Nonfiction Book Group October 2016

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

The Vanderbilt family patriarch, the Commodore, built a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Less than 50 years after his death, not a single Vanderbilt descendent was counted among the world's richest people. As Publisher's Weekly noted in the review of this book, "Stories about the author's ancestors have been told before, but not so vividly as in his evocations of the snobbery, ostentation and profligacy.Today's Vanderbilts are not rich-rich; the money is gone with the clan's grand homes, felled by wrecking balls in New York and elsewhere, leaving only memories of a singular time in the American past."

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In light of the upcoming presidential election, take a look at the lives of past Presidents!

A biography of US president Barack Obama, the first African-American to ever become president. 

George W. Bush by Sally Lee

A biography of George W. Bush, whose response to terrorists forever altered the United States and changed the way security was viewed by the government.

Bill Clinton by Josh Gregory

Sometimes called "The Big Dog", Bill Clinton was truly the people's president. This biography offers insights into what made him so popular with the people and how a scandal in the White House almost cost him everything.

Return to ancient Greece and witness the Bacchanalian excess and raw competition of The First Olympics. While the gods looked down, brutal contests of boxing, wrestling, chariot racing, and an early from of no-holds-barred fighting called Pankration.

Presents the story of the U.S. Olympic hockey team's victory at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

They were billed as the 'Olympics of Peace and Joy' but became the Olympics of terror -- Munich 1972. An extreme Palestinian group called Black September held 11 Israeli athletes hostage in the Olympic village while the world looked on, incredulous. Using extraordinary archive footage, music and interviews with those who took part (including the only surviving member of the Black September group), this film tells the dramatic story of what happened in Munich during those 21 hours.

Despite Jesse Owens's remarkable victories in the face of Nazi racism at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the athlete struggled to find a place for himself in a United States that was still wrestling to overcome its own deeply entrenched bias.

Looking for a good movie?  Check out these AARP Movies for Grownups.

It tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world's oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper's tenacious "Spotlight" team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment..

Elle has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

"An initially breezy family comedy about mothers, daughters and abortions that slowly sneaks up on you and packs a major wallop."--Variety.

The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. It tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

"What makes the movie work are the lively performances, both from the supporting cast and from Cranston..."--Hollywood Reporter.

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Election Thorndyke

Hey Kids,

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Independence Day. Did you know that it’s an election year? That means that citizens of voting age have the chance to make their voices heard. Some voters will also choose their governors, or vote on laws. Not everyone has always been able to vote, however. There are many stories of people who fought to have the right to vote. I’ve included a few below. During the summer you can make your voice heard at our Decision 2016 station in the Connect Your Summer command center. You can also see who currently represents you.

Bear Hugs,


Looks at the history of voting rights in the United States, examining the struggles of African Americans, Native Americans, and women to have the right to vote.

Sisters Abby and Julia Smith attract the attention of women's suffrage supporters across the country when they refuse to pay property taxes on their cows because they are not allowed to vote--a case they say is taxation without representation.

 In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend. On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. 

Scrapper by Matt Bell

For fans of The Dog Stars and Station Eleven , Scrapper traces one man's desperate quest for redemption in a devastated Detroit. "Has the feel of Cormac McCarthy's The Road set in present-day Motor City... powerful." -- Publishers Weekly Detroit has descended into ruin. Kelly scavenges for scrap metal from the hundred thousand abandoned buildings in a part of the city known as "the zone," an increasingly wild landscape where one day he finds something far more valuable than the copper he's come to steal: a kidnapped boy, crying out for rescue. Briefly celebrated as a hero, Kelly secretly avenges the boy's unsolved kidnapping, a task that will take him deeper into the zone and into a confrontation with his own past and long-buried traumas. The second novel from the acclaimed author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods , Scrapper is a devastating reimagining of one of America's greatest cities, its beautiful architecture, its lost houses, shuttered factories, boxing gyms, and storefront churches. With precise, powerful prose, it asks: What do we owe for our crimes, even those we've committed to protect the people we love?

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

In New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance's latest thriller, Ali Reynolds faces her most controversial mystery yet, solving the murder of a man whose Ponzi scheme bankrupted hundreds of people, and left them seeking justice...or revenge. When Ali's parents lose their life savings to a Ponzi scheme, her father goes to confront his long-time friend and financial advisor, only to stumble into the scene of a bloody double homicide. With her father suddenly a prime suspect, Ali and her husband work to clear her father's name, while at the same time seeking justice for her parents as well as the scheme's other suddenly impoverished victims, one of whom is a stone cold killer.

Canada Day celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act which united the three colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a single country. In honor of our northern neighbor read about some of her most illustrious native sons and daughters, past and present. For information on the history of Canada you can check here. For more noteworthy Canadians check here.

A dual portrait of the irrepressible orphan Anne of Green Gables and her creator covers such topics as the death of Montgomery's mother, her life on Prince Edward Island, and the inspiration for the "e" at the end of Anne's name..

An engaging, brilliant exploration of the life and work of the most famous architect of our time, and one of the few architects ever to be widely admired by both critics and the general public It discusses at length his major buildings: from his own house--an "exploded" Dutch Colonial in Santa Monica--to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture.

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