The Book Corner: September selections from the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library


Fall is upon us and with that in mind, this month’s column falls back into history. You will find a wide variety of books, from historical fiction to compelling real-life stories, on the people and events that have shaped our world to where it is today. It’s so important to learn about our history and these books offer interesting insight that will have you amazed at the people who have played an integral role in world events.

“Code Name Sapphire” by Pam Jenoff. In this riveting tale of bravery and resistance, a woman must rescue her cousin's family from a train bound for Auschwitz. Inspired by incredible true stories of courage and sacrifice, it’s a powerful novel about love, family and the unshakable resilience of women in the hardest of times.

“Young and Restless” by Mattie Kahn. The untold story of the people who have helped spark America’s most transformative social movements throughout history: teenage girls.

“The First Ladies” by New York Times bestselling authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. The novel tells the story of the beautiful yet little-known friendship between civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a bond that changed the course of American history.

“The Paris Deception” by Bryn Turnbull. A breathtaking novel about art theft and forgery in Nazi-occupied Paris, following two brave women who risk their lives trying to rescue masterpieces that the Nazi have looted from Jewish families by replacing them with skillful forgeries.

“The Paris Agent” by Kelly Rimmer. A historical espionage thriller following three female SOE operatives during WWII as their lives intersect in occupied France, and the double agent who controls their fate.

“The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel” by Douglas Brunt. The hidden history of one of the world’s greatest inventors, a man who disrupted the status quo and then disappeared into thin air on the eve of World War I. This book answers the hundred-year-old mystery of what really became of Rudolf Diesel.

“The Last Lifeboat” by Hazel Gaynor. A historical novel inspired by real WWII events about a lifeboat adrift at sea, the innocent young passengers, and one courageous woman who saved the children from certain peril.

“Women of the Post” by Joshunda Sanders, award-winning author, journalist, speechwriter, and former Obama Administration political appointee. A powerful historical fiction novel about the pioneering Black women of the Six Triple Eight Battalion who made history by sorting over one million pieces of mail overseas for the U.S. Army during WWII. It includes the untold history of the Bronx Slave Market in New York.

“The Golden Doves” by Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author. A novel inspired by true events follows two former female spies, bound together by their past, who risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II.

“The Bloomsbury Girls” by international bestselling author Natalie Jenner. A compelling, heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

Library Director Cathleen Sulli’s picks:

“Pillars of the Earth” series by Ken Follett. Set in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England, the series begins in the 12th century and follows the growth of the town and the priory, and the building of the Gothic cathedral. The fifth book in the series, “The Armor of Light,” is set in 1770. The world is being changed by manufacturing. Available September 26.

The Frozen Thames” by Helen Humphreys. The Thames has frozen over only forty times from the 12th century to the 19th century. Humphreys provides short vignettes of historical events which took place during these incidents.

From Children’s Librarian Jen Gileno:

This month, the children's department is highlighting the "Who Was?" book collection, a series of illustrated biographies for young readers featuring significant historical figures, including artists, scientists and world leaders. These well-written biographies tell the stories of notable individuals in a variety of contexts. Each book highlights the individual's life, contributions, and accomplishments in a fun, engaging way that explores the world they lived in and changed. You can find it in the Children's Middle-Grade Books section.

A September event that focuses on history:

History Book Group, the Origins of Modern China

Meets September 12; 7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

This event is free, open to anyone, requires no registration and welcomes newcomers. There are copies of the books available to borrow at the library.

Discussion of “Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory” by Peter Hessler

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