Adults

Genealogy @ Your Library: FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch.org is a free searchable genealogical resource sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints. In addition to having billions of searchable records, it also has a vast amount of educational information regarding genealogy.  Join us as we explore this free family history treasure trove.

No registration is necessary.

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If you enjoy John Sanford, Vince Flynn, Lee Child, or David Rosenfelt try one of these suggestions of gripping mysteries with great characters. Many are part of ongoing series.

American spy : a novel by Lauren Wilkinson
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

It's 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She's brilliant, but she's also a young black woman working in an old boys' club. Her career has stalled and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she's given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes.

Bad monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Andrew Yancy--late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office--has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. For more Andrew Yancy, check out Razor Girl.

In 1963, Apted was a 22-year-old Cambridge law student from southeast England who aspired to be a filmmaker. He found a job as a researcher for a TV documentary called Seven Up! ...The documentary evolved into a pioneering social experiment. Every seven years, the filmmakers checked in with the children as they aged. Over nine episodes, the subjects — originally 14 of them — found careers, experienced heartbreak and success, got married and divorced and in some cases, died. - NPR

You can find all episodes of Apted's "UP" series at the library as well as his other critically-acclaimed films.

Also available in: e-video

The latest installment of ITV's landmark documentary series returns to visit the people whose lives have been followed since they were just seven-years-old. The original '7 Up' was broadcast in 1964 as a one-off World in Action Special featuring children chosen from different backgrounds to talk about their hopes and dreams for the future...Director Michael Apted, who has since moved to Hollywood to direct films including 'The World Is Not Enough' and 'Gorillas in the Mist', has returned every seven years to chart the children's progress through life.

The life of the "Queen of Country Music" from her backwoods Appalachia home to the Grand Ole Opry and super stardom.

Black Bottom saints : a novel by 1959- Alice Randall
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

An enthralling literary tour-de-force that pays tribute to Detroit's legendary neighborhood, a mecca for jazz, sports, and politics, Black Bottom Saints is a powerful blend of fact and imagination reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's classic novel Ragtime and Marlon James' Man Booker Award-winning masterpiece, A Brief History of Seven Killings. From the Great Depression through the post-World War II years, Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson, has been the pulse of Detroit's famous Black Bottom. A celebrated gossip columnist for the city's African-American newspaper, the Michigan Chronicle, he is also the emcee of one of the hottest night clubs, where he's rubbed elbows with the legendary black artists of the era, including Ethel Waters, Billy Eckstein, and Count Basie. Ziggy is also the founder and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of Theater. But now the doyen of Black Bottom is ready to hang up his many dapper hats. As he lays dying in the black-owned-and-operated Kirkwood Hospital, Ziggy reflects on his life, the community that was the center of his world, and the remarkable people who helped shape it. Inspired by the Catholic Saints Day Books, Ziggy curates his own list of Black Bottom's venerable "52 Saints." Among them are a vulnerable Dinah Washington, a defiant Joe  Louis, and a raucous Bricktop. Randall balances the stories of these larger-than-life "Saints" with local heroes who became household names, enthralling men and women whose unstoppable ambition, love of style, and faith in community made this black Midwestern neighborhood the rival of New York City's Harlem. Accompanying these "tributes" are thoughtfully paired cocktails--special drinks that capture the essence of each of Ziggy's saints--libations as strong and satisfying as Alice Randall's wholly original view of a place and time unlike any other.

Also available in: e-book

From Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg to the Bad Boys, from Joe Louis and Gordie Howe to the Malice at the Palace, City of Champions explores the history of Detroit through the stories of its most gifted athletes and most celebrated teams, linking iconic events in the history of Motown sports to the city's shifting fortunes. . Driven by the conviction that sports not only mirror society but also have a special power to create both community and enduring narratives that help define a city s sense of self, City of Champions is a unique history of the most American of cities. 

Also available in: e-book

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X--all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm's life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century's most politically relevant figures "from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary. "In tracing Malcolm X's life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm's Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl's death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm's exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer's unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations--from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder "Fard Muhammad," who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz's 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X's murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

In 1998, Congress extended the date of copyright expiration for works published between 1923 and 1977 to 95 years. So as of this year, many great works originally published in 1925 are now part of the public domain, accessible to free legal use. Check out some of these 96 yr old titles and find out why they're still on reading lists and influencing popular culture.

Books

The Great Gatsby : the graphic novel by 1985- adaptor Fred Fordham
Also available in: print | audiobook | video | e-music

Jay Gatsby had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan, then lost her to a rich boy. Now, mysteriously wealthy, he is ready to risk everything to woo her back.

Reader Wearing a Medical Mask - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

 

 

 

During this pandemic year, some of our book club members found that they had extra time to do extra reading, while others found themselves suffering from a lack of focus. Some discovered new formats and found books to help them on new journeys, while others turned to old favorites. Regardless of the reading challenges of 2020, here are the recommendations from the Lunch and a Book Club of some of the best books they read this year.

 

 

Masked Reader - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

Fiction

Here are just a few of the new books on the history and biography shelves as 2020 comes to an end.

Arthur Briggs's life was Homeric in scope. Born on the tiny island of Grenada, he set sail for Harlem during the Renaissance, then to Europe in the aftermath of World War I, where he was among the first pioneers to introduce jazz music to the world. During the legendary Jazz Age in Paris, Briggs's trumpet provided the soundtrack while Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Lost Generation got drunk. By the 1930s, Briggs was considered "the Louis Armstrong of Paris," and was the peer of the greatest names of his time, from Josephine Baker to Django Reinhardt. Even during the Great Depression, he was secure as "the greatest trumpeter in Europe." He did not, however, heed warnings to leave Paris before it fell to the Nazis, and in 1940, he was arrested and sent to the prison camp at Saint Denis. What happened at that camp, and the role Briggs played in it, is truly unforgettable.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

In this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir, seven-time New York Times bestselling author and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--among the world's most admired and tireless public servants--reflects on the challenge of continuing one's career far beyond the normal age of retirement.

In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America's first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. "I don't want to be remembered," she answered. "I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last."

In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favored political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Since leaving the State Department, she has blazed her own trail--and given voice to millions who yearn for respect, regardless of gender, background, or age.

As the new year approaches, consider one of the new large print books featured below.

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

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Untamed [large print] by 1976- Glennon Doyle
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member's ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

What better way to enjoy the chilly, snowy days to come than curled up with a good book? These nonfiction picks are great for winter evenings full of quiet contemplation.

Books for living by Will Schwalbe

The holiday season is upon us and because of the ongoing Covid pandemic it's going to look and feel different for a lot of us. You can still take a little escape or get into the holiday spirit with the viewing of  some classic Christmas film like It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, or A Christmas Carol.

Others may require something more from their holiday fare this year. They might be looking for something that harkens back to when Christmas was a spookier time where people used to share ghost stories around the fire. Or perhaps they're looking for a little supernatural darkness to contrast with the holiday lights. Or maybe they're just in the mood to watch the action filled exploits of brave heroes who are out to insure that there is peace on earth and good will towards men during the holiday season.

If you're one of those people we're here to help with our suggestions for 12 holiday themed or set films in the library's physical or digital collections. In today's installment we'll kick this Yuletide movie party off with bang by recommending six action films

Die Hard (1988)

It wouldn't be a celebration of holiday themed action movies without Die Hard; one of the greatest action movies of all time. This spectacular film is probably already part of many people's holiday season viewing traditions, and if not it should be! It's got incredible action, a charismatic hero, and one of the best on screen villains ever in Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).

Available via DVD

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