Margaret B.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Rhoda Janzen

A week after Rhoda’s husband told her he was leaving her; she was injured in a car crash.  She goes home to her Mennonite family to heal, and reflects upon her marriage, growing up in a Mennonite home and what the future will bring.  At times, this book is laugh-out-loud funny, and with her self-deprecating humor you can’t help but like her.   It’s a quick read, a little rambling at times but does contain some true nuggets of wisdom.



Margaret, Reference

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People of the Book: A Novel

Friday, August 6, 2010
Geraldine Brooks

This book has an intriguing plot with beautiful writing.  One night in the city of Sydney, Australia,  Dr. Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call that will change her life. The Sarajevo Haggadah, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to report on its condition.  Ultimately, the Haggadah brings together Jews, Christians and Muslims. 



It’s not an easy read in the sense that you can put it down for days and pick it up again.  There are several time periods, unfamiliar locations, difficult names – but the effort is well worth it.  Highly recommended!



Margaret, Reference

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My Name is Mary Sutter: A Novel

Friday, August 6, 2010
Robin Oliveira

Set during the civil war, this book is an interesting story about the clash of traditional roles of women and those who go against society’s norm.  Mary wants to become a doctor.  During the 1860s, this would be highly unlikely.   She was already a very skilled midwife but wants to be a surgeon.  Those interested in medicine or nursing will be interested in the descriptions of medical care during the war; civil war buffs will find this fascinating.  The author did vast amounts of research and it shows.  Highly recommended.



Margaret, Reference

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Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Megan Smolenyak

There is no such thing as an ordinary family.  Every family has its own unique stories just waiting to be discovered by YOU!  This guide gives you all the information you need to start sleuthing into your own family history.  Megan does a great job of providing the basics to get you started, without overwhelming you with too many details.  This book is bursting with tips, shortcuts, recommendations, and things I wish I would have known when I started doing genealogy.  This book is billed as the companion to the hit TV series recently on NBC called "Who Do You Think You Are?"  There is a recap in the book of the celebrities and how they traced their family history.   I especially like the chapters on researching military records and birth, marriage and death records.  Highly recommended!!



Margaret, Reference

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Cutting for Stone

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Abraham Verghese

All the praise this book has received is richly deserved.  It is many things - a big sweeping family saga, a medical romance, and a coming of age story.  Cutting for Stone is about twin brothers born in Ethiopia to an Indian nun and a British surgeon.  Prepare to be transported to another place, time and culture as you inhale the scents and sounds of Ethiopia.  This is a great book that I will read again.

Margaret, Reference

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Devil's Trill

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Gerald Elias

An interesting mystery set in the classical music world. A priceless violin is stolen; and a high profile violin teacher is murdered at Carnegie Hall. The prime suspect, rival violin teacher Daniel Jacobus, works to clear himself. This book shows a dark side to the music business and the author knows what he is talking about - he is also a violinist, teacher, composer and conductor and he gives the book a very authentic feel. Fast-paced and engaging. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Margaret B., Reference and Technical Services

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Social Networking for Genealogists

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Drew Smith

This book covers many forms of social networking - blogs, wikis, message boards and mailing lists, RSS, tags, podcasts and a few others. I really like his simple and organized approach to these topics. It's no surprise that Drew Smith is a librarian! Each chapter begins with definitions of a few key words, and follows with why and how this technology is used. He also gives you a few suggestions to try out and apply your new knowledge. Definitely not just for genealogists.

Margaret B., Reference and Technical Services

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Renegade Champion, the Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada

Friday, May 29, 2009
Richard R. Rust

This book is about Jane Pohl, a daughter of a West Point army officer, and the horse, Fitzrada, with whom she forged a great partnership. If you love horses, you will really like this book. Even if you are not interested in horses, you may be interested in the historical aspects of the book regarding the army, West Point, and women’s lives in the 1940s and 50s. Fitzrada came from the U.S. army calvary stock and was scheduled to be destroyed. He was rescued by Jane and her father and became one of the most well-known show jumpers in the late 1940s. They won many championships together. Most men could not ride him but over the course of 5 years of training and riding, Jane and Fitz became true partners. Jane was a pioneer of her time—leading the way for women to be included on the Olympic equestrian teams. My only complaint is that I would have liked more photos to be included in the book.

Margaret B., Reference

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Loving Frank

Friday, May 29, 2009
Nancy Horan

This is a great book for book clubs!! Themes and events in the book will lead to a lively and spirited discussion. It is a fascinating work of historical fiction that will have you enthralled to the last page. It is one of those books that lead you to do further research on the topic (architecture) and people. The book chronicles the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney from about 1907-1914. This was a shocking, scandoulous affair at the time since both Wright and Cheney were married to other people. Highly recommended!

Margaret B., Reference

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The Kitchen Boy

Friday, December 12, 2008
Robert Alexander

This is one of the best historical fiction books I have read in a long time. Using the facts of the Romanovs' imprisonment and eventual execution, Robert Alexander weaves a tale of mystery and intrigue. Even though you know the fate of the Romanovs, he manages to write the book in such a suspenseful way that you can't put it down. I highly recommend this book. In addition, check out this great website for the book. Hope someone makes this one into a movie.

 
Margaret, Reference
 

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