eBook Friday: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

New York Times Bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

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

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eBook Friday: Surprise Me

Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most—from #1New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in.

They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.

With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

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

Book Club Kits Are Now Available!

Book clubs throughout our community are now able to check out kits created just for them! Each kit will include ten copies of a specially selected title, along with discussion questions, author information, and suggestions for further reading, all contained in a sturdy zippered bag.

Fiction kits available now are:

  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen

Nonfiction kits available now are:

  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
  • Lab Girl  by Hope Jahren
  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer
  • Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Upcoming titles to be included are:

  • The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
  • The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House by Jesse Holland
  • The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
  • An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  • The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan
  • Grace by Paul Lynch

Fiction and nonfiction titles are selected by the Chatham Community Library Book Club. After the club has discussed a book, a kit for checkout will be created.

Each kit will check out for six weeks to one library card holder who will be responsible to return the entire kit. Since most book clubs meet monthly, this gives time to pick up the kit, distribute the books to members at a meeting, discuss the book at the next meeting and collect the books, and return the kit to the library where it will be readied for another group to checkout.

Book club kits have long been available from most other library systems in our area. With generous support from the Friends of the Chatham Community Library, Chatham County is now able to offer this service.

To reserve a kit for your group, please send a message to cclbookclub (at) chathamlibraries.org or call the library at 919-545-8084.

We will gladly accept a book club kit donation from outside clubs. When your group is finished with a title, please consider donating ten copies to the library for other groups to borrow.

eBook Friday: A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakesand to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

For a start there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz’s overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com,
 https://nckids.overdrive.com/, or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.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: Forged by Fire

Title details for Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper - Wait listForged by Fire, by Sharon M. Draper
When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald’s life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the familytogether.

As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation.

Sharon M. Draper has interwoven characters and events from her previous novel, Tears of a Tiger, in this unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.

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

Black History Month Film Series Begins Feb. 7

Chatham Community Library is celebrating Black History Month with a four-part film series beginning on Wednesday, February 7 at 12:00 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room.

 

 

 

Films in the series include:

Day Date Film
Wednesday February 7 4 Little Girls (1997). Directed by Spike Lee, this film documents the “notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.” It won an Oscar in 1998 for Best Documentary.
Wednesday February 14 I Am Not Your Negro (2016). In this film, “writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.”  Directed by Raoul Peck, I Am Not Your Negro was an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary.
Wednesday February 21 What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015). Directed by Liz Garbus and Hal Tulchin. This film documents the life and legend of Nina Simone, “an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the “High Priestess of Soul.” The film was an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary in 2016.
Monday February 26 13th (2016). This film offers “an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.” Directed by Ava DuVernay, it was an Oscar nominee in 2017 for Best Documentary.

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and in the Netherlands where it is known as Black Achievement Month. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

These events are free and open to the public. Feel free to bring your lunch!

eBook Friday: The Girl on the Train

Title details for The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - AvailableThe Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com,
 https://nckids.overdrive.com/, or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.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 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com,
 https://nckids.overdrive.com/, or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.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: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight [Audiobook]

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller tells the idiosyncratic story of her life growing up white in rural Rhodesia as it was becoming Zimbabwe. The daughter of hardworking, yet strikingly unconventional English-bred immigrants, Alexandra arrives in Africa at the tender age of two. She moves through life with a hardy resilience, even as a bloody war approaches. Narrator Lisette Lecat reads this remarkable memoir of a family clinging to a harsh landscape and the dying tenets of colonialism.

* this audiobook is available through RBDigital (formerly OneClickDigital)

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.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: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

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