Books

Reading the stories and histories of well-known individuals can help highlight the human experience: we all experience happiness, sort through grief, and desire to connect to others. 

The titles below cover famous figures from all walks of life. Their stories may overlap with parts of your story.

When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today--a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life. 

Madam C. J. Walker--reputed to be America's first self-made woman millionaire--has long been celebrated for her rags-to-riches story. Born to former slaves in the Louisiana Delta in the aftermath of the Civil War, married at fourteen, and widowed at twenty, Walker spent the first decades of her life as a laundress, laboring in conditions that paralleled the lives of countless poor and working-class African American women. By the time of her death in 1919, however, Walker had refashioned herself into one of the most famous African American figures in the nation: the owner and president of a hair-care empire and a philanthropist wealthy enough to own a country estate near the Rockefellers in the prestigious New York town of Irvington-on-Hudson. In this biography, Erica Ball places this remarkable and largely forgotten life story in the context of Walker's times. Ball analyzes Walker's remarkable acts of self-fashioning, and explores the ways that Walker (and the Walker brand) enabled a new generation of African Americans to bridge the gap between a nineteenth-century agrarian past and a twentieth-century future as urban-dwelling consumers. 

I know the secret identity of Lady Whistledown! Do you? Are you a Bridgerton fan wanting something to do until season 2 of the wildly popular show (based on the books by Julia Quinn) begins on Netflix? Hopefully, some of these fun reads can help get you through until the return of Bridgerton! Enjoy!

A lady's formula for love by Elizabeth Everett

What is a lady's formula for love? Bring together one brilliant noblewoman and an enigmatic bodyguard. Mix in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry--it's elemental. Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded London's first social club for ladies to provide sanctuary for England's most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a clandestine mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland. The most guarded of men, Kneland learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time spent in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally. When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet's laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test--and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the hear.

March 25th is the birthday of two giants of Women's History--Aretha Franklin and Gloria Steinem. These two women paved the way for women's rights, civil rights, in the music industry, and beyond during the course of their lives. Let's eat a cupcake, sing, "Happy Birthday!," and enjoy learning about these two amazing women plus more history making ladies.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T : Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul by 1956- Carole Boston Weatherford

Check out these stories of spunky princesses who march to the beat of their own drum.

Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson

Cinderella and Cinder Edna, who live with cruel stepmothers and stepsisters, have different approaches to life; and, although each ends up with the prince of her dreams, one is a great deal happier than the other!

Do princesses make happy campers? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle

Through rain and sunshine, fairy houses and fishing, this happy camper discovers that lots of fresh air and looking on the bright side are all a girl needs to make her a princess.

Spring officially starts on March 20. Celebrate the budding season with these reads for kids. 

Goodbye winter, hello spring by illustrator Kenard Pak

A boy and his dog explore the countryside, greeting the elements of nature that they meet and noting how the environment is changing from winter to spring.

While out exploring Mick, Mack, and Molly take a ride on a fallen log and learn how the snow melts and ends up in the rivers and lakes and eventually in the sky.

Warmer weather is right around the corner. With the spring equinox on March 20, consider picking up one of these reads to ready yourself for spring. 

Spring by Ali Smith

What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit,  the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times?

Spring. The great connective.

With an eye to the migrancy of story over time and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare's most resistant and rollicking works, Ali Smith tell the impossible tale of an impossible time. In a time of walls and lockdown, Smith opens the door.

The time we're living in is changing nature. Will it change the nature of story?

Hope springs eternal.

Emma by Jane Austen
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

A novel of Regency England that centers upon a self-assured young lady who is determined to arrange her life and the lives of those around her into a pattern dictated by her romantic fancy.

Looking for picture books that engage the senses? Try these interactive stories that invite the reader to touch, tap, mix-and-match, make guesses, and respond to questions.

An interactive story features colorful flip-sections of safari animal body parts that can be mixed and matched to create up to 121 possible combinations.

From head to toe by Eric Carle

Giraffes can bend their necks, monkeys can wave their hands, and donkeys can kick their legs. And so can you! Throughout this interactive book, the animals of From Head to Toe invite young readers to copy their antics as they play.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and we wait for the vaccine distribution to expand, Booklist a magazine by the American Library Association, has published a list of books focusing on the science behind vaccinations and how misinformation can spread as fast as a deadly virus. These books help separate fact from fiction. 

A smart and compelling examination of the science of immunity, the public policy implications of vaccine denial, and the real-world outcomes of failing to vaccinate. If you have a child in school, you may have heard stories of long-dormant diseases suddenly reappearing--cases of measles, mumps, rubella, and whooping cough cropping up everywhere from elementary schools to Ivy League universities because a select group of parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Between Hope and Fear tells the remarkable story of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and their social and political implications. While detailing the history of vaccine invention, Kinch reveals the ominous reality that our victories against vaccine-preventable diseases are not permanent--and could easily be undone. In the tradition of John Barry's The Great Influenza and Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies, Between Hope and Fear relates the remarkable intersection of science, technology and disease that has helped eradicate many of the deadliest plagues known to man.

Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt. In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can -- and must -- we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy? Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza or coronavirus pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable. 

Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group: May

Join us for a live virtual program on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 2:00PM via Zoom video conference as the Canton Seniors Book Discussion Group discusses: 

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

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed. Again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend. But nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

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In the astrological Zodiac, Aries, the ram sign, runs from March 21-April 19. Aries are known for being passionate trailblazers. The authors of these works are Aries; celebrate their astrological signs and birthdays with these reads. 

Bonus: each year the editors over at POPSUGAR hold a reading challenge -- in 2021, one of the challenges is to read a book by an author under the same Zodiac sign as you. Are you an Aries? It's the perfect time to give one of these reads a go!

1st to die by James Patterson
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Prolific author James Patterson's birthday is March 22, 1947.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Kate DiCamillo's birthday is March 25, 1964.

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