Books

There is always something in life to be thankful for. Today's storytime focused on the idea of Gratitude and Being Thankful. Be sure to say "Thank You!" to someone special today and also enjoy these lovely books from today's storytime.

Books Read in Storytime

Did you miss our Penguin Storytime this week? Don't worry! Here are stories and songs so you can have your own storytime at home!

From Storytime

Up & down by Britta Teckentrup

Deciding to visit a friend he has been missing, Little Penguin leaps off his iceberg and embarks on a journey filled with ups and downs and ins and outs before the two are reunited, in a concept story that introduces opposites.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most devastating global disasters in world history, the Flu Pandemic of 1918. During the fall of the Great War in 1918, an extremely virulent strain of influenza began to spread worldwide. The H1N1 influenza virus also known as the Spanish Flu caused such widespread outbreaks that it killed one fifth of the world's population. This year's influenza strain, the H3N2, is not a new strain, but it's one of the most lethal. Already it has affected every state in the U.S. and is on track for surpassing previous flu seasonal records. What to learn more about viruses? Check out this list!

Also available in: e-audiobook

The history of "the greatest massacre of the twentieth century," an illness that infected more than 500 million people.Between 1918 and 1920, the "Spanish flu" killed more than 50 million people, far more than in the world war then raging. Unlike the familiar flu, which targets infants and the elderly, it killed healthy adults. It was mankind's worst epidemic, writes Paris-based science journalist and novelist Spinney (The Quick, 2007, etc.) in this fine account of influenza's history, its worst attack (so far), and its ominous future. Despite the name, Americans were probably the first to experience the fever, cough, headache, and general miseries of the infection. During spring and summer, it behaved like the usual flu, but in fall 1918, it turned deadly and spread across the world, killing 2.5 to 10 percent of victims, a fatality rate 20 times higher than normal. Scientists have offered countless theories about the illness, but Spinney looks favorably at a recent theory that the 1918 virus provoked a "cytokine storm," a deadly overreaction of the immune system. This may explain why infants and the elderly, with their weaker immune systems, had an easier time. In the middle sections of the book, the author describes how a dozen nations dealt with the epidemic. Heroism was not in short supply, but superstition, racism, ignorance (including among doctors), and politics usually prevailed. In the concluding section, Spinney recounts impressive scientific progress over the past century but no breakthroughs. Revealing the entire viral genome opens many possibilities, but so far none have emerged. Researchers are working to improve today's only modestly protective vaccine; Spinney expresses hope. Readers who worry about Ebola, Zika, or SARS should understand that epidemiologists agree that a recurrence of the 1918 virus would be worse. Short on optimism but a compelling, expert account of a half-forgotten historical catastrophe.

The author unpacks the complex cultural, social and scientific effects of the 1918 influenza epidemic and reveals the American voices that fill the gap of a suppressed national memory. In less than two years, influenza killed more than 50 million people worldwide, shocking existing medical infrastructures and destabilizing the trust that citizens had in science. Physicians were at a loss to prescribe effective treatments; racial and gender divides grew as misunderstandings about the spread of disease exacerbated existing stereotypes; and fear of contagion threatened to collapse the kind of community support that had helped the nation endure past hardships. Simultaneously, the rise of public health care employed the rhetoric of opportunity and optimism, further destabilizing social boundaries as the death rate climbed. A combination of media emphasis on looking toward the future and a public call for increased funding for new scientific research assisted in whitewashing the deep sense of loss and despair that afflicted most Americans as they dealt with the aftermath of the pandemic. Bristow, whose great-grandparents succumbed to influenza in 1920, writes with depth and feeling. By researching dozens of primary sources, she reveals the human circumstances and personal stories behind the history of this tragic era. It's a much-needed addendum to pandemic literature and an important perspective to understand as new and ever-evolving flu strains hover over our collective understanding of disease. 

Nonfiction Book Group March 2018

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Also available in: e-book

May 1940 was a month like no other, as the German war machine blazed into France while the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in an astonishing political drama as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast historical canvas, Michael Korda relates what happened and why, and also tells his own story, that of a six-year-old boy in a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. 

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Lunch and a Book March 2018

Please join Lunch and a Book to discuss the 2017-18 Great Michigan Read. 

X : a novel by Ilyasah Shabazz
Also available in: e-book

 No life is set in stone. Malcolm was a young man with boundless potential but with the odds stacked against him. Losing his father under suspicious circumstances and his mother to a mental health hospital, Malcolm fell into a life of petty crime and eventually prison. Instead of letting prison be his downfall, Malcom found a religion, a voice, and the podium that would eventually make him one of the most prominent figures in the burgeoning Civil Rights movement.

Upcoming sessions

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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.

This week we read stories about our cute and fluffy-tailed friends, Squirrels. Did you know that squirrels not only live in trees, but some also live in burrows? Enjoy reading our picks from storytime and some other great squirrel stories this week. See you next week!

From Storytime

Winter Thorndyke Closeup

 

Hey Kids,

One of my favorite reasons to read is to discover places I've never been and learn about other people. Particularly in the wintertime I enjoy this kind of traveling, and I always like improving my understanding of the worlds and its people. Africa is a continent, made up of many different countries, that sometimes seems very far away. Try some of these books to bring it a little closer.

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

Picture Books

Did you miss Storytime this past Thursday? Have no fear! Here are the wonderful books we read and some extra books for you to enjoy all about the amazing world of Art. See you next week!

From Storytime

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!.

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