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Check It Out

Courier Article by Pam Locker
Sunday, August 31, 2008

SPECIAL BOOKS CATALOGED 'LOCAL CONNECTIONS'

Watching the results of the Indiana primary on CNN this past May, it struck me that most of the commentators probably could name more cities in Afghanistan than in Indiana.

And Southwestern Indiana has an even lower profile, which makes it refreshing to see some new books with Evansville-area connections.

"Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs" by Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand (Ballantine Books, 2008).

I had caught glimpses of "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel, but didn't know that Andy Hillstrand, co-captain of one of the six Alaskan fishing boats featured on the series, operates a boarding and riding stable named Hobby Horse Acres in Chandler, Ind., with his wife, Sabrina.

In this exciting account, the differences between the two brothers, both bred to be Alaskan fishermen from an early age, become apparent.

Johnathan is still a wild man who adores the danger and challenges of his trade. Andy seems happy that his wife, an Evansville native who grew up in Alaska, has drawn him back to steamy Southern Indiana for a respite between winter crab seasons.

"Perennials: Designing, Choosing, and Maintaining Easy Care Plantings" by Sally Roth and Jane Courtier (Reader's Digest, 2008).

Garden writer and columnist Roth is a local treasure. Her articles appear in the finest gardening magazines, and her books attract top publishers.

Her latest is a gorgeously illustrated tome divided into four sections: designing with perennials, choosing the right plants, plant care and an A-Z plant directory.

This book would make a good addition to any home gardening library.

"Award Winning Green Roof Designs" by Steven Peck (Schiffer Publishing, 2008).

Gracing the back cover of this compilation of winners of the Green Roof for Healthy Cities Awards of Excellence is Evansville's very own Oaklyn Branch Library.

Built into the side of a hill, Oaklyn features an intensive green roof structure with native mesic meadow prairie plantings on both the roof and the surrounding areas.

It's nice to see a local building sharing the national spotlight in the green building surge.

"Nothing for the Nation: Who Got What Out of Iraq" by John N. Hostettler (Publius House, 2008).

In 2002, Indiana 8th District Rep. John Hostettler was one of only six Republican members of the U. S. House of Representatives to vote against authorizing the president to engage in military conflict with Iraq.

In his book, the former congressman lays out his rationale, stating that the evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was "tenuous at best."

As to why President Bush pushed for war, Hostettler argues that he not only bore a grudge against Saddam Hussein for the 1993 assassination attempt against his father, but that his top intelligence advisers were neocons who fashioned intelligence "in support of the spurious claim of the presence of a WMD program" to provoke us into attacking Israel's foremost enemy, Iraq.

Interesting stuff for political junkies.

Pam Locker is manager of Oaklyn Branch Library and alternates writing "Check it Out" with other Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library staff members. Readers may contact Locker at 428-8234, Ext. 5403, or by e-mail (paml@evpl.org). The opinions expressed in this column are personal and do not reflect policies or official recommendations of the library.