This past year was another very productive one for me reading-wise. More carpool lanes, more waiting through music lessons and the insomnia that comes with menopause meant more time to read. I ended up reading 145 books for the year. Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it.
I mainly read nonfiction, but I did manage to include a bit more fiction this year. “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman is one that will stay with me. The tender and often hilarious depiction of community in this book had me hooked. Backman has become a new favorite author. I also really loved “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner. It’s an older classic but still enthralling. “Hope was always out ahead of fact, possibility obscured the outlines of reality.” Continue reading “Reading Reflections on 2016”
I like a good nail-biting thriller, one that keeps me sitting bolt upright as I read. Sometimes. Other times, life itself is challenging enough, and I don’t need added stress from my fiction. On those occasions, I prefer a kinder, gentler novel, one in which the main character is never threatened by assassins.
Following are a few gentle reads I’ve enjoyed over the past couple of years. These books contain minimal violence, minimal raunch and no serial killers.
“Love in Lowercase” by Fransec Miralles
This is a story of quiet revelations and subtle, but life-changing events. Samuel is a professor of linguistics who has little human contact outside of his classroom lectures. One day a mischievous cat appears and leads him to places he’s never been. The upstairs neighbor’s apartment, for instance. And the vet. Samuel meets new people, he encounters a long-lost childhood crush, his life expands. He accomplishes the monumental human task of overcoming loneliness. Continue reading “Gentle Reads for Adults”
Winter can be a trying time for many of us, especially if we aren’t lucky enough to be able to hop on an airplane and head to sunny, southern climes for a respite warm and bright.
If you are “Missouri-bound” for the winter, then you might as well take advantage of the season. It can be a mood-lifter to spend time outdoors, even if the weather doesn’t seem conducive to it. In Norway, where it can be quite cold and snowy during the winter season, they have a saying which goes something like this: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Continue reading “Embracing Winter”
Book I Read: “Jade Dragon Mountain” by Elsa Hart
Why I Checked It Out: I’m always up for a good mystery, and I occasionally dabble in historical fiction, so this seemed like a good choice. It also didn’t hurt that the main character, Li Du, is a librarian. Continue reading “Staff Book Review: Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart”
The first close-up images of Mars made it back to earth only days after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. NASA’s Mariner 4 spacecraft did a flyby in July, 1965 and sent vacation photos. Since then, the red planet has become home to a population of roving robots. Anyone with an internet connection can view video from the planet’s surface, and multiple projects are underway with the goal of sending human colonists to join their mechanical forebears. How did we get this far?
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews / Trailer
This film played at the True/False Film Fest in 2016, and it tells the remarkable story of how a boy found a pathway to language and a framework for making sense of the world through Disney animated films. By evocatively interweaving classic Disney sequences with vérité scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with Disney characters create a context for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality. Continue reading “New DVD List: Life Animated, Citizenfour & More”
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.
“The Silent Sister” follows Riley, a girl in her early 20s, who just lost her father. She is left to deal with his estate with little help from her mentally ill and disabled veteran brother. While doing so, she uncovers a lot of family secrets and discovers things about herself she had never known before. I liked this book because it kept me entertained. I had figured out some of the ending early on, but there was still a twist within that ending, and I liked that. The characters were well-developed and each held a piece to the puzzle. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Silent Sister”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in January. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
“The Lost City of the Monkey God” by Douglas Preston
Bestselling author Douglas Preston joins a team of scientists on an exciting and treacherous journey to the rain forests of Honduras in search of the ruins of a mysterious, ancient metropolis. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: January 2017”
Hopefully during these busy last days of the year, you’ll be able to take a few moments for yourself. I can’t think of a better way to spend that time than with a good mystery and a cozy blanket, with cup of hot cocoa in hand. Here are a few cozy mysteries I highly recommend:
Agatha Christie is the first author who comes to mind when I think “cozy mystery.” Time after time, she flawlessly pulls together a masterful whodunit that you simply cannot put down. If you’ve never tried her books, “And Then There Were None” is a great introduction to the Queen of Mysteries. This stand-alone mystery is a gripping read that finds 10 strangers on an island off the coast of Britain in 1939. When they start dying off, the hunt is on to find which one of them is actually the murderer. Continue reading “Mysteries to Keep You Cozy”