Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Staff Recommendations, Week of October 11, 2022

We return for another week of book recommending. Let's get reading.

Let's start with a couple of event book recommendations. First, from Daniel Goldin, this endorsement of Bad Vibes Only: (And Other Things I Bring to the Table), the latest from author and podcaster Nora McInerny. Daniel says: "This is what you need to know about Nora McInerny. Her first husband died very young, and that was devastating. She’s very tall. Plus, she’s also very funny, and that last quality shines through in her new collection, Bad Vibes Only. Like David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and Samantha Irby, she can write about any number of subjects, from bad bosses (I’m already quoting from this essay), messy vacations, parenting, and Catholic school and give them a McInerny spin - wry observation and a healthy dose of ‘mistakes were made.’ Lots on Catholic school - I see her as the 21st century version of John R Powers, who’s Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up was a perennial bestseller in its day. Though she lives now in Phoenix, her Minnesota upbringing included detours to Wisconsin and her Midwest sensitivity still shines through. Her publisher compared her writing to eating cotton candy, but I might compare it more to cranberries – sweet, sure, but also a little bitter. And did I mention I love cranberries?"

Reading this blog before Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm? Great! Plan to join us on that date and time when McInerny visits the store for a chat about this book. Click here for more info and to register.

Another event book, another great recommendation, this time from Kay Wosewick, who suggests The Rescue Effect: The Key to Saving Life on Earth by Michael Mehta Webster: "Webster wants to help save species intelligently. He describes six ‘rescue’ processes, some which often happen on their own, some we can nudge, others we can aggressively employ to save species. Refreshingly, Webster understands we can’t save everything, and we also need to acknowledge that nature is, always has been, and will continue, changing, with or without us."

And if you're reading this blog before Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 pm, you'll be pleased to know you can still click right here and register right now for Michael Mehta Webster's virtual event conversation with Meenal Atre of the Urban Ecology Center, our event cohost.

And now Tim McCarthy with not one but two staff recs for us! First, Tim writes about Sinister Graves (A Cash Blackbear Mystery #3) by Marcie R Rendon. Tim says: "Cash Blackbear is only 19, but she’s already experienced a hell of a lot, including abuse from a white foster family that called her a heathen. Just before foster care, a county sheriff pulled her impaired mother’s car out of a ditch. He watches out for her and got her into college classes, and Cash has been helping him with his cases. In dreams she sometimes sees things before they happen and finds out things she shouldn’t know. She’s just beginning to learn about it and just starting to live her own life. Now spring floods around Minnesota’s White Earth Reservation have carried an Indian woman’s body into a nearby town, and Sheriff Wheaton asks Cash if she sees anything that can help. She definitely sees something. There’s a darkness following this death. Cash has lived through crazy things in foster homes, but she’s about to see a whole new level of crazy. I like Cash Blackbear a lot, and I feel validated because Louise Erdrich likes Cash Blackbear a lot, too. This is the third book in the series but the first I read. Then I went back and read the first two! I love finding a cool new series."

Tim also recommends Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way, a release from last week that Tim just caught up on from Kieran Setiya, the author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. From Tim: "'Life, friends, is hard - and we must say so.' So begins a direct and clear exploration of why denying struggle is a mistake. Life is much harder for some than others, but nobody avoids 'sickness, loneliness, failure, and grief.' Attempts to only look at the bright side or justify human suffering by claiming that everything happens for a reason are simply wrong and counterproductive. And happiness is not the ultimate goal. The goal must be to want life in this world as it is, filled with flaws and adversity. Setiya details the many ways we struggle, using research, history, literature and moral philosophy to build a "map to navigate hardship" toward living as well as we can. It's a framework that I find extremely helpful in my battle to want this troubling life. He makes it interesting and easy to read. This is a man that understands me and has a voice that I’ve needed. Perhaps he can help you, too."

Reading this post before Monday, October 17, 6:00 pm? Then bully for you - you can tune into a virtual event featuring Setiya in conversation with Sally Haldorson of Porchlight Book Company, our event cohost. Click here and register for this virtual event.

In paperback releases this week, we begin with a romance rec from Rachel Copeland: The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews. Rachel recommends thusly: "Beauty and the Beast meets Jane Eyre in this sweet historical romance from Mimi Matthews. Shy bluestocking Julia Wychwood only feels confident on her beloved horse's back. Captain Jasper Blunt seems to be her opposite in every way - from his vicious reputation in battle to the rumors of his illegitimate children locked away in his remote ruined castle, complete with a locked tower room. But his intimidating exterior doesn't fool Julia, and their marriage of convenience might just be the love match of the season. My favorite romance novels are the ones where the two main characters are equals - in this case, both equally lost and needing someone to see past rumors and lies. Historical romance enthusiasts will want to keep an eye on this series from Mimi Matthews!"

That's it for this week, dear readers, so read on, and we'll meet you back here next week with more book recs. Happy reading.

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