The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

A Lakeview Branch Book Club of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson.

This may have been the best meeting ever! 19 of us were there. There were several new people who came just because of this wonderful book. Not all had finished it, but all planned to do so. A couple had not yet started, but planned to read it. We all LOVED this book and recommend it highly to everyone.
Our group was very diverse and the stories in this extremely well researched history and the personal stories of three different people who left the South and moved to what was hoped to be a better life, affected us all in their universality.
Isabel Wilkerson, is the first Black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. She has won many, many other awards for her writing and many for The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in June 2015

Looking for something terrific to read? We've got you covered! Here are 10 great novels and story collections coming out this month.

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Science, Yoda, Explosions

"What sort of logistic anomalies would you encounter in trying to raise an army of apes?" This question answered, or not in What If?: serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions

What If titles with T-Rex at the end of a crane

What if?: serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions, by Randall Munroe, is a collection of the best and sometimes worst of Mr. Munroe's blog posts on XKCD, an informative and hilarious web comic. Munroe started out as a NASA roboticist but I guess that job wasn't nerdy enough so now he draws stick figure explainers that explore science's quirkier side. He also got famous enough to have a star named for him,"citation needed" (that's an inside joke for after you've read the book). XKCD, by the way, is an unpronounceable (according to the author) word which is neither an acronym nor a word with any meaning. 

The questions in the book and on the blog are user-submitted and the answers are researched

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Stories Behind the History

Famous, and not-so-famous, people are featured in these new fictional biographies.

During the past few years, biographical fiction featuring historical and literary figures has become increasingly popular. Novels such as Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, which captures the story of Ernest Hemingway's relationship with his first wife Hadley Richardson during their years as expatriates in 1920s Paris and Fever, a retelling of the life of Mary Mallon, also known as "Typhoid Mary," by Mary Beth Keane are just a few examples.

The popularity of biographical fiction continues in 2015. Olympic athletes, artists, architects, inventors, actors, gamblers, and writers are featured in these new novels released this year. These books not only capture the people, but also the time periods and areas in which they lived. From the Ottoman Empire to Belle Èpoque

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Explore Always Available Classics

Always Available Classics is a collection of over 200 Classic eBook titles open to anyone to download at any time.


Attention Classics Readers: In addition to the many Classic eBooks you can browse on our Overdrive platform, we now link from our catalog to Always Available Classics, a collection of over 200 works of classic literature

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Typical American by Gish Jen: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Lakeview Book Club highly recommends Typical American or any other of Gish Jen's beautifully written, humorous and bittersweet tales of Chinese Americans jumping into the "melting cauldron."

Typical American by Gish Jen, is a first novel published in 1991. Our leader for the evening brought some biographical information about Ms. Jen. The name "Gish" was a nickname from her high school years, named for actress Lillian Gish.  Gish is Chinese American. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1940's. She grew up on in and near New York City.
She writes of characters in her world and the inevitable clash of cultures lived with difficulty by our new Americans. This is a comic novel, sometimes dabbling in the darkness of poor choices and misspent love. The characters were not all sympathetic. In fact, the anti-hero, Ralph, was not well liked by many of our group. He was weak, undisciplined, easily led by shady characters, autocratic and pig-headed......yet, very human. Some of our group thought he was a sad character.

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in May 2015

Got room on your hold list? Here come some of the most tempting novels of May.

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Looking for tips to conserve water? Check out these books at OPL.

Living in California, we all know about the need to conserve water. Are you wondering how to limit your water footprint? The following books give tips and suggestions to help you reduce and reuse water in your home and garden.

The Water-Wise Home     Takingon Water     

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Get Ready to Rock for Record Store Day

In honor of Record Store Day, Susy Moorhead recommends some books and documentaries that will rock you!

Record Store DayIt’s almost Record Store Day!  Per their website: “This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities.” In the spirit of Record Store Day this coming April 18, I am sharing some of my favorite music memoirs as well as a few documentaries.


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Private Life by Jane Smiley: A Lakeview Branch Book Club Review

Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Discussion of Jane Smiley's novel, Private Life.

Eleven of us had a lively discussion of the 2010 novel, Private Life by Jane Smiley.

Jane Smiley is in her mid-sixties and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel, A Thousand Acres, which is based on King Lear. She was raised in Missouri and obtained a B.A. from Vassar and her M.A. and M.F.A from the University of Iowa. She had a Fulbright scholarship to Iceland while working on her Doctorate.

None of our group had ever read one of her novels. We learned that Smiley is noted for writing books about families. Our novel, Private Life, is loosely based on the lives of her great-uncle and great-aunt. Her great-uncle was an eccentric scientist and her great-aunt a long suffering wife. In this book those characters were Andrew and Martha.

Almost all of us liked this book. One really did not like it and would not recommend it to others. Those who liked it would only

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