"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light." –Vera Nazarian. Get ready to let in more light with this month's staff picks...
Emily's Staff Pick, August 2015: John Fielder's new book, Colorado's Yampa River, is a celebration of the beauty as well as the the ecological, economical, and educational importance of the Yampa River.
Tumbling from Skillet Lake on the tundra of the Flat Tops, the Yampa flows 249 miles to Dinosaur National Monument, where it converges with the Green River at Echo Park.
John Fielder and self-proclaimed "river rat" Patrick Tierney followed every mile of the Yampa. This book tells the story of their journey and so too the story of the Yampa.
Colorado's Yampa River contains John Fielder's characteristically stunning photographs, as well as his classic "then-and-now" photos. Patrick Tierney's text is soundly researched and well written. Combined, the photos, historical, and ecological information are a brilliant argument for the conservation of the Yampa River. Colorado's Yampa River will make the perfect gift for your friends, family, or yourself!
Virgie's Staff Pick, August 2015: What an enjoyable read this was!
Follow Eva Thorvald as she begins her life being abandoned by her mother, then evolving from a scrawny adolescent to a “woman with an exclamation mark!”
The author cleverly explores Eva’s life in different stages, using food as a focal point, and ends with all the stages coming together.
The novel is filled with humor, wisdom, recipes, love and family bonds. And an added bonus: if you want a closeup glimpse of the quirky Minnesotan culture, you’ll get it here! You betcha!
Virgie's Staff Pick, August 2015: This historical fiction is a eye-opening story which takes place in two time periods: post WWI and post WWII.
Set in New York City, it reveals the practice of medical experiments performed regularly by American doctors on Jewish orphans after WWI. The story follows the sad and unbelievable plight of young orphan Rachel, who was the recipient of several secret experiments.
In adulthood Rachel is a nurse, and is suffering the side affects of the experimentation she endured throughout her childhood.
The story becomes even more interesting when Rachel recognizes that her new dying patient is Dr. Solomom, the woman who performed these experiments on Rachel. Now Rachel is in control; should she perform her “own” experiment on Dr. Solomom?
This was a fascinating read, inspired by true events, unveiling the practice of medical experimentation on helpless children.
Candace's's Staff Pick, August 2015: This historical fiction is set in the early 1800’s on the island of St. Thomas. It tells the story of Rachel Pizzarro, born to a Jewish family that fled the European Inquisition.
Rachel is a very difficult child, challenging everything her very proper mother requires of her. Dreams of living in Paris consume Rachel’s thoughts, but her dreams are dashed when her father asks her to marry his business partner to save their business.
The story weaves throughout Rachel’s life, following her first marriage, her husband’s death, and a marriage of true love that scandalizes the small Jewish community.
Her last child Jacobo Camille, a son, who is much like her, defies and challenges her. He runs away from a life of control that attempts to suppress his love of painting, but becomes one of world’s most famous impressionistic painters.
The writing is very rich and draws the reader in to experience the lives of this family and their sadness, losses and triumphs. I really enjoyed this novel.
Emma's Staff Pick, August 2015: Sixteen year old Mim Malone is clever, sarcastic, and fearless. And, as she proclaims in the first chapter of the book, she is not okay.
She has just learned that her mother has fallen ill in Ohio, 947 miles from Jackson, Mississippi where Mim currently resides.
After hearing this news, she sets out on a mission to find her mother. With little more than a stolen coffee can of money and a handful of “warpaint” she boards a greyhound bus to Cleveland. And while the story begins with this mother-saving mission, it centers around the people Mim meets en route to Ohio.
Her witty inner monologue and quick tongue lighten the mood set by the many issues Mim and her new acquaintances face throughout the novel, and make Mosquitoland a must-read.
Chris's Staff Pick, August 2015: Ryden used to have friends, he used to be on the soccer team and was even working for a scholarship to play college soccer. This all came to a screeching halt the day he met Meg. Meg got pregnant and stopped her chemo that could have saved her life. Now Ryden is a teenage parent going into his senior year in high school.
The only person that makes Ryden feel normal is Joni. But how do you share this kind of secret with the only person that’s not looking down on you right now for your past choices?
This is a very compelling read. I have yet to see another story like it. And for all those teen dads out there, there is life after children.
Chris's Staff Pick, August 2015: This is beautifully written and illustrated book about how wonderful imagination is when it comes to reading a book. There is so much detail in every image that you can tell a different story every time you read it. I love this picture book!