911 tribute

On September 11th, America commemorates the 20th anniversary of that tragic day. Streaming services and television networks will be broadcasting special programming (here's the link for the list of events) with ceremonies honoring the victims, interviews with the brave first responders, survivors and family members will share their recollections and perspectives in the wake of the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. All 246 passengers and crew aboard the four planes were killed; 2,606 died in the Twin Towers and 125 at the Pentagon perished. It is a day all Americans will never forget. So many horrific images will forever be imprinted on our collective memory. The 9/11 Memorial and Musuem now stands in the same place and a new building, The Freedom Tower, stands even taller at 1,776 feet; a testament that from the ashes we will rise. 

The 9/11 Commission report : the attack from planning to aftermath : authorized text by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States

Published for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, this new edition of the authorized report is limited to the Commission's riveting account--which was a finalist for the National Book Award--of the attack and its background, examining both the attackers and the U.S. government, the emergency response, and the immediate aftermath. It includes new material from Philip Zelikow, the Commission's executive director, on the Commission's work, the fate of its recommendations, and the way this struggle has evolved right up to the present day. 

be here now

Mindfulness is based on a Buddhist concept where we focus on our own awareness, our thoughts and feelings, and sensations in the moment with acceptance.  In today's busy world where distractions divide our attention in every direction, disengaging from all that can be a challenge. So how can we turn off disruptions and tune into mindfulness? Start by setting aside few minutes a day. It can greatly reduce our stress and allow us the space to reconnect with ourselves with how we feel and what we are doing. Practicing mindfulness is an easy thing to do if we learn techniques like focusing on our breathing, our inner thoughts, our feelings, and how our bodies are moving in our surroundings.

Focus on the breath

Practice Kindness

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." That quote isn't credited by anyone famous. If there's one 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.

  • Start with an inspiring book list donated by Citizens for Peace whose mission is to facilitate practices and principles of non-violence in the world. 
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.

Contemporary Book Group: November

The Contemporary Book Group will again be meeting in person on Monday, November 15 from 7:00pm-8:00pm in the Community Room to discuss The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father's sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too...until she learned precisely how savage he could be. More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn't know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don't stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King--because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.

Upcoming sessions

Monday, November 15 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Community Room

Contemporary Book Group October 2021

Beginning in September, the Contemporary Book Group will again be meeting in person on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 7:00 PM in the Community Room. 

The pull of the stars : a novel by 1969- Emma Donoghue
Also available in: e-audiobook | e-video

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders -- Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumored Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

Upcoming sessions

Monday, October 18 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Community Room

Contemporary Book Group September 2021

Beginning in September, the Contemporary Book Group will again be meeting in person on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 7:00 PM in the Community Room. 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens's debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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. 

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