The idea that a Senator—Republican or Democrat—would put the greater good of the country ahead of party seems nearly impossible to imagine in our current climate of gridlock and divisiveness. But this hasn’t always been the case. Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884–1951), Republican from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the model of a consensus builder, and the coalitions he spearheaded continue to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today. Edward R. Murrow called him “the central pivot of the entire era,” yet, despite his significance, Vandenberg has never received the full public attention he is due—until now. With this authoritative biography, Hendrik Meijer reveals how Vandenberg built and nurtured the bipartisan consensus that created the American Century. Originally the editor and publisher of the Grand Rapids Herald, Vandenberg was appointed and later elected to the Senate in 1928, where he became an outspoken opponent of the New Deal and a leader among the isolationists who resisted FDR’s efforts to aid European allies at the onset of World War II. But Vandenberg soon recognized the need for unity at the dawn of a new world order; and as a Republican leader, he worked closely with Democratic administrations to build the strong bipartisan consensus that established the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, and NATO. Vandenberg, as Meijer reveals, was instrumental in organizing Congressional support for these monumental twentieth-century foreign policy decisions. Vandenberg’s life and career offer powerful lessons for today, and Meijer has given us a story that suggests an antidote to our current democratic challenges.

August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones

"Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle. It's not long before he's summoned to the palatial Grosse Point Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August's beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide--which August isn't buying for a minute. What begins as an inquiry into Eleanore Paget's death soon drags August into a rat's nest of Detroit's most dangerous criminals, from corporate embezzlers to tattooed mercenaries. From the wealthy suburbs to the near-post-apocalyptic remains of the bankrupt city's factory districts, August Snow is a fast-paced tale of murder, greed, sex, economic cyber-terrorism, race and urban decay in modern Detroit."

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

The history of the many contributions of African-American Detroit to the larger American project. If Paris, as the German critic Walter Benjamin put it, was the capital of the 19th century, then Detroit was surely the capital of 20th-century African-America. As native son Boyd (African-American History and Culture/City Coll. of New York; Black Panthers for Beginners, 2015, etc.), a respected author and journalist, recounts, this centrality dates back to the American Revolution but became pronounced at the time of the Civil War, when Detroit went from being an important station along the Underground Railroad to become an important source of abolitionism, industrialism, and sheer manpower for the war effort including black soldiers bound for the Union ranks. As the author notes, however, the ascendancy of Black Detroit did not mean an end to racial tension; though he grew up on a block with Italian, Irish, and Jewish families, "our blackness was for our neighbors an object of derision and insult." Boyd celebrates the rising-above that accompanied this ethnic contest, the grit and determination that put Berry Gordy's Motown on the map, lifted the members of the Supremes and the Miracles from the projects, and ushered in a second black literary renaissance through the pens of Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. As he reminds his readers, immigrants and exiles from other regions and countries did their parts to shape Black Detroit: Malcolm X lived there before moving to New York and taking a leading part in the radical wing of the civil rights movement, while Rosa Parks moved there from the South in 1957. "Parks's commitment to fight Jim CrowNorth or Southwas unrelenting," writes the author. Though the city has fallen victim since to outmigration, its population having fallen from 1.8 million in 1950 to about 670,000 today, Boyd writes confidently that the city's African-American population will be central to its revival, concluding, "I'm proud to be a Detroiter." An inspiring, illuminating book that will interest students of urban history and the black experience.

Interested in trying a vegan lifestyle? There's a reason for everyone to go vegan and what better time to try because January is Veganuary Month! Check out these eResources and books to get started on getting healthier this year! 

"Brian Kateman coined the term "Reducetarian"--A person who is deliberately reducing his or her consumption of meat--and a global movement was born. In this book, Kateman, the founder of the Reducetarian Foundation, presents more than 70 original essays from influential thinkers on how the simple act of cutting 10% or more of the meat from one's diet can transform the life of the reader, animals, and the planet. This book features contributions from such luminaries as Seth Godin, Joel Fuhrman, Victoria Moran, Jeffrey Sachs, Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes, Peter Singer, and others. With over 40 vegan, vegetarian, and "less meat" recipes from bestselling cookbook author Pat Crocker, as well as tons of practical tips for reducing the meat in your diet (for example, skip eating meat with dinner if you ate it with lunch; replace your favorite egg omelet with a tofu scramble; choose a veggie burrito instead of a beef burrito; declare a meatless day of the week), The Reducetarian Solution is a life--not to mention planet-saving book.

From the founder of No Meat Athlete: plant-based recipes packed with nutrition to help athletes perform better and recover faster A fast-growing global movement, No Meat Athlete (NMA) is inspiring everyone from weekend joggers to world-class competitors to be healthier and fitter and perform better on whole plant foods. Written by NMA founder Matt Frazier and longtime health coach, yoga teacher, and nutrition writer Stepfanie Romine, The No Meat Athlete Cookbook features 150 whole food, vegan recipes that are affordable and quick to get on the table, even on busy nights. Here are: Breakfasts to power you up (Almond Butter-Banana Pancakes), mains that aid recovery (Beet Bourgignon), and natural sports drinks, portables, energy bites, and bars (V9, Umeboshi Electrolyte Drink, Calorie Bomb Cookies) to take you further and help you get the most from every workout. Minimal gluten, soy, and sweeteners, plus oil-free options throughout (ideal for followers of the Forks Over Knives diet)Meal-planning guidelines, nutritional info, adaptable "blueprint" recipes-and more!.

Is getting healthier this year part of your New Year's resolutions? U.S. News & World Report ranked the best diet plans based on their expert panel's analysis of long-term weight loss results, the impact on overall health and well-being, and how easy it is to follow. Here's a list of books to help you get started on your pathway to better health!

An ultimate guide to common sense-lifestyle changes that will improve the health of the entire family. With a special emphasis on prevention, this book is written for parents, teachers, and anyone concerned about protecting themselves and their children from the health risks of obesity.The DASH Diet has soared in popularity because not only does it allow people to take charge of their own health and that of their families, they can do it while eating delicious food. The plan emphasizes seasonings, spices, healthy oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other flavorful food choices. But unlike a mere recipe book, The DASH Diet explains the science and psychology of how to find success with the DASH approach. Author Dr. William Manger and his three distinguished colleagues have crafted a reader-friendly book geared to motivate people to make healthy, informed changes in their daily lives. The book offers in-depth information about fats, cholesterols, vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and more. An entire section is devoted to the role of salt and the dangers of consuming too much salt, especially for people who are overweight. 

Proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol without medication, the DASH diet now is combined with cutting-edge research to develop a program that can halt and even reverse many of the effects of aging. Heller shows you how enjoying a diet of antioxidant rich superfoods, satisfying plant-based meals, and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria will provide visible and measurable results.

Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.

proof that the dying are the ones who have the most to teach us about life."--Atul Gawande "Thanks to When Breath Becomes Air, those of us who never met Paul Kalanithi will both mourn his death and benefit from his life. This is one of a handful of books I consider to be a universal donor--I would recommend it to anyone, everyone."--Ann Patchett"--.

" ''One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read . . . Every word is near perfect.' -- David Baldacci. A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper. After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets. "--.

Faith. Trust. Triumph. "I trust Roselle with my life, every day. She trusts me to direct her. And today is no different, except the stakes are higher." Michael Hingson. First came the boomthe loud, deep, unapologetic bellow that seemed to erupt from the very core of the earth. Eerily, the majestic high-rise slowly leaned to the south. On the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Centers north tower, no alarms sounded, and no one had information about what had happened at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001 what should have been a normal workday for thousands of people. All that was known to the people inside was what they could see out the windows: smoke and fire and millions of pieces of burning paper and other debris falling through the air. Blind since birth, Michael couldnt see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselles judgment and not to panic. They are a team. Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth. Its the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. Thunder Dog illuminates Hingsons lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

A poignant first memoir of how the author's relationship with her dog saved her from suicidal depression describes her unsuccessful work with therapists and loved ones before she adopted a Golden Retriever puppy who became a loyal companion throughout her difficult recovery.

At loose ends with her daughter leaving home and her husband on the road, Sue Halpern decided to give herself and Pransky, her under-occupied Labradoodle, a new leash-err, lease-on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy dog team. Smart, spirited, and instinctively compassionate, Pransky turned out to be not only a terrific therapist but an unerring moral compass. In the unlikely sounding arena of a public nursing home, she led her teammate into a series of encounters with the residents that revealed depths of warmth, humor, and insight Halpern hadn't expected. And little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern's sense of what virtue is and does-how acts of kindness transform the giver as well as the given-to. Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt-showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)-taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.

The painful and courageous journey toward adoption made by several of her clients forces Maya Lange, founder of The Red Thread, an adoption agency that specializes in placing baby girls from China with American families, to confront the lost daughter of her past.

LAPD investigators Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard find themselves enthralled with the mysterious and brutal murder of a beautiful young woman, Elizabeth Short. Their obsession takes a dark turn as they delve into the underbelly of Hollywood and the heart of the dead woman's tortured and twisted past. It is a case that will test their mettle and their sanity.

Eight linked stories tracing the history of a painting by the 17th century Dutch artist, Vermeer. In one, he paints his daughter to pay off debts, a second story describes the loss of the ownership papers, a third takes place on the eve of its theft by the Nazis.

better than that."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Exquisitely evocative. This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest's romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet."--The Seattle Times"A novel that's impossible to resist. It's all here, and it all feels real."--People"Powerful and devastating. McLain pulls off a delicate balancing act, making the macho Hemingway of myth a complex and sympathetic figure."--USA Today"A sweet love story with surprising emotional impact."--Chicago Sun-Times"--.

"the story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined"--.

"This visionary novel. in which God and Government are joined, and America is run as a Puritanical Theoracy, can be read as a companion volume to Orwell's 1984-its verso, in fact. It gives you the same degree of chill, even as it suggests the varieties of tyrannical experience; it evokes the same kind of horror even as its mordant wit makes you smile." E.L.Doctorow.

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

As the new year begins in 1945, the war in Europe is in its end stages as German forces are beaten back by the Allied armies. To escape the Soviet advance on the eastern front, thousands of refugees flee to the Polish coast. In this desperate flight for freedom, four young people-each from very different backgrounds and each with dark secrets-connect as they vie for passage on the Willhelm Gustloff, a former pleasure cruiser used to evacuate the refugees. Packed to almost ten times its original capacity, the ship is hit by Soviet torpedoes fewer than 12 hours after leaving port. As the ship sinks into the icy waters of the Baltic Sea, what was supposed to be an avenue for escape quickly becomes another fight to survive the randomness of war. Monday, January 15. 

A man called Ove : a novel by Fredrik Backman
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | video | large print

A stereotypical grumpy old man, Ove, finds his quiet life of solitude slipping away when a young family moves in next door. Ove is the kind of man who yells at kids to get off his lawn and is the bane of the local residents' association. He may come across as gruff and bitter, but behind the unpleasant exterior is a dignified man with a story of love and heartbreak. The new neighbors and a scruffy cat may be the perfect combination to break Ove out of his shell and help him truly to start living. Monday, February 19.

Midwives : a novel by Chris Bohjalian
Also available in: audiobook

During her hippie days, Sibyl Danforth delivered a friend's baby on a blizzardy night. From this emergency delivery grew her calling as a midwife. Over the years, she had great success, helping with more than 500 home births. But on March 4, 1981, Charlotte Fugett Bedford died under Sibyl's care. Severe weather conditions treacherously iced the roads and downed phone lines, making contact with her backup physician impossible. After hours and hours of arduous labor, Charlotte seemed to suffer a stroke and die. To save the yet-unborn child, Sibyl performed a cesarean section. However, since she was not trained for this procedure and since witnesses thought perhaps Charlotte was not actually dead, Sibyl was charged with involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license. Monday, March 19.

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

Commonwealth : a novel by Ann Patchett
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

An enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families' lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

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Adult Contemporary Book Discussion

The orphan's tale by Pam Jenoff
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Two disparate women are thrown together by destiny, each hiding a secret from the Nazi regime. Noa's Dutch family kicks her out of the house after an affair with a Nazi soldier leaves her pregnant. She gives up the child, but in her new life as a train-station washerwoman, she finds a boxcar full of Jewish infants. She rescues one and flees, nearly freezing to death in a distant forest where she is rescued by a member of the famous German Circus Neuhoff; Noa claims the baby is her brother. Astrid Sorrell (born Ingrid Klemt) is forced to separate from her German officer husband when the Reich forces all Jewish intermarriages to be dissolved. A former star in her now-depleted Jewish family's circus, she, too, finds refuge with the rival Circus Neuhoff, where her Jewish identity will be hidden, and now her boss forces her to teach the pretty Noa the art of the trapeze. 

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