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Montgomery City-County Public Library 2012 Read Into

The Holidays

The History of the Southern Christmas The first documented Roman Catholic Christmas service in what would become the Southern United States took place in Spanish St. Augustine in 1565. The first Anglican service was held in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Roman Catholics, Dutch Reformed, and Lutherans all brought their traditions, but Christmas in the South was mostly influenced in the second half of the 17th century and 18th century by Anglican planters, settling Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. Religious services were deemphasized by the English, who indulged in the worldly pastimes of feasting, drinking, dancing, sporting, and gaming. The festivities often lasted until ‘Twelfth Night’ (Twelfth Night is a Christian holiday celebrated 12 days after Christmas, on January 6. It marks the end of the Christmas season.) and had grown by the 18th century to include balls, hunts, and open houses. Tables and sideboards groaned not only under the weight of Christmas delicacies well-known to us, such as roast turkey, eggnog, cakes, and pies, but by every edible that could be raised, caught, or gathered from the bounty of the Eastern seaboard. Gift-giving was not as central to the colonial Christmas as today, although the wealthy commonly gave small gifts to the poor, servants, and slaves, and perhaps a few gifts to the children. All classes saluted Christmas morning raucously by shooting off fireworks, firearms, and the clanging of pots and pans. Other imported Old English customs included Christmas carols, Yule logs, kissing under the mistletoe, and decking homes with greenery. Schoolboys earned themselves some holiday liberty through the custom of “barring out the schoolmaster”, in which they would stock up on provisions and barricade themselves inside the schoolroom. The Southern taste for Christmas gaiety continued into the 19th century. The din and explosions from the gunfire and fireworks explosions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were said to rival Independence Day. Southern urban-dwellers, especially residents of Baltimore, Savannah, Mobile, and St. Augustine, hosted Christmas Eve masquerades, known as “fantasticals”, which resembled the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration. In former French territories, nativity scenes, Midnight Mass, reveillon (Christmas Eve feast following Midnight Mass), New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night parties remained popular through the 1800s. The French gave gifts to the children on New Year’s Day. Over the 19th century, most Protestant denominations, such as the Baptists and Congregationalists, lost their hostility to Christmas as a “Catholic” feast day and brought observances into their churches and homes. Antebellum African Americans imported and developed their own traditions. In North Carolina, a masquerade tradition, known as Jonkonnu, which still survives in the Caribbean, was celebrated. In Alabama, some slaves observed an all-night vigil on Christmas Eve, during which they sang, danced, and prayed. Alabama, in 1836, became the first state to recognize Christmas Eve as a legal holiday and, in 1870, Christmas was recognized as a national holiday. During the latter 19th century and 20th century, Christmas traditions became less regionally and ethnically bound as mass immigration and increasing commercialization popularized Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and gift-giving across America.

By Pamela Sage, Head of Reference and Information Services Sources: Encyclopedia of Christmas by Tanya Gulevich and The Christmas Encyclopedia by William D. Crump

From the Desk of the Library Director Season’s Greetings: December 2012 Dear Montgomery: Welcome to the 2012 edition of Read Into the Holidays. As everyone knows, libraries provide an opportunity for people to tour the world through the written word. I am honored to have the opportunity to write these words to you, the reader, and welcome you to a world of exploration through the written word. Often patrons ask our staff for recommendations on what to read next. The staff cannot provide that guidance without having a true love for the written word. Montgomery is truly blessed to have a Public Library staff that is well read, recognizes authors and can make such recommendations when requested. The library is, as well, blessed to have users, City and County officials and a Mayor who value not only reading, but the process of life-long learning through reading and access to information. This year, we have a very special section, where members of the Library Board and the Foundation Board have submitted reviews along with members of the community and the Director of External Affairs for the City. This year’s theme is: “Leaders are Readers”. Every member of the Library Staff has submitted a review for this year’s book. These reviews represent their personal commitment to the process of learning and growing as members of our staff, but more importantly as members of the Montgomery community. Through the use of material that they have either listened to or read, the staff, Friends of the Library, members of the many book discussion clubs meeting in our Public Library, and other citizens who wanted to be a part of this year’s compilation of reviews, we graciously submit to you our gift. As you read during the 2013 year, feel free to submit your review of a book to be included in the 2013 edition of Read Into the Holidays. This edition is a gift from our staff to you to cherish and share with other members of our community. Our wish for you, our users, is that you have a safe and happy holiday season and the New Year proves to be prosperous beyond worldly possessions. Enjoy!

Jaunita McClain Owes Library Director

Leaders are Readers

Thomas McPherson, Jr. Mirror to America: the Autobiography of John Hope Franklin by John Hope Franklin (Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York (2005) B FRANK Morgan, Coliseum, Lewis, Lowder, Rosa Parks (Bertha Pleasant Williams)

Michael Briddell

Six years ago, my wife and I had dinner in Denver with John Hope Franklin, one of America’s premier historians, just after he signed my treasured copy of his autobiography, “Mirror to America”. His work is an enduring chronicle of twentieth century America, with all its glaring contradictions and its struggle to live up to its self-marketing to the world. It is indeed a mirror for all of us who dare to look, to see a clearer picture of the issues surrounding race. It is a must-read to gain an understanding and appreciation of the race relations journey that Americans have traveled, continuing into the twenty-first century. Dr. Franklin literally recites the details of his American and international experience over a glorious 90-year life. Born in 1915 in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the “racial climate was stifling to [his] senses and damaging to [his] emotional health and social well-being”. Being consistently subjected to “racism’s denigration of his humanity” during most of his adult life, he managed to graduate Fisk University and earn a Ph.D. from HarvardJaunita University. Maryfrom McLemore Owes He was the first African American to receive a full professorship at Brooklyn College, to chair the history department at the University of Chicago and serve as the John B. Duke Professor at Duke University. He held numerous summer teaching duties at other colleges and universities, including a stint at Alabama State University in 1943, and Howard University during the 1940s and 1950s. In his 382-page book, he discusses the systemic racial attitudes that compromised his opportunities as a youth, researcher, professor, scholar, neighbor, apartment dweller, home buyer and otherwise. Among the poignant and sometimes perversely humorous examples he provides an event that occurred right here in Montgomery: During a research project at the Alabama State Department of Archives and History, archivist Marie Bankhead Owens, asked him if he’d seen the “Harvard nigger” rumored to have been on the premises. Through her open door, her secretary yelled, “That’s him, Mrs. Owen, that’s him.” Mrs. Owen replied, “You do not look like a Harvard nigger”, and insisted that he had to have received his “nice mannerly training” in a “good old Confederate State”, all of which was confirmed when he announced that he had graduated from Fisk University in Nashville. Notwithstanding Dr. Franklin’s impeccable credentials and scholarship, his race was always a factor (if not the determinant) in how he was regarded and treated. His chronicle analyzes the obvious and especially the subtle forces that compromised him at every turn. One of the several benefits of his story is that it exposes the egregious impact of racial discrimination upon blacks who are middle class to affluent, law-abiding, well educated, sophisticated, and believers in the American Dream. Franklin’s experiences were not that different from blacks of his time who fit none Lynn Beshear of those categories. Eventually, many of his black mentors and colleagues, along with a few brave whites, cleared a path for Dr. Franklin to secure personal and professional respect and recognition in the “democratic” system. His comprehensive 1

understanding of the American political, educational, and social systems was enhanced by his role as a historian he was studying the very forces that affected his everyday life. Thus, his understanding of those systems resulted in his seriously questioning America’s integrity in encouraging other countries to embrace democracy for their own governments. On the importance of history, Dr. Franklin insisted that “historical ignorance abets racial ignorance and an inescapable responsibility of the scholar is to advance publicly what has been learned in the private confines of research and scholarship”. Reading his scholarly written autobiography abets an historical understanding of race relations in America. In the midst of Dr. Franklin’s thorough account of America’s trek toward mature egalitarian government, he weaves an emotionally engaging love story - the courtship and his more than fifty-year marriage to his beloved Aurelia Whittingdon Franklin. Their partnership was a fitting cocoon in which to grow and nurture a mutually loving and respectful relationship even as the world around them rejected so much of what they represented. Her work as a librarian complimented his appetite for research, and along with their son, Whit, they addressed the issues of their day in Nashville, Boston, Chicago, and finally in Durham. Dr. Franklin, who authored and co-authored 18 scholarly books, received two of the nation’s most prestigious awards in 1995: the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Thomas McPherson, Jr.

Michael Briddell

Thomas McPherson, Jr., President, Library Board of Trustees

Mary McLemore

Jaunita Owes

No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer (Berkley Caliber, New York, 2012, 328 pages) 958.104 WEISS Morgan Library If you want to know what battle is like, other books will give you the grit and gore. If you want to know how men manage the impossible, read this true story of a U.S. Army Special Forces team trapped on a ledge in the Shok Valley of Afghanistan in an inferior position, under ceaseless enemy fire. It is a real-time version from the perspective of the men involved, and the immediacy grips the reader powerfully. Weiss and Maurer truthfully report that the mission which placed the Green Berets in such peril was ill-conceived and fatally flawed. I am honored to know several Green Berets and they all agree that not having the teams involved in mission planning is always a bad idea. The Army has never liked its elite units, especially the Green Berets, and its bureaucracy has long been fond of throwing them to the wolves. I hope this straightforward book will be read by so many people that Pentagon planners will at least hesitate to repeat their bad behavior. You don’t believe me? Consider that most of the casualties in the first Gulf War were Green Berets. Mary McLemore, President, Friends of the Library

Lynn Beshear


Mary McLemore

Jaunita Owes

Lynn Beshear How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews 320.01 ANDREWS Morgan

Celebrated author and spell-binding speaker, Andy Andrews, wondered if the U.S. can find common ground in regard to what we want – or don’t want – for the future of this country. If readers will take 30 minutes to devote to a large print book of fewer than 80 pages their consideration of crucial human questions will be forever altered. Through a brief yet appalling account of Germany in the 1940’s Mr. Andrews lays the groundwork to collectively ask ourselves such questions as: “What happens to a society in which truth is absent?” “Which is more dangerous: politicians with ill intent, or the too-trusting population that allows such people to lead them?” “Does it matter that millions of ordinary citizens have checked out of participating in the decisions that shape the future of our country?”. Have comfort, convenience and ease erased our thirst for civic engagement and responsibility and replaced them with complacency? Read Andy Andrews book and begin that dialogue for answers within your family and yourself. Lynn Beshear, Library Foundation Board Member Executive Director, Envision 2020


for Revenge ThomasDying McPherson, Jr. by Eric Jerome Dickey

F DICKEY All Library Locations except Hampstead

Michael Briddell

Don’t laugh, but if a book has an interesting cover design and well-written first paragraph, I’ll take it home to read. My system had only failed me once…until Dying for Revenge caused my second letdown. The novel starts out great: the main character has to defend himself from a would-be killer in a public bathroom in the Cayman Islands. After that, there’s little that is worthwhile. Dying is the final novel in a trilogy that follows a professional assassin known only as Gideon. It’s written in a criminal noir style that relies too heavily on listing the designer clothes and accessories the characters wear. The story weaves through the Caribbean, Europe and the South. I confess, it was thrilling to see Opelika and Birmingham mentioned, but even they weren’t enough to rescue this tale. To be fair, there were a few examples of nicely developed characters. The cab driver who doesn’t read too well and doesn’t mind using violence to protect Gideon as he recovers from a health malady is believable and interesting. However, all of the hired killers in the story, with wardrobes from Paris and Milan are not. Looking for mindless, escapism laced with violence and graphic “romance”? Spend some time with Gideon as Mary Jaunita Owes heMcLemore narrowly escapes death and pursues deadly revenge…just don’t expect the Pulitzer folks to ever award this book with a prize. Michael Briddell, Director, Public Information & External Affairs

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett F FOLLETT All Library Locations Ken Follett is one of our best contemporary storytellers…in my humble opinion. Some of his best work is when he uses history as a backdrop. Fall of Giants solidifies his reputation. The massive book (1,000 glorious pages) follows five fictional families at the start of the 20th century and intertwines them through World War I, The Russian Revolution and the women’s suffrage movement in England. History buffs (and everyone else) will savor the cameos made by Woodrow Wilson, Churchill and Stalin. Nonhistorians will enjoy and be grateful for the tutorial as Follett skillfully details the politics that led to World War I and theBeshear Russian Revolution. Lynn Follett is at his best as he details the horror of trench warfare on the front lines and the terror as villagers overrun an aristocratic Russian estate. He craftfully creates vivid images of life in America, a deadly fire in a Welsh coal mine, an impoverished post war Europe and dozens of other locales. Giants covers a lot of territory, but superb character development holds everything together seamlessly. 100 pages 4

by an ungifted writer can be torture. Follett’s ability to keep readers spellbound for 1,000 pages is a testament to his mastery. Here’s the best part: Giants is the first installment in The Century Trilogy. As the novel nears its conclusion, it slyly mentions an obscure German politician whose oratorical skills are attracting huge crowds. Presumably, the same five families in Giants will be featured in Winter of the World, the trilogy’s second installment and the as yet unnamed final book. Now… how do I persuade the Circulation Desk staff to move me to the top of the waiting list for Winter of the World? Just joking! Michael Briddell, Director, Public Information & External Affairs How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston 305.8960 THURSTON Morgan Lots of comedians write books and should stick to stand-up comedy, but Baratunde Thurston is no ordinary comedian. He was raised in a drug-infested Washington, DC neighborhood where his father was murdered when Thurston was just six years old. Sadly, that’s not too uncommon, but he went on to attend Sidwell Friends (same school as President Obama’s daughters and Chelsea Clinton) before graduating from Harvard. This combination gives Thurston the ability to be hilarious, insightful and razor sharp with his satire. The book’s premise (a manual of advice on how to be black) would fall flat on its face in the hands of a less gifted writer, and not all of Thurston’s points hit the target. However, most of the writing is entertaining and some of it is laugh-aloud funny. His observations (made during the thick of the Republican primaries) of former presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michelle Bachman, perfectly blend social commentary and comedy. His predictions (that later came true) will make some readers wonder if he has a crystal ball…or if he’d at least be willing to suggest numbers for the next Powerball Lottery mega-jackpot. Thurston offers tips on how to become the next black president, how to be the sole black person in the workplace and a few other scenarios. The advice comes with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but good satire also contains nuggets of truth and Thurston delivers. He gets assistance from a “panel” of contributors who share their blackness observations. Thurston includes a white person in the group…for the sake of diversity! How to be Black is funny, thought provoking and shouldn’t offend anyone who isn’t hyper-sensitive. Reviewed by Michael Briddell


April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How it Changed America Michael Eric Dyson 323.173 All Locations except Hampstead It is difficult to tell just how the death of Martin Luther King affected America. One would wonder if, indeed, it would have been differently had he lived to continue his Strides Towards Justice and Freedom. Much has been accomplished but much is left to be achieved. Many soldiers have continued the battle; however what might have been the ongoing long standing strategic goal of Dr. King, had he lived longer? Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and lives in Washington, DC. As a sociologist, he is perhaps well equipped to push the envelope in making the reader give serious thought to how life is around us and the role that we play in making life viable for everyone. It isn’t about the color of a person but more of how can we live with one another, in harmony, and grow our communities. America is no greater than its small parts. The book is presented in three parts with part one containing three acts. In each of the three acts, Dr. Dyson explores the life of Dr. King and the things going on around him as Dr. King’s life plays out before America’s eyes; constantly facing death. It is the things that he did that causes one to pause and ask yourself, did he really know that his life was about to end. Dr. Dyson pens Dr. King as Moses and it does appear, based on my knowledge of the Bible that Dr. King’s life was similar to Moses. You may recall how Moses struggled with answering the call of the Lord. In part two, Dr. Dyson begins to dissect the events of twenty-five years since 1968. As President Clinton asked a question during a speech to a black Pentecostal audience, if Martin Luther King appeared beside me now, what report card would he give to America? Dr. Dyson reports that much has been achieved, there are more black Americans holding powerful positions in America, more blacks engaged in community building, working to make our communities viable places to live, certainly there is more wealth in the black community and the black community is stronger than ever, however one must also admit that there are more blacks in poverty in America; more young people killing one another over nothing. Would that please the great Moses? On the other hand, would it cause him to feel, that his life was in vain. “What have we done to help our fellow man?” is a question asked by Dr. Dyson. As I began reading this book, I could not help but wonder about those questions because of the events occurring in our city over the past several months. What have we done to guide and direct our young people or better still what can we do? How can we encourage our young people to settle their differences in a more civil manner, how can we get our young men to pull their trousers up, to abandon the sell and use of illegal drugs and to respect not only others but more importantly themselves. It is a crossroad that at some point we all must cross. Are we giving all that we can to make our communities better? Dr. Dyson asks the question, is it the nagging persistence of poverty for one-fourth of the black community that hurts our population? Jaunita Owes, Library Director


The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives by Katie Couric 646.7009 COURIC Morgan, Coliseum, Lowder, Governor’s Square, Pine Level That tenacious, spunky Katie Couric sits atop what appears to be a book on the cover of this title. With her big beautiful smile, as if to say I have a joke to share with you. Beautiful as always, you can just see the happiness in her life that she shares through being a celebrity in America. Filled with good humor, The Best Advice I Ever Got provides wisdom, ideas and wit from well-known celebrities who live ordinary lives in extraordinary ways. Among them is Morgan Freeman who shares his wisdom in You Quit, You Fail as he tells a story of sailing down the Windward Islands in St. Lucia and realizing that his vessel had a mechanical problem, he takes a dinghy to shore. Searching the entire island and still unable to find the part needed to repair the boat, he sat down, tired, hungry, and discouraged and ready to give up. When a stranger walked up and inquired of his problem, the stranger said follow me, which, he did, and was led to what we call in America, a shade tree mechanic. There in this yard was exactly what he needed to get his boat running again. Morgan learned that day never to give up, because if you do, you will fail. Katie Couric filled this book with many one-page testimonies of what has worked in the lives of some extraordinary people. The book is divided into 10 chapters with some catchy titles, such as Never Give Up, Be Unreasonable, Everyone Needs a Cheerleader. In addition to the catchy titles, some of the extraordinary people who submitted testimonies are NFL Quarterback, Drew Brees; Olympic Gold Medalist, Michele Kwan; Super Model, Tyra Banks; Former President Jimmy Carter; Movie Director, Steven Spielberg; and Olympic Gold Medalist, Apolo Ohno. Among others are World Renowned Chef, Mario Batali; Greek American author and syndicated columnist, Arianna Huffington; former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice; Millionaire, Donald Trump; and it doesn’t stop there, the list of testimonies are among the top celebrities in the world and span the generations. Katie reports that all of the testimonies are from people whom she knows and cherishes the friendship that she shares with them. This is an inspiring book, one that is according to the author..“Delightful, empowering, and moving. It is the perfect book for anyone who is thinking about the future, contemplating taking a risk, or daring to make a leap into the great unknown. This book is for all of us, young or old, who want to see how today’s best and brightest got it right, got it wrong, and came out on top.” Jaunita Owes, Library Director This Child Will Be Great: A Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf CD B JOHNSON Morgan This Child will be Great is a historical review of Liberia and the things that happened in the country from the view of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The title comes from a declaration made by an old man of a baby girl who was only a few days old, Ellen Johnson. As the story goes the actual statement to the baby’s mother was “This child shall be great. This child is going to lead.” And so this murmuring would forever be the gauge by which her family would push Ellen to live through, rise above and work through difficulties, trials, tribulations and setbacks. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Monrovia, Liberia on October 29, 1938 and was educated in Liberia. At the young age of 17 she married James Sirleaf and bore him two children, at different times, in the same year. The marriage was an abusive marriage as she was simply too young to be married. Years later she would leave Liberia and gain much knowledge regarding government, economics and other areas that ultimately led to who she is today. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president of Liberia in 2006 after fourteen years of turbulent uprisings, and economic problems under leaders who were more concerned with robbing the government of resources that could have solved many of the problems in Liberia. She carries the reader through her years of exile from Liberia, the challenges she faced on a personal level and even times spent in prison for being a political activist. She carries the reader through her good times and her bad times 7

in America and in Liberia. She explores how people in Liberia discriminate against themselves. This discrimination is based on skin tone and whether you are a natural descendant of Liberia or one whom Liberians call AmericoLiberians. For it was the Americo-Liberians who represented the elite settled class of people who were ex-slaves from America who came to Liberia as free men and settled the country. I found the book very informative and gained a deeper appreciation for Liberia and the will and strength of a great woman who is leaving an indelible mark on the global community. I especially recommend this book to historians but I also recommend it to someone who wants to learn more on the development and growth of a West African country called Liberia. After all Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s life, compassion and care of her fellow man led her to earn and win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. It was their non-violent struggle for safety of women and women’s right to be included in the governance of Liberia and in the peace building mission of Liberia for which they have been recognized. Jaunita Owes, Library Director


Guest Contributors She by Kathryn Tucker Windham B WINDHAM All eleven library locations She is a delightful short book that takes the reader through a humorous saga of the aging process after 90+ years of living. The author introduces us to She, an alter ego, who blatantly disrupts her life. Driving, eating, walking, cleaning away years of accumulation are dilemmas faced in the book. Anyone who has a friend or family member that has gone through the aging process will appreciate the sad but funny tale. I highly recommend this to seniors. Jacqueline Hunt Patton Coliseum Branch Library A Wish and a Prayer by Beverly Jenkins F JENKINS All Library Locations This is the fourth book in a series. However, the books are written in a manner where reading the earlier books is not a prerequisite for enjoyment and understanding of the current book. A revisit to Henry Adams, Kansas, a town purchased off EBay by a wealthy divorcee. This book focuses on Preston, an intellectually gifted foster child who wants to know about his biological family; Riley and Cletus (a hog) have their day in court; Robin might take a chance at love (again) with Jack; and Bernadine’s life is threatened by an unknown person. There are numerous twists and turns, but overall, a good book that explores family values and commitment. Louvenia Graham, Page Turner Book Club Bertha Pleasant Williams Library, Rosa Parks Ave. Branch

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson F JACKSON All Library Locations Joshilyn Jackson’s A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is humorous, quirky, poignant, and bittersweet. Through the eyes of three female characters: Ginny, who is also known as Big; Liza, her daughter; and Mosey, her granddaughter, a multifaceted novel unfolds. It begins with Big worrying about the Slocumb family “curse.” For it seems that every fifteen years, there has been an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. It had happened to Big and Liza, and now Mosey is turning fifteen. However, along with her uneasiness about Mosey, Big has another major concern. Liza had recently suffered a stroke, so to facilitate her rehabilitation, Big announces that she plans to have a swimming pool installed in the backyard. There is only one problem: Liza’s favorite tree must be removed. Despite Mosey’s protests against the idea, Big does not relent. Later that day when a local handyman cuts down the tree, the remains of a baby are discovered. This event sets off shock waves through the lives of Big, Liza, and Mosey. Secrets are revealed, long-held beliefs are debunked, and feelings of love are strengthened or renewed. Readers who enjoyed Gods in Alabama will not be disappointed with Joshilyn Jackson’s latest offering. J. Wimberly, After Five Book Club, Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library


Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson F PATTERS All locations except Ramer This book was intertwined with mystery, suspense, and intrigue. A group from Saudi Arabia has infiltrated America with the goal to kill as many Americans as possible. Of course, it starts in Washington, D. C. with plans to expand. The twist to this group is that they worked in couples. To avoid capture when their assigned job was completed, the couples had to eat a cyanide capsule which caused an immediate but painful death. While the terrorists are blowing up various places in the D. C. area, the President of the United States son and daughter are kidnapped from their prestigious, private school. Every law enforcement agency imaginable becomes involved in looking for the President’s children. Louvenia Graham, After 5 Book Club Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library

Party Princess by Meg Cabot YA F CABOT Morgan This book I’m commenting on is called Party Princess by Meg Cabot. It is a very interesting book; honestly, this is one of the best books I have ever read, and I was so happy that I finally got to finish it. There are so many things to like about the book; for example, the main person in the book is trying to work out three problems at once, and that requires a lot of work. This book was so good I spent the entire night reading the whole book, and when I finished I realized that it was already about six o’clock in the morning. Anybody who has read this book, I hope you enjoyed it, and everyone who hasn’t read this book; I hope you get a chance to read it and I hope you will enjoy it. Enina “Nina” Ashley Egiebor, Age: 11, Grade: 6 School: Alabama Catholic Academy, E L Lowder Regional Library Patron


Easy / Juvenile Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems E WILLEMS All Locations Leonardo is a favorite among both children and adults. This picture book portrays a terrible monster, but not the kind of terrible one would think. Leonardo is simply terrible at being a monster. On his quest to “scare the tuna salad out of someone” Leonardo meets a little boy named Sam. Then, something wonderful happens. This book is a great read aloud and fun for pre-schoolers and elementary kids alike. You might even convince a middle schooler to admit to his or her love for Leonardo. The writing is humorous and the illustrations are simple and perfectly suited to the story. Families will enjoy this humorous and endearing story about perseverance and friendship. (This book is not paginated; illustrated, for ages 3 and above). Taylor Barth, Librarian I Hampstead Branch Library

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver JSF OLIVER All Locations Liesl and Will are both in a bad situation. Liesl’s father has recently died, leaving her stuck in the attic under the care of her horrible stepmother. Will had the unfortunate luck to have been adopted by the Alchemist and forced into apprenticeship. When Will makes a big mistake, the Alchemist becomes even crueler in his treatment of his “worthless” apprentice. Will knows it’s escape or death. His path inadvertently crosses with the girl from the attic, Liesl, who is also making her escape from the confines of the attic. With help from Po the ghost, the unlikely pair must work together to avoid escape. Liesl & Po combines tragedy, magic and unique and somewhat odd characters to create an unusual and interesting story. Lauren Oliver is also the author of the award winning Young Adult title, If I Fall and several other YA titles, including Delirium and Pandemonium. (307 pages; illus., Ages 8 – 12). Taylor Barth, Librarian I Hampstead Branch Library


I Love It When You Smile by Sam McBratney E MCBRATNEY All Library Locations I Love It When You Smile was a favorite of mine. This book is about a little kangaroo named Roo, who wakes up feeling grumpy and his mother tries all kinds of things to get him to smile. Little Roo’s mother tries tickling him and throwing him in the air, a game little kangaroos play, but that didn’t even make him smile. Roo’s mother tried tossing leaves in the air and they all came down on Little Roo but “I still don’t want to” was all Roo said. Well, you will be surprised to know what muddy slip up got Little Roo to actually smile. I Love It When You Smile has beautiful pictures that will surely get the reader’s attention and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on any toddler’s face by the end of the story. Fredriatta Brown-Greene, Children’s Librarian Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin E LITWIN All Library Locations Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes was a favorite with my Summer Reading group this year. The story is about a cat named Pete who loves wearing his red school shoes, and Pete sings a little song everywhere he goes about these shoes. Pete visits the library, lunchroom, and playground and does all kinds of things in his school shoes while singing his song. When Pete gets home his mom asks him, “What did you do today at school?’’ Guess what Pete told his mom? Fredriatta Brown-Greene, Children’s Librarian Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss E SEUSS All Locations Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is a classic Christmas story that people of all ages can read and enjoy throughout the year. The story centers on a mean-spirited Grinch, who never smiles, but always frowns. As the town of Whoville and its people are in the Christmas spirit, the Grinch becomes angrier and angrier and his face changes from bad to worse because he does not understand the meaning of Christmas. However, his face turns tender when he finally understands its meaning. Before he does, however, he acts out evil doings on the town of Whoville and its people. He disguises himself as Santa and forces his dog Max into helping him steal all the toys and ornaments from the homes of Whoville’s citizens and the town itself. He believes that once he has gotten rid of everything that represents Christmas, the Christmas spirit will be gone. However, he didn’t expect


to meet a young girl by the name of Cindy Lou Who, who makes him reexamine the true meaning of Christmas. Finally, when the true meaning of Christmas dawns on him, his frown turns into a joyful smile. This is one my favorite Christmas stories. Checkout a copy of this story for your family to read during the holiday season and keep the true meaning of Christmas alive in your heart. Christine Flynn, Page Governor’s Square Branch Library Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg Heffley’s Journal by Jeff Kinney JF KINNEY All locations Let’s face it; those middle school years can be tough. We all remember (even though we’ve probably tried to forget) certain embarrassing moments from that time. It’s easy to laugh at them now, but back then it sure wasn’t funny. Thanks to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we can laugh at those traumatizing moments now because they are happening in hilarious form to Greg Heffley, the hero of this book. I know this might be a juvenile fiction book, but I can guarantee that any adult that picks up this book will probably find more than one of Greg’s disasters that we can identify with. Whether it’s hoping not to get humiliated by his parents, trying to talk to a cute girl, putting up with his brothers Roderick and Manny or struggling through school work, Greg is sure to have to endure it and it is certain to be incredibly funny. This book inspired a whole series and three movies and if you have kids of middle school age you are most certainly aware of this. Now, this is your chance to see what they are talking (and laughing) about!! James Greer, Branch Head Ramer Branch Library

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger CD JM ANGLEBE Morgan Horton Halfpott is a story of a poor kitchen boy who works for the very strict M’Lady Luggertuck of Smugwick Manor. It seems Horton can never get a break from the despair of poverty and sickness. With his weekly salary of a penny, he works very hard to save money for the treatment his ailing father needs. Things go from bad to worse for Horton when the Luggertucks lump goes missing and he becomes the number one suspect when an incompetent detective is assigned to the case. This G-Rated novel reminds me of an upbeat version of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, and it will leave you asking questions, such as will Horton ever overcome his bleak circumstances while living in Smugwick Manor? And will he ever save enough money for his father’s treatment and prove his innocence of the theft and find happiness in the end? Maneia James, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Heaven is for Real for Kids as told by Colton Burpo to his parents, Todd & Sonja Burpo, Illustrated by Wilson Ong E 236 BURPO All Library Locations Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit heaven? I have heard about people having near death or out of the body experiences who have actually died and were revived and lived to tell others about their experiences. Heaven is for Real for Kids is a true story of a little three and a half year old boy’s extraordinary account of his time in heaven. Let me give you a glimpse of some of Colton Burpo’s amazing moments that he told his parents that he wants to share with other children. Colton got very sick and was taken to the hospital. He went to sleep and when he woke again he was with Jesus and his angels. He was carried to heaven by one of the angels. He heard wonderful music and saw a city of beautiful bright colors like a rainbow. The streets were shiny and gold and there was a big gate made of pearls. He met people from the Bible, other children and some of his relatives especially his older sister whom he had never seen before. Colton got to play with all kinds of animals in heaven. He was crazy about Jesus’ beautiful white horse. The place in heaven that Colton loved most was around the throne of God. Angels were everywhere and always busy. He learned a lot from Jesus who talked to him a lot. Jesus told Colton he had to go back to tell others how to get to heaven and He really loves them. The illustrations in the book capture all the wonders of Colton’s incredible journey to heaven. Colton’s account of things that he saw is supported by scripture from the Bible throughout the book. A child of his age would not know about things of this caliber and how to express it. Words of truth came out of the mouth of this babe. Personally, I do believe heaven is for real and I enjoyed reading a child’s innocent perspective of his journey to this wonderful place God has prepared for us. Today, Colton is twelve and a half years old. He likes to play football and enjoys music. His trip to heaven will always be a part of life to share with others. There is an adult version called Heaven is for Real. You can read more details about Colton’s trip to heaven and back. This is written by his dad Todd Burpo. Joan Means, Branch Head Governor’s Square Branch Library

Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore J811.2 - MOORE All Locations I like to hold on to stories that are dear to my heart. Twas the Night Before Christmas is truly a Christmas classic and treasure that has been enjoyed by children and adults throughout time. I love this story of rhyme because it takes you back to those good old days. It reminds each of us about the importance of all of the preparations we make for this wonderful time of the season. The story begins by giving you a description as to how it was inside the home on the night before Christmas. It was so quiet that you couldn’t hear anything moving not even mice. The story continues by giving insight into how everyone had prepared for bed and what they were wearing. Exciting dreams and thoughts danced in their minds about the anticipated arrival of Santa. I know that you’ve heard this story over and over, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without this story. Let’s keep this tradition going by reading this story to our children every year. I Wish a Merry Christmas to All of You and to All a Good Christmas Night. Tabitha V. Pack, Library Assistant I Governor’s Square Branch Library 14

Tanka Tanka Skunk by Steve Webb E WEBB Morgan, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square Tanka Tanka Skunk is a fun book for early readers. I recommend this book to any young readers that love and enjoy dancing. It shows them in the book how words can be broken into syllables to create music, and that each word goes with a rhythm and beat. Margeret Smith, Page Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

My Two Holidays: (A Hanukkah and Christmas Story) by Danielle Novack Illus. Phyllis Harris E NOVACK Lewis, Morgan, Lowder, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Pike Road, Hampstead This is a very enlightening story about a boy named Sam. Sam and his family always celebrated two holidays. One day his teacher discussed the different holidays that families celebrate and let each child discuss the holidays that their family celebrates. After each child discussed different holidays, Sam felt embarrassed to say that he celebrated two holidays. He was so embarrassed that when it was time for him to discuss holidays celebrated by his family, he ran into the bathroom. Later at home his mother asked him what was wrong. He stated that he did not want to go to school anymore. His mother asked why, and he explained what had happened. His mother explained to him that his father was a Christian. She told him that was the reason for the Christmas tree, decorations, and presents. She explained that she was Jewish and the Menorah had been in her family for many generations and that was why they celebrated Hanukkah. He felt so excited that the next day he proudly walked into his classroom and explained to the class that his family celebrates two holidays. The children thought this was cool. He felt proud to be the only child in class that celebrated two holidays. A very delightful story! Minnie H. Stringer, Librarian I Rufus A. Lewis Library

Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker J F PENNY All Locations Clementine and Margaret are the kind of friends that I would call on and off. I can recall having a friend like Margaret, always wanting things her way. Margaret is only one year older than Clementine. However, Margaret can be kind of a braggy girl but very organized. Clementine enjoyed having Margaret in her class and decided to get her to help her persuade the class to speak good things about her. But, Clementine goes over the limit with trying to convince her classmate that she is a wonderful person. Margaret tells her that if she does things for her classmates they would write nice things about her in the friendship booklet that is usually given out to the “friend of the week”. But, she has a falling out with Margaret. So she has to do the job on her own. Clementine decides to give all of her classmates’ tattoos of their choice, but finds herself in trouble with Mrs. 15

Rice, the principal. This would not be the first time she was called to the office for drawing tattoos on the students. Clementine has a younger brother that she finds very annoying and she constantly changes his name which all refer to vegetable names. She also has the love of her life and when all things go wrong she can always turn to her cat “Moisturizer”. Maria is another girl that Clementine’s mother would drop her off to play. Maria was not allowed to watch television; her mother thought watching television would only “rot your brain”. But she did lots of other things instead. The parade rally is coming up, but Margaret refused to attend because she had competition Saturday morning. So, Clementine invites all her classmates to the rally. Nineteen bikes would be decorated with father’s basement gifts. She was excited. But something was missing, Moisturizer!!!!! Will the bike rally go on? Will Margaret and Clementine renew their relationship? But, most of all will Clementine find her Moisturizer? You must read the book to find out. This book was really funny, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to all. Shirley Toston, Librarian I E L Lowder Regional Library

Transformers Dark of the Moon Bumblebee’s Best Friend E TURNER Lowder, Morgan, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Hampstead Sam Witwicky has saved the world twice but he did not do it alone. Sam’s good friends the Autobots (which are called Transformers) have helped him stop the Decepticons from taking over the world. Sam’s best friend is an Autobot, but it is also a black and yellow Camaro. In the beginning of this story, Sam and Bumblebee are not protecting the planet from the Decepticons. Sam’s job is to deliver mail to everyone at the office where he works. He misses his friend Bumblebee and the exciting jobs they use to do together. One day while at work, someone gives Sam an envelope and tells him that his friends are in danger. It’s up to Sam to help them. As Sam tries to prepare to get the mysterious envelope to Optimus Prime, the tricky Decpticons began to make his job very difficult. Through all of the action of lights, sirens, and cannons blasting, will the Decepticons take over the planet or will the Autobots save the planet again? Stacie Williams, Librarian I E L Lowder Regional Library You Can Be A Friend! by Tony & Lauren Dungy E DUNGY All library locations Jade is playing with her brother and sister when they all notice that there are new neighbors moving in. When Jade finally finds out that one of the neighbors may be a girl her age, she is very excited and happy at the same time. With their mom’s help, they make cookies to welcome the new neighbors into the neighborhood. As each family introduces themselves, Jade anxiously waits to meet the girl who she can play with. When Jade finally meets Hannah, she notices Hannah is in a wheelchair. Jade begins to wonder if Hannah can be her friend because she is in wheelchair, and can’t do any of the things her and her friends do. Her parents inform Jade that’s not a reason not to be someone’s friend. Jade then gets to know Hannah and they become best of friends. 16

Jade then thinks about her birthday party she planned at the water park. This is when Jade realizes that she may not have as much fun as she wants because of Hannah’s disability. Will Jade change her mind about her party? Or will she even invite Hannah to her party? Stacie Williams, Librarian I E L Lowder Regional Library

The All I’ll Ever Want Christmas Doll by Patricia McKissack E MCKISSA Lowder, Morgan, Lewis, Governor’s Square, Bertha Williams, Pintlala Nella is excited about Christmas, but realizes Santy Clause doesn’t come by to bring gifts every Christmas. If Santy does stop this year, all Nella wants him to bring is a beautiful doll named “Baby Betty”. As Nella announces that she wants Baby Betty, her big sister reminds her that they’re in a Depression and that she shouldn’t wish for something she’s never going to get. Nella decided she wouldn’t believe her sister and decided to write Santy Clause a letter and send it to him. On Christmas Eve they sang Christmas carols and then one by one they fell asleep. The next day on Christmas they each received stockings filled with walnuts, a peppermint stick, an orange, and a box of raisins. This was the most they had ever gotten at Christmas and they were happy and grateful. The girls also received one special gift and they can’t believe it! Baby Betty! As they all reach for the doll, Nella yells that the doll is hers, because she was the one who asked Santy Claus for it. Nella soon finds out that Baby Betty is not as much fun as she thought she would be. Will Nella make the decision to share the doll and be with her sisters? Stacie Williams, Librarian I E L Lowder Regional Library

Diary of a Wimpy: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney JF KINNEY Morgan, Lowder, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks, Lewis, Governor’s Square, Coliseum, Ramer, Pine Level The book is comprised of a full two hundred and seventeen pages. In addition, it is filled with dozens of animations and pictures. The introduction, and chapter labeled “New Year’s Day” are good attention getters. The book is mostly about the main character, Gregory, taking a New Year’s resolution evaluation of his family. I think this book is, absolutely, a must read. It is very interesting and funny. It appears to be an autobiography of Gregory’s daily life as he is trying to deal with family issues, and as he deals with bullies. For example, his brother Rodrick, and bullies at school that he and his friend, Rowley, have to deal with. Gregory learns how to deal with embarrassment and his crush on a girl, Holly E. Hills. He is a very brave boy and has a huge imagination. For example, a section of the book describes him imagining his and Rowley’s interaction with a time capsule and a time machine, and another with Gregory imagining that he was with a girl that he and Rowley had met. In this instance, he imagined Rowley as his servant bringing the girl and him drinks. I would recommend this book for all ages, not only children, but everyone dealing with the good and bad of daily life and issues. Roderick Wilkerson, Page Bertha Pleasant Williams Library, Rosa Parks Ave. Branch Library 17

Matched by Allie Condie YA SF CONDIE All Locations

Young Adult

Matched is a dystopian novel about a girl named Cassia and the love for her best friend Xander and Ky, a guy she barely knows. The Society chooses what you eat, what you wear, when you die, and who you marry. Seeing that the Society has had a smooth running life in the past, Cassia trusted that the best decision would be made when it came time for her to be matched with her life partner. When teens reach the age of seventeen, the Society holds a “Matching Banquet” for the teens once a year to show who will be paired with whom. The Society has sorted and matched each couple and they have produced almost perfect results to each individual’s life. Cassia was elated when she saw her best friend Xander’s face on one of her micro cards. It wasn’t until the bitter end when Ky’s face appeared on the micro card that Cassia began to doubt the Society. Never has a mistake been made to this capacity. While the Society reassured her it was just a glitch in the system, Cassia’s gut instinct tells her otherwise. As her mind began to wander on what it could be like with Ky, she grows more distant from the one that has always been there. Xander was familiar, he was her comfort, Ky on the other hand was something new that she dared to try. As both Cassia and Ky begin to fall for one another, Cassia must decide as to whether she would sacrifice the life that she has been so familiar with or to run off into the unknown with Ky. I found “Matched” an entertaining read. It makes one appreciate the freedom of choice. I recommend this book for both teens and adults. Zipporah Bonney, Library Assistant I Governor Square Library

Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad YA F CONRAD All Locations The L.A. Candy series is a fun, drama-packed trilogy written by Lauren Conrad. The series follows Jane Roberts and her best friend, Scarlet Harp, who move from Santa Barbara into the big lights of Hollywood. Their natural good looks and small town values arouse the interest of Trevor Lord, a relatively well known Reality TV show producer, who needs faces to attract a younger audience. Now Jane and Scarlett have made it, but fame is not what they expected and the strains of stardom will put their friendship to the ultimate test. This last book in the L.A. Candy series, Sugar and Spice, brings the trilogy to a satisfying end. With betrayals, fame, scandals, and friendships, this book keeps you alert from start to finish. The season 2 premiere has just begun. What is supposed to be a joyous celebration for the continuation of the show has turned into anything but. Our main character Jane is still trying to recover from last season’s drama: a trusted friend betrayed her, her drunken, abusive celebrity boyfriend was sent to rehab, her now ex celebrity boyfriend’s best friend has yet to respond to the text message she sent confessing her feelings for him and has since then moved away, and she and her best friend, the only real reason she moved to L.A., have had a major falling out. All of the young ladies have become very widely known but this is not enough for Madison Parker, who will stop at nothing to have the starring role in the show. Madison though has her own set of problems this season. She received a note from an unknown person who threatens to blackmail her and reveal all her deepest darkest secrets. Just who could this mystery person be? Could this be a prank from Jane trying to seek revenge? Scarlett this time has found love at last but how long will it last since she broke the number one rule: no dating 18

staff members, her boyfriend was fired off the set and since then has had a hard time finding a job. How did Trevor Lord find out about their dating since they had been so careful? Gaby, bless her heart, is still struggling to find her place in the world. L.A. Candy producer Trevor Lord, has been told that the show needs a new angle could Gaby be just the angle he needs? The show really begins to be a challenge for the girls. They begin to miss their privacy and the unscripted, unrehearsed surprises of life. In reality this show has not proved to be a reality, Trevor seems to only be interested in the show’s ratings and not in the girls’ reputations therefore he always seems to capture the girls’ awkward moments. Will the girls wise up and take back control of their lives before it is too late? If you like to read about drama, friendship, scandal and suspense, stop by any of our branches and pick up a copy of this book: Sugar and Spice. You won’t be disappointed! Kari Burton, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Max the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick YA F PHIL Morgan Have you ever wondered when you were in middle school what was up with the creepy kid who kept staring at you? You know the kid who everyone called weird, the one who always carried the same old book around in school. In this novel, there are two kids who everyone else considers weird. They are not exactly friends; more or less it is the case of a guy helping a damsel-in-distress. It’s all too common in real life situations. Martin is a Bible-thumping man of the Cross, one of those that preach the Bible but live contrary to it. He is also the step-father of Rachel, the damsel-in-distress. Rachel’s mother tries to stand up to Martin, but ends up lying about her bruises to save her husband’s good name. Rachel is being abused by her step-father. Her mother is afraid of being alone and hides the abuse even from herself. When she decides enough is enough she tries to defend Rachel but that’s when she is beaten to a bloody pulp. The police are called and like too many battered women, Rachel’s mother sticks with the abuser and lies about her bruises. Her fear and need to have a man is the reason Rachel is being abused. But unlike most abuse stories someone is watching Rachel. Some other kid who is drawn to her eccentric behavior has followed her home. That someone is Maxwell. Maxwell hears cries, sees blood, someone lying on the floor unresponsive, and a man standing over the person. Then, unlike most abuse stories, Maxwell sees Rachel and tries to rescue her. A police search is initiated, and the person of interest is sought for the crime…..kidnapping. This is unlike any abuse story. The suspense, drama, and action will keep you locked in as you read through this novel. The purpose is to never judge someone on the basis of them being different from you. Rather find a connection that links you to that other person. Carlene Dickerson, Reference Page Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood YA JF BLACKWOOD Lewis, Morgan, Governor’s Square, Bertha Williams Rosa Parks, Ramer, Pike Road The Year of the Hangman is an alternate reality revolutionary war fiction. The story is set in 1777 with some very accurate historical references. This action packed thriller is full of twists and turns, and quite a few surprises. This thriller is strongly recommended as a must read. Yusuf El Shabazz, Library Assistant I Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis YA F Curtis Morgan, Lewis, Lowder, Governor’s Square, Coliseum The Watsons Go to Birmingham takes place in a 1963 setting. This story is told from the point of view of ten-year-old Kenny and it is quite hilarious, even though the circumstances were unfortunate in this era in the South. The family escapes to the South (Birmingham, Alabama) from Flint, Michigan in hopes of saving and protecting young Byron from worldly troubles. However, the family ends up in an emotional and racial disaster due to the events of the Birmingham Church Bombing. It touches young Kenny as he realizes the cruelness of the world and the struggles of his African American people to move forward in this world. After this event, the relationship of the unusually close Watson family becomes closer as they work together to emotionally support each other through this hard time. I would strongly recommend this novel to children of all ages, but especially to the African American’s youth because there is a loss of appreciation for our race that has brought us thus far in the world today. If children of the world today realized the struggles of our people, perhaps there would be more unity rather than more separation among our people. Cherlyn Hall, Librarian Assistant I Coliseum Blvd. Branch Library

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson YA SF CARSON All Library Locations The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a thrill ride with several twists and turns. The main character is a 16 year old girl named Elisa. The book starts with her predetermined marriage to King Alejandro, who rules the desert kingdom of Joya d’Arena. She has never laid eyes on the King, and is surprised by his good looks and charm. They are married in Elisa’s home of Orovalle and then travel many miles across the desert to Joya d’Arena, the largest of the two desert kingdoms. While in route, they are attacked by a tribe of warriors. Several people are killed and wounded. When Elisa arrives in Joya d’Arena she is surprised that she is not greeted in a fashion deserving of a queen. Elisa also discovers there are many secrets that she has to keep in addition to the one that she has kept since birth. Elisa is the bearer of the Godstone. Therefore she has been chosen by God to carry out his mission. This has been a burden for her because she has no idea what her mission is and she feels she is not strong 20

enough to carry it out. All she can do is pray hard and make decisions that she feels are right. After arriving at the king’s castle, Elisa finds that she has very few friends. Only living there a short time, Elisa is kidnapped and marched across the desert. She discovers the reasons behind the warring nations and makes new friends and enemies on her journey and, more importantly, discovers self-confidence. I loved the desert scenes and the intrigue of the battle plans. I liked how Elisa proved to herself that she could make a difference and often did it in the nick of time. There was sorcery and magic involved in the book, which has always fascinated me. I was disappointed that Elisa’s relationship with Humberto, one of her kidnappers, did not get to evolve. This is the author’s first novel and the first in a trilogy. I would recommend this book to adult and young adult audiences. Jeanine Hughes, Library Assistant II Pike Road Branch Library

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater YA SF STIEFVA All Library Locations The capaill uisce (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-ka), also known as water horses, emerge from the sea every November. They are beautiful creatures – at least twice the size of regular horses – and they boast colors that are usually only seen in sunsets and the sea. Brave or foolish young men attempt to tame the water horses and ride them to glory and fortune in the Scorpio Races. However, the uisce are wild, carnivorous beasts that are likely to devour their riders or drag them to their death in the sea. Although they don’t know each other, Sean Kendrick and Puck Connolly share a terrible bond – both have lost parents to the water horses – but they had very different reactions to their respective tragedies. Puck swears to have nothing to do with the water horses or the Scorpio Races, while Sean loves Corr, the water horse that he has ridden to four championships. However, when Puck’s older brother reveals that he is planning to leave her and their little brother and when Benjamin Malvern, Sean’s boss and Corr’s owner, threatens to evict the Connollys from their home, she follows the only path left for her and it leads directly to Sean and the Scorpio Races. Author Maggie Stiefvater (pronounced STEVE-otter) first grabs hold of the reader’s heartstrings through Sean and Corr. Horse-loving readers will enjoy the bond between the young man and his water horse, although any reader that has experienced a close bond with a beloved animal will care for them as well. Meanwhile, Stiefvater puts a firm grip on the reader’s remaining heartstrings with Puck and her family. Puck’s plight grounds the story in a very relatable situation as she attempts to hold onto her fractured family and the only home they’ve ever known. The Connolly home is on the fictional island of Thisby. Stiefvater spent years visiting locales that resembled the Thisby in her mind’s eye, and all of that research paid off handsomely. If Thisby were a real place, the reader would want to book passage there immediately upon finishing the novel to enjoy it’s natural beauty and to get to know the residents of the island. Despite any desire to pay a return visit to Thisby, the reader will have to be content with The Scorpio Races. Stiefvater, best known for the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, defies the current teen fiction standard of publishing a trilogy or ongoing series of novels and instead offers up this “done-in-one” story. However, the characters and world of The Scorpio Races are so fully realized that the reader is left feeling satisfied, although a re-reading might be in store to better savor the clever turns of phrase that Stiefvater uses to tell her story. Matt Williams, Librarian I Pike Road Branch Library


Non-Fiction The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns About the New Global Economy by Dr. David Jeremiah 261.8 JEREMIAH Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Pike Road, Hampstead In The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns About the New Global Economy, Dr. David Jeremiah, a New York Times bestselling author, the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, CA, and the founder of Turning Point Ministries, does an extraordinary job in describing the circumstances surrounding today’s financial meltdown and how it could be an indication that we are living in the last days on Earth and a foreshadowing of a worldwide economic collapse as is prophesied in the Bible. Dr. Jeremiah also describes how the prophecies of the Bible can and will assist us in understanding and preparing ourselves for existing in the New Global Economy. Some of the major topics of prophecy discussed are the fall of the American economy, the New World Order and the New Global Economy, the Tribulation, and the collapse of the Global Financial Market. These will be very dark and fearful times for most. However, those that have chosen to put their trust in God rather than their finances have a hope that will get them through these very tough and trying times. I would recommend this book to all those who are interested in end time prophecy and how to prepare themselves to endure and overcome those things that are to come. Tommy Anderson, Collection Development

On China by Henry Kissinger 327.51 KISSINGER Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Pintlala, Pike Road, Hampstead Henry Kissinger’s book, On China, is an interesting mix of Chinese thought, strategy and history of modern Sino-American affairs. Kissinger, President Nixon’s National Security Advisor and Secretary of State for both Nixon and President Ford, was the leading force behind Nixon’s vision of détente with China after 20 years of nonexistent relations. The work begins by attempting to reconfigure a western mindset on strategy into an eastern oriented one. As the foundations for European style of governing, strategy and war are based on the philosophies of such figures as Niccolò Machiavelli and Carl Von Clausewitz, Chinese thinking is derived from the principles formulated by Confucius and Sun Tzu. From Mao Zedong to Hu Jinto, Kissinger describes the fundamental policies and thoughts that captivated the dialogue between China and the U.S. and the growing importance this relationship has on the world. With the new millennium barely started, is the reemergence of China’s economy and culture on a collision course with American dominance, or can a new generation of leaders, on both sides of the Pacific, build upon 40 years of interaction and create a mutually beneficial Pacific community? Devon Beaty, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez 668 TURN Morgan Library In the Perfumes the authors talk about the “Feminine Fragrance”, the “Masculine Fragrance”, “Chemistry and Art of Perfumes.” They also answer some frequently asked questions and give reviews of some popular perfumes. The author, Luca Turin, is a scholar in the field of olfactory science. He holds a PhD in biophysics from University College London. Tania Sanchez is a collector and scents expert. She has written hundreds of reviews on perfume Web sites. The Feminine Fragrance falls into one of six stages: Stage 1 Mother’s bathroom- that would be our early adventures with perfumes. Stage 2 Ambition and naïveté – you’re given perfume by an elder and you are happy to wear it. Stage 3 Flowers and candy- a belief that flowers are the fragrance of perfume. Stage 4 First love- Perfumes are wonderful. Stage 5 Decadence- We want the fragrance no one else has. Stage 6 Enlightenment- We want soft, simple, and just for me. With Masculine Fragrance, the book speaks of many types of male fragrance such as Eheu Fugaces, Beau Brummell, Aromatic Fougere, Affable Hybrids, Woods, Sports Fragrance and leather. All are distinct in their class. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section has so many, but the one I hear often is “How long can I keep my perfume before it goes bad?” The answer is, “it depends”. If the perfume is kept in the box it comes in and in a dark place away from bright sunlight, it can last for hundreds of years! In the “Ratings and reviews”, the highest gets five stars and is called “Masterpiece” while the lowest gets one star and is called “Awful”. In the book, Masterpiece score goes to Men’s fragrance Cool Water (Davidoff) and Grey Flannel (Geoffrey Beene); they give Very Irresistible for Men (Givenchy) and Guess Man (Guess) a score of Awful. In the Feminine Fragrance No. 5 Parfum (Chanel) and Opium (Yves Saint Laurent) score Masterpiece but Velocity (Mary Kay) and Belong (Celine Dion) score Awful. Sandra Berry, Librarian I Pintlala Branch Library All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward 973.924 Morgan Library Forty years ago, something of more-than-passing national interest occurred, although that interest was slow to build. In the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, June 17, 1972, a security guard named Frank Wills, pulling the late shift at a large, up-scale apartment-and-business complex, noticed some tape stretched across the lock of a door in the garage area. He thought that the building’s engineer had done it earlier in the day, doing routine work. He removed it and went on with his rounds. Less than a half-hour later, he inspected the same door again and found new tape on the lock. With that, he called the police, five men were arrested for burglary and, what we at many years removed can now see, history was made. Many of you already have sufficient clues: The complex was called the Watergate, the city was Washington DC, the target of the five felons (two more were soon to be arrested) was an office used as the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the mission was to install electronic eavesdropping devices. The end result culminated 26 months later with the first-time ever resignation of a U.S. President, the 37th of that title, Richard M. Nixon. The Vice President, Gerald R. Ford, was sworn in as President to serve out the remaining 895 days. “My fellow Americans,” he said on August 9th 1974, “our long national nightmare is over.” A month later, President Ford granted “a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from July (January) 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.” 23

I well remember the emotion of those days, and, for my money, the late-great Christopher Hitchens (d. last December) summed it up quite nicely: “You may choose, if you wish, to parrot the line that Watergate was a ‘long national nightmare,’ but some of us found it rather exhilarating to see a criminal president successfully investigated and exposed and discredited. And we do not think it in the least bit nightmarish that the Constitution says that such a man is not above the law.” A large part of the corruption that came to be labeled as simply “Watergate” was the near curtailment by Nixon and his men of the legal process in investigating the crime. Seldom has the value of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, wherein it is written that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” been better displayed. The ineptness of the five burglars notwithstanding, there is good reason to wonder just how different the subsequent course of events might have been were it not for the free press. All the President’s Men – perhaps the best known book on the subject and published in 1974 before the resignation – drives home just what a near thing it all was. The two authors - Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward – quickly achieved hero status as the original reporters on the story. I highly recommend it, a work of what was then history in the making and a chronicle of modern journalism. Nixon’s downfall was not inevitable. For almost nine months afterwards, it seemed that the break-in would remain just what the White House quickly dubbed it, a “third-rate burglary attempt.” Though the seven men were shown to be connected to the Committee to Re-elect the President (which made possible the rather delicious and accurate acronym CREEP), there was no direct evidence to prove involvement by the White House itself. The “Watergate Seven” were keeping silent, and that November, Nixon won re-election by a huge popular and electoral landslide. Both men at the time were relative unknowns, including to each other. But it was they, and their newspaper, The Washington Post, who all-but-single-handily breathed life into the story during those crucial months. They did it by “following the money” (a line created by the 1976 motion-picture adaptation of ATPM), working late into the night, and by interviewing reluctant and/or anonymous witnesses (the most famous of which is Woodward’s mysterious “Deep Throat”, so-called for being “deep-background,” and for a notorious XXX porn film of that title; he was revealed in 2005 as W. Mark Felt, the then Associate Director of the F.B.I.). Not only did they became convinced that there was a connection with the White House, they also discovered that the President and his men had a great deal more to fear than exposure of their involvement with just one burglary, but what Nixon’s former Attorney General and loyal partisan, John Mitchell (convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and served 19 months in jail), called “the White House horrors.” President’s Men, therefore, covers the beginning of the scandal. For the “rest of the story”, I recommend to the interested reader two additional works which, I confess, I’m still in the process of reading. Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon by Fred Emery 973.924 EME Lowder, Lewis, Governor’s Square, Pintlala Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon, written by Fred Emery, who served as The Times of London Washington Bureau chief in the 1970s, provides a clear, comprehensive, and readable history of the scandal. Everything that the epithet “Watergate” came to represent emanated from Nixon, who after finally winning the White House in 1968 by a slim margin, was obsessed with securing an over-whelming victory for a second term. The “horrors” Mitchell alluded to ran through practically the entire 5 years of the Nixon Administration and consisted of “numerous instances of officially sanctioned criminal activity and abuses of power, as well as obstruction of justice,” against the “enemies” (they had a list of about 120!) of Nixon. To read about Watergate, though, is really to read about the America of the 1960s and early 1970s, a country racked by an endless litany (so it must have seemed to many) of urban and campus rioting, assassinations, Southern resistance to basic civil rights, and capped by the Vietnam War. Out of this maelstrom arose “the so-called ‘Silent Majority’ - [the forerunner of today’s “Red State”] - that twice elected the central figure of the age, a brilliant politician who relished the battles of the day but ended them in disgrace.”


Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein 973.924 PERLSTEIN Morgan Library In Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, author Rick Perlstein has “written of the rise, between the years 1965 [the year of the Watts riots in Los Angeles] and 1972, of a nation that had believed itself to be at consensus instead becoming one of incommensurate visions of apocalypse: two loosely defined congeries of Americans, each convinced that should the other triumph, everything decent and true and worth preserving would end.” Millions of Americans saw the country as being engaged in “battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light,” but they disagreed over just which forces Nixon had assumed such a commanding role. “Richard Nixon, now, is long dead [d.1994],” Perlstein writes. “But these sides have hardly changed. We now call them ‘red’ or ‘blue’ America…[Thus the] main character in Nixonland is not Richard Nixon. Its protagonist, in fact, has no name – but lives on every page. It is the voter who, in 1964, pulled the lever for the Democrat for President because to do anything else, at least that particular Tuesday in November, seemed to court civilizational chaos, and who, eight years later, pulled the lever for the Republican for exactly the same reason.” No doubt that, for millions of Americans today, the up-coming first Tuesday of this year’s November presents the same stark choice. David Blackledge, Extension Services

Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden Kindle Book, Adobe EPUB eBook MCCPL Overdrive collection I grew up a fan of Barbara Eden as the genie on the hit television show “I Dream of Jeannie” so this title caught my eye while browsing through the eBook collection. In this memoir, Ms. Eden shares with her readers various stories related to her encounters with Hollywood stars including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and her co-star Larry Hagman, among several others. Most of the events shared by Ms. Eden are light hearted; however, she also provides glimpses into her personal relationships to include the tragic death of her only child. Although Ms. Eden doesn’t go into great depth, I did find this book to be enjoyable and would recommend it to others as a casual read. Dina Campbell, Administration

The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes 791.45 Morgan The World of Downton Abbey is not just another television show companion book, but rather much more. The book provides an entertaining and intriguing look at the time period surrounding the First World War. The 300 page book is filled with beautiful ephemera photos and insets, easy readable type, and an extensive list of additional readings. The book is divided into nine sections discussing various aspects of Edwardian life including: Family Life, Society, Change, Life in Service, Style, House & Estate, Romance, War, and Behind the Scenes. With each chapter the reader is taken back to another place in time. My favorite part of the book was how it showed 25

the real history behind various aspects of the show. The additional reading is great as well, as it divided into specific subject sections. Even if you have never seen an episode of Downton Abbey, if you enjoy World War I or early 20th century history and culture, you will enjoy this book. Rachel Chenault, Librarian I Bertha Pleasant Williams Library, Rosa L. Parks Avenue Branch

Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars by Paul Ingrassia 629.2220 INGRASS Morgan Memorial Library This book is not about automobile engines. It is not about the “American dream.” It is about automobiles that changed our culture. When I say “our,” I do not mean the USA. These automobiles had impact around the world. One example is the Willis “General Purpose” vehicle. It is now called Jeep. I credit it for stopping Hitler from taking over the world! Jeeps were instrumental in providing transportation over rough terrain to U.S. troops in World War II. Another example is how the Corvair got George W. Bush elected to the presidency of the United States of America. Ingrassia tells very interesting history about each car. I hope to add this book to my personal library. Thomas Davidson, Library Page – Computer Lab Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles 1800-1999 by Dr. Richard Bailey 976.106 BAILEY Morgan, Lowder This is an extraordinary book written by Dr. Richard Bailey. This book has helped to fill a void in literature and is well over-due. It is a collection of brief biographies of over 400 African American achievers. These African American achievers all have connections to Alabama. Some were born in Alabama and others were born elsewhere but came to Alabama to live. The achievers mentioned in the book are a diverse collection of people, including educators, farmers, physicians and civil rights spokespersons. Some of the great African Americans included in the book are Henry Louis (Hank) Aaron, John Alford, Sr., George Washington Carver, Edgar Daniel Nixon, Gwendolyn Patton and Bertha P. Williams. Dr. Bailey mentions so many contributions made by these great African Americans, it is impossible to talk about them all. The book tells how Mr. E.D. Nixon, a Civil Rights spokesperson and head of the NAACP, invited and enlisted the help of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The book also tells about Ms. Bertha P. Williams, a librarian who worked for Montgomery County. She was the first African American librarian to hold a professional position in Montgomery, Alabama. Ms. Williams also helped teach children who had never attended kindergarten or Head Start to read. Montgomery County currently has another first: the director of all the public libraries is an African American female. Her name is Mrs. Jaunita M. Owes. Mrs. Owes is still the director for all the public libraries in Montgomery County. This book is a must have for anyone interested in learning about some of the achievements and contributions made by African Americans. Brenda Davis, Reference Department Juliette Hampton Morgan 26

The American Journey of Barack Obama, Life Books Firm B OBAMA All locations except Hampstead This book is a biography of the first African American President. It talks about the life of President Barack Obama how early on in life he was taught to work hard for the better things in life. He received a good education. His parents were divorced while yet a young boy and he was raised by his Mother’s parents. With the absence of his father in his life he strived to be the best he could be. President Obama is a family man and he enjoys being a husband and father. After high school he went to college and went on to law school and became a lawyer and his future was being molded. I purchased this book for my Grandchildren to read and I also read it. I would recommend any age to read this book because you will learn a lot of facts about our first ever African American President, President Barack Obama. Celia Hendricks, Clerk III, Administration

They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999 by Richard Bailey 976.106 BAILEY Morgan, Governor’s Square, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks, Pike Road, Pine Level, Ramer This book has over 400 African American achievers’ brief biographies. These African American achievers all have connections to Alabama. Some were born in Alabama and others just came to Alabama to live. The author mentions so many contributions made by these great African Americans. They include educators, farmers, physicians, inventors, writers, scholars and civil rights leaders. This book also tells about our first African American librarian who worked for Montgomery County, Ms. Bertha P. Williams. This is a great book for anyone interested in learning about some of the achievements and contributions made by African Americans. This is a must have for children in school especially during Black History Month. Linda Johnson, Library Assistant II Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Blessing of Adversity by Barry C. Black 248.8 BLACK Morgan Library Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they happen, as if someone is trying to tell you something? You know the old saying, “Everything happens for a reason”. Well this book will help you further understand why. The Blessing of Adversity gives the tools to understand how to break down the walls of adversity and clarify your troubles for what they are. This book presents Bible scriptures that will provide valuable advice. The Blessing of Adversity is a quality book that can be read by any age group, but I believe it is targeted for age groups of 16 and up. Within this age group, teens can grasp the effects of how acts meet consequences and also where hard work and


dedication meet achievement. To understand “why” is a wonderful thing – not to mention to have Bible verses that can help you further understand the Word as it is written and how it applies to your everyday situations. LeBaron Judkins, Library Page Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson 031.02 LLOYD Morgan, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks Knowledge. Trivia. Information about obscure subjects. People are often using all of these to assert themselves to be smarter than others -- knowing one more tidbit of info, one more nugget of knowledge than the next person. However, what does it mean when these assertions are wrong? And if the ones that spread the wrong answers are, in fact, wrong, then where can the correct information be found? Look no further than The Book of General Ignorance, written by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. In this book, the truth is revealed about many different “well-known” topics, such as, “What’s the name of the tallest mountain in the world?” and, “How many states of matter are there?” Even answers a child would know are revealed to be, well, childish answers, in regard to questions including, “What do we use to write on a blackboard?” or, “What do you call someone from the United States?” Indeed, this book will help to make you feel smarter and dumber at the same time, which is a rare feat. At least, I believe it’s rare; but, as this book has taught me, what do I know? Greg Loggins, Library Assistant I E L Lowder Regional Library

A Family Christmas by Caroling Kennedy 808.8 FAMILY All Library Locations except Hampstead A Family Christmas is a collection of poems, stories, letters, news articles, scriptures and Christmas lyrics. The book includes some of Caroline Kennedy’s letters to Santa, a letter her father wrote to a little girl in answer to her concern about the Russians bombing the North Pole, Santa’s home. It is filled with the lyrics of many of the traditional “Christmas” songs we sing or listen to today, such as “The Holly and the Ivy”, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “We Need a Little Christmas”, “The First Nowell” (Noël) and “Silent Night”, a mixture of secular and religious music. Many of the scriptures come from either Isaiah, Matthew and Luke with others such as Malachi and Psalms 8, scriptures that foretold of Jesus’ coming or the fulfillment of the prophesy. Ms. Kennedy talks about her memories being in the White House, talking with her father mornings before he went to work. She also talks about her mother and brother and many of their traditions. She grew up in a Catholic household, therefore, she says that the emphasis of their Christmases was on Jesus. It was a joy and enlightenment to travel back in time through this collection of hymns, short stories, scriptures and letters, some familiar, most not. Some of the familiar names that crop up are George Washington, Charles Dickens, Langston Hughes and William Shakespeare. It is not a regular novel that has to be read in sequential order, therefore you can skip around, read the parts you want first and come back to the rest later. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it for any age. Rebie Morris, Library Administrative Assistant 28

A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown B BROWN All Locations A Piece of Cake: A Memoir is a very touching story about Cupcake Brown. Cupcake experienced so many terrible things in her life before she was 21 years old. She suffered from low self-esteem, drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution, homelessness and abuse. The things she experienced made her a very bitter person about life. However, with the help of many people, she overcame her troubled life. Today, she uses her life story as a testimony to help young women who find themselves in similar situation to hers. Terry Reed, Facilities Manager

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum 930.1 MACGREG Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Pike Road, Hampstead

 Dürer’s Rhinoceros, 1515 1515 was a year when the world trembled on the edge of entry into a global economy. Portugal had begun to build its maritime empire, creating a sensation in Europe through the import of a fantastic beast, an Indian rhinoceros. The poor creature was not to survive long, but this halfimagined image would live on as one the first icons of the age of printing and mass publication through the woodcut print of Nuremburg artist and printmaker Albrecht Dürer. Dürer’s Rhinoceros is number 75 of a collection of 100 objects chosen from the vast collections of the British Museum to illustrate the course of human history. BBC Radio 4 approached the British Museum about collaboration on a radio series in which human history was to be told chronologically and thematically through educational programs on 100 carefully chosen artifacts from across the globe. In addition to the radio series, this book was an outgrowth of this project. The result is a fascinating survey spanning 2,000,000 years of human history, from the chopping tool fashioned by an early hominin in order to obtain the precious calories and nutrients required for survival in his small corner of the world, to a recently manufactured solar-powered lamp and cell-phone charger that enables his modern descendants in remote and undeveloped locations to take part in a global marketplace of goods and ideas. Pamela Sage, Reference Department


Drift: the Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow 306.2 Maddow (Morgan & Coliseum) CD 306.2 Maddow (Morgan Media) Drift is an analysis of the historical drifting away through the years from the hope of a continuing national peace as envisioned by our founding fathers in the U. S. Constitution. In an informative, highly entertaining, and thought-provoking manner, Ms. Maddow provides the reader with the background and details necessary to understand this drift. Beginning with the prevailing minds of our young nation (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, et al.), the author documents how and why these men were wary of unchecked power in the hands of the Executive Branch (i.e. the President of the United States) – how they feared that such immense power might potentially have a corrupting influence on that executive’s judgment. These men had just lived through the British monarchy of George III after all and had a unique perspective and responsibility to craft a new, better way to govern for future generations. The power to declare war and call up troops was of specific concern due to the far-reaching implications to our young nation. Their cautious thinking provided the groundwork for Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution where martial power was placed squarely with the Legislative Branch to ensure group debate and decision-making. The founding fathers felt that the potential cost of going to war was too important to handle otherwise. Fast forward to the 20th century post World War II, and we are shown that, in spite of such a constitutional roadblock, various sitting Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, made inroads through political maneuvering to shift the war powers from the Legislative Branch to the Executive Branch (e.g. War Powers Resolution, 1973). The author highlights several contributing issues. I found two of them to be especially fascinating. One is the historical debate about the make-up of troops called into battle (standing army vs. national guard). Another is the escalating trend toward outsourcing, or privatization, of much of the military’s support infrastructure. The book abounds with examples to illustrate the pros and cons of all these issues.  The author emphasizes multiple times throughout the book that the real danger to America is our not feeling the cost of war on a personal level, keeping thoughts of war and our soldiers at a distance. Ms. Maddow is highly complimentary of our fighting men and women, remarking that our “military was the best and best equipped fighting force on earth even before 9/11”. I found this book not to be a critique of America’s military, but rather of the political policy makers in Washington whose policies affect the military. Far from being a dry dissertation of historical facts, the book engaged me from the beginning and made me think – think about the course intended by the framers of the Constitution to create what is termed several times in this book as a “deliberate peaceable bias”, think about the various wars and armed conflicts in our 235-year history, and think about the importance of the checks and balances inherent in our 3 branches of government. However, if man’s “destiny is battle” as quoted from Oliver Wendell Holmes’ 1895 Memorial Day speech in the early pages of this book, I believe the hopes of our founding fathers may have been well-intentioned, but no match for the politics of today.  The author is the host of The Rachel Maddow Show, a news and opinion television program that airs weeknights on MSNBC. Opting for the CD format, I listened to and benefitted from the book being read aloud by the actual author. Often, her vocal inflections as she read the text gave me a clearer understanding of certain passages or points being emphasized. Without hesitation, I would recommend this well-researched book to non-fiction lovers, history buffs, political science enthusiasts, students of the U.S. Constitution, and/or aficionados of all things military. Vivian B. White, Assistant Library Director


Fiction/ Mystery The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down by Neta Jackson LPF JACKSON Morgan, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Lewis, Lowder This book is a very good read. Its starts off by the prayer group having a meeting at Jodi’s home. Jodi is the main character in this series of books. This particular meeting was a special meeting. One of the members brought her mother who does not believe in Christianity to the meeting. The group members are socializing and there is a knock at the front door...... Avon!! Your Avon order is here! Jodi opens the door and in runs the robber. The robber who happens to be a female holds the group hostage with a knife. She informs them that she followed two of the group members from the A.T.M. and she wants the money now!! Also Jodi is recovering from an accident. She had a car accident where she hit and killed a young man. The accident was a result of a fight with her husband. The case was dismissed because of lack of evidence and the witnesses’ stories kept changing. This whole ordeal is hard for Jodi to handle. Jodi returns to work shortly after the book begins. She is a school teacher and the principal of the school is one of the prayer group members. Jodi and her student teacher discover they have a problem student. When the student’s mother comes in for a meeting she starts screaming at Jodi. The problem student is the brother of the young man Jodi killed. The group decided to continue on with their plan of visiting each other’s churches. Before they were dealing with things outside the group but something happens and now they realize they need prayer more than ever. There is now a war going on within the group members. Surely they have not come this far and overcome so many challenges as a group to let the devil destroy them. If you would like to know the ending of each situation you must read this book. It is an excellent read!! Alicia Bailey, Library Assistant I, Media Services Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Low Down and Dirty by Vickie Stringer F STRINGE Morgan, Lewis, Coliseum, Rosa Parks (Bertha Williams) Governor’s Square This is the 4th installment of the Dirty Red series. The plot thickens with Red living the life of luxury in Arizona where she is a broker and a bestselling author. That all comes to an end when someone from her past pops up at her home to get revenge for all the drama she has caused with the help of the enemies she has made. So now she is on the run again and up to her old tricks to survive. Courtney Baker, Library Assistant I Hampstead Branch Library


Ill Wind by Rachel Caine SF CAINE Morgan Library I have yet to read anything by Rachel Caine that was not well-written and completely absorbing, and Ill Wind, first of the Weather Warden books, is no exception. Weather Wardens, like the main character Joanne, have power over the weather, and work in a sort of secret society to keep Mother Nature from wiping out humanity, as she apparently would have long ago if not for their efforts. Joanne has been falsely accused of the murder of another Warden and has to go on the run. The Weather Warden world is well-built and original, and actually makes weather patterns interesting, which I certainly didn’t expect. Joanne is a fairly standard kick-butt urban fantasy heroine, but she’s altruistic and snarky enough to be likable. The romantic hero, David, is even better – warm and kind and trustworthy, and just mysterious-and-angst enough to be interesting. The plot keeps you guessing, and the ending was not at all what I expected! Rachel Caine still hasn’t let me down, and I can’t wait to read the next in the series. Elements of the romance plot may not be suitable for young people, but anyone who can handle a love scene or two and has an interest in urban fantasy ought to enjoy this book! Elizabeth Belyeu, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans F EVANS Governor’s Square, Morgan, Coliseum, Lewis, Lowder, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks, Pike Road, Pintlala This is a love story about two young people from different worlds, Mark Smart and Macy Wood. Mark seems to be failing at everything in life. He lost his scholarship and had to dropout of college, has a low-paying job and his girlfriend dumped him. He called his family back home and was told that his mother had passed away in a car crash several weeks earlier. No one could notify him of her death because he had left no forwarding address after leaving college. Then on a cold and dark November night while traveling through Utah in a blizzard, Mark’s car dies near a coffee shop about to close for the evening. Mark stumbles inside to look for a phone to call a tow truck and meets Macy Wood, a young waitress who will change his life forever, and it becomes a turning point in his life. Macy, like Mark, is a loner, and has a past she doesn’t divulge to too many people. She gradually opens up to Mark, and they both realize that there is something in their past that they don’t want to deal with or talk about. Macy has little memory of her birth parents and unpleasant memories of her adopted home. Finally, she reveals that she is searching for her lost biological sister and the story begins to pick up the pace. A Christmas ornament inscribed with the word “Noel” was the only clue to the little sister she only vaguely remembered. That clue sent Mark and Macy on a suspenseful journey to reclaim her past and her family. This book is a quick read and very inspiring. Readers will enjoy this wonderful heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity, living with optimism and giving people a chance to succeed in life. Anita Berry, Librarian I Governor’s Square Branch Library


Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby: A Spenser Novel by Ace Atkins LPM ATKINS (Morgan) CDM ATKINS (Morgan, Lowder) M ATKINS (All locations except Pintlala and Pine Level) Robert B. Parker was born September 17, 1932 and died January 18, 2010. In addition to four or five screenplays, he wrote over 70 novels, 39 of which were Spenser novels. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel in 1977, and he won a Grand Master Award 2002 from the Mystery Writers of America. Critic Jeff Zaleski, writing for Publishers’ Weekly, said of Parker, “(his) influence on the detective novel… as Poe or Conan Doyle.” He was certainly one of my favorite writers, and when you had two or three extra hours, there are few pleasures to match sitting down with a Spenser novel. Many other Parker fans apparently felt the same way. When Parker died, Ace Atkins was chosen to continue the franchise. Atkins was born in Troy, Alabama, on June 28, 1970. He has written 11 books, most of them critically praised, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, 2000. Even though Atkins is already an accomplished writer, it would appear to be daunting to take up the franchise of a legend, and while Atkins does an adequate job, he is no Robert B. Parker. Atkins’ writing more closely resembles the prose style of the early Parker, dense, compressed and certainly more wordy than the latter Parker, which fit the cliché “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” light, witty, sharp banter, and when the violence came it was always quick and deadly. Spenser has changed, too. He is older, more careful and drinks more than in the middle Spenser books. Dialogue between Spenser, Susan and Hawk is not as easy and sometimes seems a little forced and contrived. So Atkins is not Parker, but this is only his first Spenser try, and Parker had 39 tries. But this is a good effort, and most readers will not be disappointed, as long as they are not expecting Parker. Tim Berry, Head Librarian Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz Dean Koontz Frankenstein Series, Book 3 Kindle Book, Adobe EPUB eBook “This world is a world of stories, of mystery and enchantment. Everywhere you look, if you look close enough, a tale of wonder is unfolding, for every life is a narrative and everyone a character of his or her own drama.” This blurb is just a taste of the profundity to be found in this and all of the books I have read by Mr. Koontz. But this is my first electronic book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though I read this book out of sequence, it has been a great stand alone good read in and of itself. It further fleshes out the premise of what if Frankenstein the doctor and evil creator and his creations had truly existed along with the modern day characters that made the story so riveting. Patricia Blair, Librarian I Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library


So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber F WEBER All Locations So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber is by far one of the most intriguing, yet unsettling accounts of the world of three male friends and the relationships they are involved in. James, Sonny, and Brent are the lead players and they succeed in being the “mates from hell.” Not only do these fellows wreak havoc in the lives of their significant others, they fall short in their bonds with each other. Just when you thought you’d seen and heard it all you’re slapped in the face with hellish escapades and antics from these guys. You are left totally astounded! You will not want to put the book away because much like viewing the reality episodes of today’s television you find yourself wanting to know if what you are witnessing is real and how far these folk will go! Seduction, deception, and mayhem are recurring themes in the narrative. These guys make choices lacking in morals, sensitivity, or quite frankly common sense. You will not be disappointed because it is also suspenseful and will keep you turning pages while on the edge of your seats. Just as the title charges, not one of the figures in this story can honestly measure up to be truly called a man!!! Characteristic of a true Carl Weber tale, it is definitely for the mature reader. Shirley Bridges, Librarian Assistant I Bertha Pleasant Williams Library Rosa L. Parks Avenue Branch

Destiny’s Divas by Victoria C. Murray F MURRAY All Locations Sierra Dixon, Raine Omari, and Liza Washington are all members of the gospel group Destiny’s Divas. Each member of the group has her own testimony and message of inspiration for fans. The lives they live offstage are completely different from the ones they present to the world. Sierra, the youngest of the group, claims to be single and celibate. Raine is married and just wants to raise her daughter, Nadia, according to her beliefs and not her mother-in-law’s. Liza, the oldest member of the group, is married to a preacher who is surrounded by a scandal that can tear down her husband and the ministry. Destiny’s Divas is a very interesting book from beginning to end. The characters seem very realistic, and the book has many funny moments. My favorite character in the book is Raine, because she really wants her family to be happy without the interference of her meddling mother-in-law. Doris Brown, Library Assistant I, Tech Services

A Silken Thread by Brenda Jackson LPF JACKSON Morgan, Lewis, Governor’s Square Brenda Jackson is one of my favorite authors. Her writings are usually centered on relationships and A Silken Thread is no different. Erica Sanders has finally met the man of her dreams, Brian Lawson. As Erica and Brian set out to explore their relationship they find themselves deeply in love and began making wedding plans. However, Erica’s mother, Karen, has a different plan for Erica. She wants Erica to marry Griffin whose parents are very well off and are among the founders of Hatterville. Erica and Griffin have been friends for years but nothing more. Erica’s friend April 34

has been in love with Griffin since high school but never confessed her love until now. Karen hires a private detective to have Brian investigated. While Karen is interfering in Erica’s life and being manipulative, her husband, Wilson, meets Brian’s mother, Rita, who is single and sparks began to fly immediately. Is it love? What did the private detective uncover? To find out you must read this book of devastating betrayal!!! Hanging by A Silken Thread. Juanita M. Brown, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Litigators by John Grisham Kindle Book, Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive WMA Audiobook The Litigators chronicles the law firm of partners Oscar Finley and Wally Figg. Finley & Figg are the proud owners of what the two refer to as a “boutique law firm”. Under this mantra, the pair aspires to be known in the community as well respected, prosperous attorneys but are anything but. Oscar and Wally are the stereotypical image of most lawyers; unethical, ambulance chasing scumbags looking for the ever elusive million dollar verdicts. Matching the seediness of the novel’s attorneys, The Litigators’ backdrop is that of Chicago’s infamous south side. Car accidents, DUI’s and cases of divorce pay the bills, but with the introduction of the novel’s protagonist, David Zinc, this could all change. New partnership, pipe dreams of wealth, and the determination to go after a big case fuels the small-two-bit law firm to pursue a case that just may be their big payday. Wally Figg is convinced that Krayoxx, a cholesterol reducer, is responsible for the deaths of its consumers and intends to pursue its manufacturer Varrick Labs. Taking on the case could prove victorious or could end disastrously. Filled with the typical courtroom antics and legal drama that are synonymous with famed author John Grisham, The Litigators does not disappoint true fans and is enough to entice new readers. Although an overall good read, The Litigators lacked suspense and the luster of other novels and is quite predictable. Norkeshia Brown, Library Page Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Man of God: A Story About Forgiveness by Rev. Dr. Wendy Coleman F COLEMAN Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Pike Road In her first novel Rev. Dr. Wendy Coleman takes us on a voyage with high school sweethearts Rayfors Telifero Johnson, Jr., who is known as “ManMan,” and Marie, “Mae”. The different paths they choose have separated them for years since their high school days. However, their tribulations, heartache and disappointments through the years will join them back together. This book is a page turner from the first page. The prayers throughout are so powerful they had me in tears. If you have encountered any problems forgiving someone for something great or small, The Man of God: A Story about Forgiveness will help you to realize forgivingness is the best way. Zella’Ques Brown, Librarian II, Head of Circulation Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark LPF CLARK Lewis, Governor’s Square Justify My Thug is a continuation of Wahida Clark’s drama filled thug series. This book is her latest book in the series, and it is a must read. In order to understand the book in its entirety, you must read the books that are before this one. Wahida brings back the characters of Tasha, Trae, Kaylin, Angel, Kyra and Jaz. Tasha is caught in the middle of an affair between her husband and someone her husband knows really well. Jaz is facing drama of her own. This book kept me on the edge of my seat, and I finished it within two days. If you are a lover of thug and drama books, I would suggest you read books by Wahida Clark. Kay Crawford, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith F GRAHAME All Locations While Abraham Lincoln and vampires are normally never found in the same sentence, Seth Grahame-Smith cleverly integrates these two subjects to form a thrilling novel. Smith uses both historical and biographical information in a way that could almost lead a reader to believe that Abraham Lincoln really did fight blood-sucking vampires in his spare time. The book is based around “secret diaries” kept by the president and given to him by a vampire named Henry Sturges. While Lincoln begins his vampire slaying journey to avenge his parents’ death, he finds a higher purpose along the way. This novel is full of history, action, and even a little bit of romance. Just when you think the shear fact that Abraham Lincoln is an ax-swinging vampire hunter is strange enough, you’ll begin to encounter one plot twist after another. After reading this book, you’ll never be able to look at our 16th president the same. If you’re looking for even more classics featuring the undead, you might also enjoy Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Both of these books are great reads if you’re looking to add a little something out of the usual to your reading list! Katie Gray, Page E L Lowder Regional Library


Be Careful What You Pray For by Kimberla Lawson Roby F ROBY Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks, Pintlala, Pine Level, Pike Road, Hampstead I love reading Kimberla Lawson Roby books. Be Careful What You Pray For is another book in the Curtis Black Series. Alicia just ended a marriage with her first husband Phillip and she met and married the Rev. JT Valentine. She thought “this is just what I’ve been waiting for- the man of my dreams”. Little did she know she was marrying someone just like her father- the Rev. Curtis Black. She also learned she was like her father in many ways. You must read this book to see what happens in the end. Once you pick it up, you can’t put it down. I dare you to read the Curtis Black series. Diane Griffin, Librarian I Ramer Branch Library

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke F CLARKE Governor’s Square, Coliseum I liked this book based on the following three notes. This is a classic in Science Fiction written by one of best writers in the business. The novel is a great read anytime. There have been three PHOTO sequels; 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001: The Final Odyssey. NOT The perils of Technology: 2001: A Space Odyssey explores technological advancement, its AVAILABLE promise and its danger. The book explores the perils related with the atomic age. The HAL 9000 computer puts forward the troubles that can crop up when man builds machines, the inner workings of which he does not fully comprehend and therefore cannot fully control. The book also explores the perils related with the atomic age. In this novel, the Cold War is apparently still going on. Evolution: 2001: A Space Odyssey takes a panoramic overview of progress, human and otherwise. The story follows the growth of human civilization from primitive man-ape. Distinctively, Space Odyssey is concerned about not only the evolution that has led to the development of humanity, but also the evolution that humanity might undergo in the future. Space Exploration: When 2001: A Space Odyssey was written, mankind had not yet set foot on the moon. The space exploration programs in the United States and the Soviet Union were only in the early stages. Much room was left to imagine the future of the space program. Samuel Jackson, Jr., Technology Coordinator


Demon Hunting in Dixie by Lexi George F GEORGE Coliseum, Governor’s Square, Hampstead, Lewis, Lowder, Morgan, Pike Road, and Pintlala Okay, I admit, if I saw this book on the shelf, I would not read it. With the exception of Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux I really don’t get into time travel and the paranormal; but having heard about the book and meeting the author I decided to give it a try. Boy was I in for a pleasant surprise! I laughed all through the book. Not only did I find my brothers within these pages (Rednecks!) but mother as well—sorta. My mother tried so hard to teach me how to act like a true Southern lady, and I do make the effort, honest I do, but sometimes I forget to sit in just the proper manner. I think a lifetime in blue jeans might have something to do with it; but I digress. There are no vampires but there are a couple of handsome warrior men from another time and some really bad demons. I don’t want to spoil it but one of the funniest things in the book is when the warrior men get drunk--after eating chocolate of all things. So if you want to read a funny laugh-out-loud book by a local author read Demon Hunting in Dixie by Lexi George. Julia-Ann Jenkins, Branch Head Librarian E L Lowder Regional Library

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross LPF ROSS, Morgan, Governor’s Square BOT-F ROSS, Morgan CD-F ROSS, Pike Road Have you ever read a story that just made you laugh and made you feel like you were reading about a southern lady that could possibly be your neighbor? Ann B. Ross is among one of my favorite authors and has written a series of books with Miss Julia as the main character. She has a doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina and is currently living in Henderson, North Carolina. The first book in the series is called Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. Miss Julia is a seemingly perfect, down-to-earth, sophisticated, devoted wife, involved in the Methodist Church, with no children of her own. Her husband Wesley Lloyd passes away and she discovers his illegitimate child Wesley Lloyd Jr. and Little Lloyd’s mother, Hazel Marie. Lillian, her maid, cooks and cleans and helps raise Little Lloyd, while they are looking for Hazel Marie. They go on a lot of funny and hilarious adventures together. You may even begin to feel that you are a part of the book. This is really a clean, fun book that is very hard to put down once you begin reading it. You may find the series in large print fiction, regular print fiction, some are even on books-on-tape, and the newer issues you can find on books-on-compact disc. Please come pick up your copy today at one of our branches. Mary Lee, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay F ROSNAY All Library Locations Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, is a compelling glimpse into the fate that befell innocent Jews and those who contributed to their well-being during July of 1942. It is a moving story dealing with the atrocities of the Hel d’Viv roundup of Jews in Paris while intertwined with a modern day love story. A story which evolves around Sarah, a ten year old Jewish girl, and a gifted and sensitive journalist, Julia Jarmond, who lives in present day Paris. Their lives become deeply entwined even though they have never met due to an article Julia is assigned dealing with the 60th anniversary of what is recognized as the darkest day in France’s history. Sarah’s remarkable struggle during this time has such an irresistible effect on Julia that it permeates her privileged lifestyle and ultimately brings dramatic changes to her life. This is a story so moving Sarah’s Key is Tatiana de Rosnay’s first novel. It has been so successful that it is now published in eighteen languages around the world. It is certainly a novel of note dealing with a part of history which will never be forgotten. Wes Little, Librarian I Coliseum Branch Library

Samson by Jacqueline Thomas F THOMAS All Locations According to Jacqueline Thomas, Samson was inspired by the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah. It keeps the reader wondering if the character’s betrayal will cost him his marriage and his reputation among the congregation where he serves as the assistant pastor. Although, Samson is a man of God, he is not a saint. Samson, just like the Biblical Samson has a weakness for beautiful women. Page after page will have readers wondering if Samson will find his way down the road to redemption. The story has a twist to it and a surprise ending. Edwina Martin, Library Assistant I Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library

Inseparable by Brenda Jackson F JACKSON Morgan Library The main characters of this story are Reese Madris and LaKenna James. They have been best friends since college. LaKenna moves to Houston, Texas to start a new job and has nowhere to stay. Reese offers to let her move into his home while renovations are being made to her condo. LaKenna does not mind this because they are such good friends. While LaKenna knows that she should not begin to have feelings for Reese, her heart does not listen. Reese is so kind to her, and she feels that these emotions are not appropriate. When LaKenna begins dating a co-worker, Reese begins to become jealous. He starts to wonder why he is feeling this way about LaKenna. Both realize that this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. A dramatic turn in the story unfolds when a serial killer of single women focuses on LaKenna. Reese begins an 39

unending vigil to find the killer and keep LaKenna from harm. Brenda Jackson is a favorite of mine because she has a lot of drama as well as a happy ending. I look forward to reading each book because of how the characters believe in family values as well as love. LaRuth Martin, Librarian II, Computer Lab Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Berrybender Narratives by Larry McMurtry W MCMURTR Morgan, Pike Road, Pine Level This book is comprised of the four Berrybender novels: Sin Killer, The Wandering Hill, By Sorrow’s River and Folly and Glory. The series follows the Berrybender family who has abandoned its home in England to embark on a journey to the American West frontier. Their plan is to travel up the Missouri River, settle in Texas and broaden the horizons of their three children. Accompanied by a large and varied entourage, Lord and Lady Berrybender and their children embark on a luxurious steamer and begin traveling up the Missouri River. Tasmin, the oldest daughter, is a beautiful, determined young woman, much accustomed to getting her way. Mary, the middle child, is twelve years old, lively, animated and enjoys needling Tasmin. Bobbety, youngest child and only son, is quite adept at tormenting both of his sisters. The dominant storyline has Tasmin meeting and becoming smitten with Jim Snow, a frontiersman, trapper, Indian fighter and part-time preacher known as “the Sin Killer”. As her relationship with him develops, it dictates the family’s course and moves them further into the hostile wilderness and into the path of Indians. As the harsh winter sets in, the Berrybenders are forced to abandon the steamer when it becomes stuck in ice. They make their way overland and spend the winter at a trading post. Tasmin, by this time, is married to Jim Snow, pregnant with his child, and discovers that Jim has quite a few secrets, the least of which are his three Indian wives. As spring approaches, the Berrybenders and those in their party who survived the siege of winter, leave the trading post and travel west across the Great Plains towards Santa Fe, where they intend to spend the next winter. Along the way, they meet several historical characters of the West including Kit Carson, two Frenchmen who plan to cross the Great Plains via hot air balloon, and a band of raiding Indians. Various members of the family and the party ran off or were taken captive by Indians. Upon reaching Santa Fe, Tasmin is certain that she does not like her husband and wishes to replace Indians and buffalo with towns and farms. Due to her father’s failing health, Tasmin takes command of the party’s destiny. The Berrybenders, starving and being pursued by Indians, embark on a desperate journey to New Orleans. On the way to New Orleans, Tasmin forces Jim to choose either her or his Indian wives, therefore, ultimately deciding her future. McMurtry’s characters are sometimes pathetic, most of the time eccentric and always believable. Put your feet up, get comfortable, and travel west with the Berrybenders from one calamitous event to the next. Desiree Maurer, Technical Services


Lineage of Grace Series by Francine Rivers F RIVERS All Locations except Pine Level and Pintlala The Lineage of Grace Series is an excellent Christian fiction series by Francine Rivers. The first of the series is Unveiled featuring Tamar, daughter-n-law of Judah. After Tamar’s husband died, that ruined her chances of having a son to carry on the lineage of men. Tamar eventually had to pose as a harlot to get Judah to sleep with her. After conceiving, Tamar had to unveil herself to Judah in order to not be stoned to death. Next is Unashamed featuring Rahab, a harlot. Because of her deep faith in God and wanting to live among those who taught the law, she helped the people of Israel reclaim their land, the Promised Land. Unshaken is the third book in this series featuring Ruth. Ruth was a woman of undoubting faith to her mother-n-law and refused to be shaken by her mother’s ways and beliefs. Because Ruth stood by Naomi, she was able to conceive a child with Boaz, who was a relative of Ruth’s deceased husband. Because Ruth bore a son with Boaz, her child was able to carry on the lineage of men in that family. Unspoken features David and Bathsheba. Though David and Bathsheba openly sinned before God, He still blessed them tremendously and gave them Solomon to carry on the throne of King David. Lastly, there is Unafraid. This book features Mary, Joseph, and Jesus! This book is the most powerful of them all. We all know about Jesus being crucified and ascending home to his Father. Although this is a five-book series, you would not regret picking them up. The books can be found throughout our Library system, though no one branch will have the complete set. Kesha McClain, Library Assistant I Coliseum Branch Library

A Seductive Kiss by Francis Ray F RAY All Locations Francis Ray is the author of over forty-five books. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Some of her books have become made-for-TV movies. She lives in Texas and is a School Nurse Practitioner. The first book in the Kiss trilogy is A Seductive Kiss. A Seductive Kiss is a beautiful and romantic love story. The main characters in the book are Dianna Harrington and Alex Stewart. Dianna is a model with her family’s company and Alex is a successful lawyer. Alex is also a close friend with Dianna’s brother. When Dianna loses her job with her family’s modeling company, Alex is very supportive of her as a friend and a lawyer. There’s only one problem and that is Alex desires more. Alex and Dianna have secretly cared for each other since childhood but neither knows about the other’s feelings. I recommend this romance book and the remaining titles in the Kiss trilogy which are, With Just One Kiss and A Dangerous Kiss. Francis Ray stated in an online interview at that all of her books have a reoccurring theme. The theme is, “The strength and resiliency of women, and the power of love.” After reading the Kiss trilogy, I clearly see the themes in her works. If you would like to check out more books by Francis Ray some of her titles are found at various locations within the Montgomery City-County Public Library System. These books are feel-good reads that leave you wanting for more!! Shondra Mixon, Library Assistant II, Technical Services


The Stain by Harry Lee Kraus, Jr. F KRAUS Morgan If you like mystery and suspense but the genre is getting too gruesome for you in the general market you might like to try Mr. Kraus’s novels. Mr. Kraus is a Christian writer that writes mystery suspense with Christian values and a redemptive ending. The Stain is all about a few DNA samplings that were taken from the Shroud of Turin. The book is definitely a page-turner and provides lessons on the Christian walk along the way. The main character’s life appears to be unraveling as the story opens, but when you are in Christ even hard to understand events rarely are what they seem. Sharon Phillips, Librarian II, Reference Department Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library

The Help, Directed by Tate Taylor DVD HELP Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Pike Road This movie is based on the best selling novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This movie has been nominated and has won many awards such as the Golden Globe and the Academy Award. The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The story begins when Skeeter (Emma Stone), a young college graduate, starts working as a writer for the local newspaper. Skeeter didn’t just want to write small talk articles, she wanted to write about the African American maids (The Help) and the roles they played in the lives of their white employers. She wanted to get their personal opinions about how they felt about cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children in the white communities, while leaving their own homes and families lacking attention. In the beginning, many of the black help were afraid to share their information with Skeeter because they knew that if the information got out, they could lose their jobs, be put in jail or even murdered. Skeeter assured them that she would keep the information confidential and would change the names of all the people involved. The pace picked up in the movie when Aibilene (Viola Davis) and Minny (Octavia Spence) decided to be interviewed by Skeeter. Later, other maids came forward to tell their stories. This book was published and read by all of the southern white employers. They were surprised to find out that their personal business was now public information for the whole world to read. This movie is excellent! It depicts a part of U.S. History that we can not forget. It shows how the southern “Help” poured themselves into raising white children and taking care of their homes while being verbally and physically abused. Many white children saw the maids as their friends, sometimes closer than their biological mother. Not all southern white employers were rude or disrespectful to their servants. Many of them would invite the servants to sit at the table and eat a meal with them sometime. They would sometime visit the maid’s home and sit at their table and break bread. Many of the African American servants were treated like family. I highly recommend this movie. I purchased my own copy to put in my collection. Gertie Scott, Branch Head Coliseum Boulevard Branch Library


Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee F MCAFEE Pintlala, Morgan, Lowder, Lewis, Coliseum, Hampstead, Pike Road Stephanie McAfee paints a vivid picture of a small town in Mississippi. She was born and raised in Mississippi herself. She tells a story of a young woman who grew up in a small town and worked at the local school. Graciela (Ace) and her close friends are faced with life problems. This book is strictly from Ace’s point of view and she does what any friend would do for their friends in difficult situations. The story is based mainly on Ace and Lilly who would do anything to help prove that Chloe’s husband is cheating. With the help of one particular person in town they find out that no one in town is as secretive as they think they are. Although this book is not a romance novel, I felt that it does leave one to question the relationship that Ace had with longtime boyfriend Mason. I thought this book was definitely worth reading. Laquisha Thomas, Library Assistant II Pintlala Branch Library

Tappin’ On Thirty by Candice Dow Kindle Book, Adobe EPUB eBook OverDrive Candice Dow has touched the nerve of many women who are Tappin’ on Thirty. This book is entertaining and humorous. It tells the tale of lust, love, longing, temptation, and betrayal. Dow shows readers that when one finds their true self the experience can be both empowering and liberating. “Why has my life turned for the worst?” is a question that Taylor asks herself as she embarks on a new phase in her life. After breaking it off with her high school sweetheart years ago, she thought that exploring her options was the thing to do. Only if someone would have told her to leave her past in the past. Taylor thinks that she has found what she is looking for but when it comes to love, many people carry around old baggage from their past. Can Taylor live with or without love in her life? I recommend this book to readers who like chick novels. Laquisha Thomas, Library Assistant II Pintlala Branch Library

Black Widow: A Novel by Nikki Turner Kindle Book, Adobe EPUB eBook, Adobe PDF eBook Nikki you have done it again. I thought this book was very descriptive; the story line was on point. She created the characters in a way that you either liked them or hated them; this book was unique and different. How can one person endure so much pain? How can you love so hard that you end up with nothing? How can people be so manipulative and not care how it makes another feel? These are just some of the questions that one may ask his or herself after reading the story of a Black Widow: A Novel. Isis was only 13 when her world started the crumble. At the age of 15 she thought she had found true love, but as a child, how can you know what love really feels like? She had to learn fast what men were truly about. She also found out that money can’t buy you everything, but it can help you get where you need to be. I recommend this book to readers who have read Nikki’s books in the past. She continues to amaze readers with how she can make them feel a part of the stories she tells. Laquisha Thomas, Library Assistant II Pintlala Branch Library 43

The King of Lies by John Hart F HART All Locations Mystery surrounds a North Carolina lawyer as he struggles to maintain a normal life, hold together a law practice that was left by his father who mysteriously disappears, a socialite wife, and a sister mentally damaged by a tortured past that they both share. His given name is Jackson Workman Pickens, but is known as Work. When his father is discovered murdered and knowledge of Work being heir to millions of dollars spreads, his life takes a drastic change. He and his sister become prime suspects in their father’s murder. Fearing that his sister may have murdered their father, Work begins his own investigation. The investigation becomes very challenging when Work encounters a power-hungry detective. Page after page is filled with suspense as the plot unfolds. Readers will be surprised at an unexpected ending. Glenda Walker, Branch Head Rufus A. Lewis Library

Deadly Pursuit by Ann Christopher CD F CHRISTO Morgan Are you looking for excitement, romance, and a good laugh or two to boot? Ann Christopher offers that and more in her book Deadly Pursuit. Deadly Pursuit is about a savvy lawyer named Amara Clarke that falls for the new cook named Jack Parker. Jack appears to be mundane but happens to stop a carjacking. This brave rescue gets a lot of attention from the local news. The twist comes when it is revealed that Jack is really an undercover DEA agent. He is in hiding from Kareem Gregory. Kareem is a known drug lord that is trying to kill Jack before he can testify against him. So you see, when Jack got that attention from the local news it opened up a whole new can of worms for him. Jack’s cover is blown. Kareem sends a hit out on him. Jack is in serious danger now, not to mention anyone who gets close to him. He pulls Amara into this dangerous web of misfortune not knowing that things would heat up between them. Can they be together or will they both be killed by this psychopath? Ann Christopher’s passion in her writing really comes through as you sit back and read her work. She has to be one of my favorite authors. This book had so much excitement in it that I was on pins and needles the whole time while I awaited what was going to happen next. I give this book, Deadly Pursuit a ten out of ten. Angela Watts, Library Assistant I Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Secret Obsession by Kimberla Lawson Roby F ROBY All Locations except Lowder and Pintlala LPF ROBY Morgan, Bertha Pleasant Williams-Rosa Parks, Governor’s Square, EXT Paige Donahue has a “secret obsession” with her sister Camille’s life. Paige has lived in her sister‘s shadow all her life, now she feels it’s her time to shine. Growing up as children, Paige was never the popular student in school. Their parents never showed her the same type of love and affection that they gave Camille then and now, so she had to fight for her parent love compared to her sister. Now, they’re all grown up and Camille is married with two beautiful children and has all the luxury any women could ask for. Paige, who is single, has her own business, but hates her life style, which consists of living pay check to pay check, in a small condo with bills she can’t afford to pay. Fed up with everything and everybody, Paige plans and plots how to steal her sister’s husband and life style. As a big fan of Kimberla Lawson-Roby, having read all of her books, what I did not like about this book was the depiction of Camille and Pierce being somewhat clueless as to what was happening in their marriage, so much so, that it was unbelievable. If you like suspense with a twist you will enjoy this quick read. Sabrina Wells, Library Assistant II Governor’s Square/Extension Services

Command Performance by Nora Roberts LPF ROBERTS All locations except Pine Level and Hampstead Nora Roberts has written over 209 books. She uses four pseudonyms: Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb, Jill Marsh, and Sarah Hardesty in the UK. Her maiden name was Eleanor Marie Robertson. Command Performance is a novel of romance, politics, and intrigue. One of the two main characters is Alexander de Cordina, who was raised to be the heir to the throne. He is a very pompous, arrogant man who loves to order people around. There are circumstances where he can be a very caring person. The other main character is Eve Hamilton, who is a very independent-minded business woman who has a theater troupe. She is famous in America, but has never preformed overseas. She does not like to take orders from anyone, especially Alexander. She has a black belt in martial arts and is an expert with a sword. They both fight the idea of love. The attempted assassins are a surprise. Nora Roberts’ writing style keeps the reader enthralled to the very end. Mary Wilhoite, Librarian II, Reference Department Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library


Montgomery City-County Public Library Board of Trustees Thomas McPherson, President County Appointment 321 N. Anton Drive Montgomery, AL 36105-2112 Phone H #834-9636 Phone W #264-7919 F #264-7917 Cell #202-5533 Term Expires: June 1, 2016 Catherine Wright County Appointment 3865 Colline Drive Montgomery, AL 36106-3357 Phone W #420-4252 H #277-9956 Cell #315-6854 Term Expires: June 1, 2014 William Fain County Appointment 7029 Mid Pines Circle Montgomery, AL 36117-8503 Cell #398-3344 Term Expires: June 1, 2015 Gary Burton, Secretary County Appointment 13812 U.S. Hwy 31 Hope Hull, AL 36043-5104 Phone H #288-7414 Phone W #281-9439 Cell #315-2235 Fax #281-9419 Term Expires: June 1, 2014 Amy Knudsen County Appointment 2926 Jamestown Drive Montgomery, AL 36111-1211 Phone W #244-2587 Phone H #834-1808 Cell #549-5005 Term Expires: June 1, 2016 Betsy Atkins County Appointment 201 Laurel Springs Court Pike Road, AL 36064 Phone H #260-0998 Term Expires: June 1, 2013

Vanzetta McPherson President, Library Foundation 321 N. Anton Drive Montgomery, AL 36105-2112 Phone H #834-9636 Cell #462-6696 Jaunita Owes, Library Director City-County Public Library P.O. Box 1950 • 245 High Street Montgomery, AL 36102-1950 Phone #240-4300 Fax #240-4977 Katie Bell City Appointment 3613 Winterset Court Montgomery, AL 36111-3361 Phone H #284-1800 Cell #318-1509 Fax #284-4002 Term Expires: June 1, 2016 Sylvia Harper City Appointment 8549 Wexford Trace Montgomery, AL 36117-8227 Phone W #265-1594 H #207-2144 Cell #207-2144 Term expires: September 21, 2013 Jim Earnhardt, Vice President City Appointment 4013 Meredith Drive Montgomery, AL 36109-2344 Phone H #279-8859 Cell #202-7154 (H) Term Expires: June 1, 2013 Courtney Williams City Appointment P.O. Box 2069 Montgomery, AL 36102-2069 Phone W #241-8054 Fax W #241-8254 Term Expires: September 21, 2016 Janet Waller City Appointment 2307 Allendale Place Montgomery, AL 36111-1636 Phone H #264-8923 Cell #504-250-1219 Term Expires: September 21, 2014

Paulette Moncrief County Appointment 4216 Green Meadow Drive Montgomery, AL 36108-5010 Phone H #288-5584 Cell #399-2456 Term Expires: June 1, 2013

Eddie R. Johnson, Treasurer City Appointment P.O. Box 302101 Montgomery, AL 36104-2101 Phone W #242-9960 Term expires: June 21, 2015

Mary McLemore President, Friends of the Library 122 Laurelwood Drive Pike Road, AL 36064-2213 Phone H #277-0039 Cell #652-8285 Term expires: September 21, 2016

Chester Mallory City Appointment P.O. Box 6056 Montgomery, AL 36106-0056 Phone W #262-7773 Cell #303-4802 Term expires: September 21, 2014

Leslie Sanders City Appointment P.O. Box 160 Montgomery, AL 36101-0160 Phone W #832-3301 Vivian White, Asst. Director City-County Public Library P.O. Box 1950 245 High Street Montgomery, AL 36102-1950 Phone #240-4300 Fax #240-4977

Montgomery City-County Public Library Foundation Board Carl Barker, President ServisFirst Bank One Commerce Street, Ste. 200 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-223-5800 (W) 334-652-1294 334-223-5858 (Fax) Term expires April 2015 Lynn Beshear, Executive Director Envision 2020 600 South Court St., Ste. 311 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-269-0224 (W) 334-462-0220 (Cell) Term expires April 2015 Brian L. Davis, P.E. General Operation Manager ALAGASCO – Montgomery Division 435 Lee Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-241-4202 (W) Term expires September 2015

Derek Parrish, Chairman and CEO SMC Terminus Group, LLC 1 Commerce Center, Ste. 610 Montgomery, AL 36104 334-262-7791 (W) 334-313-2117 (Cell) Term expires April 2014 (Board Vice President) Sheron Rose, Director Human Resources Team Relations, Gov’t Affairs Hyundai Motor Mfg Alabama, LLC 700 Hyundai Blvd. Montgomery, AL 36105 334-387-8004 (W) 334-714-4426 (Cell) Term expires April 2014 Leslie Sanders, Vice President Alabama Power P.O. Box 160 Montgomery, AL 36101-0160 334-832-3301 (W) Term expires July 2015 Frank Wilson, Esq. 504 South Perry Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-263-2560 (W) Term expires April 2014 Vanzetta McPherson U.S. Magistrate Judge (Ret.) 321 N. Anton Drive Montgomery, AL 36105-2112 334-834-9636 (H) 334-462-6696 (Cell) Term expires July 2015 (Board President)


Jim Hodgson, CPA Moody & Hodgson 900 South Perry Street, #C Montgomery, AL 36104 334-834-5205 (W) Term expires April 2013 (Board Treasurer)

Thomas McPherson, Jr., President MCCPL Board of Trustees P.O. Box 251121 Montgomery, AL 36102-1121 334-264-7919 (W) 334-202-5533 (Cell) 334-264-7917 (Fax)

Sam Martin, President and Publisher The Montgomery Advertiser 425 Molton Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-261-1582 (W) Term expires April 2013

Jaunita Owes, Director Montgomery City-County Public Library 245 High Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334-240-4300 (W) 334-354-6333 (Cell) 334-240-4977 (Fax)

Christopher Vucovich, Registered Rep Vucovich & Associates 8135 Old Federal Road Montgomery, AL 36117 334-239-9110 (W) 334-467-5438 (Cell) Term expires April 2015


Catherine Wright, Chairman Finance Committee, MCCPL Board of Trustees 3865 Colline Drive Montgomery, AL 36106 334-420-4252 (W) 334-315-6854 (Cell)


Locations : Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library 245 High Street Montgomery, AL 36104 240-4999 Coliseum Boulevard Branch Library 840 Coliseum Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36109 271-7005 EL Lowder Regional Library 2590 Bell Road Montgomery, AL 36117 244-5717

Governor’s Square Branch Library 2885-B E. South Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36111 284-7929 Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library 3095 Mobile Highway Montgomery, AL 36108 240-4848 Bertha P. Williams Library at Rosa L. Parks Avenue 1276 Rosa Parks Avenue Montgomery, AL 36108 240-4979 Pike Road Branch Library 9585 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36064 244-8679 Pine Level Branch Library 21 Kohn Drive Pine Level, AL 36065 584-7144 Pintlala Branch Library 255 Federal Road Pintlala, AL 36043 281-8069 Ramer Branch Library 5444 State Highway 94 Ramer, AL 36069 562-3364 Hampstead Branch Library 5251 Hampstead High St. • Suite 107 Montgomery, AL 36116 244-5770

Read into the Holidays  

Reading for the holidays.

Read into the Holidays  

Reading for the holidays.