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Book Club Choices: December 2011

The perfect book for a book discussion is one that's not too easy, not too hard, that will hold the interest of a diverse group of readers and will also inspire a lively discussion. For additional book club resources check out CPL's Book Club in a Bag kits.

The true memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp

The tiger's wife: a novel by Téa Obreht

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope

It was nearly a year ago when a tragic shooting took place at a political event in Tuscan, Arizona. Six people died and many more were wounded, including first time congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. She was horribly wounded with little chance of survival, let alone recovery. This is the extraordinarily moving story of public service, love, strength, hope and the long, hard road toward recovery as told by Gabby Giffords, her space shuttle commander husband, Mark Kelly and author and Wall Street Journal columnist, Jeffrey Zaslow.

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, and Jeffrey Zaslow

National Book Awards 2011

The National Book Awards 2011 will be webcast live from New York City on Wednesday, November 16 at 8:00 PM. Actor, author, and musician John Lithgow will host this year's award ceremony. No registration necessary. Check the National Book Foundation's website for more information.

Evelyn Lauder, Breast Cancer Activist

Evelyn Lauder, the longtime breast cancer activist who helped to create the pink ribbon as the symbol of the fight against the disease, died November 12 at the age of 75. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1936, she came to the United States as a young child when her parents fled from the Nazis. The family settled in New York where she met her future husband, Leonard Lauder, whose parents owned a small cosmetics firm. She eventually went to work with at her mother-in-law Estee Lauder's company which today has revenues of nearly $2.5 billion. During her long career Evelyn was instrumental in developing and marketing new products, including Clinique. She was also a leading philanthropist and became very involved in the fight against breast cancer.

J. Edgar Hoover

The highly anticipated new film J. Edgar opens this weekend. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer, it explores the public and private life of J. Edgar Hoover — one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. Hoover was considered the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years.

In Memoriam

Two notable figures from recent American history passed away this week. Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes for more than 30 years, died November 4 at the age of 92. Rooney died one month after he had signed off from "60 Minutes" in October after a 33-year run. A statement from CBS News stated that he died of complications following minor surgery. Rooney began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Stars and Stripes newspaper and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work during the Normandy invasion. He joined CBS News in 1949 and joined "60 Minutes" in 1968, first as a producer, then as a commentator ten years later.

New Celebrity Biographies

If you're looking for some great new reads about your favorite actors, sports stars or musicians, then you're in luck. There have been a plethora of celebrity biographies and autobiographies published this fall on everyone from Shaquille O"Neal to Spencer Tracy. More great titles can be found below:

The Garner Files: A Memoir by Garner, James/ Winokur, Jon/ Andrews, Julie (INT)

Happy accidents by Jane Lynch

National Book Festival

If you weren't able to attend the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. on September 24-25, videos of the event including authors' talks are now available. Historian and author David McCullough appeared at the 2011 National Book Festival, as did Sylvia Nasar, Cassandra Clare, Wally Amos, Sara Paretsky, and more.

The Man Who Never Died

September 22, 5:30-7:00 PM, A talk with author William M. Adler, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery

The man who never died : the life, times, and legacy of Joe Hill, American labor icon by William M. Adler — Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah in 1914 and sentenced to death by firing squad. In the international controversy that ensued, many believed Hill was innocent but condemned for being a union man. Author William M. Adler spent four years investigating the case, and in a biography that reads like a murder mystery, argues convincingly for Hill’s innocence.

The Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution consists of this single sentence that introduces the document and its purpose. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest written national constitution still in force. Completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was later ratified by special conventions in each of the thirteen United States.

100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time Magazine has just revealed their list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books. The list is comprised of their choices of the most influential nonfiction books written in English since 1923 (when Time Magazine first published), and are taken from all categories, including biorgraphy, history, politcs, health, business, sports and culture. While lists like these are always subject to debate, it is certainly a starting point for some great reading. Although the Library doesn't own every title, a majority can be found throughout our various collections:

Autobiography / Memoir

The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Black boy: (American hunger): a record of childhood and youth by Richard Wright; with a forward by Edward P. Jones

Dreams from my father: a story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

Time was… Time is…

August 17 marks the 225th birthday of American legend Davy Crockett. Although much lore surrounds the life of the coonskin-capped frontiersman, the truth is actually a different story–and just as interesting. History buffs will find Michael Wallis' new biography, David Crockett: The Lion of the West, a compelling portrait of the man.

Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella by Neil Lanctot

Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks: Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of Hardscrabble New England by Matthew P.

Life is an Adventure!

Agent Zigzag: a true story of Nazi espionage, love, and betrayal by Ben MacIntyre — A charming British thief and con man becomes a spy during World War II – and turns double agent

Beneath the sands of Egypt: adventures of an unconventional archaeologist by Donald P.

Book Club Choices: May 2011

Has your book group tried our Book Club in a Bag kits? Each kit has 8 books, a resource guide with book discussion questions, author information, and articles relating to the book. A complete list of kits is available at: Book Club in a Bag. To reserve a kit for your group, contact the Adult Reference Desk at (734) 397-0999.

An unfinished life [Large print kit] by Mark Spragg

Water for elephants: [kit] a novel by Sara Gruen

Author, Mark Rothman

Do you read the credits after classic TV shows like Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days or The Odd Couple? If you do, you surely know the name of writer Mark Rothman. Mr. Rothman has assembled a wonderful book entitled "Mark Rothman's Essays: Many About Show Biz and All About Life." Come meet him and hear his incredible tales from the classic years of sitcom TV. Join us in the Purple Room on May 17 at 7:00PM. No registration needed.

Apple Computer

Apple Computer was founded on April 1, 1976. Can you believe it's been 35 years since Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer?

Read about these genius geeks and visit the Apple museum. Check out Apple's history and find out more about these inventors.