After Euphoria- Other Titles to Explore

Oftentimes, reading a book will make  me want to learn more about a particular person or subject.  Our book club, Tuesday at Two, just finished discussing Lily King’s compelling novel, Euphoria, loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead and  the love triangle that ensued between Mead,  her second husband, Reo Fortune, and her soon to be third husband, Gregory Bateson as they conducted research in remote New Guinea during the 1930’s.  Although King thought she would be writing a non fiction book about the subject, as she started writing, the characters  soon became her own.    Whether you are interested in Margaret Mead, women scientists, New Guinea, tribal society, or historical fiction love triangles here are some more books to explore.

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Posted in books, nonfiction, historical fiction New Guinea, Margaret Mead, tribal society, love triangles, women scientists, Euphoria, Lily King | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

I picked up Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon because I had seen several blog posts and articles recommending this title as a read-alike for  The Girl on the Train.  findingjakeBoth books keep you  on your toes and turning the page to see what is going to happen next. Written from the point of view of the stay-at-home dad, Simon, Finding Jake is the tale of a family involved in a  school shooting.   Son Jake is missing after the shooting and is assumed to be involved.    One shooter has died of a self-inflicted wound and Jake is being pursued by the police as a possible accomplice.  The book skillfully weaves every insecure parenting moment in the father’s life as he questions how his son became involved with the shooter.   Perhaps Jake would’ve socialized more with the neighborhood kids, if  Simon  hadn’t been so insecure about  having to deal with his own preconceived notions of stay at home moms?  Should haves and would haves are questioned on each page as Simon goes out on his own to search for his son.  Finding Jake does keep you guessing but that is where comparison to The Girl on the Train ends.  I  find this title more on the  subject of  your child being accused of  a horrible crime,  such as,  Lionel Shriver’s, We Need to Talk About Kevin.    All in all, a quick page turner that gives you some food for thought about an issue in contemporary America that is unfortunately becoming all too commonplace.

Posted in book review, fiction, Finding jake, pageturners, parent and child, psychological thriller, school shootings, suspenseful, The Girl on the Train, We Need to Talk about Kevin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Star Wars Day


May the 4th is the unofficial holiday of Star War fans everywhere.  Celebrate the day by watching a Star Wars movie, reading a book or graphic novel, listening to audiobook or perhaps, just finding how much your Star Wars paraphernalia  is worth.  If you have young Star Wars fans, the library is starting a Origami Yoda activity club, for grades 3-5 starting on May 18th.

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Posted in adaptations, books, dvds, graphic novels, May 4th, science fiction, screenplays, Shakespeare, Star Wars, Star Wars Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy World Book & Copyright Day

worldbookandcopyrightday.Today is World Book &  Copyright Day a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.  Did you know that this date was picked because it in important day in world literature.  April 23rd is a symbolic date for world literature. On this day in 1611, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.  Share your love of reading by stopping by the library to pick up a new book, read to your child, and donate any old books for our book sale.  What’s your latest favorite read?

Posted in book group; reading group;, books, Cervantes, Nabokov, Shakespeare, UNESCO, Vallejo, World Book Day | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande tackles one of the hardest conversations we have in society today–what index-2.aspxto do at the end of our lives?   Many in the medical profession have always tried to prolong a life at any cost and at a huge detriment to the patient at hand. When  should physicians stop the  innate need to save the body but lose the essence of the person?   As a physician, Gawande is in a unique position  to ponder this  as he studied over 200  people as they tackle the end of the life cycle.  Many in the medical field have a hard time talking about their patient’s anxieties  and just provide them with facts and false hopes.   The author has discovered that sometimes not only are we not prolonging lives , but shortening it. He not only talks about this issue but the general aging process itself.    What are the different housing and living options  that are available for today’s elderly? What can we do to make the last years of our lives about our living and not about our dying?  Read Being Mortal and you’ll have some ideas for you and your loved ones.

Posted in aging, Atul Gawande, books, family relationships, nonfiction, reflective, science writing, thought provoking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Carnegie Medals Shortlist for Fiction and Nonfiction was Announced this Week

Sponsored by the American Library Association and the Carnegie Corporation,  the Andrew Carnegie Medals for excellence in fiction and nonfiction  shortlist was announced this week. Started in 2012, this literary award was established to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction published in the United States the previous year.  Check them out of the library today!

allthelightwecannotsee   norawebster   onsuchafullsea

justmercy  sixthextinction   thirteendaysinseptember.

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The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion

rosieeffectIf you became  enamored with the quirky lovable character of  Professor Don Tillman in The Rosie Project you should continue on and read The Rosie Effect by Graeme C. Simsion.  Honeymooners, Tillman, a genetics professor, has been married for ten months to the beloved Rosie, medical student/bartender.   Don whose personality  is very similar to Sheldon Cooper’s Big Bang Theory persona, is trying to adjust to the the idea of being married.  It is hard enough for the average Joe to assimilate to marriage but Don is extremely used to routines and order  and is doing his best to do things a bit more spontaneously in marriage.  Sometimes, that isn’t the easiest thing for him to do and Don is sent into a tailspin when Rosie announces she is pregnant.  How will this addition change the relationship between Rosie and Don?  Will he be supportive throughout the pregnancy?  Author Simsion has continued with his winning formula in The Rosie Effect and leaves the reader laughing and smiling throughout this charming read.

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#Women in Fiction

I love the fact that Twitter is lighting up with the  hashtag #womeninfiction.   Started by Preeti Chibber, manager of Harper Collins Children’s Books, Chibber started tweeting about women authors and women heroines in the world of fiction.  Check out her  Storify where everyone from Hermoine Granger to Jane Eyre is mentioned in an outpouring of love to strong women characters.  I started to think of my favorite women characters in history that I’ve read in the past few months  and these two titles came to mind.

jamonthevine.Ivoe Williams is the main character of LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s   Jam on the Vine.  The young well-educated African American woman helps found the first female-run African American newspaper during the turbulent times of the Jim Crow era.


indexAaliyah Saleh, the complex woman in Rabih Alameddine’s  extraordinary work, The Unnecessary Woman, nominated for a National Book AwardHow could I not fall in love with the cantankerous septuagenarian Lebanese woman whose love of books is at her  essence and the transformative  power in her life. If you haven’t read these two titles, you should add them to your to be read pile. More importantly, who are your recent favorite women protagonists?

Posted in African American Fiction, book group; reading group;, books, jim crow, literary fiction, National Book Award, Women in Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

R.I.P Sir Terry Pratchett

index-1.aspxLast week  the iconic and beloved fantasy author, Terry Pratchett,  lost his battle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease  and began his walk with Death. Writer of over 70 novels, Pratchett is perhaps best known for his series of books set in  Discworld, a flat planet  balanced on the back of four elephants where the seas pour over the sides.  Discworld was a place ever evolving, becoming  more convoluted and somber in Pratchett’s later works, perhaps the result of Pratchett’s diagnosis.   The author had written over 40 novels based  in this  fantasy world — and one of those characters was Death himself.    If you have never read anything by Pratchett, a good place to start might be A Blink on the Screen, a collection of shorter fiction by Pratchett that spans his illustrious career.  You will see  how Pratchett evolved from a young high schooler to the  finesse and witticisms of his latter work.  In another of his books about Death , Reaper Man, Pratchett wrote “no one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away”.  Please give a work by Pratchett a try so his ripples live on for many more years.

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Discoworld, fantasy, fiction, science fiction, short stories, Terry Pratchett | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today marks the anniversary of the Broadway debut of A Raisin in the Sun

index.aspxA Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway on March 11, 1959,  The  play, written by Lorraine Hansberry,  was the first play written and acted by African Americans to appear on the Broadway stage. The play tells the classic story about a struggling African American family living in an apartment on Chicago’s South Side.  The premise of the play revolves around  the younger family matriarch who is due a life insurance check that could change the family fortune.  When the curtain rose  on March 11th, Hansberry was worried about its success.  It later  went on to win the New York Drama  Critics’ Circle  and was nominated for 4 Tony Awards. Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote that A Raisin in the Sun changed  American theatre forever.  If you’ve never read or watched this iconic story, please give it a try.

Posted in African-American, books, Broadway, dvds, New York Drama Critics' Circle, play, Tony Awards | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment