Saturday, June 27, 2020

Natalie recommends "The Pearl Sister"

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​The fourth installment of Lucinda Riley's Seven Sisters series.  This time, we get to witness the story of the fourth sister, Celaeno, or Cece for short. 



Picking up from her departure in Shadow Sister (the third book), we see Cece traveling to Bangkok for a few days before flying off to Australia to look into the clue Pa Salt gave her about her past.  While in Thailand, she goes from a hotel where an old friends works to a brief stay with a man named Ace after the receptionist kicks her out before Christmas.   There, they get to know each other and a bit of a romance begins to blossom.  Ace decides to do some looking into Kitty McBride, the name Pa Salt gave her to look into when she goes to Australia.  As Cece travels to Australia, she learns more about Kitty McBride while dealing with the discovery that Ace was actually a wanted man and discovering that she had been photographed with him in the newspapers.  She keeps tabs on that for a while, while also looking into Kitty McBride with some help from a woman named Chrissie.  Along the way she will also meet an older gentleman tied to Camira and makes a visit to Ace after Cece's birthday party back at Atlantis (Pa Salt and the girls' home) before returning to Australia in the end.



For this books journey in the past, that's the character we get to follow.  Kitty McBride is the daughter of a clergyman from Scotland.  She is sent to live with an associate of her father, Mrs. McCrombie, not too long after finding out a secret about her father when she witnesses her father in town.  This arrangement brings her to Australia where she meets Mrs McCrombie's nephews, Andrew and Drummond.  Along the way, she is given the opportunity to wed one of them.  After marrying Andrew, she finds herself applaud by the treatment of the Aboriginal people there.  She later brings home a woman named Camira, who like her is pregnant.  We get to see their lives over the course of a few years along with a reappearance of Drummond and the tragedy and turmoil that follows Kitty.  The love and loss her son Charlie goes through and what happens to Camira's daughter.



This story is one about connections, and it was interesting to see the connections both Cece and Kitty made.  As well as how Cece is connected to Kitty and Camira.



This book is meant for an Adult audience and can be found in both regular and large print.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Filippa recommends "Stamped: Racism, antiracism, and you"



I highly recommend this title by YA author Jason Reynolds and American historian Dr. Ibram Kendi.  This book is a YA remix of Dr. Kendi's book Stamped from the beginning. Reynolds insists this is not a history book, instead it's a book that contains both historical events and current ones in an easy to read and relatable style.   It traces racism to its roots and presents ways for us to defeat it in the present.



Recommended for middle school and high school ages.






Friday, June 12, 2020

Meghan Recommends, "Wow, No Thank You"



If ever you were an angsty teenager in the 90s, now a person who *definitely* used to be cool (right?), but in middle age has to Google memes to keep up with “the kids” – you should check out Samantha Irby’s “Wow, No Thank You.”

This collection of essays follows 2017’s “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life,” after her marriage and move to Michigan. She writes with candor and humor about dealing with new problems like the stress of making friends as a grown-up, the issues inherent in owning a home, and learning to write for a TV show. Also old problems, like bills, her IBS, and how to bail on your friends without making them too mad.

I highly recommend the audiobook, which she reads herself. It’s like she’s making up each story as she tells it, fresh. (l learned in this book she spent years performing and hosting open mics in her native Chicago.) However, the major problem with the audio version is that you can’t mark the pages with the lines that are so delightfully funny they demand to be repeated to whoever will listen to you talk about how funny the book you’re reading right now is. So it’s a hard call.

I am clearly not the only person who wishes we *could* meet in real life, (even though she has made it abundantly clear that she’s not really into that):

“An irreverent, hilarious, and vulnerable dive into the author’s brain.... For all of Irby’s wit, depression over debts, and social awkwardness, there is a deep resounding warmth in her essays, too. A hard-won empathy, a stubborn acceptance of self that invites us to join her and revel in the chaos.” 
—Interview 

“Samantha Irby has an ideal comic voice for this particular moment in time: a little casual, fairly raunchy and always hilarious. Her musings on everything from marriage to bodily functions are eminently digestible even when the food she chooses to eat is not.”
Wall Street Journal

“No one utilizes hyperbole quite like three-time author Samantha Irby, who can make the most microscopic of indignities feel like atrocities and turn the smallest of details about her favorite show or song into resonant revelations.... To laugh at Irby’s retelling of her move to Michigan or a middle-aged girls’ night out is to laugh off our own fears of change; to worry about her place in a blue town in a red state is to consider a larger clash of cultures. You might never meet her in real life, but reading Wow, No Thank You. provides the most extensive look at Irby’s life yet.”
—A.V. Club, *New Books to Read in March*

Available as a book, eBook and eAudio.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Kate Brown recommends "Dog Songs"

Do you love dogs? If so, you'll probably love poet Mary Oliver's book, Dog Songs. Through poems and a brief essay, Oliver introduces some of the many dogs who have been a part of her life. The deep connection to nature that is evident in all of the poet's work comes alive here, as she describes daily life with these special companions. Most of the poems in this volume are light-hearted and sweet, some are funny, some are sad, and some remind us of the beautiful lessons we learn from our dearest non-human family members.



Dog Songs was published in 2013 and is now available as an eBook through Overdrive.


School
You're like a little wild thing
that was never sent to school.
Sit, I say, and you jump up.
Come, I say, and you go galloping down the sand
to the nearest dead fish
with which you perfume your sweet neck.
It is summer.
How many summers does a little dog have?

Run, run, Percy.
This is our school.

If you enjoy poetry visit the Tomlinson Arboretum (west of the Main library) and look for the seventeen poems placed throughout the natural setting of the park. Contemporary and classic works are mounted on stands at a height that makes them easy to read. Explore with or without your favorite four-legged friend and see if you can find the poem by Mary Oliver. If you'd like to take a more systematic approach there are maps and lists of the poems at both entrances to the Arboretum or print one out here: https://bit.ly/CMPLPoetryWalk


Dog songs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Kate M recommends "The Station Agent"



This independent comedy/drama from 2003 included a breakout role for Peter Dinklage, later known for his unforgettable performance as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.  In The Station Agent, he plays a reclusive train enthusiast working in a hobby store who prefers a solitary life, or so he thinks.  When he inherits a residence in a small train station, his outlook begins to change.  Although he is at first annoyed by his new neighbors, including a talkative food truck operator and the local librarian, he begins to realize that maybe life can be better with some friends.  Also starring Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, and Patricia Clarkson.  Recommended for Adults and Young Adults.  Available on Hoopla.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Uma recommends " The Last Lecture"








At Carnegie Mellon University, "The Last Lecture" series was a tradition for professors to present their philosophy of life to their students. For Randy Pausch, who only had months to live, it actually was a last chance. Truly, as an ode to the 3 young children he would leave behind, Pausch captures his life through a legacy of fulfilling childhood dreams. For adults.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Natalie recommends "A Dance with Dragons"



Finally got to the most recent book (as of this recommendation).   Following up after A Storm of Swords, this book does bring back characters who were otherwise absent in Feast of Crows (Jon, Danaerys, Bron and Tyrion) and fills in the gaps after a Storm of Swords as well as continuing on from A Feast of Crows.  It has quite a bit of action, a solid story, and of course, dragons.



This is primarily for adult audiences.