The Gentleman Recommends: Tom Sweterlitsch

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 by Chris

It’s hot outside, which means people with sufficient funds who live in the vicinity of movie theaters are watching “blockbusters.” Those with the means to attend movies (but not to attend them in the private theater located conveniently on their grounds) are purchasing buckets of soda and cauldrons of popped corn and escaping into the air conditioning to immerse themselves in a fantasy world in which the most powerful people are good, strong, sane, and photogenic.

But suppose you lack the funds for cinema and/or also enjoy reading. What is one to do? I insist the library has the cure for what ails you: “blockbuster” books. You might be wondering how you’ll keep cool without the icy embrace of the local cinema. Your best course of action might be to read your blockbuster book in the comfort of your local library, but I understand some of you prefer to read at home with ready access to your domesticated animals, snacks, and the toilet that knows you best. There are many methods to achieve a comfortable temperature, though you’ll have to be pretty tiny to fit inside your fridge, and visiting your neighbors so that you can surreptitiously fill hundreds of garbage bags with their air conditioned air and then release your ill-gotten cool inside your own home doesn’t work as well as you might suppose. Perhaps place a dollop of cubed ice on a shaved portion of your scalp? As a gentleman of means, I’ll simply activate a machine built for the sole purpose of fanning me. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Tom Sweterlitsch”

Comics by LGBTQ+ Creators: Read Harder 2019

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 by Dana S

Image result for pride month

We’re now entering the dog days of summer, and what better time to take up a reading challenge? Our library is participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, which encourages you to read more broadly.  It’s never late to join us! June is also LGBT+ pride month, a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots and recognition of the impact of LGBT people on society. In honor of pride month, here are a few books that work for task 21: A comic by an LGBTQIA creator. Note, the creators here may not identify under the specific LGBTQIA acronym, but within an expanded LGBT+ acronym.

Nonfiction & Memoir:

Book Cover for "A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns"Queer theory and history is an endlessly complex topic even for the most academic-minded reader; where should one start? Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele’s “Queer: A Graphic History” does a good job at condensing some of the central arguments and tenets about sex, gender, and sexuality from thinkers like Judith Butler, Adrienne Rich, and many more.  Continue reading “Comics by LGBTQ+ Creators: Read Harder 2019”

Patron Review: Dear Martin

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2019 by patron reviewer

Dear Martin” is about a high school senior, Justyce McAllister, and the issues he faces with racism as a black student attending a predominately white college prep school. He is a smart student but still encounters unjust suspicion and prejudice from fellow white students and members of the community, especially the police. Justyce writes letters to Martin Luther King, Jr in his journal in an effort to sort through his thoughts and find answers. This book is timely and relevant to issues we currently face in America today. It is a believable story that could easily be made into a movie.

Three words that describe this book: relevant, timely, believable

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a teen or you enjoyed the book “The Hate U Give.”

-Anonymous

Happy Audiobook Appreciation Month!

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019 by Reading Addict

"His Master's Voice"
“His Master’s Voice, by Francis Barraud [Public domain]
OK, so “Audiobook Appreciation Month” doesn’t just roll off the tongue, but the sentiment is real. School’s out and it’s time for vacations. (Don’t make me come back there!) So it’s handy that June is also Audiobook Appreciation Month. You can make the miles fly by with a great audio book. Or you can make the time doing chores more interesting.

I have learned to love audio books, and I listen to them all the time now. I first started listening to them during long car trips with the kids, so naturally some of my very favorites are kid’s books. But don’t be afraid to grab a kid’s book for yourself. One of my favorites is The Bad Beginningby Lemony Snickett. It tells the story of three orphans who go to live with a greedy uncle who has designs on their fortune. There is incredible misfortune and a deep dark mystery to be solved but the children are strong, intelligent and brave. And with the audio book, how can you go wrong with Tim Curry as the narrator? And this is just the first book in a 13 book series. Continue reading “Happy Audiobook Appreciation Month!”

Debut Author Spotlight: June 2019

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2019 by Katherine

Summer reading is here and it’s not just for the kids! If you’re searching for books to fill those long summer days, look no further. These are just a few of the novels by debut authors finding a home on our shelves this month. Don’t forget to visit our catalog to see the rest.

Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: June 2019”

Patron Review: The Invention of Nature

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 by patron reviewer

"The Invention of Nature" Book CoverThe Invention of Nature” is about Alexander von Humboldt, one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. He influenced Darwin, George Perkins Marsh and John Muir, among many others. He developed the idea of the interconnectedness of all life on earth and with non-living geologic and meteorologic forces. He recognized early during Industrialization some of the future consequences we would be dealing with today. The book is well-written, thoroughly researched, and written in an easily readable style. Author Andrea Wulf brings Humboldt and his adventures to life.

Three words that describe this book: Currently applicable history.

You might want to pick this book up if: You’re interested in the origins of climate change and the change in attitudes toward science between the 19th century and early 21st.

-Anonymous

Read Harder 2019: A Translated Book Written and/or Translated by a Woman

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2019 by Ida

Task number 10 on the 2019 Read Harder Challenge is a translated book written and/or translated by a woman. Seeing this challenge listed brought back fond memories of the days I spent immersed in one of my favorite fiction series of the past decade.

My Brilliant FriendMy Brilliant Friend,” written by Elena Ferrante and translated by Ann Goldstein, starts off the “Neapolitan Quartet,” centering on the life-long friendship between two women, Elena and Lila. They meet as children in the 1950s and grow up together in a gritty, impoverished neighborhood in Naples, Italy. This first book follows the pair through childhood to the beginning of their adult years. Elena is the narrator, but Lila is the star. Lila is brilliant in school and full of spark out on the violent streets, fighting back against bullies while living large. Yet for all of Lila’s potential, her options are limited by family and economic circumstance.

Another good option for this challenge is Yoko Tawada’s novel, “The Emissary,” translatedThe Emissary by Margaret Mitsutani, and winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature. It’s a dystopian story set in a future Japan, which is cut off from the rest of the world due to an unnamed disaster. Whatever has happened, it has upended the natural order of human life. The very aged are becoming stronger and more vigorous, while children seem to be weak and old.

An Elderly Lady is Up to No GoodMeanwhile, arriving here recently from Sweden is a thin volume of dark humor with a fabulous cover and an aspirational title.  “An Elderly Lady Is up to No Good” contains five related short stories written by  Helene Tursten and translated by Marlaine Delargy. The protagonist, Maud, is an octogenarian who has built a solitary and satisfying life for herself. If only other people didn’t keep getting in the way, requiring her to deal with them in drastic fashion.  Recommended for fans of the classic movie “Arsenic and Old Lace.”  Also recommended that readers keep their aspirations a lot milder than emulating Maud’s solutions.

The Complete Persepolis” combines the first two volumes of Marjane Satrapi’s graphicThe Complete Persepolis memoir about her childhood and young adult years in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution.  Her family is large and full of warmth, but life during cultural upheaval and war is no picnic.  Mattias Ripa translated Part 1 from the original French, and Blake Ferris translated Part 2.

More titles can be found in the DBRL catalog and on Book Riot.

Shiawasena dokusho. Buona lettura. Glad läsning. Bonne lecture. Happy reading.

Literary Links: One Read Finalists 2019

Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2019 by Lauren

Nomadland book coverThis September, our community will hit the road with a group of resilient and resourceful “houseless” Americans traveling from one temporary job to another to make ends meet. “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” a work of immersive journalism by Jessica Bruder, beat out the novel “Sourdough” by Robin Sloan to be named this year’s One Read title.

Before the public vote, a panel of community members considered ten finalist books. This year’s titles sharply reflect current social consciousness and the political issues we are grappling with both locally and nationally.

Far Away Brothers book coverOne issue dominating news headlines is immigration. Lauren Markham’s “The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life” makes intimate and immediate the difficulties of undocumented minors in the Unites States by telling the story of twin brothers who left El Salvador to escape deadly gang violence. The novel “The House of Broken Angels” by Luis Alberto Urrea reflects the immigrant experience with a vibrant family drama. The extended family of patriarch Big Angel de la Cruz gathers in San Diego to mourn the passing of his mother and celebrate one last birthday before Big Angel succumbs to cancer. Sprawling and bittersweet, the story portrays the difficulties of living between cultures and explores a wide range of issues confronted by many American families, including PTSD, opioid addiction, mortality and the glorious mess love can leave in its wake. Continue reading “Literary Links: One Read Finalists 2019”

Nonfiction Roundup: June 2019

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 by Liz

A Man on the Moon Photo
Image credit: NASA

Special Edition: Apollo 11

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission coming up in July, I thought I’d highlight some books about Apollo 11 released this month. Visit our catalog for a list of additional titles being released this month.

One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon” by Charles Fishman
President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less than a decade to invent space travel. When Kennedy announced that goal, no one knew how to navigate to the Moon. No one knew how to build a rocket big enough to reach the Moon, or how to build a computer small enough (and powerful enough) to fly a spaceship there. Charles Fishman introduces readers to the men and women who had to solve 10,000 problems before astronauts could reach the Moon. From the research labs of MIT, where the eccentric and legendary pioneer Charles Draper created the tools to fly the Apollo spaceships, to the factories where dozens of women sewed spacesuits, parachutes and even computer hardware by hand, Fishman captures the exceptional feats of these ordinary Americans. “One Giant Leap” is the captivating story of men and women charged with changing the world as we knew it. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: June 2019”

Staff Book Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2019 by Anne

No Exit by Taylor Adams

Book I Read: No Exit” by Taylor Adams

 

Why I Checked It Out: On a recent trip, I had the chance to drive through the Colorado mountains during the Winter. My experience went quite smoothly, but it was certainly easy to imagine the horror of being isolated in such a remote place during a blinding snowstorm. So when I came across “No Exit,” which has this very premise I had to check it out.

 

What It’s About: During an impromptu trip home to visit her dying mother, a young woman named Darby finds herself stranded at a remote highway rest stop during a blizzard in the Colorado mountains where she makes a horrific discovery — a young child is being held in a cage inside a van. She doesn’t know which of her fellow stranded travelers is the owner of the van, but she knows she must act. What follows are several tense hours as she attempts to save the child, even though she knows they are ultimately trapped with a very dangerous person. Continue reading “Staff Book Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams”