by Lisa Cooke | Feb 24, 2016 | 01 What's New, Book Club, Irish
Looking for something good to read? The Genealogy Gems Book Club passes on four titles recommended by RootsTech attendees.
We met so many avid readers at the Genealogy Gems Book Club Open House at RootsTech 2016! Several of them recommended some of their favorite books they thought other genealogists would enjoy: books about family relationships, history, identity and similar themes. Here’s a short list I wanted to pass along to you:
The Story We Carry in Our Bones: Irish History for Americans by Julienne Osborne-McKnight. This was recommended by Holly, who works in a library and had seen it cross her desk before the conference. According to the book description, this history begins in deep history with the Celts and Vikings. It explains the events that led up to the great potato famines, and follows the Irish exodus to the U.S., where she then traces Irish-American life. Sounds like the perfect read for any Irish-Americans out there!
Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem, a memoir by Paula Williams Madison about the author’s journey into her family history, which resulted in a documentary by the same name. “Spanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, [this] is a universal story of one woman’s search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity.” The author was one of the keynote speakers at RootsTech. This was recommended by Alexis, who won our Genealogy Gems Book Club door prize (a free Genealogy Gems Premium website membership, so she can listen to the full author interviews!).
The Forgotten Garden, a novel by the international best-selling author Kate Morton. The premise of the story was apparently inspired by Kate’s own family history. It’s described as follows: “A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, ‘Nell’ sets out to trace her real identity.”
The Last Midwife: A Novel by Sandra Dallas, the story of the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town on the Rocky Mountain frontier. Gracy has delivered hundreds of babies, but then a baby is found dead and Gracy is accused as murderer. She’s kept lots of people’s dark secrets over the years–and a few of her–and as the trial looms, she has to decide which of those secrets to give up in order to clear her name.
Finally, here’s one last reminder to savor Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow by Tara Austen Weaver, the current featured book of the Genealogy Gems Book Club. In the next episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll hear a snippet of our interview with Tara Weaver. Next month, Genealogy Gems Premium website members will be able to hear the entire interview with Tara on the Premium podcast.
Are you a reader? Want some more great recommendations? Want to hear some fantastic interviews with the authors of books we’ve covered in the past? Click here to learn more about the Genealogy Gems Book Club.
by Lisa Cooke | Feb 18, 2016 | 01 What's New, Genealogy Gems Podcast, Libraries, Listeners & Readers
Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 188 has published. It’s packed with news, tips and inspiration that can help your family history research now. Check it out!
The newest episode of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast is now available. Host Lisa Louise Cooke shares her signature variety of news, inspiration, innovative strategies and tips you can use now. Highlights from the Genealogy Gems podcast episode 188 include:
- RootsTech news and resources for everyone;
- New records online for Ireland and the United States;
- Two inspiring emails from listeners who unravel family mysteries with determination, skill and Google sleuthing;
- A Genealogy Gems Book Club update with more thoughts on the featured title Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Growby Tara Austen Weaver and book recommendations from RootsTech attendees;
- A critique of a recent NPR article on genetic genealogy by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard; and
- A great conversation with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society Library at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Lisa Louise Cooke with Cindy Cochran and Sabrina Riley
My favorite part of this episode for me was Lisa’s conversation with Cindy and Sabrina. It was fun to meet two interesting women who help keep their corner of the genealogy research world running smoothly. I don’t even have Nebraska roots but I appreciated the inside “look” at their genealogy collection. It reminds me what gems–human and archival–may be tucked away on college campuses that love and welcome researchers.
New to the Genealogy Gems podcast? Welcome! Click on the link above to listen; subscribe and listen in iTunes or download the Genealogy Gems app (click here to learn more about these options).
Do you already listen to the free Genealogy Gems podcast? Will you please tell your friends and fellow “genies” about it? We especially appreciate your recommendations on your favorite social media sites–thanks for sharing this post!
by | Jan 20, 2016 | 01 What's New, Book Club, RootsTech
You’re invited to a special event at RootsTech 2016: the Genealogy Gems Book Club Open House!
Do you follow the Genealogy Gems Book Club? It’s a no-commitment, virtual way to experience our must-read list for family history lovers. We feature best-selling novels, riveting memoirs and more and give you time to read them, if you like. Then we bring you exclusive conversations with the authors about themes that resonate with us from the books: family relationships, search for identity, history and more.
If you’re coming to RootsTech 2016, please stop by an extra-special event we’re hosting: the Genealogy Gems Book Club Open House. It’s Thursday morning, February 4, from 10am-11am at the Genealogy Gems booth #1230 in the Exhibitor Hall.
Stop by and talk to us about books, family history and whatever’s on your mind!
During the Open House, stop by and chat with me and Lisa about books or family history or both! Pick up a free Genealogy Gems Book Club bookmark. Thumb through display copies of featured titles. And best yet–win a chance at a great Book Club prize just for suggesting a book title for the Genealogy Gems Book Club. It’s the perfect LIVE version of our book club: fun, chatty, low-key, with great takeaways for YOU.
Click here to learn more about the Genealogy Gems Book Club and explore past titles we’ve recommended.
Click here for the Genealogy Gems RootsTech 2016 schedule, including the Book Club Open House and our free series of Think Tank classes, and a map of how to find us in the Exhibit Hall.
by Lisa Cooke | Jan 14, 2016 | 01 What's New, Book Club
The first Genealogy Gems Book Club featured selection for 2016 has been announced. It’s a mouthwatering memoir of food and family. Check it out!
The newest Genealogy Gems Book Club selection was just announced in the Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 187! The new title is Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow by Tara Austin Weaver.
Tara is most famous as the author of Tea & Cookies, recognized as one of the top 50 food blogs in the world. Orchard House is her recently-published memoir. Tara’s recipe for Orchard House is one part food, one part gardening and two parts family drama, liberally seasoned with humor and introspection. The “book jacket” summary from the publishers describes it this way:
“Peeling paint, stained floors, vine-covered windows, a neglected and wild garden—Tara can’t get the Seattle real estate listing out of her head. Any sane person would see the abandoned property for what it was: a ramshackle half-acre filled with dead grass, blackberry vines, and trouble. But Tara sees potential and promise—not only for the edible bounty the garden could yield for her family, but for the personal renewal she and her mother might reap along the way.
So begins Orchard House, a story of rehabilitation and cultivation—of land and soul. Through bleak winters, springs that sputter with rain and cold, golden days of summer, and autumns full of apples, pears, and pumpkins, this evocative memoir recounts the Weavers’ trials and triumphs, what grew and what didn’t, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. Inexorably, as mother and daughter tend this wild patch and the fruits of their labor begin to flourish, green shoots of hope emerge from the darkness of their past.
For anyone who has ever planted something they wished would survive—or tried to mend something that seemed forever broken—Orchard House is a tale of healing and growth, set in the most unlikely place.”
A note of thanks from Lisa for purchasing the book, if you so choose, through the links provided. Each purchase helps support the free Genealogy Gems podcast.
BOOK CLUB EVENTS COMING SOON!
RootsTech Book Club Open House: Thurs, Feb 4, 10am-11am at the Genealogy Gems booth #1230 in the Exhibitor Hall. Stop by and chat about books or family history or both! Free bookmarks, display copies of featured titles a win chance to win a great Book Club prize just for suggesting a book.
FEBRUARY: Catch a sneak preview of Orchard House (and a couple more book suggestions to whet your literary appetite) in the Genealogy Gems podcast.
MARCH: We’ll play an excerpt from an exclusive interview with Tara Austen Weaver in the free Genealogy Gems podcast. Genealogy Gems Premium website members will be able to listen to the full interview in March’s Genealogy Gems Premium podcast.
Love the Genealogy Gems Book Club idea? Click here to check out all the titles we’ve recommended in the past.
by Lisa Cooke | Oct 7, 2015 | 01 What's New, Book Club, Disaster Prevention, DNA, Genealogy Gems Podcast, Humor, Photographs
The FREE Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 184 has been published and is ready for your listening pleasure!
In this episode of the free Genealogy Gems podcast, you’ll hear about lots of fabulous and FREE online resources–including a way to harness the power of Ancestry.com for free.
You’ll also hear advice from two listeners, one on saving your genealogy from theft and another with a tip on digital preservation for photos. I share a genealogist’s poem that made me laugh. Resident DNA expert Diahan Southard joins us to respond to a common lament: when DNA doesn’t seem to be panning out for you.
In this episode we also announce our next Genealogy Gems Book Club, the last featured title of 2015. It’s a meaty new novel by a New York Times best-selling author who has also penned an Oprah Book Club Pick. Come check it out (or click here to read more about it)! Listen in iTunes, through our app (for iPhone/iPad or Android users), on our website and TuneIn (now available for Amazon Echo users).
The Genealogy Gems podcast is proud to continue its tradition as a FREE, listener-friendly show for all levels of family history researchers (beginners and beyond!). Thanks for sharing this post with your friends and genie buddies. You’re a GEM!