Skip to content

May 2017 Staff Picks

Angela’s Pick: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

cold comfort farmI found this book googling “If you like David Sedaris…” Published in 1932, it’s a comic parody of the “rural novels” of the time. I laughed out loud (repeatedly) at lines like, “The porridge gave an ominous, leering heave. . .”  and “The thin wind sniveled among the rotting stacks of Cold Comfort farm.” A quick, light, and amusing read.

Brownie’s Pick: The Return : fathers, sons, and the land in between by Hisham Matar

the returnLibyan history lived large by Matar, family and his ‘disappeared’ father.  Beautifully written, and so thoughtful.  Art and the raw politics. Lyrically written, thoughtful.  You will miss its beauty once read.

Joanne’s Pick: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

sound of a wild snailWhen the author is bed ridden with a disease that has left her paralyzed, one of her friends finds a snail in the garden and brings it to her bedside with some potted up violets.  At first Elisabeth was puzzled about what she would do with the snail and felt responsible for its life and even overwhelmed.  As days pass, she finds solace and a sense of wonder observing this small mysterious creature that she hears munching in the night.  So begins a remarkable account of the humble creature and the strength and encouragement that the author derives from her observations.

Mark’s Pick: The Art of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

art of lord of the ringsThis beautiful book is a window into J.R.R. Tolkein’s world. It recounts and illustrates the story of how this talented and imaginative writer and illustrator brought to life the world of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I would recommend this book both to writers and illustrators who would like to learn from a master and to Tolkein’s readers and fans who want to know more about Middle Earth.

Megan’s Pick: Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear

birdsThis beautiful memoir/nature book by Kyo Maclear inspired, intrigued me and in some ways has changed the way I look at the world. As a writer, the way that Maclear honestly dealt her struggles with creative lulls, and times when life kept her from pursuing her passions, was exceptionally inspiring. While the main plot line of the book was her journey following an urban birdwatcher, photographer and musician for a year, Maclear wove in her own story to what she learned and observed with birds and her family. In addition to the book being beautifully written, there are also bits of her visual art integrated into the book. This is a book that I can’t stop recommending to people, and when I finished it, I found myself wishing it had never ended.