Reading Room's blog
The library has an extensive selection of books on gardening and horticulture, whether you are interested in growing vegetables or creating impressive flower beds. Plagued by pests? Want to create some quick compost? Have an interest in herbs? We have a book for that!
Check out some of our popular gardening books! The library also carries several popular gardening magazines, like Organic Gardening and Horticulture, which are available for checkout.
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster on April 15th, 2012, there has been renewed interest in the ship and its untimely end. Inspiring countless movies and books, the Titanic sinking is the worst maritime disaster in history, with 1,514 passengers and crew members losing their lives.
If you are interested in reading more about the disaster, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the fiction and non-fiction titles available at the library. Some of the books, such as Titanic: An Illustrated History, reveal details about every aspect of the ship, while others, like Voyagers of the Titanic, focus on stories of the passengers themselves. Many fictional accounts have also been written about the disaster, such as The Dressmaker, a recently-released historical novel about a seamstress who survives the voyage only to be caught up in rumors and scandal when back on land. Click here for the full list of Titanic selections.
Erik Larson is the master of the researched narrative. He can take on the most intricate historical event and craft a compelling book out of it, often following the grisly path of a serial killer or some cataclysmic natural disaster. In his latest book, "In the Garden of Beasts", he has turned his attention to the beginnings of World War II and the rise of the Nazis in Germany.
Larson uses memoirs, personal correspondence, official records, newspaper articles and journal entries to piece together the story of William Edward Dodd, U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 1937, and his daughter, Martha. Although closely related, the two have dissimilar views about the changes happening in Germany but realize that Adolf Hitler's leadership will rip apart the world.
Larson's greatest ability is to take readers back to these turbulent times possessing the clear knowledge of what is to come. He makes it possible to see where diplomacy could have changed the future and how America failed to see what was coming. Through the eyes of the Doddses, he allows readers to understand how these mistakes were so easily made.
-- Review by Gena Fisher, Belt Branch reference assistant
What makes us classify a book as historical fiction? Well, it needs to be set in the past, at least fifty years past the event, and actual historical research is the key element in the writing. Authors employee two different styles - one that uses a real person set within an invented story while the other invents the character and sets him or her in a historical context. Many readers, drawn to a particular era, find a historical novel appealing not only for the setting but because a really good historical author will have done the homework and gotten the details just right.