Aren’t books wondrous, magical things? They can hold such power. They transport, educate, entertain, and inspire readers through the simple phrasing of a sentence and the crafting of a story. A book can mean a million different things to a million different people. Whatever your interests, we can guarantee there is a book for you. We can connect our community, neighbors, and friends with their next favorite read.
April also marks another one of our favorite celebrations. Here’s a hint…
Roses are red, violets are blue, we might not be poets, but we can find one for you! That’s right! April is National Poetry Month. Whether you are new to poetic literature, or you are a life-long fan, our poetry booklist is sure to evoke an emotional response and inspire you to read more.
In case you haven’t heard…the Library is open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. We are now open seven days a week, so come by for a 30-minute visit to browse the Library’s collection, work on a computer, fax and copy documents, and return your Library books. And the even better news is that we are circulating museum passes! We are not taking reservations, so stop by the Welcome Desk or give us a call to see if the pass is available for check-out.
Author Eric Larson has done it again and has written history that reads like a novel. His latest book, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, focuses on Winston Churchill, his family, and his friends during his first year as prime minister as the Nazis attacked London and Great Britain with relentless bombardments. The Blitz (or the Battle of Britain) lasted for one year during World War II. Beginning in 1940, it was probably the most trying and difficult year of the war for Britain.
Larson used personal diaries and documents in the public domain to create a vivid picture of what it was like to live through the attacks. He relied heavily on the unpublished diaries of Churchill’s private secretary, John Colville, and on the diary of Churchill’s 18-year-old daughter Mary. One of the lines written in Colville’s diary as he watched a Luftwaffe attack provided the book its title: “Never was there such a contrast of natural splendor and human vileness.” If you’d like an intimate look into the life of Winston Churchill, I highly recommend this read.
Is This Anything? written by comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a collection of some of Seinfeld's best routines, starting from the 70s and spanning up to the present. I have to admit that I am a big fan of Seinfeld's sitcoms. I think his jokes are timeless. I picked up the book because I wanted something to make me laugh.
Seinfeld develops his material by observing life and finding comedy in the most mundane areas of our existence, pointing to the absurdities of human nature and sometimes our own silliness. I love how his jokes have evolved with the times over the five decades. He creatively delivers funny snippets about changes in technology and our pop culture, making it relatable to adult readers of all ages.
Though he touches on some personal events in his life, I would have liked to gotten more insight into the making of Jerry Seinfeld. I would definitely recommend listening to the audio version of this book since Jerry is the narrator. I think his voice makes the experience even better.
If you want something to cheer you up, this is for you!
Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffitz has been a welcomed guide in the kitchen. I think about dessert. A lot. I dream about flakey pain au chocolat, layer cake with fluffy buttercream frosting, and of course the triple c: the chocolate chip cookie. Considering that I think about dessert as much as I do, I do not put as many hours into actually eating dessert. When envisioning these treats, I think of the best desserts that I have ever eaten, I do not waste my thoughts on a second string baked good. If I am going to indulge, it has to live up to my expectations. To avoid disappointment and wasted calories, I have been baking my own desserts.
Before acquiring the book, I knew that I could trust Claire because I have watched many, if not all, of her YouTube videos. When she is creating a recipe, she reworks it until she is satisfied with the end result. I can tell that Claire spent countless hours perfecting her recipes as she is very precise and detailed with her instructions. Claire includes recipes for classic dessert items to more elaborate palette pleasers like her plum galette with polenta and pistachios.
One of my favorite features in the book is a graph, which she refers to as the recipe matrix. It lists all of the recipes and showcases their difficulty level and time commitment. She includes a list of essential baking items needed as well as shares techniques like how to brown butter. These are great tips for someone who has never baked or has been out of the baking game for a while. She incorporates her baking philosophy of cooking with the seasons and making environmentally friendly choices when shopping for ingredients and using supplies.
I know that in the past I have been quick to pull out a batch of brownies or muffins, but with Claire’s detailed steps, every treat will be mouthwatering, instead of just watery. Beyond writing “bake for 20- 30 minutes,” Claire details what the surface and inside should look and feel like. She drives home that the baking time is always a suggestion. Claire’s thoughtful instructions and guidance have turned my dessert daydreams into a delicious reality.
So Far So Good: Final Poems 2014-2018 by Ursula K. Le Guin is the perfect read to kick off National Poetry Month and the spring season. In her last collection of poetry to be published, Le Guin writes about the wonders and magic of the natural world alongside musings about aging and time’s relentless march forward. These thoughts are delivered through a variety of subjects and perspectives, be it a mountain, the ghostlike memory of her mother, or a playful cat in the garden. Even with the awareness of her own approaching mortality, Le Guin gives her subjects the time and attention they deserve while never taking herself too seriously. There is joy, reverence, melancholy to be found in equal parts in these pages, but at the heart is her signature idealism and appreciation for humanity that’ll melt the last of your winter blues away.
If you are looking for a heartwarming, hilarious and somewhat irreverent series to lose yourself in, then look no further than "Schitt's Creek."
In this exaggerated comedy, The Rose family’s financial circumstance is harshly and abruptly altered when their business manager skips town with their family fortune. They endure the humbling transition from the world of elite one percenters to the mundane life of the have-nots. The only asset left to their name is the town, Schitt's Creek, that the Rose family patriarch, Johnny Rose, bought as a joke decades earlier. Now, it is their saving grace. Little do they know, not only will it save them from financial ruin, but the town and its lovable quirky cast of characters brings the Rose family closer to each other.
This series is brilliant. The writing is smart and the acting is superb. The storyline is over-the-top, but it is also one of the most heartfelt shows I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. I highly recommend it, but warn you once you start watching it is hard to stop.
Here are some of our favorite things we are exploring this month.
Darien Library is celebrating National Poetry Month by asking you for your favorite poetry books. You can participate in the celebration by posting a “shelfie” of your favorite book and tagging us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!
Last year’s most read poem on Poetry.com was “Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye and it is a prime example of why poetry is an art form.