Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Books of 2008: Hot, Flat, and Crowded and The Heretic's Daughter

It's that time of year again, and your friendly neighborhood librarians are eager to tell you about the best books of 2008. Here is Bonnie with a review of her favorite books of the year.

Award-winning journalist, Thomas L. Friedman deals with globalization and energy policy in his latest best-seller, Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Increasing world population and its accompanying growth in energy/natural resource consumption portends a bleak future unless the United States can begin a new chapter in leading the change to renewable resources and lessening its carbon footprint. With green technology, energy policy, and an archaic American car industry hot topics in the news, this is a book that can’t be ignored.

Thoughts of the daughter of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to be tried, sentenced and hanged in the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials remain the heart of a first novel by Kathleen Kent, The Heretic’s Daughter. Historical fiction at its best provides the reader with total immersion in the time, feel and place of its setting and this novel does not disappoint. Prejudice, tyranny and hysteria are viewed through the eyes of Sarah Carrier as she also deals with the push–pull mother-daughter relationship. The dankness and bleakness of Salem incarceration as the accused “witches” prepare to face their Judgment Day adds palpable realism to the craziness of religious fervor taken to the extreme.

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