Monday, March 26, 2012

“Families are Wolitzer’s turf, and she’s an observant and often humorous chronicler of domesticity and the stuff that comes with it: illness, loss, boredom, crankiness, and, on good days, love.”—Publishers Weekly

AN AVAILABLE MAN by Hilma Wolitzer

When Edward Schuyler, a 62-year-old science teacher loses his beloved wife, Bee, he finds himself popular with local widows and divorcees, even though he's quite content to be on his own and work through the grieving process of losing his partner. But soon his neighbors and family are also on the hunt for a new woman for Edward, and reluctantly he begins dating--and as we follow him on this path toward a new life, we wish we had Edward for a friend or neighbor. This is a wonderfully tender book, full of heart, and hope for love, after love.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

by Joanna Burger


The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship, by Joanna Burger, was recommended to me by fellow librarian Mary Proudfoot.  The author is a renowned ornithologist:  “Birds are my passion,” she says, “but parrots are my weakness.”  Fifteen years before she wrote this memoir, she adopted an orphaned thirty-year-old Red-lored Amazon named Tiko.  The two formed a strong bond once Tiko gradually warmed up to her (and her husband, though Tiko harbored some jealousy toward him).  Tiko's antics are by turns amusing and fascinating:  he slides down the bannister, displays courting behavior toward the author during the springtime, and eats off her plate.
As well as being a story of the relationship between Tiko and the author, the book also includes findings from Dr. Burger’s field work on the science of birds that complements what she learns about Tiko.
This book is a great read for those who enjoy memoirs about parrots and other birds (Alex and Me, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and Wesley the Owl, to name a few) as well as if you are interested in animal behavior and the bonds between animals and humans.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

"A great gorgeous whirlwind of a novel, boundless in its imagination. You will be swept away."--Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage

Pure by Julianna Baggott

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

~ from the publisher