Weekend Picks

Poetry Ed.

Some poetic picks this weekend to further celebrate National Poetry Month, the Library’s Teen Poetry SLAM VI, and the naming of St. Albert’s very first Poet Laureate!

Hope to see you all at the SLAM next Friday!

Dead Poets Society
English professor John Keating, who, in an age of crew cuts, sport coats and cheerless conformity, inspires his students to live life to the fullest, exclaiming … “Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!” The charismatic teacher’s emotionally charged challenge is met by his students with irrepressible enthusiasm–changing their lives forever.

Trailer

Bright Star
Nineteenth century poet John Keats and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, started out as unlikely lovers who were totally at odds with each other. However, when Brawne offers to help Keats nurse his seriously ill brother, the two soon became involved in an unstoppable romance that only his untimely death at age 25 could bring to a shattering end.

Trailer

Paterson
Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey – they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer. He goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing.

Trailer

Howl
Dramatizes the events leading up to accusations of obscenity against Allen Ginsberg and his poem “Howl, ” and the subsequent trial where he had to defend his most famous work.

Trailer

Reaching for the Moon
Based on the true love story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares.This sumptuous English-language ’50s period piece recounts the years of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop when she left America to live and write in Rio de Janeiro, where she would fall in love with well-off architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Trailer

Oh, and who could forget the slam poetry scene from 22 Jump Street

 

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the April 11, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Water will comeThe Water will come : rising seas, sinking cities, and the remaking of the civilized world

By Jeff Goodell

By century’s end, hundreds of millions of people will be retreating from the world’s shores as our coasts become inundated and our landscapes transformed. From island nations to the world’s major cities, coastal regions will disappear. Goodell employs fact, science, and on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world.

 

 

9780525427575_Enlightenmen_JKF_REPRINT_NEONSIM.inddEnlightenment now: the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress

By Steven Pinker

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data and avoid corrosive fatalism.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

the-uncommon-appeal-of-cloudsTHE UNCOMMON APPEAL OF CLOUDS by Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher and an amateur sleuth.  She doesn’t seek out the cases that come to her.  Being the kind, thoughtful person that she is, she never hesitates to help when help is asked of her.  Such is the case that she tackles in this, the ninth book in her series.  A friend asks her to help Duncan Munrowe recover an expensive painting that has been stolen from his home.  The thieves have been in touch with Munrowe and he banks on Isabel’s reputation to reunite him with his painting.

Meanwhile, Isabel and her husband, Jamie, are dealing with the possibility that their son, Charlie, at three and three-quarters years old, is a mathematical child prodigy.  How shall they deal with this?  Should they consult someone?  Should they gently encourage Charlie along this path?  This is all new territory for these parents.

Then there’s Eddie who approaches Isabel and asks her to intercede on his behalf.  He and his girlfriend want to move in together but her parents are against it.

It all comes down to family dynamics in each of these cases and with common sense, intuitive thinking, and compassion, Isabel is able to make the right decisions.  Against the background of Edinburgh, McCall Smith has given us a delightful, warm, and thoughtful story.

Seniors Book Club April Selection

Born a crimeThe Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, April 11 in the 2nd floor Training Room to discuss the memoir  Born a Crime: stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah.

About the book …

One of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives. Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he gleefully provides America with its nightly dose of serrated satire. He is a light-footed but cutting observer of the relentless absurdities of politics, nationalism and race–and in particular the craziness of his own young life, which he’s lived at the intersections of culture and history. In his first book, Noah tells his coming of age story with his larger-than-life mother during the last gasps of apartheid-era South Africa and the turbulent years that followed. Noah was born illegal–the son of a white, Dutch father and a black Xhosa mother, who had to pretend to be his nanny or his father’s servant in the brief moments when the family came together. His brilliantly eccentric mother loomed over his life–a comically zealous Christian (they went to church six days a week and three times on Sunday), a savvy hustler who kept food on their table during rough times, and an aggressively involved, if often seriously misguided, parent who set Noah on his bumpy path to stardom. The stories Noah tells are sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious–whether he’s subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world; whether’s he’s being thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn’t commit or being thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters.

Trevor Noah’s website

NPR interview highlights

Interviews on Youtube

A “Guardian Live” interview

“The View” interview

Discussion questions

A Huffington Post book review

A Guardian review

Map of South Africa

History of Apartheid

 

Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

Women in the castleThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet at 7:00 pm on Monday, April 9 in Forsyth Hall to discuss The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck.

About the book …

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined–an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding. Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war. As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war–each with their own unique share of challenges. (Publisher)

About the author …

Jessica Shattuck lives with her husband and three children in Brookline, MA.

Her fiction has appeared in The New YorkerGlamourOpen City, and The Tampa Review among other publications.

Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York TimesMother JonesWiredThe Believer Magazine, and The Boston Globe.

Her novel, The Women in the Castle is a New York Times Bestseller, and The Hazards of Good Breeding was 
a New York Times Notable Book, a Boston Globe best book of the year, and a finalist for the 2003 PEN/Winship Award. (author website)

Author website

An Indie Next Q&A with Jessica Shattuck

An NPR interview with Jessica Shattuck

An audio interview with the author

The Book on Youtube

Publisher’s Reading Guide

A New York Journal of Books review

A Washington Independent Review of Books review

A Huffington Post article by Jessica Shattuck “On the Anniversary of Kristallnacht”

The July 20, 1944, Plot to Assassinate Adolf Hitler

German Resistance to Hitler