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The Munificent Gift

  Old Friends Mrs. R. H. ( Zelie) Emerson, a member of the Jackson Library Committee, wrote Carnegie, via his secretary, asking for the additional funds to “build the building Jackson deserves.” They were indeed old friends. As a young girl, Zelie Passavant and Andrew Carnegie had even spoken of marriage. Her father, William Passavant,…

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Rollicking Fun Series Review: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

What a fun series—these would make excellent action adventure movies! Having read books one and two—Retribution Falls and The Black Lung Captain—I recommend this series to anyone who wants a light-hearted romp through a fantastic world populated with flawed, funny characters. Frequently throwing readers reminders of Star Wars mixed with Indiana Jones and, especially, Firefly,…

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The Free Public Library

While the YMA was open only to members, public-spirited men such as W.H. Withington, George Dodge, and Michael Shoemaker were instrumental in the opening of a free public library in Jackson. As YMA president, George Dodge declared: Let this free library be once established, and every citizen will look upon it with pride, would willingly…

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Book Review: At the Waters Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen Set in the time frame of WWII, three friends, Ellis, his wife Maddie and best friend Hank make fools of themselves and disgrace Ellis’s parents at a ”high society” New Year’s Eve Party.   Ellis has already embarrassed his father, a Colonel, during WWI, by being classified 4F for…

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The Collective Good

In 1854, young businessmen in the Jackson community formed a mutual improvement society. Jackson’s Young Men’s Association (YMA) aimed to address issues of moral and political philosophy. In its early years, the YMA sponsored debates, provided free public lectures, and attempted to establish a reading room. Strong political feelings of the day prevented the organization…

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Local Authors’ Book Recommendation: We Brothers Immortal by K & D Bear

Jacksonians, here are local authors K & D Bear! If you liked The Clan of the Cave Bear, I bet you will like We Brothers Immortal. If you are a fan of Tolkien, you will recognize certain elements in this book. Anyone who likes science fiction or fantasy at all will enjoy the adventure contained…

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Juvenile Book Review: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Recently there have been quite a few books on topics of terminal disease and disability, including The Fault in our Stars, Wonder, and My Sister’s Keeper. Somehow I missed this one: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. I had read other books by her and knew she was a good writer. So I finally…

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Book Review: Cat out of Hell by Lynne Truss

I spent the entire time I read the book Cat Out of Hell asking myself, “Is it humor? Or is it horror?” I would alternately laugh out loud or expect creepy music. This strange English tale begins at the seaside, where we find retired Cambridge periodicals’ librarian Alec Charlesworth. Recently widowed, Alec has rented a…

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Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Once again a bestseller much touted by everyone has failed to live up to the praise. There is a trend here that the public should take note of—if a book falls into a genre category, check with those who love the category before buying the book. In this case, The Martian could be called MacGyver…