eBook Friday: Capital Dames

Capital Dames, by Cokie Roberts

In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.

After the declaration of secession, many fascinating Southern women left the city, leaving their friends—such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee—to grapple with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed into an immense Union army camp and later a hospital. With their husbands, brothers, and fathers marching off to war, either on the battlefield or in the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well. And more women went to the Capital City to enlist as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Many risked their lives making munitions in a highly flammable arsenal, toiled at the Treasury Department printing greenbacks to finance the war, and plied their needlework skills at The Navy Yard—once the sole province of men—to sew canvas gunpowder bags for the troops.

Cokie Roberts chronicles these women’s increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done. She concludes that the war not only changed Washington, it also forever changed the place of women.

Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries—many never before published—Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Canine Philosophy

dog's way of talking

A great percentage of the material from these late nineteenth-century issues of The Chatham Record betrays its age, but sometimes I run across something that strikes me as timeless.

This editorial from the August 7, 1890 issue makes a contemporary point.

A Dog’s Way of Talking.

One hot summer day I chanced to spy from my study window a huge dog disporting himself with provoking coolness on my lawn in the shade of an evergreen. Rushing in hot hast to my study closet and snatching up a hearth brush, I stole softly along the front porch, where, concealed partly by clustering vines of honeysuckle, I took aim and hurled it full at the trespasser’s head. I had counted confidently on seeing him terrified by the projectile and taking himself off with a howl of pain and alarm. But judge my surprise to see the unsurprised brute take first a perfectly quiet and leisurely survey of the missile, then deliberately pick it up with his teeth and trot complacently off with my brush.

Meeting the same dog on the street later in the day, I could not help thinking from his knowing look, though he carried a sober face that he was inwardly laughing at me. And then it all at once flashed upon me what good this dog’s philosophy might do superior beings, and what a world of vexation we might save ourselves if we would but carry away and bury out of sight forever the weapons of detraction hurled at us by the hidden hands of envy and hate. –[Our Animal Friends.

 

eBook Friday: Coraline

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Celebrating ten years of Neil Gaiman’s first modern classic for young readers, this edition is enriched with a brand-new foreword from the author, a reader’s guide, and more.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave

London, 1939.

The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

Set in London during the years of 1939–1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, Everyone Brave is Forgiven features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
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.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Save

Must…buy…salve…

 

page 4 jan 16 1902

As I perused the January 16, 1902 edition of the Chatham Record I could not shake the vague feeling of being watched.

I’ve teased out why (scroll down to see for yourself), but if you’ll excuse me I need to go shopping for some salve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitchells Salve 1902

eBook Friday: Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home–and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Um.

My Spelling Reformeroriginal idea for this entry was to show an old article referring to Independence Day. Apparently the holiday didn’t become such a boisterous affair until well into the twentieth century because I checked several late-nineteenth century issues of The Chatham Record that were published on various July 4s and came up empty.

I did however happen upon this curious item on the last page of the July 4, 1895 edition:

Her Romance Ended.

“Yes, I gave him up,” sighed the young woman in the pink wrapper.

“Did he prove unworthy of your affection?” inquired the sympathetic young woman in the pale green gown.

“He-he became a spelling reformer,” rejoined the other with a shudder, “and signed his name ‘Jorj’. It took all the poetry and romance out of the name. It was more than I could endure.”

And as the hoarse night winds moaned and shrieked outside, and the lonesome and despairing cat in the back alley lifted up its voice and howled in agony of soul the two friends sat and gazed dreamily into the fire.

Okay, hive mind: Does this article indict “Jorj”, the women discussing him, or a purple-prosed writer of the time? Maybe they’re even making fun of our hero, Melvil Dewey (inventor of the Dewey Decimal System and an early champion of spelling reform).

And we kant hav that.

 

eBook Friday: The Book with No Pictures

The Book with No Pictures, by B.J. Novak

A #1 New York Times bestseller, this innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any reader into a comedian.

You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .

BLORK. Or BLUURF.

Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY.

Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

An international bestseller and the basis for a hugely successful film, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was one of the defining works of the 1960s.

A mordant, wickedly subversive parable set in a mental ward, the novel chronicles the head-on collision between its hell-raising, life-affirming hero Randle Patrick McMurphy and the totalitarian rule of Big Nurse. McMurphy swaggers into the mental ward like a blast of fresh air and turns the place upside down, starting a gambling operation, smuggling in wine and women, and egging on the other patients to join him in open rebellion. But McMurphy’s revolution against Big Nurse and everything she stands for quickly turns from sport to a fierce power struggle with shattering results.

With One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey created a work without precedent in American literature, a novel at once comic and tragic that probes the nature of madness and sanity, authority and vitality. Greeted by unanimous acclaim when it was first published, the book has become and enduring favorite of readers.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!