Monday, January 18, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This book made me chuckle right from the beginning when Ove, a 59 year old grumpy man with staunch principles and routines tries to buy a computer.  He lives in a housing complex where he will not tolerate any deviation of rules and regulations.  A good description of him would be a curmudgeon (a new word for me) which means bad-tempered, difficult, and cantankerous. However, his personality draws the reader to like this obsessive man.  He is grieving the loss of his wife, a wonderful, loving woman.  When a young chatty couple with two daughters move in next door Ove's mailbox is accidentally flattened with their moving truck.  Many comical moments follow throughout the book relating to this family as Ove's structured world is disrupted.  Sad moments also occur as Ove remembers his life with his wife.  I listened to this book through Hoopla, a service our library provides to download audiobooks and several other materials. We also own the book in print. I really enjoyed this book!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Speed Kings by Andy Bull

     The cover of Andy Bull's Speed Kings says it covers the 1932 Winter Olympics and the "fastest men in the world", meaning bobsledders. The book does just that, but it does so much more beyond those points. The book covers the rise of bobsledding as a sport, how it worked into the Olympics, and the men who took part in the games; however, that is just a small part of what Speed Kings is all about.
     Speed Kings is a well-written personality profile of some of the eccentrics, playboys, scholars, athletes and questionable personalities of the early twentieth century. It covers characters in high finance, politics, Hollywood, sports and military history. Though this may seem like quite the hodgepodge, Bull does a great job in keeping all of these people fresh, entertaining and relevant to the story. Who would have imagined so many unique ties to bobsledding?
     If you are looking for the extreme details, technicalities and minutia of the sport of bobsledding, you are not going to find it in Speed Kings. What you are going to find is a fun, fast read that opens the door to a lot of other subjects and people you may not be familiar with in this country's past history. Think of it as a threshold book to many other non-fiction subjects - Cary Grant meets the Nazi Party meets the Dewey Decimal System.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Handmade Soap Book by Melinda Coss

I must admit I am a soap maker "wannabe". I love the looks of handmade soap and the idea of making it yourself. I am still in the stages of looking and learning and am nor sure I will ever get to the actual "making" stage. Every year I buy handmade soap from West Market Park at Tulip Time. When this book hit our NEW shelves here at the library, I couldn't help but check it out. I looked longingly at the different types pictured: grapefruit slice, strawberry, buttered roses, sunflowers, honey and beeswax, goats' milk, olive, creamy coconut, spice, vanilla and more. The soaps looked so beautiful and natural. They were packaged and presented artfully and tastefully. With the use of the internet you can get pretty much whatever supplies and equipment you need nowadays. For now I will continue to just look, but maybe one day...