We’re coming to the end of winter, but for now the days are still cold and the evenings are perfect for bundling up on your favorite couch or chair with a blanket, a hot beverage (I’m fond of hot chocolate with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon), and something wonderful from your local library!
If you’re unsure what to get on your next visit, have no fear, your librarians have you covered. In non-fiction, learn How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, an insightful and thought provoking book about what the Attention Economy is and the impact it is having on humanity, it argues for a quiet and contemplative activism. It is about reclaiming your time, think about what is considered productive by our culture, and tries to offer a solution for freeing yourself from the disconnection created by always being “connected”.
If you want a good novel, try The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (on the selves under Ruiz), a twisty, gothic thriller set in 1945 Barcelona that is also a love letter to forgotten books. If you’re in the mood for some mystery, I always tell people about my all-time favorite book series by Elizabeth Peters (pen name of Egyptologist Barbara Mertz), about the golden age of Egyptology with her daring, loquacious, and delightful Amelia Peabody. Start with Crocodile on the Sandbank and you have over twenty adventures ahead of you involving mummies, curses, master criminals, cats, banter, and utility belts. Amelia and her family put Indiana Jones to shame.
Want some fantasy? April, our director, is raving about The Magicians by Lev Grossman, more than just Harry Potter for grown-ups, this first in a series explores deep and dark themes, like how to hold on to the belief in magic in a cruel reality, with humor, heart, and a touch of cynicism. It’s been so well received that it was adapted into a TV series, if you want to compare the differences we have the first three seasons on DVD in the Annex.
If you’re looking for TV shows, we’ve got a DVD collection that would make a Blockbuster’s hang their ‘90’s hairstyles in shame. No one does mystery like the British, and a really good one is “Foyle’s War”, about a police detective in a small seaside town during WWII. With war looming over the Homefront, Foyle, a quiet and determined detective, has his hands full with murderers, smugglers, spies, and thieves. Thankfully he has the help of a plucky former ambulance driver and a shell-shocked war hero.
Looking for a tropical escape from the winter blahs? Sarah has been raving about the Starz pirate series “Black Sails”. This isn’t the sanitized Treasure Island of your childhood; this is about violent, crafty pirates trying to live truly free in an excellently written show with riveting performances that will get your swash thoroughly buckled.
Want a family friendly adventure filled with wonder and laughs, checkout “Howl’s Moving Castle” from the kids DVDs. Produced by master of animation Hayao Miyazaki, follow the fairy-tale like story of Sophie, a girl cursed by the Witch of the Waste who ends up the housekeeper of the powerful Wizard Howl in his castle that is bursting at the seams with enchantment.
You could be in the mood for a game, we’ve got some great ones- see if you could solve a case as Sherlock Holmes or try to escape an ancient temple. Maybe you want spend some time outdoors and stargaze, check out our small but powerful telescope and cast your eyes on distant worlds. Or you might decide it’s time to take up a new hobby, we’ve got books on everything from painting with watercolors to making your next costume for Comic-con. We’ve also got Great Courses, if you want to learn about the Vikings or how to do Tai Chi.
The library will help you make the most of your year, any season, so check back in every month for the next list of recommendations!