Practice Kindness

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." That quote isn't credited by anyone famous. If there's on thing we need in the world right now, is more kindness. Kindness is a quality we learn early in life by treating others with empathy, fairness, compassion and respectfulness without expecting praise in return. At the heart of any act of kindness, is selflessness. When we put another's comfort or well-being ahead of our own, we feel good. By giving or practicing kindness, it lifts our spirit and our mood. The stress hormone in our body decreases, boosting the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brains giving us the warm feeling of well-being. Where focus grows, energy flows.  When we practice kindness, we create connections with others and that helps build stronger communities. "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Now that quote is by a famous person, the Dalai Lama. Start your day by asking yourself, "How am I going to practice kindness today?" We got some ideas to help you put kindness on repeat.  

Walking

Walking is the oldest form of exercise. For most of us, it's an easy and effective way to maintain overall wellness and fitness. Being active and outdoors, whether you're on a walking trail or around your neighborhood, can be very meditative. One of the many ways to cultivate mindfulness is through meditative walking. Walking meditation involves focusing on the physical activity of walking and paying attention to every step. Here's some resources to get you started on the right foot!

In 35 guided mindfulness walks, Glenn Berkenkamp invites us to discover how we sense, move, think, and feel in our bodies--and engage a greater sense of presence and being in our lives. Like any contemplative practice, through walking we can quiet our minds and come to know ourselves better, both within our bodies and the greater world outside ourselves. But with limitless competing demands on our time and energy, and hours spent in cars, walking has fallen by the wayside...and we miss many profound opportunities for increased awareness and vitality.

Sunday on May 9 is when we hit the pause button on our busy lives and take a moment to appreciate our mothers and motherhood. Mothers have a profound value in our lives and in many ways have the most challenging, greatest and toughest job in the world. They give us an abundance of unconditional love, support and acceptance. Mothers are our tireless cheerleader for every milestone we experience. Check out these new books celebrating the joys and challenges of motherhood. 

Easy Mom's Day Craft for All Ages and Abilities

Plastic Spoon Flowers
oscars.com

This year Oscars show signs of progress. People with disabilities are very much the least represented groups in the film and tv industry. But three films featuring disabilities are up for major nominations. For Best Picture (Sound of Metal),  Actor in a Leading Role (Riz Ahed, Sound of Metal), Actor in a Supporting Role (Paul Raci, Sound of Metal), Documentary (Crip Camp), and Short Film Live Action, (Feeling Through) are all hoping to take home a golden statue in their category. Though they are not yet on dvd, here are the Oscar-winning films in our collection that feature disabilities. 

Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received the diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of: time. Eddie Redmayne won for Best Actor. 

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and we wait for the vaccine distribution to expand, Booklist a magazine by the American Library Association, has published a list of books focusing on the science behind vaccinations and how misinformation can spread as fast as a deadly virus. These books help separate fact from fiction. 

A smart and compelling examination of the science of immunity, the public policy implications of vaccine denial, and the real-world outcomes of failing to vaccinate. If you have a child in school, you may have heard stories of long-dormant diseases suddenly reappearing--cases of measles, mumps, rubella, and whooping cough cropping up everywhere from elementary schools to Ivy League universities because a select group of parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Between Hope and Fear tells the remarkable story of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and their social and political implications. While detailing the history of vaccine invention, Kinch reveals the ominous reality that our victories against vaccine-preventable diseases are not permanent--and could easily be undone. In the tradition of John Barry's The Great Influenza and Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies, Between Hope and Fear relates the remarkable intersection of science, technology and disease that has helped eradicate many of the deadliest plagues known to man.

Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt. In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can -- and must -- we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy? Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable. 

Social Media from Pixabay

Since 2004, social media has played a big role in our culture. But when the pandemic began last year, almost overnight it took on a whole new life of its own. Just like that we had to use Zoom to get together with our family or friends instead of meeting in-person. We logged onto our computers or laptops to work remotely from home. Our kids logged onto Zoom for school sessions. Did you know that your library presents virtual programming!!? Video conferencing services like Zoom, Facebook Live and Youtube has become the world's most popular social network. Whenever the pandemic is over, will things go back to normal or we will prefer to continue remotely? Who knows? Need help navigating through the avalanche of the social media landscape? Check out these resources!

Feeling overwhelmed by an avalanche of online content? Anxious about identity theft? Unsettled by the proliferation of fake news? Welcome to the digital revolution. Wait-wasn't the digital revolution supposed to make our lives better? It was going to be fun and put the world at our fingertips. What happened? Keep Calm and Log On is a survival handbook that will help you achieve online mindfulness and overcome online helplessness-the feeling that tech is out of your control-with tips for handling cybersecurity, creepy ads, untrustworthy information, and much more.
Taking a cue from the famous World War II morale-boosting slogan ("Keep Calm and Carry On"), Gus Andrews shows us how to adapt the techniques our ancestors used to survive hard times, so we can live our best lives online. She explains why media and technology stress us out, and offers empowering tools for coping. Mindfulness practices can help us stay calm and conserve our attention purposefully. Andrews shares the secret of understanding our own opinions'' "family trees" in order to identify misleading "fake news." She provides tools for unplugging occasionally, overcoming feelings that we are "bad at technology," and taking charge of our security and privacy. Andrews explains how social media algorithms keep us from information we need and why "creepy ads" seem to follow us online. Most importantly, she urges us to work to rebuild the trust in our communities that the internet has broken.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion March 2021

The only woman in the room by Marie Benedict
Also available in: e-book | large print

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both? Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her. A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion June 2021

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Also available in: e-book | large print

From New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the first novel in the beloved Regency-set world of her charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shonda Rhimes for Netflix. In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince--while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable...but not too amiable. Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society--just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend's sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar. The plan works like a charm--at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London's elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...

Upcoming sessions

Monday, June 21 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Online
Black Bottom saints : a novel by 1959- Alice Randall
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

An enthralling literary tour-de-force that pays tribute to Detroit's legendary neighborhood, a mecca for jazz, sports, and politics, Black Bottom Saints is a powerful blend of fact and imagination reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's classic novel Ragtime and Marlon James' Man Booker Award-winning masterpiece, A Brief History of Seven Killings. From the Great Depression through the post-World War II years, Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson, has been the pulse of Detroit's famous Black Bottom. A celebrated gossip columnist for the city's African-American newspaper, the Michigan Chronicle, he is also the emcee of one of the hottest night clubs, where he's rubbed elbows with the legendary black artists of the era, including Ethel Waters, Billy Eckstein, and Count Basie. Ziggy is also the founder and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of Theater. But now the doyen of Black Bottom is ready to hang up his many dapper hats. As he lays dying in the black-owned-and-operated Kirkwood Hospital, Ziggy reflects on his life, the community that was the center of his world, and the remarkable people who helped shape it. Inspired by the Catholic Saints Day Books, Ziggy curates his own list of Black Bottom's venerable "52 Saints." Among them are a vulnerable Dinah Washington, a defiant Joe  Louis, and a raucous Bricktop. Randall balances the stories of these larger-than-life "Saints" with local heroes who became household names, enthralling men and women whose unstoppable ambition, love of style, and faith in community made this black Midwestern neighborhood the rival of New York City's Harlem. Accompanying these "tributes" are thoughtfully paired cocktails--special drinks that capture the essence of each of Ziggy's saints--libations as strong and satisfying as Alice Randall's wholly original view of a place and time unlike any other.

Also available in: e-book

From Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg to the Bad Boys, from Joe Louis and Gordie Howe to the Malice at the Palace, City of Champions explores the history of Detroit through the stories of its most gifted athletes and most celebrated teams, linking iconic events in the history of Motown sports to the city's shifting fortunes. . Driven by the conviction that sports not only mirror society but also have a special power to create both community and enduring narratives that help define a city s sense of self, City of Champions is a unique history of the most American of cities. 

Also available in: e-book

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X--all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm's life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century's most politically relevant figures "from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary. "In tracing Malcolm X's life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm's Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl's death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm's exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer's unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations--from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder "Fard Muhammad," who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz's 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X's murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion May 2021

Young Jane Young : a novel by Gabrielle Zevin
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her (married) boss. When the affair comes to light, the popular congressman doesn't take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics. She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up--an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it's only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows. Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, serious, and moving novel about the myriad ways in which roles are still circumscribed for women, whether they are young and ambitious interns; mothers attempting to steer their daughters through a male-dominated world; political wives facing an age-old knowledge that fidelity isn't always honored; or young girls feeling bold about their many choices before they realize the gender restrictions all around them. Gabrielle Zevin captures not only the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women but also the mood of our recent highly charged political season.

Upcoming sessions

Monday, May 17 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Online

Pages