Welcome to the new year. If you're anything like me you spent last night home alone re-watching episodes of Torchwood. If you're like most everyone else, you might have enjoyed the company of friends as well as the company that makes your favorite adult beverages. I'm sure you had fun last night, but maybe today you aren't enjoying yourself quite as much. Here some suggestions to help you feel better.
Shelfish: The Blog of Answers
"An eager young wife who had been shaped just like every other eager young wife of my generation… by her husband".
The Aviator’s Wife gives a unique look through the eyes of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh. This story shows the couple’s life together from beginning to end, taking historical accounts and giving them a realistic edge. From the poignant kidnapping of their firstborn child, to the Lindberghs’ infamous involvement with the early Nazi party, readers see the oppression that Anne faces, rarely ever able to voice her thoughts and emotions to her dispassionate husband. This story truly shows the damaging effects of fame that few realize exist.
I often found myself frustrated with the main character, expecting her to stand up to her husband, wondering why such a privileged woman allowed her life to veer in such a miserable direction. I understand that her position as the obedient wife is pretty typical for her time, but her thoughts were too often the opposite of what her husband expected them to be. I can only think of two times in the entire book that the character stated that she was truly happy; once when her six month trip around the world met an abrupt halt, and she was once again reunited with her firstborn child. The second was when she was in her fifties, when Anne found her own little niche in an apartment away from her now empty family home with new friends, and began an affair with a sensitive doctor. Charles was always away on trips, as he was never able to stay in one place, and Anne tended to prefer it this way. In the end, everything is tied into a neat little bow. Anne decides she does not regret the very often lonely life that she has lived as the wife of an aviator full of an insatiable wanderlust. She has finally published a great story, and people have begun to recognize and appreciate her for who she is, and not as merely an extension to her husband. The story is, however, very historically accurate, and I would recommend this book to fans of the time, the Lindbergh family, or aviation.
Find The Aviator's Wife in the library.
"[Getting five kids into bed] is like dealing with terrorists. You have to cajole them, and you have to negotiate ... it's really the opposite of a hostage situation — instead of trying to get people out of there, you're trying to keep them in there: I'll give you whatever you want! What do you want, a helicopter to Cuba? Anything, just stay in there and don't hurt anyone."
Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan's first book is about parenting. It's not a how-to guide or a manual of any kind. In fact, this is the last person you'd want to be taking parenting advice from. Gaffigan doesn't know anything about being a parent. He got married and all of a sudden there were babies crawling all over his apartment. He doesn't know how it happened.
Gaffigan's collection of essays is a welcome addition to the ultra-polemical barrage of parenting books that have come out in the past few years. You can tell he loves being a parent, even if it means he never sleeps again, loses touch with friends, and feeling guilty about every decision he makes. He narrated this book and I highly recommend listening to it. He has a midwestern deadpan delivery that will make you laugh out loud (but not too loud because the kids are sleeping).
Find Dad is Fat at the library.
Can great performances save a movie? In lesser hands, the dialogue in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor would have been painful. Imagine the film’s writer, Cormac McCarthy, channeling Paulo Coelho. Every line a t-shirt slogan. Michael Fassbender is masterful as the counselor, wending his way through the dark world of drug trafficking. Can anybody around today do crazy better than Javier Bardem? Cameron Diaz is at her uninhibited best as she reveals her leopard’s spots. I could write more but I have calls to make and I might have time for a short nap.
Set in an alternative reality from the original series, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise will meet their most terrifying and diabolical enemy yet. This enemy has a personal vendetta against the United Federation of Planets and leaves Earth in an official state of emergency. Captain Kirk goes on a manhunt and could potentially begin a war against an aggressive alien species to retrieve and punish this criminal. Captain Kirk must defeat this formidable foe if he wants to save his crew and planet Earth.
“To boldly go where no man has gone before” is what Director J. J. Abrams did with the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek is one of the most influential science fiction TV shows in history. He was given a big job and boy did he nail it…again. The first movie established the premises of the story, while the second movie looked into the relationship between the characters, especially Kirk and Spock. The movie brings a unique humanistic view of the characters that was never seen in the original. Even if you have not seen the original series, Star Trek Into Darkness will hold your attention and will make you wish you had.
Shaira, Reference Services
Marvel and Netflix have just announced plans to partner in the production of at least four new shows on Netflix starring Marvel Comics' heroes, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage sometime in 2015! Catch up on the back stores of these characters with our collection of comics and graphic novels.
Created in 1964 by Stan Lee, Bill Everett and Jack Kirby, Matt Murdock is a lawyer binded by radioactive waste which heightens his other senses. Huses his new powers to fight crime in New York City as Daredevil. Some of Darevil's most influential story arcs include Frank Miller's Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, Jeph Loeb's Daredevil: Yellow and Kevin Smith's Guardian Devil.
Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, Jessica Jones is a disalusioned former superhero who hung up her costume to become a private investigator. Her story can be found in Bendis' 4-part graphic novel Alias (part one, part two, part three, part four) and its 3-part continuation, The Pulse (part one, part two, part three).
Luke Cage (created by Archie Goodwin, George Tiska and John Romit, Sr) and Iron Fist (created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane) have been linked since their two books were combined in 1978. Though never top tier heroes, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have been important supporting characters in the Marvel Universe as Heroes for Hire heping anyone in need... who can afford their price. Look for their origin stories in The Essential Iron Fist: Volume One, and Luke Cage, Power Man: Volume One, then read about their first team up in The Essential Luke Cage, Power Man: Volume Two.
These so called "street level" heroes aren't as powerful as Marvel's big names like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk so, over the years, writers have focused on their human stories making them some of the most interesting characters in the world of mainstream comics.
“Fathers start as gods and end as myths and in between whatever human form they take can be calamitous for their sons”.
A.N. Dyer, the legendary, Salinger-esque author of Ampersand, has just recently lost his closest friend in the world, Charles Topping. Among other concerns, his difficulties in delivering a proper eulogy (which he purchased from an online service), force him to try and reconnect with his two eldest sons (Richard and Jamie), as he feels his youngest boy, Andy (the result of a rumored affair which led to the end of his marriage), will need them after he dies.
David Gilbert’s & Sons leads us through the lives of these Dyer men, as well as that of Philip Topping (the youngest child of Charles and childhood “friend” of the older Dyer boys), our narrator. Throughout the book, we witness the lasting damage fathers and sons can and often do have on one another, even when all involved have only the best of intentions. While Gilbert demonstrates great skill when writing about the father-son dynamic, his numerous subplots (which include a novel-within-a-novel, as well as the possibility of a “clone”) occasionally take away more than they add to the overall narrative. In addition, the female characters, (besides a few notable exceptions) are largely ignored and treated poorly. While I ultimately enjoyed the book (and do recommend it), it falls into the “good but not great” category.
Today, short story writer Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel, one of the most prestigious literary prizes, is given to a writer for a lifetime of work, rather than a single novel, short story or collection. The short press release issued by the Nobel committe call Munro a “master of the contemporary short story”. Bookriot.com has a great post offering suggestions for getting started reading her work. Here are their suggestions with links to reserve them from the library catalog.
Clay Jannon, a recently unemployed graphic designer, takes a job in an unusual bookstore in San Francisco. There he finds an interesting but small cast of characters: His boss, who has ordered him not to read any of the books on the shelves and the few customers he sees during his graveyard shift that "arrive with algorithmic regularity", without paying for the items they leave with. His curiosity gets the better of him and after opening some of the books he was ordered not to he stumbles on a 500 year old secret society.
Robin Sloan worked for a variety of technology companies over the last decade so this book is peppered with sentences like “He has the strangest expression on his face- the emotional equivalent of 404 PAGE NOT FOUND.” It's hard to not like a book that talks about ancient secret societies on one page and merits of different programming languages on the next.
Find Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in the library.