Adults

Nonfiction Book Group May 2018

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Also available in: e-book

As Markel chronicles the Kelloggs' fascinating, Magnificent Ambersons-like ascent into the pantheon of American industrialists, we see the vast changes in American social mores that took shape in diet, health, medicine, philanthropy, and food manufacturing during seven decades--changing the lives of millions and helping to shape our industrial age.

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Lunch and a Book May 2018

Please join Lunch and a Book to discuss:

The night circus : a novel by Erin Morgenstern
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

A circus known as Le Cirque des Rêves features two illusionists, Celia and Marco, who are unknowingly competing in a game to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters, and as the two fall deeply and passionately in love with each other, their masters intervene with dangerous consequences.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

If you are looking for fresh titles to add to your phone, tablet or reader, take a look at some of the newer additions to our OverDrive e-book collection. We add new titles almost every week, so there are many more on OverDrive to explore. If you are new to e-books, you can get learn how to get started on our E-media page.

Also available in: e-audiobook

Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany's famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other. When Scottie's Italian teacher—a teenager with secrets of his own—disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael's dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.

Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home. So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium. Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is.

The history of technology you probably know is one of men and machines, garages and riches, alpha nerds and programmers. But the little-known fact is that female visionaries have always been at the vanguard of technology and innovation--they've just been erased from the story. Until now. Women are not ancillary to the history of technology; they turn up at the very beginning of every important wave. But they've often been hidden in plain sight, their inventions and contributions touching our lives in ways we don't even realize. Author Claire L. Evans finally gives these unsung female heroes their due with her insightful social history of the Broad Band, the women who made the internet what it is today.

World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of water throughout the globe. Water issues are especially important in Michigan with our abundant supply of, and easy access to, fresh water. Here are a few facts from the United Nations and a list library materials to help you learn more about the world's most precious resource.

Did you know that...

  • 2/3 of natural wetlands have disappeared since 1900?
  • 1.9 billion people live in areas where water is already scarce?
  • 2.1 billion people have no safely-managed drinking water services?
  • 80% of all the world's wastewater flows back into rivers and oceans without treatment?
  • Restoring ecosystems creates jobs in areas like recreation, fishing, forestry, and agriculture? 

Wars of the future will be fought over water, as they are today over oil, as the source of all life enters the global marketplace and political arena. Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling fresh water supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Will ours too?

Philanthropist and therapist Hunt (Faith and Feminism) addresses elements of early feminism, primarily its interracial and religious aspects, which she asserts were "lost in the [20th] century." "The origin of modern feminism is its Christian bedrock" is a central theme in the book, as Hunt revisits all-women antislavery conventions held in America in the late 1830s. Notable-but not necessarily forgotten-figures appear (generally referred to by their first names), among them Lydia Maria Child, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, and Lucretia Mott, and the lesser-known Mary Grew and Abby Kelly. Hunt is attentive to the involvement of black women, particularly Grace and Sarah Douglass and Sarah Forten. The book is framed by accounts of Hunt's personal history and involvement with women's organizations. Unfortunately, factual inaccuracies (e.g., she names Frederick Douglass as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833) and unsubstantiated claims (she writes that a group of organizers "took to heart the words written decades earlier by Phillis Wheatley" but does not provide evidence of them having ever read Wheatley's work) plague this lighthearted treatment of a well-known segment in the history of the women's movement.

Historian Johnson's (Northwestern Univ.) first book examines the role that wealthy white women have played in advancing women's rights through financial support for feminist causes. Across seven thematic, roughly chronological chapters, the author examines a century of female philanthropy in the areas of suffrage, labor, education, and birth control, persuasively arguing that donors with deep pockets persistently shaped the priorities and successes of organized feminism. Women such as Alva Belmont, Katherine McCormick, Mary Garrett, and Grace Dodge funded office space and paid positions in the suffrage movement, established working women's clubs, built living quarters for female students, and funded decades of research that brought us the birth control pill. Throughout, Johnson highlights the uneasy reality that such contributions-often crucial to movement successes-gave these women disproportionate influence among activists who were fighting for greater equality. Thus, feminist philanthropists often became controversial figures within the movement they helped to support. VERDICT This compelling work of original and much-needed research with be of interest not only to those who study the history of feminist activism but to those with an interest in the power that private money wields in social justice circles.

Novelist Pierpont (Among Ten Thousand Things) and illustrator Thapp collaborate to create a patchwork of biographical sketches on groundbreaking women, from well-known figures such as former first lady Michelle Obama and the Brontë sisters to lesser-known women such as WWII lieutenant Grace Hopper. The format plays off the Catholic saint-of-the-day book, meant to be read in intervals as a source of daily inspiration. Each entry aims to delineate one of the fascinating experiences and contributions of a women Pierpont and Thapp deem worthy of secular feminist sainthood. Pierpont plays around with style of the entries with varying degrees of success. The entry on Barbara Jordan, for example, is written entirely in the second-person, which is distracting and provides no real grounding of Jordan's accomplishments; the same is true for the entry on Ann and Cecile Richards, which is composed of quotes from the women themselves. There are moments when Pierpont strikes the perfect balance between style and content; the profiles of Helen Keller and Bea Arthur, for example, combine the right amount of introductory information with a written flair that renders these women as worthy idols. Thapp's colorful painted portraits of each subject enhance the book's appeal.

Columbine by David Cullen

What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book-widely recognized as the definitive account. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists, and the killers' own words and drawings-several reproduced in a new appendix. Cullen paints raw portraits of two polar opposite killers. They contrast starkly with the flashes of resilience and redemption among the survivors.

Ceremonial Violence analyzes the Columbine high school shooting and four other cases and explains for the first time why teenagers commit school rampage shootings. In additon to these cases, Fast provides a detailed, clear narrative of the Columbine shootings. With his grasp of the elements of abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, sociology, and neurology that contribute to the homicidal mindset, Fast offers us a means of understanding and coming to terms with these tragedies.--From publisher description.

"In the vein of Dave Cullen's Columbine, the first comprehensive account of the Sandy Hook tragedy--with exclusive new reporting that chronicles the horrific events of December 14, 2012, including new insight into the dark mind of gunman Adam Lanza. Twenty-six people dead; twenty of them schoolchildren between the ages of six and seven. The world mourned the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012. Now, here is the startling, comprehensive look at this tragedy, and into the mind of the unstable killer, Adam Lanza. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and a decade's worth of emails from Lanza's mother to close friends that chronicled his slow slide into mental illness, Newtown pieces together the perfect storm that led to this unspeakable act of violence that shattered so many lives. Newtown explores the two central theories that have permeated the media since the attack: some claim Lanza suffered from severe mental illness, while others insist that, far from being a random act of insanity, this was a meticulously thought out, premeditated attack at least two years in the making by a violent video-gamer so obsessed with "glory kills" and researching mass murderers that he was willing to go to any length to attain the top score. Lanza's dark descent from a young boy with adjustment disorders to a calculating killer is interwoven with the Newtown massacre as it unfolded at the time, told from the points of view of eye witnesses, survivors, parents of victims, first responders, and Adam's relatives. A definitive account of a tragedy that shook a nation, Newtown features exclusive material including initial misinformation reported by the media and commentary on how this catastrophic event became a lightning rod for political agendas, much like Columbine did more than a decade ago"--.

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