From picking a pair of shoes to wear to the office to buying a house, we are constantly faced with the challenge of making decisions. It’s an everyday process that can be surprisingly difficult and may cause feelings ranging from mild irritation to painstaking agony. Humans are also not particularly skilled at making choices; we frequently employ flawed logic that we’re incapable of recognizing. Ironically, we don’t often examine the thought processes that result in our choices. Luckily, there is an abundance of recently published books that do the hard work for us! There are so many titles out now that it was, as you might expect, a challenge to decide which to present here.
In the current era, we have so much information at our disposal. With just a few clicks or taps on a screen, we can usually find answers to any inquiry. Yet our internet searches often yield so many results that they’re difficult to parse. In “A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age,” Daniel J. Levitin examines the tactics most media outlets use to simplify scientific and statistical findings to readers, and how our interpretations of this information are often flawed. The book gives readers a guide to distinguishing reliable information from distortions, lies and misinformation. Continue reading “Literary Links: Critical Thinking and Decision-Making”
“The Hate U Give” is about Starr, a sixteen year old that has to balance two lives: living in her poor black neighborhood, and going to her primarily white suburban high school. She struggles with figuring out how she can be herself at both when something happens: her childhood best friend Khalil is shot by a police officer, and Starr is with him. Being the only witness who knows what really happens, Starr has to decide if she wants to stay quiet and protect herself, or if she should announce the truth. This book opened my eyes to racial discrimination that is happening in today’s society and really challenged me to see events from a perspective I normally wouldn’t.
Three words that describe this book: Empowering, Eye-opening, and Heartbreaking
You might want to pick this book up if: You loved “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Website / Reviews
Playing earlier this year at the True/False Film Fest, this film takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers. A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination. Continue reading “New DVD List: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? & More”
Do you still have some unchecked boxes on the 2018 Read Harder Challenge? So do I. If you, like I, feel a deep obligation to fulfill all commitments no matter how minor, you’re probably experiencing a bit of stress at the moment. Never fear. I’m here to help, assuming the help you need consists of some written words about colonial or postcolonial literature.
First published in 1958, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe is widely considered a classic of world literature and appears on the Great American Read list of America’s 100 most-loved books. The first book of a trilogy, it tells the story of a Nigerian man, Okonkwo, tracing his rise to power and subsequent fall during a time of increasing British colonization. Though I know this is not a consideration at all (wink, wink) as we draw nearer the deadline, it’s only 209 pages. Continue reading “Colonial or Post-colonial Literature: Read Harder 2018”
Fall is finally here and, more importantly, fall weather! It’s time to welcome the cooler temps by curling up with a hot beverage, a furry pet and a good book. If you’re looking for something to keep you warm, try one of these cozy novels by debut authors. And if cozy isn’t your style, check out our list of all the debut author titles new this month.
“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa
After several years together, Satoru has determined he needs to find a new home for his adopted stray cat Nana, although Nana is unsure why. The two friends head off on a road trip across Japan, meeting up with friends from Satoru’s past. However, finding an owner who is just the right fit for Nana proves to be an adventure for the two friends. Told through Nana’s sassy point of view as well as flashbacks to Satoru’s past, this charming book is already a bestseller in Japan.
“A Crafter Knits a Clue” by Holly Quinn
Returning to her hometown for her best friend Kate’s funeral, Sammy Kane decides to stay and take over Kate’s craft store. Not long after, Sammy wanders down to the new yarn store opening nearby and finds its owner murdered. The weapon? A knitting needle. Eager to solve the murder, and help out the handsome detective Liam Nash, Sammy resurrects her childhood detective club — the other members being her cousin Heidi and sister Ellie. But even as Liam tries protect her by keeping her out of the investigation, Sammy and her club are well on their way to putting all the clues together and solving the murder.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: October 2018”
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2018 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.
In “The Kiss Quotient,” Stella is a brilliant econometrician who easily loses herself in statistics, mathematics and solving the puzzles of economic trends. Her specialized career rewards her extremely well financially, plus she is from a family of means. Owning her own minimally furnished home (save her grand piano which is her sanctuary), her Tesla and personally tailored suits for work, it would seem all was well in the life of Stella. However, when it comes to personal and social interaction and romantic encounters, well, Stella is a 0 on a scale of 1 – 10. She decides to take matters in her own hands and pursue a very unorthodox means of improving herself in that area. Learning about Stella and her challenges in life was extremely interesting. I would like to read a sequel to see how she deals with her future.
Three words that describe this book: autistic, devotion, understanding
You might want to pick this book up if: you like to read about how people with certain challenges perceive life — the author did a impressive job and letting us know what life was truly like for an extremely high functioning autistic person.
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released this October. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
In her new title, “The Library Book,” Susan Orlean, the acclaimed best-selling author of “Rin Tin Tin” and “The Orchid Thief,” reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution — our libraries.
Check out the new title from Bill O’Reilly’s popular Killing series, “Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History.” As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, others, however, evaded capture. “Killing the SS” is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled “Nazi hunters.” Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: October 2018”
We all have seasonal dishes that we relish and return to year after year as our favorite ingredients become available. There is nothing wrong with loving our preferences and repeating our efforts in the kitchen, especially since established traditions, particularly around food, bring us enjoyment and comfort, and lend some stability to our ever fluctuating lives. Yet, trying new recipes, or variations on tried and true renditions, can liven up our creative cooking sensibilitiesand invigorate our palates. I’ve whipped up this list of cookbooks, arranged by seasons of the year, for your perusal. Many of them contain exquisite photographs of the seasons’ best bounty to further engage your interest in preparing what lies within, whether for daily fare or for holiday gatherings. Take a look at their “autumn or fall” chapters to see what new recipes might interest you. I hope you discover some new favorites that you can add to your fall cooking repertoire. Bon appetit! Continue reading “Autumn Recipes Round-up”
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Documentaries on the subject can give perspective to not only those contemplating suicide, but friends, family, and caregivers as well. Check out these documentaries about suicide.
“The Departure” (2017)
A former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health. This film captures him at a crossroads, leading him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?
“Kate Plays Christine” (2016)
A gripping, nonfiction psychological thriller, Robert Greene’s film follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates Chubbuck’s story uncovering new clues and information, she becomes increasingly obsessed with her subject.
“How To Die In Oregon” (2012)
In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. This film gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether, and when, to end their lives by lethal overdose.
It’s Fall again! It’s my favorite time of the year. Autumn brings beautiful colors, cooler weather (sweater weather — soon?), and the kids back in school. It also brings Banned Books Week, September 23-29. The American Library Association (ALA) began Banned Books Week in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in challenges to books in schools, stores and libraries. This year’s Banned Book Week theme is “Banning Books Silences Stories.”
Many of my favorite books have been banned or challenged books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every book is created equal or that every book should be read and adored by all just because someone says it should (or shouldn’t). But whose stories are being silenced and who is doing the silencing? Just looking over a list of my own favorite banned books, many of the stories tend to be about the working poor, immigrants, minority groups, women, the unwell and the powerless. Continue reading “Banning Books Silences Stories”