Readers Guide


By robin nettles

May 16, 2016
May 9, 2016 
May 2, 2016

May 9, 2016 

Acclaimed scientist Bernd Heinrich writes about his personal, day-by-day encounters with individual wild birds in One Wild Bird at a Time (598.000).  Heinrich writes that amazing bird behaviors fall below the radar of what they do in aggregate.  This is not a bird identification book or a bird behavior book, this is Heinrich’s “passionate observations that superbly mix memoir and science.” - New York Times Book Review 

Home-cooked meals can’t get any simpler than Stuart O’Keeffe’s The Quick Six Fix (641.555).  His simplistic approach that fewer ingredients afford higher quality meals is just that – six minutes of prep, six minutes of clean-up, and six key ingredients, all designed to be on the table in thirty minutes.  Chock full of recipes and useful tips, this cookbook makes cooking less of a chore and more a labor of love.

Are you one of the millions who have a basement, garage, or storage unit stuffed with stuff you just can’t get rid of? Stuff you think you may one day need? Author and journalist Alison Stewart realized that many Americans do.  Her three year investigative search into the world of junk is an interesting commentary on what we hang on to and why. JUNK (658.834). Check it out and then return it – don’t add it to the pile!

In Ana Quindlen’s eighth novel, Miller’s Valley, 11-year-old farm girl Mimi Miller tells her story of growing up in a small American town during the 1960’s to the present.  From eavesdropping on her parent’s conversations and through careful observation of the people around her, Mimi learns her hometown of Miller’s Valley is on the verge of big change and how home can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel contented.”  Kirkus Reviews calls this one, “a quietly powerful novel.”

When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger ingratiates himself into the small Irish town of Cloonoila, Fidelma McBride falls under his spell.  When Fidelma discovers the stranger is a ruthless military leader wanted for war crimes, she is not swayed.  However, her shameful behavior costs her marriage, and she is forced into exile.  Lyrical and hard-edged, with lines from classic poets such as Virgil, Yeats, Byron, and Dickinson, Edna O’Brien’s, The Little Red Chairs, is a beautiful novel by one of the greatest storytellers of our time. 

Jean Taylor, the perfect London housewife, stood by her husband, Glen, when he was the prime suspect in a horrible crime.  Over the years, she continued to support him, all the while enduring whispers and public stares. When Glen suddenly dies, journalists are anxious to get the real story.  What remains unknown is how much Jean is willing to tell.  A psychological thriller from British journalist Fiona Barton, The Widow is a “skillfully woven tale that reminds us, we can be deceived by others, but we can just as easily deceive ourselves.” – USA Today

Other new titles:

Fiction –
The Last Mile, D. Baldacci
Hide Away, I. Johansen
Extreme Prey, J. Sandford,           

Non-fiction –       
Martha Stewart Weddings (392.500), M. Stewart      
The Amazing Spider Man (741.500), D. Slott
Debunking Darwin (796.010), J. Anderson

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May 2, 2016 

Should I avoid caffeine? Do I need to make a birth plan? When does the morning sickness stop? Can my baby hear my voice? Does breastfeeding come naturally? What should I buy for the baby? How will I know when I am in labor? Experts answer all your questions about pregnancy, birth, and newborns – and amazing images show you what’s really happening inside your body. The Pregnancy Encyclopedia (618.240) by DK books is the encyclopedia all expectant parents should read.

WANT NOTHING + DO ANYTHING = HAVE EVERYTHING. Could it really be that simple?  According to the concepts detailed in Neil Pasricha’s book, The Happiness Equation (158.000), it is. Many believe that doing great things and achieving success is what leads to happiness. Counterintuitively, Pasricha believes one should strive to be happy, and in doing so, great works and success will follow. “Clear, practical, and thought-provoking, The Happiness Equation reveals how all of us can live happier lives.” – Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Writer and activist Laura Bates has collected more than 100,000 testimonies from people around the world in support of her Everyday Sexism Project. Started as a web site in 2012 where people could share their experiences of daily, normalized sexism, the movement has now gained international press and attention from many celebrities.  Her book, Everyday Sexism (305.420), is sparking a new wave of feminism.  Kirkus Reviews calls this book, “a potent reminder of how far feminism has come and how far it has to go.” 

Imagine you are a successful fashion designer, caring wife, and doting new mother whose life feels vital and full of promise. Imagine learning you have leukemia and death is imminent.  Charles Bock’s second novel, Alice & Oliver, is a deeply moving story of how, in the span of a day, life’s purpose can change from exploring the wonders of young family life to basic survival. New York Times bestselling author Matthew Thomas calls this novel, “desperately moving and beautifully life-affirming…a study in the power love has to give purpose to existence.” 

Even in Paradise, by Elizabeth Nunez, is receiving rave reviews.  Peter Duckworth is a wealthy landowner who decides to divide his Barbados estate among his three daughters.  This reimagined story of King Lear set in the Caribbean is the epic tale of family betrayal and manipulation.  “Nunez crafts an introspective tale as her vividly drawn characters navigate complications of heritage, race, and loyalty."

Considered the best work of legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women is a posthumous collection of 43 autobiographical stories depicting everyday life experiences that reads like one long conversation.  Berlin’s offbeat humor, get-on-with-it realism, and ability to layer details that echo across stories and decades give her book a tremendous staying power. – Publishers Weekly  

Other new titles:

Fiction –
Clawback, Jance
Runaway, May
Treachery at Lancaster Gate, Perry 

Non-fiction –       
Becoming Grandma (306.874), Lesley Stahl
Why the Right Went Wrong (320.520), E.J. Dionne
Big Bang Theory: Official Trivia Guide (791.457), Faberman

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