Readers' Advisors Rachel and Heather were lucky enough to attend a recent program featuring Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, State of Wonder, Run, etc.). She was a wonderful and engaging speaker, and she shared many stories about her life. Did you know that she owns a bookstore in Nashville called Parnassus Books? Well, it's probably no surprise that Ann Patchett loves books. We thought that we would share with you some of her favorites.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
A Day at the Beach by Geoffrey Wolff (nonfiction)
The All of It by Jeannette Haien
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
If you ever wondered about Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood, especially his high school years, this is the book for you. Graphic novelist Backderf attended school with Dahmer and, even though Dahmer never quite fit in to any high school group, the author was in many ways one of his friends. Reading this graphic novel, you can't help but have sympathy for Dahmer as a young boy, before he became Jeffrey Dahmer the monster. You see him hurting from his parents' fighting and his mother's depression, trying to be accepted by his classmates, and struggling against his dark urges. Although obviously disturbing, the author avoids showing any graphic violence. An extremely thought-provoking book.
We just finished another successful Readers' Round Table discussion and have even more patron favorites to share!
The Rathbones by Janice Clark (Coming August 2013)
Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky
The Art of Hearing Heatbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Bells by Richard Harvell
IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black
The Soundtrack of My Life by Clive Davis
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Make sure not to miss our next meeting on July 23rd from 2-3pm in the Meeting Room.
The Readers’ Round Table met in late June to discuss favorite reads and recommendations. This literary discussion group will meet again in the library’s meeting room at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9th. The group is open to everyone, and we hope that you can join us!
Here are some recommendations from the last meeting:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Crashing Through & Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson (non-fiction)
With or Without You by Domenica Ruta (memoir)
And…some recommended authors:
Young adult author John Green has won the acclaim of teens and adults alike with his body of work. His realistic, often intense stories explore big issues and small, and feature introspective characters who examine and reexamine their own lives and relationships and come to new understandings over the course of the story. Characterized by witty dialogue; strong use of humor; and flawed, quirky, but relatable characters, Green’s novels simultaneously provoke laughter and tears in his readers.
John Green’s many fans will find many of these same elements in the books below!
Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Bray, Libba. Going Bovine
Caletti, Deb. The Nature of Jade
Chambers, Aidan. This is All: the Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
Cohn, Rachel. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Halpin, Brendan. Donorboy
King, A. S. Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Knowles, Jo. Jumping Off Swings
Levithan, David. Wide Awake
Limb, Sue. Girl, 15, Charming but Insane
Packer, Ann. The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor and Park
Smith, Jennifer. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Whaley, John. Where Things Come Back
Ruth is a half-Japanese writer living with her husband on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, struggling daily with both the isolation and with writer’s block as she attempts to complete a memoir of her days caring for her Alzheimer’s-striken late mother. Walking along the beach one day, she finds an odd collection of items tucked inside a lunch box and wrapped in several layers of plastic; among them are letters in French and Japanese, an antique watch, and the diary of a Japanese teenager named Nao. Nao was raised in America and transplanted to Japan after her father lost his job in a Silicon Valley start-up. Her father has now lost all will for life and is only waiting to achieve a beautiful suicide. Nao, meanwhile, is being bullied quite appallingly by her schoolmates and has decided that she, too, will commit suicide, but not until she has completed writing the biography of her 104-year-old great-grandmother, a Zen nun. As Ruth reads Nao’s story, she slowly becomes obsessed with it, and with finding out what happened to Nao and how the diary and the other artifacts of her life wound up on her beach. Was Nao killed in the 2011 tsunami? Did she actually commit suicide? Did she throw these items into the ocean on purpose?
This is fascinating, carefully- and elegantly-structured, always engaging novel on the nature of time, story-telling, belief, life, Zen, and even quantum physics. A masterpiece of thoughtful, engaging literary fiction.
There are those who, given the right key, can open doors into other realities. There are those who, given the right tools, can actually build those realities out of their own minds.
Victoria McQueen—Vic—is one of those people. When she gets on her Rough Rider bike and heads off looking for something, she can ride across a covered bridge that isn’t really there and find what she needed, whether it be her mother’s missing bracelet, a run-away cat, a stuttering librarian who can divine answers using Scrabble tiles—or trouble. And trouble she finds, indeed, in the person of Charlie Manx, another such gifted individual. But Charlie’s powers, embodied in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith (license plate: NOS4A2, a grim joke), are not nearly so benign as Vic’s or the librarian’s. The entirely twisted Charlie uses his car to abduct young children and take them to his own private world, Christmasland, where he feeds on their emotions and turns them into predatory little horrors. When he gets his hands on Vic, she escapes but winds up the walking wounded, unstable, medicated, and convinced that all her trips across the covered bridge were the products of a delusional mind. But unfortunately for her, they—and Charlie’s evil—were all too real. And when Charlie comes for her again, and for her young son, she’ll have to use every ounce of strength left in her to resist him.
Complex, twisty, at times terrifying, and always inventive and unique, this is truly riveting fiction, horror at its best from a master of the craft.
Switek, Brian. My Beloved Brontosaurus: on the road with old bones, new science, and our favorite dinosaurs
Science journalist and dinosaur enthusiast Switek here takes the reader on a road trip across America and through time, visiting museums, scientists, and important fossil sites and delivering a fascinating commentary on our changing understanding of just what dinosaurs were and what they were not. Each stop along the way serves as a jumping-off point for an examination of some part of dinosaurs and their behavior, appearance, evolution, extinction, and continued survival in the form of birds. One of Switek’s main themes here is the way in which the popular, mass-media view of dinosaurs has not kept up with the evolving science. The beloved Brontosaurus of the title is an illustration of this theme; the name “Brontosaurus” was discarded by scientists in favor of “Apatosaurus” a century ago, but still persists as the most popular name for the huge, long-necked creature.
This fascinating, and even humorous work of popular science holds obvious appeal for those who, like Switek, fell in love with dinosaurs at a young age and never fell back out; however, it should also be of interest to anyone who enjoys engagingly-written but information science writing.
From a young age, Isabella had a most unlady-like interest in science, with a particular fascination for sparklings—tiny fiery creatures considered to be a type of insect. As she aged, however, her fascination shifted to dragons, those various, wide-ranging, and mostly unknown creatures. Her interests were tacitly indulged by her father, despite the impropriety, but her wild and impulsive nature was certain to get her into trouble. Indeed, once married to Jacob Camherst, a nobleman who shares her interest in dragons, Isabella finds herself part of an expedition to the country of Vystrana to study and examine the local rock-wyrms—and neck-deep in trouble with the taciturn and suspicious locals, with the smugglers using the hills as their base, and with the possibly corrupt government of Vystrana itself. Plucky, smart, and spirited, Isabella is at first undaunted. But can she get out of this situation alive, with her reputation intact?
Written in the style of a Victorian memoir, Lady Isabella’s recollections about her youthful adventures are engaging, humorous, fast-paced, and colorful. Though the setting and the wild beasts are fantastic, the book is nevertheless familiar in its tone and style, making this book one which should appeal to fans of historical fiction with strong female protagonists as well.
The annual Audie Awards (the Oscars of the audiobook industry) is drawing near and the 2013 finalists have been announced. Here is a list of nominees that you will find on our shelves. Treat your ears to these notable narrations: