Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
In 1996 DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as Social Security survivors' benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing.
Section 3 of the law defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and a spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
This decision means that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the same federal benefits as married opposite sex couples. To celebrate this victory I compiled a list of books about other landmark United States Supreme Court decisions.
In college, I studied American History and Politics, but my interest in these subjects was sparked long before that, when as a child, I was exposed to several books, movies and TV shows that celebrated American history.
March Madness begins March 19th! Whether you're busy poring over stats and brackets or cursing the networks for playing reruns rather than fight the NCAA ratings bonanza, we've got some books for you.
During my vacation from the library, between Christmas and New Year's Day, I learned a remarkable lesson. You can get along very well without NEWS. For a full week, I entered a blissfully news-free vacuum. No NPR; no relentless checking of Google News; no Sunday New York Times beyond Arts and Leisure and the Book Review. I didn't care if it was the twenty-first century or the fifteenth. Without that drumbeat of doom in my head all the time, I could focus on what was really important: family, friends, dining, museums, and music.
I've always been curious about Neil Peart. You could say he's the George Harrison of the band Rush. He's the quiet one, but he is anything but silent. In addition to the complex time keeping duties the drummer extraordinaire is also the band's lyricist. With the song's varied themes ranging from philosophy to fantasy you have to assume he is well read.
“The music ceased, the whine of the needle on the empty centre of the record so faint it was hardly anything. Still dwelling in his exile, Florian finished his cigarette and stubbed it out in the grass. The sun was slipping away, the evening light becoming dusky. Jessie clambered to her feet when he did, went back with him to the drawing-room, where he lifted the needle off. In the kitchen he put sausages on to fry.” (Love and Summer, p. 61)
But of course it wasn’t finished. It never could be, it never would be, and it never will be.
Welcome back to the Reader’s Den for the final week of our discussion of The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester! The book tells the tale of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), completed in 1928, but as the author notes at the beginning of the epilogue, it can never really be complete, since the English language itself is forever changing.
This past Sunday, I spent the morning in Central Park participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I was not the only librarian there. Turns out, there's a New York Public Library team that walks every year. It was not my first time there, either. This was my third breast cancer walk since moving to New York City three years ago.
So this month, as I asked family and friends for donations, I began thinking about cancer in general. There's a few books that I've read over the last few years that have inspired me to join the fight to end cancer, so I thought I might share a few of these titles with you. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, they are books that will make you think about an issue that affects nearly all of us in one way or another.
With the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film due to come out in December of this year, fans of Stieg Larsson who have already seen the Swedish films and read the trilogy may be searching for more. Here is a loosely inspired reading list. For a more comprehensive list of Swedish crime writers, see this blog post on Nordic Whodunits.
Regina Spektor's music, summer nights, and NYC are intertwined inside of me. As the air grows warm, I find myself listening to her music as she sings of summer in the city and selling butterflies on street corners. This summer, I am attending my first American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. I am bursting with pure joy to visit such a literary and musical city while attending my first professional conference. I have had a few summers in this city, and now I am ready to experience a small slice of another.
Summer Reading is here! Sign up for Summer Reading at summerreading.org! Find and reserve all books on the NYC Summer Reading book list here: