Molly is determined to rise from her poverty by marrying a rich man. She meets Johnny Brown, who strikes gold, but their new wealth and elevated social status don’t guarantee happiness. With an unstable marriage, Molly travels to Europe, alone, and returns alone on the Titanic; Debbie Reynolds, Harve Presnell, and Ed Begley star.

August 2019 Book Recommendations

Lynn Caine’s WIDOW; how to manage the sudden loss of a spouse, and raise two young children alone.

Barbara Eden’s JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE; from club singer, chorus girl and contract actress at 20th Century Fox, to television success, Las Vegas, and family tragedies. A memoir by the star of I Dream of Jeannie.

Anthony Lewis’s GIDEON’S TRUMPET; a prisoner who believes he was wrongly convicted, petitions the U.S. Supreme Court for his release.

Maya Angelou’s HALLELUJAH! THE WELCOME TABLE: A LIFE OF MEMORIES WITH RECIPES; delectable calorie-ridden dishes reminiscent of happy times.




August 2019 Book Recommendations

Summer 2019 Reading List




Jacqueline Susann’s VALLEY OF THE DOLLS

Herman Wouk’s THE WINDS OF WAR



Jacqueline Winspear’s MAISIE DOBBS

Summer 2019 Reading List

Mark Vonnegut’s EDEN EXPRESS

Sara Davidson’s LOOSE CHANGE


Summer 2019 Reading List





Peter Benchley’s JAWS
Summer 2019 Reading List
Anne Tyler’s CLOCK DANCE

Barbara Scheiber’s  WE’LL GO TO CONEY ISLAND


Bob Woodward’s FEAR

Summer 2019 Reading List






Summer 2019 Reading List

July 2019 Book Recommendations


Casey Cep’s FURIOUS HOURS: MURDER, FRAUD, AND THE LAST TRIAL OF HARPER LEE; the author of To Kill A Mockingbird travels to Alabama and covers a murder.

Larry Hagman’s and Todd Gold’s HELLO, DARLIN’: TALL (AND ABSOLUTELY TRUE) TALES ABOUT MY LIFE; a memoir by the actor who played Astronaut Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie, and J.R. in Dallas.

Gilda Radner’s IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING; a memoir by the star of Saturday Night Live, who died from ovarian cancer.

Nancy Friday’s MEN IN LOVE; the author of Forbidden Flowers and My Mother/Myself reveals the sexual fantasies–and anxieties–of boys and men.

Joe Namath’s ALL THE WAY: MY LIFE IN FOUR QUARTERS; the former NFL quarterback and actor recounts his journey from a small town to the big time.







July 2019 Book Recommendations

Sunset on the Choptank: Honoring our Heritage Heroes

Leslie Prince Raimond

On June 15, 2019, the certified heritage area for Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties, Stories of the Chesapeake will announce its 2019 Heritage Hero Awards at its 6th Annual Heritage Heroes Celebration – Sunset on the Choptank. Heritage Heroes are those individuals, organizations, or projects that advance the heritage area’s goals to preserve, promote, and interpret the natural, cultural, historic, and archaeological resources that define this special place.

The 2019 Heritage Heroes are the Frederick Douglass 200th Anniversary Committee, Phil and Vicki Liske of Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farms, Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin, and Leslie Prince Raimond. The Frederick Douglass 200th Anniversary Committee convened over 35 community organizations and churches to plan for a yearlong schedule of events to celebrate and honor the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass and to highlight for our community and especially young people, his legacy, values and inspirational messages that is still resilient today..

Ten years ago, Phil was one of the first farmers who agreed to be a part of Tourism’s group tours and a heritage area travel site. Phil and Vicki were instrumental in building Caroline County Agritourism and hold a large event every fall that is free to the public. This event has grown steadily and is now one of the main attractions for visitors to Caroline County.

Long-time director of the Kent County Arts Council has been instrumental in incorporating heritage into the arts. Under her leadership, the Arts Council stepped in to help save Sumner Hall, on the 2 remains Grand Army Republic Halls in the United States. She and her late husband Vince saved and restored several historic houses. Ms. Raimond has been an integral part of almost every arts project in Kent County for the past 30 years. She has instilled a love of the arts and heritage in countless children and adults alike.

Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin is currently the Queen Anne’s County historian and founder of the Mary Edwardine Bourke Emory Foundation that is u taking the restoration of Bloomfield as the home of the Maryland Women’s Museum. Mary Margaret has been instrumental in numerous historic interpretation and presentations on Queen Anne’s County history including the War of 1812, the Centreville Walking Tour, and Queen Ann’s History Day.

We are honored and excited to present this year’s keynote speaker, journalist, and radio documentarian Michael Buckley. For the past 20 years, Buckley has hosted a weekly radio program that airs Sunday mornings on 103.1 WRNR-FM Annapolis ( His show includes an eclectic mix of music and a widely acclaimed oral history interview series, “Voices of the Chesapeake Bay”. For this series, Buckley has crisscrossed the six-state, 64,000 sq. mile Chesapeake Bay watershed, interviewing over 500 of its residents: farmers, Native Americans, watermen, writers, politicians, and many others.

In addition to sampling local foods and libations, guests can participate in a silent auction to raise money for Heritage Area grants, workshops, and marketing.

Contact: Gail Owings
Executive Director
Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area
(410) 778-1460

OPINION: Teaching history is essential if our kids are to become productive, responsible citizens

America’s history deficit is a growing concern among educators. The scholastic focus for our kids — has in the past two decades — shifted from an inclusive, well rounded curriculum, to a science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] emphasis; allegedly, some educators say, these subjects will earn students a better living — faster — when they enter the workforce.

In itself a STEM education is a good thing because the principal purpose of schooling is to give kids the tools they need to succeed as adults. But the strategy works only if the educational arc is well-rounded, and includes the study of history and civics.

Catherine Brown and Sarah Shapiro of the Center for American Progress [CAP] published a report for the American Federation of Teachers last year on The State of Civics Education. It showed that a lack of historical knowledge is widespread throughout the nation, and “Without an understanding of the structure of government, our rights and responsibilities, and the different methods of public engagement, civic literacy and voter apathy will continue to plague American democracy.”

Unfortunately, the results were not surprising. In fact, we created the Grateful American Book Prize in 2015 because of a similar concern. We hoped it would create an early ripple of enthusiastic interest among middle-schoolers; study after study had already revealed that America’s adolescents were dismally deficient about the country’s past.

The late Dr. Bruce Cole, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and my co-founder of the Prize, encouraged the effort. He was concerned that without knowing the who, how and why of American history, the young would find it difficult to grow into productive and responsible citizens. Our concern was based on the fact that fewer than a quarter of eighth grade students were proficient in history–then. The numbers are still hovering at that level, underscoring the need for action.

The CAP report cited a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which found that only 26 percent of Americans could name all three branches of government. And, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Center, noted that “Those unfamiliar with our three branches of government can’t understand the importance of checks and balances and an independent judiciary. Lack of basic civics knowledge is worrisome and an argument for an increased focus on civics education in the schools.”

It was hoped that the Grateful American Book Prize would motivate publishers and their authors to produce more engaging books of historically accurate fiction and non-fiction. And—in that—we have succeeded. After all, students who are bored by textbooks are more likely to learn about the country’s past when they read exciting books about the heroic events and people who founded the nation, and made the U.S. a global power.

Teri Kanefield was awarded a 2018 Grateful American Book Prize Honorable Mention for her biography of Andrew Jackson. She put it this way: “A prize like this one helps teachers and parents identify the books that experts have determined are most likely to engage young readers and make them want to read more.”

About the Grateful American Book Prize

The panel of judges for the 2019 Grateful American Book Prize is now accepting submissions for books published between July 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. Historically accurate books of fiction and nonfiction written for middle schoolers are eligible. Entries for the Prize will be accepted until July 31.