What a crazy summer it is! Normally that would mean wild parties and big vacations but that is (hopefully?) not the case this year. This summer doesn’t HAVE to be defined as the summer of the pandemic, although I’m sure it will be. But we can define it as the summer of the pause. We can make it the summer of reading. There are a lot of hot new books out that feature our hottest season. Continue reading “Are You Ready for the Summer?!”
I’m sure I’m not the only avid reader who often finishes a book, or an entire series, yet still wishes to know more about the characters and the fictional universe they inhabit. Specifically, I wonder about what happened in their pasts. This is where prequels come in.
I’ve done a lot of pondering about the world Suzanne Collins created with The Hunger Games trilogy. How did it get to the state it was in? Were the games always so technologically advanced? Some backstory was woven into the original three books, explaining the origins of the deadly contest for which the series is named. Readers saw many details about the mechanical and political workings of the games as experienced by teenaged protagonist Katniss Everdeen and dictated by the ruthless leader of Panem, President Snow. Now, in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” a recently released prequel that is set 64 years before Katniss became a District 12 tribute, we get a look at how things were done in the early days, when Coriolanus Snow was a teenager eager to restore his family’s ever-slipping position of power in society. Continue reading “Prequels: What Happened Before”
This September, our community will explore resilience in isolation with Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow,” a spellbinding work of historical fiction. This novel beat out the legal historical thriller “The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore to be named this year’s One Read.
Before the public vote, a panel of community members considered a varied list of ten finalist books that includes other works of historical fiction, thought-provoking nonfiction, explorations of identity and, this year’s wild card, a darkly satirical story of a serial killer. Continue reading “Literary Links: One Read Final 10”
Below I will be sharing some of the new nonfiction titles that will be released in June. All the titles are available to put on hold from our catalog and will also be made available on the library’s Overdrive account on the day of publication. For a more extensive list of new nonfiction book coming out this month check out our catalog.
“Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car” by Anthony M. Townsend (Jun 9)
For decades we have tried to build a car that will drive itself. Anthony M. Townsend’s “Ghost Road” argues convincingly that the driverless car is a red herring. When self-driving technology infects buses, bikes, delivery vans, and even buildings, a wild, woollier, future awaits. Technology will transform life behind the wheel into a hi-def video game that makes our ride safer, smoother and more efficient. Meanwhile, autonomous vehicles will turbocharge our appetite for the instant delivery of goods, making the future as much about moving stuff as it is about moving people. For-profit companies will link the automated machines that move us to the cloud, raising concerns about mobility monopolies and privatization of “the curb.” Our cities and towns will change as we embrace new ways to get around. “Ghost Road” explains where we might be headed together in driverless vehicles, and the choices we must make as societies and individuals to shape that future. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: June 2020”
We took a pause on ordering new titles for our physical collection while we were closed, but now that you can once again place holds and we’re able to open our doors at last, ordering has begun again. Which means that you can finally get your hands on the books published by debut authors for April, May and June. For a more complete list, please visit our catalog.
“The Engineer’s Wife” by Tracey Enerson Wood – April
Emily Warren Roebling refuses to live conventionally — she knows who she is and what she wants, and she’s determined to make change. But then her husband Wash asks the unthinkable: give up her dreams to make his possible.
Emily’s fight for women’s suffrage is put on hold, and her life transformed when Wash, the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, is injured on the job. Untrained for the task, but under his guidance, she assumes his role, despite stern resistance and overwhelming obstacles. Lines blur as Wash’s vision becomes her own, and when he is unable to return to the job, Emily is consumed by it. But as the project takes shape under Emily’s direction, she wonders whose legacy she is building — hers, or her husband’s. As the monument rises, Emily’s marriage, principles and identity threaten to collapse. When the bridge finally stands finished, will she recognize the woman who built it?
Hi, all! I hope you’re reading hard and staying safe. You know how there are some Read Harder tasks where you wonder how you could possibly find a book to read for it? This one was the complete opposite — there are just too many amazing debut novels by queer authors! The diverse mix of books below barely scratches the surface. As per the new usual, all of these books are available digitally through Overdrive or Hoopla. Continue reading “Read Harder: A Debut Novel By a Queer Author”
Over these past several weeks, I haven’t ventured much outside my neighborhood. As I’ve wandered the tree-lined side streets, I’ve waved to neighbors who were also out and about, either digging in their gardens or walking their dogs. I’m still relatively new to my neighborhood and I’ve come to realize how few of these folks I recognize, let alone know. This, of course, sparks my active imagination, getting me wondering about who they might be — what kind of lives are lived behind closed doors? This has certainly inspired my reading choices, directing me towards several books that have provided a look into the deep, dark secrets of many seemingly safe neighborhoods. Each of these titles can be found on our downloadable and streaming services. Continue reading “Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Suspense”
Want to read something that doesn’t mention coronavirus a single time, not even in the introductory sentence? I will do my best to avoid mentioning the crisis we’re living through, so that, for the length of a blog post, you can pretend that it’s okay to resume providing haircuts for your neighbors and standing next to the produce at the grocer recommending the freshest pieces to shoppers.
While the quarantine hasn’t been easy for me (you try dedicating yourself to teaching my very stubborn cats how to sing), I imagine it’s been slightly more challenging for parents. So much like how one convinces their child to consume nutrients by asking them to imagine those that are deprived of nutrients, consider how much easier it is to rear children that aren’t engulfed by flames when they become upset. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Kevin Wilson”
The lists have all been made but we still find, or hear about, more titles for the Read Harder Challenge. I’ve added a few to the list for task #2: a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairy tale or myth by an author of color, and I would like to highlight a few titles here.
“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin
This is roughly a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” but, instead of a scarecrow, you have a dragon who can’t fly. And instead of a wizard, you have the Old Man of the Moon. But it’s not fair to say that it is a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” because the author deftly weaves so much Chinese folklore into the story. I will admit that this was my choice for this task and, as a bonus, this book also satisfies Task #20: a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK. Continue reading “Read Harder: Classics, Myths or Fairy Tales Retold by Authors of Color”
I started this social distancing period with lofty goals of what I would accomplish and learn. My brain seems to have other ideas, apparently believing the logistics of navigating a whole new social order present enough of a burden to carry for now and not wanting to focus too much. Yet my desire to learn new things remains. For anyone else in the same situation, this might be a good opportunity to knock out the first task of this year’s Read Harder Challenge: read a YA nonfiction book. Young adult nonfiction sets out to educate and inform without becoming dense. There’s generally not much slogging in these texts.
Several are available in digital formats.
“Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic” by Michael McCreary can be a double dipper, also qualifying for task number 21: a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non.) The author is a stand-up comedian and mines his life on the spectrum for material. This memoir speaks not only of his own life, but also provides broader information about autism. Continue reading “Read Harder 2020: Young Adult Nonfiction”