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Brave women of France

Courage is the common theme running between one book about two women operating within the French Resistance in World War II, and a new biography of the illustrious 15th century saint and military leader, Joan of Arc.

Susan Ottoway’s “A Cool and Lonely Courage” recounts the daring espionage adventures of the Nearne sisters, Eileen and Jacqueline, during the occupation of France by the Nazis, while Kathryn Harrison gives us the legendary life of “The Maid of Orleans” in “Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured.”

Five hundred years separate the histories of these stalwart heroines, and surely the example set by Joan of Arc inspired the women of the second World War to support the French cause.

These interesting women might have been famous


“Almost Famous Women” by Megan Mayhew Bergman, c. 2015, Scribner

Bookworm: Caring for elderly parent stirs up all kinds of emotions


“Bettyville: A Memoir” by George Hodgman

c.2015, Viking, $27.95, 279 pages

Book by Sen. Ted Cruz to be published June 30


NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz’s book, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Miracle of America,” is coming out this summer.

HarperCollins Publishers told The Associated Press on Thursday that it has set a June 30 release date for the book, for which Cruz reached a reported seven-figure deal last year. Cruz, a first-term Texas Republican considering a presidential run in 2016, said in a recent telephone interview that in a time of “extraordinary challenges” he wants to tell his story and share his message of free markets and constitutional liberties.

Rowling bibliography reveals secrets of the ‘Harry Potter’ books


By Carolyn Kellogg

Los Angeles Times

Off the shelves: Polar bears show up in all levels of kids books


by Dana Purucker

Kenosha Public Library

Bookworm: Dave Barry’s book on happiness may give you some


By Terri Schlichenmicher

Worth checking out: Emma Donoghue

You may know a terrifying, yet strangely uplifting story told through the eyes of 5-year-old Jack, who has lived his entire life alone with his mother in a small shed. Through the boy’s eyes, we slowly realize the horror of their confinement — that they are being held captive by a madman who had kidnapped the young woman and fathered the child. Yet Jack’s life is a happy one, as he blithely describes his well-regimented routine and the layout of his life’s space, which his attentive mother has made into a rich world. His contentment is heartbreaking, especially in light of his confusion when the two are rescued in the second half of the story.

The story is so compelling and unusual, you might not suspect that Donoghue also writes beautifully imagined historical novels, mostly based upon the barest tidbits of information found in her scholarly studies in literature. (In fact, the inspiration for “Room” came from the infamous Austrian case of a man who kept his daughter captive for 24 years.)

‘Birdology’ is entertaining, with activities and interesting facts


By Terri Schlichenmeyer

Reading these books you might feel you’ve entered the ‘Twilight Zone’


So, did the top keep spinning at the end of “Inception”? How can we differentiate reality from a dream from a nightmare? Is there a difference? While these Twilight Zone-esque questions are often addressed in the visual medium of television and film, certain books cultivate an atmosphere of claustrophobia, fear, and uncertainty that evokes the haunting theme music of that timeless show. Here are a few of my favorite mind-bending books:

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