Wednesday, October 10, 2018

RBG produced by Betsy West and Julie Cohen

This movie profiles Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  I'm familiar with her on the High Court, but didn't know her history.  What a trailblazer!  The documentary, while telling her life story, also tells about the cases that she argues before the Supreme Court in the 1970s.  There are several interviews with the plaintiffs in those cases.  It's hard to remember how differently women were treated then in workplace and governmental policies.  She also argues a case where policy discriminated against a man. She's a true champion of equal rights for all.

I'd highly recommend watching the movie if you want a profile of an important person as well as an interesting history lesson.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories by Penelope Lively

I enjoy Penelope Lively's short story collection.  In the title story an animated purple swamp hen in a Pompeian village observes the daily follies of its people and their cruelty towards slaves while Mount Vesuvius was about to erupt.  Abroad tells the disastrous adventure of a couple's European road trip from bad to worse in a remote farm house.  Lively delves into relationships in The Third Wife where the woman outsmarts her con artist husband in a house hunting trip.  All 15 stories are filled with wisdom, humor and surprises.  It is a good read!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill

     I picked this book off the special themes cart we have here at the library. We picked a lot of books about colors to put on the cart for the month. It was during that time when we were celebrating National Coloring Day, which we decide to turn into Coloring Month here at the Pella Public Library. So this book was written for children, but can be enjoyed by any reflective adult as well. The author picks a color and writes a poem about it. She tries to think of all the things she knows that are that color and feelings and places that are often described by that color. The title of the book comes form the poem titled What Is White? The illustrator does a lovely job of creating dreamy pictures that coincide and compliment the words of the poetry. I really enjoyed it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy

Dr. Matt McCarthy: straight out of medical school, fresh face with little hands-on experience, and new Resident at a New York hospital.  This darkly comic tale follows McCarthy during his first year as he gains experience, wisdom, perspective, and also and a not-so-healthy appreciation for Wendy’s Frostys. The book deals with the question of, “how do you learn to save lives when there are no mulligans?”  McCarthy struggles at times whether to even stay with the 30-hour-a-shift residency and become a doctor.  Through a few near misses, a lot of heartfelt conversation and a series of life-changing interactions with both mentors and patients, McCarthy pulls through to his second year and becomes—dare he say it, a competent physician.    Recommendation: Black comedy, but makes some excellent philosophical points.  Funny in a teetering-on-the-edge-of-destruction way.  Give it a try.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

 Ada has never been outside.  She has never left their flat in London.  She waves to people outside from her chair but if her mother catches her, she will be punished.  Ada and her brother, Jamie, are evacuated from London just as England enters WWII.  They are placed in the country in the care of Susan, a woman who is grieving the loss of her friend.
Although the books are set during WWII, and the casualties of war do play a role but the books are more about the importance of family and healing physically and mentally.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

An Autobiography by Bill Peet

Something a little different this month. Even though this book is found in the juvenile biography section of our library, Bill Peet's An Autobiography is one adults will also enjoy, probably more than children will. It is a pleasing look back at Midwestern history, the birth of the Walt Disney animation empire, and, the beginnings of a successful children's author and illustrator. As you would expect, Peet also handles all the artwork for his life story.
Peet's work is familiar to many parents, and the Pella Library has several of his books including Ella, Smokey, Capyboppy, Cock-a-doodle Dudley and many, many more. Peet details an entertaining, but restless youth in Indiana and how his growing love of art led to a career choice.
This choice would eventually lead him to Walt Disney and the Disney Studios. Peet recalls the inner-workings of Disney and how many of its early classics came about. Movies that Peet worked on included: Dumbo, Fantasia, Song of the South, Cinderella and many others. He takes the reader behind the curtain and discusses the hierarchy of Disney illustrators, how he worked his way to the top, and what it was like dealing with Walt Disney. All of this information is very enlightening, but I think adults will actually get more out it than younger children.
While at Disney, Peet began writing and illustrating his own children's books and would make this his full-time calling. An Autobiography is a lot of fun to read and look at. A nice piece of animation history.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay


Taken in for questioning, Angela recounts her history with HP, her high school love, for Detective Novak.  For Angela, the question of what happened to HP’s wife, Saskia, requires her to share the whole history of their relationship.  This psychological thriller takes us along with the character as she is presently considered a person of interest in the disappearance, all the while sharing her perspective of the past.