When Novella Carpenter and boyfriend Bill move from Seattle to Oakland, they choose their apartment for its cast of eccentric neighbors and the empty lot behind the building. In short order, Novella has taken over the lot, not only with a garden of heirloom vegetables, but chickens, bees, and even pigs. Because she is essentially squatting on another’s property, she is very generous about allowing strangers to partake of the fruits of her labor, while waiting for bulldozers to clear her space for condominiums.
One of my all-time favorite comics is Grant Morrison's run on the weird superhero comic Doom Patrol (which has been collected in a series of graphic novels, but they are unfortunately not in the Library's collection). Morrison really played up the weirdness, throwing in all kinds of surreal and absurd characters and situations, while always keeping the emotions real and centered.
Along with the long-forgotten contents of the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry Lee’s memories of 1940’s Seattle are unearthed. When new hotel owners start to renovate the boarded up, old Japanese-designed building they discover the personal belongings of numerous Japanese families who were interned during WWII. As a resident of Seattle’s Chinatown, just the other side of the Panama Hotel from Japantown, Henry witnessed first-hand the removal of the Japanese.
If you know me you know that I am eternally the fan of the girl power book/movie. Being a tomboy growing up I am always a fan of girls who unabashedly kick butt. I had some pretty high hopes for Whip It! and I was so excited to see one of my favorite sports being featured in a movie with an all star cast! I excitedly went out and read the book Derby Girl by Shauna Cross (recently retitled Whip It, the inspiration for the movie) .
When Charlie Nancy’s estranged father passes away, family secrets come tumbling out at the funeral. Disbelieving that he could possibly be the son of a god, Charlie inadvertently calls the brother he didn’t know he had into his life. Havoc ensues and Charlie must find a way to extricate himself from his brother while learning what it means to be the son of Anansi, the African and Caribbean trickster god. Adult fans of Harry Potter will enjoy the sudden revelation of a secret life and Charlie’s ensuing transformation.
From the beginning, Ralph Truitt knew Catherine Land was not who she pretended to be. Expecting the “simple, honest woman” from the picture she had sent after answering his advertisement for “a reliable wife”, beautiful Catherine came as something of a shock. Thinking her act wholly convincing, Catherine plays the role of simplicity and innocence in hopes of accomplishing a deadly deception.
Books that don’t match their descriptions are extremely annoying, and this one especially so. The book jacket says, “It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.” And the beach scene really is exceedingly horrific. Unfortunately, the comic relief I was led to expect never followed. I failed to be even slightly amused by this story of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, whose life becomes entangled with a vacationing English couple.
Undiscovered Gyrl is the blog of a young woman who has decided not to go to college directly after high school. Her life as a drifting HS graduate is confused and not a little sordid. She becomes involved with three different men, and eventually becomes pregnant and has no idea which man might be the father. ****Spoiler Alert **** As her blog comes to a close, we learn that her entries are largely fabricated, and her whereabouts unknown. Her large and oftentimes disapproving readership makes the ending a gut-puncher, and leaves more questions than answers.
Although Williams is primarily a triathlete, her book is really for anyone looking for inspiration on their journey to fitness. According to her, this book is for “real people with jobs and kids and love handles”. As a plus-sized athlete, she advocates concepts like abandoning self-consciousness, being slow, embracing bodily fluids, and becoming an active wear advocate. She asks her readers to examine their motivations for losing weight and to change their focus to being fit.