Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jamie recommends "Divergent"

Divergent / Veronica Roth.: In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice "Tris" Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group.  Tris discovers that her divergent nature makes her a danger to the leaders of society, but she may be the only thing saving the factions from all-out war.  If you liked The Hunger Games this is another good story of a dystopian future where teens are forced to grow up quickly in an adult world.

Recommended for young adults and adults.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gretchen recommends "A Ball for Daisy"

This award-winning picture book by Chris Raschka is a simple story about a dog and her bright rubber ball.  It captures, however, the universal experience of what it’s like to lose something you love and the special kindnesses that friendship can bring.  The illustrations intuitively capture the hangdog feeling of dejection when Daisy loses her ball.  When she unexpectedly receives a new one, the movement of thumping tail and a wide-mouthed grin are brilliantly depicted.  The reader can’t help but smile too!  Suitable for all ages and especially good for dog lovers.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Juliane recommends "Paris in Love"

If you love memoirs and if you love audiobooks – especially those read by the author -- this is a great “read” for you!  There are times when I pick up a book because I want to be enchanted by the setting, and the idea of reading about Paris delighted me.  But this book is so much more than a travelogue of an American transplant in the City of Lights.  It is narrated by the author, Eloisa James, who we learn is on sabbatical in France (with her family) from her rather juxtaposed life– she is a respected professor on Shakespeare by day but also writes “bodice ripper” romances on the side.   Her writing style belies her romance writer reputation.  I found her narrative to be almost poetic at times when she describes things like “an airplane that patterns the Parisian skyline like a swatch of fine lace” or “a silver pitcher that held milk chocolate as dark and thick as lava.”  At times it felt like I was reading her diary of daily life with her teen/tween children, and cosmopolitan husband (who is Italian).  While not a romance read itself, its sumptuous descriptions and poignant observations certainly whisked me away from my hum-drum life here in the States.  A recommended read for adults.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kathy recommends "Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking"

Ever wonder why you’re not at ease with those around you?  Can’t seem to figure your why you don’t always fit in? Susan Cain’s book Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking may provide the answers.  In a world that glorifies the Culture of Personality, Cain suggests that those who prize quiet reflection over unreserved camaraderie are not pathologically shy but instead are part of the large number of individuals who are introverts.  With refreshing candor and heartening insight, she assures us that introverts have much to offer, enumerating a wide range of positive traits that their extrovert counterparts might do well to imitate. 

Recommended for adults and teens.