Can you believe it, we are officially seven weeks into quarantine and we don’t know about you but, somehow our “to be read” pile of books keeps bigger every day. Hoopla and Libby by Overdrive have been the gifts that keep on giving. Through these apps, we have discovered hidden gems of books or revisited our favorite classics. In addition to all of our reading, this week we are going to be joining in some of the great virtual events happening at the Library including classes on gardening, book groups, and a Friday Night Film discussion. We hope you can join us.
We want to take a moment and give a shout out to all of the Moms in our community. This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we hope they have a chance to relax, laugh, and pamper themselves. As part of Darien Library’s Note to Shelf this week, we have created a special Mother’s Day booklist (with both good and bad examples of moms in literature). We also look forward to sending you a personalized book recommendation through our Book Matchmaker Express service. Haven’t tried it yet? Simply fill out the form and we’ll be in touch.
Now on to the reviews...
Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell is an intriguing and readable book that delves into the psychology behind the assumptions we make when meeting strangers. Gladwell cites examples from true life events - the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, the case of Amanda Knox, and many other accounts, to illustrate the fact that we can easily misinterpret the words of strangers, their facial expressions, and their motives. Because of our inability to detect lies, we tend to give strangers the benefit of the doubt. This can create conflict, lead to misunderstanding, and have unfavorable effects on our lives. In some cases, it can even determine the outcome of events. Talking to Strangers is a very thought-provoking read, full of fascinating observations and insights.
By now, everyone who wants to has already played "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." While we wait for the sequel, you can enjoy three beautiful Legend of Zelda art books without taking up shelf space or spending a fortune to acquire them. The first book, Art & Artifacts, delivers 400+ pages of information and art spanning thirty years of the Zelda series. The second book, Hyrule Historia, helps make sense of the inter-related storylines of the games. Then, for the "Breath of the Wild" fans, there are 296 pages of artwork in Creating a Champion. These three books are for fans of all ages.
Oh, Tara Clancy is a hoot and a half! The audiobook memoir, The Clancys of Queens, narrated by author Tara Clancy, will keep you engrossed and chuckling from start to finish. The daughter of a divorced Italian-American social worker from Brooklyn and an Irish-American cop from Queens, Clancy shares her childhood tales and antics with flair and humor while evoking larger than life characters. I was completely captivated by her outrageously humorous narration of her upbringing during the 1980’s, bouncing between working-class Queens and a sprawling Bridgehampton estate while attending the rough and tumble NYC public school, MS 172. A fun, fun memoir and great on audio—something we all need during these new times.
Note to Shelf, Jr.
As a child and young adult, my favorite authors were Garth Nix, Philip Pullman, and Tamora Pierce. So how I missed out on reading any books by the incomparable Diana Wynne Jones is beyond me. It wasn’t until college, when a roommate introduced me to Studio Ghibli films (which can now be purchased digitally, if anyone’s interested) that I found and quickly fell in love with Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. In the book, Sophie is the eldest of three daughters and, according to fairy-tale convention, is destined to fail first and worst when she sets out on her own adventure - so she doesn’t even try. But when a witch’s curse makes her outward appearance match the elderly woman she’s become inside, she finally finds the courage to set out into the unknown. Full of magic, adventure, and humor, this title and its sequel (Castle in the Air, also available on OverDrive) are sure to be hits with fans of J.K. Rowling and Shannon Hale.
Note to Shelf, Teen
In Frogkisser! by Garth Nix, Princess Anya has a problem. Forced out of her home by her evil step-stepfather, she’s on a capital-Q Quest to hunt down the only thing that can stop his evil scheming -- the ingredients for a magical lip balm that will turn all her sister’s frog ex-boyfriends back to princes. Literally. She must traverse the kingdom with a wild cast of characters including a talking dog, a boy trapped in the body of a newt, and a mischievous wizard, to prove that sometimes it’s the princess who does the saving. Charming and hilarious, this one will cheer you right out of your quarantine blues and take you on an adventure you’ll never forget!