Donna C. of Research Services recommends Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple:
Where would you go if you wanted to get away from it all? If a chance to truly leave it all behind opened up, would you take it? Where’d You Go, Bernadette asks a simple question, but Maria Semple’s book skillfully reveals why the answer is so hard to ascertain. Who really knows Bernadette? Her daughter? Her husband? Reading this book, you find yourself quickly wrapped up in the messy and all-too-familiar life of a suburban mom doing her best to toe the line while the vines of her creative, disjointed past threaten to strangle and uproot the present. While this book would make a great beach read, it may also satiate your own desire to escape. Semple draws a beautiful picture of the lush and high-tech city of Seattle, peeking into the lives of Microsoft employees, eccentric architects, and precocious students in the search for our missing heroine.
Sunday, Monday, every day’s a happy day for television superstar Garry Marshall, in My Happy Days in Hollywood. There’s no mollycoddling here. From his mom warning “Beware of the boring,” to his dad’s note “Sorry you had to get a tooth pulled. It’s over now,” Marshall’s memoir charms and entertains.
All too often we find ourselves harried by chaos. If you’d like to take a much needed break, sit back, relax, and watch Geoffrey Baer’s Biking the Boulevards. Spend a pleasant 90 minutes exploring Chicago’s beautiful and historic boulevards on DVD, then grab your bike and take your own tour!
As the finite supply of fresh water decreases, what can be done to ensure the existence of this crucial and irreplaceable resource? Scientists, scholars, and activists explore this dilemma in the book Last Call at the Oasis. A must-read for all who want to be part of the solution.
Donna C. of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends Paris in Love by Eloisa James:
Have you ever longed to spend an afternoon window-shopping along Parisian boulevards, or sipping coffee outdoors while indulging in decadent pastries, or gazing out latticed windows at the rainy, cobbled streets of Paris? If so, you’ll enjoy Eloisa James’ memoir, Paris in Love. For many of us, the decision to move abroad will forever be a daydream. But for James, a best-selling romance writer and professor, her dream was realized. Chronicling her adventure, James embellished Facebook posts and Twitter tweets from that year, resulting in a patchwork of observations of an American’s interaction with a culture both familiar and distinct. If you’re looking for a chance to savor a rich slice of life, Parisian-style, this is a book for you.
What do you get when you cross a Chicago priest, a streetwise nun, and a procession of criminals with late 1980’s television? Father Dowling Mysteries, of course! Cue up the DVD and prepare to root for Tom Bosley as he and Sister Steve tackle an array of Windy City whodunits.
Where can you find REM, will.i.am, The Flaming Lips and Tom Waits all in one place? That would be The Future Soundtrack for America, in the library’s Pop/Rock collection. This album was created solely for nonprofit charities, and it rocks the gamut from David Byrne to Death Cab for Cutie.
Buzzing past your ear with graceful zest, how much do you really know about the importance of bees to our planet? Without bees there may not be enough food to sustain us, yet the threat to these small creatures is real and captivatingly depicted in the new documentary Colony.
It’s been 45 years since Bob Dylan released Blonde on Blonde, but the music remains timeless. This summer, pop this album into your CD player, roll down the windows and drive off on a road trip. The stirring blend of folk, blues and rock will make the journey unforgettable.
Are you committed to living a greener life, reducing your carbon footprint and making a healthy impact on the planet? If so, check out David Wann’s book, The New Normal: An Agenda for Responsible Living. Implementing his ideas requires rejecting the current status quo and embracing challenging alternatives.