Acknowledging History

by Kelly

February is Black History Month. This observance originated with American historian Carter G. Woodson, who launched Negro History Week in February of 1926, and has been celebrated annually as a month-long tribute since 1976 when President Gerald Ford called upon the public to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.

Here at the library, we encourage our readers to learn more about the contributions African Americans have made in all areas of the United States’ growth, and to read books (historical and modern) written by African American authors.

Knowledge and understanding about African Americans and their experience can be found through these newly-released non-fiction titles: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African Americans, 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi, Time To Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement by Julian Bond, and this young reader title, Timelines From Black History, Leaders, Legends, Legacies by DK and Marielle Harper.

African American author Ralph Ellison addresses many social and intellectual issues facing Black Americans in the early twentieth century in his 1952 novel Invisible Man, while Octavia Butler’s still widely-popular 1979 novel Kindred explores the themes of race, power, and gender, incorporating writing that is modeled on slave narratives.

Angie Thomas gives young adult to adult readers several must-read titles that explore powerful and hard-hitting messages aimed to give readers a better understanding of the very real issues that African Americans face in her books The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose, and On the Come Up. Tiffany D. Jackson tackles several tough topics with care and thoughtfulness in her novel Grown, while Justina Ireland creates an alternate-history explosion with her titles Dread Nation and Deathless Divide, taking readers to 1800s America.

Early readers can gain exposure to stories about the lives of African Americans through colorfully illustrated picture books like Jump at the Sun by Alicia D. Williams, Emmanuel’s Dream by Jason Reynolds, Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, and If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold, all inspiring true stories of real people based on real-life events.

All of these titles and more are available at the library or through our eReader apps and can be read this February, Black History Month, and all year round.

Love Yourshelf

by Kelly

As the isolation of quarantine continues into 2021, many of us find ourselves reaching inward for love, care, and inspiration. I personally find my virtual bookshelf filling up with titles that provide me with an extra boost of strength and motivation. With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, we generally think of love stories written about couples, but this Valentine’s Day, I’d like to provide you with a list of titles for the number one love in your life – yourself.

The phrase self-care gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it mean? It likely has a different meaning for everyone, but you can get started by examining two key factors: GOALS and GRATITUDE. These suggested books offer insight, and can provide a burst of daily inspiration, direct your thoughts toward a new perspective, and help you open up and unlock your untapped potential.

Let’s talk about goals. The first suggested title is Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. This book will offer advice to achieving your goals and overcoming self-doubt. Hollis is the author of the bestseller Girl, Wash Your Face, so read this one, too, while you are at it!

Next on the list is Stop Self-Sabotage by Dr. Judy Ho, PHD. This book will keep you goal-focused by encouraging willpower and motivation. 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do by Amy Morin will help you channel your confidence and purpose, and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks pushes us to see our own potential and to believe in it, in order to achieve our goals.

Gratitude incorporated into our daily routine can help bring peace to our busy and hectic lives. Wake Up Grateful by David Steindl-Rast and Gratitude Daily by Nataly Kogan will help us to experience more joy and less stress through gratitude. 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik inspires readers to a year-long challenge of practicing gratitude daily.  These books each offer lessons to help us incorporate positive daily habits into our routine.

There is no better time than now to put yourself at the top of your love list. These titles and more can be found on our library shelves or can be downloaded digitally through our eResource apps.