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What We're Reading

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Make me a mother : a memoir

Antonetta, Susanne, 1956-

362.734 ANTONET

"Relates how the author and her husband adopted a six-month-old boy from South Korea and the lessons they had to learn as parents, including how to incorporate aspects of another culture and how to discuss birth parents with their son." (--Syndetics Solutions) My boss passed this along to me, thinking I could relate to this author's experience. I couldn't believe when I flipped to the author photo on the jacket-- "I know her! I know her son! They live in Bellingham! He is the greatest kid." Small world...

Suggested by Ruth

The handmaid's tale

Atwood, Margaret, author.


"Margaret Atwood presents a chilling dystopic novel set in the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, after a radical theocratic revolution. In a time of declining birthrates, fertile women are dispersed to high-ranking white men as baby-making handmaids. If a handmaid cannot reproduce, she is exiled to the Colonies, an uber-polluted wasteland. One of these handmaids, Offred, not only remembers her life before the revolution, but is determined to reclaim it." (--Syndetic Solutions)

Have always meant to read this, and when I heard that Claire Danes had narrated an Audie Award winning recording, I knew the time had come. Really worth your time.

Suggested by Ruth

Pioneer girl

Nguyen, Bich Minh.


Discovering a family heirloom that her mother may have received from Laura Ingalls Wilder, PhD graduate Lee Lien explores the tenuous connection between her ancestors and the famous pioneer author only to discover a trail of clues that lead to fateful encounters. (--Syndetic Solutions)

As someone who loved the Little House books, is fascinated by the immigrant journey, and intrigued by mother-daughter dynamics, I found a lot to enjoy in this book.

Suggested by Ruth

Crap at my parents' house

Dovev, Joel.


Picked this up at random based on the cover. Staff couldn't look at it while they were on the public service desks because they would laugh too loud. Originally a blog, now a book, this features pictures of bizarre, or useless, or hideous, or hilarious stuff people have photographed in their parents' homes, such as crocheted teddy bear fly swatter, soccer-playing-Jesus statue, an ancient can of Crisco with a label that proclaims, "It's Digestible", and a fireplace mantel decorated in a style that can only be called Jewish-Pirate.

Suggested by Ruth

Devil in a blue dress

Mosley, Walter.


In a Los Angeles bar, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job, wonders how he'll pay his mortgage. DeWitt Albright, a quietly vicious white man, walks in and offers Easy a job. Good money too. All Easy has to do is locate Daphne Monet, a beautiful French woman running around town with $30,000 that doesn't belong to her. Suggested by Liz


Waters, John, 1946-


John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads "I'm Not Psycho," he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash? Suggested by Liz


Rowell, Rainbow.


Two days before they're supposed to visit his family in Omaha for Christmas, TV writer Georgie McCool tells her husband, Neal, that she has to stay in Los Angeles to work. She knows Neal will be upset, but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go without her. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. A moving tale of a marriage on the brink, and one woman's chance to either save it or make sure it never happens. This title is also available in audiobook, large print and Overdrive and 3m ebooks formats. Suggested by Liz

Through the woods : stories

Carroll, Emily.


Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories. This deeply chilling collection of vignettes will be appreciated by teens and adults alike. This title also available in Overdrive eBook format. Suggested by Liz

John Hughes : a life in film

Honeycutt, Kirk, author.


John Hughes was indeed one of the most prolific and successful filmmakers in Hollywood history. From his humble beginnings to his blockbuster success, the author offers a a behind-the-scenes look at the genius that was John Hughes. Wonderful insight into the man whose movies played a predominant role so many of our adolescence. Suggested by Liz

Mrs. Kimble : a novel

Haigh, Jennifer, 1968-


To each of his three wives, Ken Kimble is the perfect partner. All three are wrong. Told from the perspectives of the women he woos, marries, and disappoints, we are offered a glimpse into the mind of this master manipulator. Each Mrs. Kimble is vulnerable to the manipulative Ken in one way or another, and each manages to delude herself about truly seeing him for what he is, even when all of the evidence is right in front of her. This title is also available as an audiobook. Suggested by Liz

Neil Patrick Harris : choose your own autobiography

Harris, Neil Patrick, 1973- author.


The Emmy Award-winning star of How I Met Your Mother shares his experiences as a child star, Broadway performer and father in an over-the-top, humorous account creatively designed in the style of the popular interactive adventure series. Adapted especially for the audiobook edition, listeners hear all of the same fun and humor from the printed version and don't have to make any decisions or jump around! Plus, it features exclusive bonus audio of young Neil delivering an adorable speech. This title is also available in print, Overdrive eBook and eAudio, and 3M eBook formats. Suggested by Liz

Today is the last day of the rest of your life

Lust, Ulli, 1967-

741.5943 LUST

Two teenaged punk-rock girls hitchhike their way across Italy without a penny in their pockets. Set in 1984, Ulli Lust's graphic novel is an intimate, detailed, funny, touching, and dramatic chronicle of several eventful months in the life of the author as she and her new best friend Edi make their way from Vienna, Austria to Sicily. There is sex. There are drugs. There is rock 'n' roll. And there are stints in jail, inclement weather, panhandling, life lessons, new friendships, acts of kindness and acts of betrayal-- and, this being Sicily, some uncomfortably close brushes with the Organization Whose Name You Mustn't Mention. Suggested by Liz

Free spirit : growing up on the road and off the grid

Safran, Joshua.


Tells the harrowing, yet wryly funny story of Safran's childhood chasing the perfect life off the grid--and how he and his mother survived the imperfect one they found instead. More than just a coming-of age story, "Free Spirit" is a journey of the spirit, as Safran reconnects with his Jewish roots; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other. Suggested by Stacey

A matter of breeding : a biting history of pedigree dogs and how the quest for status has harmed man's best friend

Brandow, Michael, 1959- author.

636.7088 BRANDOW

In this illuminating and entertaining social history, social critic Michael Brandow probes the "cult of pedigree" and traces the commercial rise of the purebred dog. Combining consumer studies with sharp commentary, A Matter of Breeding reveals the sordid history of the dog industry and shows how our brand-name pets--from Labs to French bulldogs and everything in between--pay the price with devastatingly poor health. I thought I knew a lot about the history of certain breeds and why they looked like they did but this was an eye-opener and gave a different perspective on their histories.

This title is also available as a 3M ebook.

Suggested by Marina

Veronica Mars. The Thousand-dollar tan line

Thomas, Rob.


The first book in an original mystery series featuring twenty-eight-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends--Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas--Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts. Read by Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, the audio version is a great way to lose yourself in the world of Neptune, CA. A good mystery with fun dialogue and familiar characters.

This title is also available as a print book.

Suggested by Marina


Miller, Lauren (Lauren McBrayer), 1980-


Your path changes. Your destiny doesn't. Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice--taking a drama class her senior year of high school--changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten. With scores of time travel stories under my belt reading about Abby living parallel lives was a fresh perspective of a similar genre.

Suggested by Marina

Think like a freak : the authors of Freakonomics offer to retrain your brain

Levitt, Steven D., author.

153.43 LEVITT

The New York Times bestselling authors of Freakonomics offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. Three books into this theme I didn't think there would be anything fresh but I learned some new information and learned the processes behind some examples from previous books. For those that like the scientific explanation of every day happenings.

This title is also available on CD, eaudio and ebook from OverDrive and 3M ebook.

Suggested by Marina

Enchanted, Inc. : a novel

Swendson, Shanna.


Katie Chandler had always heard that New York is a weird and wonderful place, but this small-town Texas gal had no idea how weird until she moved there. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that tricks of the trade to the magic community. For MSI, Katie's ordinariness is an asset. Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor's contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Now it's up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and-hopefully-live happily ever after. For those that might enjoy a chick lit version of Harry Potter. From the Muggle point of view.

This title is also available as an ebook in OverDrive and 3M.

Suggested by Marina

Jeni's splendid ice creams at home

Bauer, Jeni Britton.

641.862 BAUER

At last, addictive flavors, and a breakthrough method for making creamy, scoopable ice cream at home, from the proprietor of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, whose artisanal scooperies in Ohio are nationally acclaimed. Now, with her debut cookbook, Jeni Britton Bauer is on a mission to help foodies create perfect ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets--ones that are every bit as perfect as hers--in their own kitchens. Frustrated by icy and crumbly homemade ice cream, Bauer invested in a $50 ice cream maker and proceeded to test and retest recipes until she devised a formula to make creamy, sturdy, lickable ice cream at home. Having tried many of the recipes in this book I highly recommend it for the ease of creating a delicious ice cream (and the ability to modify at will) without the threat of the dreaded curdled egg custard.

This title is also available as an OverDrive ebook.

Suggested by Marina

I am half-sick of shadows

Bradley, C. Alan, 1938-


Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw over to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays, filming scenes in the stately manse. The famous star turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from her own movies. With the snow raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to solve the wintry country-house murder. She'll have to be quick-witted, though, to negotiate the volatile chemicals of a cast and crew starting to crack--and locked in a house with a murderer. This is the fourth title in the Flavia de Luce mysteries.

This title is also available in audiobook, large print and Overdrive and 3m ebooks.

Suggested by Becky

Blackberry winter : a novel

Jio, Sarah.


Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, good night and reluctantly leaves for work. In the morning--even though it's the second of May--a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty. His teddy bear lies outside in the snow. Seattle, present day. On the second of May, Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge awakens to another late-season snowstorm. Assigned to cover this "blackberry winter" and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel's unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth--only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways. Jio is a Seattle author.

This title is also available in audiobook, large print and Overdrive ebook

Suggested by Becky

Thereby hangs a tail

Quinn, Spencer.


In the second installment of the Chet and Bernie mystery series Chet gets a glimpse of the show dog world turned deadly. What first seems like a walk in the park to wise and lovable canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie—to investigate threats made against a pretty, pampered show dog—turns into a serious case when Princess and her owner are abducted. To make matters worse, Bernie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, reporter Susie Sanchez, disappears too.

This title is also available in audiobook, large print, and Overdrive ebook.

Suggested by Becky

The Museum of Extraordinary Things : a novel

Hoffman, Alice.


The daughter of a Coney Island boardwalk curiosities museum's front man pursues an impassioned love affair with a Russian immigrant photographer who after fleeing his Lower East Side Orthodox community has captured poignant images of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The Dreamland of Coney Island and it's famous fire adds to the drama.

This title is also available in audiobook, large print, eaudio, and Overdrive and 3m ebooks.

Suggested by Becky


McGuire, Richard.


Richard McGuire's Here is the story of a corner of a room and the events that happened in that space while moving forward and backward in time. Hundreds of thousands of years become interwoven. A dinosaur from 100,000,000 BCE lumbers by, while a child is playing with a plastic toy that resembles the same dinosaur in the year 1999. Meanwhile, the attention is focused on the most ordinary moments and appreciating them as the most transcendent.

Suggested by Becky


Wood, Brian, 1972- author.


Mara, famous volley ball player, beloved world wide suddenly develops super powers that turns the world against her, and puts her into the hands of a goverment who want to use her as a weapon. It's "A coming-of-rage story."

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