Title: More Than Enough
Author: Elaine Welteroth
This is a must read, must listen to, must buy, get-your-hands-on-it as soon as possible kind of a book! I read it when it first came out. I listened to the audio version narrated by Elaine Welteroth herself. I just couldn’t get enough of it! She’s a genius. What hasn’t she done?! She can truly do it all. The foreword is written by Ava Duvernay, another genius. This true story is for all people no matter what they look like, sound like, where they come from, what they may or may not know, etcetera. My hope is for More Than Enough to be made into a movie one day! But in the interim if you wanna be inspired, uplifted, laugh, almost cry, or totally cry, but then laugh again and continue to be motivated, then look no further than to Elaine Welteroth in More Than Enough.
ON ORDER FOR FML or reserve a copy through Inter-Library Loan here.
Title: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Author: Hunter S. Thompson
“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, too rare to die.” Written in the voice of Raoul Duke, Hunter S. Thompson reflects as his dear friend and fellow troublemaker Dr. Gonzo hops on a plane following a drug-addled romp through Las Vegas. It’s trippy and fantastical, yet grotesque and thought provoking. In this fictionalized retelling of a true story, Thompson and Acosta (Dr.Gonzo) take a trip so wild and fruitless that it makes Thompson reflect on the American Dream, what it means to be American, and the scuz that resides within. Read this book if you want to take a nightmarish trip that a rational human wouldn’t dare take, and/or if you want to hear an irrational man’s rational take on the status of America in the 70’s.
Available at the library: LITERATURE Journalism Thompson
Author: Chandler Baker
Nora Spangler is a wife, mom of one, pregnant with a second child, and a lawyer who is up for partnership this year. She is overwhelmed and exhausted. All she wants is for her husband to pick up some of the slack. By that she means not just do what she asks, but to know when things need to be done and just do them. While house hunting, she and her husband Hayden look at a house in a neighborhood where it seems the husbands do just that. Nora is then asked to take on an arson investigation case for one of the women in the neighborhood. As she looks into this case, she uncovers quite a community where the husbands are “domesticated” and the wives truly have it all AND the time for relaxation. But is it too good to be true?
The Husbands is a fun read of the Stepford Wives in role-reversal.
Available at the library: F BAKER
Director: Denis Villanueve
Galactic Despot’s consolidating power, long time family vendetta affecting the whole Galaxy. Spice Melange, a rare anti aging substance becomes the most sought after and fought over substance that both binds and constricts the known universe. Dune, written by Frank Herbert, brought forth in its third iteration dazzles viewers with a gripping tale of coming of age of young Paul Atriedes, and explores family loyalties, love, sacrifice and betrayal.
Will Dune be an intriguing distraction for our COVID malaise, or another ho hum remake that will soon be forgotten?
Available at the library: DVD DUNE ’22
Title: We Want Bama: A Season of Hope
Author: Joseph Goodman
This book was not at all what I expected to read when picking up a piece of work subtitled, “the making of Nick Saban’s Ultimate Team.” Sure, there is plenty of information on the mastermind that is Coach Nick Saban and the dominance of the Alabama football program, but overall this is a book about the history and politics of the state of Alabama; for better or for worse. While Goodman takes us through arguably the greatest collegiate football season of all time, he also introduces us to a hazy history of white supremacy and Confederate symbolism that most of us never learned about in school. If anything, Goodman’s prose shows us why we need our athletes (both amateur and professional), to be activists and advocates as we continue to fight for changes that not all of us embrace; especially in the state of Alabama. Roll Tide!
Available at the library: SPORTS FOOTBALL GOODMAN
Titles:Finlay Donovan is Killing It / Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead
Author: Elle Cosimano
It wasn’t fair to pick only one book of this series when both are equally amusing. Consider a divorced mom dealing with a toddler who cuts her own hair (baby scalp, we’ve all been there) and her soon to be potty-trained sibling, waiting for alimony so she can pay the sitter so Finlay can write her next book. But… Oops, overheard in a Panera Bread while talking with her agent, poor Finlay is accidentally believed to be an assassin (and hired by the lady at the next table!)
Think Stephanie Plum with kids, an ex-husband and a new career. Fun reads, even though you need to suspend reality at times.
Available at the library: F COSIMANO
Title: The Dutch House
Author: Ann Patchett
Opening an Ann Patchett novel is usually a guaranteed escape into a rich story occupied by characters you will know so well by the novel’s close. Emotionally tangible and vividly told, the Dutch House was no exception. A captivating tale about the lifelong relationship of a brother and sister primarily, but also about the power of place and the impact family and circumstance can have on a life.
Name: Brian O. Mealy
Album Title: Black Boys
Director: Sonia Lowman
As we continue our community discussion post Black Lives Matter moment on race in America. Black Boys, the documentary by Sonia Lowman helps us focus our attention on a long overlooked segment of our population… black boys. Using the context of culture, sports, education and the criminal justice system. Lowman brings important insight and understanding to the viewer.
Available at the library: DVD FILM DOCUMENTARY BLACK BOYS
Title: A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
Published eleven years after the young author took his own life, this tale of Ignatious, an unsavory character you grow more and more fond of as the story progresses, has many memorable scenes I often still think of and smile about in the 30 years since I last read it. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.
Title: Forgotten in Death
Author: JD Robb
My guilty pleasure read/author. Forgotten in Death is the 53rd Lt. Eve Dallas novel/mystery and Robb doesn’t disappoint. Set in the near future of 2061, we get used to flying cars and a lot of tech but the true bones of the story is the search and solution of two murders at a construction site – a homeless woman and a decades old skeleton. You can’t put it down and you ‘re sorry when it ends. The series begins with Naked in Death and I hope it becomes your guilty pleasure.
Title: One, Two, Three
Author: Laurie Frankel
I assigned this book to our Discussion Group on ratings alone and when I read the synopsis and saw 400 pages in front of me, I have to admit I was having second thoughts. After a long trip through the crumbling town of Bourne, however; narrated by a very unique set of triplets, I was hooked on Frankel’s imaginative genius and mastery of story writing. Don’t miss out on this romp through a forgotten city, which introduces you to characters that jump off the page. Will Mab, Monday and Mirabel Mitchell be able to save their star-crossed town? You’ll have to read this and see for yourself.
Author: Karin Tanabe
The cover caught my eye and the title intrigued me. I haven’t read a book by Karin Tanabe before either. I was not disappointed. The author’s style is very descriptive and perfectly captures the emotions of the main character, Katharina. She is a very intelligent woman who finds herself at loose ends as a 1950’s stay at home mom. She speaks four languages and, before she married, was a translator at the UN. As a wife of a prominent pediatric surgeon and mom of two young boys, she feels trapped and guilty for feeling trapped. Katharina is thrilled to work for the FBI as a courier. This is a spy thriller and women’s historical fiction mash-up. Katharina’s determination to use her abilities in a fulfilling way at a time in history when this was frowned upon, made for an engaging read as did the intrigue and suspense of her new job with the FBI.
Available at the library: LP F TANABE
Title: The Metamorphosis
Author: Franz Kafka
After reading The Metamorphosis I felt a familiar feeling of waking up from a nightmare, even though you’re watching someone else experience said nightmare. Depending on your taste, this could be an incredibly rare and wonderful thing, or a horrifying and disgusting thing that you’ll never want to or be able to read again… hence why I love it so much. Kafka writes in a way that makes you feel the desperation and despair of the protagonist and hate the world around them, all the while making the main point of his stories that there is no point. Kafka while being a modernist writer had strong existential themes comparative to works like Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre or The Fall by Albert Camus. Want to read an actual nightmare? Read Metamorphosis, please.
On order at the library, available through Inter-Library Loan here.
STAFF PICKS FOR KIDS & TEENS
Author: Fiona Biggs
Stories of courage, love, betrayal, greed, magic, miracles and how leprechauns outsmart humans every single time! Each story is a quick read with color illustrations. A fun, quick, and easy way to start or end the day with some humor!
Available at the library: JF BIG
Name: Daaimah A. Buffins
Author: Jason Reynolds
Artist: Jason Griffin
To hold it, to read it, to take a breath once, twice, three times along with it, is to fully know it. What’s it? Read, and/or have read to you AIN’T BURNED ALL THE BRIGHT by the multi-talented jason reynolds and feast your eyes out on the artwork by the multi-talented artist jason griffin. Their names speak for themselves. And the homage given to the greats before their time, our time in AIN’T BURNED ALL THE BRIGHT, will warm your heart, mind, soul and inspire you, as it did me to be fully present in life. I recommend this book to everyone who finds it challenging to use all their senses and be fully present in the gift of now. This is a must-purchase for one’s own edification and home collection. But in the meantime, check out your copy from FML as it’s currently available!
Available at the library: YA F REYNOLDS
Author: Craig & Samantha Johnson
Every child could use an extra dose of encouragement, support and love. This book beautifully combines this message to each child while also showing young readers there are many ways children can learn, react to situations, and behave, all of them unique to that special child! Children are shown they are loved, have a purpose and are extraordinary.
Available at the library: SPA E JOH
Title: Finding Buck McHenry
Author: Alfred Slote
I hated reading in elementary school; absolutely dreaded reading comprehension, book reports, pretty much everything that encompassed English class. Then my 5th grade teacher handed me a copy of Finding Buck McHenry and I was blown away. A book about little league, baseball cards, the Negro Leagues?!? I considered myself a sports buff growing up and even at the ripe old age of nine I had yet to learn about the Negro Leagues. Slote tells an engaging mystery based around a middling youth baseball team and a custodian with a hidden past. Great for older elementary school or younger middle school readers, though I still enjoy it from time to time as well.
Available at the library: JF SLO
Title: Penguin Problems
Author: Jory John
Illustrator: Lane Smith
Penguin Problems had me chuckling out loud from the first page to the last. This book is a wonderful reminder for children and adults that sometimes a second look at things that irritate and annoy us helps to rediscover beautiful parts of life we’ve taken for granted. I loved the illustrations, they really conveyed how much ‘tude this little penguin has in a funny and relatable way.
Available at the library: E JOH