Year 2012 Top Non-Fiction Books Picks

Our favorite reads this year from the Adult and Children/Tweens/Teens Librarians:

Behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo

We've got a job: the 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson

The righteous mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

Paris: a love story: a memoir by Kati Marton

I Spy

The recent film Argo  starring Ben Affleck tells the true but improbable story of a covert operation to save six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The history of espionage is filled with many such hard to believe tales and the Library's collection has many great titles to pick from.

Double cross: the true story of the D-day spies by Ben Macintyre — What did a Polish patriot, a Peruvian party girl, a Serbian playboy, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a volatile dog-loving Frenchwoman have in common? These five spies formed the nucleus of the Double Cross system which tricked the Nazis into keeping an entire army waiting for a fake invasion, thus assuring the Allied success on D-Day.

Wild Bill Donovan: the spymaster who created the OSS and modern American espionage by Douglas C. Waller — A fascinating biography of the father of today's CIA.

History at the Movies

This year has seen several new films based or inspired on historical figures and events. Lincoln, Hitchcock, On the Road, Argo, and Hyde Park on Hudson are all either in theatres now — or soon will be. If you want to be an educated viewer try one of the titles below:

Team of rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle

Our Lincoln: new perspectives on Lincoln and his world by edited by Eric Foner

Spellbound by beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and his leading ladies by Donald Spoto

Great Reads for History Buffs

Armchair historians can't go wrong with this diverse list of recently published biographies and histories:

Thomas Jefferson: the art of power by Jon Meacham

The man who saved the union: Ulysses Grant in war and peace by H.W. Brands

The passage of power by Robert A. Caro

The Black Count: glory, revolution, betrayal, and the real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Rise to greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's most perilous year by David Von Drehle

MLK, Jr Movie Marathon

Please join us on Monday, January 21st as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King changed all of our lives during the 1960's civil rights movement. Share stories of his life with the following films:

  • 12:00 Noon — Man of Peace in a Time of War
  • 1:15 PM — King: Go Beyond the Dream to Discover the Man
  • 3:00 PM — In Remembrance of Martin

What We're Reading November 2012

Thanksgiving Day kicks off a month of celebrations. May we suggest a movie, tips from Martha Stewart on Thanksgiving prepartions, a history, music to sooth, and a story about family.

Planes, trains and automobiles [videodisc] by Paramount Pictures

Martha's classic Thanksgiving [videodisc] by [presented by] Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia

Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick

Thanksgiving [sound recording]: a Windham Hill collection

Thanksgiving night: a novel by Richard Bausch


Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated new film Lincoln opens on November 9. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, it is inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on Lincoln's final few months in office, specifically his tireless efforts to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (abolishing slavery) passed. Other historical figures portrayed in the movie are the abolitionist congressman from Pennsylvania, Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones), and Secretary of State William Henry Seward (David Straithairn). The library's biography and history collections are full of great reads to help you get acquainted with one of our greatest presidents and one of the most tumultuous periods of American history.

An Evening with Charles Dickens

Mark Dawidziak presents his one man show featuring selections from various Dickens works including The Story of Paul from "Dombey and Son", The Ghost of Christmas Present from "A Christmas Carol," the Period from "A Tale of Two Cities" and a delightfully macabre bedtime story, Captain Murder from "An Uncommercial Traveler."

Step back in time as we begin the holiday season on a very entertaining note on Thursday, December 13th at 7:00 PM.

Portraits of Service with Robert H. Miller

Portraits of Service is a moving, emotional book by local author Robert H. Miller.  It is also an award-winning record of the stories and faces of veterans of many different wars.  In 2012, it was awarded the Outstanding Book of the Year.  Miller is currently traveling the country and the world as his book is creating a stir worldwide.  Join us to celebrate our local veterans (some of whom are included in the book) on November 15 at 7:00 PM in the library's Community Room.  Bring your American pride and a hanky. 


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