Men of Steel: The Story of the Family That Built The World Trade Center (2002) New York, NY Crown Publishers 974.71 Koc
I knew almost immediately why the towers collapsed the way they did. And I sat there and cried. I wept for the thousands I knew must have died. And I wept because we built the damn things.
Like millions of people around the world, Karl Koch III watched in disbelief as the World Trade Center collapsed right before his eyes on the morning of September 11, 2001. But the sadness that tormented him in the days and weeks that followed was fueled not only by the compassion and anger that most of us felt but also by his intimate connection with every beam and column in the Twin Towers.
In 1966, the Karl Koch Erecting Company, founded by the author’s grandfather and father in the 1920s, had been awarded the contract to erect the 200,000 tons of steel and more than 6 million square feet of floor that would turn a grand idea more than a decade in the making into the world’s two tallest buildings. It would be the crowning achievement for a proud family enterprise that had built many of America’s most important buildings, from Washington landmarks such as the U.S. Supreme Court and the Library of Congress buildings to such fabled New York hotels as the Pierre and the New Yorker to the half-mile-long, 42-acre plant in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee, that was the birthplace of the hydrogen bomb. But none of those projects could prepare this company of fathers and sons and brothers and uncles for the challenges confronting them on erecting the Twin Towers.
In Men of Steel, Koch and award-winning author Richard Firstman tell the complete and fascinating story of the creation of the World Trade Center: the politics behind its conception, the innovative thinking that went into its design, the drama of its construction, and the truth behind its destruction. But the story of the Twin Towers is the climax to a saga that starts a century earlier, when the author’s grandfather, the son of a German immigrant, drove his first rivets by hand into our nation’s earliest steel structures. It brings to life the rough-and-tumble iron working culture, a world where men with names like Toots Garrity and Hole in the Head Himpler climbed hundreds of feet into the air, erecting steel with great pride despite the very real threat of death and injury they faced every day.
Men of Steel is a brilliant evocation of a family dynasty inextricably intertwined with the steel that makes up many of our nation’s most prominent landmarks. In the tradition of David McCullough’s The Great Bridge, this rich, multilayered narrative exposes the heart and soul that goes into making these remarkable structures. And, most poignantly, in recounting the making and unmaking of the World Trade Center, Men of Steel is at once a lament and a tribute, both to the illustrious buildings and to the country whose strength they symbolized.
Islamic MetalWork (1993) Ward R. Thames and Hudson New York, NY 739.01 War
Whether destined for a sultan's palace or provincial household, a vast array of functional and often luxurious metal vessels and utensils have been produced throughout the Islamic world. Although not primarily religious objects, they were traditionally made with the same skill and imagination, and their designs and decoration reflect the strong cultural influence of Islam which extended from Spain and North Africa in the west to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent in the east. This book traces the range of materials and techniques, decorative motifs and diverse local styles of Islamic metalwork from the seventh to the fifteenth century with a wealth of illustration drawn from the British Museum and other major collections.
Click to visit author's page on Isalmic Art Symposium in Doha
Click below to watch Rachel Ward explain the MetalWork from Northern Iraq she recently curated
Healer (2010) Cassella, C. New York, NY Simon & Schuster Fic Cas
Claire Boehning is about to launch her medical career when she meets Addison, a biochemist with blazing genius and big dreams. But a complicated pregnancy deflects Claire’s professional path and she is forced to drop out of her residency. A few years later, Addison invents a simple blood test to diagnose ovarian cancer, and his biotech start-up lands a fortune. Overnight the Boehnings are catapulted into a financial and social tier they had never anticipated or sought, and over time they grow unconsciously complacent with wealth and security: they move into a gracious Seattle home and buy an old ranch in the high desert mountains of eastern Washington; Claire drifts away from medicine to become a full time wife and mother.
Then Addison gambles everything on a cutting edge cancer drug and the studies go awry under clouded circumstances. With their comfortable life swept away, Claire and her daughter Jory move to the dilapidated ranch house in rural Hallum, where Claire has to resurrect her medical skills and find a job until Addison can salvage his discredited lab. Her only offer for employment comes from a struggling public health clinic—a world away from the medical career Claire had once envisioned. But life in Hallum brings Claire more than a second chance at medicine when she meets Miguela, a bright Nicaraguan immigrant, an orphan of the contra war, who has come to the United States with a secret quest to find the family she has lost. As their friendship develops, a new mystery unfolds that threatens to destroy Claire’s stressed family and forces her to question what it truly means to heal.
Click to visit author's website
Click to read 2011 interview with Carol about writing her book.
Click below to watch 2014 interview with Carol
ClickShutter Isalnd (2003) Lehane, D. New York, NY Harper Collins Fic Leh
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.
But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.
And neither is Teddy Daniels.
Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing…
Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?
As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount:
How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?
Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes?
Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before?
What really goes on in Ward C?
Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards?
The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.Because someone is trying to drive them insane…
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Clcik to read 2010 Wall Street Journal interview with Dennis Lehane
Click below to watch Dennis Lehane talk about the film adaptation
What Flowers Remember (2014) Wiersbitzky, S. South Hampton, NH Namelos Fic Wie
Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed-and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come. But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for no reason. As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save as many memories as she can. Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her.
What Flowers Remember is the story of love and loss, of a young girl coming to understand that even when people die, they live on in our minds, our hearts, and our stories.
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Harmful Intent (1990) Cook, R. New York, NY Putnam Fic Coo
It should have been a routine childbirth. But somehow, the mother died in the delivery, the baby was born brain-damaged, and Jeffrey Rhodes, the anesthesiologist, is running for his life. Charged with malpractice, he is found guilty of harmful intent and reckless disregard for human life. To clear his name, Rhodes must follow a fugitive trail into the heart of medical nightmare. A trail that, for some, may end in suicide--and for others, in the most shocking conspiracy of our time...
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Clikc to listen to 2013 interview of Dr. Oz with Robin Cook
Watch below interview with Robin Cook about his medical thrillers
Oxygen (2008) Cassella, C New York, NY Simon & Schuster Fic Cas
Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has worked, lived, and breathed her career since medical school, and she now practices at a top Seattle hospital. Marie has constructed her professional life according to empirical truths, to the science and art of medicine. But when her tried and true formula suddenly deserts her during a routine surgery, she must explain the nightmarish operating room disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit. Marie's best friend, colleague, and former lover, Dr. Joe Hillary, becomes her closest confidante as she twists through depositions, accusations, and a remorseful preoccupation with the mother of the patient in question. As she struggles to salvage her career and reputation, Marie must face hard truths about the path she’s chosen, the bridges she’s burned and the colleagues and superiors she’s mistaken for friends.
A quieter crisis is simultaneously unfolding within Marie’s family. Her aging father is losing his sight and approaching an awkward dependency on Marie and her sister, Lori. But Lori has taken a more traditional path than Marie, and is busy raising a family. Although she has been estranged from her Texas roots for decades, the ultimate responsibility for their father’s care is falling on Marie.
As her carefully structured life begins to shatter, Marie confronts questions of love and betrayal, family bonds, and the price of her own choices. Set against the natural splendor of Seattle, and inside the closed vaults of hospital operating rooms, OXYGEN climaxes in a final twist that is as heartrending as it is redeeming.
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Click to access a Kirkus Review of Oxygen
Watch below Carol speak about the work she did that helped her write this book.
The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010) Mukherjee, S. New York, NY Scribner 616.99 Muk
The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.
The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.
From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease.
Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.
Click to visit author's page on agent website
Click to access 2011 NPR interview with Sidhartha Mukjerjee
Watch below Sidhartha Mukjerjee speak in 2015 about the PBS documentary based on his book and work.
A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back (2016) New York, NY Scribner 362.18 Haz
A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.
In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.
Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”
Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
Click to visit author's website.
Click to access 2016 NPR interview with Kevin Hazzard
Watch below Kevin Hazzard speak in 2016 about the background to his book and work.
Get Well Soon (2007) Halpern, J. New York, NY Square Fish Fic Hal
Anna Bloom is depressed -- so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.
But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn't supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?
Get Well Soon, Julie Halpern's fiction debut, finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice -- and heart -- will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.
Click to visit author's website.
Click to access 2007 LiveJournal interview with Julie Halpern
Watch below Julie Halpern give funny insights in 2011 about subject of her book.
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