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Weekly Book News

March 28, 2017

Surgeon in the Village by Tony Bartelme

An inspiring story of doctors who changed the health care of an African nation

By 2006, Dilan Ellegala, an accomplished neurosurgeon, had reached the highest rungs of the American medical establishment. But he was on the verge of burning out. In search of personal restoration, he took a sabbatical at a remote missionary hospital in Haydom, Tanzania. While there, he discovered a medical world entirely different from the one he knew: Tanzania had just three neurosurgeons in a country with a population of 43 million.

During his stay, he met Emmanuel Mayegga, an assistant medical officer. Though Mayegga had no medical degree, Ellegala realized that Mayegga had the dexterity, intelligence, and confidence to be a great surgeon. Dr. Ellegala began training Mayegga to perform brain-surgery procedures, giving him the tools to become an agent of change in his own country. In his turn, Mayegga trained another young health-care worker, Emanuel Nuwas, to save lives with neurosurgical procedures. Nuwas himself would go on to train Hayte Samo.

Since that first trip, Dr. Ellegala has solidified his “train-forward” philosophy into the NGO Madaktari (Swahili for “doctors”)—a group that sends hundreds of doctors around the world to serve as mentors and to create a sustainable new model for global health. Dilan’s story exposes a major and largely neglected global-health issue—the shortage of surgeons. As many as 17 million people die every year because of this gap, more than die from AIDS, malaria, and TB combined. Purchase

Richard Nixon by John A. Farrell

Brilliantly researched, authoritatively crafted by a prize-winning biographer, and lively on the page, this is the Nixon we've been waiting for.

Richard Nixon opens with young Navy lieutenant "Nick" Nixon returning from the Pacific and setting his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon's finer attributes quickly gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. It is a stunning overture to John A. Farrell's magisterial portrait of a man who embodied postwar American cynicism.


Within four years of that first win, Nixon would be a U.S. senator; in six the vice president of the United States of America. "Few came so far, so fast, and so alone," Farrell writes. Finally president, Nixon's staff was full of bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, poverty, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War.


Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who set South against North, and who spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country's elites. He persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal known as Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace.


Richard Nixon is an enthralling tour de force biography of our darkest president, one that reviewers will hail as a defining portrait, and the full life of Nixon readers have awaited. Purchase

No. 2 Feline Detective Agency by Mandy Morton

Prepare to be besotted with The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, the first book in a new series that turns the traditional British cozy on its head and features feline crime-solvers.

Hettie Bagshot has bitten off more than any cat could chew. As soon as she launches her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, she’s bucketed into a case: Furcross, home for slightly older cats, has a nasty spate of bodysnatching, and three of the residents have been stolen from their graves. Hettie and her sidekick, Tilly, set out to reveal the terrible truth. Is Nurse Mogadon involved in a deadly game? Has the haberdashery department of Malkin & Sprinkle become a mortuary? And what flavor will Betty Butter’s pie of the week be?

In a haze of catnip and pastry, Hettie steers the Furcross Case to its conclusion, but will she get there before the body count rises--and the pies sell out? Purchase

Now in Paperback

New for Young Readers!

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children. Purchase

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