At the time that Mary Ellin Barrett’s parents met, her father Irving Berlin was the world’s most popular, famous, and financially successful songwriter. He had started as a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant, an uneducated child who had scrounged for a living by singing to the drunken wastrels of New York’s sleazy bowery. A dozen years after the death of his first wife (who passed away just months after their marriage), Berlin met the much younger Ellin Mackay, daughter of Clarence Mackay, a fabulously wealthy businessman. Ellin was Catholic, well educated, socially promin
This bilingual English/Spanish book celebrates the life of the great Latin Jazz musician Ernest “Tito” Puente (1923-2000). Readers learn about Tito in different stages of his life: as a baby (in New York City of Puerto Rican parents), banging out rhythms on pots and pans; as a kid drumming and dancing his way to talent show success (but still finding time to play baseball with the neighborhood kids); as a young man in the Navy serving his country while developing his gift of playing and writing music; and as a professional musician who wins fame, fortune, love and admiration by using
The author of “Manson: The life and times of Charles Manson” brings us a life story, rather than the history of the Manson murders.
Charles Manson was born in 1934 to a teenaged mother. He often said that his mother was a prostitute, but here was no evidence of that. She did get pregnant at 15 and when the father didn’t want any part of the baby, she somehow talked William Manson into marrying her before Charlie was born. Kathleen Manson was a party girl who liked a good time and drinking and dancing, which her Nazarene mother strongly objected to.
Comic books, especially superhero comics, are not a part of my daily life, but I couldn’t resist the lure of the infographics in this book. Once I started looking at the charts, I had to read every page, despite not recognizing many of the characters—especially the villains.
Hi, everyone! My name is Miss Kristi (a.k.a. the new Library Assistant in Children’s Services). With my reviews, you will find a lot of picture books, books about art, books to film and YA fiction. To get us started, I recently read Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss. Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe this book!
From brats on the grill and festival fare to fresh farm market fruits and veggies, food is an essential part of summer fun in Wisconsin. Savor the flavors with this feast of fun facts, history and recipes by local food expert Allen and local history writer Malone.
I love looking at cookbooks. Though many of the recipes have the same basic background, each cook or chef can give them a little twist to make them new again. Sometimes cookbooks are also art. There are even awards for artistic merit in cookbooks. Two recent additions to the Appleton Public Library cookbook collection fall into the "art + cookbook" niche.
Moss Hart was an enormously successful playwright (“You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner”), screenwriter (“A Star is Born”), and stage director (“My Fair Lady,” “Camelot”), but this classic memoir deals not with those masterworks, but with his beginnings. It tells the tale of his impoverished New York childhood and the steps leading to his first success, a collaboration with the legendary George S. Kaufmann. This is one of the great memoirs of the era and a must read for anyone interested in theater.
I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.
This outstanding non-fiction picture book for older readers tells the story of African American artist Horace Pippin. A quote from the book: "Pictures just come to my mind...and I tell my heart to go ahead," is touching when you think of a child who did not have real art supplies of his own until he won a contest. During World War I Horace was wounded in the right shoulder, and was unable to draw the way he had loved to so much.
I picked this book off the shelf without knowing the back story on it. I thought it odd that is was in the fiction section, as it seemed to be a book that might be connected with Antiques Roadshow. I opened it up to a page with a wine glass that had a Women & Infants logo. Wondering what the story was behind that I started reading and found myself pulled into a story about family lies, abandonment, reunion, understanding and forgiveness. This, along with some great wine reviews. All on a single page! (Tasting Notes, by Jeff Turrentine).
In 1775, the British Army had settled in Boston, and General Washington had no way of getting them to leave. Bookstore owner Henry Knox had the idea to retrieve 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga...in the middle of the winter. This involved traveling over ice, snow, mountains, woods, lakes, and once in a while there was a road to follow. After fifty days of traveling from Fort Ticonderoga, Henry arrived in Boston with all 59 cannons.
This sweet, sweet book is aimed directly at people like me who like pretty much anything with fur, feathers, or four feet. Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, it was suggested to me after a co-worker --who also has a menagerie of cats (and birds) at home-- happened upon it one day while perusing the New Books display shelves.
I love being outside; hearing, smelling, and feeling nature. As a kid, I spent many afternoons just sitting up in “my tree.” I would read or write little stories about the things I saw in the clouds. I would actually get excited when it rained in the spring so I could go searching for worms that had been flushed from their homes.
This recipe book is separated into “Savory” and “Sweet” sections, as well as an “And More” section that incorporates popcorn into meals (I have never done anything from that last section). The very beginning of the book talks a little about popping corn, including how to make your own microwave popcorn in paper lunch bags if you don’t own a popper or don’t like to make it on the stovetop.
This superb factual tale of John Price is fascinating. John Price escaped from slavery in January 1856. After crossing the frozen Ohio River, he was in Ohio, was slavery was not allowed. He wasn't completely safe though, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slave owners to capture their runaway slaves anywhere in the United States, even in states where slavery was against the law, like Ohio. Canada was Price's destination; slavery was completely outlawed there. Price stopped for the winter in Oberlin, Ohio.
The transformative power of literary fiction is debated, challenged, and celebrated in "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi. A former professor of literature in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nafisi uses prolific authors the likes of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov to connect with students coming of age during a very tumultuous time in Iran's history. The Memoir illuminates the delicate fabric that is Iran by weaving a story set against the backdrop of a revolution and subsequent war with neighboring Iraq.
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth…and one of every four will be a beetle.” So begins the Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins, a treasure trove of fascinating facts about beetles the world over, including information about body structure, life cycles, communication, defenses, and other beetle behaviors.
Meet Wendell, Wilmer, Willy Woody and Walter—5 bird-like juggler brothers who perform together in a hilarious stage show, while demonstrating basic math concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction and comparison. The reader audience will learn as they laugh at the Wing Wing Brothers’ antics and comic appearance. Parents and teachers will appreciate that the book meets the Common Core Standards for kindergarten mathematics; kids will appreciate the goofiness and fun.
In the Perspectives Flip Book series, readers look at critical times in history and in essence read two books, each looking at the time period from a variety of perspectives. In this book, we start with the allies perspective, and when we flip the book we get the axis perspective. The series currently includes a book about the American Revolution, the Civil War and about Westward Expansion.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of biographies have been written about Winston Churchill, but none are as insightful, or as gracefully written, as this brilliant work by William Manchester. The book is in two parts: Visions of Glory, which covers the first 58 years of Churchill’s life; and Alone, detailing the 1930s, when Churchill was out of government.
The Immigrant Advantage recounts 7 separate cultural traditions observed by some members of immigrant groups after coming to America: the Vietnamese Money Club; the Mexican Cuarentena; South Asian Assisted Marriage; Korean and Chinese Afterschools; West Indian Multigenerational Households; Barrio Stoops, Sidewalks, and Shops; and Vietnamese Monthly Rice.
“Why do it?” I asked myself. “Just months ago, you reviewed a book about a dog with a second chance at a happy life (Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent), so why do another so soon?” “I can’t help it!” was my reply. “I’ve fallen in love, and people in love can do foolish things. So there!”
Kenneth Ray Rogers traveled a long way from roots in the “projects” of Houston Texas. He knows what it is like to eat beans and rice for dinner, father a child while a senior in high school, suffer through multiple divorces, feel guilt over estrangement of his older children, and he was downright broke when most of us would think he was living well. His is a true rags to riches story of overcoming adversity with a lot of bumps along the road. Rogers got his start performing in a high school band called The Scholars, even though the band members were all C students.
This is a very worthy reference text for cooks at any level. Yes, you can now “Google” white sauce, etc and get any amount of suggestions, but this book was my go to place for all things cooking before that option was available. And it still holds.
On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Nelson includes portraits of Dr.
Perhaps it is the time of year, but I love reading books about trees, especially books that include awesome pictures of trees. One of my favorites is Thomas Pakenham’s” Remarkable Trees of the World”. His previous book, “Meetings With Remarkable Trees” concentrated on trees in Britain and Ireland, but this book takes him all around the world. Each featured tree is illuminated with a large picture and a page or so written about why it is included in the book. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was a former one-term congressman and two-time failed senate candidate from Illinois. Despite this feeble resume, he managed to outmaneuver the top leaders of the Republican party—all far more experienced and better known than Lincoln—and win the nomination for president. Once elected, and as the southern states began pulling out of the Union, Lincoln selected these same political rivals as the members of his new cabinet.
The Mind is very similar in structure to one of my earlier staff picks: Future Science. Editor John Brockman presents contributions from some of the world’s leading scientists on the workings of the brain and aspects of human consciousness, development, memory, and learning.
The state legislature has declared 12/12/12 “Aaron Rodgers Day” in Wisconsin, in honor of the Green Bay Packers star quarterback with the uniform number 12. Young readers can celebrate the success of this remarkable athlete with two books added to the library’s collections this past year.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, Edna Ferber was one of America’s most popular writers, turning out a string of best-selling novels, such as So Big (Pulitzer Prize winner), Show Boat, Come and Get It, and Giant, many of which became equally successful plays and films. Ferber herself also wrote successful plays (Stage Door, The Royal Family) with theatrical legend George S. Kauffmann, and was peripheral member of the famed Algonquin Round Table of notable wits.