Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Greetings and good readings from the Ginter Park branch!

National Library Week (April 13th-19th)  is nearly upon us so now seems like a good time to share my "favorite books I've read in 2014 so far" list (before it gets too long).  

Dissident Gardens (2013) is a multi-generational tale of American communists, Greenwich Village counter-culture, and mothers and daughters. Recommended for readers of that sort of thing. See also: William Faulkner, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, and the movie Inside Llewyn Davis.

On such a full sea (2014) was my "most eagerly anticipated read of 2014" back in January and I am pleased to announce that I didn't self-hype it to death.  Recommended for fans of all things post-apocalyptic, Cormac McCarthy (Think The road), Margaret Atwood (my favorite author--duh.), and Ursula K. LeGuin.

Lowland (2013) I would have called it A heartbreaking work of staggering genius if that name weren't already taken. Just remember: It's healthy to cry.  Just let it all out.  Read it if you loved The magic seedsCutting for stone, or just love beauty.  It's worth it.

Dark Places (2009).  Confession: I liked this so much better than Gone Girl.  Am I allowed to say that? It was almost like an alternate version of In cold blood told from the perspective of a survivor if In cold blood had been fiction and anyone had survived (SPOILER ALERT). Readers of Tami Hoag and Joyce Carol Oates will enjoy it too.

Orfeo (2014).  I read this whole book with my mouth hanging open.  (At least one of this year's snow days happened because I wished for it the day I checked this book out: I knew I had to read it all in one sitting. Librarians have super powers. #truestory )  This is a beautifully written novel that weaves Mahler, modern art, technology, and paranoia into a captivating tale of a composer and amateur microbiologist, and his magnum opus. For fans of Godel, Escher, Bach, (non-fiction), Mefisto, and stories inspired by the myth of Orpheus.

The Circle (2013) is the fun and just a little too real story of Meg, a naive young woman working for a powerful Google-meets-Facebook-like mega-corporation.  Recommended for fans of Jennifer Egan and Gary Shteyngart, as well as folks who have a healthy fear of our Google overlords.

The Luminaries (2013) is a gorgeous novel told from multiple viewpoints and set during the New Zealand gold rush in the 1860s. Recommended for lovers of really good books and fans of If on a winter's night a traveler, Cloud atlas, and Life after life (Kate Atkinson's). 

Black Moon (2014) creeped me out!  Imagine a world in which people can't fall asleep anymore except for a fortunate--or unfortunate--few "sleepers".  Imagine insomniacs being scarier than zombies.  Recommended for lovers of  Zone one, The dog stars, The age of miracles, World War Z, and sleeping in.

Kafka on the Shore (2006). Love. This. Book.  Existential and surreal, fans of Saramago and A tale for the time being by Ruth Ozeki will enjoy this.

Why are you so sad? (2014) is a "Laugh your face off or else you'll cry because it's just so true" kind of story about your average clinically depressed guy working as an artist who designs the pictorial instruction manuals for an IKEA-like company, and amateur mental-health surveys in his spare time.  Read if you liked Even cowgirls get the blues or Breakfast of champions, or you just think that something can be so sad it's funny. 
The shining girls (2013) "The girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist".  This is your classic serial killer meets girl story with a sci-fi time-traveling twist.  Yeah, it is a lot of fun--and pretty darn gory.  Read if you enjoyed Nowhere by Christopher Shane, and even Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.  

Celebrate National Library Week 2014 (April 13-19, 2014) @ your library!

All week long (April 14-19) you can drop in to Ginter Park to make a bookmark!  All ages welcome!

Do not miss the inaugural Teen Book Club for Girls event!  Author Meg Medina, recently named one of CNN's "Ten Visionary Women", will be joining us to discuss her book Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass.  
April 16th @ 3 pm in the Main Library Teen Space.

Check out a whole bunch of great movies playing @ North Avenue all week at 2 pm!

And more!

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