Suzanne

  • russian revolution

     

    Between March and November of 1917, two key events framed the collapse of the Russian Empire: the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas on March 15, 1917 and the November 17, 1917 revolt by the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin. Though Russia continued to be convulsed until at least 1923 by civil war against the Bolsheviks and their army, the execution of Tsar Nicholas and his family, and the power struggle between Lenin and Trotsky, November of 1917 is seen as the defining moment that changed the history of the world and laid the foundation for the establishment of the communist government in Russia.

    Representing a variety of viewpoints and relying on new historical documents, a number of recent books have been written for the centennial of the Russian Revolution that review, revise and renew our understanding of the momentous events that irrevocably changed Russia and the world.

    11.14.17 OctoberOCTOBER: THE STORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
    By China Mievielle’s
    (2017)

    In February, 1917, Russia was monarchy; nine short months later it was a socialist nation. Focusing on the months between February and October, 1917, fantasy author Mieville tells the story of the intrigues and calamities, the personalities and peoples that transformed Russia.

     

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Russian RevolutionTHE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: A NEW HISTORY
    By Sean McMeekin
    (2017)

    McMeekin’s fast paced narrative focuses on events between 1900 and 1920, tracing the transformation of Russia from a Romanov dynasty to a Bolshevik regime. Often aided by outside nations hoping to benefit from the economic and political chaos in Russia, the Bolsheviks triumphed even though the economy collapsed and more than 20 million Russians died.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 March 1917MARCH 1917: ON THE BRINK OF WAR AND REVOLUTION
    By Will Englund
    (2017)

    March, 1917: Woodrow Wilson gave his second inaugural address, America entered World War I, and Tsar Nicholas abdicated. Focusing on this key month, Englund uses diaries, newspapers and memoirs to add detail to the story of that key month when the world we know today originated.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Caught In the RevolutionCAUGHT IN THE REVOLUTION: PETROGRAD, RUSSIA, 1917 – A WORLD ON THE EDGE
    By Helen Rappaport
    (2017) 

    Foreigners living on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg’s main street, had a firsthand view of the chaos in Russia, as Nicholas abdicated and the Bolsheviks fomented a coup. Rappaport uses their diaries and letters home to show us the action first hand, as they experienced it.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Lenin on the TrainLENIN ON THE TRAIN
    By Catherine Merridale
    (2017)

    When Tsar Nicholas abdicated, Lenin was exiled in Zurich. Resolving to return immediately to Russia to lead a revolt against the Russian government, he embarked on a journey that would change the world. Using material never before presented, Merridale tells story of his train ride from Switzerland through Germany, bringing to life the intrigue, the desperation and the idealism that made it possible.

     

     

    11.14.17 Last of the TsarsLAST OF THE TSARS: NICHOLAS II AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
    By Robert Service
    (2017)

    Using the Tsars own diaries and also official testimonies, Service details Tsar Nicholas II's last eighteenth months.

     

     

     

  • reformation

    500 years ago, in 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints Church (also known as Castle Church) in Wittenberg, Germany. It was a common practice for university staff to put notices on the door of the church, but Luther’s notice was far from common - this history changing event launched the Reformation. Reformation day is traditionally celebrated by many religious denominations on October 31 of each year, though there is no reliable evidence confirming the actual day. But few would disagree with the importance of Luther’s written disputation of indulgences and other practices of the Catholic Church. Originally written in Latin, the theses were soon translated into German and within two months had been circulated widely in Europe. The printing press made this rapid, widespread distribution possible.

    In anticipation of the quincentenary of Luther’s 95 theses, publishers have released significant new books about Luther and the Reformation. You will find a number of these outstanding books here at the Provo Library.

    10.27 The Man Who Rediscovered GodMARTIN LUTHER: THE MAN WHO REDISCOVERED GOD AND CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Eric Metaxas
    (2017) 

    Crediting Luther with the birth of modern values such as equality and liberty, Metaxas writes an authoritative and riveting biography of a man of humility and great faith who challenged the power of the institutional church and changed the world he knew.

     

     

    10.27 Renegade and ProphetMARTIN LUTHER: RENEGADE AND PROPHET
    By Lyndal Roper
    (2017) 

    Roper’s new biography of Luther reveals a complex man whose attitudes and actions were not always admirable. She argues that his ideas and actions had both good and bad effects. Critics have called this biography provocative and imaginative.

     

     

     

    10.27 Visionary ReformerMARTIN LUTHER: VISIONARY REFORMER
    By Scott H. Hendrix
    (2015) 

    Tracing the life of Luther long before and well after his posting of the 95 theses, Hendrix illuminates Luther’s devotion and courage, along with his political motivations and personal relationships, in this richly detailed biography.

     

     

     

    10.27 Brand LutherBRAND LUTHER : 1517, PRINTING, AND THE MAKING OF THE REFORMATION
    By Andrew Pettegree
    (2015) 

    Exploring the synergistic relationship between Luther’s posting of the 95 theses and the rising influence of printing on the culture of Europe, this book explores Luther’s ability to use the early printing industry to disseminate his ideas and the remarkable rise of Protestantism.

     

     

    10.27 Protestants The Faith That Made the Modern WorldPROTESTANTS: THE FAITH THAT MADE THE MODERN WORLD
    By Alec Ryrie
    (2017) 

    When Luther, an obscure monk, published his 95 Theses, he unwittingly triggered a movement that ultimately changed governments, overturned the norms of society, and changed people’s relationship to God. Ryrie demonstrates that Protestants changed the world by settling and creating new countries and using their Bibles to defend their rights and engage in political protest.

     

     

    10.27 ReformationsREFORMATIONS: THE EARLY MODERN WORLD, 1450-1650
    By Carlos M.N. Eire
    (2016) 

    Professor Eire traces the way religious ideas of the reformation transformed not just religion, but Western thought and culture. Between 1450 and 1650 reformers and reformations from Italy to Germany to Switzerland and into America and Asia laid the foundation for today’s secular world.

     

     

     

    10.27 October 31 1517OCTOBER 31, 1517: MARTIN LUTHER AND THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Martin E. Marty
    (2016) 

    In this succinct volume, a leading religious scholar shares his thoughts on the impact and meaning of Luther’s first, and most important, thesis: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ”Repent,” he intended the entire life of believers to be repentance.” 

     

     

     

  • Librarian Sleuths

    You can be quite sure that librarians love books. For most of us, books are what drew us to a library career in the first place. We like to read books, talk about books, recommend books, and find great books to buy for the library. If you read the bios of Provo City librarians, you can see that we have a lot of other interests, too: we travel, sew, play Minecraft, cook, go to Comic Con, love pets. 

    Most of us also find that hunting down a hard to find piece of information is part of the thrill of being a librarian, too.  The information age has made research even more interesting and challenging. With so many resources available librarians have an essential role in sorting through the 2,900,000 Google results you get from a query like “What happens when you swallow a piece of gum?” And we can provide access to high quality information in resources the library subscribes to on behalf of our patrons and teach search strategies for using them.

    Since librarians are such interesting people, with skills for hunting down information from a variety of sources, it’s no wonder that a few smart authors have turned librarians into crime solvers.  Combine all our interests and talents with stumbling onto a crime scene and suddenly your local librarian can become a private investigator, too. Here are some of my favorite librarian sleuths:

    BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
    by Jenn McKinlay
    (2011) 

    Author Jenn McKinlay has a degree in library science. So she isn’t making it up when she puts in details about libraries and the work librarians do.  Lindsey Norris, the star in McKinley’s Library Lover’s mystery series, is director of Briar Creek Public Library in Briar Creek, Connecticut.  She loves crafts, has a dog named Heathcliff who eats cookies, and her best friend is Beth, the Teen and Children’s librarian. She uses long words like pteromerhanophobia and makes insider jokes about being a librarian such as “working in a library must be lovely because it is so quiet.”

    SEW DEADLY
    by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
    (2009) 

    Elizabeth Lynn Casey features librarian Tori Sinclair in her Southern Sewing Circle series. Tori is a recently divorced Yankee transplant to Sweet Briar, South Carolina and works at the Sweet Briar Public Library.  She is slowly getting to know members of the community as they come in to the library. And her new friends in the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle fill her in on local gossip and help her solve mysteries. 

    REAL MURDERS
    by Charlaine Harris
    (1990) 

    Librarian “Roe” Teagarden is the sleuth in Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series. Recently widowed, she keeps her house immaculate since the death of her husband. She is famous for helping solve the mystery of a serial killer in Lawrenceton, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. She is a member of a local club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to discuss famous crimes.

    LENDING A PAW
    by Laurie Cass
    (2013) 

    Laurie Cass portrays librarian Minnie Hamilton as kindhearted, loyal, and resourceful in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series. Minnie has a degree in Library and Information Science and works as the assistant library director in Chilson, MI. She lives on a houseboat. One of her secret hobbies is spending time in cemeteries where she encountered a stray cat she named Eddie after he followed her home. Because of her passion for sharing books, the library now has a new bookmobile to serve areas outside of the town. Eddie sneaks into the bookmobile, obviously determined to come along for the daily ride. Without Eddie, Minnie would probably never have become involved in murder cases.

    CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT
    by Sofie Kelly
    (2011) 

    In author Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats mysteries, librarian Kathleen Paulson leaves Boston and moves to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, where she is supervising the restoration of the Mayville Heights Free Public Library, a Carnegie Library built in 1912. Along with the building restorations she is updating the collections and computerizing the card catalog. Lucky for her, stray magical cats, Owen and Hercules have insinuated themselves into her life, or she might have found herself behind bars for murder.

  • genealogy

    If you are fascinated by family history and sleuthing for mysteries on your family tree, there are a number of recent books you‘ll want to read. DNA testing is transforming genealogical research and enabling individuals to find answers to family history mysteries and locate previously unknown relatives. The mapping of the human gene, begun systematically in 1990, has spurred technology and medical research and enabled the discovery of genes associated with dozens of medical conditions. The science is fascinating and sometimes beyond the comprehension of a layman.  But the human stories of people who have benefitted from the advances in knowledge about our genes and chromosomes are fascinating and accessible.  Two gripping recent books tell stories of two different families afflicted with mysterious illnesses which ultimately are discovered to be linked to genetic mutations unique to their families.

    06.27.17 Mercies in DiguiseMERCIES IN DISGUISE
    Gina Kolata
    (2017)  

    Watching their proud father suffer from a mysterious illness that gradually rendered him helpless, the sons in the Baxley family vow to find the cause of his death. A chance comment by an elderly neighbor revealed the possibility that others in the family had suffered from the same disease.  Assembling a family tree they realized that the disease had struck many others in the family and would threaten themselves and their children unless they took action to identify the mutated gene responsible for the debilitating illness.

     

    06.27.17 The Family GeneTHE FAMILY GENE: A MISSION TO TURN MY DEADLY INHERITANCE INTO A HOPEFUL FUTURE
    Joselin Linder
    (2017)  

    While only in her twenties, the author begins to have strange symptoms, the first of which was swelling in her legs. After years of visiting various doctors she is diagnosed with a blockage in her liver. As she investigates her family tree she begins to see that her father’s illness was like hers, an uncle was also afflicted, and her great-grandmother died with similar symptoms.  Working with genetic researchers she confirms that fourteen relatives had died with the same disease caused by a brand new genetic mutation never seen before except in her family. The discovery means that the living generation of her family lives under the shadow of the same genetic illness.  

    Genetic genealogy uses genetic testing to discover or infer relationships between individuals. This rapidly growing field helps people identify their paternity and their more distant origins. Affordable genetic testing has been available since the early 2000s and hundreds of thousands of people have been tested with sometimes surprising results.

    06.27.17 The Stranger in My GenesTHE STRANGER IN MY GENES: A MEMOIR
    Bill Griffeth
    (2016) 

    Bill Griffeth is a successful financial journalist on CNBC and has also been a passionate genealogy hobbyist since 2003.  A cousin who was also interested in genealogy persuaded him to have a DNA test so that the two of them could compare results in order to learn more about their family history.  The DNA results were a shock because they revealed that the two cousins were not related – in other words, the man who raised Griffeth and whose genealogical lines Griffeth had spent years researching was not his biological father. Bill Griffeth has presented at genealogy clubs and historical societies many times over the years but never had his belief that “genealogy is the pursuit of truth” been challenged in such a personal way.  This book narrates the fallout from the genetic genealogy discovery of his true biological heritage.

     

    If you are interested in the more technical and scientific details of gene mapping and genetic genealogy, there are two highly recommended resources you can find at Provo Library.

    6.27.17 The Family Tree Guide to DNA TestingTHE FAMILY TREE GUIDE TO DNA TESTING AND GENETIC GENEALOGY
    Blaine T. Bettinger
    (2016)

    The Family Tree guide describes in clear language what DNA testing is, how it is used in genealogy and who the major companies are that do genetic testing. Once you have results from your DNA testing, the book also helps you understand how to interpret the results.

     

     

    6.27.17 The Gene an Intimate HistoryTHE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
    Siddhartha Mukherjee
    (2017) 

    Siddartha Mukherjee won the Pulitzer Prize for his previous book about cancer, THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES. Set against the backdrop of his own extended family’s history of inherited mental illness, his beautiful writing about genetics begins with the time that genes were first theorized and conceptualized and traces developments in genetics to the present when we can directly manipulate the human genome.

  • indian cookery

    I think my sudden interest in Indian cooking was triggered by reading A LONG WAY HOME by Saroo Brierley (made into the movie LION in 2016). At age five he became separated from his brother at a train station in India and ended up in Calcutta. Too young to even accurately remember the name of his home village, he was taken to an orphanage and adopted by a family in Australia. In his memoir he lovingly describes memories of the food his mother prepared on an iron griddle over the fire. Food was scarce and the family was always hungry, making the tempting smells of the food even more appetizing. Favorites were yellow lentil dal, and deep fried dough made from bhuja (chickpea flour and spices). Goat curry was a rare treat whose garlicky flavor “exploded” in his mouth.

    I can find Indian recipes online and it can be quick, but there is nothing like browsing a cookbook with beautiful illustrations and finding something new on every page.  You may not know when you start looking for a goat curry recipe that cauliflower with ginger and cumin would satisfy your craving for Indian food without having to go to the store to buy goat gizzards! But serendipitously the cookbook opens to an appetizing photo of the spicy cauliflower.

    Whether you are an omnivore, a vegan, or a vegetarian, Indian food has something delicious for you. 

    7.25 Vegan Richas Indian KitchenVEGAN RICHA’S INDIAN KITCHEN: TRADITIONAL AND CREATIVE RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK
    Richa Hingle
    2015 

     

     

     

    7.25 My Two SouthsMY TWO SOUTHS: BLENDING THE FLAVORS OF INDIA INTO A SOUTHERN KITCHEN
    Asha Gomez
    (2016) 

     

     

    7.25 The Three Sisters Quick and Easy Indian CookingTHE THREE SISTERS QUICK AND EASY INDIAN COOKBOOK
    Serena, Alexa, and Priya Kaul
    (2012) 

     

     

    7.25 My Indian KitchenMY INDIAN KITCHEN: PREPARING DELICIOUS INDIAN MEALS WITHOUT FEAR OR FUSS
    Hari Nayak
    (2011) 

     

     

     

    7.25 Simple Indian CookerySIMPLE INDIAN COOKERY: STEP BY STEP TO EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE INDIAN RECIPES
    Madhur Jaffrey
    (2006) 

     

     

     

    Two memoirs by famous Indian cooks give an intimate look into food and family in India.

    7.25 Love Loss and What We AteLOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT WE ATE
    Padma Lakshmi
    (2016)

    Padma Lakshmi is the author of several recipe books and producer of Top Chef, a reality TV show in which contestants compete in culinary challenges. Along with details of her marriage to Salman Rushdie, Lakshmi recounts how her love for food was born in India. 

     

     

     

    7.25 Climbing the Mango TreesCLIMBING THE MANGO TREES: A MEMOIR OF A CHILDHOOD IN INDIA
    Madhur Jaffrey
    (2006) 

    Madhur Jaffrey has written more than a dozen Indian cookbooks, the first of which was published in 1973 and introduced America to Indian cooking. 

     

     

     

  • Sleep

    Riddle: What question can you never say yes to?

    Answer: Are you asleep?

    Unhappily, for some of us we can answer the question and the answer is often “NO!  I’m not asleep!” Either we can’t fall asleep when we go to bed or we wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.  Our lives are keyed up and wired and getting enough sleep turns out to be a very difficult thing to do.  You can poll your neighbors - read a boring book, take melatonin, put a hot pad on your tummy, count sheep – or you can read what experts have to say.  Here are some recent books that shed light on the problem of sleeplessness.  

    2.27 The Sleep SolutionTHE SLEEP SOLUTION: WHY YOUR SLEEP IS BROKEN AND HOW TO FIX IT
    by W. Chris Winter, M.D.
    (2017)   

    Sleep expert and neurologist, Dr. Winter, has twenty-four years of experience helping more than 10,000 people sleep better. His book will help you understand your sleep patterns and problems to find the best interventions so you can have healthy sleep. 

     

    2.27 SnoozeSNOOZE: THE LOST ART OF SLEEP
    by Michael McGirr
    (2017)

    Looking back at the sleep patterns of great people like Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Thomas Edison, McGirr’s entertaining book explains what our brains are doing when we are asleep, the benefits of healthy sleep, and why sound sleep is sometimes so elusive.

     

    2.27 You are Getting SleepyYOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY: LIFESTYLE BASED SOLUTIONS FOR INSOMNIA
    by Paul Glovinsky and Arthur Spielman
    (2017)

    Two doctors share recent research about how people get sleepy, the difference between fatigue and being sleepy, and how being hyper or depressed can interfere with sleep and lead to insomnia.

     

    2.27 Wild NightsWILD NIGHTS: HOW TAMING SLEEP CREATED OUR RESTLESS WORLD
    by Benjamin Reiss
    (2017)

    Sleep is essential to human beings but down through history where we sleep, who we sleep with, and how much we sleep have changed dramatically. Our modern cultural definition of the requirements for sleep has added to our sleep problems, contributing to insomnia, exhaustion and sleep disorders.

     

    2.27 The Power of WhenTHE POWER OF WHEN
    by Michael Breus
    (2016)

    Exploring exciting new research about out biology, Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep medicine specialist, offers a comprehensive quiz to help you discover your “chronotype.”  Find out how to take advantage of your “body’s inner clock” in order to know your best time of day for a variety of personal activities including sleep.  Take the quizzes he offers in the book to learn what your own personal circadian rhythms are and discover if you are a “Dolphin, Wolf, Bear, or Lion.”

     
  • On the morning of January 4, 1892, Karl G. Maeser and the students of the Brigham Young Academy met for one last time in the ZCMI warehouse.  Their school building had burned down eight years before, and they’d been meeting in the warehouse while they slowly gathered the funding to build a schoolhouse that would meet the needs of a rapidly growing community.  After a benediction, the students marched in a procession a few blocks down the street to their new home.  When they reached the outside of the building, Dr. Maeser looked up at it and said, “The old man taught school in a log cabin, but they have built a palace for his boys.” (1)

    One of my favorite parts of working as a librarian at the Provo City Library is giving tours of the historic wing, better known as the Brigham Young Academy building.  I grew up in Provo, but despite Maeser’s pronouncement that this building was a palace, my memories of the old Brigham Young Academy are of a sad, neglected block of buildings that was a bit of an eyesore right in the center of town.  

    library under construction 2 20130625 1888594852

    Fifteen years ago, the debris was cleared out and the building was restored thanks to the efforts of local citizens who care for our history.  Re-named the Provo City Library at Academy Square, it’s been a thriving part of our community ever since.  We keep a record of the reconstruction process on our website, but some of my favorite pictures can be seen below. 

    construction collage

    With the recent rebuilding of the Provo Tabernacle and its conversion into the Provo City Center Temple, I’m not the only one who has noted the similarities between two buildings with such deep roots into our city’s past. Both of these buildings were originally built around the same time with funds raised by the community, meant to be used and appreciated by everyone in the community. Both buildings have had many different uses over the years.  And when both buildings finally gave way to time and weather and age, both were raised up and given new life and purpose.

    And so, while celebrating the rebirth of the Provo Tabernacle and the revitalization it will give to downtown Provo, I’m taking a minute to celebrate the rebirth of the Brigham Young Academy as well.  It is a palace once more.  Thank you to everyone in the community for supporting the library.  We look forward to many more years of service.

    REFERENCE

    1. Butterworth, E. (1975). Brigham Young University: 1000 Views of 100 Years. Brigham Young University Press, p. 31