Staff Picks

Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!

February 2, 2015

The Short and Tragic life Of Robert Peace

The Short and Tragic life Of Robert Peace
by Hobbs, Jeff
B Peace, Robert HOB

The story is in fact a tragic and emotional story of African American male Robert Peace. The story of a young man who survived the streets of Newark, New Jersey, to earn a full scholarship to Yale, only to be murdered in suspected drug deal.

Robert grows up in the projects of Newark, NJ and East Orange. He is raised by his mother Jackie while his father, ‘Skeet” sits in jail for murder. Jackie realizes that Robert has potential in academics and she finds a way by working long hours to make sure Robert gets a valued education from one of the local catholic schools.

The story is told by Jeff Hobbs, Robert’s roommate at Yale. The story examines race, class, community and privilege, and the two separate worlds of Robert Peace.

— Recommended by Gregory Hill, African-American History Committee


January 26, 2015

Providence Rag

Providence Rag
by DeSilva, Bruce

Diggs has killed two women and three children. The catch is that he did it as a teenager and will be getting out of the Supermax prison unless officials can figure out a way to keep him in longer. No one doubts that he will kill again, and sooner rather than later. But keeping him in prison legally? Not a leg to stand on. And when The Providence Dispatch’s rookie reporter (also the owner’s son) decides to investigate how the prison has kept Diggs as long as it has, things begin to turn ugly. The clock is ticking; Diggs will be released soon. When the Dispatch, already in financial distress, decides to run the story on how prison officers falsely charged Diggs with crimes in prison to prevent his release, they lose thousands more subscribers and attract radical protestors. Which is more important for a newspaper: publishing the truth, or protecting the society it serves? It’s a dilemma for sure, but DeSilva unflinchingly examines both sides of the debate, all the while weaving together a terrific modern day thriller.

              — Recommended by Cheryl Holtsclaw, West Indianapolis Library


January 19, 2015

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
by hooks, bell
305.4201 HOO

I’ll never forget my introduction to bell hooks as an undergraduate student. Her words were raw, unlike anything I'd heard before, and straight to the point - exactly the style I later learned she used during her lectures.

Committed to shifting the way conventional minds perceived the world and internalized the daily images fed to them through television shows, commercials, movies, music videos and magazines, bell hooks strives to uncover the hidden gender and racial injustices that continue to plague our society today.

Feminism is For Everybody seeks to reintroduce the feminist movement agenda through a black feminist perspective. It is through this oppositional gaze that hooks is able to highlight overlooked disparities in how implications such as reproductive rights and violence are viewed differently amongst differing classes and races. A prolific writer, feminist theorist and cultural critic, bell hooks not only challenges but forever changes the landscape of feminist politics by asking readers to view the feminist movement not as a singular gender issue, but rather issues that affect us all. By the end of the book, you will indeed agree that Feminism truly IS for EVERYBODY!

                        — Recommended by Tiffani Carter, Fountain Square Library


January 12, 2015

The Heir Apparent:  A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince

The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince
by Ridley, Jane
B Edward VII RID

King Edward VII was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Ridley’s scholarly biography gives a detailed account of Edward’s youth and long years as Prince of Wales, with special attention regarding his many vices. Extramarital affairs with various beauties and courtesans are well documented, along with his fondness for gambling and a penchant for getting into embarrassing scrapes. That Edward was consistently denied any meaningful employment by his mother has long been cited by historians as the reason for his seemingly endless dissipation. The author explores this angle and more in her extensive biography.

Much of the book is devoted to Edward’s troubled relationship with Queen Victoria. His marriage to Queen Alexandra is detailed, as is his public and private life. But Ridley also emphasizes the King’s lesser known but outstanding efforts in foreign diplomacy, his role as facilitator in home politics, and his modernization of the monarchy.

This biography portrays Victoria and Albert in an unflattering light as parents (and as humans). Edward himself is depicted by Ridley as a deeply flawed person. His many mistakes are thoroughly examined here. And yet there is ultimately much to admire in the end as we see a king who really wanted to do his job and do it well.

--Recommended by Angie Lewis, Wayne Library


January 5, 2015

Whitewater Valley Railroad

Whitewater Valley Railroad
by Parker, Francis H. & Judy Clem with the Whitewater Valley Railroad
385.54 PAR

Images of Rail: Whitewater Valley Railroad covers the history of a railroad museum from inception to today. Since this book is published by Arcadia publishing it contains hundreds of black and white photographs, with captions, taken along the railroad line between Connersville, Indiana and Brookville, Indiana.

The original White Water Valley Railroad was built in the 1860’s on the tow path to the Whitewater Canal. It connected Connersville, Indiana to Cincinnati, Ohio. The railroad line changed owners many times; including the Big Four Railroad, The New York Central Railroad and the Penn Central Railroad. In 1972 a group of investors and dreamers from Southeastern Indiana formed the Whitewater Valley Railroad as an operating railroad and museum. The Whitewater Railroad is still in operation today.

Historic Images in this book include pictures of Connersville, Metamora and Brookville, Indiana, including parts of the railroad line that no longer exist. This book also contains the only known photograph of an original White Water Valley Railroad engine during the Big Four Railroad days. However, the majority of the pictures are from the last 40 years and include many of the volunteers and most of the railroad equipment. They show the progress made by the volunteers of the Whitewater Valley Railroad in their quest to preserve the railroad history of Indiana.

--Recommended by Katy Hejazi, Garfield Park Library