Speaking Volumes: Relive the '90s at the library

Special to the HeraldAugust 18, 2013 

What do a cloned sheep, Bill Clinton, Harry Potter, the Internet and Desert Storm have in common? They were all big newsmakers in the 1990s. The Manatee County library system has many resources for those interested in the people and events of the 1990s.

"The 1990s" by Stuart A. Kallen is a great choice for all ages, spanning topics from politics and the Gulf War, to pop culture, cloning, and the growing popularity of the Internet. In 1997, 18 percent of households had a computer with Internet access compared to 71 percent in 2010.

The library has a large collection of biographies of the key figures of the era. There are more than 60 books about former president Bill Clinton in the library system, including Clinton's autobiography "My Life" published in 2004. We also have biographies of Colin Powell, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Janet Reno.

In 1997, the world was shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her televised funeral was viewed by an estimated 2.5 billion people. The library has dozens of biographies about Princess Diana for both children and adults. Two popular choices are Andrew Morton's "Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words" published in 1997, and "Diana: In Pursuit of Love" published in 2004. The latter title focuses on the last five years of her life.

For an overview of the '90s music scene with stunning photos by some of the world's best photographers, check out Rolling Stone's "The '90s: The Inside Stories from the Decade that Rocked." The book features more than 50 musical acts from various genres like grunge, hip-hop, pop and metal. It also lists the 100 greatest albums of the '90s, with Nirvana's "Nevermind" at the top of the list. The CD was released in September 1991, and is available for checkout at the library. In addition, we have Kurt Cobain's "Journals," a collection of his lyrics, drawings and journal entries.

The top grossing films of the 1990s were "Titanic," "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" and "Jurassic Park." We have these and many other of the decade's blockbusters available for checkout.

You can't talk about books from the 1990s without mentioning the explosive popularity of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The first three titles were published in the 1990s and held the top three slots on numerous best-seller lists for months. Other list toppers for the decade were John Grisham, Michael Crichton and Robert James Waller, whose "Bridges of Madison County" sold 50 million copies.

The History Channel's "The Decades Collection, 1990-1999," a two DVD set, can also be found at the library.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Access the library online at www.mymanatee.org/library.html.

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