Celebrating LGBT authors and experiences

LGBT Book Month image

Image from ALA, American Library Association

This month the library has been celebrating the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  We have a display of books on the lower level of the library that we will keep up through the end of July.

Explore the library’s guide to LGBTQ resources for books, ebooks, DVDs, streaming video, and recommended websites: http://durhamtech.libguides.com/LGBTQ

Pick up a bookmark at the reference desk to join the celebration!

What We’re Reading: Camino Island

Title: Camino Island

Camino Island book cover

Camino Island by John Grisham

Read by: Mary Kennery

Author: John Grisham

 Genre: thriller/suspense

Why did you choose to read this book?  I love mysteries and I have read other books by the author. This 30th novel written by John Grisham published in June 2017 is a different style for the author.  There is no young lawyer this time, but a young soon-to-be unemployed UNC-Chapel Hill English instructor/ struggling novelist Mercer who is pegged to infiltrate a rare book dealer Bruce’s bookstore with a black market connection after F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts are stolen from Princeton and find their way to Camino Island, Florida.

What did you like about it?  How the plot unfolds between Mercer and Bruce and the islanders and all gets resolved.  The island’s inhabitants are certainly characters!  The many fond memories that Mercer has of spending summers with her grandmother on the island are endearing.  You can imagine the author tours, rare book collecting and preservation and storage of prized books.

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?  Other mystery authors/ missing artifacts, but this one has a rare book angle.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book? References to UNC-Chapel Hill, Franklin St., and The Lantern Restaurant made it especially appealing.  These are places that Grisham likes to visit.

What feeling did the book leave you with?  Resolution plus wanting to know what future blockbuster novel will be next on the horizon for Mercer when she gets over her writer’s block.  Will Camino Island be made into a movie?  Plus another Grisham book is due out later this year.  I will add that one to my must read list.

Who would you recommend the book to? A mystery lover, a John Grisham fan, a bookstore afficionado.

What would you pair this book with?  Even though Camino Island mainly takes place in Florida, I enjoyed reading it on my front porch under a Carolina blue sky with a sweet tea while dog sitting.  I guess I should have read it on a favorite beach.

Were you one of the lucky ones to meet John Grisham at his first book tour in over 25 years?  One was held at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh in June.  Sorry to say, but I was not there.

John Grisham was interviewed recently in The News & Observer:

The library plans to purchase a copy of this book for our collection in July.  In the meantime, we have most of Grisham’s other novels available.

Wondering About Wonder Woman?

Have you seen the new Wonder Woman movie? Have you heard about it? Are you curious about the super-heroine who is breaking box office records all over the place?

We have the books for you!

Secret History of Wonder Woman

A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of Wonder Woman, one of the world’s most iconic superheroes, hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism.

Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth—he invented the lie detector test—lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.

Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine

This close look at Wonder Woman’s history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman with a golden lasso and bullet-deflecting bracelets. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world.

In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women’s lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man.

Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman’s feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history adds new dimensions to the world’s most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman’s iconic status.

But wait, there’s more! Have you seen the Black Panther teaser trailer? Get ready for the film by checking out the graphic novel written by Ta-Nehisi Coates from the Main Campus Library.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1

A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates ( Author of Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt–but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!

What We’re Reading Watching Wednesdays: The Great British Baking Show

In a repeating series highlighting thematic reading opportunities around Durham Tech, here are some awesome cookbooks or cooking-related books to go along with your summer viewing of the greatest reality TV show of all time* The Great British Baking Show (starting June 16, Fridays starting at 9pm on PBS).

All of these books and films are available on at least one Durham Tech Library campus.

As always, if you’re interested in a title or related title, you can either search our catalog to see if we have the book or request it through interlibrary loan if we don’t have it. Need help doing either of these things or don’t yet have a library card? Ask in the library.

Have any suggestions of books to add to the list? Email Meredith Lewis, OCC Librarian.

*I’m not even a tiny bit objective here. This is my favorite reality tv show and, perhaps, my favorite TV show. I love it.

World Oceans Day

Today, June 8th, is World Oceans Day, which encourages protection and conservation of the oceans.  “World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.”  For resources and information visit the World Oceans Day website coordinated by The Ocean Project and sponsored by many aquariums and organizations around the world. You can join their mailing list, participate in actions and events, and join their social media campaign.


Have you visited any of the four amazing North Carolina Aquariums?  These can be great places to learn about ocean ecosystems, North Carolina marine life, and conservation.


You can also take a virtual dive!  Explore the oceans and national marine sanctuaries with NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) 360-degree panoramic images! These virtual reality tours highlight habitats found in our national marine sanctuaries.  Happy exploring.


The library is featuring an ocean display in our front window this month.  You are welcome to borrow any of the books and DVDS on display.

library display windowLibrary display window

Here are a few books and DVDS from our collection:

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New Books in June

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