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Hooray for Old Hollywood!

Long before Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were big names in the movies, actors such as Chaplin, Dietrich, Bogart, and Gable were considered the ultimate in star power. Read about some of the great actors and actresses who may be gone, but will certainly not be forgotten.

Robert Mitchum: "baby, I don't care" by Lee Server

Dark lover: the life and death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider

Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax

Man on the flying trapeze: the life and times of W.C. Fields by Simon Louvish

Women's History Month

Pioneering women who led and won struggles for equality and civil rights; created and advanced educational and professional opportunities; and made great contributions to the arts, sciences and humanistic causes are honored each year during the month of March — National Women's History Month.

General History

Chronology of women worldwide: people, places & events that shaped women's history by Lynne Brakeman, editor ; Susan Gall, managing editor

Extraordinary women of the Medieval and Renaissance world: a biographical dictionary by Carole Levin ... [et al.]

Notable Black American women by Jessie Carney Smith, editor

Notable women in world government by edited by the editors of Salem Press

The reader's companion to U.S. women's history by editors, Wilma Mankiller ... [et al.]

More Documentaries for Black History Month

The abolitionists [videodisc] by written, directed, and produced by Rob Rapley


Citizen King [videodisc] by a ROJA Productions film for American experience ; in association with the BBC and WGBH Boston


The fight [videodisc] by produced by Barak Goodman


Jesse Owens [videodisc] by a Firelight Films production for American Experience in association with WDR ; produced and directed by Laurens Grant ; written and produced by Stanley Nelson


Letters from Jackie [videodisc]: the private thoughts of Jackie Robinson by MLB Productions


The march [videodisc]: the story of the greatest march in American history by produced by Smoking Dogs Films U.K

The Beatles Come to America!

BeatlesFebruary 7 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America. It was on this day in 1964 that the group  arrived at New York's Kennedy Airport for their first visit to United States soil. Two days later they made their first of four appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show  (three times in 1964 and once in 1965) and Beatlemania was born! It has been estimated that 73 million viewers were watching that first night. Baby Boomers - and music lovers everywhere!

Biographies for Black History Month

The butler: a witness to history by Wil Haygood


The rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis


Crusader for justice: federal judge Damon J. Keith by compiled, written, and edited by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman ; forward by Mitch Albom


Dave Bing: a life of challenge by Drew Sharp


A gentleman of color: the life of James Forten by Julie Winch


Twelve years a slave by Solomon Northup ; introduction by Ira Berlin ; general editor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; foreword by Steve McQueen

African-American Musicians and Music

Celebrate African American history month by reading about African American music and musicians. 

We shall overcome: the story of a song by written by Debbie Levy ; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Harlem's little blackbird by Renée Watson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson

Hey, Charleston!: the true story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band by Anne Rockwell ; illustrated by Colin Bootman

Charlie Parker played be bop [kit] by Chris Raschka

Bessie Smith and the night riders by Sue Stauffacher ; illustrated by John Holyfield

12 Years a Slave

Set in the antebellum United States, the new film 12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, and Brad Pitt. For more reading:

The classic slave narratives by edited and with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr

Bullwhip days

Celia, a slave by Melton A. McLaurin

Harriet Jacobs: a life by Jean Fagan Yellin

The life and adventures of Henry Bibb: an American slave by Henry Bibb ; with a new introduction by Charles J. Heglar

Documentaries for Black History Month

American Experience: The Abolitionists by Artist Not Provided — Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought  in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. Part of the PBS series American Experience.


Africans in America [videodisc]: America's journey through slavery by produced for PBS by WGBH Boston — The story of slavery's birth in the early 1660s through the onset of thr Civil War. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett.


4 little girls [videodisc] by an HBO documentary film in association with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production ; a Spike Lee Joint — When a bomb tore through the basement of a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963, it took the lives of four young girls. This powerful documentary captures a time, a place, and a way of life that would be forever altered by their deaths. Directed by Spike Lee.

Philosophy: The Best of 2011-2013

If you enjoyed Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy we would like to recommend similar books and DVDs in our collection from the “Best Books in Psychology and Philosophy” lists for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Examined life: excursions with contemporary thinkers by edited by Astra Taylor

Examined life [videodisc] by Sphinx Productions in co- productions with the National Film Board of Canada in association with Ontario Media Development Corporation, TVO and Knowledge Network

The problems of philosophy, by Bertrand Russell by Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970

A history of western philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking by Daniel C. Dennett

Robert F. Sibert Medal Awards for Informational Picture Books

The Robert F. Sibert Medal is awarded yearly to an outstanding nonfiction picture book. There are frequently several honor books named as well, and this year was no exception. If you are looking for something both beautiful and informative, try this list of award-winning titles.

2014 Medal Winner and Honor Books:


Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore ; collages by Susan L. Roth

A splash of red: the life and art of Horace Pippin by written by Jen Bryant ; illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Locomotive by Brian Floca

The mad potter: George E. Ohr, eccentric genius by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan

2014 Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award

This award recognizes an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults. 

This year's winner is:

P.S. be eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia



This year's honor books are:

March. Book one by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell


Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers


Words with wings by Nikki Grimes

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winners and Honor Books

Today the American Library Association announces its Youth Book & Media Awards, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Many of us know and love Dr. Seuss, an author who created engaging stories for beginning readers, and this award celebrates books that continue that tradition today. If you need a fun suggestion for a beginning reader, this list has some great ideas. For more information about this award and its recipients, check the ALA website.

2014 Award Recipients and Honor Books:


The watermelon seed by Greg Pizzoli

Ball by word and pictures by Mary Sullivan

Monuments Men

A new film based on the book The Monuments Men will be in theaters this February. Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett, it tells the true story of a group of museum directors, architects, sculptors, and art lovers who were recruited into a special unit - dubbed "The Monuments Men" -  whose job it was to protect and recover art that had been looted by the Nazis. For more histories of stolen art, check out one of these titles:

Saving Italy: the race to rescue a nation's treasures from the Nazis by Robert M. Edsel


Rescuing da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis stole Europe's great art: America and her allies recovered it by Robert M. Edsel ; forewords by Lynn H. Nicholas and Edmund P. Pillsbury


The forger's spell: a true story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the greatest art hoax of the twentieth century by Edward Dolnick


Hitler's holy relics: a true story of Nazi plunder and the race to recover the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 84 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated it a national day of service in 1994.

Books

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and transformation of America by Michael Eric Dyson

At Canaan's edge: America in the King years 1965-68 by Taylor Branch

New Book Club in a Bag Kit

Quiet [kit]: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain — At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. People who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh's Sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so.

Meet "Annie's Ghosts" Author Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg, author of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family's Secret the Michigan Humanities Council's Great Michigan Read will speak on Thursday, January 30 from 1:15–2:15 PM at Schoolcraft Community College's VisTaTech Center, VT 550.

Annie’s Ghosts is part memoir, part detective story, and part history. As the author tries to understand his mother's reasons for hiding her sister’s existence, he takes readers on a journey into his mother’s world of the 1930s and ‘40s, where he explores how a poor, immigrant family manages life with a child who has special needs.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: March 27, 2014

March 27    

Detroit: an American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches through the ruins for clues to Detroit's fate, his family's, and his own. Detroit has gone through good times, 'the Arsenal of Democracy' and bad times and right now everyone's wondering what its' fate will be.