Ten Non-Fiction Books We Loved in 2018

As the New Year approaches, join our librarians in looking back on our favorite reading of the year gone by. By popular acclaim, here are ten non-fiction titles that made the biggest impact on us in 2018. (Fiction and books for youth will follow in the days to come).

2018 was a huge year for books about society and politics, and while journalistic potboilers focused on the executive branch may have garnered all the hype, we think that long after most of these are forgotten, Jill Lepore’s magisterial and insightful These Truths: A History of the United States is likely to be stimulating and provoking conversation among readers. Likewise, Mona Hanna-Attisha’s gripping first-hand account of the Flint water crisis, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, provides a powerful and inspiring account of the confluence of environmental and racial issues in America today. Continue reading “Ten Non-Fiction Books We Loved in 2018”

Thankful for Books

Ever since I was a child, at our family gathering that coincided with the Thanksgiving holiday, we would go around the table and everyone would have to say a little something about what they were thankful for. Perhaps it was (or is) the same for you? For our hedonistic childhood selves, so unaccustomed to being thankful for anything, it often felt a bit awkward or forced. Of course now, many of us have come to sense just how empowering and grounding it can be to foster a spirit of gratitude, especially in times of darkness, anxiety and despair. One thing that many of our patrons tell us they’re grateful for, especially as the nights grow long and the days grow cold, is reading.

Image of Man Reading courtesy of P.V. via FlickrLet’s be grateful that we live in a world where magic exists – that “uniquely portable magic” that Stephen King likens to telepathy. Magic that calls whole lives and worlds into existence out of scratches on a page or breath. By some distinctly human trickery, we can peer inside another person’s brain, and think another person’s thoughts. What a marvel, to be all but possessed by the mind and soul and experience of another! To be moved to laughter, tears, rage and profound sympathy; to be led to fresh understandings. Continue reading “Thankful for Books”

Spooky Stories, Coming to a Bar Near You!

Shadows lengthen, leaves crisp and fall, and a presage of winter’s chill runs down your spine. Its the perfect time to gather for some spooky stories, and we have several opportunities coming up in the weeks ahead, as our Booktoberfest celebration nears its close. First up, two storytimes at the Central Library this coming Monday: Continue reading “Spooky Stories, Coming to a Bar Near You!”

A Lifetime of Reading Finally Pays Off!

Sure, reading has been shown to improve empathy in adults and emotional intelligence in children. Plus it’s affordable and enjoyable, and you feel, learn and experience so much. But what about making you the envy of your friends? Has reading ever bought the next round of beer? Where are the fabulous prizes?

That’s all about to change!

Introducing the Bookish Trivia Trilogy, a trio of literary trivia nights hosted in local bars this coming October 2, 8 and 16th as part of Booktobefest 2018. For the past three years, trivia buffs and newbies alike have flocked to our fun free pub trivia nights each October. This year, acceding to popular demand, we’re tilting the field in favor of the people who keep us in business: readers!  Continue reading “A Lifetime of Reading Finally Pays Off!”

That Encouraging Voice in Your Ear

I’m a self help fan who hates reading self help books. When it comes to encouraging words, I want to hear them, preferably while I go about my household chores, tend my garden, or take a walk in the park. These encouraging little talks between me and my iPod are just the thing to add more creation to my recreation, or to revivify a draining commute. Here are a few recent self-help audiobooks written and read by seasoned performers that make for great listens.

Creative Quest, by Questlove. Continue reading “That Encouraging Voice in Your Ear”