Staff Book Review


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman

I LOVE this book!!!! If you are a fanatic about classics and art then you will certainly enjoy this. Artist, RISD grad and now author Dinah Fried opens the book with her memories of reading the classics like HeidiLolita and Moby Dick. One of the more significant parts of these books though, for her, were the meals! Some of us might not think twice about that! Fried uses her talents as an artist to recreate some of the meals she read about and then photograph them. These meals are carefully curated and include a small excerpt from the story about the food along with some helpful and fun footnotes. It’s something book nerds and foodies can rejoice about! – Kristin

 

Staff Book Review

 The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman

I picked up this book because the blurb mentioned the main character being a bookish, self-proclaimed introvert. Those are some of my favorite kind of people! Well, this book was, cute. In the literary world that is probably an insult. But I certainly don’t mean it that way! It was a quick read, but I enjoyed it! The beginning reminded me a lot of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine but the surrounding story wasn’t quite as difficult. Each chapter begins with an illustration of her daily journal which adds a little humor and quirkiness.
– Kristin

Audio Or Print…?

 

Becoming – By Michelle Obama. I’ve been on the wait list for this audiobook for a long time.  However, after listing to the first discs, and trying a random sampling of other discs, I’ve decided to go back on the wait list for the actual book.

I adore Michelle Obama, but her voice is too monotone. I prefer a livelier voice to keep me focused on the story.  – Deb

Staff Review

Old Man of the Sea
By Stella Elia
Illustrated by Weberson Santiago

This beautiful picture book for ages 4-8, is the tale of a young boy who visits his grandfather in his room on Sunday afternoons.  In the beginning, they just sit. Then, Grandpa tells his grandson the stories of the times he spent at sea. He tells his grandson about falling in love with Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania but how he always came back the beautiful calm blue ocean.  Then, Grandpa found America and found true love and married and made a family. It ends with sage advice and lots of love. This Brazilian story is perfectly illustrated with watercolor on paper by Weberson Santiago, a noted illustrator. This is a great read-aloud.  

 

Charlotte Burnham

   

 

Staff DVD Review

Disney’s new live action reboot of “Dumbo” is fun for the whole family, but I feel it lacks some of the key elements that deemed it a “classic.” Some of the parts from the original have been edited out to make it more appropriate for modern times, which is great, but I think deviating from the original storyline took away from the film as opposed to adding to it. All in all, it was a great film, but the original animated version from 1941 will always be THE classic. – Children’s Room Staff

Staff Review

Head-On: Stories of Alopecia
Editor: Deeann Callis Graham

If you know me, you know I am bald as the day I was born. I have Alopecia. I would wager money that most people have never even heard of Alopecia.  Sure you can Google the term and read about the disease but no website or pamphlet truly tells you what the diagnosis means and how it affects two percent of the population, emotionally. Well, enter Head-On: Stories of Alopecia. I sure wish this book were around during my initial diagnosis. The book is a collection of over seventy stories written by people of all ages who have had or have Alopecia. This book really covers it all. I strongly recommend reading this if you or someone you know has just be diagnosed with Alopecia. – Kristin A.

Staff Review

The Island of Sea Women
By Lisa See
Read by Jennifer Lim

I LOVED this audiobook.  The story is fascinating and the reader is proficient in portraying all the characters.

On the Island of Jeju, south of South Korea, East of China, and West of Japan, lives a unique culture where women dominate – they do dangerous work and the men stay home and take care of the babies and children.

Mi-ja and Young-sook are two friends whose lives are tested by the outside influences from the Japanese colonialism of the 1930’s and 1940s, World War II, the Korean War, and the challenges of our modern world.

The women free-dive in bitterly cold waters wearing only thin white cotton wrapped around their bodies and heads. They carry weighted nets to hold their finds of edible sea creatures.  One diver is almost killed by an octopus and another one drowns while hunting for abalone.

I love a good sense of place, and this book does it.  And if you like historical novels, the unforgiving details of the domination and wars that affected this island are beyond imaginable.

I’m intrigued how Young-sook worked so hard to provide for her family. The haenueo are incredible women who look out for one another and forge lifetime friendships. – Deb