Biography

Comanche Captive by D. Laszlo Conhaim

Scott Renald is an Indian agent searching for white captives. Laura Little is a former captive seeking her Comanche-born son. They meet unexpectedly on the high plains. Touched by her story, Renald leads Laura's search while hostile tribesmen pursue them. Word of their predicament reaches Fort Sill, and agents are dispatched to grab her and recall him. Meanwhile, the army prepares for war with the Comanche. Circumstances propel all into a heart-wrenching and bloody conflict of competing loyalties and surprising discoveries against the scorched backdrop of the Staked Plain.

Also available in: print

"Be kind and have faith." Ella Troyer strives to abide by her mother's final words, although life in the small Amish town of Echo Creek isn't always easy. Her new stepmother, Linda, treats her coldly, and her two stepsisters, Drusilla and Anna, delight in gossip and laziness. After her father's death, Ella's stepsisters are free to attend youth singings while Ella stays at home to manage the household chores, rarely seeing another soul. Until one day, while running an errand, she has a chance meeting with a young Amish man from a nearby town. Drusilla and Anna are full of admiration for charming, affluent newcomer Johannes Wagler, and Linda hopes to ensnare him as a husband for one of her girls-- while keeping Ella out of the way. As for Hannes, he longs to catch another glimpse of the mysterious young woman who can sing so sweetly and bake the most delicious pie he's ever sampled. Now, with a little help from some unlikely sources, Ella dares to hope she might find her heart's dearest wishes-- for love, family, and a home of her own-- coming true at last.

Also available in: print

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else--Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill--from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees--but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty--in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry--and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

From elaborate Victorian cat funerals to a Regency era pony who took a ride in a hot air balloon, Mimi Matthews shares some of the quirkiest and most poignant animal tales of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Meet Fortune, the Pug who bit Napoleon on his wedding night, and Looty, the Pekingese sleeve dog who was presented to Queen Victoria after the 1860 sacking of the Summer Palace in Peking. The four-legged friends of Lord Byron, Emily Bront , and Prince Albert also make an appearance, as do the treasured pets of Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Charles Dickens. Less famous, but no less fascinating, are the animals that were the subject of historical lawsuits, scandals, and public curiosity.

Making Oscar Wilde by Michèle Mendelssohn

Witty, inspiring, and charismatic, Oscar Wilde is one of the Greats of English literature. Today, his plays and stories are beloved around the world. But it was not always so. His afterlife has given him the legitimacy that life denied him. Making Oscar Wilde reveals the untold story of young Oscar's career in Victorian England and post-Civil War America. Set on two continents, it tracks a larger-than-life hero on an unforgettable adventure to make his name and gain international acclaim.

 

If you're looking for a readable memoir, browse this list of suggestions for your next read.

Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of?

This title can also be checked out in multiple copies for a book discussion.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz practiced denial, avoidance, and distraction. But after her elderly mother's encounter with a ladder, the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. The themes here are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

Explore the lives of many artists. The books below are found in our children's collections, but may appeal to wider audiences. Find more artists and art in our collections: just ask any librarian.

Describes how Van Gogh's insomnia, possibly a symptom of mental or phyical illness, allowed him to view the night sky while everyone else was asleep and influenced how he saw the world around him.

A story inspired by the life of the influential French master artist considers how he transformed his dreary childhood community in northern France through his expressions of color and form.

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