This summer, as part of our Universe of Stories summer reading theme, we also began a Universe of Storytellers book club and speaker series.
This series began with Jim Slade, a journalist with over four decades of experience reporting on the space race and space exploration.
We continued in July with a presentation from author/illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky on her book, “50 Women in Science,” and a discussion on some of the most important women to move science forward in our nation – including women like Katherine Johnson, who helped calculate the necessary trajectories on the Apollo 11 mission and many others in NASA’s history.
This week, I am very excited to welcome author Robert Kurson to the Delaware Main Library, 84 E. Winter St., at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22. Kurson is the author of four New York Times bestselling novels, including his 2004 debut “Shadow Divers,” the true story of two Americans who discovered a World War II German U-boat sunk 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey.
Kurson’s visit this summer will be based upon his 2018 release, “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon.”
Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, “Rocket Men” is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours.
In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time — and to arrive at a new world.
Kurson’s presentation at the Main Library will be followed by a brief period of Q&A and a book signing. Books will be made available for purchase on site or in advance from Beanbag Books. Refreshments will also be provided by Fresh Start Café & Bakery.
This free presentation is sponsored by the Delaware County District Library, in conjunction with our community partners and the Friends of the Library. Advanced registrations are requested to accommodate seating and refreshments, but are not required. Please RSVP your free ticket at robertkurson.eventbrite.com.
If you’re interested in other books that celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary of the moon landing during the Apollo 11 mission, check these out from your local library.
• “American Moonshot” by Douglas Brinkley. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.
• “Shoot for the Moon” by James Donovan. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, a moment forever ingrained in history. The Apollo 11 mission, and the entire Apollo program, was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to putting a man on the Moon and winning the Space Race against the Soviets. Seen through the eyes of the those who lived it, this book reveals the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that made it possible.
• “Chasing the Moon” by Robert Stone. A companion to PBS’s American Experience film draws on eyewitness accounts and newly discovered archival material to chronicle the stories of the visionaries who helped America win the space race with the first lunar landing.
• “One Giant Leap” by Charles Fishman. Shares the story of the remarkable NASA scientists and engineers who created America’s space program and fulfilled President Kennedy’s mandate to put a man on the Moon before 1970.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!