Tag Archives: history

eBook Friday: When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II

When Books Went to War, by Molly Guptill Manning

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Heartwarming.” — New York Times
“Whether or not you’re a book lover, you’ll be moved.” — Entertainment Weekly
“A readable, accessible addition to World War II literature [and] a book that will be enjoyed by lovers of books about books.” — Boston Globe
“Four stars [out of four] . . . A cultural history that does much to explain modern America.” — 
USA Today
When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned 100 million books. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks for troops to carry in their pockets and rucksacks in every theater of war. These Armed Services Editions were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy, in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific, in field hospitals, and on long bombing flights. They helped rescue The Great Gatsby from obscurity and made Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, into a national icon. When Books Went to War is the inspiring story of the Armed Services Editions, and a treasure for history buffs and book lovers alike.
“A thoroughly engaging, enlightening, and often uplifting account . . . I was enthralled and moved.” — Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried

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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: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman’s Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the “soul of pampered self-absorption”; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

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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 Firebrand and the First Lady

The Firebrand and the First Lady, by Patricia Bell-Scott

Longlisted for the National Book Award
A groundbreaking book—two decades in the works—that tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist, granddaughter of a mulatto slave, and the first lady of the United States, whose ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, forged an enduring friendship that changed each of their lives and helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.
Pauli Murray first saw Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933, at the height of the Depression, at a government-sponsored, two-hundred-acre camp for unemployed women where Murray was living, something the first lady had pushed her husband to set up in her effort to do what she could for working women and the poor. The first lady appeared one day unannounced, behind the wheel of her car, her secretary and a Secret Service agent her passengers. To Murray, then aged twenty-three, Roosevelt’s self-assurance was a symbol of women’s independence, a symbol that endured throughout Murray’s life.
Five years later, Pauli Murray, a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer, wrote a letter to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt protesting racial segregation in the South. The president’s staff forwarded Murray’s letter to the federal Office of Education. The first lady wrote back.
Murray’s letter was prompted by a speech the president had given at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, praising the school for its commitment to social progress. Pauli Murray had been denied admission to the Chapel Hill graduate school because of her race.
She wrote in her letter of 1938:
“Does it mean that Negro students in the South will be allowed to sit down with white students and study a problem which is fundamental and mutual to both groups? Does it mean that the University of North Carolina is ready to open its doors to Negro students . . . ? Or does it mean, that everything you said has no meaning for us as Negroes, that again we are to be set aside and passed over . . . ?”
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to Murray: “I have read the copy of the letter you sent me and I understand perfectly, but great changes come slowly . . . The South is changing, but don’t push too fast.”
So began a friendship between Pauli Murray (poet, intellectual rebel, principal strategist in the fight to preserve Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, cofounder of the National Organization for Women, and the first African American female Episcopal priest) and Eleanor Roosevelt (first lady of the United States, later first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women) that would last for a quarter of a century.
Drawing on letters, journals, diaries, published and unpublished manuscripts, and interviews, Patricia Bell-Scott gives us the first close-up portrait of this evolving friendship and how it was sustained over time, what each gave to the other, and how their friendship changed the cause of American social justice.
From the Hardcover edition.

 

 

 

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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: Homes: a Refugee Story

Homes: a Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung

In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends. Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone – and found safety in Canada – with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria.

 

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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: I Have Lived a Thousand Years

I Have Lived a Thousand Years, by Livia Bitton-Jackson

Imagine being a thirteen-year-old girl in love with boys, school, family—life itself. Then suddenly, in a matter of hours, your life is shattered by the arrival of a foreign army. You can no longer attend school, have possessions, talk to your neighbors. One day your family has to leave your house behind and move into a crowded ghetto, where you lose all privacy and there isn’t enough food to eat. Still you manage, somehow, to adjust. But there is much, much worse to come… This is the memoir of Elli Friedmann, who was thirteen years old in March 1944, when the Nazis invaded Hungary. It describes her descent into the hell of Auschwitz, a concentration camp where, because of her golden braids, she was selected for work instead of extermination. In intimate, excruciating details she recounts what it was like to be one of the few teenage camp inmates, and the tiny but miraculous twists of fate that helped her survive against all odds. I Have Lived a Thousand Years is a searing story of cruelty and suffering, but at the same time it is a story of hope, faith, perseverance, and love. It will make you see the world in a new way—and it will make you want to change what you see.

 

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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!

Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize: The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge

Chatham Community Library will host a program on Blackbeard’s famous ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, on Saturday, December 1, at 1:00 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room.  The program will be facilitated by Chatham County resident and co-author of Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize: The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, Linda Carnes-McNaughton.
In 1717, the notorious pirate Blackbeard captured a French slaving vessel off the coast of Martinique and made it his flagship, renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge. Over the next six months, the heavily armed ship and its crew captured all manner of riches from merchant ships sailing the Caribbean to the Carolinas. But in June 1718, with British authorities closing in, Blackbeard reportedly ran Queen Anne’s Revenge aground just off the coast of what is now North Carolina’s Fort Macon State Park. What went down with the ship remained hidden for centuries.
Having played a vital role in the shipwreck’s recovery and interpretation, Carnes-McNaughton discusses the ship’s first use as a French privateer and slave ship, its capture and use by Blackbeard’s armada, the circumstances of its sinking, and more based on a wealth of artifacts now raised from the ocean floor. Carnes-McNaughton is the current Program Archaeologist and Curator at Fort Bragg’s Cultural Resources Management Program.
This program is free and open to the public. Funding is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.

eBook Friday: The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!

the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still.”—NPR Books

The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

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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!

Library to Host “Titanic: Ship of Dreams” Program on September 13

Chatham Community Library will host Titanic: Ship of Dreams on Thursday, September 13, at 6:30 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room. This program will be presented by Dr. Melinda Ratchford, an NC Humanities Council Road Scholar.

Take a glimpse into 1912 and the 2,228 amazing people who boarded the most luxurious and largest ship in the world and sailed off into immortality. Having traveled to all the sites that have connections to the R.M.S. Titanic (Belfast, Southampton, sinking site in North Atlantic, Halifax, NS et al.), Dr. Ratchford takes the audience on a voyage in time to learn about the Titanic, as well as to see her extensive collection of Titanic memorabilia. She will “introduce” listeners to the young Robert Spedden and his Stief bear, Polar; the world’s richest man and his beautiful new wife who had to leave New York society under a cloud of shame; and the elderly man and wife who tested the vow of “til death do we part”. This program will offer the chance to experience the world of courage, fear, love, and cowardice that is still alive over one hundred years after the Titanic’s sinking.

A native of Kannapolis, NC, Dr. Ratchford received her B.S. in Social Science and a Sixth Year degree in Curriculum from Appalachian State University.  She received her Masters in Library Education from UNC-Greensboro.  She also attended UNC-Chapel Hill where she received her Doctorate in Education. Her avocation has been a 60-year interest in the study of the R.M.S. Titanic and her history.  She has given presentations to over 225+ groups on the topic.

This program is brought to you in conjunction with the NC Humanities Council and is free and open to the public.

Friends of the Library to Celebrate 50th Anniversary!

 

 

 

 

The Friends of the Chatham Community Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala open house at the library on Saturday, May 19th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Activities will include children’s entertainment (face painting, balloon animals), live music, historical displays, free books for adults and children, a plaque dedication and more! Refreshments will be served.

The Friends got its start officially on October 3, 1968, when an organization committee meeting was held to revitalize an informal group of Friends which had been started as early as January 28, 1928. At that time, 12 Pittsboro citizens formed the McNeill Book Club. One of its members, Margaret (‘Maggie’) Horne, became Pittsboro’s first librarian 14 years later.

When the group met in 1968, the members felt that Pittsboro deserved better than the series of makeshift libraries which had served the citizens up until then, such as (1) small collections in homes, academies and schools in the 19th Century, (2) a bookmobile in the 1930s funded under the Works Progress Administration, (3) small collections in the basement of the Siler City Town Hall in the 1940s and (4) a bookcase in Maggie Horne’s living room from 1942.

Later, the library was housed in the Pittsboro Jaycees Community House and the basement of the County Agricultural Building. During all this time, there had been an informal group of supporters who met occasionally to discuss ways of improving the library’s structure and services.

During the meeting on October 3, 1968, the participants agreed that Pittsboro finally needed a library that was larger than “any extra, one room in any existing building anywhere in Pittsboro”. Marvin Reeves, perhaps influenced by his wife Myrtle, a McNeill Book Club member since 1947, saw this need, and he did something important to meet it.

In his 1969 will, Reeves left $20,000 for a new library building, and this bequest was the spark that inspired the overwhelming interest in and effort leading to the building of the Pittsboro Memorial Library. This facility on West Street served the community well until the new Chatham Community Library was built on the campus of Central Carolina Community College, which opened to the public in September 2010.

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!