10 Great Biographies & Memoirs to Celebrate the 19th Amendment

Did you know that 2020 marks 100 years of women having the right to vote in the United States? You can find more information, including great reading lists for all ages, educational videos, and how to get involved in the celebration at www.womensvote100.org and www.2020centennial.org. Special events have been happening all year! On August 26, 2020 buildings and landmarks across the country lit up in purple and gold as part of the nationwide Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”

One way you can help to celebrate this awesome and important anniversary is to read a book about a suffragist! Below you will find 10 great biographies and collected biographies that reveal more about U.S. suffragists of note and a few contemporary feminist titles as well.

If you are a fan of biographies and memoirs, we have an exciting virtual event next week with Eliese Colette Goldbach, the talented and acclaimed author of Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit. There are still spots open for this Zoom program- register here!

Imagine Your Story – Virtual Programs

Come learn more about our area’s rich artistic history!


During this virtual presentation Leslie Cade, Director of Museum Archives at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will present:

Artists in Residence: Researching Local Artists at the Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.


Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required.

In the News Book Review-The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale

There is no escaping the news and racism, policing, and protesting are currently the main headlines for most news outlets. More and more I have been hearing a cry to defund the police, an idea that I did not fully understand. Naturally, I took to the intern to begin my research, where I came across the book The End of Policing by Alex Vitale. I found it to be a quick read and interesting read.

Alex S. Vitale is a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College. He is also the coordinator of The Policing and Social Justice Project, an organization that “…advocates and supports organizing against harmful law enforcement strategies and has provided guidance for social justice and criminal justice reform efforts across the country.” Vitale has studied and written about policing for 25 and consult both police departments and human rights organizations.

The End of Policing is a broad history and analysis of the policing system in the United States. Chapters address police in schools, the policing of our borders, the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill, and sex workers. He discusses theories of policing such as warrior policing and broken window policing. Vitale clearly outlines the roles that presidents and politicians on both sides of the aisle have played in contributing to the problems of policing. From union-busting to the war on drugs, from ICE to three strikes, from stop and frisk to closing mental institutions, our modern presidents have all enacted polices that have resulted in harmful policing practices. Vitale cites as a major issue with policing the idea that we rely on police to solve all of our problems, despite police not being qualified to do so. Police are expected to perform the jobs of mental health providers, social workers, addiction specialists, and more without the proper skills and at great cost to society. The author details how special courts, diversion programs, and jails are all more expensive to run than social services programs. His conclusion is that training and reform are not enough. Vitale argues that diverting funds into programs that work to prevent social problems, ie, mental health care, affordable house, access to jobs, etc can reduce crime an the need for policing.

This is an interesting, informative, and well-researched book that I found helpful in understanding the idea behind the call to defund police.

~Megan

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

This week we are providing links to resources might find helpful in your hunt when looking up the history of your home. These resources were assembled for a program that the library partnered in Virtual 4th Annual Living in the Digital World Senior Expo.

Cleveland Memory Project- Rocky River

In partnership with the Cleveland Memory Project, a digital history collection at Cleveland State University, we are digitizing our photograph collection. We are also adding photographs of Rocky River from the Cleveland Press Collection at CSU.– rrpl.org
http://www.clevelandmemory.org/rockyriver/index.html


Cleveland State Research Guides

This is the Library Guide for information on the history of greater Cleveland and NE Ohio.  Notice the tabs across the top of this page, detailing specific types of resources and other information topics designed to help you. Note too that many of these pages give you room to comment and rate this information for usefulness.  -csuohio.edu
http://researchguides.csuohio.edu/localhistory


Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer- Real Property

The Real Property department maintains a complete historical record of all property transactions, maintains records of property ownership, valuation, and taxation, and collects special assessments for public improvements. In addition, the Real Property department prepares the first and second half property tax duplicate, computes tax refunds, gives credits based on decisions by the Board of Revision, Board of Tax Appeals, the Appraisal department and the Courts.-fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us
https://fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/real-property.aspx


Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer- The Cuyahoga Recording Division

This site is provided to allow the citizens of Cuyahoga County, and the world, access to information housed at our office. Here you will find data on all the documents filed at the Recorder’s office from 1810 until present day. -fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us https://fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/RecordedDocumentsServices.aspx


Sanborn Fire Maps

Fire insurance maps of Ohio from 1867 to 1970 for history and genealogy research. Library Card Required. -rrpl.org
http://www.oplin.org/sanborn

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

This week we are profiling the online resources of The Henry Ford.

The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, a short drive from Detroit, this institution boasts a collection of objects from 300 years of American history. The museum was dedicated on October 21, 1929 and opened to the public in 1933. For the first 10 years visitors dealt with construction as the exhibits weren’t fully complete until the early 1940s. You can learn more about the history of the campus here on their History & Mission page.

While the museum and campus are closed, the website features many digital resources.

Their Virtual Visit page is a great place to start your exploration. Here you will find a list of objects with links to the Ford’s Google Maps project from 2015. The photos give you a better sense of scale of these artifacts and allow for 360 degree experience. A great example is the museum’s towering Allegheny Steam Locomotive. There are also links to the object’s record in the Digital Collections.

The Digital Collections can be explored much like the other institutions we have highlighted in these posts. Additionally there are the Expert Sets. These curated groupings are a great resource for educators building lesson plans as well as individuals looking for a more structured way of exploring the vast collection.

For researchers there is the Digital Resources page. There are Research Databases which include oral histories, the library’s catalog, photographs, and historic films.

A really interesting resource is their collection of historic Cookbooks. You can see what the people in the past ate and get some ideas for your own culinary efforts.

The Henry Ford has many education resources on their Online Learning Resources and Activities page. The available programs are arranged by grade level for easy navigation and their Innovation Program is currently free for public.

New Nonfiction Coming in May 2020

 

Check out this selection of nonfiction books for your enjoyment coming this May!

 

5/05: The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America’s 16th President—and Why It Failed by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch – The best-selling authors of The First Conspiracy share the lesser-known story of the 1861 assassination attempt on the 16th president by a secret pro-Southern society that organized an elaborate plot targeting a newly elected Lincoln on his inaugural train journey.

5/05: Grand: A Grandparent’s Wisdom for a Happy Life by Charles Johnson – A National Book Award winner and MacArthur Genius Fellow reflects on the joys of being a grandparent in this warm, inspiring collection of wisdom and life lessons and the ideal gift for any new parent or grandparent.

5/12: The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton – He served as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump for 519 days. A seasoned public servant who had previously worked for Presidents Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43, Bolton brought to the administration thirty years of experience in international issues and a reputation for tough, blunt talk. In his memoir, he offers a substantive and factual account of his time in the room where it happened.

 

 

5/12: Sunny Days: The Children’s Television Revolution That Changed America by David Kamp – Reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the cultural heroes who created the beloved children’s TV programs Sesame StreetThe Electric CompanyMister Rogers’ NeighborhoodFree to Be … You and Me and Schoolhouse Rock!—which collectively transformed American childhood for the better, teaching kids about diversity, the ABCs and feminism through a fun, funky 1970s lens.

5/19: Stray: A Memoir by Stephanie Danler – From the best-selling author of Sweetbitter comes a memoir of growing up in a family shattered by lies and addiction, and of one woman’s attempts to find a life beyond the limits of her past.Stray is a moving, sometimes devastating, brilliantly written and ultimately inspiring exploration of the landscapes of damage and survival.

5/26: Dare to Fly by Martha McSally – The first American woman combat jet pilot and Arizona Senator presents a motivational life guide that explains how she overcame formidable boundaries by following a set of key principles based on making courage a choice.How to be resolute, do the right thing, persevere, find gratitude, and learn compassion are just some of the lessons in her inspirational life story.

 

~Semanur

 

New Nonfiction Coming in February 2020

 

Here are some nonfiction books to take a look at! Whether you’re looking for a new memoir, a WWII history title or an interesting new science book, we have something for you!

 

02/04: Brother & Sister: A Memoir by Diane Keaton – The Academy Award-winning film star and best-selling author of Then Again presents a memoir of her complicated relationship with a beloved younger brother, who transitioned from a close sibling into a troubled and reclusive alcoholic.

02/04: Open Book by Jessica Simpson – An unstinting memoir by the pop artist and fashion icon traces the story of her life before and after fame, the role of faith in her achievements and her difficult decision to step out of the limelight. Guided by the journals she’s kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.

 

 

02/11: Hold On, but Don’t Hold Still: Hope and Humor from My Seriously Flawed Life by Kristina Kuzmic – A popular speaker on family and parenting tells her story of ditching her fairytale dreams and falling in love with her unpredictable, chaotic, imperfect life. Delivering inspiration and “parenting comedy at its finest,” here is one woman’s story of ditching her fairytale dreams and falling in love with her unpredictable, chaotic, imperfect life.

02/11: Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons by Cara Natterson – Citing the less-recognized behavioral tendencies of male adolescence that complicate communications between parents and children, a guide to raising teen boys shares strategic guidelines on effective parenting, managing screen time and understanding the sources of negative behavior. By the bestselling author of The Care and Keeping of You series and Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys.

 

 

02/11: In the Land of Men by Adrienne Miller – The author of The Coast of Akron traces her coming of age in the male-dominated 1990’s literary world, discussing her relationship with David Foster Wallace and her achievements as the first female literary editor of Esquire.

02/18: Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich – The New York Times finance editor and award-winning author of The Spider Network presents a journalistic exposé of the scandalous activities of Deutsche Bank and its shadowy ties to Donald Trump’s business empire. Darkly fascinating and yet all too real, it’s a tale that will keep you up at night.

 

 

02/25: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz  by Erik Larson – The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake draws on personal diaries, archival documents and declassified intelligence in a portrait of Winston Churchill that explores his day-to-day experiences during the Blitz and his role in uniting England.

02/25: Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet–one Bite at a Time   by Mark Hyman – The best-selling author of The Blood Sugar Solution explains how today’s agricultural policies have been compromised by corrupt influences, sharing insights into how everyday food choices shape chronic disease, climate change, poverty and other global crises.

 

~Semanur

New Nonfiction Coming in January 2020

Check out this selection of nonfiction books for your reading list in the new year.

 

01/07: Martha Stewart’s Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart – The ultimate guide to getting your life in order&;with hundreds of practical and empowering ideas, projects, and tips&;from America&;s most trusted lifestyle authority.

01/07: Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries About Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion by Ingrid Newkirk & Gene Stone – The founder and president of PETA and a bestselling author pair their tour of the astounding lives of animals with a guide to the exciting new tools that allow humans to avoid using or abusing animals as we once did. Animalkind is a fascinating study of why our fellow living beings deserve our respect, and moreover, the steps every reader can take to put this new understanding into action.

01/07:The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Edition by Elizabeth Kendall & Molly Kendall – An updated, expanded edition of the author’s 1981 memoir detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, which was the basis for the Amazon Original docuseries, includes a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a startling new chapter from the author’s daughter.

01/07: Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel J. Levitin – A leading neuroscientist and best-selling author examines how to make the most of our post-60 years by examining those who age joyously and discussing resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks. Levitin turns his keen insights to what happens in our brains as we age, what you can do to make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties today no matter how old you are now.

 

 

01/14: Elemental Knits: A Perennial Knitwear Collection by Courtney Spainhower – This book is for women who aspire to be ever stylish, more comfortable, and less wasteful. A collection of 20 customizable knitting patterns counsels do-it-yourself crafters on how to select practical patterns and fibers while creating wardrobe-enhancing fashions for different times of the year.

01/14: Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness by David Perlmutter & Austin Perlmutter – The #1 New York Times best-selling author of Grain Brain and his son, also a medical doctor, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing.

 

 

01/21: Murder Your Darlings: And other gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser by Roy Peter Clark – From an influential American writing teacher comes a collection of 50 of the best writing strategies distilled from 50 writing and language books—from Aristotle to Strunk and White.

01/28: A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Ingenious Young Women Whose Secret Board Game Helped Win World War II by Simon Parkin – Tells the triumphant story of a group of young women who helped devised a winning strategy to defeat the Nazi U-boats and deliver a decisive victory in the Battle of the Atlantic.

 

~Semanur

 

 

 

Unmasking Egyptian Religion

The Kemetic Tree of Life

My fascination with ancient Egypt goes back as far as I can remember.  Sculpture, temple ruins, pyramids, animal headed gods, and walls filled with hieroglyphs have always remained a fascination.  But it’s been my experience that most books on ancient Egypt scratch only a little below the surface of its cultural remains or long-held conventional conclusions.

The Kemetic Tree of Life is for the serious seeker after the symbolism and mysticism of ancient Egypt.  It is an exploration of the oldest of the several major religious systems to come out of ancient Egyptian culture.  These several systems were in no way opposed to each other.  Rather, each one focused on a different aspect of the Egyptians’ concept of Immanent Reality.  The Kemetic Tree discusses the tradition that arose in the city of Anu, or the “Anunian Theurgy.”

“Kemetic” is an anglicized form of the ancient Egyptians’ term for their own country, the land of Khem.

Popular nonfiction works on ancient Egypt tend to be academically guarded and unwilling to offer conclusive specifics concerning Egypt’s spiritual systems, or they talk about Egyptian spirituality with constant reminders – subtle or otherwise – about its superstitious and primitive nature.  The latter is simply modern arrogance.  Dr. Ashby’s depth is refreshingly different.  He doesn’t approach the remnants of ancient Egypt as an academic, but as a practitioner of its spiritual science.  He appears to have a command of hieroglyphic symbol and the ancient Egyptian language.  His text incorporates approximations of the Egyptian vocabulary – key words and phrases relevant to an understanding of the Anunian Theurgy specifically and Egyptian spirituality generally.  I had to start a file to keep them straight.  In this way, his book parallels many Western works on Eastern philosophy and religion, e.g. Hinduism, where ancient Sanskrit terms are incorporated throughout.  He also does not use the classic Hellenized names for Egypt’s gods – Osiris, Isis, Horus, Anubis, etc., but instead retains the Egyptian approximations – Asar, Aset, Heru, Anpu, etc.  The Kemetic Tree also includes many figures of hieroglyphic images and mythological scenes.  Essentially, the book is intended to initiate the reader into living this spiritual science.  Its chapters include lectures, questions and answers, and sections to promote meditative journaling.

A drawback to the text is that it’s poorly proofread, if at all.  The author writes in a very conversational style which often sets an enjoyable pace for reading.  But it lends itself to run-on sentences, strange phrasings, and numerous grammatical errors that can grind that enjoyable pace to a halt.  Since Dr. Ashby is in something of a class by himself in presenting such profound and sophisticated teachings in an easily readable and digestible way, I wish the text’s final grammatical form were in pristine condition.  It would make The Kemetic Tree even more enjoyable.

Even though the style of writing is non-academic, as a seeker I enjoy seeing sources for the information presented, especially when an author makes claims and presents information very few others have offered.  The information Ashby presents is in no way outlandish, although it may certainly seem so to someone reading him without the proper background in ancient religious systems and symbols – the very different mentality of antiquity relative to the present day.  But nonetheless, the boldness and intricacy of Ashby’s statements seems to demand numerous and varied sources for credibility.  Unfortunately, he does not offer many sources outside his own writings.  He’s written prolifically; and The Kemetic Tree is not the first book he’s written.  Perhaps sources outside his own research and intuitive recognition are given in some of his other works.

Top 7 of 2017

Let me introduce myself since I’m the newest sub at the Reference Desk. You might also see me around the library shelving for the Circulation Department. I’m Byron. I’ve written movie reviews online for Flixster (now Rotten Tomatoes) and published a collection of 365 of those reviews in my book 100+ Years of Movies. Through some entrepreneurial struggles and not having as much leisure time to read I’ve unfortunately fallen short of my reading goal this year. It seemed silly to me to recommend my top 10 when I only read 22 books all year. Therefore, listed in the order I read them, I present my Top 7!

Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert • I regularly read about the art of cinema. As the cover says this contains some of the best of Ebert’s writing throughout forty years of his career. If you are only familiar with his reviews, you can sample his essays and unique interviews here too.

AwakeintheDark

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates • Journalist Coates has such important things to say about race relations in America. It is not to be dismissed, but will likely require careful repeat reading of passages to fully grasp everything. Glancing at my co-workers’ posts earlier this week I’ve noticed that at least two others have also recommended this work.

BetweentheWorldandMe

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson • Marvel has had certain writers reimagining classic heroes to introduce more diversity. Volume 5 in the series about Muslim American teen Kamala Khan is a return to the excitement of the beginning of the series considering I thought Volumes 3 and 4 went a little off track.

MsMarvelVol5

March: Books One, Two, and Three by John Lewis • During 2017 I read all three parts of this graphic novel autobiographical series by Congressman John Lewis. Book One is slightly weaker in structure with so much exposition compared to Book Two and Book Three, however taken together they are all very strong. This period of history comes alive in graphic format.

MarchBookOneMarchBookTwoMarchBookThree

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard • I’ve been intrigued by this title for quite awhile. I had to wait several months to check out the ebook on OverDrive. I’ve been struggling to understand recent National election results and have felt the country is more divided than united. America is more complicated than two political parties, red states, and blue states. This book dives into North America’s history and uncovers eleven cultural nations that have been vying for power since the beginning.

AmericanNations