Books

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.

March is Women's History Month. Find out about the many brave and talented  women who have influenced world history by reading some of these titles from the Library's collection:

Presents profiles of war heroines from Germany, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States.

Are you getting enough sleep? A good night's rest is essential for our bodies to rejuvenate and re-energize. What we do during the day can impact how well we sleep at night. Many factors can keep us awake and interrupt our natural sleep tempo such as stress or too much screen time before bed. Before you catch up on some zzz's, check out these books about sleep...but stay awake long enough to read them! Want to learn more? The National Sleep Foundation's website has great tips for helping you sleep more soundly. 

A good night's sleep is often taken for granted, but its lack can lead to a variety of health problems. In this accessible study, Barone, a sleep specialist, examines what is known about sleep, what can go wrong, and what you can do to to fix it. He begins with sleep hygiene tips, suggestions that include having a consistent bedtime, keeping the bedroom dark and cool, shutting off blue light devices an hour before bed, and trying meditation. He uses patients' medical histories to define sleep disorders (sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, etc.). As he analyzes their stories, Barone offers various behavioral and medical solutions. The doctor admits that medications often have side effects and that people have difficulties adapting to sleep apparatus, including CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, and experience fear of sleep testing, but he urges anyone who awakes without feeling rested to talk to a specialist. Informative without being alarming, this reassuring guide helps readers assess and take charge of their sleep issues.

Bringing her yoga and mindfulness training to shed light (or perhaps dark) on how to get a good night's rest in this 24/7, go-go-go world, the author asks us to slow down and contemplate the value and importance of how we spend one-third of our lives. Both science facts and quotes from poets lace the pages with reasons why we would want to sleep better and explore our dreams. Gover provides a linear progression of nuts-and-bolts advice on how to get to sleep, stay asleep, experience lucid dreaming, remember dreams, keep a dream journal, and wake up with a smile. It's all told with gentle prose that makes this book delightful and inspiring as well as practical. 

If you liked Freddie Fernortner, then give one of these a try:

When second-grader Eugene and his family move to a new neighborhood and he starts at a new school, he has a chance to bring out his superhero alter ego, Captain Awesome, to find the kidnapped class hamster.

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows

When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.

Enjoyed Holes by Louis Sachar? Then try one of these:

Dead end in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Three times lucky by Sheila Turnage

Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a café and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.

Nonfiction Book Group April 2018

Join the Nonfiction Book Group at the Sweetwaters on Canton Center Road for a lively discussion.

Also available in: e-book

Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.

Upcoming sessions

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Lunch and a Book April 2018

Please join Lunch and a Book to discuss:

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he broke into nearby cottages for provisions, taking only what he needed, but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

A Big Guy Took My Ball Book Cover

 

It's no secret that many easy readers feature great friendships. Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books delight readers of all ages, but if you're in need of something new after the humorous hijinks of Piggie and Gerald, look no further. These easy readers are a great place to find more fast friends.

Give one of the following books, authors, or series a try.

What is chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas

Duck's imagination gets the best of him when he asks his critter companions for help escaping a mysterious pursuer. Find more of Jan Thomas' simple and humorous style at J READER THO.

Last Thursday, our storytime was out of this world. We enjoyed stories all about the solar system and stars. We look forward to seeing you when storytime returns in April, but until then, be sure to enjoy these stories and songs.

Books Read in Storytime

 

If you enjoyed reading about Melody Ellison, the American Girl character who lives in Detroit in the 1960s, you might be interested in these titles.

Fiction

To gain leadership skills needed to run a cupcake-baking empire when she grows up, Brianna runs for president of the fifth grade--expecting little competition--until a new girl enters the race.

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