Monday, April 26, 2021

Staff Recommendations, Week of April 27, 2021

 A few books we've read and recommend this week:

Daniel Goldin recommends Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House: How an Omission Transformed the Architect's Legacy, by Nicholas D Hayes. Daniel says, "It was in the early 1910s that Frank Lloyd Wright started a program to bring good design to affordable housing. Wright eventually pulled the plug on the American System Built Homes project, but interest in these homes, many of which were transformed beyond recognition and often in decay, has been strong. On Newton Avenue in Shorewood, the now monikered Elizabeth Murphy House was rediscovered in 2015, despite it being advertised as a Wright home in a real estate ad as late as 1972. Why was its recording erased, and how does that connect to the career of locally prominent architect Russell Barr Williamson (many private homes plus the Eagles Club and Avalon Theater)? How was it found? And what could the new owners do to bring it back to Wright-worthy condition? Like any story about Frank Lloyd Wright, this includes passion, feuding, and a little tweaking of history. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House is great for local history buffs and Wright-o-philes alike."

This is our event book in this week's roundup - Hayes will join us for a conversation about this book with Frank Lloyd Wright Scholar Catherine Boldt on Monday, May 17, at 7 pm CDT. Click here and register for that virtual chat. This event's cohosted by The Shorewood Public Library and Shorewood Historical Society, so thanks to them for their efforts!

Kay Wosewick reflects upon her enjoyment of Mirrorland, a new psychological thriller by Carole Johnstone. Kay says, "Cat has been summoned to Edinburgh by her mirror twin’s husband Ross, who tells her El is missing and assumed dead. The twins haven’t spoken since Cat left for California ten years ago; still, Cat doesn’t believe El is dead because she doesn’t feel it. El and Ross live in the house the twins grew up in, shockingly restored and refurnished to replicate the house as it was when they were children. Long-buried memories flood Cat when she arrives. The next day, Cat receives the first of many texts from ‘johnsmith,’ which give clues to a treasure hunt, a game right out of the twin’s childhood. The clues lead Cat to pages from El’s diary, which further awaken Cat’s memories of the fantasy world she and El had lived in, with pirates, cruel tooth fairies, nasty clowns, and more. The treasure hunts and memories alternate with uneasy interactions with Ross, detectives, and local folks. This thriller is a marvelous combination of complex and fascinating stories from the past and present, brilliantly drawn characters, terrific twists and turns, and an end that knocked off my shoes."

One paperback that appears this week with a recommendation from Madi Hill is How to Pronounce Knife: Stories, by Souvankham Thammavongsa, which won the 2020 Giller Prize, which recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction (not to mention offers the biggest purse of any literary award in Canada). Madi says, "In a tumultuous time of xenophobia and class division within the Western world, How to Pronounce Knife exposes the reality of immigrant families’ struggles. Each story in this collection has its own way of making class division painfully apparent as Laotian working class immigrants take jobs barely capable of sustaining a family while trying to integrate into Western culture without completely eradicating their Laotian culture and heritage. This collection is emotionally raw, with many told from a child’s perspective that left me feeling vulnerable yet hopeful. It’s a beautiful collection that I’d highly recommend everyone read, if only to gain some insight of those often belittled or flat out ignored in Western society."

No comments:

Post a Comment