Book Buzz: Bank Robbers, Famous Dresses, and Historic Poets

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For December, we’re looking at various books about famous women–biographical fiction about Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde fame, a historic romance centered around Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, and a biography of 18th century African American poet Phillis Wheatley.

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Your Library Card, Your Ticket to the World: Oceania

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. We’re in Oceania for February.

Oceania is a vast region that encompasses many countries and cultures and the waterway that is the Pacific Ocean. But I wanted to focus specifically on one place that is very significant to many of our local residents—the Marshall Islands, or Aelõñ Kein Ad (our atolls) as many Marshallese actually call their country. Berryville and Carroll County (and Northwest Arkansas in general) have a growing number of Marshallese residents. In fact, nearby Springdale has the largest population of Marshallese in the continental United States.

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David Carlson’s The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

The Hunting Accident

Charlie Rizzo has spent his life thinking his father was blinded in a hunting accident as a child. Not that it has stopped his dad from living his life or enjoying one of his greatest hobbies — studying poetic masterpieces of world literature. It’s an unusual hobby to have in their 1960s working-class Chicago neighborhood, but Charlie never suspects anything out-of-the-ordinary with his dad. That is, until Charlie finds himself in trouble with the law. He then learns that his mild-mannered father was blinded in a botched robbery and did time for it in the Illinois State Penitentiary, where he was cellmates with Nathan Leopold. As in, Nathan Leopold of Leopold and Loeb thrill-killing infamy.

I had this book (a nonfiction graphic novel that combines true crime and poetry appreciation) recommended to me recently by one of my undergraduate English professors. I always enjoyed the books I read in her classes, so her suggestions are ones I always try to follow up on. And I was not disappointed. Thanks so much for the great suggestion, Leslie!

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