Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008.
A collection of stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, recounting the first harrowing year and a half of life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Celebrated as a local treasure and heaped with national praise, Rose provides a roller coaster ride of observation, commentary, emotion, tragedy, and even humor--in a way that only he could find in a devastated wasteland.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 via Zoom.
"This vibrant and varied collection of essays contains first person accounts about the experience of growing up between cultures. Ferrera has edited together the stories of immigrants, children or grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, or people who otherwise grew up with deep and personal connections to more than one culture. Each of them struggled to establish a sense of self, find belonging, and feel seen. And they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all."
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom.
This book presents twelve amazing and often heart-wrenching stories of American women in the frontlines including America's first female pilot to be shot down and survive, the US military's first black female combat pilot, a 21-year-old turret gunner defending a convoy, two military policewomen in a firefight, a nurse struggling to save lives, including her own and more.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
Experimental, inventive, provocative and above all visionary, this work is widely recognized among scholars of Chicano/Latino, Gay and Lesbian, Women's, Postcolonial, Ethnic and Cultural Studies as a foundational elaboration of the politics and poetics of cultural hybridity. A "Best of 1987" Library Journal selection; One of the 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century - Hungry Mind Review (Spring 1999).
Discussion Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice. Harjo was named US Poet Laureate in June 2019.
An account of scandal, sex, jealousy, and murder in New York high society at the turn of the century profiles the debonair Roland Molineux, one of New York's most eligible bachelors, and possible killer who used poison to eliminate romantic and professional rivals.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 via Zoom.
When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States. Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, this book is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Library Journal Best Books 2020; Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2020.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
First published in 1942 at the crest of her popularity, this is Hurston's unrestrained account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to prominence among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Listed in the HW Wilson Public Library Core Collection.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Books, 2010; Library Journal's 10 Best Books of the Year, 2010; Publisher Weekly Top Ten Books, 2010; New York Times Best Books of 2010; Booklist's Top 10 Sci-Tech Books, 2010; Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction, 2010; ALA Notable Books, 2011; Booklist Top of the List: 2010 Editors' Choice.
Discussion Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008.
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. Guardian's 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books; Library of Congress list of 88 Books That Shaped America; Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Publication Date: 1997
Discussion Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2008.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
After the fall of communism, Russia was in a state of shock. Returning again and again to the provincial hinterlands of this rapidly evolving country from 1992 to 2008, Susan Richards struck up some extraordinary friendships with people in the middle of this historical drama. Through their stories and her own experiences, Susan Richards demonstrates how in Russia, the past and the present cannot be separated.
A wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Listed in the H.W. Wilson Public Library Core Collection, 2015.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022 via Zoom.
"The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics. The term 'home economics' may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople that were otherwise foreclosed." An NPR Favorite History Book of 2021.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
Publication Date: 2011
Discussion Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
After the untimely death of her sister, Nina Sankovitch kept her mind busy by dashing from one activity to another. Then on her forty-sixth birthday, she started reading a book a day and discovered the joy, healing, and wisdom.
An Uncommon Friendship: From Opposite Sides of the Holocaust, With a New Epilogue by Bernat Rosner; Frederic C. Tubach; Sally Patterson Tubach (Contribution by)
Publication Date: 2009
Discussion Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010.
2001 edition available via the Internet Archive.
In 1944, 13-year-old Fritz Tubach was almost old enough to join the Hitler Youth in his German village of Kleinheubach. That same year in Tab, Hungary, 12-year-old Bernie Rosner was loaded onto a train with the rest of the village's Jewish inhabitants and taken to Auschwitz, where his whole family was murdered. Many years later, after enjoying successful lives in California, they met, became friends, and decided to share their intimate story--that of two boys trapped in evil and destructive times, who became men with the freedom to construct their own future, with each other and the world. In a new epilogue, the authors share how the publication of the book changed their lives and the lives of the countless people they have met as a result of publishing their story.
Discussion Date: Tuesday,October 24, 2017.
A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia--from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2017.
Discussion Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago, around the year 1200. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and thus did not take solemn vows and did not live in monasteries. This book invites us to listen to their voices, to discover them anew.