Twilight of the Gods, Ian Toll

Media has changed warfare. Thanks to Matthew Brady, photos of the brutality and hopelessness of war affected people in an entirely new way. At the time, the Civil War was the most documented war in history - yet it had nothing on World War II, just 75 years later. Movie film captured every last horror of that war, by both those who wanted to document the atrocities and those who wanted to bask in what they saw as glory. By Viet Nam, with Kodak Instamatics fitting in a soldier’s pocket, the grit was documented by everyone, not just official sources. In today’s internet era, conflicts are documented and uploaded to the world live, before officials even know they’ve happened. It will take decades to sort through available data and make viable conclusions on modern conflicts.

Media has changed warfare. Thanks to Matthew Brady, early photographer, photos of the brutality and hopelessness of war affected people in an entirely new way. At the time, the Civil War was the most documented war in history – yet it had nothing on World War II, just 75 years later. Now movie film captured every last horror of that war, by both those who wanted to document the atrocities and those who wanted to bask in what they saw as glory. By Viet Nam, with Kodak Instamatics fitting in a soldier’s pocket, the grit was documented by everyone, not just official sources. In today’s internet era, conflicts are documented and uploaded to the world live, before officials even know they’ve happened. It will take decades to sort through available data and make viable conclusions on modern conflicts.

German Sub U-755 is sunk by an RAF rocket, 1943

But World War II was no slouch. In doing a bit of research the other month on my grandmother’s little-known younger brother (they were 16 years apart), within 10 minutes, my sister and I were able to pull up information that stunned us. All anyone knew had been “Uncle Laurie was on a Coast Guard ship that was presumed lost at sea, possibly due to a German Sub, during World War II.”  Well, thanks to unfailing documentation, we found out that Laurie had been a radioman on the USS Muskeget, a weather ship, which was shot at 3 times by the German sub U-755 at 3:15 in the afternoon of September 9, 1942. Two torpedoes hit, killing all aboard. They even had the coordinates off Greenland. Not only that, but there’s a photo of U-755 being sunk by an RAF plane several months later!  No one in the family had ever known any of those facts.

With that type of minutiae now available, Ian Toll brings together his final tome on the history of the Asian Theater in WWII, Twilight of the Gods (I know, I just switched from the European front to the Asian one, but our family knows less about the Asian front: Uncle Art was a Marine at Iwo Jima, but not the famous flag raising, and my psychiatrist grandfather was stationed in California as a Navy Captain treating shell-shocked soldiers returning from the lines). In his third installment of the war, Toll covers the months between  June of 1944 and the Peace Treaty in 1945, after the dropping of the bomb. 

The Asian theater is an anomaly: this is the part of the war that actually attacked US territory, the act of aggression that finally drew us into the war despite the incomprehensible acts going on in Europe, and yet, we tend to teach only the European aspect of the war, beyond the two facts of 1) Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, and 2) we dropped the first (and only) nukes on them in retaliation. Is it because of the difference of a Navy war vs. an Army land war? It’s easy to follow Maginot lines on a map, but ships bouncing from island to island around a massive ocean isn’t as visual: We can understand where France is, but where exactly is 7.1315° N, 171.1845° E? (It’s the Marshall Islands. Can you picture them? Neither can I.) How can people fight over water, which has no country? Far more people had relatives affected somewhere in Europe, vs no one was taking up collections to send to Vanuatu. Yet the battles were the largest naval battles in history, and the cruelty and aspirations no less than that of Hitler. 

Toll spares no fact from his relentless research, and the brutality and heartbreak can inure the reader – much as it did those who lived through it. He covers the infighting among leaders – no one thought highly of Admiral Halsey – and the waste of young men literally being thrown at ships as kamikaze pilots – a tactic that eventually wore thin even among the Japanese. Good or bad, Toll covers it in a narrative style that will give you a far greater appreciation for the lesser-known side of a war that literally covered the world.  Whew.

If you don’t have time to sit and read a thousand pages, Twilight of the Gods is now available at CPL on audiobook, to make that commute just a little more interesting!

Twilight of the Gods

Audio book Print

The Conquering Tide

Audio book Print

Pacific Crucible

30,000+ audiobooks are waiting for you!

Did you hear? Cheshire Library recently announced the dramatic expansion of our RBdigital audiobook collection. With over 34,000 titles, there’s something for everyone—from classics to bestselling new titles, debut authors to major literary prize winners, children’s literature to business books, and more. With your Cheshire Library card, you’ll have access to thousands of free audiobooks!

 

 

 

The core collection of these audiobook titles are unlimited access—always available for immediate access without holds or delays. We will also be adding new titles to the collection every month, with the traditional borrowing model (1 user at a time). So while you’re waiting for that bestseller to become available, there are over 30,000 titles to select from in the meantime (everything from classics like The Hobbit and Great Expectations to contemporary favorites like Red Rising and Outlander, in addition to nonfiction, self-help, children’s titles, and more)!

You can listen to audiobooks at home from your computer, or on-the-go from your tablet or smartphone. You can also have up to 10 audiobooks checked out at a time with no monthly limits!  Find the link to our RBdigital collection on our website, or download the app to listen on a mobile device:

 

 

We’re really excited to be offering this service to our patrons. Try our new expanded audiobook collection and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Library Services Online

In our 24/7 society, life moves pretty fast. You meant to stop by the library on your way into work, or perhaps on your way home, but…

Yeah, we’ve all been there. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. But, never fear! The Cheshire Public Library is here to help. Many library services are now available online 24/7.

That means you can renew your books while staying at home in your pajamas. You can download and watch a movie from hoopla rather than having to go out on a dark and stormy night (with a nod to Edward Bulwer-Lytton) to borrow one. You can place holds, listen to music, or download an audiobook. Research your family tree on HeritageQuest. Scope out the ratings of your next new car from the comfort of your bed by browsing Consumer Reports Online. Refresh your resume with tips from JobNow. Put up your feet and browse through your favorite magazine with RBdigital‘s online magazines.

The great thing about online resources is that they are never late! They auto-return so you never accrue fines, and in the case of digital magazines, they remain on your device for you to enjoy.

Finding these resources is easy.

All downloadable content (ebooks, audiobooks, movies, magazines, music, and comics) are available from links right on the library homepage at cheshirelibrary.com.

All databases (Consumer Reports, JobNow, HeritageQuest and many, many more) are accessed simply by clicking the eResources link on our website.

Renew your books, place holds and even pay your account balance by clicking the Your Account button at the top of our website.

So, relax! You have all day and all night, too, to get to the library.

(Image source: Anchor Point Animation)

Audiobook Picks for a Family Road Trip

If you are planning a fun family road trip this summer, or anytime really, it could involve many hours trapped in a vehicle with bored, overtired, and otherwise cranky individuals. Let’s be honest, no matter how fun the trip, there are moments in which the boredom or irritation levels rise. So, instead of fighting over radio stations and whatnot while on the road you might want to listen to an audiobook (or more) to pass the time.

I usually check out a selection of audiobooks for my children to choose from and make them take turns with said selections, before I even start the car if only to avoid arguments later. You can also download audiobooks to listen to via OneClick Digital, Overdrive or Hoopla. The good thing about the digital audiobooks is that if you finish earlier than you expected or do not enjoy the book and want a new one, you can always AIDIO1download a new one anywhere you have internet access. With the digital version you also do not have to worry about due dates or missing discs, which can be a big bonus.

If you are willing to give some family listening a try during a road trip you might need some suggestions. Here are some of my favorite reads and listens that are entertaining for the entire family.

audio3The Bad Beginning and rest of the The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curryaudio6

Fortunately, the Milk written and performed by Neil Gaiman

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, AUDIO2read by Simon Jones

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L Konigsburg, read by Jill Clayburgh

How to Train Your Dragon (and the rest of the audio5series) by Cressida Cowell, read by Gerard Doyleaudio4

Wonder by R.J. Palacio, read by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, and Kate Rudd

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, read by Paul BoehmerAUDIOB1

Further suggestions include revisiting some classics like; Because of Winn Dixie, Charlotte’s Web, Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, The Wizard of Oz,Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Chronicles of Narnia, The Tale of Despereaux, audiob3Fantastic Mr. Fox, and other favorites. Some newer or unexpected but wonderful listens like; Skulduggery PleasantChasing Vermeer, Little House in the Big Woods,  Savvy, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and the rest of the series), Nicholas St. North and the battle of the Nightmare King, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, and Half Moon Investigations might also keep your vehicle full of happy listeners.

What’s All the Hoopla?

What is Hoopla?
hoopla
For those that have never explored our digital offerings, Hoopla is a free service that is available to Cheshire library card holders (just like Overdrive)! All you need to register is your library card number, and then you create your own user name and password, which you will use to sign in from your computer or mobile device. (If you are a cardholder from another library, you may have access to the service through your own library. If you are unsure check with your home library.)

hoopla Welcome Header CPLHoopla offers users digital access to videos (movies & TV), full music albums,  audiobooks, e-books & comics  and more twenty-four hours a day. While there is a limit to how many items you can borrow per month with this service (six per user per month) as long as you are not binge watching a television series, this should not cause much frustration. Many people use this service to watch movies without having to wait their turn on a holds list. I tend to use it to watch the harder to find titles like Anime or Foreign Films that are less likely to be found in our physical collection.

The varied genres and search categories Hoopla offers can make it easy to find the documentary that was recommended but you somehow never got to see, or that weird children’s movie that your kids keep asking for but your old VHS or DVD is no longer working.  My husband, who is not a big reader, has caved to the influence of myself, a coworker, and some of his favorite shows, and started reading graphic novels. What we do not hand him, he reads via Hoopla. I have since used the service for the same thing.

Want to take a moment and browse the huge collections available via Hoopla? Well, no time like the present! Take a quick gander at all the Audiobooks, Movies, Music, Comics, Ebooks, and  Television Shows at your fingertips!

Want to know some of the curious and simply interesting things I have found via Hoopla just to get you started? How hoopla3about the non-fiction mythology guide Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, or a book with instructions and patterns for Quick & Easy Crochet Cowls. Perhaps the very first episode of the original Lone Ranger television show or the Audiobook of The Scarlet Pimpernel is more your speed? Do you want to help you children learn french with the help of cartoon dinosaurs, or maybe try a new work out from Jillian Michaels? Personally, I am currently reading the hoopla2first graphic novel of Lucifer, while my husband is pursuing a variety of titles after having finished up all the published volumes of The Walking Dead.

The variety is huge! Frankly, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the the choices and have to pace myself so that I do not hit my limit of materials before the end of any given month- simply because there are so many choices and I am too excited to read or watch something right now to hold back from clicking that borrow button.

Need some technical help with Hoopla or still have some questions? Please comment below and I will answer any questions I can, and if I do not know the answer I will get the information for you. If you do not want to wait for me to get back to a computer to answer, you can also try our information page, the official hoopla support page, or give us a call at 203-272-2245 and choose the reference desk option.