Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey

Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA By Roberta Kaplan, Edie Windsor (Foreword by), Lisa Dickey (With) Cover Image
By Roberta Kaplan, Edie Windsor (Foreword by), Lisa Dickey (With)
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ISBN: 9780393248678
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 5th, 2015

Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer were in a committed relationship for over 40 years but were denied the legal recognition marriage in the United States would convey. When Spyer died, Windsor was forced to pay enormous estate taxes because their Canadian marriage was not recognized.  Roberta Kaplan became lead attorney in the case that would ultimately come before the United States Supreme Court which would then declare the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. This decision was one of the major civil rights cases that led to the eventual ruling on marriage equality throughout the country. Kaplan and Windsor’s story is captivating from both a personal and a legal standpoint, and the details of their fight for equality are an important part of civil rights history. – Barbara Hoagland

Mess: One Man's Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act by Barry Yourgragu

Barry is a hoarder, though he is not able to really face his problem until his girlfriend offers him an ultimatum: clean up your apartment, and by extension, your life, or I leave. In this uproarious memoir, Barry embarks upon a project of epic proportions to sort through his cluttered possessions and his emotions regarding the things he saves. With humor reminiscent of Larry David, this smart, touching work explores the connection between our relationships with our things and our relationships with other individuals. – Rachel Haisley

Two Books about WW2

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (The Pacific War Trilogy #2) By Ian W. Toll Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393080643
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 21st, 2015

Ian Toll and Jay Winik are veteran historians and excellent writers, each with a style that flows easily yet is supported by incredible research. These two books are a part of a new breed of historical scholarship which provides a complete picture of the early part of WWII, a period when the final outcome was far from decided. The Conquering Tide is the second part of a Pacific War trilogy by Toll which may remind readers of Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy. Starting with the Guadalcanal Campaign and ending with the Marianas Campaign, Toll describes the incredibly difficult Pacific Theater and highlights the valor and blunders of both sides. This second part of the trilogy gives a clear picture of what the United States and its allies were facing in early 1942 in the South Pacific as they tried to stop the Japanese juggernaut, especially in light of the “Europe First” global strategy to combat the Axis Forces. The grand strategy of the opponents is clearly described by Toll, but he is at his best when narrating the thousands of smaller tactical encounters between the Japanese and American forces. Detailed maps indicate the grand strategy and remind us of the darkest hours of WWII. Jay Winik, on the other hand, uses the one-year format he first employed in April 1865: the Month that Saved America in his latest book, 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History. The world we live in today was shaped by WWII, and 1944 was the pivotal point of that war. Hitler, Himmler, FDR, Hirohito, Stalin, Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and all of the other supporting characters are brought to life in this narrative which places in context the momentous events of ’44, from the Nazi death camps through D-Day to the atomic bomb. Winik has an approach to historical narrative which is refreshing as he weaves the storyline through the actions of its characters. – Patrick Fleming

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
The Liberation Trilogy Boxed Set: An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, The Guns at Last Light By Rick Atkinson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627790598
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 22nd, 2013

April 1865: The Month That Saved America By Jay Winik Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060899684
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Harper Perennial - August 15th, 2006

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb

I fell in love with the autistic protagonist Todd Aaron on page one, and on that same page felt a stab of empathy for his mother that nearly felled me. I read on, about their moment of parting; about Todd’s relatively happy life for the ensuing 41 years in the Payton Living Center; about his brother who came to visit him only occasionally; about the new roommate, the attractive new “villager,” and worse, the disturbing new employee at the center. Todd’s literal mind and exact reporting make for the wryest of commentary, and some scenes are howlingly funny. His own misperceptions can be funny one minute, shattering the next, and his perceptions can be so acute they startle. The book swings from past to present in tandem with his mind as a scent rekindles memory or sparks fear—or laughter or longing—in the present. But it’s when past and present begin to merge that the book totally ignites—along with the reader’s heart. – Betsy Burton