“The Starter Wife” is about Gracie, a woman in a situation where she really doesn’t belong, fit in, or want to be. She tries with somewhat sincere effort to be a part of the Hollywood “Wife of” scene, and we readers get a peek with clarity, caring and pretty consistent humor! After a shocking text message, her life begins a journey to…she doesn’t know where! I liked Gracie and the narrative, which shared an interesting time in her life. This book is well written and moves with ease from page to page, and I really liked getting a look at the challenges and strife of a Hollywood wife’s life — it looks pretty, but it’s not. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Starter Wife”
Families can go into crisis mode when faced with stressful situations. How will family members deal with the situation and how will it transform their relationships with each other? Check out these docs that focus on families in a state of crisis.
Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. Faced with the haunting remnants of his past, including a family legacy of mental illness, abuse and neglect, Jonathan Caouette returns home to aid in his schizophrenic mother’s recovery. Continue reading “Blood Relations: Docs Featuring Families In Crisis”
I really enjoy Augusten Burroughs, and I like hearing him read his own books. He manages a compelling mix of vulnerability and strength. Even when he screws up his life or makes choices he regrets later, he is able to examine the inner monologue and present it for the world to view.
“Lust & Wonder” seems a good reflection on what I’d call regular adulting. He had a grown-up and mature relationship that wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t good, and he describes it in some detail. His reflections should have a universal tune to them for anyone reflecting on one’s own relationships. He describes his wild love for his dogs and the sadness of dividing custody as a relationship fails. He focuses on how his past continues to affect his present and highlights the moments when he tries to sort out whether feelings he’s having are appropriate to the situation or are really about a response to something that happened in his past. While I don’t have anything like the serious abuse and deep level addiction issues that Burroughs has, the analysis of whether a response is right for a situation applies even to someone without as much history. Continue reading “Reader Review: Lust & Wonder”
While I’ll recommend the work of a rascal if that rascal’s work is great enough, there are enough brilliant and kind writers out there that I’ve rarely had to resort to that. How do I know if they’re kind? The same way you find out if anyone is kind – you google them, show a picture of them to your neighbor’s hounds, and then carefully observe the hounds’ reactions. With this month’s recommendation, I needn’t confirm the internet’s verdict with a hound test. Arthur Bradford’s gentlemanly nature shows in the big-hearted way he renders his characters and because the good sir is dedicated to helping people. In addition to some film work and two incredible collections of short stories, he’s worked at the Texas School for the Blind, been a co-director for Camp Jabberwocky (a camp for people with disabilities), and he’s currently working in a juvenile detention center. He’s not your typical literary superstar who spends all his time eating figs, drinking brandy and bidding for antique typewriters on eBay. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Arthur Bradford”
Congratulations to Teresa, a Columbia Public Library patron, for winning our second Adult Summer Reading prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning. There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.
It’s hot and humid, and the LibraryReads recommendations list for July is dripping with twisty, suspenseful and sometimes genre-blending thrillers! Kidnapping, murder on a cruise ship, a mysterious death in an Amish community and a reality show gone seriously awry – there are so many good stories to stow in your beach bag. Here are the top 10 titles publishing next month that librarians across the country love.
“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch
“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” – Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY Continue reading “Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The July 2016 List”
More a “Jane Eyre” tribute than an adaptation, “Jane Steele” tells the story of a Victorian woman, Jane Steele, who is inspired by her own reading of “Jane Eyre” to write a memoir. Like Eyre, Steele is orphaned at a young age, sent by a cruel aunt to a bleak boarding school led by a tyrant, and then becomes governess to the impish ward of a brooding and mysterious man. Jane Steele, however, handles things in a much different way than her literary counterpoint, accumulating a body count along the way. Continue reading “Reader Review: Jane Steele”
Isn’t this what we all want: the chance to participate in activities that enrich our lives? In the past, a physical or cognitive disability often meant spectator-only status when it came to sports, but that’s become less true with each passing decade. Check out Special Olympics champion gymnast, Chelsea Werner. Color me impressed; I never even learned to do a proper cartwheel. Continue reading “Everyone Deserves the Opportunity to Play”
I find that the first step in a new challenge for me is often to understand how someone else did it. When I wanted to start running (on purpose!), I didn’t consult a training plan. Instead, I read Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” for inspiration. Similarly, when I wanted to cook at home more often, I didn’t check out a cookbook. I read “A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table” by Molly Wizenberg. Sometimes the inspiration works the other way – I read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver because it was a One Read finalist in 2008. It motivated me to eat locally-produced, healthful food more often. Continue reading “Memoirs for Life’s Challenges and Changes”
You like to read. You like to win free stuff. With Summer Reading, you can do both! Enjoy a summer of getting active, games, learning something new and challenges of all sorts, June 1 through August 13. Registration is open, and participating is easy. Here’s how: Continue reading “Adult Summer Reading”