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Books are powerful

March 12, 2014

“One must always be careful of books and what’s in them, for words have the power to change us.” -Cassandra Clare, author of young adult fiction

“I Am Abraham”

Learning about our past is a privilege. With this first-person tale of Lincoln’s recounting the historic arc of his life, we get to experience his boyhood, his improbable rise to prominence, and his perspective of the horrific War Between the States. All is not serious because Charyn supplies plenty of fictional characters like the conniving hangers-on, speculators and scheming Senators. Charyn’s Lincoln is a profoundly moral but troubled Commander-in-Chief who wanders the halls of the White House in the darkest hours of the war.

“Without Mercy”

“This is a story of racism, injustice, corruption and greed run rampant in 1930s Georgia.” Beasely, a journalist and author, digs into some shameful events in Georgia’s history, focusing mostly on a judicial system that arrested, tried, convicted and sent six black men to the electric chair. Their executions took less than two hours. This form of execution was considered “progress” over lynching as would have been the custom. Close ties between the powerful Klan and the state government highlight this powerful story of the stunning injustice.

“The Kept”

What constitutes a family? An eternal question and one that Scott brings to this novel set in upstate New York around the turn of the twentieth century. Midwife Elspeth Howells returns to her remote farm home to find the massacred bodies of her husband and four of her five children. Caleb, hiding in an upstairs closet, thinks his mother is one of the gunmen returning to kill him.

Caleb sees himself as a hunter and, seeking revenge, he and his mother set out to find the killers. In the town of Watersbridge, on the shore of Lake Erie, Elspeth and Caleb begin their own journeys of justice and redemption. You will not forget this one anytime soon – promise.

“Hatching Twitter”

Where on earth did this staple of social media Twitter come from and how do we explain its immense popularity? Everyone from Pope Francis, President Obama, and school kids everywhere is “tweeting.” We all saw Ellen “tweet” the whole world at the Oscars this week, reaching more people with one tweet than the cable networks could ever hope to do. How did all this happen?

Bilton, a New York Times columnist who regularly explores the disruptive aspects of technology on business and culture and the social impact of the web, had unprecedented access to hundreds of sources, documents, and internal emails needed to write this portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world. Between 2009 and 2013, Twitter became an $11.5 billion business.

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Category: Life Archived