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Weyenberg Library Blog


Apr 27

150th Anniversary of Appomattox

Posted on April 27, 2015 at 11:39 AM by Craig Jacobson

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lee and grant.jpgThe war many thought would take a few months lasted four long years at a cost of 625,000 soldiers.  That’s more than the deaths of soldiers in World War l, World War ll, the Korean War and Vietnam combined.  After the surrender of Fort Sumter, the first major battle to be fought in the American Civil War was in Manassas, the first Battle of Bull Run.  This battle was fought on the farm that belonged to Wilmer McLean.  For business reasons, as well keeping his family away from the war, McLean decided to move his family to a community named Appomattox Court House.   Little did he know that in a few years, his residence would be used for the surrender of Lee’s 28,000 troops of the Army of Northern Virginia. He supposedly said later that, “The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor."

appomattox.jpgIn Pursuit to Appomattox: the last battles, we see how the last days of this war played itself out.  Photography was in its infancy and so the war is captured by words and pictures.   War takes on a whole new meaning when you get to know those who served during this time.  In, The Road to Appomattox and The Civil War: the final year told by those who lived it, the war gets more personal when it is told through the letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts of those who fought in the remaining battles.   Another book that uses letters, diaries, and memoirs is The Civil War Generals.  Over 400 generals are referred to by other generals, staff officers, and other war personnel.  It’s interesting to see what they thought of each other, and that not all their thoughts were flattering.

In the film, Civil War: the Untold Story, the audience comes to understand the importance of the western front.  Some of the bloodiest fighting happened in places like Shiloh, Vicksburg and Chickamauga under the direction of Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and Forrest. What would happen on the western front would have a vital impact on the outcome of the war.  Near the end of the war, it was decided that Grant would split Lee’s forces in Virginia and Sherman would march southeast to take Atlanta, the heart of the south. These two blows would finally break the South.

shaara.jpgWhen you think of great officers, the names most thought of would be Grant and Lee.  It is perhaps fitting that the end of this conflict involved these two great officers.   We come to understand these two men in Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  These two leaders met in person only four times.  They both came from very different backgrounds and yet their ways of commanding were almost identical.  This book not only defines these two men, but is also a narrative of the last year of war based on newly discovered information.  Jeff Shaara covers the last year of the American Civil War and brings a conclusion to his civil war series with the book The Fateful Lightning, which he describes as “the bloody last eight months of this long war.”

For a female perspective of the American Civil War, here are some additional titles to check out.
Notes from a Colored Girl: the civil war pocket diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (nonfiction)
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: four women undercover in the Civil War (nonfiction)
Sisters of Shiloh (fiction)
Neverhome (fiction)
I Shall Be Near You (fiction)

Book covers courtesy of Easicat.

Apr 15

National Library Week

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 11:58 AM by Craig Jacobson

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First created in 1958, National Library Week is happening now!  From April 12-18th, libraries across the nation are celebrating libraries as creative and educational spaces.
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At FLW, we’re excited to be hosting the Mequon-Thiensville Senior Art League’s spring gallery on our second floor.  You can even check out paintings to take home.
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Younger creators are also invited to our new Lego Club, while artists (age 4-11) are invited to draw a picture of their favorite book as part of the Culver’s Drawing Contest.  Pictures submitted will be posted on the board in the children’s section.

Beyond our doors, a special afternoon storytime will be held at Barnes & Noble Bayshore on Friday, April 17th.  As the weather turns warmer, families can look forward to outdoor storytimes at the Thiensville Village Farmers’ Market.  Later this year, our Fine Arts Series will host Dave Ehlert’s tribute act and see the return of Yid Vicious.

National Library Week also celebrates libraries as places to learn new things and share ideas.  Monday evening, our quick and easy ‘Appy Hour can help you get the most out of reading apps for your tablet.  On Thursday, April 16, Dave Bartlett explores the basics of Windows 8.
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Want to get even more out of your devices? FLW offers special digital services including language-learning through Pronunciator, and vacation and travel information with AtoZ World Travel! Many other services are available – from online SAT practice tests to interactive magazines – so drop by our website or visit the Reference Desk to ask what’s available to you.

New programs and events are scheduled throughout the year, so check our calendar or just drop in to find out what’s new and exciting at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library!

–Written by Carol M.

Hashtag chalkboard from: http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/sites/ala.org.conferencesevents/files/content/Chalkboard-hashtag-lo-res.png
All other images courtesy of the Frank L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon-Thiensville

Apr 02

Discover New Poetry!

Posted on April 2, 2015 at 10:49 AM by Craig Jacobson

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With the month of April now upon us, the time has come to celebrate National Poetry Month! Kids and adults alike can join in the fun of discovering what’s new/award winning in the world of poetry.

Below are some exciting options to consider:

Kids:

browngirldreaming.jpgBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Growing up African American in the 1960’s and 70’s, Woodson’s childhood was certainly not easy. She and her family faced many challenges along the way, forcing them to pave their own path. Written in stunning verse, Woodson perfectly captures her voice as a child and how her love of stories aided in pursuing her one true passion, becoming a professional writer. Winner of a 2014 National Book Award, Brown Girl Dreaming is an elegant, moving and emotionally powerful exploration of self-discovery. Be sure to check this one out.

To this Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful by Shane L. Koyczan
In February 2013, Koyczan’s powerful anti-bullying poem “To This Day” struck a chord, garnering national attention as it led not only to 12 million hits on YouTube, but also a moving performance at the 2013 TED Conference. To this Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful is a beautiful adaptation of this work, giving any person who has dealt with the lasting impact of bullying a strong and passionate voice to connect with. This book is highly recommended.

Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli
Jealous of her home-town hero brother, eleven-year-old Susie searches for something that will make her unique, taking a sudden interest in the reclusive lifestyle and poetry of the late Emily Dickinson. Written in whimsical verse, the reader journey’s with Susie as she mimics Emily’s life of solitude; choosing to have no visitors or phone calls, no friends, no public outings, and discovering along the way that while Dickinson’s talent is admirable, the life she led may not be the right one for her. Fun and unique, Another Day is Emily is a treat for all. Check it out today.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
2011 Newberry Honor Book and National Book Award winner, Inside Out & Back Again uses a series of poems to share the story of a young girl and her mother as they are forced to flee Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon in 1975 and immigrate to the US.  Based on Lai’s own experiences, this book shares the fears, dreams, and hopes of two people in unknown land. Discussing issues of immigration, this book is a beautifully written eye-opener that both children and adults are sure to appreciate.

Adults:
bluehorses.jpgBlue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and winner of a National Book Award, presents a collection of poems based on her own observations of nature. Using powerful imagery, Oliver captures the true un-affected beauty of the outdoors. Lovely and captivating, Blue Horses is one not to miss.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
A 2014 National Book Award finalist, Citizen: An American Lyric is a bold, unflinching look at twenty-first century racism. Rankine uses both poetry and short essays to illustrate both the blatant and the seeming-innocent acts of racism that continue to litter not only the media today but also classrooms, supermarkets, neighborhoods, etc. It is a reminder that words and action still have an impact, and that every person, no matter their race, deserves to be treated with respect. Looking for powerful, hard-hitting prose that will make you think? Well, this is definitely the book for you.

Faithful & Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck
Winner of a 2014 National Book Award, Louise Gluck has done it again. Welcoming the reader into a dream-like world that will leave them captivated and unable to tear themselves away. Faithful and Virtuous Night is not only a fun adventure but it also provides a delightful weaving of dual points of view that is sure to please. Give this one a look.

Caribou by Charles Wright
Current US Poet Laureate and winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, Charles Wright reminds us once again why he is a national treasure with his latest collection, Caribou. Offering meditation on both nature and life, Wright elegantly puts pen to paper exploring the meaning of a divine reality with his signature unique style.  

These beautifully-written poetry collections/novels in verse offer something interesting for everyone. Stop at the Reference desk today and we will be more than happy to assist you in finding just the right one for you.

Happy reading!


-book covers provided via EasiCat