Homer Public Library 15 in '16 discussion

Newsletter #5 (duplicate of email)

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message 1: by Teresa (last edited Jun 01, 2016 03:30PM) (new)

Teresa | 30 comments June 15 in ’16 Newsletter
Hello Dear Readers,
I hope you are all well and having a wonderful summer.
Summer Solstice is nearly here and that means more daylight hours for reading, right? Well maybe that isn’t the case, but hopefully you’re all finding a little time to sit with a book each day. If your days are busy, now is a good time to turn to a few of the faster reads on the list or some graphic novels. Also, don’t forget audio books for those trips up and down the Peninsula or those hours spent weeding your garden. One participant had a net that needed mending and she listened to a book to help her get through the tedious job.

So far in 2016 we have 66 readers who have submitted books and many more who are working their way through the list. In May a total of 61 books were entered. Our monthly prize winner this time is Therese Lewandowski. Congratulations, Therese!

Our list of books that have not been submitted continues to shrink. Yay! Here are the ones that are left:
1. Maphead by Ken Jennings
2. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
3. Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey
4. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
5. Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel
6. Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
7. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
8. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
9. No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald
10. Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil
11. Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
12. One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman
13. In Manchuria by Michael Meyer
14. Kids from Nowhere by George Guthridge
15. Deep South by Paul Theroux
16. My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
17. Under Magnolia by Francis Mayes
18. After the Parade by Lori Ostlund
19. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
20. Counting Heads by David Marusek
21. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
22. Barefoot Heart by Elva Trevino Hart
23. The Meadow by James Galvin

Here are my picks from each category for this month:

All Over the Map: Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell. “Equal parts travelogue, expose environmental memoir and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue’s gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer—and approaches a deeper understanding of what’s really happening to our planet in the process.” One reader mentioned that Blackwell is always sensitive to the fact that the world’s most polluted places are usually someone’s home, and with that in mind the book comes across as compassionate.

Animal Nature: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. When the Macdonald’s father died unexpectedly, she adopted a goshawk as a means to cope with her grief. Turning to T.H. White’s book, The Goshawk, as a guide to her project, she learns as much about humanity as she does about the predator in her care. Highly acclaimed for its beautiful prose, this memoir was on over 25 Best Books of the Year lists in 2015.

Creative Types: Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson. Sometimes a piece of art is best understood with some knowledge of the context in which it was created. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote the Leningrad Symphony when the city of Leningrad was surrounded by Hitler’s army. This book is an exploration of the meaning of music and its ability to comfort, empower and pull people together. This National Book Award winner is also a biography of Shostakovich and a history of Russia and the Soviet Union.

Election Year: Zahra’s Paradise by Amir & Khalil. If you’re looking for something fast to read during the summer, you’ll likely feel smarter and better informed in international affairs if you read this graphic novel, the authors of which have chosen to stay anonymous for political reasons. Set in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra’s Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished. Zahra’s Paradise is the name of a vast cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran, and the author and illustrator wrote this book to honor the thousands of Iranians who’ve lost their lives prematurely due to politics and ideology.

Isn’t it Romantic: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. (Finally I’ll feature some fiction!) When one of Simon’s emails is read by someone it was not intended for, his secret is at risk. Simon has to decide whether to step out or be pushed out, but there is much to consider in how he does it. An online review wrote, “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a pitch perfect book that gets tone, character, plot and flow exquisitely perfect. It’s the type of book that leaves you with a big smile that lingers long after you’ve finished; an easy read with distinct characters and an emphasis on the people, not the drama and not the fact that the main character is gay.”

Laugh Out Loud: Moose by Darin and Chad Carpenter. Just in case you’ve been taking things too seriously lately, I offer you Moose by Alaskans Darin and Chad Carpenter and Lucas Elliot. This graphic novel is an adaptation of the low-budget movie of the same title that has become something of a cult classic. It’s about a Moosetaur, a half man-half moose that terrorizes the citizens of the fictional Alaska town Gangrene Gulch. For a better understanding of what this moose mania is all about, here is a link to a review from the Alaska Dispatch News: http://www.adn.com/we-alaskans/articl...

North Country: Jimmy Bluefeather by Kim Heacox. Alaskan author Kim Heacox was the winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for this book, his first published work of fiction. “What makes this story so appealing is the character Old Keb. He is as finely wrought and memorable as any character in contemporary literature and energizes the tale with a humor and warmth that will keep you reading well into the night." Here is Nancy Lord’s review of Jimmy Bluefeather written for the ADN: http://www.adn.com/we-alaskans/articl...

Southern Flair: A Death in the Family by James Agee. This autobiographical novel based on events from Agee’s life in 1915 was published after the author’s death. It then went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1958. The book is listed in the Times List of the 100 Best Novels. Here is a link to that list (because who doesn’t love book lists?) and you’ll see that four other books from 15 in ’16 are listed there as well. http://entertainment.time.com/2005/10...

Staff Picks: Pause, Traveler poems by Erin Coughlin Hollowell. Some of you might know this poet. She is a Homer local and former coordinator for the Friends of the Homer Public Library. She’ll also be one of the faculty members for this year’s Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. Erin will be reading her work on Sunday, June 12th at 7:30pm at Alice’s Champagne Palace as part of the conference’s Festival of Readings 2016, which is free and open to everyone. Pause, Traveler is a journey through the dark heart of the American landscape, from New York City to Alaska.

Wild West: The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. HPL’s 15 in ’16 participant Ginger Van Wagoner wrote this wonderful review of The Oregon Trail: “Loved this book on audio and now I want to own it in print. What a fabulous adventure and tale of grit and endurance. The author Rinker and his brother Nick travel over the historic route of the famous Oregon Trail. Rinker is the control freak brother. Nick, the dyslexic brother who has been out of work for months after falling off a roof, is recruited along as equine handler and wagon mechanic. The history of the Oregon Trail, the relationship that develops between the brothers, the adventures and challenges of four months together, and the experience they gain through handling their mule team make this a really good read!” Thanks, Ginger!

And now for some news…

• Here at the library we’ve started our Summer Reading Program. You’re invited to sign up and of course if you know any teens or children who might enjoy the program, please help spread the word. We’re using a new format for the program that may prove to be useful and fun for future programs like 15 in ’16. So take a look around and see what you think! And, if you sign up and enter this secret code READ15 you’ll get a digital badge. Here’s the link: http://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library...

• The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference will be held June 10-14. Each year during the conference there are public readings from the faculty held around town that are free and open to everyone. Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Nancy Lord, Peggy Shumaker, Sherry Simpson and Natasha Trethewey, all authors or poets from either this year’s or last year’s list, will be reading. Here is a schedule: http://writersconf.kpc.alaska.edu/abo...

• I say it every month, but every month we have new participants, so bear with me, please…. Don’t forget our Goodreads group. I’m enjoying the reviews and comment and ratings you all are posting and it’s a nice informal way to chat about books. You’re all invited to join in! https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

Well that’s about it for now. I hope to see you all at the library or online or around town. Drop me a line if you’d like. I love hearing from you!

Homer Public Library
500 Hazel Ave
Homer AK 99603

message 2: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 7 comments So knock Maphead off the list! It was highly entertaining and please read the footnotes. Lots of great information, funny, and you don't have to be a map geek to enjoy it.
I have to take a break from Homer books and read a book from my regular book club now. I'll be back.
Kimberly Lee

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