Readers’ Place

Readers Place: Education

Tara Westover’s memoir Educated, in which she recounts pursuing a higher education in defiance of her survivalist parents’ contempt for the same, has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 29 weeks. Here are some additional new titles showcasing the transformative power of education.

Enchantress of numbersEnchantress of numbers: a novel of Ada Lovelace  by Jennifer Chiaverini. 2017. FIC CHIAVERI
The only legitimate child of poet Lord Byron, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada’s mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination–or worse yet, passion or poetry–is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes.


NewcomersThe newcomers: finding refuge, friendship, and hope in an American classroom  by Helen Thorpe. 2017. 373.182 THO
Powerful and moving, this account of teenaged refugees adapting to life in America offers a nuanced take on immigration, multiculturalism, and America’s role globally.




You can do anythingYou can do anything: the surprising power of a “useless” Liberal Arts education  by George Anders. 2017. 650.109 AND
The success stories depicted demonstrate that liberal arts majors’ career paths are often unconventional and nonlinear. The author also provides examples of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that make a practice of hiring liberal arts majors, as well as fields for which such students are ideally suited, including market research, social media, fundraising, and project management.


Reading with PatrickReading with Patrick : a teacher, a student, and a life-changing friendship  by  Michelle Kuo. 2017. 371.826 Kuo
As a Teach for America volunteer, Kuo  moved to Helena, AR, where she encouraged students to find their voice by assigning readings from black authors and having students write self-reflective pieces. One of the students, Patrick Browning, transformed from a withdrawn pupil into a thoughtful young writer. Two years later, Kuo learned that Patrick was in jail for murder. She returned to Helena and tutored Patrick as he lingered in jail, awaiting a trial that may never happen. This account is her memoir of this time, but it is also a meditation on race in America.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 20 Sep 2018 | Comments Off on Readers Place: Education

New titles in Mental Health

To complement the September Main Library display of titles dealing with mental health, here are a few recent publications of note:

healthy mind toolkit

The healthy mind toolkit: simple strategies to get out of your own way and enjoy your life by Alice Boyes, 2018. 616.891 BOY
Blending scientific research with techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, Dr. Alice Boyes provides easy, practical solutions that will help you identify how you’re holding yourself back and how to reverse self sabotaging behaviors.     



Gorilla and the bird
Gorilla and the bird: a memoir of madness and a mother’s love  by Zack McDermott, 2018.  BIOG MCDERMOT
The author, a Brooklyn public defender, describes the devastating psychotic break that took him from New York back to his roots in Kansas, where his tough Midwestern mother helped him return to sanity and rebuild a stable life. 



Kevin ShowThe Kevin show by Mary Pilon, 2018. BIOG HALL
The incredible story of Olympic sailor Kevin Hall, and the psychiatric syndrome that makes him believe he stars in a television show of his life. Kevin suffers from what doctors are beginning to call the “Truman Show” delusion, a form of psychosis named for the 1998 movie, where the main character is trapped as the star of a reality TV show. When the Director commands Kevin to do things, the results can lead to handcuffs, hospitalization, or both.


What made Maddy run

What made Maddy run: the secret struggles and tragic death of an all-American teen  by Kate Fagan, 2017. 616.858 FAG
Why would a 19-year-old academic standout and member of the University of Pennsylvania track team take a running leap from the top floor of a parking garage? This is an expansion of espnW journalist Kate Fagan’s feature on Maddy Holleran, who died by suicide in 2014. With the cooperation of Holleran’s family and unfettered access to Maddy’s computer and text messages, Fagan sorts through a maze of communication for clues into the life of unfiltered Maddy.                                                                                             

Okay fine whatever: the year I went from being afraid of everything to only being afraid of most things  by Courtenay Hameister, 2018.  818.602 HAM                                             
Prolific radio-talk-show personality Hameister hosted the Portland-based Live Wire! for 12 years, all the while suffering from crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder, in addition to a lifetime of generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. In this memoir, she shares the successes and epic failures of her recent Okay Fine Whatever project, an attempt to overcome fear by engaging in dozens of terrifying activities. This series of self-inflicted dares includes an hour in a sensory deprivation tank, a Brazilian bikini wax, a trip to a professional cuddler, an evening at a sex club, and 28 internet-matched first dates.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau


Posted by Barbara | 29 Aug 2018 | Comments Off on New titles in Mental Health

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

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