July's cool spots

Want to get away from St. Louis' steamy July days?  Pack an extra sweater and take off for one of these  'cool' places:

What is left the daughter
Howard Norman.
Thorndike, Me. : Center Point Pub., 2010.
Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is orphaned when his parents jump off two different bridges within hours of each other -- the result of their separate involvements with the same neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. Wyatt is forced to move to a small town to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda. A chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is set in motion by the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring. Actual historical incidents lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Nova Scotia - Scenic drives, sandy beaches, and the famous Scottish Antigonish Highland Games make a July vacation in this Canadian seacoast province a memorable experience.  Summer temperatures range from 68-77 degrees in the daytime to 50-57 degrees at night.  Add to that Nova Scotia's invigorating sea breezes and that sweater may come in handy.

Bodies and souls : the tragic plight of three Jewish women forced into prostitution in the Americas
Isabel Vincent.
New York : Harper Perennial, 2006, c2005.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, several thousand impoverished young Jewish women from Eastern Europe were forced into prostitution in the frontier colonies of Latin America, South Africa, India, and parts of the United States by the Zwi Migdal, a notorious criminal gang of Jewish mobsters. Isabel Vincent, acclaimed author of "Hitler's Silent Partners," tells the remarkable true story of three such women #8212; Sophia Chamys, Rachel Liberman, and Rebecca Freedman #8212; who, like so many others, were desperate to escape a hopeless future in Europe's teeming urban ghettos and rural shtetls. "Bodies and Souls" is a shocking and spellbinding account of a monumental betrayal that brings to light a dark and shameful hitherto untold chapter in Jewish history #8212; brilliantly chronicling the heartbreaking plight of women rejected by a society that deemed them impure and detailing their extraordinary struggles to live with dignity in a community of their own creation.

Buenos Aires - With the seasons reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, July is winter in Argentina.  It's the perfect time to visit Buenos Aires with its 40+ barrios (neighborhoods) -- each with its own character.  Consider just wandering through these neighborhoods enjoying the palaces and restaurants.  Be sure to leave time for an evening of tango (the city is the birthplace of the tango) and the Sunday gaucho fair (horsemen gallop through the city streets).

An inconvenient elephant
Judy Reene Singer.
New York : Harper Paperbacks, 2010.
From the author of Still Life with Elephant comes the story of one woman and her quest to save a majestic animal. After a year spent caring for baby elephants in Africa, Neelie Sterling is preparing to return to the States and a life filled with exes - ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, ex-house, ex-horse. But she is leaving behind some unfinished business in Zimbabwe: a very special elephant targeted for execution. With the help of her new friend Diamond-Rose Tremaine, an eccentric safari operator, Neelie manages to buy some time for the imperiled pachyderm, knowing that when she lands in New York they'll need to raise funds for his rescue. Once they're home, everything becomes a struggle. Neelie and Diamond-Rose now must relearn how to survive in an urban jungle of table manners and real beds while coping with the overbearing affections of Neelie's family. Harder still, Neelie desperately needs the help of her wealthy conservationist ex-boyfriend, Tom, to save the magnificent creature - and swallowing her pride just might be the biggest challenge of all.

Cape Town - Also in the Southern Hemisphere, but half a world away is South Africa.  South Africa's coastline borders two oceans with Cape Town (the 'Mother City') and Durban offering beach activities.  Look inland for exciting walking tours, wine country excursions, and the greatest adventure of all-a safari-- with the opportunity to see 'the big five' (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino).  

The fishes & dishes cookbook
Kiyo Marsh, Tomi Marsh, Laura Cooper.
Kenmore, WA : Epicenter Press, 2010.
Some of the most dangerous work in the world takes place in the grounds of Alaska, where crews must deal with gale-force winds, towering seas, long hours, and... Baked Salmon Wellington? Kiyo and Tomi Marsh conceived this book of delicious seafood recipes and salty fishing stories while rolling around the stormy Bering Sea on Tomi's 78-foot fishing boat, the Savage. What began as a joke about "cooking in the ditch" (the trough of the wave) morphed into The Fishes & Dishes Cookbook. Inside, you'll peek into the remarkable lives of the women who work in America's deadliest industry. They share stories of running their own boats crab fishing on the Bering Sea, long-lining for halibut and black cod, and tendering salmon in Southeast Alaska. As the authors write, "Some of us were born into fishing, the daughters of fishermen, and some of us were drawn to fishing as a way to find adventure up in the mysterious an beautiful Alaskan wild." Besides the 80 surprisingly simple yet mouth-watering seafood recipes - your taste buds will never be the same! - this fascinating book also offers tips for cleaning, preserving, and preparing fish; hints for pairing win e with seafood; a glossary of commercial fishing terms; an explanation of fishing methods; on-board fashion tips; and information about sustainability.

Alaska - What could be cooler than being on an Alaskan cruise ship as it passes ice-blue glaciers and snowcapped mountains?  With extended sunlight hours book a room with a window and don't forget the camera to capture those once in a lifetime pictures.

Penguins and Puffins - Can't get away from St. Louis?  There are local spots that are cool, even in July.  The St. Louis Zoo's Penguin & Puffin Coast is a constant 45-50 degrees.  The entire family will enjoy observing the penguins and puffins showoff for their visitors. 

Cool down in July--consider the possibilities.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff