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Friday, October 7, 2022
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Dockside Bookshop: The Complete Bookshop

"First Man: Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by, James R. Hansen, Simon and Schuster, Biography, 769 pp. $30
On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty-eight-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment.
Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also — as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important authorized biography — misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as an engineer, a test pilot, and an astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over.
In a riveting narrative filled with revelations, Hansen vividly re-creates Armstrong's career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong's mother, Viola, memorably put it, "as if from the very moment he was born — farther back still — that our son was somehow destined for the Apollo 11 mission."
For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the thirty-six years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrongconcerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.
In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In "First Man," the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler.
"The Scorpion's Gate" by, Richard A. Clarke, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Fiction Hardcover, 305 pp. $24.95
For three decades, Richard Clarke worked in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon. As advisor to four Presidents, he traveled throughout the Middle East, visiting palaces, military bases, and intelligence centers, meeting rulers, soldiers, and spies. Some of what he found appeared in Against All Enemies. Much more of it appears here.
In an extraordinary geopolitical thriller filled with the kind of cutting-edge authenticity only someone on the inside could bring, Clarke takes readers just a few years into the future, when forces both the Middle East and the United States are at work to launch another war. But this time, it could be bigger, it could be bigger. This time, it could be nuclear, and spread to Asia and beyond.
A coup has finally toppled the sheiks of Saudi Arabia, and put a determined but shaky Islamic government in their place. Everywhere, the scent of oil has begun to attract the scorpions, and among them are men in Washington and another capital ready to strike a devils bargain to fundamentally realign the map of the Middle East. Their plans are not the same, however—though some of the planners think they are. Hidden agendas, fierce ambition, conflicting loyalties, faulty intelligence, catastrophic miscalculation—soon the dominoes will start to fall, and not even the efforts of a few dedicated men and women may be able to stop an unstoppable folly….
"High Rhulain" by, Brian Jacques, Philomel Books, Fiction Hardcover, 341 pp. $23.99
Young Tiria Wildlough is an otter maid touched by the paw of destiny. Her epic adventure takes her on a journey from Redwall Abbey across the Great Western Sea, to the mysterious Green Isle. There she must fulfill an ancient prophecy and gain her inheritance.
Green Isle is home to the otter clans, but they are beset by dangers from wildcat chieftain Riggu Felis and his cat guard slave masters. Aided by two birds and a platoon of Long Patrol hares, Tria joins forces with the outlaw leader of the otter clans in a battle that will test all their courage and skill.
In the true tradition of Redwall comes a new saga full of feasts and fighting, riddles and quests, and a heroine you're not likely to forget as she strives to become the chosen one—the High Rhulain!

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