Book Lovers Recommendations November 2019

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
A Better Man by Louise Penny
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
 
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
Nicole Chung wrote this memoir about her struggle for her own identity.  She was born to Korean parents who had come to the US but released her for adoption as they felt they couldn’t take care of Nicole due to her medical needs.  Adopted by white parents and raised in a small town in Oregon, she never met another Asian child until she was 18, and never told her parents about her struggles with racism and self-identity.  She connected to her biological family when she was pregnant with her first child and her story is a poignant struggle to make peace with herself and her family.
 
A Better Man by Louise Penny
Inspector Gamache is back.  He is now sharing a job with his son-in-law, and, as if that were not difficult enough, he is asked to take on a case that tears at his heartstrings-a man’s daughter is missing and he specifically asks Gamache to help him find her.  This only complicates Gamache’s personal and professional life.
 
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
A debut novel by an English author.  Susan is 45 years old and content with her very controlled life-until she finds that her mother has left the family home to Susan’s ne’er do well brother; at the same time, Susan finds out she is pregnant, with a child she very much wishes to have.  It’s a real delight to watch Susan, the prickly cactus, discover and deal with unexpected life changes and surprising chances to open herself to love.
 
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
Decades of love, friendship and struggles are revealed in this novel about two very different couples whom we follow from the 1950’s into the modern age.  Each husband and wife face challenges in their personal lives as well as the work lives that the husbands share.
 
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
The two authors won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for their article about a young woman whose report of a rape is not only not taken seriously, but results in her being charged with false reporting.  The article grew into a book which then grew into the Neflix limited TV series, “Unbelieveable,” which follows the case once two female detectives discover that the woman’s story is true and a serial rapist has been allowed to strike over and over again.
 
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
African American Texas Ranger Darren Matthews has been assigned to investigate the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.  Because of this assignment, he is sent to work with a white local sheriff in a small town in Texas where the young son of an imprisoned white supremacist has been reported missing.  The novel deals with a story about crimes, both old and new, in a time of political and racial tension.  It’s a modern mystery reflecting our complicated times.
 
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
The novel deals with 3 generations of a family.  The four daughters tell their stories-their whole lives they have been trying to find the happiness that they believe their parents have found in their relationship.  Everyone’s lives turn up-side down when the son who was given up at birth by one of the daughters returns  to assert his place in the family.
 
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
This popular author starts with two characters who seem to be based on two familiar sisters in the beloved novel “Little Women,” Jo and Beth,  But Weiner switches the personalities around and takes them on a surprising journey of 70 years.  Difficult subjects such as abortion, rape and racism are dealt with as well.
 
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
Amy is living a wonderful life; she is married to a devoted husband with a beautiful baby, with a step-daughter who even likes her.  Into this mix comes a new neighbor who seems to know an awful lot about the secrets that the women in Amy’s up-scale neighborhood would like to keep under wraps-including secrets about Amy that she wants kept quiet.  The book is “diabolically entertaining.”
 
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Four characters in one African American  family tell their story.  In 2001, 16 year old Melody.  is being ushered into adulthood at a lavish party hosted by her wealthy grand-parents who, along with her father, raised her when her mother, pregnant at 16, left the  child with them to pursue her own independent life. 

Our New Site

a laptop showing HTML code

Welcome to our new website!

With recent changes in website software construction and the need for better connectivity with mobile devices, we decided that an effort to improve and redesign our site was in order. Our new look included everything we’ve had before, and more! Our Research Databases, Resources, and Recommended websites are now browseable by subject, and searchable by keyword. Our Book Blog has gotten a makeover, and a sibling page called “Book Lists” in order to bring you MORE exciting book news more often!

Our new website will also allow you to browse more easily on a variety of devices, all the way from a phone or tablet to your desktop. There is also now a site-wide search function, which you can find at the top right of the site. This search has two tabs, the default is set to “Search our Catalog” and the secondary tab allows you to search directly on the website. This can be helpful if you’re not sure where to find your favorite resource from our old website, or just to explore what we have on our new website!

If you cannot find something, please feel free to give us a call at 973-538-2592 or send us a comment in the form below. We hope you enjoy our new look!

Book Lovers Recommendations October 2019

Recommendations by Susan Lipstein
 
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
Knife by Jo Nesbo
Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Whisper Man by Alex North
 
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The author has based her story on the life of her mother.  In 1965, 15 year old Ana marries a man nearly twice her age and moves from the Dominican Republic to New York City.  She is not in love with her husband, Juan, but her marriage will make it possible for her family to move to America.  She finds herself trapped with a controlling husband.  When he has to return to the Dominican Republic on business, she finds herself with freedom-free to go to Coney Island, free to take English lessons, and free to maybe fall in love with Juan’s younger brother, Cesar.
 
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
This novel combines an historical story with a contemporary one.  Told in alternating chapters, the novel goes back and forth between the research being done by a reclusive university librarian and her intern, and two women who forged an unlikely friendship based on adversity in the “Home” in Texas. 
 
Knife by Jo Nesbo
The fictional Harry Hole is back and he just can’t catch a break.  Drinking too much, he it thrown out of his house by his wife, but when she is murdered, Harry blames a criminal, a serial murderer, whom he put in jail and who has now been released. It’s a well constructed mystery with lots of twists and turns.
 
Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist
Mid-western families in the 1960’s loved to vacation at Lake of the Ozarks, and Bill Geist spent many a summer at a small resort owned by his uncle.  Looking back on his life as a successful writer, humorist and award winning correspondent for CBS Sunday morning, he believes that the time spent there made him into the person he has become.  It’s a fun read, and you will laugh out loud.
 
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
This is the “late in life” story of two senior citizens who find meaning in each other even as they confront their own fears about the future-and the past.  Beryl has had a full and active life and now is facing memory loss.  Shimi’s memory is too good-he is still trying to deal with traumas from his past.  The two strike up an unlikely friendship that brings happiness in surprising ways. 
 
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
A happily married couple who cannot conceive a child foster a child who has been abused.  From the start, her behavior is appallingly difficult, but she behaves well with the husband, who persuades his wife to formally adopt her.  The story is told from the point of view of the husband, wife and their dedicated social worker.  It’s well written, and comes with a few big surprises.
 
Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
Cassie is a female fire fighter in Texas who relocates to Boston to help care for her ailing mother.  The Boston fire house is more backwards than the one she left in Texas-there is more hazing of her because she is a woman and the firehouse lacks proper funding-but there is a very attractive rookie.  Center is good at creating characters, and she writes well about strong women who must deal with adversity-and find love as well.
 
Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
Usually Gregory writes about royalty, but in this novel, she turns to an ordinary woman living in the 1640’s in England.  Bright, strong-willed, trying to survive -rumored to be a witch-Alinor has not been dealt an easy hand.  This is the first entry in what is planned to be a multi-generational, multi-volume saga about a family that starts out in rags-and survives.
 
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The suspense novel starts out with Rowan Caine, a young woman who has been hired to be a live-in nanny in a house located in an isolated Scottish town, writing a letter to a lawyer to help her as she has been charged with murdering one of the children in her care.  Rowan’s dream job turns into a nightmare-but there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader happy as she tells her tale. 
 
The Whisper Man by Alex North
A young boy in a small English town has been abducted under the same circumstances as five other people who were abducted and killed 20 years ago.  But that killer is safely in jail.  One of the people who investigated the first murders is assigned the case, and he must work fast, as the next victim looks like it might be the young son of a widowed man who has just moved into town.   

Book Lovers Recommendations September 2019

 

All the Flowers in Paris
by Sarah Jio

Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital in 2009 with no memory of her past.  She discovers a cache of letters in her home which start to jog her memory.  The letters belong to Celine, a widow of Jewish ancestry who lived in Caroline’s house during the Nazi occupation of Paris.  Past and present merge into a story about love and war, death and intrigue.

 

The Art of Mindful Reading: Embracing the Wisdom of Words
by Ella Berthoud

Berthoud is a bibliotherapist and this book is filled with hints on how to read more mindfully. It is filled with lots of ideas that can help improve and expand your reading experience. A great gift for a reader.

 

Gravity is the Thing
by Jaclyn Moriarty

Abigail Sorenson’s brother disappeared 20 years ago and at the same time, she started receiving chapters in the mail of a self-help manual. Now, she has been invited to a retreat where she hopes to find out the truth about the guidebook-and hopefully, solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance.

 

Kingdomtide
by Rye Curtis

A debut novel.  A park ranger refuses to stop looking for the 72 year old survivor of a plane crash in the mountainous wilderness of Montana.  The story beautifully develops the background of the characters while it follows an exciting search and rescue effort.
Will be published January 2020.

 

Maybe You Should Talk  to Someone: A Therapist, her Therapist and Our Lives Revealed
by Lori Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb is a therapist with a back story.  When the boyfriend she expected to marry breaks up with her, she seeks out a therapist for her own issues.  Meanwhile, she documents the journeys she takes her own patients on. It’s non-fiction that reads like a novel.

 

The Me I Used to Be
by Jennifer Ryan

This is  fast-paced plot.  Evangeline is released from prison after serving time for a crime she did not commit.  Her arresting officer helps arrange for her release so she can help him find the person who really committed the crime.  Evangeline has to make peace with her family, catch the real criminal, stay alive and just possibly find love with the arresting officer.

 

Mother Knows Best
by Kira Peikoff

This story is based on scientific news torn from the headlines.  Claire Abrams contacts a maverick fertility doctor who is willing to combine her genes and those of another woman so that Claire can  have a biological child that will not contain the genetic mutation which killed her firstborn.  Although it is illegal and possibly immoral, the doctor sets in motion the series of events that fill this novel with twists and turns.

 

A Nearly Normal Family
by M.T. Edvardsson

A murder mystery with psychological overtones.  A normal Scandinavian family finds themselves rocked to the core when their daughter is arrested on a murder charge.  Each character tells their story and the author reveals the difficult choices each family member must make.

 

The Need
by Helen Phillips

Molly is the exhausted working mother of two very young children.  Strange things start happening in her day job as a paleobotanist, where she excavates plant fossils from a dig.  Suddenly, things start showing up in the dig that don’t make sense.  Combine that with her exhaustion, and you have a recipe for a psychological thriller/science fiction combination that seems all too real.

 

Shamed
by Linda Castillo

Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police in Ohio who was once a member of the Amish community, making her the first person called when there is crime affecting the Amish.  This time she is called to duty to find who murdered an Amish grandmother and abducted her 7 year old grand-daughter.  Some tough moral questions emerge. 

 

Fall Exhibition Depicts the Mid-Century Rise of Morris County

Poster of a country scene that says "Morris County" "The county of the future"

 Our new exhibit, The Changing Landscape of Morris County is now on view in the F.M. Kirby Gallery on the second floor through the end of 2019. Visitors will see Morris County’s rapid growth during the 20th century as residential suburban developments and corporate parks arose from the harsh economic realities of the Great Depression and sacrifices of World War II.

 

As the federal government and private banks worked to make affordable housing and college education available to returning veterans, Morris County quickly evolved from the pastoral summer retreat of New York City’s elites to one of the state’s most affluent middle class enclaves. Abundant undeveloped land, easy access to multiple transportation networks, and proximity to major Mid-Atlantic metropolises spurred extraordinary residential and commercial development within the region. 

 

The exhibit traces the changing prospects of downtown businesses as consumers followed retailers to modern shopping malls, as well as the massive investment in transportation infrastructure that connected neighboring markets and cities from the 1950s through the 1970s. Visitors will also see how some Gilded Age estates found a second life as businesses and schools, and how fears of overdevelopment led community members to oppose the destruction of both historic sites and natural resources. 

 

2018 Third Annual Library Photo Contest Awards Winner: Luke Gong

Statues at night in front of Charles Schwab building

Charles Schwab from statues on the Morristown Green, by Luke Gong
The life size statue, “The French Are Coming”, commemorates the meeting of General George Washington and Colonel Alexander Hamilton with the Marquis de Lafayette on May 10, 1780.

The North Jersey History & Genealogy Center invited interested persons to enter our third photo contest to celebrate our community through the art of photography, and contribute to the Library’s local history picture collection. All 2018 contest entries were to feature a clearly identifiable image of an interior or exterior place of business in Morristown or Morris Township.

The award was based on artistic excellence and historical value. Congratulations, Luke!

Research From Home: New Databases at the NJH&GC

(A Morristown & Township Library Card is needed to access from home)

America’s Genealogy Bank is an online collection created for genealogists
containing historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, genealogies, and more
than 23 million obituaries.

Jewishdata.com is an extensive archive to help people study Jewish history and genealogy. Includes Jewish cemetery and immigration documents, and a number of information-rich books.

New Online Reading

Book cover of "Setting up Our Own City" by Cheryl C. TurkingtonYou can now read Setting up Our Own City online. An oral history project by Cheryl C. Turkington with interviews by Helen Baker Conover, Setting up Our Own City traces the history of the African-American community in Morristown, New Jersey.  It explores how the African American community lived, worked, worshipped, celebrated and sustained itself, and the lives of men and women who quietly created a vibrant African-American middle class in Morris County. The material for this story was woven together through numerous interviews and the resources of the North Jersey History & Genealogy Center. Includes index.

 

Recently Processed Collections

Auchincloss and Schnell Family Papers, 1835 – ca.1987.

Image of photograph of woman next to a letter she wrote.
Correspondence from Queen Elisabeth of Belgium to Jean Schnell regarding her donation for World War I relief work, 1918

 Personal papers and genealogical information from two New York and New Jersey families and their work in the publishing and engineering fields.


DeChiara Family Papers, 1905 – 2005.

Personal and business papers of the head of urban renewal responsible for planning Morristown’s Headquarters Plaza redevelopment project.


Home Garden Club of Morristown

Administrative and working papers of Club activities, programs, and community beautification projects.


Morris County Political Ephemera Collection, 1844 – 2018

Political campaign flyers, constituent communications, and political pins from Morristown, state, and national elections.