

The book is filled with very insightful and principled staements and explanations about human history from Classical Greece to the present.

It presents a very good description of what drives the progress of civilization, with numerous examples.

Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature, Niels Bohr, 1934, 1961

First published in 1934, this is the seminal work on the development of Quantum Mechanics, by one of the individuals involved in that research from the very beginning.

American Prometheus:  The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,
Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

This is a highly-detailed 700-page biography about the life and career of Robert Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer was the first American physicist to develop an understanding of the new science of Quantum Mechanics, in the late 1920s.

Oppenheimer was ultimately responsible for the development of the atomic bombs that brought an end to World War II, saving millions of lives.

This book does a very good job of describing the torments, difficulties, and conflicts Oppenheimer personally endured, as well as the research and development effort during the war years.

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Great Books – Fiction Section

The Epic Of Gilgamesh, introduction by N. K. Sandars, 1972

This epic from 2000 B.C. and its predecessor individual Sumerian stories mark the introduction of the written story, more than 1,200 years before Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. Compiled during the time of the Old Babylonian Empire and later the Akkadian Empire, the stories chronicle the adventures of a Sumerian king of the city of Uruk, from 2100 B.C. or earlier.  Elements from the Epic can be found in the Bible, Homer's Illiad and Odyssey, and in other works since.

Louis Lamour

Louis Lamour's books are historical novels, with settings that are diligently researched and accurate in their depictions of the background and way of life in the Old West. They are also great morals stories. With all that, they are still easy and enjoyable reading, and all are good books for anyone from age ten on up. A child who absorbs the kind of virtues portrayed in Lamour's stories would make any parent proud.

Bendigo Shafter, Louis Lamour, 1979

As the main part of a wagon train continues their journey westward, one group decides to stop at the edge of the mountains in Wyoming, to settle and form a new community. Threats to the settlers' new life and town include winter snows, Indians, outlaws, and the arrival of another wagon train full of settlers. This is a story repeated many times in the Old West, of a group of people whose existence and well-being depended on the growth of their resolve and integrity.

Jubal Sackett, Louis Lamour, 1985

Set in the early days of the Old West, prior to the Civil War, it chronicles an adventurous journey of exploration.

Other books in the Sackett series include Sackett's Land, To the Far Blue Mountains, The Warior's Path, Ride the River, The Daybreakers, Sackett, Lando, Mojave Crossing, Mustang Man, The Lonely Men, Galloway, Treasure Mountain, Lonely on the Mountain, Ride the Dark Trail, The Sackett Brand, The Sky-Liners.

Kilkenny, Louis Lamour, 1982

A classic epic of good and evil, filled with suspense.

The Empty Land, Louis Lamour, 1969

A study of the birth of a town in the Old West as it threads its way between forces that threaten to destroy it.

Last Of the Breed, Louis Lamour, 1986

An exciting, modern-day novel exmplifying perseverance and determination.

The Walking Drum
Louis Lamour, 1984

Pillars Of the Earth
Ken Follett, 1989

These two novels are both stories set in the 1200s, in the depths of Europe's Dark Ages. But there is a stark contrast between the main character in each with regard to attitude, outlook, and personal efficacy. One is dynamic and indomitiable; the other lives a life of drudgery and fatalism. That contrast illustrates the impact upon your life of the choices you make regarding personal beliefs, philosophies, and world-view.

Note for yourself how you feel after reading one book, vs. how you feel after reading the other.

by Beau Lamour

These books are excellent anthologies of unfinished writing by Louis Lamour.

State Of Fear, Michael Crichton, 2004

A current-day historical novel focusing on the falsehoods and corruption which have been endemic to the environmentalist movement since its inception. Crichton provides lots of well-documented facts as part of his story.

For related information, see our weather webpage about Climate Change.

Grass Roots, Stuart Woods, 1989

Provides a very realistic depiction of political campaigning as I have experienced it, plus a murder mystery very nicely woven into the plot.

Atlas Shrugged,
Ayn Rand, 1957

In a time of cultural decline, a railroad's chief of operations and the owner of a steel company fight for America's survival against increasingly oppressive government regulation and control. An epic and visionary novel, packed with a bounty of ideas worthy of consideration.

“Do you know the hallmark of a second rater?  It's resentment of another man's achievement.  Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own - they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top.  The loneliness for an equal - for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire.  They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes,thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them - while you'd give a year of my life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them.  They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors.  They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear.  They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors - hatred?  no, not hatred, but boredom - the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don't respect?  Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire?  For something, not to look down at, but up to?"

On Basilisk Station, David Weber, 1993

This is the lead-off book for an enthralling series of more than fifteen books with space-faring stories that began as rough parallels to the Horatio Hornblower books by C. S. Forester. The expansion of human colonization of Space as envisioned by Weber bears many similarities to the world of the early 1800s.

The other books in this series to date are: The Honor of the Queen, The Short Victorious War, Field of Dishonor, Flag in Exile, Honor Among Enemies, In Enemy Hands, Echoes of Honor, Ashes of Victory, War of Honor, At All Costs, Mission of Honor, Uncompromising Honor, and the latest, Toll of Honor.  Note that there are also a number of additional books by Weber and by other authors that expand the "history" of this universe to peripheral tales beyond the immediate story line.

Off Armageddon Reef, David Weber, 2007

This is the first book of a series of ten (so far) that portrays a future humankind's efforts to rebuild itself after virtually total annihilation and near-extinction under a withering and relentless alien attack, followed by a massive betrayal. These exciting stories are fascinating studies in the breadths of human character and behavior.

The other books in this series to date are: By Schism Rent Asunder, By Heresies Distressed, A Mighty Fortress, How Firm a Foundation, Midst Toil and Tribulation, Like a Mighty Army, Hell's Foundations Quiver, At the Sign of Triumph, Through Fiery Trials.

by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games

Catching Fire


If you saw the movies, these books add so many important details.  Collins does an excellent job of underscoring the destructive evils of oppression, and the unavoidable tragedies and dangers of rebellion.

Once an Eagle, Anton Myrer, 1968, 1997

This is the story of two soldiers, as they work their way up through the ranks. Their lives parallel and intertwine, demonstrating good moral character, leadership, and respect, vs. its lack. This exemplary book is on the required-reading list for West Point cadets.

Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry, 1947

Have you ever heard of Chincoteague and Assateague? Learn the real-life story of horses that swam ashore to these islands from a foundering Spanish ship off the coast of Virginia almost 500 years ago, and of a filly named Misty and the people who live there now. This is a story for children – of all ages; it is a good bedtime story to be read to youngsters, but also one you can enjoy for yourself.

The book Sea Star – Orphan of Chincoteague is a nice sequel for those who have enjoyed Misty of Chincoteague and would like to read more.

The Log Of a Cowboy, Andy Adams, 1903

This is the story of a cattle drive, from the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas, to deep into Montana, in 1883, written by an author who had actually been a cowboy on many such drives. Written in language that anyone from pre-teens to adult can understand and enjoy, this master story-teller bases his tale on his own experiences, and will keep your interest throughout the book.

The Hidden Truth

A Rambling Wreck

The Brave
and the Bold

by Hans G. Schantz

All three books in this trilogy are a unique combination of sci-fi techno-thriller conspiracy suspense. Set in Atlanta, eastern Tennessee, north Alabama, and Georgia's Jekyll Island, the books contain enough references to real-life history to make you wonder whether these books are more fact than fiction.

Dragonflight, 1968

Dragonquest, 1971

The White Dragon, 1978

by Anne McCaffrey

This trilogy is science-fiction, not fantasy – the first in a series of stories of people who colonized a world, only to discover a horrific and deadly recurring danger – and a unique solution against it. From the colonists' first landing through thousands of years of destruction, survival, recovery, and renaissance, these are classic stories that will be enjoyed by young boys and girls as well as adults.

The other books in this series are: Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, Nerilka's Story, Dragon's Dawn, The Renegades of Pern, All the Weyrs of Pern, The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, The Dolphins of Pern, Dragonseye, The Masterharper of Pern, The Skies of Pern.

Note that there are also a number of additional books by other authors (some co-authored with McCaffrey) that expand the "history" of this universe.


Foundation and Empire

Second Foundation

by Isaac Asimov

The classic science-fiction trilogy from the earliest days of sci-fi's emergence as a serious genre – and still to this day an exciting and thought-provoking set of books. As the series begins, the Galactic Empire is in decline, and a small group of "psychohistorians" makes plans for a shortened dark-age and a renaissance to a more enduring future.

Asimov later wrote four additional books in his Foundation series, and other authors have presented their own books about the Foundation universe.

Rescue Party, Arthur C. Clarke, 1946

This great short story is about determination in the face of catastrophe, what it says about the nature of those who survive and escape, and the implications of having such determination.

The Deathbird, Larry Ellison, 1973

This great short story is a study in the transposition of our beliefs that gives us pause, forcing us to define exactly what it is we do believe.

Slow Sculpture, Theodore Sturgeon, 1970

This great short story is about personal discovery, and about the path that can lead to changes in one's life.

Polymath, John Brunner, 1974

An exciting story of escape from a world with a sun about to go nova, and the struggle to survive wholly unprepared on a new world, in the face of the whole range of human personalities.

Dune, Frank Herbert, 1965

The story of a desert world, the rugged people who live in it, their struggles and trials at the hands of would-be oppressers, and of a Duke's fugitive son, sought by those same tyrannical oppressors. One of the absolute best sci-fi classics of all time, and the source of this famous and character-building quote.

Herbert also wrote a number of follow-on books, beginning with Dune Messiah.

Dante Aligheri
volume one of
The Divine Comedy

Larry Niven and
Jerry Pournelle

Dante's Inferno, the first volume of his Divine Comedy, can be heavy reading.  Read first Inferno by Niven and Pournelle, a modernized version, in the modern vernacular and populated by well-known people who lived since 1300.  The story is captivating, and once you have finished reading the modern version, Dante's original becomes much more palatable, and so more interesting; the book is defnitely not to be missed.  You may even want to continue on with the remaining two volumes of Divine Comedy, Purgatorio and Paradiso.

Side note:  Dante's writing is a very good example of the literature and arts generally of the late Dark Ages, with its yoke of oppressive religious control and the arts' predominant focus on non-worldly, religious themes.

That contrasts starkly with the Renaissance, with its throwing off of religious oppression and its focus on this-world subjects, such as its new scientific exploration, the world-ranging journeys of explorers, and its artistic this-world themes, typified by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Raphael's School of Athens.

Time Enough for Love, Robert A. Heinlein, 1973

The Story of Lazarus Long – Woodrow Wilson Smith – his many adventures and bits of wisdom.

One of the great classics of science fiction, and definitely not to be missed.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein, 1966

In a time when millions live on the Moon, resentment over the treatment dealt by the powers in control from Earth leads to outrage, disruption, and finally rebellion.

This is the story of the Moon's fight for independence.  The parallels with the American Revolution are not lost on a number of people, both on the Moon and on Earth.

Tension and excitement build throughout the novel, making this book a real page-turner.

The Man-Kzin Wars, Larry Niven, 1988

Man-Kzin Wars is the first in a series of about twenty books providing a history of the war which was the first encounter between humanity and the Kzin, intelligent, cat-like carnivores.

That saga is part of Niven's Known Space series of books, which also includes Ringworld and its sequels, and Integral Trees.  All of the Known Space books are excellent and gripping reading.  Each series introduces a unique world with its subsequent facets, providing stimulating ideas and provoking thought and imagination about the subsequent ramifications and repercussions – the hallmark of good science-fiction.

The Man-Kzin Wars books include many stories by neophyte sci-fi authors, providing them with an opportunity to be introduced to sci-fi readers.

See the full list of the Man-Kzin Wars books on Wikipedia.

Alas, Babylon, Pat Frank, 1959

When they were kids, the boys used to listen to the preacher's sermon through an open window.  "Alas, Babylon," he would often cry.

They made the phrase their own code words to each other, lamenting any of the typical setbacks that young men encounter in growing up.

One stayed at home, becoming an attorney.  The other went into the Air Force, ending up in the NORAD defense center, near Cheyenne, Wyoming.  During one visit home, he expressed his worries for the state of the world.  "Alas, Babylon" would be his message to his brother, if war was imminent.

Then one day the message came in.

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1959

A gripping post-apocalyptic novel of life after a devastating nuclear war that sends humanity back to the most primitive times.

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Great Books – Poetry Section
Poetry should make you feel what is real.

Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard, 1958

The Classical Greek era of 600 B.C. was a dynamic world, overflowing with the advances of civilization.  The most reknowned and important include Solon in politics, Thales in science, and Sappho, the Poetess, creating her magnificanet poetry.  The island she lived on was at that time within the richest region of Greece – the center of development of the sciences and the arts, and according to the book's notes, it "considered itself the very fountainhead of Greek song."

Numerous invasions throughout the subsequent centuries have resulted in malignment, villianization, suppression, and virtually-total destruction of all record of their achievements, except where recorded and preserved elsewhere.  For Sappho, that has allowed only fragments of her work to survive and to reach us in the present day.  But those fragments (and two entire poems) are exemplary poetry – vivid, beautiful, and alive, and are not to be missed.  This book provides an excellent translation and background to help give her poems a more powerful context.

The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, 1906

This exciting and unforgettable poem is about the struggles of a pair of lovers against all odds. The poem's flow of its words and events are virtually the definition of a romantic theme.

Love Her Wild, by Atticus, 2017

Filled with poems, verses, and couplets, this book does exactly that thing which poetry should do:  it reaches into your depths and makes you feel what is real.  The book is a rich treasure of the expression of feelings on love, a boy's thoughts on a girl, and life generally.

With Faith and Patience, Shwetha Rajmohan, 2021

This insightful and youthful short book of poetry's view of life, growing, and maturing is dynamic, uplifting, and will refresh your spirit.

Trail Dust of a Maverick, by E. A. Brininstool, 1921

Readable, moving, and often humorous poetry, celebrating and reminiscing about the Old West.

The Airman's World, by Gill Robb Wilson, 1957

Wilson's poetry does a great job of expressing the many facets of the joys of flying.

Click here to see three of Wilson's beautiful poems, two of which are not in this book.

The Green Hills of Earth, by Robert Heinlein, 1951

... is a collection of great short stories, as well as the title of the particular tale recounting the circumstances surrounding the writing of the poem Green Hills. That poem, of course, includes this beautiful and unforgettable final verse:

    We pray for one last landing
    On the globe that gave us birth;
    Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
    And the cool, green hills of Earth.
    -- Rhysling

Don't miss these Poems by Scott

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Great Movies Section

Agora, 2009

Recounts the last days of Hypatia, the last Classical-era scientist of note. An astronomer, mathemetician, and philosopher, she taught at the great Library of Alexandria, in Egypt, until her death in 415 AD. The existence of the library and this exceptional woman's own life are threatened by an increasingly rancourous illiterate Christian mob, in an era when a woman's expected role was only to be a subservient wife, home-bound, bearing and raising children.

The Name Of the Rose, 2004,1986

In the late 1200s, a Franciscan friar uses logic – still considered by most Church authorities to be heretical anathema – to solve the mystery of a murder in an Abbey in northern Italy. Amidst the vicious torture and tyranny of the Inquisition and the deadly conflict between the Franciscan and Dominican Orders, his refusal to simply ascribe the death to be the work of Satan threatens his own life.

Skyward, 1980

A sheltered, wheelchair-bound teenage girl – and those around her – discover the value of truth, perseverance, and the meaning of integrity ... and the joy of flying.

Hidden Figures, 2017

See the fascinating true story of three great women who came to work for NASA – a mathematician, an engineer, and a computer programmer, who became essential to the success of America's journey into space – and who also overcame the barriers of race and gender in what was definitely a man's world in the early 1960s.

Dinesh D'Souza's great movie Death of a Nation, 2018

Learn the histories of the Democratic Party and the GOP – the GOP has always been predominatly pro-rights, anti-slavery, and pro-freedom for all. The Democratic Party, since its inception by Andrew Jackson, has been oppressive, pro-slavery, and anti-freedom. See the relationship of the Democrats to the Italian Fascists, and to the German Nazis. Take note of their efforts to keep immigrants in ignorance to further their goals. Put the pieces of the puzzle together. Learn the things those behind the Fake News do not want you to know.

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Great Music Section

Violinist Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, 15 March 1984
– playing Symphonie Espagnole, Opus 21, by Edouard Lalo
The exuberant dynamicism and passion of this genius violinist is nowhere better expressed than in this great performance. Nadja's skills are unmatched, and this performance is from her earliest years, just full of youthful vitality.

I will never forget how she walked out onto the stage that evening, followed by Conductor Peter Rickett. She was dressed in a striking spaghetti-strap black dress, with red sash. Even the way she walked told you that here was someone who unquestionably would get a singularly enthusiastic standing ovation. As the performance began and she waited for her solo, she fidgeted with her straps, held her violin impatiently under her chin with her arms hanging limp at her sides, and was clearly more than ready to play; her movements in every way were stark, angular, and violent. Her playing was magnificent and unforgettable, and the sounds from her violin were a joyful musical dance of sounds beyond any violin sound ever heard anywhere else. Members of the audience would later compare subsequent violin soloists to their memory of Nadja from that evening – and the others would invariably fall short of those memorable too-few minutes.

Additionally, see Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and on a return visit, see Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg play the trumpet with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, as well as another virtuoso violin performance.

See also Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg's website and the Wikipedia webpage on Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg.

Organist Virgil Fox, Heavy Organ at Carnegie Hall, vol.1 and vol.2
Virgil Fox had a dynamic vitality and exuberant aliveness that thrilled his audience. An older man at the time of the Carnegie Hall performance, he attracted teenagers as if he were a heavy-metal rock band. The loud cheers and cries of his audience are something hard to imagine, for someone playing J. S. Bach on a pipe organ, solo. But Bach has never been played so well; Virgil Fox brings him to life – even for teenagers, and never is that more evident than when, in an early pause in the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, one young man cannot restrain himself, but yells out a perfectly-timed and unbearably ecstatic "Yeah!" with a release of emotion that matches that of the music. It is fun to listen to the young audience chant: "G Minor! G Minor! G Minor! ...", followed by the resounding cheer of approval during the first notes when he answers their call, and begins playing that piece in a way which is yet again unique. Virgil Fox playing Bach to a live audience is an aural and musical experience not to be missed.
Be sure to purchase the vinyl LPs. The CD of the same name lacks several of the best selections from the vinyl.
  Volume 1, Side 1   Volume 1, Side 2
    Fugue in C Minor, BWV 537     Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor ("Great"), BWV 542
    "Little" Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578     In Thee Is Joy, BWV 615 (Chorale Prelude)
    Arioso (from Cantata No. 156)     Adeste Fideles (Traditional)
    Toccata in F, BWV 540         (Sung by the sold-out Carnegie Hall audience)
  Volume 2, Side 1   Volume 2, Side 2
    Introduction by Virgil Fox     Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
    We All Believe in One God, BWV 680     Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582
    Rejoice, Beloved Christians, BWV 734    
    Prelude and Fugue in E Minor ("The Wedge"), BWV 548    

In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, by Iron Butterfly
Several '60s-era bands made longer versions of their songs, and those extended versions would often include drum solos.  Iron Butterfly put the whole issue of drum solos to rest in 1968, with In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, with what is surely the ultimate drum solo – with that one missing beat and the surreal return of that single organ note at its end.

You're Just Too Good to be True, by Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons
Simply the best love song. Ever.

What a Wonderful World, sung by the unforgettable Satchmo – Louis Armstrong.
A beautiful and happy song about the best in all of us.

To Dream the Impossible Dream, sung by Andy Williams
This beautiful song is a hymn to the highest and greatest achievements possible to any one person.
    Consider the lyrics, by Joe Darion:
        To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
        To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a Heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Renegade, by Steppenwolf Renegade, from the Steppenwolf 7 album, is a powerful and wrenching song taken from the childhood history and experiences of Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay.

With its haunting lyrics, its description of the lives of refugees caught up in tyranny and mass murder, wherever they occur, is unforgettable.
Won't Get Fooled Again from the album Who's Next

The song Won't Get Fooled Again, by The Who, is about those who have lived through a political revolution, only to discover that, as long as control of the new government rests within itself, there has been no real change in their lives, and no greater freedom.

Freedom is only possible if a Constitution is written so as to (1) specifically assure that freedom, (2) give the populace the control and power over the government, expressly limiting its authority, and (3) require that changes to the Constitution must be approved by the people.

Then, that freedom can only be maintained if the people maintain their control of that government, and their involvement in it, as it will nevertheless endlessly tug and pull at its leash, hoping to break that leash and the control which constrains their actions.

The real story of The Star-Spangled Banner

Rocket Attacks and Bursting Bombs – the story of the battle that inspired the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner

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Great Humorous Music Section

They don't seem to make as much humorous music as they used to. Here are some good, clean, funny songs you will not want to miss!

Humor during World War II reflected that fact of life ...
Boogie-woogie Bugle Boy of Company B - sung by the Andrews Sisters

During World War II, as part of the need to use less of everything so more could be devoted to the war effort, girls were wearing shorter skirts and other reduced-size pieces of clothing. Once begun, that trend has never stopped.
And nobody has complained one bit.

Short Shorts - sung by The Royal Teens

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - sung by Brian Hyland
    Of course, what was considered "Itsy Bitsy" in 1960 would not be noteworthy now ...

Cars – hot rods and powerful engines – were a big part of being cool in the 1950s.

The Little Nash Rambler, or Beep, Beep - sung by The Playmates

Hot Rod Lincoln - sung by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen

Even the chicks got in on the hot cars ...
The Little Old Lady From Pasadena - sung by Jan and Dean

Going to camp was a common fate for kids in the early 1960s.
Camp Grenada - sung by Allan Sherman

That song's success engendered this sequel.
Return to Camp Grenada - sung by Allan Sherman

There were a number of songs inspired by all the monster movies back then ...

Purple People Eater - sung by Sheb Wooley
In case you missed it, the song Short Shorts, is mentioned in the Purple People Eater.

Not only were there silly songs about space aliens.  Cave man Alley Oop, a comic-strip favorite, also became the subject of a hit song.
Alley Oop - sung by the Hollywood Argyles

Silly songs with silly words didn't stop there.
Witch Doctor - sung by David Seville and the Chipmunks

Even a cartoon show called "The Jetsons" about the future got into the act.
Eep, Opp, Ork, Ah-ah! - sung by The Jet Screamer and the Jetsons

This one also picked up on all the crazy dances popping up back then.
Monster Mash - sung by Bobby Pickett

This song is a different kind of a monster story, about a horrific real-life incident on August 4th, 1892.
"Some folks say 'She didn't do it,' and others say, 'Of course she did!'"
"But they all agree that Lizzie B. was a problem kind of kid."
The Legend of Lizzie Borden - sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio

The flip-side of that 45 (remember them?) was this song. Not a hit, but it still rattles around in my head every once in a while, particularly when I am inclined to do something of a similar nature.
Super Skier - sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio

Lizzie Border is not the only problematic teenager, after all ...
Who calls the English teacher "Daddy-O"?
Charlie Brown - sung by The Coasters

Folk music has to move with the times, as demonstrated by this song, which tells us about the dangers of riding on the Boston subway ...
Riding on the MTA - sung by The Kingston Trio

But never mix your folk music with politics ...
The One on the Right Was on the Left - sung by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash had a troublesome life, but at least he wasn't named "Sue".
A Boy Named Sue - sung by Johnny Cash

When discussing country and western songs, how could we miss
The Perfect Country and Western Song - sung by David Allan Coe

You can't get much more country than this unforgettable song about the Tennessee hills
Rocky Top - sung by the Osborne Brothers

Truck drivers have a sense of humor, too, didn't you know?
Convoy - sung by C.W. McCall

Give me forty acres and I'll turn this rig around - sung by the Willis Brothers

Love songs are sometimes touched by a bit of humor ...

Little Arrows - sung by Leapy Lee

In 1957, taking a girl on a date and heading to the movies gave us a chance to sit together in the dark, with no parents around to object.  There was just this one little problem ...
Wake up, Little Suzie - sung by the Everly Brothers

One guy driving his car had a problem with Fred and ...
Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat) - sung by Paul Evans

Personal relationships don't always end well ...
They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha
- sung by Napoleon XIV (aka Jerry Samuels)
... on the reverse side of the 45, they played it ... backwards.

Then there is this funny young man's quandary that is also a bit of a morals story ...
Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? - sung by the Lovin' Spoonful

Women often face a quandary with a slightly different perspective ...
Don't You Feel My Leg – sung by Maria Muldaur, with her sultry blues-folk Southern Gospel Revival-singer voice

Which leads to this slightly different version of the story of Little Red Riding Hood ...
Little Red Riding Hood - sung by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

Not at all related to the above subject matter, here's a song about
My Ding-a-ling - sung by Chuck Berry

Christmas didn't escape being a target.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer - sung by Elmo & Patsy

Christmas Don't Be Late - sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks

Even TV commercials could be fun – especially around Christmas time ...
Hershey Kisses – We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Peanuts character Snoopy imagined he was a World War I flying ace. Naturally, the story was put to music:
Snoopy and the Red Baron - sung by the Royal Guardsman

That song was a hit. So naturally there was a sequel ...
The Return of the Red Baron - sung by the Royal Guardsman

Of course, you can guess what happened that year on Chrismas day ...
Snoopy's Christmas vs. The Red Baron - sung by the Royal Guardsman

Snakes are funny creatures, too, right?
Sneaky Snake Likes Root Beer - sung by Tom T. Hall

But any girl will tell you, "I don't like ...
Spiders and Snakes - sung by Jim Stafford

Tennesseans can be funny, too, and environmentally concerned at the same time ...
Tennessee Bird Walk - sung by Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan

One guy in Tennessee wishes he was back in Texas, but there are a few problems with that ...
All My Ex's Live In Texas - sung by George Strait

Australians wouldn't miss a chance for a bit of humor, and they love their animals, too ...
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport - sung by Rolf Harris

A popular fad in the early 1970s was something called "Streaking".
Let Ray Stevens explain to you exactly what that was.
The Streak - sung by Ray Stevens

There are many age-old and profound questions, and this is certainly one of them:
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On the Bedpost Overnight? - sung by Lonnie Donegan

Speaking of food, did you ever have a meatball on top of your spaghetti that just would not stay put?
On Top of Spaghetti - sung by Allen Sherman

Patriotism can have a humorous angle to it, too. It's possible the British might not think so. Too bad.
The Battle of New Orleans - sung by Johnny Horton

Speaking of politics, in 1967 Senator Bobby Kennedy (the President's brother) supposedly sang this hit by the Troggs
Wild Thing - sung by Bill Minkin

Religion is not immune from humor, either. Respectfully, of course.
The Mississippi Squirrel Revival - sung by Ray Stevens

To be fair, we should better "Give the Devil his due" ... but he gets a little less respect.
The Devil went down to Georgia - sung by the Charlie Daniels Band

Speaking of Georgia ...
The Dukes Of Hazzard Theme Song - sung by Waylon Jennings
You may not have heard, but they did some research on the last things said just before fatal car accidents.
In 49 of these fifty United States, the thing said most often was something very like, "O-oh-h-h sugar!"
In Georgia, it was, "Hey y'all, watch this!"   Doncha know.

Even Classical Music performances can be fun:  watch the "Competitive Foursome"

So how about it, all you young musicians? Show us what you can do!

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Our Library Is a Fun Place To Be.

Your library is a place to expand your world,
feed your imagination, fill your head with ideas,
and to hold the details of old memories.

Everyone should have a library.








Banned Books   —   See them here.


movie vs. book graphic not found


Click here to see the Bryan Larsen art gallery.                         Click here to see where to buy this rug.                








The Lello Bookstore, Porto, Portugal – Was this J. K. Rowling's inspiration for Hogwarts?

Balamand University, Lebanon

"Job Lot Cheap", by William Harnett – on display at the Reynolda House, Winston-Salem, NC

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Great Libraries Section

National Library Week!

        National Library Week in 2021:   April 5-9

        National Library Week in 2022:   April 3-9

        National Library Week in 2023:   April 23-29

        National Library Week in 2024:   April 7-13

Thinking about a library of your own? Check out these ideas.

The Library in Ninevah, built by the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal, about 640 BC – the oldest known library

The Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt, built by Ptolemy II, 283 BC

Burned by Julius Caesar in 48 BC, the remainder destroyed by the Christians in 391-400 AD, and whatever still survived (Christian writings since 400?) was claimed to have been destroyed by the Moslem Arabs during their conquest and occupation in 642 AD.

Hypatia, from the movie, Agora

The Roman Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selηuk, Turkey, 117-262 AD.

The Imperial Library of Constantinople, of the Byzantine Empire, circa 350 to 1453

The House of Wisdom, built in Baghdad during the Islamic Golden Age, by the Abbasid dynasty, circa 800 to 1258

The Library of St. Catherine's Monastery, at Mount Sinai

The oldest library still in operation, built between 548 and 565 A.D.

Home of the world's largest collection of palimpsests

The Library is in the third story, in the left end of the building

St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai

The beautiful Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland, founded in 1592

The Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, constructed 1866

The New York Public Library, New York City

1854 (Astor), 1870 (Lenox), 1880 (New York Free Circulating Library), consolidated 1901.

The first Gutenberg Bible in America

The Lusatian Library of Sciences, Gorlitz, Germany, founded in 1950 by merging the collected volumes of the Upper Lusatian Society of Sciences and the Library of Milich, that came to Gφrlitz in 1727.

The Cincinnati Library in 1955

Kansas City Public Library Central Branch – built in 2004

The Library of Congress, Washington, DC – the largest library in the world

See current and back issues of the Library of Congress magazine

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Scott in his library

Scott in his library; model railroading and railroading sections begun 1959, politics section begun 1962, architecture section begun 1963, fiction section begun 1965, automobiles and motorcycles section begun 1966, humor section begun 1967, sciences section begun 1969; other sections followed, including philosophy, history, mathematics, aviation, photography, the arts, languages, writing and speaking, business and economics, quality management and improvement, project management, information technology, and more.

Now available!  Scott's latest book!

From Savagery to Greatness presents a history of humanity, from its origins in prehistoric times, beginning with its ancestors since about 5,000,000 years ago. The story focuses on explaining evolution generally and the evolution of the mental development of Homo Sapiens and its earlier evolution in those prior species, away from animal instinct towards the ability to think and reason.

The book also recounts the many migrations which pushed humankind's spread across the continents of the world, and what drove those migrations; a fascinating story in itself.

That history also includes the context of the continual climate changes which have not only been an ever-present factor, but which have had a significant and substantial impact on our ancestors’ evolution and migration. Climate changes have often been the driving causes of evolution.

The stair-steps to humanity presented in the book include the identification of humanity’s key achievements, as well as its stumbles backwards, as cultures and civilizations have risen and fallen, down to the present day.

From Savagery to Greatness is intended as an easy-to-read book for anyone, and yet provides a comprehensive picture of our past. It is not a big book, and no special knowledge is needed. Easy-to-understand explanations are included throughout its 130 pages, along with pictures, illustrations, an easy-to-follow timeline chart, and an index.

The intent was to make this book a real page-turner, as intriguing as a good mystery novel. But this is real-life. This is what happened, and why. More than once our ancestors were on the brink of extinction. The plot is complex and improbable, but not impossible, or we would not be here. Don't miss the ultimate success story.

        Buy the book here                                                                 Buy the Kindle version here        

When it comes to thinking, I wrote the book.

A revolutionary new book by author Scott Crosby                   Buy the book here           Buy the Kindle version here

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