BOB Book Winner 2018 – Nonfiction

BOB Book Winner 2018 – NONFICTION

 Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

This is a story about the racial and gender discrimination that was prevalent in the 1960’s. Before the use of computers, three African-American women worked as mathematicians for NASA.  They calculated launch windows for space missions (including John Glenn’s orbit of the Earth).  Because they were women, they had to fight for promotions and recognition even though they were smarter than their higher-ranked, white, male colleagues.  And, because they were black, they had to work in a separate “colored” building at the Langley Research Center due to Virginia’s segregation laws.

Continue reading “BOB Book Winner 2018 – Nonfiction”

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the battle before I decided to see the movie. My friend, a history buff, gave me a crash course before the movie, making me wish I learned more about it in school or elsewhere. The Battle of Dunkirk may have been a military failure for the European Allied Powers, but it still boosted morale for them, and for the British in particular. It’s the turning point in the war before the US joined it. The story had my interest before viewing the movie, and coming out of the movie the interest was exponentially higher; Dunkirk is easily one of the best movies I’ve ever viewed, and much of the public—and critics online—agree.

To be clear, Dunkirk is not something to watch if you need an escape. Expect an intense, stressful movie experience if you do view it. I already love movies, but found myself more engaged during this one than most. My eyes were wide the entire two hours; I rarely looked away from the screen. I didn’t even check my watch, which is a habit for me even during the most entertaining movies. Every few minutes I had to pause, ensure I could still breath, and unclench my jaw or my fists.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Dunkirk”

Staff Recommendation: And I Darken


There have been countless adaptations of the Dracula myth. Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000 sets the story in contemporary New Orleans; Francis Ford Copolla’s 1992 film starring Gary Oldman combines Bram Stoker’s novel with the history of Vlad the Impaler; and the made-for-TV movie, Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula, tells a mostly historical account of Vlad Dracul III, the man, with a thrown-together twist at the end to show how he became a vampire. But there have not been many narrative takes on his life that don’t include vampires.

This is where Kiersten White’s latest epic comes in. The first of an in-progress trilogy called The Conquerors Saga, And I Darken reimagines Vlad Dracula III as a teenage girl: Lada Dragwyla, princess of Wallachia, traded, along with her younger brother Radu, in exchange for a peace treaty with the neighboring Turks.

Continue reading “Staff Recommendation: And I Darken”

Oral History – Everyone Has a Story

The Chesapeake Genealogy Enthusiasts met on November 9, 2015. Some attendees shared photographs along with memories. Kevin Clement presented the lesson, “Oral History.”

Oral history is a field of study where professionals collect systematically the testimony of living people about their personal experiences. Even though it has been argued that only trained professionals can conduct legitimate oral history, it is important for families to collect and maintain the oral memories of its members.

Families should consider preserving their own memories. My grandfather used to tell marvelous stories of his time as a missionary in Africa. I have shared a couple of these stories throughout my life, but I am positive that I do not give the tales the same flair that my grandfather had given them. How grand would it be if I had an audio or video recording of him telling these stories so I could replay the recording over and over again and hear his voice? It is too late since my grandfather passed away in 1978, but it may not be too late for others. Look to your relatives still living and begin recording their memories. More importantly, do not fail to record your own memories for future generations.

Graduation photo of my grandfather, Frank Manning, missionary and storyteller.

Continue reading “Oral History – Everyone Has a Story”

What We Carry


May 19, 2015
6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Indian River Library
2320 Old Greenbrier Rd

“The watchword of Holocaust lessons is, ‘Never Forget.’ But once there are no longer survivors to recount their personal stories, what then?” So asks the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater on their website, regarding a compelling and moving program called What We Carry. What We Carry is a presentation of first-hand accounts of survivors of the Holocaust, most of whom are not around anymore to speak their story, but living on through the documents they carried from the period in a suitcase – the period of the Third Reich in Germany. What We Carry has met with resounding success where it has been presented to schools, community groups and military audiences around the country. It will be presented at Indian River Library on May 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM.

Continue reading “What We Carry”