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October 2019 Staff Picks

David’s Pick : The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies by David Thomson

“This book is a love letter to a lost love, I suppose” writes Thomson near the end of this imposing and very readable history of film. It’s a good mix of straight-up history, with some deep dives into the figures for whom Thomson clearly has a special affection. It will make you want to watch more movies!

Jayme’s Pick : Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

E.B. White’s classic The Trumpet of the Swan had my family laughing and tearing up as we nestled together for our bedtime reading.  It’s the story of Louis the trumpeter swan, who is born unable to utter a sound, who, through a series of incredible adventures, finds his voice as a virtuoso trumpet player. This is a story of love, determination, family, and, above all, friendship.

Jayme’s Pick : Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Though Lahiri has written other critically acclaimed and well-known books, this one, her first, is still my favorite. With its focus on people in transition, the stories collected here capture the promise, as well as the sense of dislocation and sadness, of those who try to pick up stakes and build a better life elsewhere. The prose is stunning, the characters heartbreaking.

Joanne’s Pick : My French family table by Beatrice Peltre

My French family table by Beatrice Peltre is a wonderful gluten free cookbook with over 120 simple recipes that are seasonally inspired, wholesome, and delicious.  I really enjoy her recipes because she uses such a large variety of different vegetables and fruit with a good dose of common herbs most of us have in our garden.   The photography is stunning and the comments and stories are delightful. Some recipes I have tried are Savory cake and Marbled chocolate brownie that are easy to make and delicious.

Linda’s Pick : Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Cover image for Secret daughterIntertwining stories of two families grappling with parenthood, identity, and survival – one in India and one in the U.S.

Linda’s Pick : The Mechanics of Dreaming by Trish Nichol

Image result for The mechanics of dreamingA short collection of personal poems capturing tender moments in life and love.

Megan’s Pick : The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World By Sarah Weinman

Lovers of true crime will get lost in Sarah Weinman’s retelling of Sally Horner’s kidnapping. But this book goes beyond a mere true crime book to literary and cultural criticism. Weinman not only questions how Nabokov approached the truth around the possible influence of the true story on Lolita, but also why people fell so quickly for the controversial title. Once I read the first three pages, I was hooked and had to finish.

Megan’s Pick : Machine without Horses by Helen Humphreys

To call Machine without Horses a novel doesn’t seem to do it justice. I have described this book as a 2-in-1 that combines fiction and nonfiction. The first part of this book takes the reader into Humphreys’ process. She’s found her muse and the subject for a book, Megan Boyd, a celebrated fly tier and recluse. Humphreys wants to write about her, but nonfiction becomes too big a feat due to the lack of facts available, so she uses Boyd as an inspiration. In the second part of the book Humphreys reveals the book with Boyd as the protagonist. Machine without Horses is an exploration of writing craft, of imagination, of love and life.

Natalie’s Pick : Sounds like Titanic by Jessica Hindman

The author is delighted to land a dream job as a violinist with a profitable and professional touring ensemble in New York. She soon discovers that the performances are a sham, with music blasting from a CD! The book evolves into a discussion on disillusionment and the efforts of young women to acquire respect and be treated with dignity. A funny and complex memoir.

Sandra’s Pick : The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

 Cover image for The book of speculationI enjoyed this book for its absolutely unique and unpredictable story, its contrast of other-worldliness and modern-day realities, and unforgettable characters (and the main character is a librarian…until he loses his job).