December is a great time to give and get books.
Last year, I bought Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel at the Friends’ holiday book talk. This turned out to be a great book to get for myself AND give to others.
I read Station Eleven before giving it to my husband, Mike, and then my sister Monica. It had something for all of us. Mike loves science fiction, and this book is set in the future. Monica is an actor and teacher and one theme of Station Eleven is the enduring impact of Shakespeare even in a post-apocalyptic world. I was fascinated with the ways the characters survived and how their stories as well as the past and present wove together.
It was great to share a book with people I love. Now I just need to get it back from my sister so I can send it to my friend Anne in California!
This December I am looking for more books to give and receive. Here are some books Friends of the Shorewood Library either want to give or get.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a father's essay to his son about the impossible environment that African Americans are expected to navigate today in our culture, a 21st century cautionary tale. I found it well written, enlightening, and profoundly sad. Should be required reading for all high school and college students. Mr Coates was one of 24 recipients of the MacArthur Genius Grant this year and last month, the National Book Award for non-fiction. -Submitted by Friends Board Member Susan Lofton
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, is hilarious without being cynical, touching without being overly sentimental, and wholly original. Adolescent readers might love this novel. The School Library Journal said, “Stradal's gentle humor pokes fun at such Midwest customs such as calling any cold food a salad and satirizes a few young foodies, too.” - Submitted by Library Board of Trustees President Mariann Maris
Picnic in Provence: A Tale of Love in France, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard, is a memoir about her life in Provence - a New Yorker who married a French film maker. The two of them buy a house from the family of a WWII French resistance fighter, Rene Char. Picnic in Provence is about everything that happens after the happily ever after, and reminds us that life, in and out of the kitchen, is a rendezvous with the unexpected. -Submitted by Mariann Maris
Still Life by Louise Penny, is the first in the Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries. This book introduces you to the Quebec village of Three Pines and to Penny’s captivating characters and writing. I will give this book to anyone who loves mysteries and books with a strong sense of place. Once introduced, they will want to continue with this remarkable series. -Submitted by Friends Board Member Anne O’Meara
I have loved George Simenon’s Chief Inspector Maigret series for at least 30 years, and I have a collection of little paperback/one-off novels relating to his cases. Now Penguin Books is releasing in small (3-4 novels) increments of the entire Maigret collection, I believe, over a period of several years. I have purchased the first hardback book, containing four novels, none of which I have read. I am hoping that attentive family members will pick up the next volume, soon to be released, so that I can continue to submerse myself in this quintessential Parisian detective series. –Submitted by Friends Board Member and Library Trustee Jean Gurney
I’m hoping to find A Banquet of Consequences, the nineteenth volume in Elizabeth George’s best-selling “Inspector Lynley” series under the tree or on my Kindle. The series, which debuted in 1994, features the unlikely duo of Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley (also the eighth Earl of Asherton) and his working-class partner, Sergeant Barbara Havers. I love the relationship between Lynley and Havers almost as much as I enjoy their crime-solving skills. –Submitted by President of the Friends Board, Priscilla Pardini
By Anne O’Meara, December 2015