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Note to Shelf: March 2021 Edition

March awakens our senses to the splendor of the natural world around us. We experience longer days once the clock springs forward on March 14th. We hear the morning sounds of birds chirping and nesting. We see the first crocus popping up on lawns around our neighborhoods, and the daffodils making an entrance, even if the ground is still sprinkled with snow. We feel the cold winds of early March give way to gentler breezes as spring arrives and nature once again offers us a wondrous new season to feel joyful and hopeful! We’re hoping the luck of the Irish brings us an early spring!

Throughout March, we celebrate Women’s History Month and honor all the brave, spirited women who defied all odds and forged ahead—breaking ground, as well as the glass ceiling, to create the platform on which women stand today. Let’s honor the trailblazers of women’s rights, Susan B. Anthony and Betty Friedan, and remember the gifts we received from the pioneering scientists, Marie Curie and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Let’s remember the brilliant literary ladies of literature, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton. All these admirable women, and many more, inspire women around the world to dream big!

Now, let’s see what the librarians are reading this month and don't forget to check out our booklist with a selection of new releases coming out in March!

Jill

Super Host by Kate Russo is a charming debut novel. Bennett Driscoll, a recently divorced artist whose peak years of success are beginning to fade, is struggling to find meaning in his day-to-day life. As the owner of a posh home in London, with waning income, he decides to list his house as a vacation rental. It’s a major feat for Bennett, who was often characterized by his ex-wife as very indecisive.

Now that he’s a single father with a daughter off to art school, Bennett searches for a new life path. Meanwhile, the reader meets four different renters, each of whom have a unique interaction with their host. Living in a small cottage on the rear of the property, Bennett finds himself in sometimes funny, sometimes awkward interactions with his guests, as he strives to retain his status as a “super host” with the rental company. This light-hearted tale delves into love lost, new beginnings, and finding one’s purpose. An entertaining and refreshingly fun book to add to your spring reading list!

Ann

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy is a most extraordinary e-Audiobook. At first, listening about an imagined future where animal, bird, and fish species are on the verge of extinction did not seem like something I would normally enjoy. But this novel is much more than environmental fiction; it is the personal journey of a woman that is beautifully and captivatingly written.

Franny Stone is running from her past and her mistakes while planning to outrun her destiny. This novel follows Franny's expedition of what is potentially the last migration of arctic terns, due to environmental damage, from Greenland to Antarctica. She tags three terns in Greenland and must find a way to follow them. She convinces Ennis Malone, the captain of the Saghani, a struggling commercial fishing boat, to help her in this quest. Franny's story delves into her early childhood with her beloved mother in Galway, her stern grandmother in Australia, her time in prison, and her whirlwind romance and marriage to Niall, an environmental professor. These characters are so vividly brought to life; I could feel Franny's ultimate search for peace, Ennis' search for any remaining fish in the sea and his escape from his life on land, and Niall’s love and tenderness for Franny that is just a part of his devotion to her. This is a novel of family, friendship, climate change, and most of all hope.

Pat S.

With a life that has been dissected and scrutinized to the extent that Eleanor Roosevelt’s life has been, I didn’t expect to learn anything new in this latest biography Eleanor by David Michaelis. I could not have been more wrong! Michaelis presents Eleanor as a woman, not a saint, who after surviving a Dickensian childhood, gradually evolved to become the worldwide icon that she remains today.

Growing up in affluence, Eleanor had no voice as both of her parents died by the time she was 10 years old. Attending boarding school in England, Eleanor found her own voice with a genuine interest in social work and improving the lives of others. Underscoring this new-found interest was her guiding belief that all men and women were deserving of respect and dignity in this life. It is that single principle which steered the rest of her life — both publicly and personally. Michaelis writes beautifully, and effectively re-creates the social and cultural atmosphere of the times in which Eleanor lived. In sharing new anecdotes and diary writings, he has created a far more nuanced portrait of Eleanor than traditionally offered. And for this reader, I closed the book with newfound respect and admiration for her many accomplishments.

Elisabeth

“No matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark,” The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

It is the early 1700s, and in France, a young woman is about to be forced into a marriage she doesn’t want. Alone, with no options, she prays for release from her torment and is granted her request – but at what cost?

Three hundred years later, Addie LaRue is living out her strange existence in New York City. She is blessed with longevity, and still appears to be the same woman she was on that desperate night so many centuries ago. We learn Addie’s story in pieces as the book skips through the times and people that Addie has touched, but never permanently marked. Along with longevity, Addie has been cursed with disappearance — no one can remember her once she steps out of their sight. Until the fateful day someone does.

Magical, romantic, frightening, and compelling, this buzzy book has a film adaptation in the works.

Susie

Over the years, there have been many different screen adaptations of the tried and true story of "Pride & Prejudice" by Jane Austen.

The story never changes as it follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the story who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness.

What does change are the actors that are cast to play our lovely Lizzie Bennet and charming Mr. Darcy. In this version, we are delighted with Lizzie being played by Kiera Knightley and Mr. Darcy by Matthew Macfadyen. It is with the romantic chemistry between these two actors that the viewer can scarcely take their eyes off the screen.

If one is looking for a little warmth on a cold night, I highly recommend this exquisite version of Pride & Prejudice.

March Spotlight

Listen to these podcasts and videos about women history makers. These narrations will bring their vivid stories to life!

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