Roxane Gay is one of our generation’s best social critics and most prolific feminist writers, both online (just check her Twitter account) and in print. In Difficult Women, she has produced a book of short stories so compelling and unpredictable that the reader is left feeling a little unmoored, never knowing what gems the next story will bring.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Pittsburgh-native Michael Chabon’s latest novel is an absorbing fictional memoir that is based in large part based on a dying man’s recollections to his writer-grandson as he looks back on his life. Inspired by Chabon’s own deathbed visit to his grandfather in Oakland, California in the 1980s, the author blurs the line between autobiography and outlandish fiction so successfully that the reader has no idea what is true and what’s pure fantasy (although we can hazard a guess at times).
I may have only attained rudimentary success in college level science and the intricacies of physics may be a bit beyond me, but I enjoy reading about science and all of the possibilities it entails. For those of you who dream of an alternate reality and a futuristic utopia, you need look no further than All of Our Wrong Todays by Canadian screen-writer-turned-author Elan Mastai.
After a decade of swearing off New Year’s Resolutions, this year I decided to set a goal that would be doable and enjoyable: learn one new thing or fact per day. It’s manageable because it’s small, and learning is something I place a high value on and enjoy doing. The Library also makes it super easy with an abundance of resources. I’m going to talk about two of my favorite online databases.
Normally when critics eviscerate a movie as universally and thoroughly as they did X-Men: Apocalypse I wouldn’t bother seeing it. However, I love the X-Men universe and only one movie has left a sour taste in my mouth (X-Men: The Last Stand—can we please pretend this movie never happened?), so I sat down with an open mind and hoped that one of my favorite childhood superhero franchises hadn’t been ruined beyond all possible redemption.
After this election, I started thinking about what life was like for the women who were married to the presidents—who have to endure the rigors of the election cycle and endless press coverage, but whose contributions are significantly overlooked by history. In First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, Kate Andersen Brower brings their personal stories to light and acknowledges their many and diverse contributions.
Hopefully you are enjoying the spectacular colors of autumn as much as I am, even if you have to go through the “joy” of raking all those leaves. When your body’s sore from all that work, treat yo’self with some hot apple cider and some almost-as-fantastic-as-apple-pie-books. Here are some of my favorite selections for these colder and windier days.
Are you interested in an excellent fantasy trilogy as you settle into your long(er) Autumn nights? Have a thing for banned and challenged books? Look no further than Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
Have you ever wondered how your favorite authors think, write and feel about literature, culture, music and current events? Then take a peek inside Neil Gaiman’s head with The View from the Cheap Seats.
Want to know more about affordable housing and why it’s in crisis? Check out Matthew Desmond’s latest book Evicted and come to the library tonight, August 4, at 7 p.m. to meet the author!