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Bookseller Picks

Dave Hall

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

Douglas Preston

$46.95  $32.95
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- If you like real-life adventures, you will love this book! It tells the story of the search for a pre-Columbian city believed to be somewhere in the jungle of Honduras. Using high-tech equipment borrowed from NASA, they know where to look, but only by going into the jungle and facing deadly snakes, clouds of insects, and the threat of tropical diseases, can they know whether the legend of the lost city is true. David Hall

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A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
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The Glass Universe: The Hidden History of the Women Who Took the Measure of the Stars

The Glass Universe: The Hidden History of the Women Who Took the Measure of the Stars

Dava Sobel

$32.99
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The fascinating story of a group of women who worked at Harvard Observatory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, making major contributions to astronomy, and sometimes getting the recognition they deserved. David Hall

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel  returns with a captivating, little-known true story  of women in science.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or ‘human computers’, to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned to studying images of the stars captured on glass photographic plates, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what the stars were made of, divided them into meaningful categories for further research, and even found a way to measure distances across space by starlight.

Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries,  and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women whose vital contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
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Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race

Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race

Margot Lee Shetterly

$24.99
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A well-written, inspiring story of the women who overcame both sexism and racism to play an important part in both WWII and the U.S. space program. David Hall

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Oscar Nominated For Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'colored computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
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Shame and the Captives

Shame and the Captives

Tom Keneally

$32.99
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- During the second world war, in the fictional mid-west town of Gawell, Alice and her father-in-law run the farm while Alice's husband is confined to a prison camp in Europe.  Nearby is an army base and a detention camp for captured Italian and Japanese prisoners-of-war.  This camp is run in a benevolent way by its commanding officer, an Englishman with a difficult marriage and an uneasy relationship with his second in command. 
 
The Italians are sent out to work on farms in the area but the Japanese are not amenable to this practice for their shame at being captured prevents them from co-operating in any way with their guards, whom they despise.  Despite being completely perplexed by the their behaviour and values, their British and Australian captors treat them well, sticking strictly to the Geneva Convention, hoping that by doing so their soldier sons,  in turn prisoners of the Japanese in Asia, will benefit.  
 
Tom Keneally's new book explores the seemingly intractable cultural differences that exist between the two races, differences that will lead to the horrors of the 'breakout'.  Told from both the Australian and Japanese viewpoint this is an unsettling and, towards the end, harrowing read.  It is also a fascinating look at small town country life during the war and at the people there.  Isolation, loneliness, fear of the unknown and the unknowable all combine to erupt the terrible events of August 1944 that really occurred in Cowra, New South Wales. ~ David Hall
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Pacific 360: Australia's Battle for Survival in World War II

Pacific 360: Australia's Battle for Survival in World War II

Roland Perry

$50.00
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It's hard for those of us who weren't there to imagine what it was like in Australia in early 1942. After Pearl Harbour, the fall of Singapore and the attacks on Darwin, Australia was virtually defends Pacific war, from Prime Minister Curtin and his dealings with Churchill and Roosevelt to the diggers who stopped, then pushed back, the Japanese army. Dave

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On 7 December 1941, Australia was pushed to centre stage as Japan entered World War II and began the offensive which triggered the Pacific War.  Roland Perry captures the drama and detail of the Australian Government's political and military struggle with allies and enemies alike as those at home prepared for a fight to the death, while in the Pacifc theatre Australia's armed forces fought for the nation's very existence.  This chronological dual narrative follows the story of Australia's Pacific War on the front lines and at home, and how such a critical moment in history has affected and shaped Australia's political and social culture.
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The Origin of Species (includes The Voyage of the Beagle)

The Origin of Species (includes The Voyage of the Beagle)

Charles Darwin ,  Ruth Padel

$14.99
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Great scientists don’t necessarily make great writers, but with these books Darwin showed he was indeed both. The Voyage is part travelogue, part natural history, describing his adventures and observations during the five year voyage of the Beagle. Originally written as part of the official history of the voyage, it was so well written that it was published as a separate book. The Origin is one of the more accessible 'great books of science' and a brilliant example of how to give people a multitude of reasons for accepting your argument. Either of these books would be a bargain for this price, but getting both for that is a steal! Dave

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This title is presented with an introduction by Darwin's great-great-granddaughter, Ruth Padel. When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the H.M.S Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence which would form the basis of his landmark theory of evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as  The Origin of Species  in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. It also sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which still continues today.
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