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, but we’re starting off in Alaska.
The rugged beauty of Alaska has long inspired writers (and readers!), so it is not surprising how many books set in Alaska are in our system. And there’s a little something for every reader, regardless of preferred genre.
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Caitlin Doughty is a lot more famous than your average mortician. She’s the author of two books, hosts a YouTube series where she answers viewer questions, and is an advocate for reform in the funeral industry. Late last year, she released her second book, From Here to Eternity, which looks at funeral practices around the world, and that’s gaining a fair amount of buzz. But at the library, we’ve also been buzzing about her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Jen suggested it to me a few weeks ago, and it’s an excellent, thought-provoking read! (Thanks for the great suggestion, Jen!)
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How much television do you watch?
Now, be honest.
I saw you trying to shave hours off of how much time you spend glued to your TV every day!
But, seriously, if anything, this is a safe space to confess because I watch unholy amounts of television myself and, therefore, cannot judge you.
I like to think I watch a pretty broad range of stuff, but upon reflection, I’ve realized that I tend to return to the same general categories of shows–comedies about terrible people, dramas about terrible people, crime procedurals, period dramas, dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue, and–my personal favorite–period dramas about Machiavellian political intrigue.
But as much as I like television, I like reading more. And the 2016 Library Challenge is generous enough to combine two of my favorite things. So, if you’re participating in the challenge and need a book to fulfill this challenge, look no further. And if you’re not participating in the challenge but need something to occupy your time while your favorite TV show is on hiatus, you might find your answer here too.
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One of the prompts for the 2016 Library Challenge is to read a memoir. To that end, I’m reviewing the book I read for this challenge—Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia, which chronicles Powell’s year-long project of cooking every single recipe in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My boss Julie recommended the book to me, and I’m glad she did. (Thanks, Julie!) I had vaguely heard of Powell’s project—due to the buzz surrounding the blog Powell initially recounted her culinary adventures on—and upon reading the book, I realized that several years ago, I actually had read and enjoyed an excerpt of her chapter on cooking (and murdering) lobsters.
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For our last challenge, we stayed close to home, exploring books with Carroll County settings. I figured for this edition, we’d venture away from Arkansas and, indeed, the United States to do a literary tour of all seven continents.
These suggestions are specifically designed to meet the 2016 Library Challenge of reading a book set in a different country, but these recommendations are also perfect even if you’re not participating in the challenge. I selected 3 books for each continent and also tried to include a nice range of genres, everything from literary fiction to mysteries to nonfiction to romance. As always, if you’re interested in learning more about any of these books, just follow this link to our online catalog. From there, you can read more information, as well as check availability and place holds.
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Happy National Opposites Day! Yes, it’s a holiday.
One of the reasons we thought the 2016 Book Challenge would be fun and, well, challenging is finding books to match the categories. As I was looking through the different requirements, one that initially stumped me was “Read a book with antonyms in the title.” I know antonyms are words that mean the opposite of each other, but the only book I could think of that worked was Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
However, I knew there had to be other books out there that also met the requirement. So, in honor of National Opposite Day, here are several other titles that feature antonyms.
As always, if one of the books interests you, just click on the cover. You’ll be linked to our online catalog. Search for the title, and you can read more about it and even request it.
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