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The Times Were A-Changin'

Today we celebrate the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination in employment, schools and public places. During the 1960s both African Americans and Mexican Americans took part in national movements intended to bring down racial barriers.This was a time when African Americans faced death threats for trying to vote and restaurants had signs that read “No Mexicans”. Women were not allowed to be police officers.

Favorite Character Fenno McLeod Returns

Julia Glass won the 2002 National Book Award for her debut novel Three Junes, the story of Scotland native Fenno McLeod and his real and extended family of "upper-crusty" types, creative women, and urban gay men whose are lives pulled together and torn apart. Glass then continued the story of Fenno McLeod, now a gay bookstore owner, in 2006’s The Whole World Over. Glass gave Fenno a break in two subsequent novels, but he’s back in the 2014 And the Dark Sacred Night. 

Maya Angelou

Memoirist and poet Maya Angelou, whose landmark book of 1969, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, told an unsparing account of her harsh childhood in 1930s Arkansas, died yesterday. She was the daughter of a sharecropper family, and before she turned 40, Angelou had been a streetcar conductor, a teen mom, a fry cook, a professional dancer, an actress, a journalist and a playwright. Angelou defied all probability and category, becoming one of the first black women to enjoy mainstream success as an author and thriving in virtually every artistic medium. 

The Good with the Bad - New Biographies

Biography at its best is a good read, it appeals to a natural human instinct for gossip, and it answers a real need within us to understand each other better. And it is a noticeable achievement of the new biographies on our catalog list - Recommended Biographies -  that they all begin with the premise that human nature is complex, and as is true with everything else in the world, you have to take the good with the bad.

Amy Poehler Loves Good Government and Books

Parks and Recreation is not just a goofy workplace TV comedy starring Amy Poehler, it’s an argument for faith in government. In Parks and Recreation, the Parks Department contrasts sharply with the incompetent Pawnee City Council and the dilapidated other city agencies, including the library. What I enjoy most about the TV show, which is very funny, is how dedicated Poehler’s Leslie Knope is to her job.

Los Alamos

In 1943, families of mathematicians and scientists, under high security, moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Not knowing where they're going or why, these wives from all over the world cut their ties with friends and relatives to live in isolation, without telephones or uncensored mail.  In the debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, the collective "we" that serves as the book's narrators only knows that the physicist husbands are working day and night on a secret war project.


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