Favorite Quotes

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."


— Groucho Marx

Reader's Link - July 2009 Staff Picks Archive


Midwifery on Trial

Midwives

Title: Midwives
By: Chris Bohjalian

Reading this book was my first taste of Chris Bohjalian and it leaves me hungry for more. The story is told by Connie, who is fourteen the fall of her mother's trial. Her mother, Sibyl Danforth, is charged with manslaughter for the death of a mother in a home birth gone terribly wrong. Unable to get her patient to a hospital in a violent storm that has downed phone lines, Sibyl works frantically to save the laboring mother. After many unsuccessful cycles of CPR, Sibyl saves the baby with an emergency C-section. The criminal charges that follow are an attack not only on Sibyl, but on home birth midwifery. Bohjalian does an excellent job using medical and legal terminology while still describing the joys of "baby catching" and the miracle of birth.

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Posted by Abbey on July 27, 2009 at 2:55 p.m.
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Endearing biography of Doris Day

Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door

Title: Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door
By: David Kaufman

Are you a "Dayniac" too? This biography is so much more than just the usual tell-all book about America's sweetheart Doris Day with the superb voice and acting career. This book will give you the real low-down on her smarmy manager/husband, Marty Melcher. Miss Day was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, her records making a lot of money for everyone, and we hear how producers, directors, studio musicians, and fellow actors respected her professionalism. But it was Marty Melcher who loaded her schedule with film projects leaving Miss Day with no time for herself and more importantly, no say in the matter. The result was that she was a victim of bad investments. This book has lots of great photographs. A good portion of the final chapters deal with Miss Day's founding of her Doris Day Animal Foundation. Learn about her friendship with Rock Hudson and bringing attention to AIDS and the need to find a cure. This will make you want to watch her old movies again, such as the classics: "The Pajama Game," Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," or "That Touch of Mink." Check them out at your local library branch!

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction,history,biography
Posted by pollockl on July 16, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
1 Comment

Lime Kilns in the Limelight

Lime Kiln Legacies

Title: Lime Kiln Legacies
By: Frank A. Perry, and others

Lime Kiln Legacies is the first complete history of the lime industry in Santa Cruz County. The rise and fall of the lime industry in Santa Cruz County coincides with the developing history of California. In the first half of the 1800s, only small amounts of lime began to be manufactured in Santa Cruz, primarily for the builders of missions using lime in their construction. The surge for lime production demand did not occur in Santa Cruz County until after the Gold Rush in 1848. A succession of wood buildings burned down in San Francisco between 1849 and 1851, and inadequate fire extinguishing equipment ultimately converted Californians into believers in masonry buildings. In 1884 alone, Santa Cruz County's lime production amounted to a third of the State of California's supply and three-fourths of lime in the San Francisco market. Although peaking in 1904, lime industry in the twentieth century in Santa Cruz County suffered a decline and was finally replaced by a superior newcomer, the cement industry. Lime Kiln Legacies is a history of the people involved in the lime industry in Santa Cruz County, by virtue of its frank and faithful recording of their lives and endeavors, successes and failures, births and deaths. There is little record existing for the innumerable people who quarried the rock, prepared the fuel, stoked the kiln fires and shipped the lime to the market. Unlike the owners of the lime works, who received extensive press coverage during their lifetime, lime workers remain nameless and faceless. To pay them due respect as a collective community, this book devotes a whole chapter to People and Lime, reconstructing their lives and working conditions. This was done by using photographs, census records, local histories, newspapers, and special collections available at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, the University of California, and the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

For an interesting tidbit about one of the book's authors, Bob "Brick Bat Bob" Piwarzyk, and a brick, please see this article.

For more information about the book, and upcoming events, please visit www.limekilnlegacies.com.

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction,history
Posted by Hui-Lan on July 1, 2009 at 9 a.m.
3 Comments

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