Adults

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"--.

Educated : a memoir by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. 

In The New Negro : The Life of Alain Locke, Jeffrey C. Stewart offers the definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance, based on the extant primary sources of his life and on interviews with those who knew him personally. He narrates the education of Locke, including his becoming the first African American Rhodes Scholar and earning a PhD in philosophy at Harvard University, and his long career as a professor at Howard University. Locke also received a cosmopolitan, aesthetic education through his travels in continental Europe, where he came to appreciate the beauty of art and experienced a freedom unknown to him in the United States.

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.

The key to effective writing and speaking is English grammar.  Whether you are just now learning the basics of grammar or if you need a refresher, this course will help you develop the foundational skills you need.  In this course, you’ll explore the eight parts of speech, punctuation and mechanics, foundational sentence construction, and we’ll even get into the details of phrases, clauses, problem words, common grammar mistakes, and much more! An instructor will guide you every step of the way as you learn grammar through hands-on, practical exercises.  You’ll also learn through short videos, examples, and even fun games.  Take your writing and speaking to the next level of excellence!

All Gale Courses are free with your Canton Public Library card, and the next set of classes will begin on Wednesday, March 14. Learn on your own schedule, and receive a certificate of completion when you've finished. Our goal is to provide lifelong educational opportunities for you to gain new skills or improve existing ones. New sessions are offered every month. Take advantage of these instructor-led courses on our databases page!

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. 

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