Diana DiPierro

Revisit “Public Health Preparedness: Whole Community Involvement” – One Book, One College Programming on World War Z

Back in 2014, Jeremy Hirst, Chief of Risk and Emergency Management at DuPage County Health Department held a discussion on public health preparedness for pandemics (such as SARS, H1N1, influenza ), widespread drug addiction, bioterrorism, etc., & how preparations involve the entire community. This discussion was part of our One Book, One College programming on World War Z.

He discussed topics such as surges hospitals could experience during epidemics/pandemics, stresses on laboratories doing testing, and assessing needs prior to emergencies. Watching this video leaves the viewer with questions regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, such as: did the World Health Organization (WHO) sufficiently prepare countries once the virus was spreading in China? Did the United States federal government prepare its states enough? How are our local leaders dealing with the pandemic, trickling down to the community level? Read this Rolling Stone article on “Why the World Health Organization’s Response to COVID-19 Is Crucial to the Future of Public Health.”

We will continue sharing these World War Z themed discussions in the coming weeks, but also check out the full playlist of One Book: World War Z videos.



Regardless of the event, public health is a critical component to emergency preparedness planning. Jeremy Hirst, Chief of Risk and Emergency Management at DuPage County Health Department, discusses the work of his office in bringing together community groups and first responders to address public health risk. This event is part of the Library’s One Book program on World War Z.

Revisit “How Plagues, Disease, and Outbreaks Have Changed History”: One Book, One College Programming on World War Z

Back in 2014, MVCC’s History faculty members Merri Fefles, Josh Fulton, Jim McIntyre, & Kristine VanBaren held a panel discussion on how plagues, disease, & outbreaks have changed history. This discussion was part of our One Book, One College programming on World War Z.

The various diseases they discussed were polio, the 1918 Spanish flu, the bubonic plague, & the HIV/AIDS crisis. The current COVID-19 pandemic has been compared to the 1918 Spanish flu, which is why we thought it timely to revisit this panel discussion.

We will continue sharing these World War Z themed discussions in the coming weeks, but also check out the full playlist of One Book: World War Z videos.

The fear of plagues and outbreaks has been part of literature and storytelling for many years. World War Z uses a zombie virus to end one civilization and bring about a new one. This panel of Moraine Valley Community College Historians considers the role of disease, plagues, and outbreaks throughout history. What major outbreaks have shaped history? How did they change the societies and cultures they affected? How have outbreaks & diseases impacted populations, living conditions, formations of communities, and migrations? How do historians view outbreaks and pandemics?

Use Library Drop Boxes

Feel free to return library materials (EXCEPT electronics) into one of our drop boxes. Either the one directly outside the Library entrance (IN L Building), OR the one outside Building L. Please see photos below.

INSIDE L Building, directly outside the Library entrance.
OUTSIDE the L Building

Current Library Information Effective Immediately

NO electronics returned in Drop Box PLEASE!
Library Info Effective Immediately:
Due dates for ALL materials extended until April 26th
Please use our drop box; no need to enter library for returns (EXCEPT electronics; DO NOT put in Drop Box please!)
Equipment (laptops, calculators, cameras, etc.) are AVAILABLE for check out to assist with homework needs!
Study rooms are CLOSED until further notice!
Use our chat box for reference & assistance; we are here to help! (https://lib.morainevalley.edu/Main/AskLibrarian.html)

What’s New Wednesdays: #MeToo Movement

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual abuse last week, so this week’s WNW topic is the #MeToo Movement. Of the books chosen are two that brought to light the allegations against Weinstein, “She Said,” and “Catch and Kill.” Look for the display case past the Reference desk, heading towards the back of the Library. If you need assistance locating these books don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian.” If you’d like to place a hold on any of them, use these instructions on how to place holds.

Book cover image from Little, Brown and Company.

Catch and Kill : Lies, spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators / by Ronan Farrow – “In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain — until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.”–Publisher description.

Book cover image from Penguin Random House.

Know My Name : a Memoir / by Chanel Miller – “She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.”–Publisher description.

Book cover image from Simon & Schuster.

Rage Becomes Her : the Power of Women’s Anger / by Soraya Chemaly – “A transformative book urging twenty-first-century women to embrace their anger and harness it for lasting personal and societal change. Women are angry, and we have every right to be. We are underpaid and overworked. Too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Too dowdy or too flashy. Too big or too thin. Sluts or prudes. We are harassed, told we are asking for it, and asked if it would kill us to smile. (Yes, yes, it would.) Contrary to the rhetoric of popular ‘self-help’ and entire lifetimes of being told otherwise, our rage is one of the most important resources we have, our sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression. We’ve been urged for so long to bottle up our anger, letting it corrode our bodies and minds in ways we don’t even realize. Yet our anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of our anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling our power. We are so often encouraged to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? ‘Rage Becomes Her‘ makes the case that anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way, sparking a liberating new understanding of this core human emotion.”–Publisher description.

Book cover image from Penguin Random House.

She Said : Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement / by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey – “For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements were revealed. These shadowy settlements had long been used to hide sexual harassment and abuse, but with a breakthrough reporting technique Kantor and Twohey helped to expose it. But Weinstein had evaded scrutiny in the past, and he was not going down without a fight; he employed a team of high-profile lawyers, private investigators, and other allies to thwart the investigation. When Kantor and Twohey were finally able to convince some sources to go on the record, a dramatic final showdown between Weinstein and the New York Times was set in motion. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora’s box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next twelve months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change–or not enough? Those questions hung in the air months later as Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that he had assaulted her decades earlier. Kantor and Twohey, who had unique access to Ford and her team, bring to light the odyssey that led her to come forward, the overwhelming forces that came to bear on her, and what happened after she shared her allegation with the world. In the tradition of great investigative journalism, ‘She Said’ tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up–for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.”–Book jacket

Book cover image from ABC-CLIO.

The #MeToo Movement / by Laurie Collier Hillstrom – “This volume provides a concise but authoritative overview of the #MeToo Movement and its enormous impact on American society, from the studios of Hollywood to factories, campuses, and offices across the country. The 21st Century Turning Points series is a one-stop resource for understanding the people and events changing America today. ‘The #MeToo Movement‘ is devoted to the issue that brought sexual harassment out of the shadows of American culture and into the spotlight. Sparked by revelations of decades of sexual harassment by powerful Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, the movement quickly uncovered similar abusive behavior by numerous other famous public figures. It also revealed the extent to which sexual harassment has been a persistent problem in many workplace settings across America and the ways in which girls and women are subjected to degrading and discriminatory treatment because of their gender. The book provides a broad perspective on these issues. It discusses late twentieth-century efforts to identify sexual harassment as a longstanding societal problem; explains how the 2016 presidential election brought new attention to this issue; introduces activists who helped to launch the #MeToo Movement; and surveys the impact of the movement on American politics, business, and entertainment.”–Publisher description

What’s New Wednesdays-Politics

With Super Tuesday approaching, and Illinois state elections not far after, this week’s WNW focuses on politics and civil liberties. Look for the display case past the Reference desk, heading towards the back of the Library. If you need assistance locating these books don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian.” If you’d like to place a hold on any of them, use these instructions on how to place holds.

Book cover image from Workman Publishing

Represent : The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office & Changing the World / by June Diane Raphael and Kate Black – “Turn ‘Can I do this?’ into ‘Yes, I can!’ A road map, tool kit, workbook, and organizer, ‘Represent‘ is chock-full of the essential knowledge that any potential woman candidate needs to know. It will help you pinpoint exactly why you want to run and figure out the position that makes the most sense. You’ll learn how to write an elevator pitch that will become your platform. Determine the impact that running for office will have on your family, your finances, your job. And take advantage of organizations whose mission is to help you win. It covers all the nuts and bolts, from filing and signature-gathering, to fundraising, managing social media, and harnessing the power of your supporters. With checklists, infographics, profiles of well-known women politicians, plus wisdom and advice from elected women across the United States.”–Back cover

Book cover image from University of Chicago Press

Conspiracies of Conspiracies : How Delusions Have Overrun America / by Thomas Milan Konda – “It’s tempting to think that we live in an unprecedentedly fertile age for conspiracy theories, with seemingly each churn of the news cycle bringing fresh manifestations of large-scale paranoia. But the sad fact is that these narratives of suspicion–and the delusional psychologies that fuel them–have been a constant presence in American life for nearly as long as there’s been an America. In this sweeping book, Thomas Milan Konda traces the country’s obsession with conspiratorial thought from the early days of the republic to our own anxious moment. ‘Conspiracies of Conspiracies‘ details centuries of sinister speculations–from antisemitism and anti-Catholicism to UFOs and reptilian humanoids–and their often incendiary outcomes. Rather than simply rehashing the surface eccentricities of such theories, Konda draws from his unprecedented assemblage of conspiratorial writing to crack open the mindsets that lead people toward these self-sealing worlds of denial. What is distinctively American about these theories, he argues, is not simply our country’s homegrown obsession with them but their ongoing prevalence and virulence. Konda proves that conspiracy theories are no harmless sideshow. They are instead the dark and secret heart of American political history–one that is poisoning the bloodstream of an increasingly sick body politic.”–Publisher description

Blowout : Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth / by Rachel Maddow – With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about how and why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, ‘like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion…It’s in her nature.’ ‘Blowout‘ is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, ‘Democracy either wins this one or disappears.'”–Book jacket

When They Come for You : How Police and Government are Trampling our Liberties–and How to Take Them Back / by David Kirby – In ‘When They Come For You,’ New York Times bestselling author David Kirby exposes federal, state, and local violations of basic constitutional rights that should trouble every American, whether liberal, conservative, or libertarian. Free speech, privacy, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, and equal protection under the law are rights that belong to every American citizen, but are being shredded at an alarming rate all across the country. Police and prosecutorial misconduct, overzealous bureaucrats with virtually unchecked power, unwarranted searches, SWAT-style raids on the homes of innocent Americans, crackdowns on a free press and the right to protest, removing children from their parents without cause, ‘debtors prisons,’ restricting freedom of health choice, seizing private assets for government profit, and much more demonstrate how deeply our rights and our national values are eroding. ‘When They Come For You‘ uses true stories of everyday citizens to reveal how our federal, state, and municipal governments, police, lawmakers, judges, revenue agents, unelected power brokers, and even government social workers are eviscerating our most fundamental liberties. And, it shows how people are fighting back-and winning.”–Publisher description

Book cover image from Yale University Press

Clear and Present Safety : the World Has Never Been Better and Why That Matters to Americans / by Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko – “What most frightens the average American? Terrorism. North Korea. Iran. But what if none of these are probable or consequential threats to America? What if the world today is safer, freer, wealthier, healthier, and better educated than ever before? What if the real dangers to Americans are noncommunicable diseases, gun violence, drug overdoses–even hospital infections? In this compelling look at what they call the ‘Threat-Industrial Complex,’ Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko explain why politicians, policy analysts, academics, and journalists are misleading Americans about foreign threats and ignoring more serious national security challenges at home. Cohen and Zenko argue that we should ignore Washington’s threat-mongering and focus instead on furthering extraordinary global advances in human development and economic and political cooperation. At home, we should focus on that which actually harms us and undermines our quality of life: substandard schools and healthcare, inadequate infrastructure, gun violence, income inequality, and political paralysis.”–Publisher description

What’s New Wednesdays: Music Edition

This week’s WNW edition focuses on music! From the long-awaited autobiography from Prince, to a handbook on recording, mixing, and mastering, and everything in between. If you need assistance locating the WNW display, please don’t hesitate to Ask a Librarian. If you would like to place a hold on any of these books, use these instructions for holds.

Cover from publisher’s website.

The Beautiful Ones / by Prince ; edited by Dan Piepenbring – “‘The Beautiful Ones‘ is the story of how Prince became Prince–a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is the memoir Prince was writing before his tragic death, pages that bring us into his childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us through Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album was released, via an evocative scrapbook of writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that go up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for ‘Purple Rain’–the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, where he retells the autobiography of the first three parts as a heroic journey. The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his profound collaboration with Prince in his final months–a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated–and annotations that provide context to the book’s images. This work is not just a tribute to an icon, but an original and energizing literary work in its own right, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image–his undying gift to the world.”–Publisher description.

Cover from publisher’s website.

Janis : Her Life and Music / by Holly George-Warren – “…In these pages, Holly George-Warren provides a revelatory and deeply satisfying portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering. Janis was a perfectionist: a passionate, erudite musician who was born with talent but also worked exceptionally hard to develop it. She was a woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was socially acceptable. She was a sensitive seeker who wanted to marry and settle down–but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She was a Texan who yearned to flee Texas but could never quite get away–even after becoming a countercultural icon in San Francisco. Written by one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of American music history, and based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives, and long-lost interviews, ‘Janis‘ is a complex, rewarding portrait of a remarkable artist finally getting her due.”–Publisher description.

Cover from publisher’s website.

Country Music / by Dayton Duncan ; based on a documentary film by Ken Burns ; with a preface by Ken Burns – “‘Country Music‘ shows how the birth of radio in the 1920s brought these songs to an entire nation. Playing everywhere from barn dances to Hollywood cowboy films to postwar juke joints, ‘hillbilly music’ evolved into a diverse range of sounds and styles–from honky tonk to Western swing, bluegrass to rockabilly, constantly shifting and expanding its boundaries through the decades to the music’s massive commercial success today. At the heart of the story of country music are the stories of the musicians themselves, and Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns bring these beloved figures to life, from Hank Williams’s turbulent career and tragic death to Dolly Parton’s spectacular rise to fame from a dirt-poor childhood, from Merle Haggard’s earning the title of ‘Poet of the Common Man’ to Loretta Lynn’s ability to turn her experiences into songs that spoke to women everywhere. Based on years of research and interviews with the genre’s biggest stars, including Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, and Emmylou Harris, and rife with rare photographs and endlessly fascinating anecdotes, this sweeping yet intimate history will captivate longtime country fans and introduce new listeners to an extraordinary body of music that lies at the very center of the American experience.”–Book jacket.

Cover from publisher’s website.

K-Pop Live : Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance / by Suk-Young Kim – “In ‘K-pop Live,’ Suk-Young Kim investigates the meteoric ascent of Korean popular music in relation to the rise of personal technology and social media, situating a feverish cross-media partnership within the Korean historical context and broader questions about what it means to be ‘live’ and ‘alive.’ Based on in-depth interviews with K-pop industry personnel, media experts, critics, and fans, as well as archival research, ‘K-pop Live’ explores how the industry has managed the tough sell of live music in a marketplace in which virtually everything is available online. Teasing out digital media’s courtship of ‘liveness’ in the production and consumption of K-pop, Kim investigates the nuances of the affective mode in which human subjects interact with one another in the digital age. Observing performances online, in concert, and even through the use of holographic performers, Kim offers readers a step-by-step guide through the K-pop industry’s variegated efforts to diversify media platforms as a way of reaching a wider global network of music consumers. In an era when digital technology inserts itself into nearly all social relationships, Kim reveals how ‘what is live’ becomes a question of how we exist as increasingly mediated subjects, fragmented and isolated by technological wonders while also longing for a sense of belonging and being alive through an interactive mode of exchange we often call ‘live.'”–Publisher description.

Cover from publisher’s website.

The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook / by Karl Pedersen and Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard – “‘The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook‘ provides an easy-to-read guide for music production in the studio organized both for quick and handy practical reference while on the job and to allow for a deeper understanding of the theory behind recording, mixing, and mastering. With chapters that build in complexity and detail to keep readers engaged and challenged, the handbook’s six sections cover: the recording and mixing of almost any instrument; microphone theory and techniques; the use of processors and effects; mixing and mastering; studio acoustics; and audio standards and connectors–everything that is required for a general understanding of practical studio techniques through to a more thorough comprehension of the tools and the theories behind the processes. Whether a university student in an audio recording course, a novice audio engineer who needs to build technique, or a busy professional who requires a quick refresh on specific techniques, any reader will find an essential resource in ‘The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook.’ Combines practice with essential theory in one reference handbook. Includes dozens of instructive photographs. Accompanied by a comprehensive website of audio examples. Provides instrument-specific techniques.”–Back cover.

What’s New Wednesdays-Graphic Novels

We have some very cool graphic novels, in general, in our collection but these are some interesting new arrivals! You can find them on the display case past the Reference Desk; look for the “What’s New Wednesdays” sign. Need help? Use these instructions for holds or Ask a Librarian

A Fire Story / by Brian Fies – “Early on the morning of Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities. In addition, 8,900 structures, including more than 6,200 homes, were destroyed. One of those homes belonged to author and illustrator Brian Fies and his family. In the days that followed, Fies hastily pulled together a firsthand account of his experience in a twenty-page online comic, entitled ‘A Fire Story,’ that went viral. News outlets instantly picked up the story, and it was featured on CNN, in the ‘Washington Post,’ ‘Entertainment Weekly,’ and ‘Mother Jones,’ as well as local newspapers and TV stations. More than 700,000 people read the original comic on his blog, and another three million or so saw an animated version produced by San Francisco PBS station KQED that was also covered on NPR. In June 2018, the animated film short won a regional Emmy Award for Best Public/Current/Community Affairs–Feature/Segment. Less than a year after the fire, Brian Fies expanded his webcomic into a full-length graphic novel, including environmental insight and the stories of others affected by the disaster. As he did with ‘Mom’s Cancer,’ Fies has taken tragedy and created art, illuminating his experiences and crafting his story to make it universal. ‘A Fire Story’ is an honest account of the wildfires that left homes destroyed and families broken. But at its core, it is a story about second acts. It’s about what’s important in life. It’s the story of a community determined to rebuild.”–Book jacket

No Small Plans / by Gabrielle Lyon, Devin Mawdsley, Kayce Bayer, Chris Lin, Deon Reed – “The book was inspired by the 1911 Wacker’s Manual, which was once used in classrooms to explain Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and divided into three chapters set in the years 1928, 2017 and 2211. Each chapter ends with a map and a short interlude about Burnham, to give readers insight into the creation of the 1909 Plan and other urban planning challenges. ‘No Small Plans’ was launched in conjunction with CAC’s 50th anniversary and our new ‘Meet Your City’ initiative, which aims to foster civic engagement. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Public Library, CAC aspires to distribute 30,000 copies of ‘No Small Plans’ for free to Chicago teens over the next three years.”–Publisher description

They Called Us Enemy / written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott ; art by Harmony Becker – “A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon–and America itself–in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in ‘Star Trek,’ he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s–and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten ‘relocation centers’, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. ‘They Called Us Enemy’ is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do?”–Publisher description

Nancy / by Olivia James – “In 2018, Olivia Jaimes became the first woman to write and illustrate the classic comic strip ‘Nancy.’ Her fresh, irreverent take on the classic comic strip has become a sensation with readers and has earned praise from dozens of media outlets, several of which have named it the best comic of the year. This hardcover collection includes the first nine months of Jaimes’ run on ‘Nancy,’ along with an introduction, essay, interview with the author, and a special gallery of ‘Nancy’ fan art by the author.”–Publisher description

What’s New Wednesdays: Oscar Films

This Sunday, Feb. 9th, the Oscars are on the ABC network, and we have some of the nominated films! A list of the categories with nominees can be viewed, or printed, if you’re participating in any contests during the show.

Please check the “What’s New Wednesdays” (WNW) display case past the Reference Desk to see availability (or click on the title links throughout the blog). If something is already checked out, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for help, or to place a hold.

Joker / Nominees: Best Picture, Best Actor, among others. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy. “Failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as Joker in director Todd Phillips’ thrilling origin story.”–Container

The Lighthouse / Nominees: Cinematography Starring Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeriia Karaman. “From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind the modern horror masterpiece ‘The Witch,’ comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. As an approaching storm threatens to sweep them from the rock and strange apparitions emerge from the fog, each man begins to suspect that the other has become dangerously unmoored.”–Container

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood / Nominees: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Pitt), Best Director (Tarantino) among others. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie. “Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.”–Container

Parasite / Nominees: Best Picture, among others. Starring Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam. “Meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide ‘indispensable’ luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, ‘Parasite’ showcases a modern master at the top of his game.”–Container

Rocketman / Nominees: Music (Original Song)-(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again-Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin. Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Gemma Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard. “‘Rocketman’ is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration set to Elton John’s most beloved songs. Discover how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll. Featuring an all-star cast, this truly spectacular and utterly electrifying ride is filled with show-stopping musical performances.”–Container

What’s New Wednesdays: History

Book cover images from publishers’ websites.

This week’s showcase is on historical subjects. January 27th was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, and new to the collection “is the catalogue of the first-ever traveling exhibition about the…concentration camp.” We also have histories on women fighting in the American Civil War, treatment of African Americans’ on their arrival in America, the Constitution, and an early history on polygamy in America.

  • Auschwitz : Not Long Ago. Not Far Away / edited by Robert Jan van Pelt, with Luis Ferreiro and Miriam Greenbaum – “This book tells a story to shake the conscience of the world. It is the catalogue of the first-ever traveling exhibition about the Auschwitz concentration camp, where 1.1 million people–mostly Jews, but also non-Jewish Poles, Roma, and others–lost their lives. More than 280 objects and images from the exhibition are illustrated herein. Drawn from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and other collections around the world, they range from the intimate (such as victims’ family snapshots and personal belongings) to the immense (an actual surviving barrack from the Auschwitz III-Monowitz satellite camp); all are eloquent in their testimony. An authoritative yet accessible text weaves the stories behind these artifacts into an encompassing history of Auschwitz–from a Polish town at the crossroads of Europe, to the dark center of the Holocaust, to a powerful site of remembrance. [This book] is an essential volume for everyone who is interested in history and its lessons.”–Book jacket
  • Women’s War : Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War / by Stephanie McCurry – “We think of war as a man’s world, but women have always played active roles in times of violence and been left to pick up the pieces in societies decimated by war. In this groundbreaking reconsideration of the Civil War, the award-winning author of ‘Confederate Reckoning’ invites us to see America’s bloodiest conflict not just as pitting brother against brother but as a woman’s war. When the war broke out, Union soldiers assumed Confederate women would be innocent noncombatants. Experience soon challenged this simplistic belief. Through a trio of dramatic stories, Stephanie McCurry reveals the vital and sometimes confounding roles women played on and off the battlefield. We meet Clara Judd, a Confederate spy whose imprisonment for treason sparked heated controversy, defying the principle of civilian immunity and leading to lasting changes in the laws of war. Hundreds of thousands of enslaved women escaped across Union lines, upending emancipation policies that extended only to enslaved men. The Union’s response was to classify fugitive black women as ‘soldiers’ wives,’ regardless of whether they were married–offering them some protection but placing new obstacles on their path to freedom. In the war’s aftermath, the Confederate grande dame Gertrude Thomas wrestled with her loss of status and of her former slaves. War, emancipation, and economic devastation affected her family intimately, and through her life McCurry helps us see how fundamental the changes of Reconstruction were. ‘Women’s War’ dismantles the long-standing fiction that women are outside of war and shows that they were indispensable actors in the Civil War, as they have been–and continue to be–in all wars.”–Publisher description
  • Collective Amnesia : American Apartheid : African Americans’ 400 Years in North America, 1619-2019 / by Eugene DeFriest Bétit – “‘Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid’ is a comprehensive study of the treatment African Americans have encountered since their arrival in Virginia in 1619, a saga of racism and white supremacy. It is actual history, not the popular mythology about the Civil War and its aftermath taught in our schools. Numerous tables, photographs, maps, and charts make the study easy to read. The topic is extremely pertinent due to the four hundredth anniversary of African Americans’ presence in North America in 2019 and encouragement of racism from the White House. Chapters cover white supremacy and racism, slavery, the service of US Colored Troops in the Civil War, devastation of the South, evolution of emancipation, and Reconstruction and the Freedman’s Bureau. Other chapters address ‘redemption’ and the ‘lost cause,’ Jim Crow, blacks’ significant military contributions in the two world wars, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement, and the backlash that continues today. The book also addresses contemporary issues, including white supremacy, Confederate statuary, and evaluates the status of blacks compared to other groups in society. Note is taken of Professor James Whitman’s observation that Hitler admired Jim Crow and antimiscegenation laws, as well as Richard Rothstein’s study of federal and local housing law, documenting whites’ responsibility for creating inner-city ghettos.”–Publisher description
  • The Second Founding : How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution / by Eric Foner – “From the Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, a timely history of the constitutional changes that built equality into the nation’s foundation and how those guarantees have been shaken over time. The Declaration of Independence announced equality as an American ideal, but it took the Civil War and the subsequent adoption of three constitutional amendments to establish that ideal as American law. The Reconstruction amendments abolished slavery, guaranteed all persons due process and equal protection of the law, and equipped black men with the right to vote. They established the principle of birthright citizenship and guaranteed the privileges and immunities of all citizens. The federal government, not the states, was charged with enforcement, reversing the priority of the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In grafting the principle of equality onto the Constitution, these revolutionary changes marked the second founding of the United States. Eric Foner’s compact, insightful history traces the arc of these pivotal amendments from their dramatic origins in pre-Civil War mass meetings of African-American ‘colored-citizens’ and in Republican party politics to their virtual nullification in the late nineteenth century. A series of momentous decisions by the Supreme Court narrowed the rights guaranteed in the amendments, while the states actively undermined them. The Jim Crow system was the result. Again today there are serious political challenges to birthright citizenship, voting rights, due process, and equal protection of the law. Like all great works of history, this one informs our understanding of the present as well as the past: knowledge and vigilance are always necessary to secure our basic rights.”–Book jacket
  • Polygamy : an Early American History / by Sarah M. S. Pearsall – “A groundbreaking examination of polygamy showing that monogamy was not the only form marriage took in early America. Today we tend to think of polygamy as an unnatural marital arrangement characteristic of fringe sects or uncivilized peoples. Historian Sarah Pearsall shows us that polygamy’s surprising history encompasses numerous colonies, indigenous communities, and segments of the American nation. Polygamy–as well as the fight against it–illuminates many touchstones of American history: the Pueblo Revolt and other uprisings against the Spanish; Catholic missions in New France; New England settlements and King Philip’s War; the entrenchment of African slavery in the Chesapeake; the Atlantic Enlightenment; the American Revolution; missions and settlements in the West; and the rise of Mormonism. Pearsall expertly opens up broader questions about monogamy’s emergence as the only marital option, tracing the impact of colonial events on property, theology, feminism, imperialism, and the regulation of sexuality. She shows that heterosexual monogamy was never the only model of marriage in North America.”–Book jacket

Look for these books on the display case past the Reference Desk. If you need help locating them, or would like to put any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance.

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