February 2020 Picks
Lintang and the Pirate Queen feels at first like a tropical version of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, but the world building in this debut of a projected series of five fantasy novels turns out to be different than my initial impression. Although the funny little excerpts from the guidebook-within-the-book about mythies (mythical creatures like in our world but with some twists) continue throughout. The origin of the mythies, and indeed much of what disobedient but well-intentioned heroine Lintang has been taught on her safe little island, turns out to be different and more complicated once she goes sailing in the company of the notorious but good-hearted pirate queen. Even Lintang’s best friend, a boy named Bayani, has an array of secrets, not all of them revealed in the end. This novel has wit and panache and complexity, yet accessibility (and I’m someone who can quickly get lost among a huge cast of characters or an unfamiliar setting), rare in preteen literature. I recommend it primarily to girls ten and older, although I think boys looking for a fun adventure and a protagonist who is not the usual “chosen one” would enjoy it, too. It would make a great read-aloud for as young as seven, especially since parents will get a kick out of it as well (particularly the parts about the politics of this alternative world).
This book has fascinating asides by the local animals and a mystery involving treasure. Enjoy
I just LOVE Brendan Gleeson, in pretty much everything he does. However, it was with great trepidation I took on this series for I read the books and I could not, for the life of me, picture Mr. Gleeson as Bill Hodges. But, was I ever wrong! The cool thing is they didn’t try to make an Irishman sound like an American and I like that. He keeps his Irish accent and still brings Bill Hodges to life. The series is a little slow at first but it gets there and, boy, does it get there. Excellent acting. One of my new favorite Stephen King adaptations. My other favorites are Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, Stand By Me, Cujo and Misery.
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge, what can I say? I had a hard time liking her in the Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kittridge novel but, boy, did it make me think. For days and days after I read it. So I said, Olive, again? Why not. I still have a hard time liking Olive but again, it’s making me think about her. For days and days. Give it a try. I listened to the book on CD where Kimberly Farr gives Olive a voice, albeit ratcheting, but, well, that’s Olive, isn’t it?
January 2020 Picks
I had never heard of this devastating chapter of our history. Why? Why had I never heard of this? It’s time for every one of us to move out of our comfort zones and learn the truth and change the future.
That’s my 2020 soapbox. I’m not getting down.
I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart (audiobook)
OMG, he’s so freaking funny! I’m sure the book is hysterical, but to have Kevin Hart read his own words is crash-your-car-into-a-tree funny! Get this on CD, but not yet, ’cuz Ima listen to it again.
So, the plot’s not great, but Brad and Leo are fantastic! FANTASTIC! FANTASTIC!
Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future reveals how fire suppression and climate change have exposed our forests and wildland-urban landscapes to large, high intensity wildfires, while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming. In this one-hour documentary, filmmaker Kevin White takes us on a journey from the Rim Fire of 2013 to the wine country wildfires of 2017. Along the way, we learn how the proactive use of prescribed fire can reduce reliance on reactive fire suppression, and we meet stakeholder groups working with scientists and resource managers to build consensus on how to restore and manage the lands we love and depend on.
Very informative documentary on how wildfires get started and how we can help prevent them.
Okay, I don’t profess to be a true vegan because I like butter and eggs too much. However, this is a great resource for plant-based cooking, especially with everyone’s new toy, the Insta-Pot! I don’t know about you, but I love mine. It makes cooking so much faster and easier and this book has some wonderful recipes and tips for pressure cooking a healthier diet. I like it so much I bought a copy for myself.
Adopted from a war-torn country just ten years prior, Luce becomes the very essence of what many consider to be the American Dream. However, all changes when his teacher encounters a shocking revelation upon examining the contents of Luce’s locker. Luce is then charged with fighting to maintain his integrity and reputation, as everyone around him begins to question his true character and motives.
A friend described Luce as “unnerving but a must see”. So I did see. And she was right.
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern is the lively, thought-provoking true story of how the rediscovery of a Roman poem that was thought to be lost forever influenced the Renaissance, and the rest of the modern era. Recommended for anyone who loves books and book-hunting, as well as language and ideas, and juicy gossip about historical figures.
THE MUELLER REPORT:presented with related materials by The Washington Post
Without getting political, my impression of the book is that it is so factual with dates and times, it reads like a legal diary.
CDs played on the Library Hour with Dennis Dias KNYO 107.7 FM and KNYO.org, Fridays @ 2pm:
Christmas Songs by Diana Krall (CD) featuring the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
This is the second book in a series about Beatrix Potter’s purchase of a cottage in the lake district of northwest Britain. In this novel, a crime is prevented (Yay!) and another is solved with the help of badgers.
The interactions of domestic animals and wild animals is interesting especially when a pet is lost and helped by an ancient badger who is the keeper of his clan’s history.
Cassie Palmer is not ready for her newfound responsibilities. As a clairvoyant, and former prisoner of one of the most powerful vampires in North America, she has learned to adapt to some odd situations. Now there’s even more on her plate: the vampire senate, the dark circle, and needy admirers. I like this series because it’s Vegas with vampires, fae, werewolves, mages, and several magical creatures.