New York Times Bestsellers April 7, 2019

Hi everyone, here are the top New York Times fiction and non-fiction bestsellers for the week that ends April 7, 2019.

(Click on the book covers to read a summary of each plot and to request the books of your choice.)

FICTION:

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:

Jessica Farris’s life unravels when she signs up for Dr. Shields’s psychology study.

 

CELTIC EMPIRE by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler:

The 25th book in the Dirk Pitt series.

 

CEMETERY ROAD by Greg Iles Morrow:

The journalist Marshall McEwan returns to his hometown, which is shaken by two deaths and an economy on the brink.

 

CHEF by James Patterson with Max DiLallo:

Caleb Rooney, a police detective and celebrity food truck chef, must clear his name of murder allegations.

 

CIRCE by Madeline Miller:

Zeus banishes Helios’ daughter to an island, where she must choose between living with gods or mortals.

 

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

A fictional oral history charting the rise and fall of a ’70s rock ’n’ roll band.

 

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman:

A young woman’s well-ordered life is disrupted by the I.T. guy from her office.

 

THE FALLEN by David Baldacci: 

Amos Decker, known as the Memory Man, puts his talents toward solving a string of murders in a Rust Belt town.

 

FIRST LADY by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois:

Sally Grissom investigates the disappearance of President Harrison Tucker’s wife.

 

THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS by Pam Jenoff:

Grace Healey investigates the fates of 12 women who were sent to occupied Europe to help the resistance during World War II.

 

THE HUNTRESS by Kate Quinn:

A British journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot go after a Nazi war criminal.

 

ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN by Lisa See:

The friendship over many decades of two female divers from the Korean Island of Jeju is pushed to a breaking point.

 

LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin:

A family crisis tests the bonds and ideals of a renowned poet and her siblings.

 

RUN AWAY by Harlan Coben:

A family is torn apart when the daughter becomes addicted to drugs and goes missing.

 

SILENT NIGHT by Danielle Steel:

After tragedy strikes, a child TV star loses her memory and ability to speak.

 

THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides:

Theo Faber looks into the mystery of a famous painter who stops speaking after shooting her husband.

 

TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris:

A concentration camp detainee tasked with permanently marking fellow prisoners falls in love with one of them.

 

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens:

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.

 

WOLF PACK by C.J. Box:

The Wyoming game wardens Joe Pickett and Katelyn Hamm take on killers working for the Sinaloa cartel.

 

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn:

A recluse who drinks heavily and takes prescription drugs may have witnessed a crime across from her Harlem townhouse.

 

NON-FICTION:

BAD BLOOD by John Carreyrou:

The rise and fall of Theranos, the biotech startup that failed to deliver on its promise to make blood testing more efficient.

 

BECOMING by Michelle Obama:

The former first lady describes her journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House, and how she balanced work, family and her husband’s political ascent.

 

BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah:

A memoir about growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa by the host of “The Daily Show.”

 

THE CASE FOR TRUMP by Victor Davis:

A defense stating that the current president adopted several traditional conservative positions.

 

DOING JUSTICE by Preet Bharara:

The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York describes some of his career highlights and gives insights into our legal system.

 

EDUCATED by Tara Westover:

The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.

 

FIRST: SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR by Evan Thomas:

A biography of the first female Supreme Court justice.

 

KUSHNER, INC. by Vicky Ward:

The HuffPost editor at large gives her perspective on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s agenda inside the White House.

 

MADAME FOURCADE’S SECRET WAR by Lynne Olson: 

A 31-year-old French mother led an intelligence organization that worked against Hitler and the Gestapo.

 

MAMA’S LAST HUG by Frans de Waal:

The death of a chimpanzee matriarch frames a broader look into the world of animal and human emotions.

 

SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari:

How Homo sapiens became Earth’s dominant species.

 

SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden:

A look at the conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.

 

SHORTEST WAY HOME by Pete Buttigieg: 

A memoir by the current mayor of South Bend, Ind., and the first openly gay Democratic candidate to run for president of the United States.

 

THE THREAT by Andrew G. McCabe:

The former deputy director of the F.B.I. describes major events ofh is career and the ways the agency works to protect Americans.

 

WOMEN ROWING NORTH by Mary Pipher:

Reflections on the ageism, misogyny and loss that women might encounter as they grow older.

Have a great day!

Linda, SSL

 

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening March 29, 2019

Hi everyone, here are our lucky seven musical streaming* suggestions for the week.

(Click on the photo of the album or playlist you’d like to hear, to play it!)

National Poetry Month Playlist by Various Artists (83 songs):

April is National Poetry month, and to celebrate Freegal has put together a playlist of poems and poetic music.

Poems/songs in the collection include: 14th Amendment by Sarah Kay, Blues Montage by Langston Hughes with Leonard Feather, Stealing Home by Nikki Giovanni, A Phenomenal Woman by Illse Huizinga, Howl by Allen Ginsberg, Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie by Bob Dylan and Talkin’ Dust Bowl Blues by Woody Guthrie.

 

The Essential Donovan by Donovan (Genre: Folk, Classic Pop-Rock): 

A greatest hits collection by the popular sixties folk singer. All the hits are here including: Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow, There Is A Mountain, Jennifer Juniper, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Atlantis.

 

The Healing Game (2019) by Van Morrison (Genre: Pop, Rock, Folk): 

An aptly titled album by the great Irish singer-songwriter that has a healing feeling flowing through the music.

Songs on the LP include: Rough God Goes Riding, Fire in the Belly, Waiting Game, Piper at the Gates of Dawn and The Healing Game

 

Say Your Mind (2019) by Head for the Hills (Genre: Folk, Country):

Say Your Mind is cool four song EP from the Band Head For The Hills.

Songs include: Say Your Mind, Darkness Meets The Day, I Am The Problem and Can’t Stay This Way For Long

 

Enough (2019) by Rachel Wammack (Genre: Country): 

Enough is a five song EP from Rachel Wammack an Alabama native, singer-songwriter with pop flair. Songs on the EP include: Enough, Damage, Hard to Believe, Closure and My Boyfriend Doesn’t Speak For Me Anymore

 

The Complete Aristocrat & Chess Singles As & BS 1947-62, Vol. 1 by Muddy Waters (Genre: Blues): 

In celebration of the 104th anniversary of the legendary Bluesman Muddy Water’s birth, on April 4, 1915 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi – here’s a great set of his classic work including some of his most famous songs including:

Muddy Waters was one of the all time greatest blues players. He was born in Mississippi and moved to Chicago as a youth. He became one of the founding members of that first generation of post World War II blues players and he played a great guitar! Waters influenced countless players that came after him including Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Butterfield Blues Band etc. And if you’re not familiar with his playing – this set is a great place to start as it contains the bulk of his classic works including the songs:I Can’t Be Satisfied, I Feel Like Going Home, She Moves Me, Standing Around Crying, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, Waking’ Blues, I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man and Louisiana Blues.

 

Electric Church: A Blues Playlist by Various Artists:

We’re on a blues roll this week! The Electric Church: A Blues Playlist features 77 classic and modern blues songs and runs 5 hours and 12 minutes – perfect for the weekend!

Songs include: Electric Church Red House by Jimi Hendrix, A Few Good Years by Buddy Guy, Hard Row by The Black Keys, That’s All by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Champagne & Reefer by Muddy Waters, Back Door Man by Howlin’ Wolf, Where Did You Sleep Last Night by Lead Belly, Cross Road by Robert Johnson and Miss Martha King by B. B. King.

 

Videos of the Week:

14th Amendment by Sarah Kay

 

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

 

Mellow Yellow by Donovan

 

Wynken, Blynken And Nod by Donovan

 

At The End Of The Day by Van Morrison

 

The Healing Game by Van Morrison

 

Darkness Meets The Day by Head For The Hills

 

Say Your Mind by Head For The Hills

 

Enough by Rachel Wammack

 

How Will I Know by Rachel Wammack

 

Louisiana Blues by Muddy Waters

 

Rolling Stone (Catfish Blues) by Muddy Waters

 

Black Night Road by Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

 

I Didn’t Know/Road of Love by The Jelly Roll Kings

 

She Shot Me Down by John Lee Hooker

Have a great weekend!

Linda, SSCL

REFERENCES:

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Witburn

Muddy Waters, Blues Performer Dies by Robert Palmer, appeared in The New York Times May 1, 1983, https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0404.html

Freegal is a free streaming music service available for free to library card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries. STLS member libraries include all the public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegany counties — including our own Southeast Steuben County Library.

You can download the Freegal music app to your mobile device or access the desktop version of the site by clicking on the following link:

*The Freegal service offers library card holders the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial free music each day.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Did You Know…March is Women’s History Month Final Celebratory Posting!

Hi everyone, I seem to be running out of month here!

Honestly, time just seems to go so fast, and I always think there should be one more week in the month.

But, no, this really is the last week in March.

And since it is the last week in March, and I have not yet put up all the suggested reading postings for Women’s History Month that I promised on March 4, I’m going to simply combine the last three postings into one posting that you can look at, and celebrate the contributions women have made to western society, at your leisure throughout the next couple of months – so many books, so little time!

Ten books are featured in each of the following three categories:

Notable Women of the 20th Century

Notable Women of the 19th Century

Collections

And on to the books!

Notable Women of the 20th Century

Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters:

“Barbara Walters has been called the most important woman in the history of broadcast journalism, but she refuses to retire to a marble pantheon. Indeed, she continues to interview celebrities, stoke media controversies, and inspire mimics. Oddly enough, Audition is her first real book; a grand, deeply personal, sometimes defensive memoir that covers almost eight decades of intense activity. With surprising candor, the famed View host talks about her childhood as the privileged daughter of a Broadway producer who later went broke and her early career in an environment distinctly hostile to women. Although she describes in detail her numerous headline-making interviews with world leaders, Hollywood stars, and even Monica Lewinsky, one senses the author’s presence throughout as a solitary, sometimes lonely beacon of self-sufficiency.

…[a] legitimately star-studded autobiography…the portrait of a deftly calculating woman with an impeccable sense of timing…There will never be another television news career like this one.
—The New York Times, Janet Maslin

 

Eye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris:

James McGrath Morris’s groundbreaking biography illuminates the life and accomplishments of pioneering journalist Ethel Lois Payne, and pays tribute to the critical role of the black press in the civil rights era.

A self-proclaimed “instrument for change,” Payne publicly prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to support desegregation. From Alabama to Vietnam, from Indonesia to Ghana, her reporting on legislative and judicial civil rights battles enlightened and motivated black readers, for whom she served as an eyewitness on the frontlines of the struggle for freedom. At great personal risk, Payne covered such landmark events as the Montgomery bus boycott, the desegregation of the University of Alabama, the integration of Little Rock’s schools, and the service of black troops in Vietnam. A trailblazing black woman in an industry dominated by white men, Payne also broke the glass ceiling, becoming the first female African-American radio and television commentator on a national network, working for CBS. Inspiring and instructive, moving and enlightening, Eye on the Struggle celebrates this extraordinary woman and her achievements—and reminds us of the power one person has to transform our lives and our world.

 

Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt W. Beyer:

The career of computer visionary Grace Murray Hopper, whose innovative work in programming laid the foundations for the user-friendliness of today’s personal computers that sparked the information age.

A Hollywood biopic about the life of computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992) would go like this: a young professor abandons the ivy-covered walls of academia to serve her country in the Navy after Pearl Harbor and finds herself on the front lines of the computer revolution. She works hard to succeed in the all-male computer industry, is almost brought down by personal problems but survives them, and ends her career as a celebrated elder stateswoman of computing, a heroine to thousands, hailed as the inventor of computer programming. Throughout Hopper’s later years, the popular media told this simplified version of her life story. In Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age , Kurt Beyer reveals a more authentic Hopper, a vibrant and complex woman whose career paralleled the meteoric trajectory of the postwar computer industry.

Both rebellious and collaborative, Hopper was influential in male-dominated military and business organizations at a time when women were encouraged to devote themselves to housework and childbearing. Hopper’s greatest technical achievement was to create the tools that would allow humans to communicate with computers in terms other than ones and zeroes. This advance influenced all future programming and software design and laid the foundation for the development of user-friendly personal computers.

 

Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter:

The bestselling author delves into his past and retrieves the inspiring story of his grandmother’s extraordinary life

She was brilliant, ambitious, and unafraid to breakbarriers. As the only member of a squad of twenty high-powered lawyers who was not a white male, she devised the strategy that in the 1930s sent Mafia chieftan Lucky Luciano to prison. She achieved so much—but what could she have accomplished if not for barriers of race and gender?

Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter’s grandmother, was the daughter of a distinguished African American couple and the granddaughter of slaves. A graduate of Smith College and Fordham Law School, she became a key member of the legal team charged with breaking up organized crime in New York City. By the 1940s, she was one of the most famous black women in America. But at every turn, Eunice encountered prejudice, and her triumphs were shadowed by tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed Communist who—together with his friend Dashiell Hammett—went to prison during the McCarthy era. Yet she remained unbowed: constantly reinventing herself, she somehow found a way forward.

Moving, haunting, and written with dazzling power, Invisible tells the story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the socialand political expectations of the age. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book she is once again visible.

 

Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts by Stacy A. Cordery:

Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with being true to her adventurous spirit. Accidentally deafened, she married a dashing British patrician and moved to England, where she quickly became dissatisfied with the aimlessness of privileged life. Her search for greater purpose ended when she met Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, and was inspired to recreate his program for girls.

The Girl Scouts of the USA—which can now count more than fifty-nine million American girls and women among its past members—aims to instill useful skills and moral values in its young members, with an emphasis on fun. In this lively and accessible biography of its intrepid founder, Stacy A. Cordery paints a dynamic portrait of an intriguing woman and a true pioneer whose work touched the lives of millions of girls and women around the world.

 

Marlene by Marlene Dietrich:

A fascinating self-portrait of one of the greatest entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age

Film star. Cabaret sensation. Recording artist. Writer. Marlene Dietrich was nothing short of enchanting—and remains so as she chronicles her fabulous rise to stardom in Marlene. From her early career in Germany as a chorus girl to her breakout role as Lola in The Blue Angel to her courageous wartime tours, Dietrich recounts a life that captivates on the page just as she smoldered on the screen. She writes passionately of her friends—including Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Edith Piaf, among many others—and she shares memories of what she calls her greatest accomplishment: entertaining the Allied troops during World War II. A sustained expression of her bold, sophisticated style, Marlene reminds us why Dietrich remains an international icon and a true Hollywood legend.

 

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote by Tina Cassidy:

An eye-opening, inspiring, and timely account of the complex relationship between notable suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in her fight for women’s equality.

Woodrow Wilson lands in Washington, DC in March of 1913, a day before he is set to take the presidential oath of office. Expecting a throng of onlookers, he is instead met with minimal interest as the crowd and media alike watch a twenty-five-year-old Alice Paul organize 8,000 suffragists in a first-of-its-kind protest led by a woman riding a white horse just a few blocks away from the Washington platform. The next day, the New York Times calls the procession “one of the most impressively beautiful spectacles ever staged in this country.”

Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? weaves together two storylines: Paul’s and Wilson’s, two seemingly complete opposites who had more in common than either one could imagine. Paul’s procession led her to be granted a one-on-one meeting with President Woodrow Wilson, one that would lead to many meetings and much discussion, though little progress. With no equality in sight and patience wearing thin, Paul organized the first group to ever picket on the White House lawn—night and day, through sweltering summer mornings and frigid fall nights.

From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Woodrow Wilson, Mr. President,How Long Must We Wait? reveals the inspiring, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America. A rousing portrait of a little-known feminist heroine and an inspirational exploration of a crucial moment in American history—one century before the Women’s March—this is a perfect book for fans of Hidden Figures.

 

Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator by Doris L. Rich and Mae Jemison:

Here is the brief but intense life of Bessie Coleman, America’s first African American woman aviator. Born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, she became known as “Queen Bess,” a barnstormer and flying-circus performer who defied the strictures of race, sex, and society in pursuit of a dream.

A vivid portrait of a remarkable woman. . . . A timely and engaging introduction to a woman of stunning accomplishment and courage who deserves a place of high honor in the pantheon of early flying.”—Kirkus

 

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr:

When astronaut Dr. Sally Ride died in 2012, the woman who was once the most famous person in the world, shocked many when her obituary revealed that she was survived by her female partner of nearly three decades. Journalist Sherr, a longtime friend of Ride, gets behind the walls of the very guarded and private pioneer in this engrossing biography. Ride’s trajectory may have been entirely different if the former top-ranked 1968 college tennis player in the East had pursued the game professionally. But when NASA began recruiting women and minorities in 1976, Ride, who had been the only female student in her undergraduate physics class, beat out 8,000 others to get her spot. It was a heady and historic time, although not without an abundance of sexist and clueless ideas both from NASA (the engineers asking Ride if 100 tampons for a week in space was sufficient) and the press (a reporter infamously asked if she wept when angry). Level-headed and possessed of an optimistic live-in-the-moment attitude, she skillfully navigated such public moments and kept the personal locked away out of view. In the end, Sherr provides a window into one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. – Publishers Weekly Review

 

Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change by Barbara Winslow:

A staunch proponent of breaking down racial and gender barriers, Shirley Chisholm had the esteemed privilege of being a pioneer in many aspects of her life. She was the first African American woman from Brooklyn elected to the New York State legislature and the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968. She also made a run for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1972. Focusing on Chisholm’s lifelong advocacy for fair treatment, access to education, and equal pay for all American minority groups, this book explores the life of a remarkable woman in the context of twentieth-century urban America and the tremendous social upheaval that occurred after World War II.

 

Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography by Deirdre Bair:

De Beauvoir’s extraordinary, long relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre is the focus of this portrait, which combines literary biography, intellectual and oral history and feminist theory. PW called pk the work “impressively researched. . . . Bair adds much to our knowledge of every aspect of de Beauvoir’s life,” commenting also that pk unfortunately she often overburdens readers with detail. – Publishers Weekly Review

 

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone:

In 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the “Adam and Eve” of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizebeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma—and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence. Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson’s bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation Game, The Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest.

 

Notable Women of the 19th Century

Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist by Christopher Holling:

Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815­-52), daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron and the highly educated Anne Isabella, is sometimes called the world’s first computer programmer, and she has become an icon for women in technology today. But how did a young woman in the nineteenth century, without access to formal schooling or university education, acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science?

Although it was an unusual pursuit for women at the time, Ada Lovelace studied science and mathematics from a young age. This book uses previously unpublished archival material to explore her precocious childhood—from her curiosity about the science of rainbows to her design for a steam-powered flying horse—as well as her ambitious young adulthood. Active in Victorian London’s social and scientific elite alongside Mary Somerville, Michael Faraday, and Charles Dickens, Ada Lovelace became fascinated by the computing machines of Charles Babbage, whose ambitious, unbuilt invention known as the “Analytical Engine” inspired Lovelace to devise a table of mathematical formulae which many now refer to as the “first program.”

Ada Lovelace died at just thirty-six, but her work strikes a chord to this day, offering clear explanations of the principles of computing, and exploring ideas about computer music and artificial intelligence that have been realized in modern digital computers. Featuring detailed illustrations of the “first program” alongside mathematical models, correspondence, and contemporary images, this book shows how Ada Lovelace, with astonishing prescience, first investigated the key mathematical questions behind the principles of modern computing.

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life by Lori D. Ginzberg:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a brilliant activist-intellectual. That nearly all of her ideas—that women are entitled to seek an education, to own property, to get a divorce, and to vote—are now commonplace is in large part because she worked tirelessly to extend the nation’s promise of radical individualism to women.

In this subtly crafted biography, the historian Lori D. Ginzberg narrates the life of a woman of great charm, enormous appetite, and extraordinary intellectual gifts who turned the limitations placed on women like herself into a universal philosophy of equal rights. Few could match Stanton’s self-confidence; loving an argument, she rarely wavered in her assumption that she had won. But she was no secular saint, and her positions were not always on the side of the broadest possible conception of justice and social change. Elitism runs through Stanton’s life and thought, defined most often by class, frequently by race, and always by intellect. Even her closest friends found her absolutism both thrilling and exasperating, for Stanton could be an excellent ally and a bothersome menace, sometimes simultaneously. At once critical and admiring, Ginzberg captures Stanton’s ambiguous place in the world of reformers and intellectuals, describes how she changed the world, and suggests that Stanton left a mixed legacy that continues to haunt American feminism.

 

Florence Nightingale: The Making of an Icon by Mark Bostridge:

The common soldier’s savior, the standard-bearer of modern nursing, a pioneering social reformer: Florence Nightingale belongs to that select band of historical characters who are instantly recognizable. Home-schooled, bound for the life of an educated Victorian lady, Nightingale scandalized her family when she found her calling as a nurse, a thoroughly unsuitable profession for a woman of her class.

As the “Lady with the Lamp,” ministering to the wounded and dying of the Crimean War, she offers an enduring image of sentimental appeal. Few individuals in their own lifetime have reached the level of fame and adulation attained by Nightingale as a result of her efforts. Fewer still have the power of continuing to inspire controversy in the way she does almost a century after her death.

In this remarkable book, the first major biography of Florence Nightingale in more than fifty years, Mark Bostridge draws on a wealth of unpublished material, including previously unseen family papers, to throw new light on this extraordinary woman’s life and character. Disentangling elements of myth from the reality, Bostridge has written a vivid and immensely readable account of one of the most iconic figures in modern history.

 

Lone Woman: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, the First Woman Doctor by Dorothy Clarke Wilson:

Known worldwide as the first woman to receive her degree as a Doctor of Medicine, Elizabeth Blackwell represents a historic moment in modern medicine and women’s liberation. Several years after her family immigrated to the United States, Dr. Blackwell studied privately with independent physicians, an education which culminated at Geneva Medical College in Upstate New York. Upon graduation, Dr. Blackwell founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Later, she helped found the National Health Society, was the first woman to be placed on the British Medical Register, and taught at England’s first college of medicine for women. She pioneered in preventive medicine and in the promotion of antisepsis and hygiene.

Today, Dr. Blackwell serves as an important symbol of the barriers that women have overcome and those that remain. This web site has been compiled to provide a centralized archive of information, articles, and studies about her history and her legacy. – Hobart & William Smith Colleges

 

Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family by Shelley Emling:

In Marie Curie and Her Daughters, science writer Shelley Emling shows that far from a shy introvert toiling away in her laboratory, the famed scientist and two-time Nobel prize winner was nothing short of an iconoclast. Emling draws on personal letters released by Curie’s only granddaughter to show how Marie influenced her daughters yet let them blaze their own paths: Irene followed her mother’s footsteps into science and was instrumental in the discovery of nuclear fission; Eve traveled the world as a foreign correspondent and then moved on to humanitarian missions. Emling also shows how Curie, following World War I, turned to America for help. Few people know about Curie’s close friendship with American journalist Missy Meloney, who arranged speaking tours across the country for Marie, Eve, and Irene. Months on the road, charming audiences both large and small, endeared the Curies to American women and established a lifelong relationship with the United States that formed one of the strongest connections of Marie’s life. Factually rich, personal, and original, this is an engrossing story about the most famous woman in science that rips the cover off the myth and reveals the real person, friend, and mother behind it.

 

Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist by Kathleen Barry:

“In this life of Anthony, Barry has produced a scholarly but very readable biography of the great women’s rights activist. She explores the interaction of her subject’s family background, education, Quaker upbringing, and early teaching career with the temperance movement to produce a woman who in her 20s chose striving for social justice over marriage as a vocation. Barry delineates Anthony’s friendships with other reformers, her involvement in the abolitionist movement, and her stance during the splits and scandals of the first feminist era.” Recommended.Christine M. Hill, Free Lib. of Philadelphia – Library Journal

 

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird:

Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mother’s meddling and an adviser’s bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security—queen of a quarter of the world’s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach.

Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning.

 

Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft by Lyndall Gordon:

Vindication is the first biography to show this remarkable woman at full strength and bring out the range as well as the reverberations of her genius in the following and subsequent generations. Here is the drama of Wollstonecraft’s life as a governess in an aristocratic family in Ireland, as an independent writer in London, as an on-the-scene observer of the French Revolution, and as a daring traveler to Scandinavia on the trail of an unsolved crime. Although she died young, her spirit and unconventional ideas lived on in the lives of her daughter, Mary Shelley, and three other heirs who had to contend with a counterrevolutionary age. Vindication offers new evidence for the influence of early American political thought in England and demonstrates for the first time the profound effect of Mary Wollstonecraft’s own writing, especially her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, on American figures of the day, among them John and Abigail Adams. This groundbreaking biography follows the colorful wheelings and dealings of young American adventurers like Joel Barlow and the elusive frontiersman Imlay, who sought their fortunes amid the tumultuous events of late-eighteenth-century Europe and whose clandestine service to the fledgling American government is newly explored.

This is a brilliantly told story, moving on from the issue of rights to larger questions that still lie beyond us: What is woman’s nature? What will she contribute to civilization? Lyndall Gordon mounts a spirited defense of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose previous biographers have often doubted her integrity, her stability, and the exhilarating experiment that was her life. Vindication probes these doubts, measures Wollstonecraft’s life against her own strengths instead of the weakness that sometimes held her back, and reinterprets her for the twenty-first century.

 

Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War by Stephen B. Oates:

When the Civil War broke out, Clara Barton wanted more than anything to be a Union soldier, an impossible dream for a thirty-nine-year-old woman, who stood a slender five feet tall. Determined to serve, she became a veritable soldier, a nurse, and a one-woman relief agency operating in the heart of the conflict. Now, award-winning author Stephen B. Oates, drawing on archival materials not used by her previous biographers, has written the first complete account of Clara Barton’s active engagement in the Civil War.

By the summer of 1862, with no institutional affiliation or official government appointment, but impelled by a sense of duty and a need to heal, she made her way to the front lines and the heat of battle. Oates tells the dramatic story of this woman who gave the world a new definition of courage, supplying medical relief to the wounded at some of the most famous battles of the war — including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Battery Wagner, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg. Under fire with only her will as a shield, she worked while ankle deep in gore, in hellish makeshift battlefield hospitals — a bullet-riddled farmhouse, a crumbling mansion, a windblown tent. Committed to healing soldiers’ spirits as well as their bodies, she served not only as nurse and relief worker, but as surrogate mother, sister, wife, or sweetheart to thousands of sick, wounded, and dying men.

Her contribution to the Union was incalculable and unique. It also became the defining event in Barton’s life, giving her the opportunity as a woman to reach out for a new role and to define a new profession. Nursing, regarded as a menial service before the war, became a trained, paid occupation after the conflict. Although Barton went on to become the founder and first president of the Red Cross, the accomplishment for which she is best known, A Woman of Valor convinces us that her experience on the killing fields of the Civil War was her most extraordinary achievement.

 

Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America by Ellen Chesler:

“Former Columbia University Faculty Fellow Chesler succeeds admirably in bringing the extraordinary career and controversial personality of Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) to life in this skillfully researched and objective biography. Sanger, a political radical, devoted herself to ensuring women’s access to contraception after observing the plight of the poor as a public health nurse. An astute organizer, she fought against the opposition of a conservative political and religious male establishment, building a national and international birth control movement. Chesler explores the negative as well as the positive aspects of Sanger’s character, noting that she was known to manipulate people and sometimes modified her views to achieve her ends. A strong believer in her own right to a fulfilled sex life, Sanger married twice and took many lovers, including Havelock Ellis and H. G. Wells. This is an outstanding biography of a feminist reformer whose achievements changed the lives of women forever.” Publishers Weekly Review

 

Collections:

America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today by Pamela Nadell:

A groundbreaking history of how Jewish women maintained their identity and influenced social activism as they wrote themselves into American history.

What does it mean to be a Jewish woman in America? In a gripping historical narrative, Pamela S. Nadell weaves together the stories of a diverse group of extraordinary people—from the colonial-era matriarch Grace Nathan and her great-granddaughter, poet Emma Lazarus, to labor organizer Bessie Hillman and the great justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to scores of other activists, workers, wives, and mothers who helped carve out a Jewish American identity.

The twin threads binding these women together, she argues, are a strong sense of self and a resolute commitment to making the world a better place. Nadell recounts how Jewish women have been at the forefront of causes for centuries, fighting for suffrage, trade unions, civil rights, and feminism, and hoisting banners for Jewish rights around the world. Informed by shared values of America’s founding and Jewish identity, these women’s lives have left deep footprints in the history of the nation they call home.

 

History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don’t Want You to Know by Anita Sarkeesian, Ebony Adams & T. S. Abe:

Rebels, rulers, scientists, artists, warriors and villains

Women are, and have always been, all these things and more.

Looking through the ages and across the globe, Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, along with Ebony Adams PHD, have reclaimed the stories of twenty-five remarkable women who dared to defy history and change the world around them. From Mongolian wrestlers to Chinese pirates, Native American ballerinas to Egyptian scientists, Japanese novelists to British Prime Ministers, History vs Women will reframe the history that you thought you knew.

Featuring beautiful full-color illustrations of each woman and a bold graphic design, this standout nonfiction title is the perfect read for teens (or adults!) who want the true stories of phenomenal women from around the world and insight into how their lives and accomplishments impacted both their societies and our own.

 

Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman:

Who hasn’t wondered where-aside from Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo-all the women artists are? In many art books, they’ve been marginalized with cold efficiency, summarily dismissed in the captions of group photographs with the phrase “identity unknown” while each male is named.

Donna Seaman brings to dazzling life seven of these forgotten artists, among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, with her dark, surreal paintings and friendships with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins; Bay Area self-portraitist Joan Brown; Ree Morton, with her witty, oddly beautiful constructions; Loïs Mailou Jones of the Harlem Renaissance; Lenore Tawney, who combined weaving and sculpture when art and craft were considered mutually exclusive; Christina Ramberg, whose unsettling works drew on pop culture and advertising; and Louise Nevelson, an art-world superstar in her heyday but omitted from recent surveys of her era.

These women fought to be treated the same as male artists, to be judged by their work, not their gender or appearance. In brilliant, compassionate prose, Seaman reveals what drove them, how they worked, and how they were perceived by others in a world where women were subjects-not makers-of art. Featuring stunning examples of the artists’ work, Identity Unknown speaks to all women about their neglected place in history and the challenges they face to be taken as seriously as men no matter what their chosen field-and to all men interested in women’s lives.

 

A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War by Patricia Fara:

2018 marked a double centenary: peace was declared in war-wracked Europe, and women won the vote after decades of struggle. A Lab of One’s Own commemorates both anniversaries by revealing the untold lives of female scientists, doctors, and engineers who undertook endeavours normally reserved for men. It tells fascinating and extraordinary stories featuring initiative, determination, and isolation, set against a backdrop of war, prejudice, and disease.
Patricia Fara investigates the enterprising careers of these pioneering women and their impact on science, medicine, and the First World War.

Suffrage campaigners aligned themselves with scientific and technological progress. Defying protests about their intellectual inferiority and child-bearing responsibilities, during the War they won support by mobilizing women to enter conventionally male domains. A Lab of One’s Own focuses on the female experts who carried out vital research. They had already shown exceptional resilience by challenging accepted norms to pursue their careers, now they played their part in winning the War at home and overseas.

In 1919, the suffragist Millicent Fawcett declared triumphantly that ‘The war revolutionised the industrial position of women. It found them serfs, and left them free.’ She was wrong: Women had helped the country to victory, had won the vote for those over thirty – but had lost the battle for equality. A Lab of One”s Own is essential reading to understand and eliminate the inequalities still affecting professional women today.

 

Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Janet Dewart Bell:

A groundbreaking collection based on oral histories that brilliantly plumb the leadership of African American women in the twentieth-century fight for civil rights—many nearly lost to history—from the latest winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize

During the Civil Rights Movement, African American women were generally not in the headlines; they simply did the work that needed to be done. Yet despite their significant contributions at all levels of the movement, they remain mostly invisible to the larger public. Beyond Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Dorothy Height, most Americans, black and white alike, would be hard-pressed to name other leaders at the community, local, and national levels.

In Lighting the Fires of Freedom Janet Dewart Bell shines a light on women’s all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism, as Bell vividly captures their inspiring voices. Lighting the Fires of Freedom offers these deeply personal and intimate accounts of extraordinary struggles for justice that resulted in profound social change, stories that remain important and relevant today.

Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Lighting the Fires of Freedom is a vital document for understanding the Civil Rights Movement and an enduring testament to the vitality of women’s leadership during one of the most dramatic periods of American history.

 

Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets by Feminista Jones:

In Reclaiming Our Space, social worker, activist, and cultural commentator Feminista Jones explores how Black women are changing culture, society, and the landscape of feminism by building digital communities and using social media as powerful platforms. As Jones reveals, some of the best-loved devices of our shared social media language are a result of Black women’s innovations, from well-known movement-building hashtags (#BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, and #BlackGirlMagic) to the now ubiquitous use of threaded tweets as a marketing and storytelling tool. For some, these online dialogues provide an introduction to the work of Black feminist icons like Angela Davis, Barbara Smith, bell hooks, and the women of the Combahee River Collective. For others, this discourse provides a platform for continuing their feminist activism and scholarship in a new, interactive way.

Complex conversations around race, class, and gender that have been happening behind the closed doors of academia for decades are now becoming part of the wider cultural vernacular—one pithy tweet at a time. With these important online conversations, not only are Black women influencing popular culture and creating sociopolitical movements; they are also galvanizing a new generation to learn and engage in Black feminist thought and theory, and inspiring change in communities around them.

Hard-hitting, intelligent, incisive, yet bursting with humor and pop-culture savvy, Reclaiming Our Space is a survey of Black feminism’s past, present, and future, and it explains why intersectional movement building will save us all.

 

The Women of Corning: The Untold Story by Geoffrey Kabaservice:

Foreword by the Honorable Amory Houghton Jr.,– Author’s note — Corning women from pioneer times to the Civil War — Women in Corning from industrialization to the dawn of the twentieth century — Corning women from the progressive era to World War One — Corning and the new woman : from the 1920s to World War II — Corning women in the modern world.

 

Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope–Voices from the Women’s March:

On January 21, 2017, millions of people gathered worldwide for the Women’s March, one of the largest demonstrations in political history. Together they raised their voices in hope, protest, and solidarity. This inspiring collection features 500 of the most eloquent, provocative, uplifting, clever, and creative signs from across the United States and around the world. Each is a powerful reminder of why we march. As with the recent battle cry of “Nevertheless, she persisted,” these messages continue to reverberate daily and fortify a movement that will not be silenced.

 

Women’s Bands in America: Performing Music and Gender by Jill M. Sullivan:

Women’s Bands in America is the first comprehensive exploration of women’s bands across the three centuries in American history. Contributors trace women’s emerging roles in society as seen through women’s bands—concert and marching—spanning three centuries of American history. Authors explore town, immigrant,industry, family, school, suffrage, military, jazz, and rock bands, adopting a variety of methodologies and theoretical lenses in order to assemble and interrogate their findings within the context of women’s roles in American society over time.

Contributors bring together a series of disciplines in this unique work, including music education, musicology, American history, women’s studies, and history of education. They also draw on numerous primary sources: diaries, film, military records, newspaper articles, oral-history interviews, personal letters, photographs, published ephemera, radio broadcasts, and recordings. Thoroughly, contributors engage in archival historical research, biography, case study, content analysis, iconographic study, oral history, and qualitative research to bring their topics to life. This ambitious collection will be of use not only to students and scholars of instrumental music education, music history and ethnomusicology, but also gender studies and American social history.

Contributions by: Vilka E. Castillo Silva, Dawn Farmer, Danelle Larson, Brian Meyers, Sarah Minette, Gayle Murchison, Jeananne Nichols, David Rickels, Joanna Ross Hersey, Sarah Schmalenberger, Amy Spears, and Sondra Wieland Howe.

 

Women’s Struggle for Equality: The First Phase, 1828-1876 by Jean V. Matthews:

Jean Matthew’s new study of the early years of the women’s rights movement outlines the period from 1828 to 1976 as a distinct “first phase.” Ms. Matthews situates this early feminist activity within the lively nineteenth-century debate over the Woman Question and pays attention to the opponents as well as the advocates of equal rights for women. Her book demonstrates that the intense conflict generated by the movement was due less to any specific reform proposals than to the realization—among men and women—that the early feminists were aiming at a complete rethinking of what womanhood meant and of the relationship between the sexes. In many ways, as Ms. Matthews shows, the early nineteenth-century movement—in its origins, individualism, hostility to tight organization, dedication to self-discovery, and concern for health issues—strongly resembled the revived feminism of the 1970s. Like the late-twentieth-century movement, its nineteenth-century precursor fostered an initial yearning for personal “liberation” and opportunity, and was later riven by issues of race and sexuality, and confused over the perennial question of “difference.” Women’s Struggle for Equality builds upon recent scholarship to present a concise synthesis of what was probably the most exciting period of early American feminism.

Have a great day!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Suggested Reading March 25, 2019

Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.

DIGITAL SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson (Format: eBook):

Catching a killer is dangerous. And could be fatal if the best bait . . . is you.

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .

 

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (Format: eBook):

One of Real Simple’s Best Historical Fiction novels of 2018!

“The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.
“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”

—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

 

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly (Format: eBook):

Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, this sweeping, entrancing story is a must-read for fans of remarkable women rising to challenges they could never have predicted.

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.

 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Format: eBook):

Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper

Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback.

Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet.

In an isolated belt of Australia, their homes a three-hour drive apart, the brothers were one another’s nearest neighbors. Cameron was the middle child, the one who ran the family homestead. But something made him head out alone under the unrelenting sun.

Nathan, Bub and Nathan’s son return to Cameron’s ranch and to those left behind by his passing: his wife, his daughters, and his mother, as well as their long-time employee and two recently hired seasonal workers.

While they grieve Cameron’s loss, suspicion starts to take hold, and Nathan is forced to examine secrets the family would rather leave in the past. Because if someone forced Cameron to his death, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects.

A powerful and brutal story of suspense set against a formidable landscape, The Lost Man confirms Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature, is one of the best new voices in writing today.

 

Washington Black: A Novel by Esi Edugyan (Format: eBook):

• TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Slate

• ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Boston Globe, NPR, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Economist, Bustle

• WINNER OF THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

• FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE, THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE, THE ROGERS WRITERS’ TRUST PRIZE

“Enthralling” —Boston Globe “Extraordinary” —Seattle Times “A rip-roaring tale” —Washington Post

A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world.

George Washington Black, or “Wash,” an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master’s brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning—and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. What brings Christopher and Wash together will tear them apart, propelling Wash even further across the globe in search of his true self. From the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black tells a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again, and asks the question, What is true freedom?

 

PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

All titles are print books unless otherwise specified.

The Good Detective by John McMahon:

Introducing Detective P.T. Marsh in a swift and bruising debut where Elmore Leonard’s staccato prose meets Greg Iles’ Southern settings.

How can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia–until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder–a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.

 

If Then by Kate Hope Day:

“A must-read—a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

 

The Lost Puzzler: The Tarakan Chronicles by Eyal Kless: 

A brilliantly written, page-turning, post-dystopian debut from Eyal Kless, about a society hoping to salvage the technology of a lost generation, a mysterious missing boy who can open doors no one else can, and a scribe who must piece together the past to determine humanity’s future.

More than a hundred years have passed since the Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways—but with new Gods—while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization.

In the mysterious City of Towers, the center of the destroyed Tarakan empire, a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is charged with a dangerous assignment. He must venture into the wilds beyond the glass and steel towers to discover the fate of a child who mysteriously disappeared more than a decade before. Born of a rare breed of marked people, the child, Rafik—known as “The Key”—was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once again.

In a world riven by fear and violence, where tattooed mutants, manic truckers, warring guilds and greedy mercenaries battle for survival, this one boy may have singlehandedly destroyed humanity’s only chance for salvation—unless the scribe can figure out what happened to him.

 

Once Upon a River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield: 

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

 

The Promise of Elsewhere: A Novel by Brad Leithauser:

A comic novel about a Midwestern professor who tries to prop up his failing prospects for happiness by setting out on the Journey of a Lifetime.

Louie Hake is forty-three and teaches architectural history at a third-rate college in Michigan. His second marriage is collapsing, and he’s facing a potentially disastrous medical diagnosis. In an attempt to fend off what has become a soul-crushing existential crisis, he decides to treat himself to a tour of the world’s most breathtaking architectural sites. Perhaps not surprisingly, Louie gets waylaid on his very first stop in Rome–ludicrously, spectacularly so–and fails to reach most of his other destinations. He embarks on a doomed romance with a jilted bride celebrating her ruined marriage plans alone in London. And in the Arctic he finds that turf houses and aluminum sheds don’t amount to much of an architectural tradition. But it turns out that there’s another sort of architecture there: icebergs the size of cathedrals, bobbing beside a strange and wondrous landscape. It soon becomes clear that Louie’s grand journey is less about where his wanderings have taken him and more about where his past encounters with romance have not. Whether pursuing his first wife, or his estranged current wife, or the older woman he kissed just once a quarter-century ago, Louie reveals himself to be endearing, deeply touching, wonderfully ridiculous . . . and destined to find love in all the wrong places.

Have a great week!

Linda, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Freegal Music Service

This music service is free to library card holders and offers the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial free music each day:

RBDigital

*Magazines are available for free and on demand! You can check out magazines and read them on your computer or download the RBDigital app from your app store and read them on your mobile devices.

ABOUT LIBRARY APPS:

You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or RB Digital app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at: 607-936-3713 and one of our tech coaches will be happy to assist you.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

New York Times Bestsellers March 31, 2019

Hi everyone, here are the top New York Times fiction and non-fiction bestsellers for the week that ends March 31, 2019.

(Click on the book covers to read a summary of each plot and to request the books of your choice.)

FICTION:

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:

Jessica Farris’s life unravels when she signs up for Dr. Shields’s psychology study.

 

BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF by Marlon James:

A loner named Tracker teams up with a group of unusual characters in search of a mysterious boy.

 

THE BORDER by Don Winslow:

The third book in the Power of the Dog series. Art Keller’s fight to keep drugs out of the country has taken a complicated turn.

 

CEMETERY ROAD by Greg Iles Morrow:

The journalist Marshall McEwan returns to his hometown, which is shaken by two deaths and an economy on the brink.

 

THE CHEF by James Patterson and Max DiLallo:

Caleb Rooney, a police detective and celebrity food truck chef, must clear his name of murder allegations.

 

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

A fictional oral history charting the rise and fall of a ’70s rock ’n’ roll band.

 

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman:

A young woman’s well-ordered life is disrupted by the I.T. guy from her office.

 

THE ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN by Lisa See: 

The friendship over many decades of two female divers from the Korean Island of Jeju is pushed to a breaking point.

 

THE LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin:

A family crisis tests the bonds and ideals of a renowned poet and her siblings.

 

THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS by Pam Jenoff:

Grace Healey investigates the fates of 12 women who were sent to occupied Europe to help the resistance during World War II.

 

THE MALTA EXCHANGE by Steve Berry: 

The 14th book in the Cotton Malone series. The former Justice Department operative tangles with a rogue cardinal and an ancient sect of knights.

 

THE PERSIAN GAMBLE by Joel C. Rosenberg:

Marcus Ryker and Oleg Kraskin must stop a nuclear alliance between Russia, Iran and North Korea.

 

THE RECKONING by John Grisham:

A decorated World War II veteran shoots and kills a pastor inside a Mississippi church.

 

SILENT NIGHT by Danielle Steel:

After tragedy strikes, a child TV star loses her memory and ability to speak.

 

THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides:

Theo Faber looks into the mystery of a famous painter who stops speaking after shooting her husband.

 

TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris:

A concentration camp detainee tasked with permanently marking fellow prisoners falls in love with one of them.

 

TOXIC GAME by Christine Feehan:

The 15th book in the GhostWalker series. Dr. Draden Freeman and Shylah Cosmos must find a cure to a deadly virus.

 

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens:

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.

 

NON-FICTION:

 

BAD BLOOD by John Carreyrou:

The rise and fall of Theranos, the biotech startup that failed to deliver on its promise to make blood testing more efficient.

 

BECOMING by Michelle Obama:

The former first lady describes her journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House, and how she balanced work, family and her husband’s political ascent.

 

BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah:

A memoir about growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa by the host of “The Daily Show.”

 

THE CASE FOR TRUMP by Victor Davis:

A defense stating that the current president adopted several traditional conservative positions.

 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ by Olivia Newton-John:

The Grammy Award-winner discusses her success in music and movies, and how she contended with recurrent breast cancer.

 

EDUCATED by Tara Westover:

The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.

 

GRATEFUL AMERICAN by David Sinise with Marcus Brotherton:

The Oscar-nominated actor describes how he has entertained troops and helped veterans.

 

MADAME FOURCADE’S SECRET WAR by Lynne Olson: 

A 31-year-old French mother led an intelligence organization that worked against Hitler and the Gestapo.

 

MAMA’S LAST HUG by Frans de Waal:

The death of a chimpanzee matriarch frames a broader look into the world of animal and human emotions.

 

MOSTLY SUNNY by Janice Dean Harper:

The “Fox & Friends” meteorologist describes overcoming sexist bosses and health issues.

 

THE POWER OF HABIT by Charles Duhigg:

An examination of the science behind habits, how we form them and break them.

 

SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari:

How Homo sapiens became Earth’s dominant species.

 

SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden:

A look at the conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.

 

SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD by Toni Morrison:

A collection of essays and speeches written over four decades, including a eulogy for James Baldwin and the author’s Novel lecture.

 

SPEARHEAD by Adam Makos (Audibook on CD):

An American tank gunner faces enemies in Cologne, Germany, during World War II.

 

THE THREAT by Andrew G. McCabe:

The former deputy director of the F.B.I. describes major events ofh is career and the ways the agency works to protect Americans.

 

WOMEN ROWING NORTH by Mary Pipher:

Reflections on the ageism, misogyny and loss that women might encounter as they grow older.

Have a great day!

Linda, SSL

 

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening March 22, 2019

Hi everyone, here are our lucky seven musical streaming* suggestions for the week.

(Click on the photo of the album or playlist you’d like to hear, to play it!)

Movin’ On (1969) by Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass (Genre: Country, Instrumental):

In the sixties and seventies Trumpeter Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass were a well-known studio band. The group backed up many popular singers during recording sessions including Chet Atkins and Willie Nelson, and recorded more than 30 brass-centric instrumental albums on their own.

Movin’ On is their 1969 offering and features a bright and upbeat collection of instrumentals perfect for listening to while recharging your personal batteries.

Songs featured on the LP include: Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town, Release Me, Wolverton Mountain, Yesterday When I Was Young, Wabash Cannon Ball and Ring of Fire.

 

Jungle Jim & The Voodoo Tiger (2006) by James Luther Dickinson (Genre: Rock, Traditional Roots Rock, Country, Blues):

James Luther Dickinson is a keyboard virtuoso known for his organ and piano playing. Dickinson and his band, The Dixie Flyers, were the house band at Atlantic Record’s Criteria recording studio in Miami, Florida during the sixties and seventies. Dickinson and the Dixie Flyers recorded with many notable musicians over the years including Sam & Dave, Brook Benton, Albert King, Jerry Jeff Walker and Aretha Franklin.

Dickinson and The Dixie Flyers disbanded in 1978, and Dickinson launched a solor career. He has released a number of cool solo albums since then – this one is from 2006 and it features 11 rock-piano-centric songs including: Truck Drivin’ Man, Violin Bums, Out Of The Blue, Love Bone, Hadacol Boogie and Somewhere Down The Road

 

Waiting For The Night (1993) by The Freddie Jones Band (Genre: Roots Rock, Rock, Blues Rock):

This week, I’m on a roots rock roll! The Freddie Jones Band hail from Chicago and, like James Luther Dickinson, their music has strong roots rock roots. The Freddie Jones Band has a slight more modern feel to their music and they are known for taking their songs and stretching out a bit for roots rock jams! Songs in this set include: For The Night is the group’s first LP and was original released in 1993.

Songs on the LP include: Dixie Dynamite, The Other Side, Colors Of The Night, Night To Day, When You Fall & Crosscut Saw.

 

After The Farm (1992) by Rosie Flores (Genre: Rockabilly, Country, Pop-Rock):

Rosie Flores is a San Diego based singer-songwriter and guitarist with rockabilly and blues roots!

She released her first LP, simply titled Rosie Flores, in 1987. After The Farm is her second LP and it is top-notch!

Songs on the LP include: More To Offer, Price You Pay, Blue Highway, That’s Me, Oh Heartache and Dream Dream Blue.

 

Water Boy (1965) by The Don Shirley Trio (Genre: Jazz) :

Virtuoso pianist Don Shirley is in top form on this 1965 album focusing on jazz based songs including: Water Boy, Oh Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess, In A Moonlight Marketplace, Blue Skies and Freedom.

Shirley’s life (1927-2013) was the basis for the 2018 film Green Book.

And as Shirley was a really fantastic and very versatile musician whose work hasn’t been as well-known as it could be, here is a bonus musical suggestion – a album that focus on his solo piano playing and includes a number of standards.

Piano Perspective by Don Shirley (Genre: Classical):

Songs on the LP include: Someone To Watch Over Me, How High The Moon, I Can’t Get Started With You and Lullaby Of Birdland.

 

A Seat at the Table (2016) by Solange Knowles (Genre: R&B, Pop):

Singer-songwriter and producer Solange is the younger sister of Beyoncé and has obviously inherited some of the same music talent genes. In 2016 she released her third, critically acclaimed album, A Seat At The Table, which became a best-selling LP hitting number 1 on the Billboard Album Chart.

A Seat At The Table features a number of stellular guest artists including: Q-Tip, Kelly Rowland, The Dream, BJ The Chicago Kid, Kelela, Tweet, Moses Sumney, Sampha, Sean Nicholas Savage and Nia Andrews.

Songs in the set include: Rise, Weary, Carnes In The Sky, Interlude: Dad Was Mad, Don’t You Wait and Were Do We Go.

 

We Can Be Heroes: A Superhero Playlist by Various Artists (86 songs, 5 hours and 24 minutes) (Genres: Modern Rock, Pop, Soundtrack, Instrumental): 

This playlist features great songs perfect for all of us everyday superheroes!

Songs/artists in the collection include: It’s On Again by Alicia Keys, Spider-Man Loves You by Daniel Pemberton, Superhero by Thor, Heroes by David Bowie, Superlungs My Supergirl by Donovan, First Class by Henry Jakman and Burning Down The House by Noah Hawley

 

Videos of the Week:

Orange Blossom Special by Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass

Yesterday When I Was Young by Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass

Truck Drivin’ Man by James Luther Dickinson

Violin Bums by James Luther Dickinson

Dixie Dynamite by The Freddy Jones Band

Waiting For The Night by The Freddy Jones Band

Price You Pay by Rosie Flores

Long White Cadillac by Rosie Flores

Water Boy by The Don Shirley Trio

How High The Moon by Don Shirley

Cranes In The Sky by Solange

Rise by Solange

Heroes by David Bowie

Superlungs My Supergirl by Donovan

Incredibles by The Dallas Brass Band

Have a great weekend!

Linda, SSCL

REFERENCES:

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Witburn

Donald Shirley, a Pianist With His Own Genre, Dies at 86 By Bruce Weber. New York Times. April 28, 2013, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/arts/music/donald-shirley-pianist-and-composer-dies-at-86.html

Who Was Don Shirley? ‘Green Book’ Tries to Solve the Mystery by Giovanni Russonello. New York Times. Nov. 2, 2018,
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/movies/don-shirley-green-book.html

Freegal is a free streaming music service available for free to library card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries. STLS member libraries include all the public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegany counties — including our own Southeast Steuben County Library.

You can download the Freegal music app to your mobile device or access the desktop version of the site by clicking on the following link:

*The Freegal service offers library card holders the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial free music each day.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

March is Women’s History Month Posting 2: A Selection of Books on Women in Politics and Government

Hi everyone, in continuing our month long celebration of the contributions of women in world history, this posting features a reading list of titles focusing on famous women who have made their marks in government and/or politics.

And just a note on the selection of titles, the titles are predominantly about contemporary women, with a few historical figures thrown in.

I haven’t forgotten about the Suffragettes nor early women’s rights activists like Margret Sanger, I’m just going to include them in my next posting which will feature renowned women of the 19th and 20th Centuries – so many books and so little time!

And without futher ado, here is a reading list of titles on women renowned for their contributions to government and/or politics:

Barbara Jordan: American Hero by Mary Beth Rogers:

Barbara Jordan was the first African American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction, Barbara Jordan was also the first black woman elected to Congress from the South, and the first to deliver the keynote address at a national party convention. Her powerful oratory stirred a nation; her ideals of ethical leadership inspired millions.

Mary Beth Rogers first met Barbara Jordan in the 1960s, and their paths crossed over the years as they pursued their academic and political careers. Now Rogers’s meticulously documented biography deftly combines personal insight and impeccable research to explore the forces that shaped the moral character and quiet dignity of this extraordinary woman

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama:

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.

 

Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill:

Late in life, Winston Churchill claimed that victory in the Second World War would have been “impossible” without the woman who stood by his side for fifty-seven turbulent years. Why, then, do we know so little about her? In this landmark biography, a finalist for the Plutarch prize, Sonia Purnell finally gives Clementine Churchill her due.

Through the ups and downs of his tumultuous career, in the tense days when he stood against Chamberlain and the many months when he helped inspire his fellow countrymen and women to keep strong and carry on, Clementine made her husband’s career her mission, at the expense of her family, her health and, fatefully, of her children. Any real consideration of Winston Churchill is incomplete without an understanding of their relationship. Clementine is both the first real biography of this remarkable woman and a fascinating look inside their private world.

 

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir:

Renowned in her time for being the most beautiful woman in Europe, the wife of two kings and mother of three, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages. Despite the fact she lived in an age in which women were regarded as little more than chattel, Eleanor managed to defy convention as she exercised power in the political sphere and crucial influence over her husbands and sons. In this beautifully written new biography, Alison Weir, author of five widely acclaimed chronicles of England’s royal rulers, paints a vibrant portrait of this truly exceptional woman, and provides new insights into her intimate life.

Born in 1122 into the sophisticated and cultured court of Poitiers, Eleanor came of age in a world of luxury, intrigue, bloody combat, and unbridled ambition. At only fifteen, she inherited one of the great fortunes of Europe–the prize duchy of Aquitaine–yet her father had been shrewd enough to realize that her future security lay in a powerful marriage. Consequently the sensual Duchess submitted to a union with the handsome but sexually withholding Louis VII, the teenage king of France. The marriage endured for fifteen fraught years, until Eleanor finally succeeded in having it annulled–only to enter an even stormier match with the aggressively virile, hot-tempered Henry of Anjou, who would soon ascend to the English throne as Henry II.

As Weir traces the fascinating intersection of public and private lives in Europe’s twelfth-century courts, Eleanor comes to life as a complex, boldly original woman who transcended the mores of society. Eventually, after enduring Henry’s flagrant infidelities, she showed herself a formidable and dangerous enemy of the King’s interests by plotting to overthrow him with their sons Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey. A tireless political fighter and a born survivor, the humbled Queen emerged from sixteen years of imprisonment, age sixty-seven, to rule England with wisdom and panache during the absence of her son, King Richard the Lion Heart, while he fought in the ruinous Third Crusade.

 

Elena Kagan: A Biography by Meg Greene:

Elena Kagan can be considered a “wild card” in terms of how she will vote and affect Supreme Court decisions. While largely considered a liberal, her lack of a judicial “track record” and previous work as Solicitor General lend an air of uncertainty as to how she will react to upcoming cases that have proven highly divisive and controversial. This full-length biography sheds light on Elena Kagan’s life, covering her college years at Princeton and her experience in law school as well as her legal career, which eventually led her to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch:

Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.

 

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice Patricia Bell-Scott:

A finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, and longlisted for the National Book Award, The Firebrand and the First Lady is the riveting history, two decades in the making, of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist and the first lady of the United States forged an enduring friendship that helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.

In 1938, the twenty-eight-year-old Pauli Murray wrote a letter to the President and First Lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, protesting racial segregation in the South. Eleanor wrote back. So began a friendship that would last for a quarter of a century, as Pauli became a lawyer, principal strategist in the fight to protect Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and a co-founder of the National Organization of Women, and Eleanor became a diplomat and first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

 

First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas:

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her law school class in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings—doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the United States Supreme Court, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the Court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men who want to be leaders and be first in their own lives—who want to learn when to walk away and when to stand their ground—will be inspired by O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family, who believed in serving her country, and who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for all women.

 

From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein:

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein is working five part-time jobs and just scraping by when a posting on Craigslist lands her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama’s stenographers. The ultimate D.C. outsider, she joins the elite team who accompany the president wherever he goes, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forges friendships with a dynamic group of fellow travelers, young men and women who, like her, leave their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president

 

Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone:

For fans of Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser, acclaimed author Nancy Goldstone’s thrilling history of the royal daughters who succeeded in ruling—and shaping—thirteenth-century Europe

Set against the backdrop of the thirteenth century, a time of chivalry and crusades, troubadors, knights and monarchs, Four Queens is the story of four provocative sisters—Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia, and Beatrice of Provence—who rose from near obscurity to become the most coveted and powerful women in Europe. Each sister in this extraordinary family was beautiful, cultured, and accomplished but what made these women so remarkable was that each became queen of a principal European power—France, England, Germany and Sicily. During their reigns, they exercised considerable political authority, raised armies, intervened diplomatically and helped redraw the map of Europe. Theirs is a drama of courage, sagacity and ambition that re-examines the concept of leadership in the Middle Ages.

 

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords:

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, showed Americans how optimism, an adventurous spirit, and a call to service can help change the world. Their arrival in the spotlight came under the worst of circumstances. On January 8, 2011, while meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, Gabby was the victim of an assassination attempt that left six people dead and thirteen wounded. Gabby was shot in the head; doctors called her survival “miraculous.” As the nation grieved and sought to understand the attack, Gabby remained focused on her against-all-odds recovery. Mark spent every possible moment by her side, as he also prepared for his final mission as commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour. Now, as Gabby’s health continues to improve, the couple is sharing their remarkable untold story, an unflinching look at the overwhelming challenges of brain injury, the painstaking process of learning to communicate again, and the responsibilities that fall to a loving spouse who wants the best possible treatment for his wife.

 

Maharanis: The Extraordinary Tale of Four Indian Queens and Their Journey from Purdah to Parliament by Lucy Moore:

Until the 1920s, to be a Maharani, wife to the Maharajah, was to be tantalizingly close to the power and glamour of the Raj, but locked away in purdah as near chattel. Even the educated, progressive Maharani of Baroda, Chimnabai—born into the aftermath of the 1857 Indian Mutiny—began her marriage this way, but her ravishing daughter, Indira, had other ideas. She became the Regent of Cooch Behar, one of the wealthiest regions of India while her daughter, Ayesha, was elected to the Indian Parliament.

The lives of these influential women embodied the delicate interplay between rulers and ruled, race and culture, subservience and independence, Eastern and Western ideas, and ancient and modern ways of life in the bejeweled exuberance of Indian aristocratic life in the final days both of the Raj, and the British Empire. Tracing these larger than life characters as they bust every known stereotype, Lucy Moore creates a vivid picture of an emerging modern, democratic society in India and the tumultous period of Imperialism from which it arose.

Through the sumptuous, adventurous lives of three generations of Indian queens—from the period following the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the present, Lucy Moore traces the cultural and political changes that transformed their world.

 

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayer:

An instant American icon–the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court–tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality: valedictorian of her high school class, summa cum laude at Princeton, Yale Law, prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.’s office, private practice, federal district judge before the age of forty. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this … book

 

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem:

Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn’t have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution.

My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality—and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country—a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.

 

Nine And Counting: The Women of the Senate by Barbara Mikulski:

Note: This book was published in 2001, however it still contains cool information on the nine women who were Senators at that time – some of whom, including Susan Collins of Maine and Dianne Feinstein of California still are!

Here’s a description of the book:

The Women of the United States Senate have forever changed the political landscape. Their backgrounds, personal styles, and political ideals may be as diverse as the nation they serve. Yet they share a commonality that runs deeper than politics or geography — they desire to give a voice to all their constituents while serving as role models for women young and old.

Once every month, these distinguished women for an informal dinner to share their knowledge, their hearts, and a good meal. Leaving behind partisanship and rhetoric, they discuss and debate the issues, both political and personal, affecting their lives. And following the 2000 election of four women to the Senate, the table is now set for thirteen. Weaving together their individual stories of triumph, adversity, adaptability, and leadership, Nine and Counting gives voice to these charismatic women as never before, offering a rare, insider’s glimpse into Washington and sending the powerful message that membership in the “world’s most exclusive club” is open to every woman in America.

 

This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills:

The award-winning biography of black civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. “”Riveting. Provides a history that helps us to understand the choices made by so many black men and women of Hamer’s generation, who somehow found the courage to join a movement in which they risked everything.”” ―New York Times Book Review “”One is forced to pause and consider that this black daughter of the Old South might have been braver than King and Malcolm.”” ―Washington Post Book World “”An epic that nurtures us as we confront today’s challenges and helps us Keep Hope Alive.'”” ―Jesse L. Jackson “”Not only does This Little Light of Mine recount a vital part of America””s history, but it lights our future as readers are inspired anew by Mrs. Hamer’s spirit, courage, and commitment.”” ―Marian Wright Edelman “”This book is the essence of raw courage. It must be read.”” ―Rep. John Lewis

 

Off The Sidelines by Kirsten Gillibrand 

Off the Sidelines is a playbook for women who want to step up, whether in Congress or the boardroom or the local PTA. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them: affordable daycare, paid family medical leave, and equal pay. Pulling back the curtain on Beltway politics, she speaks candidly about her legislative successes (securing federally funded medical care for 9/11 first responders, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and her crushing disappointments (failing by five votes to pass a bill protecting survivors of sexual assault in the military).

Gillibrand also shares stories of growing up the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family in Albany, New York, and retraces her nonlinear path to public office. She lays bare the highs and lows of being a young (pregnant!) woman in Congress, the joys and sacrifices every working mother shares, and the support system she turns to in her darkest moments: her husband, their two little boys, and lots of girlfriends.

In Off the Sidelines, Gillibrand is the tough-love older sister and cheerleader every woman needs. She explains why “ambition” is not a dirty word, failure is a gift, listening is the most effective tool, and the debate over women “having it all” is absurd at best and demeaning at worst. In her sharp, honest, and refreshingly relatable voice, she dares us all to tap into our inner strength, find personal fulfillment, and speak up for what we believe in.

In Off the Sidelines, Gillibrand is the tough-love older sister and cheerleader every woman needs. She explains why “ambition” is not a dirty word, failure is a gift, listening is the most effective tool, and the debate over women “having it all” is absurd at best and demeaning at worst. In her sharp, honest, and refreshingly relatable voice, she dares us all to tap into our inner strength, find personal fulfillment, and speak up for what we believe in.

 

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice:

From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.

No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa.

Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds. In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft — but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

 

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamla Harris:

From one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the shared values that will see us into the future.

Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, Senator Kamala Harris is committed to speaking the truth. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in a community that cared deeply about social justice and, growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for doing what is right.

Throughout her career, from starting out as a prosecutor right up to her position as California’s Attorney General, and now as a US Senator, her hallmarks have been applying a holistic, data-driven approach to the thorniest issues, whether it’s taking on the big banks or rejecting stale ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither ‘tough’ nor ‘soft’ but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might.

Through the arc of her own life, Harris communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values and grapples with complex issues that affect America and the world at large, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality. By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in The Truths We Hold a master class in problem solving, crisis management, and leadership in challenging times.

 

A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein:

While he plows some of the same emotional terrain as previous Hillary biographers—notably Gail Sheehy in Hillary’s Choice—his book holds together as a piece of writing, and he keeps the psychobabble to a merciful minimum. He also attempts to write a genuine biography, describing and interpreting the life Hillary has led and the varieties of forces that shaped her.
—The New York Times Book Review, Jennifer Senior

Have a great weekend!

Linda, SSCL

References

50 Women Who Made American Political History, Time Magazine Site, http://time.com/4551817/50-women-political-history/

A Reading List Celebrating Women in Politics. Penguin Random House Site, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/the-read-down/women-in-politics