Tuesday, January 27, 2015

High Museum to Present Black History Program at Hampton Park Library

Forsyth County Public Library and the High Museum of Art are partnering to give a special presentation for Black History Month next Tuesday, February 3 at 4:00 p.m. at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming. The presentation is free, but advance registration is requested.

Gordon Parks (American, 1912 - 2006)
Department Store, Mobile, Alabama, 1956
Image courtesy of High Museum of Art

Nina Pelaez, a Kress Museum Interpretation Fellow at the High Museum of Art, will discuss the work of Gordon Parks and Leonard Freed, two civil rights-era photographers whose work is currently on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Parks and Freed were pioneers in the art of documentary photography and used their work to advance social change, particularly in the face of racial inequality. The two photographers’ bodies of work are empathetic, intimate accounts of the daily life, struggles, and triumphs of African-Americans living during a period of intense social struggle.

Parks’ portion of the exhibit at the High Museum focuses mainly on his photo essay for Life magazine, “The Restraints: Open and Hidden”. The article was first published in 1956 and offered a close look at a multigenerational family living in segregated Mobile, Alabama.

At great risk to themselves and their family, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Thornton, then aged 82 and 70, allowed Parks to observe and photograph life with their nine children and 19 grandchildren in an effort to challenge racial inequality.

But rather than focusing on the demonstrations, boycotts, and brutality that characterized the battle for racial justice, Parks captured images that illuminated the shared experiences of daily life, such as preparing taxes, doing laundry, cooking dinners, and attending Sunday church services.

Though Parks died in 2006, he left a legacy of journalistic and cinematic achievements. Parks was the only black photographer working for Vogue magazine in 1944, he was the first black staff photographer at Life magazine in 1948, he co-founded Essence magazine in 1970, and he directed the 1971 hit movie Shaft. He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts and more than 50 honorary doctorates over the course of his career.

Freed’s part of the exhibit focuses on photographs from his book Black in White America. The book is a collection of photographs and notes Freed took while traveling around New York City attending religious gathering, protests, and other urban engagements. He also traveled throughout the South capturing images of jails and jazz funerals and chronicling the experience of segregation.

Rather than offering an account of newsworthy events, such as demonstrations and boycotts, Freed’s book largely focuses on sharing the nuance of African-American life during this time of great social change. His storytelling style was innovative and became influential in the development of self-directed documentary projects for photojournalists.

For more information, or to register, please visit www.forsythpl.org.

Staff Favorites of 2014 - 11th in a Series

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Sight Unseen by Iris Johansen

 Sycamore Row by John Grisham

In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

Marta Peppin
Information Specialist

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Coffee Talk Book Club - February 10 at Cumming Library

If you are in the mood for a remarkable icy adventure, check out In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides.

This book follows the Arctic exploration journey of the U.S.S. Jeannette and its crew. The author takes you through all of the preparations for the voyage, the hardship of being stranded in Arctic ice for over two years, and the desperate struggle to make it out alive.  It is also full of background history on earlier, and later, explorations of the Arctic region.  

This title is our featured book discussion title for February’s Coffee Talk Book Club on February 10th, at 1:30 p.m. at the Cumming branch.

Following are a few more icy non-fiction adventure stories to keep you entertained as we head into the winter season:

The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven

The Magnetic North by Sara Wheeler

Alive by Piers Paul Read

Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

The Ledge by Jim Davidson

Joan Dudzinski
Collection Support Supervisor

Friday, January 23, 2015

Staff Favorites of 2014 - 10th in a Series

I love a good love story! Although I read a lot of great books this year, it’s no surprise that my top picks are all relationship and romance driven titles.

 I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Told from two perspectives in two different time periods by twins, this is a beautifully written book about love, loss, and reconnecting with the ones you love.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton 

A stunning title from a debut author, sprinkled with romance and magical realism. Ava Lavender is a teenage girl born with wings. She has always lived an isolated life, but when a new neighbor begins to notice Ava, everything changes.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

2014 was the year of Rainbow Rowell but this title was actually her first novel.  Published in 2012 and told through emails and first person narration, this book is funny, sweet, and the perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold afternoon.

Cleo Joyce
Youth Services Supervisor

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Staff Favorites of 2014 - 9th in a Series

I really enjoyed the audiobook version of Robert Crais' Suspect.   This is a story of two police officers, one a man and one a dog, both of whom are suffering from PTSD and who find themselves partnered together. Both Scott and Maggie must learn to trust each other and the story is very emotionally moving.  The narrator did an excellent job giving life to all the different characters, including Maggie, the police-dog.   I really enjoyed the different character point of views and I felt that Crais portrayed Maggie in a very realistic way.   Any book that can make me cry or laugh out loud is a winner!

I also really liked the following audiobooks:

China Dolls by Lisa See 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

Meredith Bowermeister
Information Services Supervisor