There are some great new books that offer a window into Asian American history and folklore. For a young adult/adult audience, Malinda Lo’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a historical novel whose protagonist is a Chinese American teen, Lily Hu, whose family is caught up in the Communist scare of the McCarthy era in the 1950s in San Francisco’s Chinatown. In her senior year, Lily is drawn to another student, one with whom she can talk about her dreams of building rockets and her affinity for math. That other student is a girl and together the two explore the nightlife of 1950s San Francisco, specifically the Telegraph Club known for its male impersonators and lesbian clientele. [Read more…] about Jill (a.k.a. Mrs. O’C.) recommends two books that anyone could enjoy
The Duke Who Didn’t, by Courtney Milan — This is the fun book I have been trying to get everyone at the library to read. I told a few people that “it’s like a cozy mystery with no murders and a few romantic scenes,” which is a funny description but I stand by it. It’s a Regency romance that takes place in a multicultural town with a Chinese couple. Chloe is a bit of a straight-laced grump, while Jeremy is the much beloved guy who comes to town every year for a festival. He’s been coming to it since he was a kid. (He’s secretly the Duke!) This year, he’s asked Chloe to help him find a wife who is exactly like her. Chloe starts looking everywhere but the mirror. She’s wrapped up in trying to make her father’s business a success and is mostly oblivious to the rest of the world around her. This book and this world-building just charmed me. The characters are multifaceted and I enjoyed reading about the friendships and the relationship between Chloe and her single father. The festival reminded me of a fall fete right here in New England, with funny local traditions and a few tourists scratching their heads. As a person who loves food writing, I enjoyed a bit of that as well. If romance isn’t your thing, the few steamy bits are easily skipped without affecting the story at all.
I listened to a book on the CloudLibrary App that I really enjoyed, Do Nothing by Celeste
Headlee. It is not so much a book about doing nothing at all, but more a book about how to have
more fulfilling, productive time, which turns out to be less time working. Celeste outlines the
history of our American work ethic and paints a grim picture of the 40-hour work week, a work
week which has morphed into so many new and interesting forms over the last year and a half
of lock down. [Read more…] about Do Nothing
It can rain human-sized diamonds on the planets Uranus and Neptune, or so I read in the cover article of the current issue of Nautilus, a science magazine that we now subscribe to and is available to you through Flipster. Nautilus bills itself as “a different kind of science magazine… science, philosophy, and culture are woven together into single narratives that you will find both familiar, and surprising.” It is among the new titles we now get through Flipster, along with Parents, Mindfulness, The Sun, Car & Driver, and Guitar Player. These are in addition to the titles we already subscribed to, which include The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Kiplinger’s, Mother Jones, Dwell, and Food Network Magazine, and others. Ask any of us about our digital subscriptions anytime. [Read more…] about Our outer planetary neighbors
Hi folks. I love a good romance novel. In this day and age, it’s comforting to read a book that I know will have a Happily Ever After ending. Here’s one of my recent favorites that allowed me to escape from the real world for a bit:
One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston — This book has an interesting premise. August is new to NYC, gets a bunch of odd roommates who quickly become found-family, and she meets Jane. Jane can’t leave the subway. She’s always on the same train as August. She’s in her twenties, but from the ‘70s, even though it’s 2020 in the world of this book. Is she a ghost? Caught up in time-travel? Delusional? Somehow, among these absurdities, love blooms, a mystery unfolds, and there’s some steaming up of the subway. It was a fun, entertaining read.