Staff Picks – Laura – THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE, DB 76169

A lot has been published in the last ten years on the American diet and our relationship with food.  Some of the books focus on how factory farming and industrialized agriculture have changed our health and culture as a nation.  Some speak to the environmental impact of our modern food systems.  Many question the morality of participating in these systems and present alternatives like eating a vegetarian diet or only eating locally grown, organic food.  THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE is a personal account of one man who considers these questions and struggles to find a responsible solution.  Author Tovar Cerulli shares his transition from an omnivorous child, to staunch vegan, and finally to a compassionate hunter and meat eater.   If you like slowly-unfolding personal narratives and examining the relationship between humans and their food, you might enjoy this book.

THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE: A VEGETARIAN’S HUNT FOR SUSTENANCE by CERULLI, TOVAR

Author chronicles his dietary journey from his childhood as an omnivore and avid fisherman, to early adulthood as a strict vegan, and later a more thoughtful carnivore. Explores the history of vegetarianism in American culture, and ways his personal relationships affected his thoughts on the acquisition of food. 2012. DB 76169

If you enjoyed THE MINDFUL CARNIVORE, you might also like the author Michael Pollan.  Start with THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS – DB 62557

 

 

Staff Picks – Laura – LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS, DB 76599

LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS is a collection of amusing essays that focus on David Sedaris’ experiences living abroad, his dysfunctional family, and a smattering of other topics told in his distinctive voice.  If you enjoy witty, self deprecating humor that can pack an emotional punch, this collection might be for you.   THE HAPPY PLACE, which recounted Sedaris’ first experience getting a colonoscopy, had me laughing so hard I cried.

NLS Annotation:

LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS by SEDARIS, DAVID

Twenty-six essays by the humorist. “Dentists without Borders” describes the nonchalance of his doctor, dentist, and periodontist in France. In “Understanding Understanding Owls” Sedaris shops for a stuffed owl for his boyfriend and is disconcerted by how accurately the taxidermist sizes him up. Some strong language. Commercial Audiobook. 2013.

DB   76599

Staff Picks – Laura – OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, DB 77198

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE begins as a man returns to his childhood home for a funeral.  As he explores his old neighborhood he is inexplicably pulled towards the farm of his childhood friend Lettie.  There he finds her family still living, unchanged despite the years.  As he sits by their pond, memories of the terrifying events of his childhood unfold.  Through the eyes of his seven year old self, we learn how the boy befriended Lettie, who, though she was 11, had been so for a very, very long time, and how they together encountered a malevolent presence from another world that used him as a conduit to cross into ours.  When he and Lettie confronted the presence to send it back, tragedy occurred.  This haunting and affecting story deftly portrays the loneliness of childhood and how tragedy can follow you your entire life, floating right below the surface of memory.

NLS Annotation:

OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE  by GAIMAN, NEIL

Sussex, England. A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral.  While there, he is drawn to the farm where his friend Lettiee lived with her mother and grandmother. After he enters the property, he remembers the terrifying experiences he and Lettiee shared. Some violence. Bestseller. 2013.  DB   77198; BR   20187

Staff Picks – Laura – Doll Bones, DB 76559

Doll Bones by Holly Black is middle-grade fiction that seems to defy classification.  It is many genres all rolled into one book!  It is a friendship tale, a coming of age story, an adventure, a bit of a mystery, and a dash of a ghost story too.  These elements mesh together to create an engaging tale of three friends on the edge of adolescence (with all its complications and confusions) who band together on a quest to bring peace to an uneasy spirit inhabiting a china doll.  The characters are realistic, the adventure is exciting, and the atmosphere is eerie and creepy without crossing over into the land of nightmares.

NLS annotation: Preteens Zach, Alice, and Poppy act out adventures with action figures and a china doll long after their classmates have stopped such play.  But when Poppy is haunted by dreams about the eerie doll, the friends begin a real-life exploit. For grades 5-8 and older readers.  2013.  DB 76559.

Can’t get enough of creepy dolls?  Try Coraline by Neil Gaiman.  DB   54845  DLD

Staff Pick – Saidah

‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes.

Man Booker Prize, Bestseller.  2011

DB   73935     LB   07051

If you like gossip about other people’s love lives, you will like this book. You will even like it when your naughty predilection comes back to bite you in the butt at the end of the story.

Retired Tony Webster realizes his life is not what he thought after receiving a puzzling inheritance and a journal left behind by Adrian, a friend who committed suicide four decades ago. His entire life Tony has held a petty grudge against his first girlfriend Veronica and her relationship with Adrian. Reading the journal changes Tony’s perspective of what happened between the three of them. It leads him to discover unexpected and harsh consequences, and his own responsibility in bringing them about.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s short but powerful.  It does a great job of getting under the skin of the characters and weaving their emotional life into a larger picture, where the reader can link long forgotten causes to indelible results. Publisher’s Weekly says “From the haunting images of its first pages to the surprising and wrenching finale, the novel carries readers with sensitivity and wisdom through the agony of lost time.”

Other books by Julian Barnes:

ARTHUR AND GEORGE (2006)          DB 61635 DLD, RC   61635

NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF (2008)      DB   68481

LOVE, ETC. (2000)                RC   53948

ENGLAND, ENGLAND (1999)               RC   49553

PORCUPINE (1992)                RC   38098

TALKING IT OVER (1991)                RC   34498

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TEN-AND-ONE-HALF CHAPTERS (1989)                RC   31893