Recently, the online magazine, BuzzFeed asked its readers to offer suggestion of great, underrated books. The list contains many international best sellers, a couple of books adapted into movies, and even a Nobel Prize winner or two, so I'm not sure what qualifies as "underrated." Still, there are a lot of great suggestions such as The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott, Little, Big by John Crowley, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek. And they're all available at Eisenhower!
Shelfish: The Blog of Answers
Jason Segel will star as David Foster Wallace in the biopic coming out at the end of July. Wallace was a highly acclaimed writer that took his life in 2008. He gave a very popular commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. Listen to an excerpt from the speech below.
Mental_Floss magazine recently published a list of Famous Authors' Favorite Books. Ray Bradbury (one of my favorites) placed Moby Dick and the collected essays of George Bernard Shaw among his favorites. George R.R. Martin recommended Station Eleven as one he "won't soon forget." Gillian Flynn said that her "comfort food" books - the ones she turned to when she's cranky were Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Norman Mailer's Executioner's Song.
“Did anyone really know their child? Your child was a little stranger, constantly changing, disappearing and reintroducing himself to you. New personality traits could appear overnight.”
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty takes place on the Pirriwee Peninsula in Australia and centers on the children and their parents from the Pirriwee Public School. This is a small beach town which at first may seem rather quiet and uneventful. It is not. The story follows three women, each at a crossroads. There is Madeline who tells it like it is in both humorous and biting ways. Celeste appears to have it all, beauty, wealth, and twin boys. But beneath the surface things are not as they appear. Jane is a young single mother with a kindergarten son Ziggy, and their arrival in the beach community really stirs things up!
This book is funny, serious, and thought-provoking. There are some dark moments hidden through little lies and silence. We are privy to the thoughts and comments of numerous people in the novel. At the end of each chapter Moriarty offers us bits and pieces of comments, gossip and observations. It is fascinating to see how the rumor mill keeps churning through innuendo, the misreading of a situation and pure conjecture. There is a trivia night at the school where the women dress like Audrey Hepburn and the men dress like Elvis. The caterer is late, someone put too much alcohol in the delicious pink cocktails and the grapevine is running wild! Then something unexpected happens and all their lives will be changed forever. I have also read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and she can certainly put a new spin on an ordinary situation and surprise the reader in the most interesting ways. I recommend both Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret.
Find Big Little Lies in the library
- Dawn, Reference Intern
“A tiding of magpies: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told” Rear Window meets Gone Girl. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is voyeuristic like Rear Window, with an unreliable narrator like Gone Girl; this psychological thriller is a page turner!
Look for Academy Award Contest entry forms at the Answers Desk. Check off your selections from this year’s nominees. Entries with the most correct answers will be eligible to win prizes. In the event of a tie, prizes will be awarded by means of a random drawing. One entry per person please. Entries will be accepted at the library Answers Desk until 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 21st.
Do you know someone lacking empathy? Think that they can't change? A new study offers hope for grinches and grumps. Researchers from the University of Toronto suggest that reading fiction can make people more empathetic. The authors of the study wrote that literature can enhance a reader's empathy, or ability to understand someone elses' point-of-view.
When at the library this month, be sure to stop in the lobby for a few moments to take in the display of Southeast Asian shadow puppets created by artist Siew Lian Lim. With her use of recycled materials such as soda cans and ramen noodle packages, Lim recontextualizes characters from her home country of Malaysia into representations of modern gluttony and waste. For a gallery of Lim's puppets, visit the library's facebook page.
Today the Librarian of Congress announced the 2014 additions to the National Film Registry, a list of films deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” that are earmarked for preservation by the Library of Congress. These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation.
This year's inductees include 13 Lakes, Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day, The Big Lebowski, Down Argentine Way, The Dragon Painter, Felicia, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Gang’s All Here, House of Wax, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, Little Big Man, Luxo Jr., Moon Breath Beat, Please Don’t Bury Me Alive!, The Power and the Glory, Rio Bravo, Rosemary’s Baby, Ruggles of Red Gap, Saving Private Ryan, Shoes, State Fair, Unmasked, V-E +1, The Way of Peace, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Although some of the more obscure films are not available to borrow from the library, many of the Film Registry choices can be reserved by searching our online catalog or asking at the Answers Desk.