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Staff Book Review: No Ordinary Time


Check out BPL Director Sharon Kelly's thoughts on No Ordinary Time, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Sharon says:

Like all of us, I have been giving tremendous thought to the current pandemic crisis facing America, and the world, as I try to adjust to our new normal. I believe that the answers are often found in the past, and so I immediately turn to history. What storms have previous generations weathered, and how can we learn from their experiences? Like many of you, I have also been giving a lot of thought to leadership, and what I believe true leadership looks like in times of peace, as well as times of crisis. Again, history is where I find the answers. Every generation is faced with their own challenges and struggles, but for some, so much more is asked. I much prefer escaping into the pages of a history book than turning on the news. It is so true that we can't possibly know where we are going if we don't know where we have been! It is for this reason that I have chosen to write about one of my favorite books by Pulitzer Prize winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin - No Ordinary Time, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.

No Ordinary Time is a biography of Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the years leading up to, and immediately following, World War II. Although this book encapsulates the period in history of when modern America was created, it is more about the story of two real people, in a real marriage, facing real adversity and pain, and their struggle to lead the nation in a time of crisis. Goodwin is a fastidious researcher who writes with the skill of a seasoned storyteller. In this book, she brings the reader along on an intimate journey through the Roosevelt's love affair, marriage, the war, and their tremendous losses. She articulates the strength of FDR's instinctual leadership abilities and his personal character in the time of war - warts and all! She carries you right into the genius, and the heart of the First Lady each and every time it is broken. Whether you are a lover of non-fiction, history, or biography, this book will pull you into its pages (all 636 of them) and into the story of one of the most prominent couples in our nation's history. I loved reading about the Roosevelts as people first, heroes later. You will never look at them in the same light again; their lives, their family, their relationships, and all the glory and tragedy of an American lifetime. So sit back and settle in for a powerful story of what it means to truly live in no ordinary time.

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