Staff Picks - Book Lovers Day 2020

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

My most favorite book is reportedly the oldest and most read in human history. That being the case, I will select a more recently released title I really enjoyed reading: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Someone had recommended it to me and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it comprised many items of personal interest: books, horses, country, history, and people! The realization of the vast effort and determination it took to establish accessibility to books and information was shocking. At the time, just the logistics in itself would be overwhelming. We take so much for granted these days. It’s also one of those books that I didn’t want to end – really enjoyed the personalities and story line. Only negative comment is that it ended too abruptly – thought it could have been at least a few chapters longer!

 

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

There’s just too many favorites to pick only one title, but as a reader of historically accurate fiction I recommend A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

Set in 1970-1975 India, A Fine Balance centers around four disparate characters brought together in an effort to survive in the midst of governmental madness. During that time, Indira Gandhi allowed her prime minister to introduce programs that created chaos, poverty, and misery. Dickens-like, Mistry gives a non-judgmental depiction of these changes on all caste levels: people controlled by the randomness of decisions that alter their worlds.

Warning – It is heart-breaking and brutal but these characters don’t expect pity. It is a story of the human spirt who, in this historically brutal time find the fine balance, survive with their humanity intact. Be prepared to be angry, overwhelmed, shocked, and saddened; then so proud of what humans can endure.

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Great book that will change the way you look at conflict and at how you deal with others and their behavior. This book has altered my life. I had no prior knowledge on how to set boundaries in my everyday life. This book transformed the way I make decisions and really taught me that I have the power to say no to friends, family members, co-workers, and bosses without feeling guilty! I have been setting boundaries ever since reading this book (which I read more than once because it was so knowledgeable). Since reading I have had a better quality of life and better relationships with others.

“When you react to something someone says or does, you may have a problem with boundaries. If someone is able to cause havoc by doing or saying something, she is in control of you at that point and your boundaries are lost. When you respond, you remain in control with options and choices.”

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan