Set in an Edwardian country house in 1912, the popular PBS series Downton Abbey centers on the Crawley family, their servants and their life at their grand country home. However, the death of the Crawley heir aboard the Titanic, sets in motion a succession of changes for both the family and the servants. The second season — which began on PBS on January 8 — has moved forward to the years 1916-17 and portrays the effect that World War I has on all of their lives. This Emmy Award winning series is written by Julian Fellowes and stars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, and Elizabeth McGovern. If you enjoy this period of history try some of the following titles.
The American heiress: a novel by Daisy Goodwin — Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England.
Below Stairs — The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Powell, Margaret — The remarkable true story of a woman who served in one of the great houses of England as a kitchen maid.
Benjamin Franklin's numbers: an unsung mathematical odyssey by Paul C. Pasles
These wise words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous I have a dream speech on August 28, 1963. There are many ways to celebrate this remarkable, loving man and his dream. Visit the Cherry Hill Village Theater on January 16 at 5:30 PM for a presentation entitled Martin Luther King, Jr., Building Bridges.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
At the Canton Public Library, we celebrate during Black History Month with a performance by the Canton Christian Fellowship Praise Choir on Thursday, February 2 and a visit from local author Carol Mull on Thursday, February 9 when she will discuss her new book, The Underground Railroad in Michigan.
1861: the Civil War awakening by Adam Goodheart
Blood, bones, & butter: the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
Blue nights by Joan Didion
The death of North Korea's controversial leader, Kim Jong Il, was announced earlier this week by DRPK state television. Although North Korean legend claimed that Kim was born on Mount Paekdu — a cherished Korean site — Soviet records indicate that he was born in Siberia in 1941. His father Kim Il Sung was a guerilla fighter who became a communist leader in Korea in 1945 after the defeat of Japan in World War II. After the Korean peninsula was divided into two states — the North, administered by the Soviets — and the South by the United States, the stage was set for the beginning of the Korean War. After the North invaded the South in 1950, three years of bloodshed ensued, killing millions and leaving the peninsula permanently divided to this day. Kim Jong Il became the country's "Dear Leader" in 1994 upon the death of his father. Kim Jong Il was widely criticized throughout the world for devoting much of his country's resources on building up its nuclear arms arsenal, while at the same time his countrymen were suffering from a prolonged famine. His youngest son, Kim Jong Un, has been designated as his successor.
Rogue regime: Kim Jong Il and the looming threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker
Under the loving care of the fatherly leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin
Into the unknown: how great explorers found their way by land, sea, and air by Stewart Ross — Brave explorers have vivid stories to tell and they range from sailing on the oceans to landing on the moon. This book takes a fascinating look at the adventures of many great explorers. Fresh storytelling and unfolding cutaways and cross sections keep the reader engaged.
Then Again by Diane Keaton
1861: the Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart
Fortunate Sons: the 120 Chinese Boys who came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization by Liel Leibovitz & Matthew Miller
If you have read Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the 2011-2012 Great Michigan Read try David Halberstram or Branch Taylor or one of the many documentaries about Civil Rights in America produced over the years.
Faith in the city: preaching radical social change in Detroit by Angela D. Dillard; with a foreword by Charles G. Adams
Race and remembrance: a memoir by Arthur L. Johnson
Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier — In this dazzling Russian travelogue, many aspects of the storied, often grim region of Siberia, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth are described. "Travels in Siberia" is also an account of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union and a personal reflection on the all-around greatness of Russia. Frazier takes us on a fascinating journey through Siberia's history, from the 13th-century invading Golden Horde to banished Decembrists of the 19th century, Stalin-era prison camps, and enduring rich mineral resources.
Salvage the bones: a novel by Jesmyn Ward
The swerve: how the world became modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Inside out & back again by Thanhha Lai
On November 9, CPL hosted a Diwali Celebration program that featured traditional and contemporary Indian music, dance, food, and more — all centered around the festival of lights. If you couldn't make it that night, check out the video above and pictures below to get up to speed:
Happy Thanksgiving. How much do you really know about the early years of America's formation?
Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick
Michigan Humanities Council, in conjunction with Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion, has selected nine host sites for the Great Michigan Read traveling exhibit: We Don’t Want Them. The exhibit places the events documented in Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice in a broader context of policies and practices that limited where some could live, thus impacting their past and present quality of life. We Don't Want Them opened in Flint and will travel around the state to the following cities:
- November: Three Rivers Public Library
- December: Davenport University, Grand Rapids
- January: Peter White Public Library, Marquette
- February: Detroit Science Center (Pending re-opening of the Detroit Science Center)
- April: Castle Museum of Saginaw History
- May: Old Mill Museum, Dundee
- June: Artworks, Big Rapids