These titles feature strong protagonists, strong values, kindness, and humor. Read these with your grownup or your friends and chat about what you read and experiences in your life that are similar. Did we miss your favorite? What book would you recommend?

A drop of hope by Keith Calabrese
New kid by illustrator Jerry Craft
Reader Wearing a Medical Mask - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

 

 

 

During this pandemic year, some of our book club members found that they had extra time to do extra reading, while others found themselves suffering from a lack of focus. Some discovered new formats and found books to help them on new journeys, while others turned to old favorites. Regardless of the reading challenges of 2020, here are the recommendations from the Lunch and a Book Club of some of the best books they read this year.

 

 

Masked Reader - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

Fiction

Have you made a New Year's resolution for 2021? Are you looking for ideas about changes you'd like to make to have your best year yet, or do you need more help on how to make your goals your reality? Check out these blog posts for tips and inspiration!

Here are just a few of the new books on the history and biography shelves as 2020 comes to an end.

Arthur Briggs's life was Homeric in scope. Born on the tiny island of Grenada, he set sail for Harlem during the Renaissance, then to Europe in the aftermath of World War I, where he was among the first pioneers to introduce jazz music to the world. During the legendary Jazz Age in Paris, Briggs's trumpet provided the soundtrack while Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Lost Generation got drunk. By the 1930s, Briggs was considered "the Louis Armstrong of Paris," and was the peer of the greatest names of his time, from Josephine Baker to Django Reinhardt. Even during the Great Depression, he was secure as "the greatest trumpeter in Europe." He did not, however, heed warnings to leave Paris before it fell to the Nazis, and in 1940, he was arrested and sent to the prison camp at Saint Denis. What happened at that camp, and the role Briggs played in it, is truly unforgettable.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

In this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir, seven-time New York Times bestselling author and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--among the world's most admired and tireless public servants--reflects on the challenge of continuing one's career far beyond the normal age of retirement.

In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America's first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. "I don't want to be remembered," she answered. "I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last."

In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favored political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Since leaving the State Department, she has blazed her own trail--and given voice to millions who yearn for respect, regardless of gender, background, or age.

As the new year approaches, consider one of the new large print books featured below.

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

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Untamed [large print] by 1976- Glennon Doyle
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member's ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

The Chairperson, Amy Watts, called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM.

Present:           (participating remotely from Canton, MI) N. Eggenberger, A. Iqbal, C. Spas, A. Watts

Absent:            M. Farell, J. Lee

Also Present:  E. Davis, K. Gladden

CALL TO AUDIENCE   (K. Bounds, L. Golden, D. McHugh, M. Nicholson, R. Noble, Patron, D. Skopczynski, C. Souchock, C. Swanberg ) – None          

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

The agenda was accepted by unanimous consent.

APPROVAL OF GENERAL MEETING MINUTES

The minutes were accepted by unanimous consent.

COMMUNICATIONS — None

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

As of the end of November, the library was 92% through the fiscal year, according to Director Eva Davis.  Both income and expenditures as a percentage of budget will be addressed later in the meeting through the proposed 4th Quarter Budget Amendment.

The proposed budget amendment will not include a request for a Fund Balance transfer. Because of the pandemic pause in operations, certain projects in the 2020 budget have been pushed off to 2021 and the appropriated funds will be returned to the Fund Balance. Those projects will be incorporated into the 2021 budget, and quarterly budget amendment requests will be utilized to fund them.

Davis reminded the board to either send a picture or arrange for a photo shoot with Community Relations Department Head Laurie Golden, so that the library website can be updated.

Michigan Senate Bill 1246 passed with changes made by the House; once it goes through reconciliation and is signed by the Governor, elected boards will be able to meet remotely through March 2021.

Davis consulted with the library’s labor attorney re: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Emergency Family Leave Medical Expansion Act (EFMLA), which are set to expire at the end of the year.  The attorney suggested waiting to see what the lame duck session brings; if either act is not renewed, the board would be able to pass a Resolution that can be made retroactive to extend protections to qualifying staff members.

Changes to the permanent staff continue. The full-time librarian position was offered to, and accepted by, part-time librarian Amy Lee. There were two additional resignations, and the administration will be looking at overall staffing across departments, with budget neutrality as a goal.

Davis congratulated L. Golden and Community Relations Program Librarian Nichole Welz, as well as Information Services Librarian Whitney Jones, for the tremendous success of Wednesday’s drive-through Winter Snow Spree.

Davis also brought to the board’s attention Item 4 of her Director’s Report, covering the planned purchase of a new website content management system, which will be brought to the board for approval in 2021. This has been an interdepartmental project, led by Web Resources Specialist Courtney Luketich.

In answer to staff queries, Davis has concluded that the library will not be mandating that staff members be vaccinated against the coronavirus. She has reached out to the State Library and to Canton Township Emergency Management Coordinator Will Hayes to find out what status library staff will have in vaccine priority, but suspects their eligibility will rest on individual status, rather than as library employees.

Since this is her final meeting as Circulation Services Interim Department Head before new Department Head Kat Bounds takes the helm in January, Davis once again thanked Denise Skopczynski for stepping in and performing two jobs for the past six months.

TRUSTEE COMMENTS — Chair Amy Watts expressed her thanks to L. Golden and her team for the Winter Snow Spree.

COMMITTEE REPORTS — None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS & GENERAL ORDERS

Update on Phased Reopening — Davis is attempting to eliminate any yo-yo effect between phases, to avoid confusion and stress for both staff and patrons.

Nomination and Election of 2021 Board Officers — Since the current officers have served in their current positions for two consecutive years and are unable to do so again, A. Watts nominated a slate consisting of: Nancy Eggenberger – Chair; Michelle Farell – Vice Chair; and A. Watts – Secretary/Treasurer.

Amina Iqbal moved and Claire Spas supported a motion to elect the slate of 2021 officers as presented.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, A. Iqbal, C. Spas, A. Watts

No: None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/12-17-1 (4-0-0)

NEW BUSINESS

Closed Session to Receive and Discuss Material Exempted by Statute (Library Privacy Act 455 of 1982, MCL 397.603) — N. Eggenberger moved and C. Spas supported a motion to move into closed session.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, A. Iqbal, C. Spas, A. Watts

No: None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/12-17-2 (4-0-0)

REGULAR MEETING RESUMED AT 8:11 P.M.

Patron Appeal 2020-12-01, Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials — To uphold or rescind the library director’s decision to retain the item in all formats — Chair Watts thanked the Patron for following procedure and for the respectful discourse during the closed session.

Trustee Eggenberger indicated that she had carefully read the material in question and found it to be interesting and thought-provoking. She felt it expressed an important viewpoint that the library collection needs to have; she would uphold the library director’s decision to retain the item in all formats.

Trustee Spas agreed, saying that while it was not easy, she too had read and enjoyed the book in question.

Chair Watts was of the same opinion. While she believed that the title could be off-putting to some people, she did not agree that the book’s main purpose was to criticize white people. While going through the exercise might be uncomfortable, she believed that that is the way we learn and grow. And her bigger concern is that the library not set a precedent of banning books which might be unpopular in some quarters.

Trustee A. Iqbal agreed with the other board members; she has heard good things about the work from many people.

N. Eggenberger moved and A. Iqbal supported a motion to uphold the library director’s decision to retain Me & White Supremacy in all formats.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, A. Iqbal, C. Spas, A. Watts

No: None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/12-17-3 (4-0-0)

Approval of 4th Quarter Budget Amendment — Davis explained to the new board members that the library must have a balanced budget, and that quarterly and year-end budget amendments are generally required to do so. She thanked Business Services Department Head Marian Nicholson and Accountant Debbie McHugh for their hard work with regard to the budget and the amendment.

C. Spas moved and N. Eggenberger supported a motion to approve the 4th Quarter Budget Amendment as presented.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, A. Iqbal, C. Spas, A. Watts

No: None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/12-17-4 (4-0-0)

CALL TO AUDIENCE – None

ADJOURN

The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 PM.  

Closed session to receive and discuss material exempted by statute (Library Privacy Act 455 of 1982, MCL 397.603).

Present: Nancy Eggenberger, Amina Iqbal, Claire Spas, Amy Watts

Absent:  Michelle Farell, Jasmine Lee

The board moved into closed session to hear Patron Appeal 2020-12-01, Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials.                                                            

C. Spas moved and N. Eggenberger supported a motion to return to open session.

The motion passed unanimously, 20/12-17-1CS

What better way to enjoy the chilly, snowy days to come than curled up with a good book? These nonfiction picks are great for winter evenings full of quiet contemplation.

Books for living by Will Schwalbe

Below are the games with the most checkouts in 2020! What games did you check out from CPL this year?

The game with the most combined checkouts was SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

The individual game with the most checkouts was MINECRAFT for NINTENDO SWITCH

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and re-energizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

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