Native American Authors!

This is a tricky one, actually! At least one Patuxet warrior spoke English, and the Indigenous people probably had as much religious liberty as the English colonists. But we do know:

  1. Both the British and the Native peoples celebrated the harvest, and
  2. The colonists would have died without the help of indigenous people. In fact, nearly half of the colonists at Plymouth died of starvation during their first winter.

That’s why we celebrate Native American culture in November, when we celebrate Thanksgiving. There are millions of Native Americans from many different tribes, and some of them are well-known, award-winning authors. Here’s just a sample of books, music, and more, by or about Native Americans.

 

house made of dawn

The magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a stranger in his native land.

round house

When his mother slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with three friends to find the person who destroyed his family.

code talker

“Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find.”  Booklist, starred review

Native American Currents

An excellent introduction to modern Native American music.

And that’s not all! We’ve also got biographies of the famous shaman Black Elk, many more books by Native American authors, well-received books about Native Americans such as Tony Hillerman’s mysteries, and more. If you’d like to find out more about Native American life and literature today, these blogs are a great place to start:

Native American Authors You Should be Reading

Native Reader

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I cannot stop singing the praises of this book.  Nor, it seems, can anyone else.  The novel met with wildly positive critical acclaim when it was released in 2016.  And a year later, the 158 copies of the print book owned by the Westchester Library System still has a hold list 269 people long.

No matter how compelling a book is, I can no longer read 462 page books in a reasonable time span – I only have time to read at night and I fall asleep two pages in.  You can see the dilemma.  So anything over 300 pages must be in an audio format.  I waited quite some time for the audio CD to become available and from the first sentence I was in love.  With the narrator, Nicholas Guy Smith, who has a voice like silky velvet, with the author, Amor Towles, who writes too beautifully to be of this world, and the story, which I thought could never work for a book that long but it did!

I am including links to the Washington Times review which tells you a bit about the plot, and an interesting Q & A with author, Amor Towles which is well worth the read but I urge you to find this book and read it, or better, listen to my new favorite narrator Nicholas read it to you.  I, meanwhile, am on the hunt for Towles first novel, Rules of Civility which I’m told is just as good, if not better, and, is also on hold everywhere in the system!  Darn!

Eid Mubarak!

Yesterday was the end of the month of Ramadan, and Muslims around the world celebrated. If you’re curious about the culture, we’ve got information at the library! Here are a few books, and even a movie or two.

Funny in Farsi

Firoozah Dumas was just seven years old when she moved to the United States with her family. She had no idea what to expect. This collection of essays documents her struggle to adjust; the book’s been called hilarious and touching.

Continue reading “Eid Mubarak!”

It’s Nearly Mother’s Day!

And do we have books (and DVDs and CD Audiobooks) about mothers! Mothers of all varieties; working mothers, stay at home mothers, divorced mothers, single mothers, teenage mothers, surrogate mothers, foster mothers, and even mothers of presidents.  And as many books on mothers and daughters or mothers and sons as you could think to read (or view or listen to).

Recent books about mothers and daughters include Lisa Scottoline’s humorous Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s beautiful generational novel, Before We Visit the Goddess,  Amy Gentry’s psychologically suspenseful Good as Gone, or Kimberly Williams Paisley’s heartrending biography, Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again.

Good choices in the mothers and sons subject area include The Nix, Nathan Hale’s recent bestseller about family secrets and self-realization, Anderson Cooper’s The Rainbow Comes and Goes : a Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss, the fascinating collection of correspondence between Cooper and his mother, the celebrated Gloria Vanderbilt or Lisa Scottoline’s psychological thriller, One Perfect Lie. Continue reading “It’s Nearly Mother’s Day!”

Big Little Lies – Who’s Watching?

big-littel-liesBig Little Lies premiered as a TV series last week on HBO. With its all star cast and its crazy mad beach houses, it looks promising.  The setting has been moved from Liane Moriarty’s fictitious Pirriwee Beach just outside of Sydney, Australia to the fictitious Otter Bay in beautiful Monterey, California.  The scenery alone should be worth the price of admission!

There is a ton of angst to work with in any Moriarty novel; Angst could be her middle name.  But she does it SO well!  If you haven’t read, or better yet listened to Caroline Lee read, any of her books, grab one and get busy! Her books are probably longer than they have to be, but, in my humble opinion, I wouldn’t forfeit a word.  She takes on really tough subjects and puts them in the hands of the everyday people who are grappling with them, adding a touch of mystery, a wry sense of humor, and a cast of characters you can’t help but identify with.  We have her books and her books in audio form at Armonk – I just finished listening to Truly, Madly, Guilty. Loved it!  Come on in and check one out.  And let me know what you think of the TV series!

biglittlelies01-590x237

Happy New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! And welcome to the year of the Rooster.

We’ve got many excellent books about China here in the library. I’m going to highlight just a few that are either by Chinese authors, or about China, or both. We’ll start with a quick and easy read by a young American student of Chinese culture.

iron-and-silk

If you haven’t yet read this memoir, you’re in for a treat! In the 1980’s, Mark, a graduate student at Yale, goes to China to teach English and study Kung Fu. He lives in the city of Changsha for two years. The New York Times remarked that his stories of that time “Take the form of a series of lightly sketched episodes; almost without exception they produce the gulp of feeling you might get from an unusually fine short story…”

Continue reading “Happy New Year!”

Love is in the Air

1cd0956e-86f7-4292-9277-b6f794a3db37Valentine’s Day will be upon us before we know it!  If you would like to warm your heart with a good love story during these long, cold days of winter, we have just what you need no matter what kind of reader you are.

the_notebook_coverWe have an abundance of romance available in books, audiobooks, (and movies) by the kings and queens of the genre; Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Balogh, Jude Deveraux, Katie db8d87a6e25b9910ceba42460b07cbccFforde, John Green, Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Kleypass, Dean Koontz, Johanna Lindsey, Debbie Macomber, Alexander McCall Smith, Fern Michaels, and Nicholas Sparks among others.

Recent additions to our collection include I Almost Forgot About You by Terry imagesMcMillan, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, Two By Two by 51bi5m2edwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Nicholas Sparks, A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan,  Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen, and Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave to name just a few.            Continue reading “Love is in the Air”