Weekly Reads

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Brianna- A Death Struck Year

Candace- Loves of Louis XIV:The Women in the Life of the Sun King

Christine- Listen, Slowly

JoAnna C.- Hey, Waitress! The USA from the other side of the tray

Joanna P.- Love and Friendship

Shianne- Sakura’s Story

Sue- Broken Angels

 

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- I am Princess X

Christine- Scarlet Women:The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses

JoAnna- Big Girl Panties

Shianne- A Court of Mist and Fury

Sue- A Man Called Ove

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu (nd their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts)

Christine- The Blackthorn Key

Meghan- Lady Midnight

Sue- A Wrinkle in Time

Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I was Gay, and that’s When My Nightmare Began

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saving alex

Saving Alex: What I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and that’s When My Nightmare Began
By: Alex Cooper & Joanna Brooks

“When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.”

Alex Cooper’s plight within the Mormon Church was horrifying and brought to light a growing problem that many LGBTQ children face within religious communities. After coming out to her strict Mormon parents, she was forced into an eight month conversion therapy and rehabilitation program in Utah. These programs are spread out all across the country with the intention of “praying the gay” out of children. Under the guise of a therapeutic residential treatment program, these conversion therapy programs are notorious for being highly abusive.

I found this biography to be disturbing and heartbreaking. Cooper’s story is not unique to the teens forced into these programs by fanatical parents believing that their children’s sexuality can be changed with routine praying, isolation, verbal abuse, routine beatings, and forced labor. In a time when acceptance is the societal norm, reading about families still living with archaic beliefs is unnerving, especially when their beliefs overshadow the love and devotion they are meant to have for their families.

Within these conversion programs, LGBTQ teens are basically held captive and faith is used as a means of punishment and fear. What makes Cooper’s story unique is the fact that she managed to escape the program and was granted amnesty in Salt Lake City, Utah under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager. Her story helped make legal history by allowing LGBTQ teenagers fundamental human rights.

Saving Alex tells the story of a brave young woman willing to defy her family and their religion in order to gain her own freedom, acceptance, and truth. 9/10.

“Alex Cooper’s story is a call to action—we must put a stop to this brutal practice of conversion therapy and ensure that every child is embraced for who they are in their homes, schools, and communities.” —Chad Griffin, president, Human Rights Campaign

For further reading about this topic, I recommend Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan and Lisa Dickey.

Trending Titles

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See what’s popular at Wolcott Public Library now!

The Witches:Salem, 1962Stacy Schiff

“The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra analyzes the Salem Witch Trials to offer key insights into the role of women in its events while explaining how its tragedies became possible.”

Thing Explainer:Complicated Stuff in Simple WordsRandall Munroe

“The creator of the popular webcomic “xkcd” uses line drawings and just ten hundred common words to provide simple explanations for how things work, including microwaves, bridges, tectonic plates, the solar system, the periodic table, helicopters, and other essential concepts.”

Lady MidnightCassandra Clare

“Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn race to stop a demonic plot that threatens Los Angeles”

All Dressed in White– Mary Higgins Clark

“Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared. In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiance; now married to a bridesmaid, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air. One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part.”

Parchment and Old Lace– Laura Childs

“Carmela couldn’t imagine a finer evening than dinner at Commander’s Palace with her beau, Detective Edgar Babcock. The food and the company are equally divine-with the exception of Isabelle Black’s stopping by to brag about her upcoming wedding. Resuming the romance with a walk in the evening air, the couple is interrupted once again-this time by a terrifying scream from inside the cemetery. Having just seen Isabelle, Carmela and Edgar now find her lying across an aboveground tomb, strangled to death with a piece of vintage lace. Carmela would rather leave the investigating to Edgar, but she can’t say no to Isabelle’s sister Ellie when she asks her to help. As she untangles the enemies of Isabelle’s past, Carmela hopes she can draw out the killer before someone else gets cold feet.”

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- Jane Steele

Christine- Goodbye Stranger

Meghan- The Horse and his Boy

Shianne- Any Day Now:David Bowie-The London Years 1947-1974

Sue- The Lake House

The Stanford Prison Experiment

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8883Rating: R

This film tells the story of the famous 1971 psychological experiment at Stanford University were 24 students were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison. The experiment was supposed to last 2 weeks; it was shut down after 6 days.

For those of you who don’t know about the Stanford Prison Experiment click here.

This movie, like the experiment, is shocking. The participants of this study did not take their roles lightly, and their personalities quickly transformed. Even though all  the students were deemed emotionally healthy and friendly, the “guards” became emotionally abusive and the “prisoners” quickly became depressed and submissive. It is quite disturbing to watch this experiment, especially because the movie seems to draw out the abusive scenes.

At the end of the film you’re left relieved that it’s over and questioning how anyone could act like this. The most disturbing aspect of this movie is that these are all normal, happy, healthy people who seem to completely lose sense of who they really are, and that’s scary. No one wants to think that they could be cruel and abusive or obedient and passive to people being abused, but that is what happened in this situation.

I enjoyed the movie, though it was a bit long. This is an important story, and  I recommend that everyone learn about it, even if they don’t want to see the movie. I give the film 8 out of 10 stars.

Weekly Reads

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Brianna- How they Croaked:The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous

Candace- Scarlet Women:The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses

Christine- Six of Crows

Jeanne- The Paris Architect

JoAnna- A Thousand Naked Strangers:A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back

Meghan- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe