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There are few words


image via Syndetics

MacKinlay Kantor seems like he was a pretty great guy.  While growing up in Iowa, he added an “a” to his middle name, McKinlay, because he thought it made it more Scottish; during WWII, while riding along on some bombing missions on assignment for an L.A. newspaper, he asked to be trained and allowed to use the plane’s turret machine guns (you know, just in case); and then, there’s this picture.

Levity aside, Kantor seems to have found his experiences in WWII quite formative.  Present at the liberation of the  Buchenwald concentration camp he was convinced to try and tell the story of an American “concentration camp”, Camp Sumter, a.k.a. Andersonville, bane of Union troops during the American Civil War.  There are few words.  Andersonville the prison was a living nightmare.  Extant images of survivors defy imagination.  Simply put, the design, execution, and maintenance of the camp was an atrocity visited upon mankind that has few peers.  It cost one of the Confederate officers in charge, Henry Wirz, his life for war crimes.

Kantor’s writing about the subject has a simple outward structure, yet is entirely compelling.  His characters live and breathe and have a piquant amount of human sensuality.  He is generous to many, even Henry Wirz, giving the lie to easy answers about responsibility for the evil that was Andersonville.  He is able to bring stories he heard face-to-face with Civil War veterans during his boyhood into play within the narrative, humanizing all sides of the conflict.  And he knows when to provide his readers with a miracle.  Contrary to my title for this post, Kantor uses many words in his story of Andersonville.  Some of the details are so overwhelming and the breadth of the book so great, readers could easily begin to lose hope of ever reaching the end or having any reason to.  A miracle (or two!) in the narrative leaves us with a residue of hope by the end and a reason to bother reflecting upon the history that contains such a happening.

“Craig is reading all of the Pulitzer-prize winning novels in chronological order.  See the origins of this journey here.”

Here’s a quick look at some books we’ve recently added to the collection.  Something catch your eye?  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

If you’d like weekly updates on new additions to our collections, sign up for our New Arrivals newsletter by clicking here and following three easy steps.  Warning:  you may have to bring a couple of bookbags with you on your next visit!

good bad furry  dog years  rescued dog
 talking with dogs and cats  fit cat all dogs kevin

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s page on the history of Labor Day, we’ve been celebrating workers on the first Monday of September since 1894.  If you’re interested in taking a look at some of your fellow workers’ experiences, you might want to check out these titles.

NPR refers to Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Turkel as the quintessential book about Labor Day.  First published in 1974, this book is a collection of interviews of more than 130 people around the country about their jobs.  Men and women from every walk of life talked to the Chicago radio broadcaster about their likes & dislikes, fears, problems and happinesses on the job.
Harlan County, U.S.A. is a documentary film about the Kentucky coal miners’ strike against the operators of the Brookside mine and the Duke Power Company in 1973.  The dvd focuses on the hostile conditions that the miners dealt with — the threats and bullying — as well as their everyday struggles with poverty and black lung disease.
In Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line by Ben Hamper, the author recounts his experiences as riveter for General Motors during the ’70s and ’80s.
Waiter Rant:  Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica.  Based on the award-winning blog, “Waiter Rant,” this book tells the story from the server’s point of view.
Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams edited by M.L. Liebler.  From the folk anthems of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie to the poems of Walt Whitman and Amiri Baraka, from the stories of Willa Cather and Bret Lott to the rabble-rousing work of Michael Moore, this transcendent volume touches upon all aspects of working-class life.

If you’re interested in more titles, we have plenty!  Search our catalog using the keywords “working class United States” or “labor unions” and take your pick!

While I’m grateful to have a full-time job that I love, I’m also grateful for Labor Day.  Weather permitting, I plan to spend the day with family.  Maybe I’ll ask my dad to tell me stories about his time working for the railroad.  What are your plans?

What we’re reading . . .

Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here’s a quick look at some books we’ve enjoyed this month.  Just click on a book cover to check availability; if you’d like to read a short description of the book, just scroll down below the availability listings.

three many cooks book scavenger  cibola burn
 house of echoes  crooked heart church of marvels
 positive forbidden library ross poldark

Al Sharpton Visit

You might have heard that civil rights activist Al Sharpton will be visiting Fort Wayne. He will be speaking at Come as You Are Community Church on September 21st, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. It’s no secret that Sharpton is pretty polarizing. Whatever your views of the man, if you’d like to read more about the issues he will likely address, try one of these books.



John A. Rich is a doctor who interviewed dozens of African American men affected by urban violence. In Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black MenRich laments the fact that we as a society have come to see urban black violence as “normal” – even inevitable. He reminds us that these young men – even the ones that many people think “deserve” their injuries – are scarred by the violence and trauma they see on a daily basis. Like any of us, these young men and boys feel fear, loss, abandonment, and sorrow. If we just listen, we can learn so much from their stories.

The New alexanderJim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander argues that mass incarceration in America has taken over the role of Jim Crow laws designed to control and hinder the progress of young black men. Alexander cites statistics to show that African American men living in poverty are discriminated against in all phases of the legal process – policing, prosecuting, conviction, and sentencing.


Ta-Nehisi Coates’ beautifully written Between the World and Me is a letter to his teenage son – a letter filled with rage over what it means to be a black man in America. This book is on the bestseller list, so the library’s copies are probably all checked out. While waiting for a copy, you might start with The Beautiful Struggle, a fascinating look at Coates’ youth in urban Baltimore. Flirting with street life and ignoring school work, Coates found himself moving in another, more positive direction after becoming “Conscious” by discovering his African roots.

rileyJason Riley believes that well-intentioned social welfare programs actually hold black Americans back. In Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to SucceedRiley claims that social welfare programs have destroyed the black nuclear family and discouraged blacks’ financial self-sufficiency. He argues that liberal policies have only encouraged African Americans to embrace victimhood and entitlement – and that the solution is for white liberals to step away and allow black Americans to take responsibility for their future.


In Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country, Shelby Steele makes the case that liberal politicians exaggerate claims of racial inequality in order to justify overreaching public welfare programs. Steele argues that affirmative action and other programs have fostered a sense of victimization among black Americans and that it’s only through a return to personal freedom and merit-based competition that our society will achieve equality.

shapiroBen Shapiro’s Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans criticizes Sharpton, calling him a “race bully” and blaming him for inciting hatred and riots. Shapiro accuses Sharpton and other liberals of using bullying in the form of false accusations of sexism and racism in order to demonize conservatives and claim the moral high ground.



I know, I know, it’s still warm out. But publishing companies want to make sure you have those books you need to get you through those cold winter nights that are just around the corner. Here is the list of upcoming books for the period of September 15 to October 14, 2015. Those are the publishing dates, not the dates they will appear at a library near you.

Historical romances take place before 1945. A heavy emphasis is placed on the development of a romantic relationship. Subgenres include medievals, American West and regencies.


Jennifer Ashley

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride
Mackenzies series
September 29


Suzanne Enoch

Some Like it Scot
Scandalous Highlanders series
October 6


Madeline Hunter

Tall, Dark and Wicked
Wicked series
October 6

h_leigh (2)

Eva Leigh aka Zoe Archer

Forever Your Earl
Wicked Quills of London series
September 29


Julie Anne Long

The Legend of Lyon Redmond
Pennyroyal Green series
September 29

Historical Fiction normally takes place before 1945. Focus is on the lives, scandals and issues facing the characters, light emphasis on romance. A large percentage of these stories are fictionalized stories of real people. Phillipa Gregory is a HF author.


Jane Thynne

The Scent of Secrets
September 15


Adriana Trigiani

All the Stars in the Heavens
October 13

Contemporary Romance is in modern times; these stories place an emphasis on the development of a romantic relationship. Vary in tone, sensuality and content – may contain light suspense. Settings vary, but most take place in North America.
Mainstream Fiction are usually set in the present day, though occasionally will be set at any time after WWII, and the development of a romantic relationship is not a main focus of the plot. Subgenres include women’s fiction, chick lit, lad lit and literary fiction.


Corban Addison

The Tears of Dark Water
October 13


Diane Chamberlain

Pretending to Dance
October 6


Sonali Dev

The Bollywood Bride
Contemporary Romance
September 29


Susan Fox

Love Somebody Like You
Caribou Crossing series
Contemporary Romance
September 29


Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Stroll
sequel to Winter Street
October 13


Debbie Mason

Snowbound at Christmas
Christmas, Colorado series
September 29


Kate Meader

Playing with Fire
Hot in Chicago series
September 29


Jeanette Murray

Against the Ropes
First to Fight series
Contemporary Romance
October 6


Carla Neggers

A Knights Bridge Christmas
Swift River Valley series
Contemporary Romance
September 29


Jill Shalvis

All I Want
Animal Magnetism series
Contemporary Romance
October 6


Fiona Sussman

Another Woman’s Daughter
October 6


Sherryl Woods

Willow Brook Road
Chesapeake Shores series
Contemporary Romance
September 29

Mysteries take place in different settings and time periods, but solving a mystery (often, but not always, a murder) is the main focus of the plot.
Thrillers take place in all different locations and time periods. The primary focus of the plot revolves around a major threat. Usually there is a time limit in which lives must be saved. These books may include a romantic subplot, but it does not drive the main story.
Suspense takes place in all different settings and time periods. Like mysteries, there is a truth to uncover or a criminal to find, but the why is emphasized as opposed to the who. Romance may be included, but is not the focus.
Romantic Suspense places a heavy emphasis on the development of a romantic relationship as jeopardy, lies, deceit and killers often stalk the hero or heroine. The sensuality and violence varies from book to book depending on the author.


Tasha Alexander

The Adventuress
Lady Emily series
October 13


Laurien Berenson

The Bark Before Christmas
Melanie Travis series
September 29


Heather Blake

Ghost of a Potion
Magic Potion Mystery series
October 6


Jessica Clare

Jen Frederick

Last Hope
Hitman series
Romantic Suspense
September 29


Catherine Coulter

J.T. Ellison

The End Game
A Brit in the FBI series
September 15


John Fortunato

Dark Reservations
October 13


Peter James

Your are Dead
Roy Grace series
October 6


Iris Johansen

Shadow Play
Eve Duncan series
September 29


Jon Land

Strong Light of Day
Caitlin Strong series
October 13


Anne Perry

Corridors of the Night
William Monk series
September 15


Julie Rowe

Lethal Game
Biological Response Team series
Romantic Suspense
October 12


Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls
September 29

Paranormal Romance takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is on the effect of supernatural or paranormal elements on the characters’ lives as they pursue a romantic relationship. Usually vampire, werewolf, shapeshifters, ghosts involved in romance.
Fantasy takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is primarily on the effect of magical elements on the characters’ lives, often while the characters are on a quest. Some popular themes are historical fantasy, mythical creatures and magical abilities.
Science Fiction takes place in all different settings and time periods. The focus of the plot is primarily on the effect of science innovations, or imagined scientific principles, on the characters lives.
Urban Fantasy are most often told in first-person narration. This person has to deal with supernatural and paranormal elements that are incorporated into our own world. The tales usually continue throughout a series rather than being finished in a single book. These novels are most frequently set in contemporary times, often in large urban areas. Strong women are a feature in this genre.


Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut’s Windlass
The Cinder Spires series
September 29


Jan DeLima

Autumn Moon
Celtic Wolves series
September 29


Jacquelyn Frank

Bound by Sin
Immortal Brothers series
September 29


Laura Anne Gilman

Silver on the Road
The Devils West series
October 6


Heather Graham

The Hidden
Krewe of Hunters series
September 29


Ann Leckie

Ancillary Mercy
Imperial Radch trilogy
Science Fiction
October 6


Erin Lindsey

The Bloodforged
Bloodbound series
September 29


Ilana C. Myer

Last Song Before Night
September 29


Diana Rowland

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
White Trash Zombie series
Urban Fantasy
October 6


Greg Van Eekhout

Dragon Coast
Sequel to  California Bonesand Pacific Fire
September 15


Rachel Vincent

Menagerie series
September 29

Young Adult books generally focus on teenage heroes and heroines and can be part of any subgenre.


Kelley Armstrong

The Masked Truth
October 13


Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
Grisha trilogy spinoff
September 29


Kendare Blake

September 22


Sarah Crossan

September 15


Alex Flinn

September 15


Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw
September 22


Julie Murphy

September 15


Sarah Prineas

Ash & Bramble
September 15


Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series
September 22


Sherry Thomas

The Immortal Heights
Elemental trilogy
October 13

Erotica takes place in different settings and time periods. The focus of the story is evolves around a variety of sexual exploits and not always is there a “happily ever after.”


Jackie Ashenden

You Are Mine
Circle Nine series
October 6


Shayla Black

Wicked for You
Wicked Lovers series
October 6


Sarah Castille

Sinner’s Steel
Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series
October 6


HelenKay Dimon

Holton Woods series
October 6


Christina Lauren

Dark Wild Night
Wild seasons series
September 15


M. O’Keefe

Everything I Left Unsaid
Everything I Left Unsaid series
October 13


Meredith Wild

Hard Love
Hacker series
September 15

Inspirational Fiction take place across many different time periods and genres. Most contain strong religious themes and are predominantly Christian. Rarely are sex scenes included in these stories. However, some novels in the subcategories of suspense and thriller may contain some scenes of violence.


Ted Dekker

A.D. 33
October 6


Lynne Gentry

Valley of Decision
The Carthage Chronicles series
September 15


Shelley Shepherd Gray

A Wedding at Orange Blossom Inn
Amish Brides of Pinecraft series
September 15


Lisa Harris

Nikki Boyd Files series
September 29


Dorothy Love

A Respectable Actress
October 13


Kim Vogel Sawyer

When Love Returns
Old Order Mennonites of Arborville series
September 22


Lauraine Snelling

Streams of Mercy
Songs of Blessing series
October 6


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