Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Brazil

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In October, we’re in Brazil.

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Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing

One of the more notorious incidents in The Troubles, the conflict between Catholic nationalists and Protestant loyalists in Northern Ireland, is the disappearance of Jean McConville. The widowed mother of ten disappeared one night in December 1972 after she was forcibly removed from her home by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Rumors circulated for decades about what had happened to McConville and why. Murder was hardly uncommon during The Troubles (especially if someone was suspected of being an informant) or frowned upon by the IRA, but disappearances were another matter.

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Book Buzz: Romantic Fiddlers, Murderbots, and Appalachian Memoirs

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at historical fiction set in Civil War and Reconstruction-era Texas, an intriguing science fiction series, and a meditative memoir about rural Kentucky.

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Crystal King’s Feast of Sorrow

I’ve chatted on here before about my interest in ancient Rome. I love me some good historical fiction set in ancient Rome, the worse behaved the Romans are the better. Those of you who know me well know that I even named my dog after a Roman emperor. (Don’t judge.) But I digress.

A couple of years ago fellow book blogger Vanessa (foodinbooks), who has a magnificent blog about books and food, recommended the book Feast of Sorrow to me precisely because of its ancient Roman setting. I just now got around to reading it, and I only regret not reading it sooner. Thanks so much for the fantastic recommendation, Vanessa! (Also thanks so much to my boss Julie for adding this book to the collection at my request.)

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Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Italy

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In September, we’re in Italy.

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How to Lose Your Mind Watching Cats, a Step-By-Step Guide

I’d like to think of myself as a rational person, one who makes measured, well-thought out decisions. Sometimes, I make impulsive decisions, however. These are almost always bad decisions. My latest impulsive decision was to watch last year’s critically panned adaptation of the musical Cats. I have no idea what I expected, but all the internet chatter about how bad this movie is still didn’t prepare me for what I was to witness. I thought about giving it a conventional review, but this is not a conventional movie. So, instead I wrote this, a guide to watching Cats. I sacrificed my sanity, so you don’t have to sacrifice yours. You’re welcome.

Beware, there be spoilers . . . and incredibly creepy cats.

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Vienna Blood (2019)

Vienna’s Golden Age is the heady years before WWI in which the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a center for philosophy, science, and art. Its coffeehouses were a gathering place for some of the sharpest minds in Europe, and its opera was internationally famous. But as with any celebrated time period in history, there was also a darker side. Vienna Blood, a recent mystery series, delves into both the good and the bad of early 20th century Vienna while also serving up murders.

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Book Buzz: Adventure Memoirs, Rural Noir, and YA Romance + Zombies

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For September, we’re looking at a heartbreaking memoir about adventure gone wrong, a series that brands itself as rural noir, and a YA romance comedy that also features zombies.

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Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Botswana

Our library theme for 2020 is Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World–because with the library, you truly can travel around the world without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Every month in 2020, we’ll be landing at a new place on the globe. In August, we’re in Botswana.

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Movie Review: Emma. (2020)

Emma 2020

Emma is a fantastic matchmaker–just ask her. She successfully paired up her beloved governess with a local widower, and buoyed by that success, Emma turns her sights on finding a husband for her friend, Harriet. In Regency England, successful matchmaking entails more than just joining two souls in love–it also involves ensuring financial security and securing/maintaining social status. Emma’s brother-in-law and family friend George Knightley warns her against the matchmaking shenanigans, but what could possibly go wrong when she starts trying to pair up the socially disadvantaged Harriet with the local bachelors? Lots. Lots could go wrong.

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