Looking for Reading from the #CharlestonSyllabus

After the horrible tragedy that occurred in Charleston on the night of June 17, Chad Williams,  the chair of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University began to start tweeting  #CharlestonSyllabus, along with other colleagues from the African American Intellectual History Society, to begin  a conversation to educate and examine racial discourse in America.

What quickly emerged in just two days was a diverse community of people from a variety of professions, with divergent levels of historical expertise, all sharing a desire to educate, learn and challenge the prevailing discourse about race stemming from the Charleston tragedy.

Here is the full list of Charleston Syllabus  and there will soon be a website to refer to this valuable list of resources.  To get started, here is a list of the some of the basic  overview resources available through the Newburgh Free Library.

counterrevolutionof1776 darkjourney exodusters manythousandsgone negroinamericanrev newjimcrow rememberingjimcrow slaveryexiles warmthofothersuns troubledinmind livingblackhistorynationunderourfeet thereisariver  childrenoffire

Posted in #CharlestonSyllabus, African American History, books, Chad Williams, jim crow, racial discourse | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy

I love reading historical fiction that teaches me about a different era and puts me into  that time’s mindset.  Historical fiction writer Sarah McCoy has succeeded with The index-3.aspxMapmaker’s Children, which juxtaposes present day West Virginia with the times of the Underground Railroad and abolitionist John Brown’s  daughter, Sarah.   In the present day, Eden Anderson, newly married and eager to have children,     lives in an old house that she has  recently discovered has been a part of the Underground Railroad.  Before the Civil War, Sarah Brown has just discovered she will not be able to have children and learns to use her artistic prowess for the good of the abolitionist movement .  She create maps to help the slaves recognize landmarks on the Underground Railroad. Author McCoy successfully weaves an interesting premise that connects the two women’s parallel stories- infertility and the idea of family.   I ended up loving both of these female characters and the writer’s skill in making us care for them.   This is a worthy choice for book clubs who like historical fiction and women’s issues.

Posted in abolitionist, book clubs, family relationships, historical fiction, infertility, John Brown, Sarah McCoy, Underground Railroad | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Oceans Day is Being Celebrated Today

June 8th is World Oceans Day, a United Nations-recognized day of ocean celebration and action.   This year’s theme is, “healthy oceans, healthy planets.”  The health of our oceans is critical to the health of our planets.  Covering over 70% of our planet, the oceans play a critical role in the Earth’s environmental systems.  Check out these books we have at the Newburgh Free Library to read up on our oceans.

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Posted in books, environment, Jacques Cousteau, nonfiction, oceans, planets, science writing, World Oceans Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After Euphoria- Other Titles to Explore

Oftentimes, reading a book will make  me want to learn more about a particular person or subject.  Our book club, Tuesday at Two, just finished discussing Lily King’s compelling novel, Euphoria, loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead and  the love triangle that ensued between Mead,  her second husband, Reo Fortune, and her soon to be third husband, Gregory Bateson as they conducted research in remote New Guinea during the 1930’s.  Although King thought she would be writing a non fiction book about the subject, as she started writing, the characters  soon became her own.    Whether you are interested in Margaret Mead, women scientists, New Guinea, tribal society, or historical fiction love triangles here are some more books to explore.

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Posted in books, Euphoria, historical fiction New Guinea, Lily King, love triangles, Margaret Mead, nonfiction, tribal society, women scientists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

I picked up Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon because I had seen several blog posts and articles recommending this title as a read-alike for  The Girl on the Train.  findingjakeBoth books keep you  on your toes and turning the page to see what is going to happen next. Written from the point of view of the stay-at-home dad, Simon, Finding Jake is the tale of a family involved in a  school shooting.   Son Jake is missing after the shooting and is assumed to be involved.    One shooter has died of a self-inflicted wound and Jake is being pursued by the police as a possible accomplice.  The book skillfully weaves every insecure parenting moment in the father’s life as he questions how his son became involved with the shooter.   Perhaps Jake would’ve socialized more with the neighborhood kids, if  Simon  hadn’t been so insecure about  having to deal with his own preconceived notions of stay at home moms?  Should haves and would haves are questioned on each page as Simon goes out on his own to search for his son.  Finding Jake does keep you guessing but that is where comparison to The Girl on the Train ends.  I  find this title more on the  subject of  your child being accused of  a horrible crime,  such as,  Lionel Shriver’s, We Need to Talk About Kevin.    All in all, a quick page turner that gives you some food for thought about an issue in contemporary America that is unfortunately becoming all too commonplace.

Posted in book review, fiction, Finding jake, pageturners, parent and child, psychological thriller, school shootings, suspenseful, The Girl on the Train, We Need to Talk about Kevin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Star Wars Day


May the 4th is the unofficial holiday of Star War fans everywhere.  Celebrate the day by watching a Star Wars movie, reading a book or graphic novel, listening to audiobook or perhaps, just finding how much your Star Wars paraphernalia  is worth.  If you have young Star Wars fans, the library is starting a Origami Yoda activity club, for grades 3-5 starting on May 18th.

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Posted in adaptations, books, dvds, graphic novels, May 4th, science fiction, screenplays, Shakespeare, Star Wars, Star Wars Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy World Book & Copyright Day

worldbookandcopyrightday.Today is World Book &  Copyright Day a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.  Did you know that this date was picked because it in important day in world literature.  April 23rd is a symbolic date for world literature. On this day in 1611, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.  Share your love of reading by stopping by the library to pick up a new book, read to your child, and donate any old books for our book sale.  What’s your latest favorite read?

Posted in book group; reading group;, books, Cervantes, Nabokov, Shakespeare, UNESCO, Vallejo, World Book Day | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande tackles one of the hardest conversations we have in society today–what index-2.aspxto do at the end of our lives?   Many in the medical profession have always tried to prolong a life at any cost and at a huge detriment to the patient at hand. When  should physicians stop the  innate need to save the body but lose the essence of the person?   As a physician, Gawande is in a unique position  to ponder this  as he studied over 200  people as they tackle the end of the life cycle.  Many in the medical field have a hard time talking about their patient’s anxieties  and just provide them with facts and false hopes.   The author has discovered that sometimes not only are we not prolonging lives , but shortening it. He not only talks about this issue but the general aging process itself.    What are the different housing and living options  that are available for today’s elderly? What can we do to make the last years of our lives about our living and not about our dying?  Read Being Mortal and you’ll have some ideas for you and your loved ones.

Posted in aging, Atul Gawande, books, family relationships, nonfiction, reflective, science writing, thought provoking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Carnegie Medals Shortlist for Fiction and Nonfiction was Announced this Week

Sponsored by the American Library Association and the Carnegie Corporation,  the Andrew Carnegie Medals for excellence in fiction and nonfiction  shortlist was announced this week. Started in 2012, this literary award was established to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction published in the United States the previous year.  Check them out of the library today!

allthelightwecannotsee   norawebster   onsuchafullsea

justmercy  sixthextinction   thirteendaysinseptember.

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The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion

rosieeffectIf you became  enamored with the quirky lovable character of  Professor Don Tillman in The Rosie Project you should continue on and read The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion.  Honeymooners, Tillman, a genetics professor, has been married for ten months to the beloved Rosie, medical student/bartender.   Don whose personality  is very similar to Sheldon Cooper’s Big Bang Theory persona, is trying to adjust to the the idea of being married.  It is hard enough for the average Joe to assimilate to marriage but Don is extremely used to routines and order  and is doing his best to do things a bit more spontaneously in marriage.  Sometimes, that isn’t the easiest thing for him to do and Don is sent into a tailspin when Rosie announces she is pregnant.  How will this addition change the relationship between Rosie and Don?  Will he be supportive throughout the pregnancy?  Author Simsion has continued with his winning formula in The Rosie Effect and leaves the reader laughing and smiling throughout this charming read.

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