Lee Lien has long dodged her Vietnamese family’s rigid expectations by immersing herself in books. But now, jobless with a PhD in literature, she is back at home, working in her family’s restaurant under her mother’s hypercritical gaze—until an heirloom from their past sends Lee on a search for clues that may lead back to Wilder herself, transforming strangers’ lives as well as her own.
Please contact Cheryl Cavalear at 269-968-8166, ext. 504, with questions or comments regarding Battle Creek Reads.
In a life that spanned nearly a century and witnessed some of the most momentous events in American history, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion. A sweeping historical novel, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker illuminates the extraordinary relationship the two women shared, beginning in the hallowed halls of the White House during the trials of the Civil War and enduring almost, but not quite, to the end of Mrs. Lincoln’s days.
For over fifty years the Turners have lived on Yarrow Street. Their house has seen thirteen children get grown and gone—and some return; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. But when their powerful mother falls ill, the Turners are called home to decide their house’s fate and to reckon with how their past haunts—and shapes—their future. The Turner House is a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams, and the ways in which our families bring us home.
At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work. What were they actually doing there? The women who kept this town running would find out at the end of the war, when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed and changed the world forever.
2006 - "Pay it Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde
2007 - "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger
2008 - "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls
2009 - "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill
2010 - "The Soloist" by Steve Lopez
2011 - "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein
2012 - "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" by Helen Simonson; "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford
2013 - "Eighty-Dollar Champion" by Elizabeth Letts; "The Day the World Came to Town" by Jim DeFede; "Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern; "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach
2014 - "The Leisure Seeker" by Michael Zadoorian; "An Invisible Thread" by Laura Schroff
2015 - "The Secret Gift" by Ted Gup; "The Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline
2016 - "Safe from the Sea" by Peter Geye; "Delicious!" by Ruth Reichl
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.
Willard Library Newspaper Collection: Search and view historical local newspapers on library computers (1846-present), or in the comfort of your home with your Willard Library card (1846-1923 only).
Battle Creek Shopper News: Search and view the entire collection of the Battle Creek Shopper on library computers, or in the comfort of your home with your Willard Library card.
Battle Creek Enquirer: 2002-present, full-text, searchable database available from home with a library card.
Willard Library Newspaper Index covers the local newspapers from 1967-March 2012
Obituaries: Request an obituary. Dates of obituaries occurring between 1967-March 2012 can be found in the newspaper index. Prior to 1967, you must know the approximate year of the obituary you are requesting.
Digitized yearbooks are available for the five area public high schools. The collection currently includes: Battle Creek Central High School (1894-2002); Harper Creek High School (1962-2001); Lakeview High School (1925-2002); Pennfield High School (1979-2002); and Springfield High School (1956-1989). Yearbooks are accessible online with a current Willard Library card or on-site to guests.
Authored by the city's ideal biographer, Berenice Bryant Lowe, in 1976, Tales of Battle Creek "...provides a loving, spirited, and always accurate chronicle of the who-what-when-where-why of Battle Creek's past" with more than 16 pages of photographs of early Battle Creek. Brought to you through a collaboration with Heritage Battle Creek.
The Historical Images of Battle Creek collection includes more than 17,000 photographs and is comprised of five collections:
Links to books about Battle Creek and Calhoun County history, including W.K. Kellogg, Kellogg Co., Sojourner Truth, Underground Railroad, and C.W. Post.
A collection of local interviews conducted by news host Dave Eddy at Access Vision.
Discover the wills and probate records of your family members and ancestors to learn what they left behind. The Calhoun County Probate Index (1835 - 1915) will provide the the probate file number to locate the probate records for an individual.