Monday, September 20, 2010

Read-alike Guides - Eat, Pray, Love

If you liked Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, you might enjoy one of these books:
Enlightenment for Idiots by Anne Cushman
A disillusioned freelance writer travels to India to write a how-to book on enlightenment. Cushman writes with wit and knowledge of her subject, evoking an India that fills the senses and stirs the spirit even as it occasionally turns the stomach, You will laugh with and root for Amanda as she comes to terms with her messy life. (F Cus)

Hold Me Tight and Tango Me Home by Maria Finn
Like Gilbert, Finn is a divorced woman who chooses to recover by embracing life. She learns about life from tango lessons—love and loss, how to follow and lead, how to live with flair, and how to take risks and find out what you really want. She also explores the culture, history, music, moves, and beauty of the Argentine tango. (793.3 Mor)

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill
A former executive loses his job and develops a brain tumor. He takes a job at Starbucks under a young black manager, whose positive character helps him heal and understand the value of respecting others. This is a moving tale of a privileged person whose life falls apart but who is able to pull himself up again. (647.95092 Gil)

The Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse Esarey
Janna and Graeme go on an unusual honeymoon—a 17,000-mile, two-year voyage across the Pacific. Follow their quest to resolve the uncertainties so many couples face—how to know if you've found the One; how to balance couplehood and selfhood; and whether to jump ship or navigate together when the waters get rough. (910.9164 Esa)

Now is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker
A woman reaching mid-life shrugs off all she has done in order to discover who she might be. Kate has been profoundly unhappy for some time, dreaming of rivers, until she takes off for the Colorado and the Amazon. This story resonates with spirituality, the feminine, and exotic travel. (F Wal)

Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman
Nearly 25 years ago, Gelman left behind her lifestyle and marriage to begin a world odyssey that continues to this day. Using a well-paced and fluid writing style, she describes observing orangutans in the rain forests of Borneo, canoeing in Indonesia, eating psychedelic mushrooms in Mexico, and skirting landmines in Nicaragua. (910.4 Gel)

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Blasi
Chef and food writer De Blasi chronicles her relationship with Italian bank manager Fernando and her move from St. Louis to Venice to marry him. She recounts her effort to adjust to marriage and a new country, binding her love of Fernando to her love of food in one delicious narrative. (945.31 De B)

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks
Bestseller Sparks and his brother take a three-week spiritual journey to the world’s most holy sites in an attempt to cope with their grief over the deaths of their parents and only sister. “I began to think of the trip less as a journey around the world than a journey to rediscover who I was and how I developed the way I did,” says Sparks. (813.54 Spa)

Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd
Kidd and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor, describe their introspective, New Age odysseys together to Greece, Turkey, and France as Sue grappled with midlife challenges and writer's block and Ann struggled with heartbreak and post-college career questions. They also find a new understanding and appreciation of each other. (818 Kid)

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Poet and travel writer Mayes describes her experiences in Tuscany during the restoration of her country villa. In her mind, cooking, gardening, tiling, and painting are never chores, but skills to learn, arts to practice, and activities to enjoy. Above all, Mayes’ observations about being at home in two very different cultures are sharp and wise. (945.5 May)

Also by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Continuing the personal narrative begun in Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert chronicles how the United States government gave her and her Brazilian-born lover, Felipe, an ultimatum—marry or Felipe cannot enter the country again—and how she tackled her fears through research and personal reflection on the institution of marriage. Written in conversational, easy-going style, this tale is intriguing and insightful. (306.81 Gil)

The Last American Man
Gilbert explores the meaning of manhood through the life of Eustace Conway, a countercultural man who lives in a teepee in the Appalachian mountain wilderness. She excels at capturing Conway's inflexibility and inability to keep friends, his "man of destiny" monomania, and his superbly honed, altogether rare skills. (813.54 Gil)

Stern Men
In Gilbert’s only novel to date, a spunky young woman born into the midst of a feud between two factions of Maine lobstermen, attempts to negotiate an end to the conflict. The coming-of-age tale is peppered with lobster lore and a cast of sly villains and oddball characters. Authentic dialogue and atmosphere lights up this entertaining, thought-provoking romp. (F Gil)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Staff Selections - Katie, Circulation

What is your favorite genre? I'm not picky. If a book can make me laugh, cry, and/or teach me something... then it gets my vote, regardless of author, genre, subject, etc.

Who are your favorite authors? I’m slightly obsessed with any and all works by Maggie Stiefvater (Likewise, I enjoy stalking reading her blog: Words on Words). I’m also fond of J.K. Rowling, Ellen Hopkins, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

What are you reading now? The Book of Container Gardening by Malcolm Hillier, Eat Right 4 Your Type by Peter D’Adamo, Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, and Easy Elegance: Creating a Relaxed, Comfortable, and Stylish Home by Atlanta Bartlett.

What have you read recently? Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater; The Complete Herb Book by Jekka McVicar; Beastly by Alex Flinn; and Eat Cheap, but Eat Well by Charles Mattocks.

What is your favorite classic? The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams – sad, but oh so touching.

What is your all time favorite book/series? The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; The Cook’s Herb Garden by Jeff Cox; Shiver, Lament, and Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater; Small Spaces: Maximizing Limited Spaces for Living by Elizabeth Wilhide; Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging (and the rest of the Georgia Nicholson Confessions, too!) by Louise Rennison; Eat This, Not That! 2010 by David Zinczenko; Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson; Evernight by Claudia Gray; The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown; The Healthy Lunchbox by Rallie McAllister; Fairest and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine; Big Ideas for Small Spaces by Christine Brun-Abdelnour; Twilight by Stephenie Meyer; [the nest] Home Design Handbook: Simple Ways to Decorate, Organize, and Personalize Your Space by Carley Roney; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Don’t Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew, and Reuse to Make Things Last by Lori Baird; and Crank by Ellen Hopkins.

What are your favorite recommendations? See my all time favorites, I recommend them all! I’m frequently on the children’s side of the library shelving and so I’ve racked up a rather long list of cute and clever books that you’re never too old [or too busy] to flip through. Amongst my favorites are: Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein; Baby Food, Fast Food, and Dog Food by Saxton Freyman; Spot It by Delphine Chedru; Duck! Rabbit! and Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; and Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis.