Here we are winding down the long summer nights into the (hopefully) cooler Autumn days. So as the leaves begin to change and school starts up, grab a warm glass of cider and curl up with some of the things we enjoy and hope you will too.
Melissa – Reference
This novel is both enigmatic and fascinating. The story follows the experiences of a young man through his formidable years and the experiences that shaped him. Later in life, he receives a letter that forces him to question what he thought he knew about his friends and himself.
Julian Barnes sets up the novel perfectly. As soon as I finished, I had questions about what really happened versus what was perceived to have happened, which I think is exactly the message Barnes wanted to deliver.
Although Grisham isn’t known for his nonfiction, he certainly is an adept researcher. “The Innocent Man” relates the tale of two men who were found guilty of the rape and murder of a young woman in a small town. Although neither man had a spotless record, they did not commit this crime.
Grisham takes readers through the inaccurate police investigation and unlawful trial that led the two men to serve twelve years in prison. One man received the death penalty and narrowly missed his execution. I thought this book would be very upsetting to read, but it was in fact quite humbling.
Theresa – Youth Services
Author and illustrator David Small effectively tells a story of his own sickly childhood growing up in Detroit. Using hauntingly beautiful illustrations and minimal dialogue, this graphic novel captures spellbinding snippets in time. Quickly paced, Small’s grimly dysfunctional family life and lonely existence keep the reader’s morbid curiosity piqued. Although sad and disturbing, this memoir reveals Small’s amazing ability to survive, overcome, and perhaps even forgive family members for their shortcomings.
Matt – Circulation
For people who have not seen this show, you need to see this show. Parks and Recreation is about Leslie Knope: an idealistic government worker who loves her home town of Pawnee, Indiana. You can’t help but root for Leslie as she tries to improve an apathetic town with an excellent cast of characters whose quirks make this show a constant cavalcade of solid satire and a warm show with real heart. Every season this show gets better and is the best comedy currently on television.
This is the first in one of the most influential Sci-Fi series of all time Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series. This was the first book written in the series but not the first of the series as Asimov later wrote two prequels. I started with Foundation and was instantly hooked by the premise: the galactic empire is collapsing and PsychoHistorian Hari Seldon has come up with a mathematical formula mixed with psychology and evolutionary theory to predict major events in the collapse of the empire. Seldon decides to make The Foundation on two worlds at opposite ends of the universe to scientifically advance the primitive cultures of the outer worlds while trying to slow the coming collapse from within.
Rife with allusions to the fall of the Roman Empire and the politics of the Cold War, Asimov tells a compelling narrative about leaders who use their wits and cunning in the face of fanaticism and militarization. An interesting read and a classic Sci-Fi series.
Check back next month for more suggestions!