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.

Every year the Canton Public Library staff name their favorite book of the year.  This list is a mixture of  Adult, Teen, Tween, and Children's Non-fiction published between December 2016 - December 2017.

When Swedish-born Linda McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized that her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden children play outside all year round, regardless of the weather, and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common--it is a practice recommended by physicians. In the US, on the other hand, she found that the playgrounds, which she had expected to find teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills, while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs, and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit by Child Protective Services. 

Traveling to 41 countries in 2015 with a backpack and binoculars, Noah Strycker became the first person to see more than half the world's 10,000 species of birds in one year.  In 2015, Noah Strycker set himself a lofty goal: to become the first person to see half the world's birds in one year. For 365 days, with a backpack, binoculars, and a series of one-way tickets, he traveled across forty-one countries and all seven continents, eventually spotting 6,042 species--by far the biggest birding year on record. This is no travelogue or glorified checklist. Noah ventures deep into a world of blood-sucking leeches, chronic sleep deprivation, airline snafus, breakdowns, mudslides, floods, war zones, ecologic devastation, conservation triumphs, common and iconic species, and scores of passionate bird lovers around the globe. By pursuing the freest creatures on the planet, Noah gains a unique perspective on the world they share with us--and offers a hopeful message that even as many birds face an uncertain future, more people than ever are working to protect them.

A professional actor can add new meaning to a story when they lend their vocal and theatrical skills to the production. Overdrive and hoopla offer access to a variety of audiobooks narrated by top celebrities. 

It [electronic resource] by Stephen King
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook

Read by Steven Weber (Wings, Stephen King's The Shining)

Read by Tracey Leigh (Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy)

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

A richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation, dashing forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man, and revealing an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people.

Also available in: print

Abraham Lincoln--the great orator, the Emancipator, the savior of the Union, the martyr--rose from obscurity to lead the nation through its most tumultuous time. 

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

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Also available in: print | audiobook | e-audiobook

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

Also available in: print | audiobook

An imaginative extension of everyday life, the story asks: What if two people who loved each other deeply, married, and faced a life in which one person remained constant while the other slipped fluidly in and out of time? A modern love story with a twist that invites us to linger over questions of how life and love change over time.

Dan Davis, an electronics engineer, had finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot that could do almost anything.

Also available in: print | audiobook

A time-traveler is stranded in medieval Europe during the Black Death.

The Canton Seniors Book Group meets on the fourth Thursday of every month (except December) from 2:00-3:00 PM. No registration required.  The December meeting is used to share favorite titles and make suggestions for the coming year. Join us in this open, no-registration-required conversation.

January 25, 2018

The red tent by Anita Diamant
Also available in: audiobook | video

The story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, is told from her point of view, beginning with the story of her mothers, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah. These wives of Jacob give her the gifts that are to sustain her through a damaged youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: March 22, 2018

The women in the castle by Jessica Shattuck
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

02Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold, are the focus of this riveting novel. Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, this is a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined--an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.  

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, March 22 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Community Room

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: January 25, 2018

The red tent by Anita Diamant
Also available in: audiobook | video

The story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, is told from her point of view, beginning with the story of her mothers, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah. These wives of Jacob give her the gifts that are to sustain her through a damaged youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. This session will meet in the Arts II Room at Club 55+ located inside Canton's Summit on the Park.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Five reasons why choosing to read a biography will be a choice that will benefit you in many ways.

1.  They allow you to stand on the shoulders of giants. 

2.  They remind you that history repeats itself. 

3.  They promote self discovery.

4.  They allow you to see the world in new ways.

5.  They give you mentors at a distance.

Source:  Leadership & Learning with Kevin Eikenberry|05.17.2010

Grant by Ron Chernow

"Pulitzer Prize-winner and biographer of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John D. Rockefeller, Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most complicated generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency"--.

"With writing both brilliant and compassionate, this handsome volume features stunning examples of the artists' work, cementing their stature among the best artists of their day. Identity Unknown speaks to all women about their neglected place in history and the challenges they face to be taken as seriously as men no matter what their chosen field"--.


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