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Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Comfort Reads for Troubled Times

So lately the term “self-care” has been very popular.  (I can’t imagine why that could be.)  The library is here for you in many ways.  We have yoga and meditation classes.  We have quiet and comfy chairs.  My colleague Reza S. has some non-fiction recommendations for you.    

Orphan Master's Son cover

Fiction about North Korea

And Fiction by North Koreans

So, um, North Korea has been in the news a lot lately.  Now might be a good time to read some of their fiction.  However, there really isn’t a lot of it that is available to the world outside North Korea. Until recently, there hasn’t been any unauthorized work making its way out of the country, which is exceptionally chilling, given that unauthorized fiction tends to find its way out of all authoritarian regimes. (People need to tell their stories.)  However, this March saw the U.S.

Back to College

The campus novel

I went to a state university. It was really big, and a lot of my fellow students were adults with jobs and kids and, you know, actual lives. So there really wasn't much campus life going on. I don't regret my decision (I saved a ton of money) but I do envy people who had "real" college experiences.

Go-Between cover

What I Did Last Summer

Eight Books About "That One Summer"

There is a reason why “The Summer that Changed My Life” is a college admission essay staple.  For a young person, it's three whole months of relatively unstructured time.  Something interesting has to happen, right?  Novelists feel the same way.  There are so many novels that take place over a single summer.  Here is just a sample:  

A Place of Greater Safety cover

Vive La Révolution!

Fiction about the French Revolution

The French Revolution. It's a lot like the American Revolution, except it was bloodier, more complicated and fueled by righteous class fury. (This video will take you through it.) Then there is the petty backstabbing among the revolutionaries. It's like a middle school lunchroom with a guillotine. All this makes for some pretty great fiction.

Adams Vs. Jefferson cover

Know Your Inaugurals

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Some of the most stirring presidential quotes in this country's 240-year history come from inaugural addresses. Our library has some great books that are just devoted to the speeches and the events that surrounded them. Check one out and relive some of the best speeches in American history.   All I'm saying is that the next president has a lot to live up to come January 20.  

Obama Master Reading List 2008-2016

One thing I'm going to miss about President Obama: the man reads.  The busiest man in the world still makes time to read.  He is a role model for us all.  He reads good stuff too. So in honor of the Reader-in-Chief, I have compiled a master list of all the books that the president was reported to have read from 2008 until the present. Please let me know if I have missed any.    2016

Disaster Artist cover

Funny Pop Culture Books

Beach season may be over, but the need for "beach reads" never goes away.  For me, a beach read is rarely a novel. My ideal relaxation book is usually light, funny, non-fiction and usually about some aspect of pop culture.  (I realize that this a very specific genre.)  I've picked some of my favorites below.  If you aren't in the mood for fiction the next time you go on vacation give one of these a try!


Herman Melville in Fiction

It happens more than you think....

Fans of Herman Melville are an interesting group.  To quote playwright Tony Kushner, ''One falls in love with him, and I certainly have, completely, as most of the other Melville freaks have".  Fans include Maurice Sendak, Moby, and the current President of the United States of America.

Hamilton the Revolution cover

'Hamilton' and Beyond: Tony Nominees at Your Library

So the 2016 Tony nominations are out.  You may not be able to get to NYC to see these shows, but you have a library, a computer, and an imagination and sometimes that’s enough. (Trust me, the version of Rent I pictured in my head was way better than the one I eventual saw.)  Here are some of the nominees and some resources to help you out. Best Musical Hamilton