Readers’ Place

Readers’ Place: Domesticity

Our romanticized version of the domestic realm is that it’s supposed to be the place where we regroup, where we can be most ourselves, and not have to make the effort to look respectable. Here are some new works that upend – or at least complicate –  that fantasy.

Confessions of a domestic failure: a novel   Bunmi Laditan, 2017  FIC LADITAN 
There are good moms and bad moms, and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who’s trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic, and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably. When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the ‘Motherhood Better’ bootcamp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she’s always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

This house is mine       Dörte Hansen, 2016   FIC Hansen
All her life Vera has felt like a stranger in the old and drafty farmhouse she arrived in as a five-year-old refugee from East Prussia in 1945, and yet she can’t seem to let it go. 60 years later, her niece Anne suddenly shows up at her door with her small son — Anne has fled the trendy Hamburg neighborhood she never fit into when her relationship implodes. Vera and Anne are strangers to each other, but have much more in common than they think. As the two strong-willed and very different women share the great old house, they surprisingly find what they have never searched for: a family.

The family next door     Sally Hepworth   2018   FIC Hepworth
Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets. Such is the case for Essie and her family. When a new woman moves next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in this neighborhood. As the two women grow closer and Essie’s friends disapprove, it starts to become clear that Isabelle’s choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence might bring even more secrets to light. 

The comfort food diaries: my quest for the perfect dish to mend a broken heart Emily Nunn   2017  BIOG NUNN
Following the suicide of her brother, the demise of her relationship with her fiancé, and a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic, freelance food writer Nunn embarked on a journey of self-healing that led to an exploration of the power of comfort foods. Returning to her roots in the American South-a place she both loves and hates-the author spent time with relatives and friends, sharing memories, anecdotes, and cherished recipes. Most of the dishes are straightforward, easy to re-create, and deliciously tempting.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 15 May 2018 | Comments Off on Readers’ Place: Domesticity

Literary Moms

Literary Moms

Looking for a good read for Mother’s Day? Check out our librarians’ suggestions of some of the great (and not so great) moms and maternal figures in literature.


  • Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Between Them: Remembering My Parents by Richard Ford
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
  • Elsewhere by Richard Russo
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
  • Mom and Me and Mom by Maya Angelou
  • Mother’s guide to the meaning of life : what being a mom has taught me about resiliency, guilt, acceptance, and love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott
  • Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion


  • Always Listen to Your Mother by Florence Parry Heide
  • Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Dina’s Egg by Lee Lorenz
  • Hazel’s Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells
  • Hush by Minfong Ho
  • If Kisses Were Colors by Janet Lawler
  • Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood
  • Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Cleary
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña,
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  • Pecan Pie Baby Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Someday. Someday by Alison McGhee
  • Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Budhos’
  • That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

List by Emily Witkowski

Posted by Barbara | 15 May 2018 | Comments Off on Literary Moms

Readers Place: Graphic novels

Not for reluctant readers only, good graphic novels add drama and poignancy to a narrative. Here’s a selection worth looking into.

Josephine BakerJosephine Baker by Catel & Bocquet, 2017.
Most of us know Josephine Baker as a daring exotic dancer in 1920’s Paris and the adoptive mother of several children from varying countries. Here we learn that she protested the Batista dictatorship in Cuba alongside a young Fidel Castro. She spoke at the March on Washington in 1968, just before Martin Luther King. From  her impoverished beginnings, through her sexual exploits, and her triumphs, an outsize lust for life jumps off the pages.


Arab of the Future 2The Arab of the future 2: a childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985  Raid Sattouf, 2015.
The continuation of The Arab of the future part 1 follows the author’s childhood spent in his father’s Syrian village while spending vacations in his mother’s native France. The comical drawings contrast with the brutal realities of an honor killing perpetrated within the boy’s own extended family, virulent anti-Semitism, and the corruption and dysfunction of Assad’s Syria.


Imagine wanting only thisImagine wanting only this Kristen Radtke, 2017. The author and artist grew up in a small Wisconsin town and was drawn to once-busy, now deserted places in the Midwest as well as overseas. A beloved uncle with a hereditary heart defect dies prematurely, prompting Radtke to mull over the impermanence of human endeavor.



Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 24 Apr 2018 | Comments Off on Readers Place: Graphic novels

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