Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Hispanic Heritage Month Print Email

Jacket cover of Julia Alvarez's

September 15th begins the month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Mark the occasion by picking up Julia Alvarez's A Wedding in Haiti, a memoir chronicling her hilarious and life-changing experiences in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Years after Alvarez promises a friend she will attend his wedding, she must fulfill her pledge by traveling across the turbulent nation of Haiti, bribing officials along the way.  A year later, she and her husband make the same journey, this time to find her friend in the devastation of the 2010 earthquake that struck the island nation.  Once we have become involved in a relationship, Alvarez declares, we are transformed by our obligation to it.  For a sampling of Hispanic authors, check out The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.

New Northwest Stories Print Email

Jacket covers of The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin and Wilderness by Lance Weller, both featuring scenes from the Pacific NW

You might want to add these two new fall titles set in the Northwest to your reading list based on early reviews.  The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, set at the turn of the 20th century, places two scared, desperate, and very pregnant teenage girls under the compassionate watch of a reclusive orchardist who sacrifices his ordered world and lonely harmony to open his heart and let them in.  This book also has one of the most beautiful covers yet this year.  Lance Weller's Wilderness features Abel, another lonely and damaged soul, whose Civil War wounds - both physical and spiritual - led him to pilgrimage to Washington State where he lives with his dog for companionship in a driftwood shack.  But the war is not yet done with him, and he must make one more journey to hold onto his humanity.  (This cover is great, too!)

What WCLS Read This Summer Print Email

Adult summer reading logo image, titled

The Adult Summer Reading program wrapped up recently with much increased participation over last year!  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the countywide summer reading list by tagging what they read, watched or listened to with a "WCLS2012" tag.  Here's the list for your enjoyment - sort the 1,200+ items using the left menu bar.  Besides print books, summer readers enjoyed ebooks and downloadable audio, magazines, music CDs, movies, large print, book club kits, and audiobooks on CD, cassette and Playaway!  Congratulations to all prize winners and a big thank you to businesses and organizations who donated prizes this year.  Check out the list of ASR sponsors here.

Julia Child Turns 100 Print Email

Jacket cover of Bob Spitz's Julia Child biography Before Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart, Julia Child was the original rock star of the kitchen. Child, born August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, was not a natural at cooking; she decided to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu in 1948 after experiencing a life-changing meal in Paris. Thirteen years later she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which remains a cookbook staple in kitchens across America. Dearie by Bob Spitz, published in early August to coincide with what would have been Child's 100th birthday, describes her incredible life story and explores how she acted as a role model for post-war American women, changing both the kitchen and the culture in the process.

Other recent high-demand books on Child include A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS by Jennet Conant and Julia Child's My Life in France, made popular by the feature film Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.  Interested in cooking memoirs?  Check out our list of "chefoirs!"

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Print Email
Jacket covers of four titles on the following Dayton Awards finalists list.

Finalists were recently named for the $10,000 Dayton Literary Peace Prize which recognizes fiction and nonfiction books (published within the past year) that have "led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view." Past winners include Chang-rae Lee for The Surrendered and Dave Eggers for Zeitoun. 2012 winners will be announced November 11th in Dayton, Ohio. Click "read more" to see a list of finalist titles available in the library catalog.

Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin (1937 Battle of Nanjing, China)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (African-American family during Hurricane Katrina)
Shards by Ismet Prcic (mid-1990s war in Bosnia)
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (adventures on a ship from India to England from a young boy's point-of-view)
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (loss of child and its impact on a marriage)
The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (WWI in Austria-Hungary)

A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead (women of the French resistance sent to Auschwitz)
Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo (wartime Iraq memoir)
Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee (women & Liberia's struggle for peace)
End All Wars by Adam Hochschild (societal perspective on WWI)
What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (psychological and spiritual effects of war on those who do the fighting)

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