Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel Davis Huber


The Velveteen Daughter reveals for the first time the true story of two remarkable women: Margery Williams Bianco, the author of one of the most beloved children's books of all time - The Velveteen Rabbit - and her daughter Pamela, a world-renowned child prodigy artist whose fame at one time greatly eclipses her mother's.

But celebrity at such an early age exacts a great toll. Pamela's dreams elude her as she struggles with severe depressions, an overbearing father, an obsessive love affair, and a spectacularly misguided marriage. Throughout, her life raft is her mother.

The glamorous art world of Europe and New York in the early 20th century and a supporting cast of luminaries - Eugene O'Neill and his wife Agnes (Margery's niece), Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Richard Hughes, author of A High Wind in Jamaica - provide a vivid backdrop to the Biancos' story. From the opening pages, the novel will captivate readers with its multifaceted and illuminating observations on art, family, and the consequences of genius touched by madness.

416 pages (July 2017)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)

Laurel Davis Huber talks about The Velveteen Daughter:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The honey bus : a memoir of loss, courage and a girl saved by bees by Meredith May

An extraordinary story of a young girl who finds solace in one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.

Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm.

She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard.

That first close encounter with a bee was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

May was drawn to the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality.

Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of madness and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child.

Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an remarkable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.

318 pages (April 2019)


Reading Guide from BookMovement.
Discussion Guide from Meredith May's website
 
To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)

Book Trailer:

Author Interview with Meredith May:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Less by Andrew Sean Greer


A breakout romantic comedy by the bestselling author of five critically acclaimed novels.

Who says you can't run away from your problems?

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes - it would be too awkward - and you can't say no - it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

263 pages (July 2017)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)
The Guardian Book Review
Kirkus Book Review
The New York Times Book Review
The Washington Post Book Review


Andrew Sean Greer talking about Less with Nancy Pearl on Book Lust:


This title is available for download as an eAudioBook. Learn more about downloading eAudioBooks here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones


An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward - with hope and pain - into the future.

A 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection, and winner of the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

308 pages (February 2018)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)
Tayari Jones talks with Barnes and Noble about An American Marriage:


Why Oprah chose An American Marriage for her book club:


This title is available for download as an eBook and as an eAudioBook and here. Learn more about downloading eBooks from the library here, and eAudioBooks here.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist— a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans.

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant notes from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men, or who can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels for Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are gutsy and spirited, even in the face of a terrible blow. The irrepressible Emmy keeps writing letters in this hilarious and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

281 pages. (July 2018)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)

A.J. Pearce Attempts The 5 Second Book Challenge:


A.J. Pearce Discusses the inspiration for Dear Mrs. Bird:
 

This title is available for download as an eBook: as well as an eAudioBook here, and here. Learn more about downloading eBooks from the library here, and eAudioBooks here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rudy's rules for travel: life lessons from around the globe by Mary K. Jensen


Most honeymoons, Mary knows, do not start this way. Lying outside on the sloping attic roof in Edinburgh, listening to the soft snores of her groom, she realizes that Rudy's number one rule, "adapt," once again reigns. Rudyss Rules for Travel takes you across the twentieth-century globe with intrepid, frugal Rudy and his spouse Mary, a catastrophic thinker seeking comfort. Whether stalled in a Spanish car tunnel, stranded atop a runaway elephant, or held at rifle-point at a Soviet border, Rudy has a rule for every occasion--for example, "Relax, some kind stranger will appear. Mary, meanwhile, has her deep breathing and her own commandment: "Expect the worst." The two are a picture of contrast. As Mary was being born, Rudy was a new American citizen flying US Air Force missions over his homeland, Germany. His father was a seaman, hers an accountant. And when this marriage of opposites goes traveling, their stories combine laugh-out-loud humor with poignant lessons from the odyssey of a World War II veteran.

211 pages. (April 2018)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)

This title is available for download as an eBook. Learn more about downloading eBooks from the library here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for all book lovers.
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.
Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works—come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.
Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

352 pages. (June 2018)


To find a discussion guide for this book in the NoveList Plus database, go to the Library's website, click on Novelist in the Reader's Cafe under "Book Finders." Click on "Book Discussion Guides" in the right sidebar on NoveList's home page. Then, either enter the title in the Search box or search for the title alphabetically. (You will need your Salt Lake County Library card number to access this resource outside a county library.)

Kirkus Review
Publishers Weekly Book Review


Lost for Words Sneak Peak:


Making a Book with Stephanie Butland:


This title is available for download as an eBook and as an eAudioBook. Learn more about downloading eBooks from the library here, and eAudioBooks here.