Biographies & Memoirs
Did you keep a diary as a teenager? I did, and I remember it being an absolute roller coaster between exhilaration and despair. And glitter ink. Lots and lots of glitter ink! Luckily, my teenage diary did not survive to the 21st century. Carrie Fisher’s did, though. In 1976, she was just turning 19 and cast as Princess Leia in a low-budget movie called Star Wars. Her notebooks from that time—on and off-set—not only reveal a teenager with a crush on her co-star but an almost anthropological look back at a time long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Her teenage thoughts are even more poignant after her unexpected death last December.
This review was published in Sightlines, CRRL's Assistive Services newsletter.
Here are five popular adult titles that have hit the shelves for the month of February. To find more new titles, check out the booklist New February 2018 Books You'll Want to Read and our recent arrivals page.
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, is an intense portrait of human frailty and resilience.
Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates, and the family begins to fracture. Soon, the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in 18 hours of the night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. (catalog summary)
The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series returns to the University of Mary Washington in 2018 with a fabulous lineup. The popular lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall and are free and open to the public. For more information about each lecture and presenter, see the full schedule here.
Check out these five popular adult titles that have hit the shelves this month. To see more fresh titles, check out our recent arrivals page.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations to fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned 'fun home,' as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphics, and redemptive. (catalog summary)
If you like Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, check out these similar titles.
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges
When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice. Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. (catalog summary)
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships, we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends, and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the minefield, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves. (catalog summary)
Looking for a wartime fiction title to read this Veteran's Day weekend? Check out the selections below.
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, by Sam Quinones, is a book about the rise in opiate addiction in America. Centers for Disease Control states that “91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.” Also, by 2008, drug overdoses surpassed car deaths as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
Many folks are struggling with opiate addiction, even in the Fredericksburg area. The Free Lance Star published an article on April 27, 2017, entitled “Officials Take Action to Combat Spike in Opioid Deaths.” Dreamland is a book that sheds light on the opiate addiction throughout America.
Virginia has long held the nickname of “the mother of presidents,” and surely its most famous native son was the first president, George Washington. His birthplace in Westmoreland County, now a national monument, can be visited today and often features living history performers demonstrating what life was like in the times he knew. George Washington’s Virginia, by John R.
The Phantom of the Opera is considered to be one of the oldest classic movie monsters—and one of the creepiest. Born in a French novel, put into two silent films and a popular Broadway musical, the Phantom has made an impact on the horror world.