Gena Johnson's Best Reads of 2014

December 12, 2014

Johnson Family - CopyMy name is Gena Johnson, and I work at Lurie Children’s Hospital putting the “zing” in Fundraising.  I have lived in Evanston since 2005 with my husband and 2 children.  I love history, genealogy, and learning about how things came to be.



1) Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (2012)

I loved this sweet story about a girl and her eccentric mother.  It was written in a creative style; a collection of clips from diary entries, emails and newspaper articles.  It made it fun and feel like you were piecing together the story instead of simply reading.  I genuinely laughed and cried throughout the book and could not put it down!

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Liz Dombeck's Best Reads of 2014

December 6, 2014

dombeckMy name is Liz Dombeck, and I’ve been living in Evanston for almost 4 years after returning to Chicagoland from living on the east coast for 10 years.  I’m a former Spanish teacher that currently tutors and does varied volunteer work through my children’s school’s PTA.  I love reading, cooking, fitness, and travel.


1) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013)

I loved how this book was long, but easy to get caught up the story.  You meet the main character, Theo, when he is just a teenager and you really feel like you are growing up with him over the course of the novel.  His great loss has shifted the path of his life and reminds us how one moment can change the course of our future forever.

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2013 Lincoln Prize Winner

February 13, 2013

freedom-national-coverThis year’s Lincoln Prize, given annually by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History for the finest scholarly work on the Civil War, has been awarded to James Oakes for his book Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. He also won the Lincoln Prize in 2008 for The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics. Professor of history at the Graduate Center of New York’s City University, Mr. Oakes will receive $50,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s bust “Lincoln the Man” at the April 10 ceremony in New York. Past winners of the award include Doris Kearns Goodwin, James M. McPherson, Eric Foner, and Ken Burns. You can read the entire New York Times article, which also includes an excerpt from the book, here.

Civil War Re-enactors Battle on, Despite the Heat

July 24, 2011

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run at Manassas, Virginia, Civil War re-enactors are fighting it out in heavy wool uniforms, despite the brutal heat we’ve been experiencing. (It seems that they have canceled a few offerings.) See this interesting article about how the thousands of actors are coping.

Here’s a few suggested titles on the subject at EPL, some new and some slightly older:

A. Lincoln; a biography by White, Ronald C.

The Civil War: a Concise History, Masur, Louis, P.

The American Civil War: a Military History by famed military historian John Keegan

Hearts Touched by Fire: The Best of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.

The library has over 500 items on the subject  “US Civil War.”

Shira S.

Today is…

April 12, 2011

…the anniversary of many events. Among the many noteworthy happenings on April 12th in history are:

  • The world’s first manned space mission. Russian Yuri Gagarin made a 108-minute orbital flight of the planet in 1961.
  • The space shuttle Columbia made her first flight in 1981.
  • The first shots of the Civil War were fired on Ft. Sumter in 1861.
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945.

To find out more of what went on on this date in history, ask a librarian. Which prompts me to mention that today is also National Library Workers Day. So, if you visit the library today (we hope you do), give a nod to the staffer who helps you find that novel, looks up that statistic, reads a story to your toddler, and checks out your books.

Barbara L.

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