The successful HGTV show, Fixer Upper, stars the upbeat couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Magnolia Story is about their interesting lives and a lot of ups and downs with running their decorating, retail and real estate businesses. In their own words, they have learned that with change comes opportunities and contentment in the journey. Hope you enjoy.
Check It Out Category: Nonfiction
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is a deeply personal memoir about grief, falconry, and T. H. White. A unique combination for sure, but Macdonald masterfully blends these threads into an engrossing work of art. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by the author herself for a particularly mesmerizing experience.
Audio is also available on Hoopla.
One thing people might not know about Chicago Cubs coach Joe Maddon is he is a big reader. Over the years he has mentioned authors such as Malcom Gladwell, Pat Conroy, and Mark Twain in previous interviews. One book in particular he’s shared as a favorite in the last few years is You’ll See It When You Believe It by Wayne W. Dyer, tweeting, “One of my favorite self help books…”You’ll See It, When You Believe It” by Wayne Dyer … only way to fly!”
In this 1989 book concerning personal transformation, Dyer advises his readers on the road to self-realization. He uses a conversational tone, sharing his own experiences as he focuses on the inner-thought life of humans and its impact on the way we interact with the world around us and our own lives. Whether you’re interested in self-help books or not, after reading this you’d surely have some conversation fodder if you ever happen to be at a dinner with the Chicago coach!
I was fascinated by much of what Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging had to say about mental illness, PTSD, and how communal lack of social connectedness can cause problems on society as whole. I think this little gem would make a great book discussion!
The 2015 edition cookbook 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials was compiled by the American Test Kitchen and features numerous colored illustrations. It has complete, easy to follow recipes and hints for basic to complex techniques. It is full of ways to make my favorites and inspire me to try new meals.
Make the most of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15) by checking out a brand new winner of the International Latino Book Awards. Though not interchangeable, the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino“ enjoy a great deal of overlap, and you can be assured that each of these honorees celebrates the culture in the context of an exciting, thoughtful, and heartfelt story.
Historical Fiction – First Place
The Japanese Lover
Fantasy/Sci-Fi – First Place
The Map of Chaos
Félix J. Palma
Best Latino-Focused Fiction Book
Make Your Home Among Strangers
Jennine Capó Crucet
Ana of California
Best Young Adult Fiction Book
Daniel José Older
The Weight of Feathers
Best Young Adult Nonfiction Book
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings
We celebrate our own freedom to read during Banned Books Week, but it is also right to champion those who bravely compose those very stories. Non-white authors receive more than half of book challenges each year — even though they are allowed much less of the publishing market! The reasons vary, and we can become distracted by the complaints, but what shouldn’t be lost are the vibrant creations of writers who deepen our understanding of the world.
by Toni Morrison
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.
by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
by Alice Walker
Two African American sisters, one a missionary in Africa and the other a child-wife living in the South, support each other through their correspondence, beginning in the 1920s.
by Khaled Hosseini
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant’s son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.
by Maya Angelou
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums in the 1930s and 1940s.
by Rudolfo Anaya
A coming-of-age story set in post-World War II New Mexico, in which an old woman with healing powers comes to live with a boy’s family the summer before he turns seven.
Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Page Count: pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Organizing, House and Home
Tone: Matter of fact, Casual
This best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.
The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement: 2016 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.
1. Give me only one word to describe what you thought of this book.
2. Marie Kondo is like a popstar in Japan and she can’t even take the subway any more. Why do you think this book was such a hit in Japan? Why has it been such a hit in America?
3. Before reading this book what did “tidying” mean to you? How is her meaning of tidying different?
4. Did Kondo seem like an unusual kid to you? Why?
5. What are some of Kondo’s key principles found in the book?
6. How does her Shinto belief system play into her tidying? Do you need to agree with someone’s religious beliefs to find value in what they say or do?
7. Which of her ideas did you find most helpful?
8. For those who read the entire book, have you begun tidying? Why was this motivating for you? What were your results?
9. For those who didn’t finish the book, did you do any tidying? Why or why not?
Alison Stewart, author of Junk: Digging Through America’s Love Affair with Stuff
says, “Accumulation has been going on for a couple of decades, but we’re just hitting the tipping point, because of demographics. You have the Depression-era people who were taught to save everything – it was a matter of survival. Then in the 1950’s they were taught to buy everything. That’s a dangerous combination. In the 1980s and ‘90s there was all this money, and also the free flow of cheap stuff. But Millennials might swing the pendulum back the other way.” (Publishers Weekly, March 21, 2016)
10. Do you have examples in your own life/house of this?
11. How is organizing and storing a downfall for Americans? Check out these statistics.
–“There are more storage facilities in America than McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.” (Huffington Post, 4/21/2015)
–There is 7.3 sq. ft. of self-storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation; thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand – all at the same time – in a self-storage facility. (www.selfstorage.org)
- –I was fascinated that a very American response to all this junk is to make business out of it, whether it’s self-storage, which is a $24 billion dollar business, or junk-removal companies, or personal organizing, or the Container Store. There’s this thought that organizers support the Container Store and the Container Store supports the organizers. But some professional organizers, on the down-low, say “I’m not sure it’s a great thing” Making it pretty doesn’t make the problem go away. (Publishers Weekly, March 21, 2016, Q&A with Alison Stewart)
12. Why do we as Americans have so much stuff?
13. How did the Great Depression affect that generation and subsequent generations in relation to holding on to things?
14. You may be asking the question, why would you throw away something that’s perfectly good? What would Kondo say?
15. What is so hard about paring down?
16. How do you deal with items from your grandparents/great grandparents? Will your kids want these antiques you’ve saved? There is an interesting article by Marni Jameson a nationally syndicated home design columnist, author and speaker. It’s called “Memo to Parents: Kids Don’t Want Your Stuff.” (http://newsok.com/article/5491694) Now that’s not always true, but she gives advice and considerations when deciding what to pass on or let go.
17. How many of you have downsized moving into a smaller place? What was the hardest thing about doing that? Was there anything freeing about it? How is your life now different from before?
18. Some of you have dealt with the grief and aftermath of losing your parents. How did you deal with going through and disposing of all their stuff? Was there a lot of it? How long did it take to finish?
19. What will your children’s experience of dealing with your stuff be? Do you have more or less than your parents did? Will you leave it for them to deal with or will you choose to take intentional action to deal with it yourself? Where will you begin? When will you begin?
20. What lessons did you learn or have affirmed in this book? What steps have you taken or will you take after reading and discussing this book?
With summer starting to wind down, your next book may either set the tone for your next season of reading or be your last summer book. Here are a few suggested titles to fill that spot for you!
With video appearances by…
The Miracle on Monhegan Island by Elizabeth Kelly
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Originals by Adam Grant
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
If none of these are striking a chord email us at email@example.com and we’ll work on getting together more suggestions for you!
Are you in the mood for a quest? How about searching for sunken treasure? If so, then Robert Kurson’s Pirate Hunters is the book for you! Join experienced divers Chatterton and Mattera as they go in search of respected English captain turned pirate Joseph Bannister and his vessel the Golden Fleece. Arghhh!