Hot time in the old town : the great heat wave of 1896 and the making of Theodore Roosevelt

From Eileen Effrat
author: Kohn, Edward P.
Hot time in the old town : the great heat wave of 1896 and the making of Theodore Roosevelt
 One of the worst natural disasters in American history, the heat wave that struck New York City in August 1896 killed 1,500 New Yorkers in 10 days. People suffered from heat prostration and dehydration. Horses died by the hundreds. Their carcasses lay decaying in the streets, as the municipal authorities were overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation.  As New Yorkers sought relief on rooftops, many fell to their deaths while they slept.  Those living in the lower East Side fared the worst, as the temperature and humidity soared to mercilessly bake windowless tenements. As Police Commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt ordered free ice to be distributed at police precincts to help alleviate the misery in the poorest neighborhoods.  While the heat wave lingered in the city, the Democratic nominee for United States President, William Jennings Bryan, arrived in New York to deliver a much anticipated speech at Madison Square Garden. Not the favorite presidential choice of New York Democrats, Bryan’s speech was a total flop as the temperature soared at the garden. As for the “making of Theodore Roosevelt”, Roosevelt was deeply affected by the human suffering he saw.  The author maintains this event may have formulated the progressive social policies he advocated as President.  This is a vivid account of the plight of the working poor, and the city’s response as New Yorkers struggled to grapple with a disaster unparalleled in its history until 9/11.

The Invisible Bridge

From Ann Heller
author: Orringer, Julie
 The Invisible Bridge
Plight of Hungarian Jews during WW2 is emotionally haunting as presented by Orringer. Clothed in a love story, the author powerfully depicts Budapest and Paris and antisemitism that surrounds three brothers, their friends and lovers.


From Tony Chan
author: Higgins Clark, Carol
 This is the first book I read from Carol Higgins Clark.  I chose this book because it was on the NYT bestseller.  The story and the language is read like a soap opera … bunch of annoying characters searching for the identity of a
renter, who fell off the stairs over the docks, washed off to sea, and was rescued by a crazed actor who held her hostage in his home.  At the end, the renter was saved by Jack, Regan, et al as predicted.