Black History Month: Madame C.J. Walker

On Her Own Ground: the life and times of Madame C.J. Walker, by A’Lelia Bundles (the great-great-granddaughter of Walker), is the inspiring story of Sarah Breedlove, born in Louisiana in 1867, and who became the first female millionaire in the United States by starting a beauty business featuring hair products for black women.  Orphaned at age […]

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Black History Month: a hero a week

The awe-inspiring courage of Robert Smalls isn’t as well known as it should be. Born into slavery in 1839 to a slave named Lydia Polite in Beaufort, South Carolina, he was most likely the son of his owner, Henry Mckee. As a teen, he worked as a laborer in Charleston, first in a hotel, then […]

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Learn more about Winston Churchill

So, I was watching Darkest Hour, a sepia-toned and fanciful version of Churchill’s World War II years, chock-full of duty, pluck and chins up.  I wanted to know more about him besides the cigar smoking and champagne swilling. I needed facts, and hey, I don’t get my facts from movies, I get’em from books. There is […]

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Great wintry thrillers for snow days

Since this one-horse town cannot give me the snow days I so richly deserve, I guess I’ll only be able to experience the stinging cold and ferocious blizzards I crave through books. That’s why I’ve selected the freeziest thrillers out there, and unless I move to Duluth, it’s the closest I’ll come to winter misery and the joy […]

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Get busy creating in 2019

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, you know. Why not learn a new craft or hobby this year, so as not to fall prey to laziness and possible evil-doing? It’s easy, with books from the library. I, my own self, have been wanting to learn paper-mâché, weaving, and natural dyeing. Here are few I’ll try:     […]

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My favorite books of 2018

End-of-the-year booklists are here again, with their unattainable “3,000 Best Crime Novels of 2018,” designed, I feel sure, to make me feel under-read and inadequate. I am only one woman, and I cannot keep up with these professional bookworms. Also, these lists trigger my book-related FOMO, which leads to the inevitable realization that I am going […]

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Bravery during the Blitz

In Dear Mrs. Bird, by A.J. Pearson, Emmeline Lake, age 22, dreams of being a journalist, and when she sees an ad for a position at the London Evening Chronicle, she immediately imagines a fabulous career ahead of her as a Lady Wartime Correspondent. In early 1940s London, during the Blitz, Emmy and her friend, […]

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Reading in a hypothetical snowstorm

Now that we’ve had our first mini snowfall, I’ve started fantasizing about being snowed in, without power, with just five great books to tide me over. Of course, in this fantasy, there’s a fireplace, plenty of wood, lots of good food, and naturally, not even the slightest hint of hardship. In this dream world of […]

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It’s the germiest time of the year

If you’re like me, you don’t like to think about the microbe-encrusted surfaces you encounter every day. Maybe you don’t want to look like a fussy little germ-phobic person with your arsenal of cleaning wipes, gloves, and distrust of public spaces. Maybe you think germs won’t get you, because you’re tough and cool. Perhaps, like […]

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