Category Archives: Authors and Books
Below is a list of some of the #BlackLivesMatter resources in our collection. This selection includes both fiction and non-fiction for adults, teens, and children. Clicking on the title will link you to the book in the WPCL online catalog. It is not a comprehensive list, a search of “race,” “diversity,” and/or “inclusion” in our library catalog will return other titles – along with ebooks, audio books, and DVDs in the same subject area.
by Howard Bryant
by Latasha Morrison
by Thomas Chatterton Williams
by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
by Deborah Plummer
by Reniqua Allen
by Matthew Horace
by Robin Diangelo
by Carol Anderson
by George Yancy
by Ijeoma Oluo
by Marita Golden
by Frank Wilderson III
by Michelle Alexander
by J. Michael Martin
by Charlton D. McIlwain
by Sedou M. Franklin and Ray Block Jr.
by Jill Watts
edited by Beverly Greene Bond and Susan Eva O’Donovan
by Torrey Maldonado
with an introduction by Harry Belafonte
by Anastasia Higginbotham
by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
by Cynthia Levinson
by Julius Lester
by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy
by Brandy Colbert
by Wade Hudson
by Parker Jewell Rhodes
by Nic Stone
by Karyn Parsons
by Robie H. Harris
by Varian Johnson
by Irene Latham
by Jerry Craft
by Alicia D. Williams
by Sharon M. Draper
by Alexandra Penfold
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
by Lynne Sarah Reul
by Pattillo Melba Beals
by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
YOUNG ADULT TITLES
by Jason Reynolds
by Tiffany Jewell
By John Lewis
by Chris Crowe
by Angie Thomas
by Jay Coles
by Jason Reynolds
by Robin Talley
by Walter Dean Myers
by Nic Stone
by Renee Watson
by Shannon Gibney
Excellent Citizens and Notable Partings in Williamson County, Tennessee Book Publication Announcement
What was Special Collections doing during the covid-19 shelter-at-home mandate?
We’re glad you asked! Your Special Collection librarians were right here, working hard on compiling and editing a new book for our department, and for you! As much as we didn’t like the circumstances, we welcomed this time to focus on bringing our work to completion. We fully intend to have our new book available for purchase and/or perusal sometime in June, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
What is the title?
The long title is:
Excellent Citizens and Notable Partings: A Further Look at the Popular Series, “Portrait of an Excellent Citizen,” Published in The Review-Appeal, 1966-1968, in Franklin, Tennessee
What made you compile a book?
Inspiration. It’s as simple as that. Nearly two years ago, an old box of donated items provided hours of delight and entertainment as we combed through its contents. Among the assorted papers, we found a nearly complete set of Review-Appeal “Portrait of an Excellent Citizen” clippings which, we soon discovered, ran as a series between the years 1966-1968. We were intrigued by this Review-Appeal appointed group of outstanding citizens, so highly regarded that each face was individually hand drawn by Tennessean staff artist, Bill Duke.
Why these citizens?
Each generation recognizes those among us who stand out, the ones getting things done, the ones everyone either knows or “knows of.” How the Review-Appeal “Portrait of an Excellent Citizen” series came into being is a bit of a mystery, as well as their selection process. It seemed to have just appeared out of the blue, with no introduction and no conclusion. However, once re-discovered, we quickly recognized that this collection of citizen portraits gave us a unique snapshot of Williamson County and some, but not all, of the more visible citizens of the late 1960s, and that in itself was significant. While our nation was in the throes of political turmoil and cultural revolution, it would seem that business and life went on as usual in Williamson County.
Why is this book important?
As we began to wonder how the lives of these “Excellent Citizens” played out and what it would look like to read their end-of-life story, we set out to locate their obituaries and other articles. After compiling a fair amount of additional material, it was easy to see the treasure we had unearthed. We knew if we could get this all into a book, it would become an important resource for present and future researchers in finding family connections and aiding their understanding of these citizens and their place in our midst. For added interest, we threaded in ads of the era found in the Review-Appeal, The Williamson Leader, and the local Franklin phone directory. We also used quotations and excerpts from other local sources whenever possible.
Are any of the Excellent Citizens still living?
Yes, only about 10. For those citizens who are still living, we sent letters or called asking for their help, or their family’s help, in creating an updated entry for them. Most were happy to do so. And as word got out, some families of those citizens already gone were eager to help as well. In that way, we were able to amass original and important additional content for many of our living and deceased Excellent Citizens.
Are there other books about local people from Williamson County?
Yes, there are quite a few wonderful biographies, and several narratives of life in Franklin which are very entertaining as well as factual. We are eager to point out to our readers works such as Who’s Who in Williamson County by Jane Bowman Owen, Who’s Who in Williamson County by Nat Osborne, Jr., and Who’s Who in Williamson County by Derry Carlisle, reprints of the Review-Appeal column of the same name published over a span of 35 years, all colorfully written and re-published by Rick Warwick. We also encourage our patrons to read the narratives of locals who have chronicled their own lives in Williamson County during this era, and in doing so, have animated the lives of many other citizens, some featured in our book. Look for works by Leonard Isaacs, Russ Farnsworth, Bill Peach, Bobby Langley, Jimmy Gentry, W.C. Yates, and others. Many of these are available to check out at WCPL.
Why are these 143 citizens important?
In today’s world, we have “social media” and “influencers,” but these men and women of the late 1960s were influential — they were doers, and their lives reflected their interaction with and influence in the community. For a time, they were all here in this one place, together, the stalwarts of their day. We hope this book, which we have painstakingly compiled and edited, will provide its readers and researchers with a useful resource as well as a source of memories of a time gone by, now known as The Sixties.
Watch for details about our new book, Excellent Citizens and Notable Partings, coming out soon!
From the Special Collections Department
Marcia P. Fraser and Ashleigh M. Florida
Tags: Ashleigh M. Florida, Bill Duke, Bill Peach, Bobby Langley, citizens, covid-19, covid19, Derry Carlisle, donations, Excellent Citizens, Excellent Citizens and Notable Partings, genealogy, Jane Bowman Owen, Jimmy Gentry, Leonard Isaacs, local history, Marcia P. Fraser, Nat Osborne Jr., Review-Appeal, Rick Warwick, Russ Farnsworth, special collections, W.C. Yates, WCCovid, Williamson County Tennessee, Williamson Leader
I’ve just finished a few books that I really enjoyed and I thought you might like to hear about them. I read a little of everything – mysteries, westerns, psychological thrillers, classical literature, historical fiction, nonfiction (especially about gardening, dogs and home décor), humor and lots of horror. I try to switch things up, so if I read a dark or scary novel, I’ll follow that with something really funny or light.
At the top of my list is Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. It follows Patricia, a typical housewife in 1990s Charleston, and her book club friends as they encounter a mysterious new neighbor who may or may not be a killer…or something worse. The book starts off laugh-out-loud funny, but quickly turns dark and extremely grisly. While Patricia tries to convince her friends and her dense husband that there’s something terribly wrong with the newcomer, she struggles to live up to the ideal of the perfect wife, mother and hostess. I’m not sure which was scarier, the monster next door or the pressure on our heroine to live up to society’s expectations. You can check it out at WCPL (F HENDRIX) and in our eLibrary via R.E.A.Ds. as an ebook and eaudio.
The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey is historical fiction with a really creepy touch of Gothic eeriness. Hetty, a young curator at a London natural history museum, is charged with evacuating the museum’s stuffed mammal collection to Lockwood Manor, a huge Downton Abby-type estate, where they’ll be safe from German bombs during the Blitz. She runs afoul of the ruthless lord of the manor and his equally unpleasant staff, but bonds with the lord’s beautiful and troubled daughter, Lucy. Soon Hetty is fighting to save her precious collection, as one mysterious calamity after another befalls them. Could the estate really be haunted by the terrifying spirit of a woman in white, or does something even more sinister threaten Hetty, Lucy, and the irreplaceable mammals? I loved finding out. I listened to the audiobook through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. It is also available in print (F HEALEY) and in our eLibrary via Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. as an ebook also.
For a really fun page-turner, check out The Other Woman by Sandi Jones. Emily, a successful young business woman, has met the man of her dreams, Adam. He’s crazy about her too. Things go swimmingly until Adam introduces Emily to his mother, Pammie. For reasons Emily can’t fathom, Pammie detests her at first sight and it’s soon clear she will stop at NOTHING to ruin Emily’s life and keep her from marrying Adam. It’s obvious to Emily that her future mother-in-law is a manipulative sociopath, but to the rest of the world, Pammie is an angelic elderly lady, beloved by everyone. It’s fun to guess what outrageous stunt Pammie will throw at Emily next, and there’s also a great plot twist along the way. I listened to the audiobook through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. It is also available in print (F Jones) and in our eLibrary via Tennessee R.E.A.D.S.. as an ebook.
If you’re looking for something darker and more complex, try A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, whose terrifying novel The Cabin at the End of the World was a recent sensation. A Head Full of Ghosts is narrated by a young woman named Merry as she recounts the bizarre events that befell her family 15 years earlier. When Merry is 8, her older sister Marjorie begins exhibiting strange and extremely disturbing behavior. Mom thinks Marjorie needs therapy, but Dad believes Marjorie is possessed and needs an exorcism. Things get REALLY weird and increasingly tense and scary when the family’s situation becomes the subject of a hit reality TV show. Check out a hard copy at WCPL (F TREMBLAY) or you can listen to the audiobook as I did through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. It is also available as an ebook in Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. and Hoopla.
My current reads are Stephen King’s latest, If It Bleeds (Available in print and our eLibrary via Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. as an ebook and eaudio.), and Savage Season (Available in print) by one of my favorite authors, Joe R. Lansdale. I’ll report on those in a week or so and suggest some other interesting books as well.
Happy reading while you’re safe at home!
Tags: book club, book pile, Book Recommendations, book review, books, Grady Hendrix, haunting, historical fiction, historical mystery, Jane Healey, Joe R. Landsdale, mysteries, Paul Tremblay, possession, psychological thrillers, Sandi Jones, Sharon, Southern Fiction, Stephen King, vampires, westerns
This image was shared multiple times on a library meme Facebook group and I thought it was too clever not to share.
Artist: Phil Shaw instagram.com/philshaw775/ He doesn’t share a whole lot of his art there but you can find more of it at @rebeccahossackartgallery and https://www.instagram.com/rebeccahossackartgallery/ — with Chrissy Muns.
I’m a big fan of anything cross genre, especially if it’s dystopian. Teen fiction is also a big draw for me, and unconventional stories. Lately I’ve interested in reading a lot of creeping psychological horror with sci-fi and fantasy leanings.
My all time favorite of the creeping psychological dread is probably House of Leaves. It uses quite a bit of unconventional writing techniques not often seen outside of poetry anthologies, but isn’t too heavy handed. The main character is piecing together snippets of documents about a fictional movie about a house that doesn’t exist and uses the idea of space and distance in literally maddening ways.
If you like a little fae influence, I recommend The Hum and the Shiver. It starts out fairly gumshoe detective, but quickly introduces the reader to a whole hidden world and culture of magic and music and secrets, all set in modern small-town Appalachia where certain people are more than they seem to be.
For something a little more light-hearted I’ve been listening to the audiobook version on the Overdrive app of The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant. The whole series is a really hilarious, slightly episodic adventures of Fred, who is a very introverted, rather boring accountant, and also a vampire, as he gathers up a ragtag crew of supernatural misfits as his friends in his new vampire social life. He also saves a bunch of people, somehow. Several times.
I like to read a variety of things. I am partial to science fiction, urban fantasy, and horror novels and any mixes thereof. Romance novels do intrigue me but I haven’t read as much of them lately. I do like to read adult graphic novels too. I do read some nonfiction – management and leadership plus popular or recommended books to me by other staff. Teen novels are something I enjoy too because of the tightly told stories that pack such an emotional impact plus they can be read quickly (or maybe that’s just me). I also frequently will sneak down to the Children’s Department and read some of the new picture books for the same reason plus the artwork is so varied and delightful.
Books I have recently read:
Harleen by Stjepan Sejic (don’t ask me to say it) – a graphic novel that is an origin story for Harley Quinn from the Batman universe. An excellent read with extra details in the artwork which I love and makes it fun to go back through and look for. I’m currently reading Birds of Prey: Harley which offers a different origin story and different artwork, more bubbly whereas the other novel is darker in tone and illustration.
Lost and Found by Orson Scott Card – fiction novel about a young man with the knack for finding things and returning them to their owners. Obviously that would have some drawbacks with accusations of theft and suspicions. I really enjoyed it and cried a little at the end, not that it was sad-sad but touching.
The Furies by Katie Lowe – fiction novel about a group of girls in a private school. Quite dark in a way that made me think of Gone Girl. It left me feeling like I had just driven slowly past a car wreck. Not that it was bad, I couldn’t stop reading it.
I am currently reading Dean Koontz’s Devoted. I’m a sucker for his books with the golden retrievers. I remember reading his novel Watchers as a teenage and have devoured his books ever since.
Missing story time? We miss you too. We are sharing some of our favorite read-aloud stories on the Williamson County WCTV YouTube channel.
Library Director, Dolores Greenwald, loves Pete the Cat. Here she shares one of the stories from the popular picture book series: https://youtu.be/TlfHSM8jlUk
Youth Services Manager, Ms. Stephanie, shares a story she loves: https://youtu.be/_CCy5jzdO4g
Children’s Librarian, Miz Liz, shares one of her favorite stories: https://youtu.be/6YmrjmtCuQ8
Children’s Librarian, Ms. Barbara, sings Old McDonald had a Farm but there is a surprising twist to this classic: https://youtu.be/Ek8iwDjjRTw
Ms. Stephanie is back with Llama Llama, Red Pajama: https://youtu.be/gAxpSOZui_A
And more to come!
April is National Poetry Month! As are many of you, I’m spending loads more time with my kids. We’re attempting to keep up with reading and math, as encouraged by the school system. What better way to keep up with reading than by reading poems? For many kids, poetry can seem a bit abstract and perhaps not as engaging as a full story. But with exposure (and a convincing delivery!) comes understanding and appreciation.
Of course many of us turn to the master, Shel Silverstein, to introduce our kids to poems. With a perfect mix of utter silliness and a touch of self awareness, truly those collections are classic. But my favorites, without question, are two books of poetry by beloved Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.
“When We Were Very Young” is a collection originally published in 1924. “Now We Are Six” is a follow up collection from 1927. All the poems are written by Milne, and each page contains illustrations by Ernest H. Shephard. The content is positively charming.
Your kids will encounter familiar characters, like Pooh himself, and Christopher Robin. Concepts like imaginary friends, changing of the seasons, and growing up crop up in the pages. With the works being almost 100 years old it might seem as if they’re no longer as relevant… but the innocence of childhood is something that transcends time. And it’s something these collections capture in a most pure and heartfelt way. I know many of these poems by heart and can recite them from memory. You may find yourself familiar with some of the lines, as a few of them became ubiquitous Pooh quotes!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading these books, now is the perfect time! These poems find joy in the simplest things, and emphasize the power of imagination. Sharing these poems with your children will be the highlight of your day!
Both of my boys are now well past 6, but on their 6th birthdays I recited to them the title poem from “Now We Are Six“:
When I was One, I had just begun. When I was Two, I was nearly new. When I was Three, I was hardly Me. When I was Four, I was not much more. When I was Five, I was just alive. But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever. So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever. ~ A. A. Milne