Check It Out Category: Lists

6 Books to Read About a Character Facing a Mental Illness

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family.” To finish out May as mental health awareness month, try one of these fiction books below that follow a character facing a mental illness.

We Are Not Ourselves book coverWe Are Not Ourselves
by Matthew Thomas
Following the independent Eileen as she builds a life for herself in Queens during the later 20th century, a surprise diagnosis given to her husband at 51 disorients their life. The star reviews for this 2015 give special attention to the vibrant portrayal of Eileen and her strength.
The Art of Falling book coverThe Art of Falling
by Kathryn Craft
28-year-old Penelope Sparrow is a dancer on the rise, when she falls fourteen stories and is now in the hospital recovering. Was it suicide? Was it an accident? Penelope doesn’t even know. What she does know is she must come to terms with a new life and face her disordered eating head-on.

 

Hausfrau book cover Hausfrau
by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Anna is an American who has been living with her Swiss husband in Switzerland for nine years. With little knowledge of the language she has become isolated and is beginning to spiral out of control, when a tragic event causes the possibility that she might just tip over.
Regeneration book coverRegeneration
by Pat Barker
Dr. William Rivers is a psychiatrist helping shell-shocked British soldiers acclimate to coming home from World War I. However, the more he works with the soldiers the more he realizes there might be something bigger than “shell shock” going on.

 

Every Shallow Cut book coverEvery Shallow Cut
by Tom Piccirilli
Life has spiraled for Piccirilli’s unnamed narrator. He is leaving behind a once promising, now fizzled literary career, a foreclosed house, and a broken marriage to trek across America to see his estranged brother with only his bulldog for company.
This intimate story begins with 16-year-old Deborah heading to the hospital after self-harming herself. There, she is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and begins the slow journey of understanding herself.

 

We’ve Got You Covered: Rain Boot Fiction

Have April showers whetted your appetite for books with rain boots on the cover?
Pull on your wellies and choose a new springtime read from this quirky group:

Belong to Me book coverBelong to Me
Marisa de los Santos
My Best Friend's Girl book cover

 

Everyone She Loved book coverEveryone She Loved
Sheila Curran

Out of the Rain book coverOut of the Rain
Debbie Macomber

Racing Savannah book coverRacing Savannah
Miranda Kenneally

 

Nowhere Carolina book coverNowhere Carolina
Tamara Leigh
Second Sister book cover
 The Second Sister
Marie Bostwick

Movies and TV: Meet the Patels and More Marriage-Minded Families

Meet the Patels DVD coverIn what has been celebrated as a real-life romantic comedy, a young actor rebounds from a break-up by deciding to let his Indian parents find him a prospective mate. Better yet, he invites his documentarian sister to film the entire process! Festival favorite Meet the Patels follows Ravi over the course of a year through “bio-date” matchmaking, wedding season, online connections, and even the Patel Matrimonial Convention.

Charming, funny, and informative, this true narrative illuminates pressures of a first-generation Indian-American family. Like Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, personal experiences are blended with societal observations, and the result is both thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining.

“You know that girl in Eat, Pray, Love? She goes through a break up, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression, find out what she really wanted in life? I was that girl. Except, my family was with me the entire time.” — Ravi

For more stories of love and marriage-minded families, try…

My Big Fat Greek Wedding DVD coverMy Big Fat Greek Wedding

With an official tagline “Love is here to stay…so is her family”, this top-grossing romantic comedy is all about the tension between cultural expectation and the life a thirty-year-old woman wants to create for herself. A riotous extended family is eager to tell her what she needs, and going out with a non-Greek named Ian isn’t exactly what they have in mind.

 

Cover of Pride And Prejudice (1995)Pride and Prejudice

In Regency England, poor Mrs. Bennet has five daughters who need husbands to ensure their futures. Her methods may seem extreme (she sends her eldest out in the rain so she’ll need to stay at a prospective gentleman’s home), but her instincts aren’t completely wrong when it comes to eligible men.

 

While You Were Sleeping DVD coverWhile You Were Sleeping 

In a slight twist, our lovable heroine has no family, and in this case it is the hero’s relatives who are pushy in the best and most delightful way. Spoiler: it works! At one point, Lucy even confesses that it is the family that first wins her heart.

 

Fiddler on the Roof DVD coverFiddler on the Roof

“And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix, preparing her to marry whomever Papa picks?  The daughters!”  Another family of five young women who need future providers enlists the services of a matchmaker and confronts conflicting ideas about what makes an ideal husband. At its core, the story is one of generational differences, big social changes, and whether there is room for love in making practical life choices.

 

Bride & Prejudice DVD coverBride & Prejudice 

Though we already mentioned Austen’s classic of five sisters who are pressured to find husbands, this Bollywood-style take is worth its own mention. As a bonus, the spin of modern-day young adults in India and the emphasis on compatibility of culture echo themes in Meet the Patels — yet with even more vibrant colors, rich culture, and romantic comedy tropes.

 

Ask for more suggestions online or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk on the second floor!

Books: Will You Be Our Galentine?

Galentine's Day displayBefore you are swept away by the romance of Valentine’s Day, take a cue from Leslie Knope of Parks & Recreation and honor the female friendships in your life.  That’s right!  February 13 is Galentine’s Day, a day for ladies to celebrate ladies.  Need a little inspiration?  Try one of these:

Wildwater Walking Club book coverThe Wildwater Walking Club
by Claire Cook

Noreen, Tess, and Rosie walk and talk their way through life’s ups and downs in their town of Wildwater. As they tally their steps and share their secrets, life begins to take them in some new and surprising directions.

Sushi for Beginners book coverSushi for Beginners
by Marian Keyes

Depicts the lives of three women in the fashion trade, exploring the trials and tribulations as well as the happiness and joy of true friends in the fast-paced worlds of love and career.

Annie Freemans Fabulous Traveling Funeral book coverAnnie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral
by Kris Radish

An unexpected bequest from a late friend takes five women on a wild and life-transforming road trip from the deserts of New Mexico to the shores of Lake Superior, as they celebrate the bonds of female friendship.

Circle of Friends book coverCircle of Friends
by Maeve Binchy

Two friends who grew up together in a small Irish village attend college in Dublin, where their lives become intertwined with the beautiful Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, the handsome son of a doctor.

Cover of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafeFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
by Fannie Flagg

Mrs. Threadgoode’s tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.

Shoe Addicts Anonymous book cover

Shoe Addicts Anonymous
by Beth Harbison

Four different women  meet Tuesday nights to trade shoes and, in the process, form friendships that will help them each triumph over their problems.

 

 

This is only a sample of the gal pals on offer at the Library. Ask online or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor and we will connect you with something to fit your mood!

Asked At the Desk: Looking for Something Good to Read

Picture of Fiction/AV/Teen desk

One of the most popular questions at the desk is,

What is something good to read?

Since good is subjective, if you stop by the desk with this question and have time to talk we will try to narrow down what would be good specifically for you with questions like: What did you read last that you liked? Do you prefer your books to be set during a certain time period? What are you in the mood for today?

However, if you are looking to quickly glance at what’s been popular and/or notable recently, one good stop is the 2016 Reading List: Year’s Best in Genre Fiction for Adult Readers, created by The Reading Council. The award list is divided up by 8 different genres, with one title winning for each genre and 3-4 titles chosen for the short list.

Browse below what was chosen for fantasy, historical fiction, woman’s fiction, and adrenaline. Want to see what won for mystery, science fiction, horror, and romance? Check back here next Friday or stop by the Reading List award page!

Fantasy

Uprooted book cover
Winner: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Sorcerer to the Crown book cover The Aeronaut’s Windlass The Fifth Season book coverA Darker Shade of Magic book cover

Shortlist:
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
The Aeronauts Windlass by Jim Butcher
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Historical Fiction

Crooked Heart book cover

Winner: Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Girl Waits with Gun book cover Jam on the Vine book cover Paradise Sky book coverThe Truth According to Us book cover

Shortlist:
Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
Paradise Sky by Joe R. Lansdale
The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows

Women’s Fiction

Re Jane book cover

Winner: Re Jane by Patricia Park

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance book cover A Touch of Stardust book cover The Royal We book coverDays of Awe book cover

Shortlist:
This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Days of Awe by Lauren Fox

Adrenaline

Pretty Girls book cover

Winner: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Descent book coverThe Killing Lessons book cover  The Cartel book coverPalace of Treason book cover

Shortlist:
Descent by Tim Johnston
The Killing Lessons  by Saul Black
The Cartel by Don Winslow
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews

Have a question about books, movies, or music you’d like answered? Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor, or ask online!