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The Battle of New Orleans

On January 8, 1815, during the War of 1812, British forces suffered more than 2,000 casualties in their attack on New Orleans. The defending U.S. forces were led by General Andrew Jackson who became a national hero as a result. Ironically, neither side knew that the war had already ended two weeks before with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

The Battle of New Orleans by Robert V. Remini

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He would have turned 78 this year. A multi-dimensional performer, Elvis' diverse talents are on display in the many recordings and movies that he left behind:

Careless love: the unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

The Colonel: the extraordinary story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley by Alanna Nash

Book Club Choices January 2013

"You gotta have friends... and this month's selections examine the lives and friendships of a variety of women.

Year 2012 Top Movie Picks

The artist written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius — An actor famous for his roles in silent films forms a relationship with an actress who is headed for fame in the new era of sound films.

The avengers written and directed by Joss Whedon — Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America assemble together for the very first time ever in this epic, action-packed blockbuster.

The best exotic Marigold Hotel directed by John Madden — A group of British retirees decide to outsource their retirement to a newly renovated hotel in Jaipur, India, that is being marketed as a retirement residence - but when they arrive, they find it to be in less luxurious condition than they had imagined.

The big year directed by David Frankel — Three men put their lives and careers on hold in an attempt to set a new record for the number of bird species spotted during a year.

The cabin in the woods directed by Drew Goddard — Five college friends head for a cabin in a remote forest and through a tattered diary left behind by a former inhabitant, begin to discover the deadly truth behind their lodging.

If You Like Kate Morton… are more books with family secrets lurking in British manor houses.

Year 2012 Top Audiobook Picks


Broken Harbor by Tana French

Carry the one by Carol Anshaw

The dry grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

The forgotten waltz by Anne Enright

The Gilly salt sisters by Tiffany Baker

Gone girl by Gillian Flynn

A grown-up kind of pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller

The night circus by Erin Morgenstern

Downton Abbey returns!

Set in an Edwardian country house in the early 20th century, the popular PBS series Downton Abbey centers on the Crawley family, their servants and their life at their grand country home. As the first season began, the death of the Crawley heir aboard the Titanic, set in motion a succession of changes for both the family and the servants. The second season moved forward to the years 1916-17 and portrayed the effect that World War I has on all of their lives.

Emancipation Proclamation 150th Anniversary

President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Every advance of Union troops into the Confederacy expanded former slaves' freedom. Additionally, the Proclamation allowed black men into the military, and by the end of the Civil War almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had joined and fought for the Union cause.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: the end of slavery in America by Allen C. Guelzo

Abraham Lincoln and the road to emancipation, 1861-1865 by William K. Klingaman

Douglass and Lincoln: how a revolutionary black leader and a reluctant liberator struggled to end slavery and save the Union by Paul Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick

The fiery trial: Abraham Lincoln and American slavery by Eric Foner