Kathleen Murray, one of the longest serving members on the Dearborn Library Foundation, is always ready to pitch in to get tasks done. She is also an avid reader of non-fiction.
If you enjoy reading for relaxation, Kathleen recommends two easy-to- read, interesting memoirs: WHERE THE LIGHT ENTERS: BUILDING A FAMILY, DISCOVERING MYSELF by Dr. Jill Biden and THE ANSWER IS…REFLECTIONS ON MY LIFE by Alex Trebek, recently deceased host of television’s iconic quiz show, “Jeopardy.” It makes perfect sense that Kathleen would be drawn to these two memoirs. She shares teaching at a two-year college just as Jill Biden has. As a nursing instructor, her wanting to examine life as told from the perspective of a seriously ill patient makes sense as well. She admires Alex Trebek’s willingness to share his challenges as a famous patient facing a late-stage cancer diagnosis and sees his book as extraordinary.
CODE GIRLS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE AMERICAN WOMEN CODE BREAKERS OF WORLD WAR II by Liza Mundy provides a fascinating glimpse into what might have remained an untold story in the history of America’s greatest unstinting sacrifice. Kathleen Murray, a veteran of the US Air Force Nurse Corps, is enthusiastic as she says about this book: “Recruited…from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history….” Kathleen lauds the book, declaring it: “a riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.”
Another book, Kathleen read recently is: LEADERSHIP: IN TURBULENT TIMES by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Kathleen describes it as, “a culmination of Goodwin’s presidential histories of Lincoln, both Roosevelts and Lyndon Johnson. This volume compares and
contrasts their leadership qualities and how and why they were recognized as leaders by others.”
A third memoir, NOTORIOUS RBG: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG, gave Kathleen “insight into the workings of the Supreme Court by one of the first female justices and also into her life.” Amazingly, as a woman of advanced years, Ginsburg became a pop-culture phenomenon as she went round-after-round with pancreatic cancer and inspired fans with her cheerfully defiant and incisive wit.
There is a consistent theme of historical leadership juxtaposed against medical needs running through Kathleen Murray’s recent reads. Her list concludes with a the subject which has made all of us unwilling participants in the world’s current historic pandemic. The book Kathleen has just started reading is THE GREAT INFLUENZA: THE STORY OF THE DEADLIEST PANDEMIC IN HISTORY by John M. Barry. This book recounts the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 and explores it uncanny similarities with COVID-19.
Clearly, Kathleen Murray has an insatiable curiosity about leadership, history, and public health issues; and her spirited inquisitiveness makes her an ideal member of the Dearborn Library Foundation.
Board of Directors
President - Jennifer Dickey
Vice President - Zacki Khaled
Secretary - Kimberly Roberts
Treasurer - Brian Church
President Emeritus - Steven Roberts