Book gathering and sorting: Thursdays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 – noon Help is needed for the drop-off and sorting/pricing of used books at our new location, 214 N. Bever Street behind CarQuest. Our entrance door is located on the alleyway known as Thomen Court.
May 2017 Adelante! Book of the Month Re Jane by Patricia Park, 2013–14 AAUW American Fellow
2017 Wooster Branch Selections – vote at May Dinner Titles below. Click to open the pdf list of the suggested titles if you want to print 2017 Wooster Branch Selection to vote
A Gentleman in Moscow. Amor Towels. Sept. 2016. 480p In his remarkable first novel, the best-selling Rules of Civility (2011), Towles etched 1930s New York in crystalline relief. Though set a world away in Moscow over the course of three decades, his latest polished literary foray into a bygone era is just as impressive. Sentenced as an incorrigible aristocrat in 1922 by the Bolsheviks to a life of house arrest in a grand Moscow hotel, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is spared the firing squad on the basis of a revolutionary poem he penned as an idealistic youth. Condemned, instead, to live his life confined to the indoor parameters of Metropol Hotel, he eschews bitterness in favor of “committing himself to practicalities.” As he carves out a new existence for himself in his shabby attic room and within the magnificent walls of the hotel-at-large, his conduct, his resolve, and his commitment to his home and to the hotel guests and staff together form a triumph of the human spirit. As Moscow undergoes vast political changes and countless social upheavals, Rostov remains, implacably and unceasingly, a gentleman. Towles presents an imaginative and unforgettable historical portrait. Booklist review July 2016. Public Library – Subject: Detention of persons – Fiction. Copies: 118 print, 21 audiobook CD,
We Were The Lucky Ones. Georgia Hunter. Feb. 2017. 403p. The Kurcs—Sol, Nechuma, and their five children, ranging in age from 21 to 31—are a prosperous, educated Jewish family living in Radom, Poland. Hunter’s novel about what happens to the family after the Germans invade in 1939 is based on her own family’s experiences and follows several strands. Sol and Nechuma are forced into the Radom Ghetto when their house is confiscated. Son Genek is in Lodz when it becomes part of Soviet-occupied Poland; he and his wife are arrested and sent to a labor camp in Siberia before becoming part of the Polish army when Russia switches sides. Another son, Addy, is in France when the war breaks out and manages to escape to Brazil. Jakob, Helena, and Mila make their way to Warsaw, where false papers help make the difference between life and death. Historical context is provided by the chunks of exposition that are folded into the personal stories, which are compellingly told. Amid the many accounts of Jews who did not survive the Holocaust, this novel stands out in its depiction of one lucky family who, miraculously, did. Booklist review January 1, 2017. Public Library – Subject: Holocaust survivors – Fiction. Copies: 48 print. 1 ebook. 1 Overdrive listen.
A Piece of the World. Christina Baker Kline. Feb. 2017.320p Kline (Orphan Train, 2013) takes Andrew Wyeth’s iconic and enigmatic painting Christina’s World as the inspiration for her new novel. The story knits together the period in the 1940s when Wyeth sets up a studio in an old farmhouse on Hathorne Point in Cushing, Maine, where 46-year-old Christina Olson lives with her brother Alvaro, and where, at age three, she was struck by an illness that seems to mark the onset of her lifelong infirmities. She grows up smart and tenacious but circumscribed by duty and disability, never moving away from the house that appears in Wyeth’s picture and is full of her family’s past. Her education is cut short because of work to be done at home. A romance with a Harvard student ends in crushing disappointment. There is not much in the way of plot, but readers will savor the quotidian details that compose Christina’s “quiet country life.” Orphan Train was a best-seller and popular book-discussion choice, so expect demand. Booklist review January 1, 2017. Public Library – Subject: Patients – Fiction. Paraplegics – Fiction. Painters – Fiction. Copies: 184 print. 25 audiobook CD. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive listen.
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Ben Montgomery.2014. 288p. In 1955, at 67, Gatewood left her small Ohio town and her 11 children and 23 grandchildren and set off to trek the Appalachian Trail. She’d long been fascinated by the 2,050-mile trail and was particularly lured by the fact that no woman had ever hiked it alone. Knowing her family wouldn’t approve, she didn’t tell them when she set out with a little 17-pound sack of supplies and no tent or sleeping bag. Journalist Montgomery draws on interviews with Gatewood’s surviving family members and hikers she met on her five-month journey as well as news accounts and Gatewood’s diaries to offer a portrait of a determined woman, whose trek inspired other hikers and brought attention to the neglect of the Appalachian Trail. She became a hiking celebrity, appearing on television with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter. Montgomery intertwines details of Gatewood’s hike with recollections from her early life and difficult marriage. Maps of the trail and photos from Gatewood’s early life enhance this inspiring story. Booklist review March 1, 2014. Public Library – Subject: Women conservationists – Appalachian Trail – Biography. Copies: 20 print. 1 Audiobook CD. 1 ebook.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women. Kate Moore. Apr.2017. 480p. In 1917, the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation willingly employed young women, paid far better than most businesses, and had many enticing perks—including the glow. Radium girls, most in their teens and early twenties, painted watch dials with a luminescent paint mixed with radium dust, which clung to their hair and clothes and produced a telltale glow about them as they walked home each evening. At the time, radium was used in cancer treatments and touted in expensive tonics, so the girls didn’t question smoothing the radium-laden paintbrushes in their mouths, as instructed, or even painting their nails with them. But the women would soon suffer horrific pain and grotesquely shattered bones and teeth, and the company, it would be discovered, had known better. In 1928, just eight years after women had earned the right to vote, a group of former radium girls brought suit against the companies whose knowledge of radium’s hazards, and careless disregard for them, had endangered and harmed them. This timely book celebrates the strength of a group of women whose determination to fight improved both labor laws and scientific knowledge of radium poisoning. English author Moore, who directed a play about the girls, writes in a highly readable, narrative style, and her chronicle of these inspirational women’s lives is sure to provoke discussion—and outrage—in book groups. Booklist review March 15, 2017. Public Library – Subject: Radium paint — Toxicology. World War, 1914-1918 — Women — United States. Copies: 31 print. 5 audiobook CD. 1 ebook.
Lab Girl. Hope Jahren. Apr. 2016. 336p. While growing up in a cold place with an undemonstrative mother, Jahren found warmth and happiness in her father’s laboratory at a Minnesota community college, thus setting the course for her own groundbreaking scientific quest. An award-winning geochemist and geobiologist with a love of language, self-deprecating humor, and valiant candor, Jahren presents an exceptionally compelling and enlightening memoir. Gracefully meshing her struggles as a woman scientist with the marvels of plants, she aligns the risks a sprouting seed takes in an inhospitable world with her entry into the sexist realm of science, and symbiotic plant-pollinator relationships with her crucial collaboration with Bill, a heroically steadfast and self-sacrificing partner in mischief, hard work, and discovery. Jahren recounts their hilariously barbed repartee and crazy, dangerous adventures transforming decrepit spaces into gleaming, humming labs and undertaking daunting field work. Jahren reveals her bouts with bipolar disorder and discloses the intense creativity and effort required for “curiosity-driven” science, from designing experiments to the infinite patience and dexterity required for lab work to the grueling battle for funding in a system that values products over knowledge. Finally, she matches her findings about how plants thrive and maintain life on Earth with grave concern over our reckless destruction of forests. A botanical variation on Helen Macdonald’s best-selling H Is for Hawk. Booklist review February 15, 2016. Public Library – Subject: Biologists — United States — Biography. Geo-biology — Research — Anecdotes. Copies: 66 print. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive.
H is for Hawk. Helen Macdonald. Mar. 2015. 320p. Transfixed by books and birds of prey as a girl, Macdonald became a historian, writer, and professional falconer involved in avian research and conversation. She has long been haunted by The Goshawk (1951), an account of a disastrous attempt to train a member of that defiant species by T. H. White (1906–64), author of the Arthurian novels known collectively as The Once and Future King. When her beloved father, a well-known London photojournalist, died suddenly, Macdonald’s grief was overwhelming. In the grip of it, she decided to try doing what White failed so wretchedly to accomplish, train a goshawk, and acquired a glorious young raptor she named Mabel. Macdonald’s hectic and soaring experiences hunting with fierce yet playful Mabel force her to confront with new intensity the vast and wondrous mysteries of love and death. As Macdonald chronicles her intimate, all-consuming relationship with this magnificent predator of penetrating vision and air-slicing power, she also candidly charts her plunge into depression and sensitively tells the poignant story of White’s lonely life as he tried to bond with a wild creature while struggling to accept his sexual orientation in a time of cruel intolerance. In this profoundly inquiring and wholly enrapturing memoir, Macdonald exquisitely and unforgettably entwines misery and astonishment, elegy and natural history, human and hawk. Booklist review: February 15, 2015. Public Library – Subject: Hawks. Grief. Spirituality. Copies: 66 print. 13 largeprint. 16 audiobook CD. 2 overdrive listen. 4 ebook.
Homegoing. Yaa Gyasi. June 2016. 320p. This sometimes painful novel by Ghanaian author Gyasi has garnered much prepublication attention, including a blurb by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It traces, through the stories of two main families in alternating chapters proceeding chronologically, the history of Ghanaian and American civilization from the eighteenth century to the present, in Africa (where one branch of the family initially stays) and America (where the other goes). It opens with the horrors wrought by British enslavement of the Africans, especially the women, and goes through each stage efficiently. The author has done her research, and though the book occasionally reads like a historical overview (each element—the beginning of cocoa cultivation in Ghana, the Fugitive Slave Act, and, later, the convict-lease system in America—feels summarized rather than dealt with dramatically), it has power and beauty, thanks to Gyasi’s commanding style. Expect the novel to attract considerable attention and to appeal to readers of multigenerational sagas. Booklist review May 1, 2016. Public Library – Subject: Women — Ghana — Fiction. African Americans — History — Fiction. Copies: 99 print. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive listen. 3 pre-loaded audiobook. 12 audiobook CD.
Salt to the Sea. Ruth Sepetys. Feb. 2016. 400p. Shipwrecks and maritime disasters are of fathomless fascination, with ships such as the Titanic and the Lusitania household names. It’s interesting that the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during WWII, which led to the largest loss of life on a single ship in history, goes largely unremarked upon—at least in America. The numbers are staggering: far over capacity, the ship was carrying approximately 10,582 passengers when it was struck by Soviet torpedoes, and more than 9,400 of those passengers perished in the ensuing wreck, a death toll that dwarfs the Titanic’s assumed losses (around 1,500).
Part of the neglect might be due to timing. The ship was evacuating refugees and German citizens from Gotenhafen, Poland, when it was sunk in the Baltic Sea in the winter of 1945. Astounding losses defined WWII, and this became yet another tragedy buried under the other tragedies—after all, even 9,400 is dwarfed by 60 million. But it was a tragedy, and, like all tragedies, it broke the people involved down to their barest parts.
Sepetys has resurrected the story through the eyes of four young characters trying to reach safety as the Russian army advances: Joana, a Lithuanian nurse; Emilia, a pregnant Polish 15-year-old; Florian, a Prussian artist carrying dangerous cargo; and Alfred, a German naval soldier stationed on the Wilhelm Gustloff. Each has been touched by war and is hunted by the past, and, determined to get on a boat in any way possible, hurtling unknowingly toward disaster. With exquisite prose, Sepetys plumbs the depths of her quartet of characters, bringing each to the breaking point and back, shaping a narrative that is as much about the intricacies of human nature as it is about a historical catastrophe.
Nominated for the Morris Award for her first novel, Between Shades of Gray (2011), Sepetys returns to those roots with another harrowing, impeccably researched story of hardship and survival in Eastern Europe. When reading a book so likely to end in tears, one inclination is to avoid getting attached to any of the characters, but that’s next to impossible here, so thoroughly does Sepetys mine their inner landscapes. That doesn’t mean they are all likable—as it breeds heroes, so, too, does calamity breed cowards and opportunists—but it does make it difficult to think of them as anything other than real people. After all, the ship was very real. It does the people aboard a disservice not to reflect them the best one can.
In many ways, the greatest punishment—and the greatest of all tragedies—is to be forgotten. This haunting gem of a novel begs to be remembered, and in turn, it tries to remember the thousands of real people its fictional characters represent. What it asks of us is that their memories—and their stories—not be abandoned to the sea. Booklist review December 1, 2015. Public Library – Subject: World War, 1939-1945 — Fiction. Copies: 88 print. 1 overdrive listen. 1 ebook. 11 audiobook CD. 7 pre-loaded audiobook.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. J.D. Vance. June 2016. 272p. Things could have so easily turned out differently for Vance. Growing up in a working-class family riven by strife and seemingly incapable of escaping its rural Kentucky roots, Vance spent his youth bouncing between homes, a succession of father figures, and ever more explosive situations. The story of how he overcame his upbringing to graduate from Yale Law School and embark on a stable and happy adulthood poses the bigger question of how the obstacles facing other such “hillbillies” can be surmounted. Vance compellingly describes the terrible toll that alcoholism, drug abuse, and an unrelenting code of honor took on his family, neither excusing the behavior nor condemning it. Instead, he pulls back to examine the larger social forces at work for white, working-class Americans with ties to Appalachia. The portrait that emerges is a complex one, where die-hard cultural beliefs contribute to a downward spiral for Vance’s family and those like them. Unerringly forthright, remarkably insightful, and refreshingly focused, Hillbilly Elegy is the cry of a community in crisis. Booklist review June 1, 2016. Public Library – Subject: Working class whites — United States — Biography. Copies: 243 print. 63 large print. 32 audiobook CD. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive listen.
The Samurai’s Garden. Gail Tsukiyama. Mar. 1995. 208p. Praised for her lovely first novel, Women of the Silk (1991), Tsukiyama has extended herself even further and written an extraordinarily graceful and moving novel about goodness and beauty. The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu’s secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu’s generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu’s soul mate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy. Tsukiyama is a wise and spellbinding storyteller. Booklist review March 1, 1995. Public Library – Subject: Chinese fiction — Japan. Copies: 30 print.
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead. Sept. 2016. 320p. Over the course of his previous five novels, Whitehead (Zone One, 2011) has conducted an imaginative, droll, and eviscerating inquiry into the blurred divide between American mythology and American history, especially the camouflaged truth about racism. In this magnetizing and wrenching saga, Whitehead tells the story of smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave on a Georgia cotton plantation where she has been brutally attacked by whites and blacks. Certain that the horror will only get worse, she flees with a young man who knows how to reach the Underground Railroad. Everything Whitehead describes is vividly, often joltingly realistic, even the novel’s most fantastic element, his vision of this secret transport network as an actual railroad running through tunnels dug beneath the blood-soaked fields of the South, a jolting and resounding embodiment of heroic efforts and colossal risks. Yet for all that sacrifice and ingenuity, freedom proves miserably elusive.
A South Carolina town appears to be welcoming until Cora discovers that it is all a facade, concealing quasi-medical genocidal schemes. With a notoriously relentless slave catcher following close behind, Cora endures another terrifying underground journey, arriving in North Carolina, where the corpses of tortured black people hang on the trees along a road whites call the Freedom Trail.
Each stop Cora makes along the Underground Railroad reveals another shocking and malignant symptom of a country riven by catastrophic conflicts, a poisonous moral crisis, and diabolical violence. Each galvanizing scene blazes with terror and indictment as Whitehead tracks the consequences of the old American imperative to seize, enslave, and profit. “Stolen bodies working stolen land. It was an engine that did not stop, its hungry boiler fed with blood.” With each compelling character, some based on historical figures, most born of empathic invention, Whitehead takes measure of the personal traumas and mass psychosis that burn still within our national consciousness. Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead’s unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation. Booklist review June 1, 2016. Public Library – Subject: Underground Railroad — Fiction. Copies: 186 print. 67 largeprint. 47 audiobook CD. 1 ebook 1 overdrive listen.
To the Bright Edge of the World. Eowyn Ivey. Aug. 2016. 432p. Ivey’s highly anticipated second novel, following The Snow Child (2012), is again set in the wilds of her native Alaska. She portrays a fictional 1885 expedition, led by Colonel Allen Forrester of the U.S. Army, into the newly acquired Alaska Territory to map the area’s rivers and gather information about the Native populations. By means of the colonel’s journal entries and letters between him and his wife, Sophie, who remains at the Vancouver barracks, Ivey deftly draws the reader into the perils of the journey. Forrester is accompanied by only two other officers and a few Indian guides they enlist en route; their goal as they embark in February 1885 is to return to Vancouver before the next winter. Forrester describes the challenges he faces, in a late-nineteenth-century style Ivey captures perfectly, including traveling on rivers of ice, dodging huge ice boulders loosened by the spring thaw, re-routing around narrow canyons, and suffering near-starvation and gut-wrenching illnesses. Sophie is a strong character as well; a feminist who chafes at the social restrictions of the barracks, she teaches herself photography in her husband’s absence. Ivey presents a compelling historical saga of survival. Booklist review July 2016. Public Library – Subject: Scientific expeditions — Alaska — Fiction. Copies: 62 print. 15 largeprint. 8 audiobook CD. 1 pre-loaded audiobook. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive listen.
The One-In-a-Million Boy. Monica Wood. Apr. 2016. 336p. Woods (Any Bitter Thing, 2005) tells a simultaneously sad and joyous story of a unique 11-year-old boy and the legacy he leaves behind. Known only as “the boy,” he has no friends, and spends his time obsessively compiling mental lists and memorizing countless Guinness world records. As part of his work to earn a Boy Scout badge, the boy does yard work for 104-year-old Ona Vitkus, a Lithuanian immigrant living nearby. They forge a close bond over the course of seven Saturdays, then the boy dies. His mostly absent musician father, Quinn, volunteers to finish the last three of the boy’s weekends. Quinn becomes aware of his son’s and Ona’s plan to get her into a Guinness records book—hopefully, as the oldest licensed driver—and this leads first to a road trip to find Ona’s only living son, now 90, and eventually to a visit to her homeland at age 109. Wood’s portrait of a fractured, grieving family is peopled by endearing characters and should appeal to readers who enjoy the family-centered novels of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah. Booklist review March 1, 2016. Public Library – Subject: World records — Fiction. Bass guitarists — Fiction. Immigrants — Lithuania — Fiction. Copies: 37 print. 7 audiobook CD. 2 MP3 discs. 1 ebook.
The Green Road. Anne Enright. May 2015. 320p. Domestic fiction as a genre can often be humdrum in its intended goal of capturing the quotidian in family life, or it can be brilliant in its understanding of the exact point where, in family situations, the unique meets the universal. The latter speaks meaningfully and resonantly to all of us, regardless of a particular novel’s setting and the specific circumstances from which the characters are derived. Enright, Irish winner of the 2007 Man Booker, is appreciated by critics and the general reading public alike as a writer comfortably fitting into the latter category for her exacting yet luminous expressions of family dynamics. In her new novel, she explores a family composed of a mother and her four children as the two boys and the two girls grow up and leave the nest in the west of Ireland. From priest Daniel, who steps into New York’s gay and art scene, to the staying-close-to-home Constance, facing the strictures of her own marriage and motherhood, Enright trails the Madigans over three decades, illuminating their trials and triumphs as reflective of not only their distinctive personalities and personal interests but also Irish society moving into the modern era of contraception, economic boom and bust, and open homosexuality. A final chapter, which gathers the now-elderly mother and her middle-aged children back to the family home for Christmas, places their individual lives back into a family perspective. Booklist review March 15, 2015. Public Library – Domestic fiction. Historical fiction. Copies: 48 print. 9 audiobook CD. 1 pre-loaded audiobook. 1 ebook. 1 overdrive listen. 15 largeprint.
The Japanese Lover. Isabel Allende. Nov. 2015. 321p. Themes of lasting passion, friendship, reflections in old age, and how people react to challenging circumstances all feature in Allende’s newest saga, which moves from modern San Francisco back to the traumatic WWII years. As always, her lively storytelling pulls readers into her characters’ lives immediately. Irina Bazili, personal assistant to elderly designer Alma Belasco, suspects her employer has a lover. What else would explain her secretive excursions from her nursing home and the mysterious yellow envelopes arriving in Alma’s mail? Intervening sections reveal the lifelong bond between Alma, a Polish Jewish refugee sent to live with California relatives in 1939, and Ichimei Fukuda, sensitive youngest son of her family’s gardener. Despite many separations over the years, their love remains strong. Descriptions of the Fukudas’ forced internment at a Utah camp, where life continues behind barbed wire, create a memorable impression. Equally haunting is Irina’s painful backstory, which skillfully unfolds. Although not as complex or richly detailed as Allende’s earlier novels, the story has many heartfelt moments, and readers will be lining up for it. Booklist review October 1, 2015
The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood. Feb. 1986. 240p. Since it was published 30 years ago, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has won awards, been included on required-reading lists, faced numerous challenges, and never gone out of print. Countless young readers have encountered the book in school, and its bleak, dystopian future and trenchant criticism of repressive attitudes about women have surely sparked at least a few flames of feminism. It’s easy to see Atwood’s influence in the following six titles, which imagine similarly grim futures where women’s rights are curtailed and reproduction is in crisis. [Birthmarked. By Caragh M. O’Brien, Captives. By Jill Willamson, A Girl Called Fearless. By Catherine. Linka, The Glass Arrow. By Kristen Simmons. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. By A. S. King, and The Jewel. By Amy Ewing.] To the extent that dystopian novels depict anxieties about the present rather than predictions for the future, it seems clear that contemporary writers are just as concerned about women’s rights as Atwood was in 1985. Booklist June 18, 2015 [original Booklist review in 1986 was quite negative] Public Library – Subject: Women — Fiction. Misogyny — Fiction. Copies: 29 print. 17 audiobook CD. 1 ebook.
West With the Night. Beryl Markham. 1983. [originally published in 1942] 293p. Summary: “West with the Night” is the story of Beryl Markham–aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty–and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and ’30s. This letter from Ernest Hemingway to Maxwell Perkins in 1942 sums up the book:
“Did you read Beryl Markham’s book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer’s log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people’s stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.”–Ernest Hemingway Public Library – Subject: Women air pilots – Biography. Copies: 31 print. 1 overdrive listen. 1 ebook. 4 audiobook CD
Mary Coin. Marissa Silver. 2013. 322p. Summary: *An NPR Best Book of 2013 * *A BBC Best Book of 2013* In her first novel since The God of War, the critically acclaimed author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” photograph as inspiration for a breathtaking reinvention–a story of two women, one famous and one forgotten, and of the remarkable legacy of their chance encounter.
In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of a road in Central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting the migrant laborers who have taken to America’s farms in search of work. Little personal information is exchanged, and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced what will become the most iconic image of the Great Depression.
Three vibrant characters anchor the narrative of Mary Coin . Mary, the migrant mother herself, who emerges as a woman with deep reserves of courage and nerve, with private passions and carefully-guarded secrets. Vera Dare, the photographer wrestling with creative ambition who makes the choice to leave her children in order to pursue her work. And Walker Dodge, a present-day professor of cultural history, who discovers a family mystery embedded in the picture. In luminous, exquisitely rendered prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief moment in history, and reminds us that although a great photograph can capture the essence of a moment, it only scratches the surface of a life. Public Library – Subject: Women migrant labor — Fiction. Copies: 36 print. 5 audiobook CD.
Jambusters [Uniform Title] Also known as: The Homefires: The Women’s Institute at War 1939-1945. Julie Summers. 2015. 349p The basis for the PBS Masterpiece series starring Samantha Bond ( Downton Abbey ) and Francesca Annis ( Cranford ) Away from the frontlines of World War II, in towns and villages across Great Britain, ordinary women were playing a vital role in their country’s war effort. As members of the Women’s Institute, an organization with a presence in a third of Britain’s villages, they ran canteens and knitted garments for troops, collected tons of rosehips and other herbs to replace medicines that couldn’t be imported, and advised the government on issues ranging from evacuee housing to children’s health to postwar reconstruction. But they are best known for making jam: from produce they grew on every available scrap of land, they produced twelve million pounds of jam and preserves to feed a hungry nation.
Home Fires , Julie Summers’s fascinating social history of the Women’s Institute during the war (when its members included the future Queen Elizabeth II along with her mother and grandmother), provides the remarkable and inspiring true story behind the upcoming PBS Masterpiece series that will be sure to delight fans of Call the Midwife and Foyle’s War . Through archival material and interviews with current and former Women’s Institute members, Home Fires gives us an intimate look at life on the home front during World War II. Public Library – Subject: World War, 1939-1945 — Women — Great Britain. Copies: 20 print. 1 overdrive listen. 1 ebook.
Devotion : an epic story of heroism, friendship, and sacrifice. Adam Makos. 2015.445p.Summary – Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job–landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier–a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend? Public Library – Subject: Korean War, 1950-1953 — United States — Biography. Copies: 39 print. 1 overdrive listen. 1 ebook. 5 audiobook CD.
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. Sandy Tolan. 2006. 368p. To see in human scale the tragic collision of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, Tolan focuses on one small stone house in Ramla–once an Arab community but now Jewish. Built in 1936 by an Arab family but acquired by a Jewish family after the Israelis captured the city in 1948, this simple stone house has anchored for decades the hopes of both its displaced former owners and its new Jewish occupants. With remarkable sensitivity to both families’ grievances, Tolan chronicles the unlikely chain of events that in 1967 brought a long-dispossessed Palestinian son to the threshold of his former home, where he unexpectedly finds himself being welcomed by the daughter of Bulgarian Jewish immigrants. Though that visit exposes bitterly opposed interpretations of the past, it opens a real–albeit painful–dialogue about possibilities for the future. As he establishes the context for that dialogue, Tolan frankly details the interethnic hostilities that have scarred both families. Yet he also allows readers to see the courage of families sincerely trying to understand their enemy. Only such courage has made possible the surprising conversion of the contested stone house into a kindergarten for Arab children and a center for Jewish-Arab coexistence. What has been achieved in one small stone building remains fragile in a land where peacemaking looks increasingly futile. But Tolan opens the prospect of a new beginning in a concluding account of how Jewish and Arab children have together planted seeds salvaged from one desiccated lemon tree planted long ago behind one stone house. Booklist review April 1, 2006. Public Library – Subject: Arab-Israeli conflict — Biography. Copies: 23 print. 4 audiobook CD. 1 pre-loaded audiobook.
May 25, 2017 – 6:30 p.m. – AAUW Wooster Board – Buehler’s Community Room
June 2017 Adelante! Book of the Month Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
June 19 – Social Bridge; Hostess is Linda Crouch
June 20 – 7:00 p.m. – Hillbilly Elegy. Reviewer: Carol McKiernan. Hostess: Julie Mennes. Co-Hostess Linda Crouch.
June 22 – 6:30 p.m. – AAUW Wooster Board – Buehler’s Community Room
July 2017 Adelante! Book of the Month Euphoria by Lily King
July 18 – 7:00 p.m. – A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler. Reviewer: Cathy Stone. Hostess: Helen Atchison. Co-Hostess: Betty Raber.
July 27 – 6:30 p.m. – Buehler’s Community Room
August 2017 Adelante Book of the Month Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams by Margery M. Heffron
August 15 – 7:00 p.m. – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Ben Montgomery – Hostess- Mary Beth Henthorne, Reviewer- Mary Beth H., Co-host-Bev McCoy
August 24 – 6:30 – AAUW Wooster Board – Place TBD
September 19 – 7:00 – Jambusters: The Women’s Institute at War 1939-1945. Julie Summers – Location- @ the Art Center-to be confirmed by Letty – Reviewer – Sue Herman. Hostess-Letty, Co-host-Susan Buchwalter.
September 20 – 6:30 p.m. – Buehler’s Community Room
October 17 – 7:00 p.m. – The One in-a-Million Boy. Monica Wood – Hostess-Jan Steinbrenner, Reviewer-Pei-hsin, Co-host-Nancy Danby.
October 26 – 6:30 p.m. – Buehler’s Community Room
November 2017 – possible annual business meeting
November 14 – 7:00 p.m. – Lab Girl. Hope Jahren (moved to 2nd Tuesday of the month) – Location-OARDC-(Letty will check on), Reviewer-Letty, Hostess-Anita Greene, Co-host-Carolyn Kearney
December 2017 – No Board Meeting (Holiday luncheon)
January 16, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.- A Gentleman in Moscow. Amor Towles. Location- dinner meeting at TJ’s restaurant, Reviewer-Jan Steinbrenner
January 25 – 6:30 p.m. – Buehler’s Community Room
February – No Board meeting
February 20 – 7:00 p.m. – The Underground Railroad. Colson Whitehead – Location-1st Presbyterian, Reviewer-Betty Raber, Hostess-Judy Mallon, Co-host-Mimi Lewellen.
March 20 – 7:00 p.m. – Radium Girls. Kate Moore – Hostess-Mary Ann Merchant, Reviewer-Linda Crouch, Co-host-Lee Peart.
March 22 – 6:30 p.m. – Buehler’s Community Room
April 2018 – No Board meeting ( Spring luncheon)
April 17 – 7:00 p.m. – The Samurai’s Garden. Gail Tsukiyama – Hostess-Carol McKiernan, Reviewer-Chris Evans, Co-host-Jan Steinbrenner.
May 15 – 6:00 p.m. – Book Selection-location- Hunters Chase Clubhouse- Hostess Carolyn Kearney, co-host Sue Olive
May 24 – 6:30 p.m. – AAUW Wooster Board – Buehler’s Community Room
June 19 – 7:00 p.m. – We Were The Lucky Ones. Georgia Hunter – Hostess-Mimi Lewellen, Reviewer-Stefani Koorhan, Co-host- Mary Beth Henthorne
June 28 – 6:30 p.m. – AAUW Wooster Board – Buehler’s Community Room
July 26 – 6:30 p.m. – AAUW Wooster Board – Buehler’s Conference Room (pending approval of new President)