Try on a new perspective! Do you tend to read books written by people surprisingly similar to yourself? Well now’s as good a time as any to expand your circle. One of the challenges we set out for you during our 2018 Reading Challenge was to read a “Memoir by an author of a different race or ethnicity than you.” If you haven’t yet marked this challenge off your list, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few diverse memoirs to try:

What recent memoirs would you recommend? Here are a few that made our list…

The best we could do: an illustrated memoir, by Thi Bui
In this powerful graphic novel, author/artist Bui describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family’s move from their war-torn home to the United States. 

Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah
The host of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah traces his wild coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. (Especially good as an audiobook, narrated by Trevor Noah!)

In the country we love: my family divided, by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford
Guerrero, an actress from Orange is the New Black, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported to Colombia. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in.

Give a diverse memoir a try and tell us what you think. Find our list here. Be aware that there may be more than one format for each title, so if you prefer eBook or audiobook, search again for the title to see the library’s full holdings. Did your favorite memoir not make our list? Let us know in the comments.

If you don’t know about our 2018 Reading Challenge: Read Outside the Box, then download our challenge list and get started now. The year’s not yet half over, so there’s still plenty of time to try and finish the challenge!

 

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Here are the last of the Blind Date with a Book reviews for this year. The winners of our prize drawing have been notified. Over 90 wrapped books were checked out, but only 16 reviews were submitted. We had three Nothing Bundt Cake gift cards to give away. Your chances were way better than the odds in the lottery; so next year, don’t forget to fill out a review!

Even if you weren’t lucky enough to win one of our gift certificates, we hope you all had fun choosing a wrapped up book and reading it. If the book you chose didn’t tickle your fancy, try one of these books enjoyed by other Dublin residents, or come by and ask a librarian for a suggestion!

 

Here’s JonMichelle’s review:

 

Finding Casey, by Jo-Ann Mapson

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I enjoyed how much the setting was like another character.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
heart-tugging
emotional
satistying

 

 

Monica shared this review:


Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters
(book 2 in the Last Policeman series)

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked how descriptive and detailed the writer is. He wasn’t too wordy but got to the point. I was able to picture the scenes very easily, and the people. Can’t wait the read the other books by this author.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
intriguing
touching
original

 

 

 

Looking for something new, but familiar, too? Try a reworked classic!

There are tons of books that are inspired by classic novels. Sometimes it’s a sequel in the same time period that follow beloved characters after the original ends. Or it could be a modern retelling of the same or similar plot, but with a contemporary setting and updated sensibilities. How much these reimagined stories adhere to the original varies widely, but they all begin with a love of the original source.

Read a revamped classic today! Here’s a Classical Remakes book list to get you started.

While you’re at it, why not read (or re-read) a classic, too? Here’s the Modern Library’s list of classics, and the Radcliffe Student’s top picks for best novels.

We’ll be discussing classics and reworked classics at our next Readers’ Round Table on Tuesday, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. As always, you can also discuss a different good book you’ve read that does not meet our monthly theme. The themes are just there to help you when you are feeling uninspired.

At the last Readers Roundtable, the theme was International Mysteries. Here’s a handy online list of first-in-a-series mysteries set outside the U.S. and England available at the library. Happy Reading!

franzen-corrections
Admit it. You like to read stories about families more dysfunctional than your own. There’s nothing wrong with that.

As holiday family dinners loom over you, we’ve got some titles to remind you that your family is probably not as bad as you think. It’s all relative (sorry).

 

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell

In Between Days, by Andrew Porter

The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper

The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates

You can find these titles and more in this booklist on our library catalog.

domestic

 

If you prefer real life stories, then try these memoirs instead:

The Autumn Balloon, by Kenny Porpora

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, by Roz Chast

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, by Jeanette Winterson

 

And lastly, two books that are also movies available on DVD at the library:

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts

 

Did we forget your favorite fractious family? Let us know!

 

Congratulations to George Saunders, this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize for his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo! Have you read it? What did you think?

Here’s what one of the prize judges had to say about the novel:

“The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.”

See the Man Booker Prize’s blog for more commentary on the winner.

The Man Booker Prize goes to the best literary fiction written in English, as voted on by a panel of five judges. Originally limited to authors from the United Kingdom & Commonwealth, the Man Booker was recently expanded to include any author writing originally in English and published in the UK. This is the second American in a row to win the prize.

Here are the other titles that were nominated for the Man Booker Prize this year:

Autumn, by Ali Smith

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund

Exit West, by Moshin Hamid

4 3 2 1, by Paul Auster

Elmet, by Fiona Mozley (no library copy, sorry)

Also try this list of past award winning books! It includes Man Booker, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and more.

 

With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to just sit and read.  If you’ve got a stack of unread books and feel like getting out more, you can take care of both situations with Dublin’s Silent Book Club!

On the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, the library hosts an adult quiet reading hour. We’ll be setting up a room with a few comfortable chairs, closing the door, and giving you space to escape into a good book. Even though we call it a book club, we’re not discussing or reading the same book. It’s just a way to schedule some reading time and be around others who appreciate and share a passion for reading.

If you’re feeling social, you can come early and join us for our Readers’ Round Table. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm on the third Tuesday of the month, we spend time talking about the books we’re reading and enjoying. Share your latest find, or find a new author to try! While these two programs happen on the same day, you do not need to attend one to come to the other. Pick what feels right for you.

At last month’s Readers’ Round Table one participant recommended the book The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks. She admitted it was slow to start, but full of detail about life in the South during the Civil War. The characters come to life as you get into it. You learn some history and get some romance. It’s also about how the main character’s home gets taken over by the Confederacy and turned into a hospital.

This prompted another participant to recommend the PBS television series Mercy Street, a somewhat gritty but captivating show about a family-owned hotel turned into an army hospital in Union-occupied Virginia. There’s a mix of interesting characters and perspectives including the Boston widow newly arrived as a nurse, a free black man with untapped medical skills, and a Southern belle whose entitled world has been utterly shaken. Find the DVDs for both seasons at the library.

What new book or show might you discover next? Join us on October 17 to find out!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Well, it’s not exactly dinner, but the winners of our last drawing of Three Good Books prizes did get a Starbucks gift card good for a small treat. Not too shabby.

We drew names from reviews from the past two weeks, as well as another drawing with all the participants over the summer who had not yet won a prize. Congratulations to the winners!

Here are some of the books mentioned in the final group of Three Good Books reviews. (We are only listing the titles and not the reviews due to participants’ request.)

Everything I Never Told You,
by Celeste Ng

The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman

Growing a Feast, by Kurt Timmermeister

Legend, by Marie Lu

 

 

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened,
by Jenny Lawson

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

Rich People Problems, by Kevin Kwan

The Twelve, by Justin Cronin

 

Three Good Books was a program in conjunction with Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program for all ages. If you have not yet claimed your First and Second Prizes you are missing out. We have a limited amount of free books as prizes and the range of titles is getting smaller each day. So don’t dally any longer! You have until September 15, 2017 to redeem your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our adult reviews program this summer. We hope everyone reading these posts found some good picks for their to-be-read list!