From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
As a kid, I didn’t mind being outside on the 4th of July, shooting off our oh-so-tame fireworks that were pretty rather than loud (which leads me to a soapbox moment: please remember and respect animals and war vets who suffer every 4th as booms reverberate through the skies).
Now though, I’m happy to stay inside and watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and the Memorial Day concert from Union Station on KTWU. Oh, and read. Here are a few titles that would be appropriate for anyone wanting to do the same.
“Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation,” and “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped our Nation,” by the late Cokie Roberts illuminate the role of women during the early days of the U.S., something that rarely made it into the history books of my youth.
Jon Meacham is the author of three books that would be most suitable for this long holiday period: “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation,” “Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation,” and “The Soul of America.” He also wrote the forward to “This Land: An American Portrait,” a collection of stunning photographs taken by Jack Spencer featuring the American landscape.
“Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America,” by Matika Wilbur would also make for good reading this weekend. Wilbur spent a decade recording and photographing people from the then 562 federally recognized Native American Tribal Nations in the US; this book is the result of her work, giving the reader an often-neglected look at this part of our country’s story.
“Travels with Charley: In Search of America” by John Steinbeck is a great look at America during the early 1960’s and is still surprisingly relevant in this day and age.
However, the best thing about this 4th of July—or any day—is that you can come to the library and choose whatever you want to read. That’s what the holiday is really all about.
Well, that and homemade ice cream.