Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Kara recommends "Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos"

Ever since reading Relish, one of Knisley’s earlier graphic novels, I fell in love with her style.  As the mother of two young children, I found her most recent memoir to be a relatable account of conception, pregnancy and childbirth.  Additionally, it includes interesting information on the history of obstetric medicine, facts and myths about pregnancy, and honestly details the struggles many women face when trying to conceive. 

I would recommend this book for adults. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Alicia recommends "When my name was Keoko"

Before and during World War II, Korea was under Japanese occupation.  The Japanese government oppressed the Korean culture by eliminating the language, the alphabet and the names of the Korean population.  The story is told in the two voices of the siblings, Tae-yul and Sun-hee.  The author, Linda Sue Park, wraps into the fictionalized story tales from her own family’s history. This is a gripping story of a historical time period that brings lessons to the modern world.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Meghan Recommends "How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse"

In its marketing of the new book “How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse,” the publisher described it as “Princess Leia meets the Princess Bride. ” Well, you had me at Princess Leia, and “Rory Thorne” turned out to be as delightful as described. The narration is an omniscient history style, very tongue-in-cheek, lending a light romp feel to the story. It’s something of a fantasy & science fiction mashup, with princesses, fairies, and magic (described scientifically as “arithmancy”) set on faraway planets and floating space stations.

Rory Thorne is a princess herself, and at the beginning of the book, baby Rory is given gifts by fairies at her naming ceremony (a revival of the ancient homeworld tradition.) These gifts include the usual princess stuff – kindness, grace, skill in playing the harp – but from the 13th fairy she receives the unusual gift of knowing when someone is lying to her. It is not always convenient skill, but very useful. As Rory grows up and is groomed to become queen one day, he is assisted by two good advisors, the politically savvy scholar and historian, the Vizier of Thorne her practical and physically tough body-maid Grytt.

When she is 16, Princess Rory is betrothed to a foreign prince and sent to live on his space station, as part of a peace treaty to end a war that began when her father was assassinated. The ability to read someone’s intention as they lie to your face is particularly helpful in this hostile environment, and she uncovers a plot that threatens her life, her prince, and her kingdom! To save them,  Rory will have to prove herself both physically tough and politically savvy all on her own.

Recommended for teens and adults.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Ellen recommends "From Scratch: a memoir of love, Sicily and finding home" by Tembi Locke

Join us on Monday, November 18 to discuss From Scratch: a memoir of love, Sicily and finding home by Tembi Locke.  We meet at the Main Library at 6:30.

The author meets the love of her life while in Italy.  They marry & settle in LA, creating a rift with his traditional Sicilian family.  After a cancer diagnosis and the arrival of a daughter, their love is truly tested.  From Scratch is a beautifully interwoven story of love, death, grief, family and food.  Bonus - at the end are a collection of the author’s favorite recipes!  Tembi Locke may be a familiar face, as she’s been in numerous TV shows and movies over the last 25 years.  From Scratch is also a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine book club pick.  This is available in print, large print, ebook and eaudio.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Natalie recommends "Red Hood Outlaw: Requiem for an Archer "

Red Hood and the Outlaws is one of DC's Rebirth collection.  A relaunch/reboot starting back in 2016.​  It's one of my favorites along with Nightwing, Deathstroke, and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corp.  And this is the most recent volume.

Red Hood: Outlaw collects issues 26 from Red Hood and the Outlaws, Annual 2, and Red Hood Outlaw 27-31.  Before you ask, there really isn't much of a difference between Red Hood and the Outlaws and Red Hood: Outlaw except for the slight title change between issues 26 and 27. 

This picks up after Jason Todd (a.k.a. Red Hood and Robin number 2) gets into a fight with Batman.  With the help from his best friend and fellow Outlaw Roy Harper (a.k.a. Arsenal) he's on the mend for the first few issues.  Along the way the pick up on a case that they were working on back in the New 52 (in Red Hood and the Outlaws and/or Red Hood/Arsenal).  But this tag team adventure is cut short when Roy leaves to get some help at a "rehab for capes" (which is part of a story known as Heroes in Crisis), but Jason promises to finish it.  Especially when he find out that Roy *Spoiler for Heroes in Crisis*​ gets killed while at this "rehab for capes", which Bruce tells Jason about after the .

Jason makes a promise to finish this mission in his honor and along the way he teams up with Batwoman.​  we also get a glimpse into what happened to the other 2/3 of Jason's current team of Outlaws (Artemis and Bizarro).

In general, this is a series I would recommend, and is one of the few that has a returning author/writer from the New 52.  That being Scott Lobdell.  We have the first five volumes (including this one, the most current volume thus far) and is mean for an Adult audience.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Natalie recommends "Mad Love"

Having done a recommendation of Batman: Court of Owls, one of three Batman inspired novels, I thought I would read through the other three and recommend them.  And since September marks Harley Quinn's 27th birthday, I thought I'd do Mad Love first.  This book is written by  Paul Dini and is inspired by the Batman Adventures issue of the same name as well as an episode in Batman Animated Series not too long after. 

Fun Fact: all three of these were written by Paul Dini, so I guess you could say he's really familiar with the story.

The story starts off with Harley as a child going to an amusement park in Coney Island.  She would see her father get beaten by thugs then arrested.  She would come back to this amusement park only to come across these thugs again, who attempt to attack her.  Her mother would come to save her and an argument between Harley's parents would ensue when she gets home.  The story would jump ahead several years to a now 17 year old Harley at a gymnastics competition, where we get an update on her living situation (her mom is home and her dad is in prison) and that she has the potential to get a scholarship out of the gymnastics program she's in.  This is all we get before it jumps again to Harley's freshmen year in college, where we start to see some of the Batman oriented stuff make an appearance.  Mostly the talk of Batman, the mention of Gotham and Arkham, and the foreshadowing to her career in psychology.

What I liked about this pre-Gotham/early years part is that we get to see a bit into Harley's childhood.  You get to Harley begin to question who the good guys are.  Something we get to see a bit of in the book. 

There would be one more time jump to Harley's first few days at Arkham Asylum.  And she gets a glimpse of a few familiar faces, such as Pamela Isely (Poison Ivy) and Killer Croc, who attempts to charge towards her, as well as several other characters from the Animated Series  We also get a small glimpse at the Joker, but he doesn't make his actual appearance  and first encounter with Harley for a few chapters.

We spend the first few chapters with Harley in a group therapy with some of the female inmates, which includes Poison Ivy, who would later become a close friend of Harley's in the animated series (which has also become something of a staple in the current comics).  And by the time we get to the third, Harley has been ganged up on by the inmates, with Ivy acting as the ring leader and aid to Harley once things really go out of control. 

Quite the start for their blossoming friendship, no?  Pun intended.

Once we go through these sessions, we finally get to what I'd like to call the iconic encounter.  That being Harley and Joker's.  It kind of flips between Harley's and the Joker's perspective, but seems mostly set on Harley's.  For Harley, it starts off as a curiosity, and she keeps their sessions professional.  While the Joker views it as something he can have fun with.

​You'll see him spin a tale about his childhood and Batman, which is what draws her to him.

With each session we see Harley getting more and more interested in Joker.  And not just as a patient, but the beginning of an infatuation for him.  Harley develops a love for this patient, and after a coordinated accident that get the Joker out (minutely) exposes this.  And after the recapture at Batman's hand and Harley getting fired for defending him, Harley dawns the black and red costume that she would be known for (at least until the New 52 comics and the Suicide Squad movie).

Once she does, we get into her life of crime, starting with breaking the Joker out of prison.  However, with this breakout, the Joker's more chaotic and violent tendencies come out.  He wants Harley to be less affectionate when the "boys" (thugs) are around.  His patience is tested with how Harley performs in a crime that gets Batman involved.  Even so, she still holds this love for the Joker,not wanting to see just how bad he is.

But what comes as a rude wake up is when she tries to implement his plan, with an improvement to make it work the way the Joker would want, she finds herself shoved out of a window.  All because she "explained the joke". 

If you are familiar with this story, I think you'll find this as a pretty faithful read (with the only differences being it set in a more modern setting since smartphones and Youtube are a thing).  If you're not, you might find this an interesting yet cautious tale.  It might not be for everyone, but I would recommend this novel and is better suited for adults (which is where it can be found, under our science fiction section).

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Connie Recommends "Inheritance : a memoir of genealogy, paternity, and love" by Dani Shapiro

I especially enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book narrated by the author, herself.  It's available via the Overdrive app at CMPL.


The acclaimed and beloved author of Hourglass now gives us a new memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets—a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life.

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Timely and unforgettable, Dani Shapiro’s memoir is a gripping, gut-wrenching exploration of genealogy, paternity, and love.