“Persepolis” is a graphic novel about a girl coming of age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The author introduces the book as her firsthand account of living in Iran, saying that she wrote it because she doesn’t want people to forget what happened, nor judge all of Iran on the bad things that happened there.
The book is a heartbreaking combination of humor and horrible, an unspeakable reality of the events that transpired in Iran. I learned a lot about the progression of events that led this somewhat progressive, educated society into a repressive theocracy. Seeing it through the eyes of a young girl helped me to understand not only the historical aspects, but also made it personal.
Three words that describe this book: Historical, heartbreaking, humorous
You might want to pick this book up if: You want to try out a graphic novel! This is a great one.
Sometimes you read a book that’s so good you want to recommend it every month, or at least quarterly. (But then you reflect on the swarms of rabid library blog readers and their hunger for fresh recommendations and the quiet disappointment they would feel should the same recommendation with slightly different wording and a varying quantity of references to the recommender’s fondness for snacks and monocles be what greets them as they enthusiastically “ask Jeeves” to retrieve the latest recommendation from “that book recommending gentleman,” and the recommender realizes, variety, even when what varies pales in comparison, can be useful, particularly in diets and reading material, and so you do the noble thing, and recommend a different author, at least until the author of that astounding novel you want to constantly recommend writes another book deserving of the recommender’s unhinged enthusiasm.) “A Naked Singularity” the first novel by Sergio de la Pava is such a book. Fortunately, his third novel, “Lost Empress,” is similarly magnificent, and so now I can recommend it and him again.
Devoted DBRL blog readers will no doubt remember de la Pava’s bio, and thus how massively deserving he is of his talents and success, but I will deliver a brief version: he is a public defender in New York, and he writes big, brilliant novels when he’s not publicly defending people for a slim fraction of what he could make if he was privately defending corporations. Given that he is a public defender, it’s logical that the justice system plays a large role in his fiction, and it’s even more logical that he would enumerate on the horrifying injustice that dominates our justice system. What might not seem logical is how his enumerations on injustice could be simultaneously compelling, hilarious and heartbreaking. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Sergio de la Pava (again)”
Summer reading is coming to a close here at the library and back to school season is just around the corner. I find myself thinking back to my high school days and how this is the exact time where I’d be playing last-minute catch-up on those pesky books assigned for the new school year. Those books assigned back in May? Yeah, those will get read eventually — I’ve got fun reading to do first! This August, I find myself in the same predicament. I’ve already completed most of my most enjoyable or “easy” tasks for the Read Harder Challenge, and I’m beginning to tackle some of the more difficult ones. For obvious reasons, I’d been dreading task 24: An assigned book you hated or never finished. Rereading loathed literature feels like punishment, but at best, the task may help you gain a new appreciation for the book. So in the spirit of the season, here are some books people are commonly assigned in school, and may have hated or left unfinished. Note: This task is super subjective and not intended to offend anyone’s personal tastes!
Continue reading “Assigned Books You Hated (or Never Finished): Read Harder 2018”
Many different cultural and historical threads intersect in David Grann’s outstanding work of investigative history, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The rich combination of subjects, page-turning story and quality writing makes this book an excellent choice this year for One Read, Daniel Boone Regional Library’s community-wide reading program.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is about a little-known chapter in American history when members of the Osage Nation ranked among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The discovery of oil beneath the Oklahoma land where they had been relocated led to immense wealth. But, by the 1920s, the tribe had suffered a series of mysterious deaths and outright murders that attracted the attention of a nascent FBI. Grann traces the course of the investigation and uncovers further information about this dark episode in American history. If you have already read and enjoyed Grann’s book, the following titles might interest you as well. Continue reading “Literary Links: Killers of the Flower Moon”
“Children of Blood and Bone” is a stunning YA debut from Tomi Adayemi. The book takes readers into an alt-West Africa, where magic users have been repressed into near-extinction by a brutal monarch. Zélie Adebola might be her peoples’ last hope, but she’ll need the help of a princess-gone-rogue. Too bad the princess’s rogue brother is out for her blood.
This book flies by in a flurry of quick pacing and excellent world development. Despite being a fairly standard hero’s journey, complete with magical MacGuffins, the unique setting and well-developed characters keep it fresh. But be warned: this book is brutal. People die. Children die. There’s more than one torture scene. Every time our heroes take a breath, a new tragedy comes crashing down. And it ends on a cliffhanger — please come soon, book two!
Three words that describe this book: Brutal, diverse, gripping
You might want to pick this book up if: You’ve got a strong stomach and you want to support Black voices in YA.
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews
Steven Spielberg has built an unrivaled catalog of groundbreaking films over the course of nearly 50 years. In the exclusive HBO documentary, Spielberg steps out from behind the camera to open up about his directorial influences and motivations, while sharing little-known stories behind some of his most iconic films. Acclaimed producer/director Susan Lacy charts the evolution of this iconic filmmaker in this film. Continue reading “New DVD List: Spielberg & More”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released this August. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
“Fly Girls” by Keith O’Brien traces the story of five women, including Amelia Earhart, who successfully fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s.
Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: August 2018”
“Twain’s End” will change its reader’s concept of Samuel Clemens. From his privileged upbringing to his pampered later life, he was not the Mark Twain from rural Missouri he tried to present. His interactions with women throughout his life are the heart of this story, from his relationship with his slave nanny to his complicated love of his secretary/companion Isabel. His treatment of Isabel during their seven year relationship is infuriating at times, yet fascinating. The author had access to the diaries of Isabel and thoroughly describes the limited options of an educated but poor woman at the turn of the 20th century. There is even a side plot regarding Helen Keller and her teacher, which was also disturbing.
Three words that describe this book: Mind-changing, disturbing, well-researched
You might want to pick this book up if: you have been a Mark Twain fan and enjoy historical fiction.
The heat gives us the perfect excuse to sit inside and read, and with these new titles, I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. August brings us sci-fi, crime fiction, magic and love, among other things. Check out this month’s LibraryReads: the top 10 books librarians across the country recommend.
by Christina Dalcher
“In the future world depicted in ‘Vox,’ women are limited to speaking 100 words per day. Readers will want to shout every word in their heads, hoard every book in their libraries and second guess the words of every person in their lives. A captivating, timely book that explores women’s rights in a fast-paced, compelling story.”
~Jennifer Gaenzle, Fort Fairfield Public Library, Fort Fairfield, ME Continue reading “August 2018 LibraryReads”
Here are some new titles by debut authors to help you get through this heat wave. Best read with a cold glass of lemonade in hand. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.
“City of Lies” by Sam Hawke
Jovan’s uncle is the poison master — responsible for detecting poisons and developing antidotes — for the Chancellor of Silasta. Jovan grew up being slowly poisoned as he trains to fill the same role as his uncle for the Chancellor’s heir, Tain. But Jovan is forced to step into his uncle’s shoes far too soon when an unidentified poison kills both his uncle and the Chancellor. Jovan must now keep Tain alive amid political intrigue, rebellion and betrayal.
“Fruit of the Drunken Tree” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Bogotá, Colombia during the reign of drug lord Pablo Escobar is a violent, dangerous place, but young Chula and her older sister Cassandra live sheltered lives in their gated community. Then their mother hires a live-in maid from the slums — 13-year-old Petrona — and their two worlds collide, exposing Chula and Cassandra to the conflict and danger outside their gates.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: July 2018”