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Biography

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.]

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

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me," illustrated by Bryan Collier is the 2014 King illustrator book winner.  The book was written by Daniel Beaty and published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group. Nelson Mandela, written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson is the King illustrator Honor book.

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

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: January 23, 2014

Canton Seniors Book Discussion group will meet on Thursday, January 23  in Group Study Room A. Copies of the book are distributed at the meeting or request a copy at the Adult Help Desk. No registration required. This month we are discussing Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg, Michigan Humanities Council's Great Michigan Read selection.

Annie's Ghosts: a Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg.  As his mother lays dying, Steve Luxenberg learns a family secret.  The mother he thought was an only child, had an older sister.  A sister who had been declared insane and placed in Eloise Hospital, Wayne, Michigan. With his family's reluctant consent, Steve Luxenberg unravels the secret.

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Conversations with myself by Nelson Mandela ; [foreword by Barack Obama]

Long walk to freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Mandela, Nelson, 1918-

Mandela: a critical life by Tom Lodge

Playing the enemy: Nelson Mandela and the game that made a nation by John Carlin

Young Mandela by David James Smith

Nelson Mandela: a biography by Martin Meredith

In his own words by Nelson Mandela ; edited by Kader Asmal, David Chidester, Wilmot James

New Books on the Biography Shelf

Daughter of empire: my life as a Mountbatten by Lady Pamela Hicks

Jim Henson: the biography by Brian Jay Jones

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin

My story by Elizabeth Smart with Chris Stewart