Due to the popularity of our August Book Club pick “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, our September Book Club choice is the enchanting ‘companion’ novel “The Love Songs of Miss Queenie Hennessy” by Rachel Joyce. While ‘Miss Queenie’ is waiting for Harold’s visit as he treks across England, she decides to write to him – and tell Harold everything she’s kept secret for 20 years. Order your copy today through ILL – just call us at Borrower Services and we’ll be happy to help you. (232-6125)
Not sure what the Kinsey scale, heteronormativity, or polyamory are? Want to know more about identity politics, gender, or the LGBTQ* movement? Looking for an introduction to queer theory, but aren’t sure where to start? Want to learn more about all these topics (and more) in a non-judgmental, fun, and easy to understand format? Never fear – the library has a solution!
Queer: A Graphic History is a great starting guide for all these topic and more! This book breaks down complex topics from queer theory into illustrated, easy to understand, 1-page summaries (see image below). This book has value for those just starting to learn about these topics, as well as those with some background knowledge looking for more in-depth information. To learn more, or to place a hold on this title, visit the library catalog here, or click the book cover above!
Image from http://www.juliascheele.co.uk/queer-a-graphic-history/
Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale is over, but if you need more from Margaret Atwood, we’ve got you covered! Check out some of the other books she’s written available at Bryant library (click the links or cover photos to place a hold):
Alias Grace is a great next-book choice, especially because it’s also being made into a tv show! It’s going to be a limited-run show on Netflix–check out the trailer here.
This book is based on a true story about Grace Marks, who was convicted of killing the man she worked for. In this retelling, Grace cannot recall the murder, and a doctor’s help is enlisted to find out what really happened.
Another book by Margaret Atwood you should check out is Oryx and Crake. Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, this book is a dystopia, focusing on the world after scientific and ecological disasters. This book switches perspective, showing the reader the current state of the world as well as how it became that way. This is the first book of the MaddAddam trilogy, so if you like this book we can order you the other books in the series as well (they’re told from the perspective of other people in the world to give you more information about the world).
If you’re looking for something a bit different, you can try The Door, a book of Margaret Atwood’s poetry. These poems span a variety of different topics, including loss, love, and the life of the poet.
George Saunders is not an author with whom I was familiar prior to reading Lincoln in the Bardo. What drew me is the title, being both a Lincoln/American Civil War enthusiast (I’ve never really liked the term “Civil War buff” though I certainly meet the criteria) and dabbler in eastern religions and spirituality. The term “bardo” refers to a state of consciousness between death and rebirth. The story focuses on the death of President Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son Willie in February, 1862 during the first term of Lincoln’s presidency and America’s escalation into its nearly year-old Civil War.
I have read, in various forums, that readers’ preferred format for this novel is the audio-book. I can easily understand this as the story features a cacophony of character voices—graveyard residents—whose souls retain a variety of personalities so diverse that it seems a shame to deny one’s ears the pleasure. Saunders creates a dialog between characters that is, in many ways, more reminiscent of a play than a novel. Truncated, rapid-fire responses mixed with monologue. The character dialog is interspersed with citations from the many, many books (of which I have read a number) written about Lincoln himself, his administration, the Todd family (Mary Lincoln’s kin) and the Civil War era. Generally speaking, my first impression of this book was not positive. The quirky writing-style was so alien to me that I felt it a bit too bizarre for my taste. In fact, I reluctantly abandoned it early on but it was my love of all things Lincoln, along with the understanding that beneath the literary quirk was a truly talented writer, that brought me back to its pages for another try and, ultimately, I am pleased that it did.
Saunders’ portrayal of Lincoln’s grief and heart-wrenching loss; his visits to the cemetery—allegedly, to exhume and caress his son’s entombed body—in the days after Willie’s death was, at times, emotionally overwhelming. It felt almost intrusive to be reading something so personal and emotionally weighted. In scenes both reviling and beautiful, the author takes you to places you ordinarily believe you would surely decline to go. Until you go. And it becomes the tragic sight from which you can’t avert your eyes. It is by no means a light, fun read. There is wonderfully creative and talented prose as well as a good dose of humor in some of his many characters but for anyone who has suffered a loss of such magnitude, an emotional ride awaits you in this book.
If you’ve been alive at any point in the last 30 years, you’ve probably played Tetris at least once. Maybe you’ve played long enough that you still see the shapes falling after you’ve stopped playing or even in your dreams (this is a documented psychological phenomenon called “the Tetris effect”). What you may not know is that the story of arguably the most ubiquitous video game ever involves all manner of tech industry wheeling and dealing, political manipulation, questions of ownership, and one Russian computer scientist who wanted to make a simple puzzle game to amuse himself and his co-workers. Writer/artist Box Brown covers it all in this graphic novel, along with a quick history of the video game industry and a rumination of what it is about gaming that drives us all, whether we know it or not. It’s a fun, informative read… you’ll probably enjoy it, and you’ll definitely want to play Tetris for an hour or six when you’re done.
March is a graphic novel series featuring the first person accounts of Congressman John Lewis on the history of the civil rights movement. In Book 1, he describes his childhood in segregated Alabama, how it shaped him to become a civil rights activist, and the experience of taking part in the Nashville sit-ins. The latest installment of this series, March Book 3, made The New York Times Bestseller list, and this year was the first graphic novel ever to win the National Book Award.
Bryant has the first two books in this series. Stop in and check them out so you have something to read over Thanksgiving break!
One of the most popular authors we have recently added to our Leisure Reading collection is Swedish writer Fredrick Backman. His first three books were best-sellers all over Europe, and have become quite a sensation here in America. Looking for a book to warm your heart during the autumn chill? Check out one of his novels – ‘A Man Called Ove’, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry‘ and ‘Britt-Marie Was Here‘. You’ll be glad you did!