In honor of Mother's Day next month, I've highlighted a sampling of mother memoirs. Told from the point of view of birth mothers and adopted mothers, sons and daughters, these books capture mother/child relationships in all their complexity. All book summaries are from the publisher's descriptions.
It's Earth Day. Read an eBook and love your planet.
This Earth Day consider checking out something from OPL’s quickly expanding digital collection; choose from thousands of eBooks. Whether you already dabble in eBook reading or are certain you could never give up the feel, smell and comfort of a good book, or even if you suspect eReaders and tablets are heralding the decline of civilization, you may be surprised at how easy it is to sink into a good eBook. I was. I was so sure I would never want to read from a backlit screen that I read books in the dark next to my sleeping baby with the flashlight from my phone pointed at the page. When my husband got me an iPad for my birthday I never planned to use it for personal reading, but I had to try out our eBook platforms as part of my job. (Didn’t I?) In no time I began reading mostly on the iPad. I read it in the dark, I read it in the light, in waiting rooms, on trips (you can load a ton of books onto one tablet). I would read
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx! Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Meeting
First A Little About Annie Proulx:
She was born August 22, 1935 in Connecticut, Educated in history in Vermont and currently lives in Wyoming.
She won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Shipping News. She won PEN/Faulkner Award for her first novel, Postcards. She is the first woman to win the PEN/Faulkner Award!
A free spirit, she has divorced three times and has raised alone her three sons and one daughter. She lived many years in small towns in Vermont.
Most of her writing has been nonfiction. She has written both short and long nonfiction. Her controversial and critically acclaimed novella Brokeback Mountain was both a book and a film.
What we thought:
Like The Return of the Native, The Shipping News has “Nature” as a major character
This blog is a random summary of comments from the Lakeview Book Club's December discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior.
There were eleven of us, including two new members, one who said she had been trying to get here for two years!
A little background about Barbara Kingsolver. She was born in 1955 in Annapolis, Maryland. She was raised in eastern Kentucky, where her options were to be a farmer or a farmer's wife. She knew she wanted out! She has a B.A. in biology and graduate degrees in biology and ecology. During her college years she also took writing courses, but she had been making up stories for her family since she was a child. Obviously, this story rings so true, because the themes and events have been an intimate part of her life.
Insomnia led her to write The Bean Trees, her first book. Her style was honed with journalism writing and science writing. She is aware of the need to compel in
It's time for spring planting! Check out our collection of gardening books to help plan your garden.
It's nearly spring and if you're a gardener that means time for spring planting. Although we haven't had much rain this year, that doesn't mean you have to forgo your garden. Oakland Public Library has many books featuring drought tolerant plants as well as books written specifically for Bay Area gardening by local gardeners and urban homesteaders.
If you're new to gardening or have questions about planting, The Alameda County Master Gardener's website is a great place to find information, including a monthly planting guide. The USDA PLANTS Database is also a useful resource and includes information about plant classification, as well as plant sheets and fact guides.
And don't forget that the Chavez and Dimond branches both have seed libraries where you can check out
I know that we're only in February, but these are the best books I've read all year. Yang's Boxers & Saints are both epic and dramatic and cinematic. I skipped House of Cards to finish these books and that's saying a lot.
Notes from the Lakeview Book Club Meeting about Edith Wharton's, The House of Mirth
Eight of us discussed House of Mirth and all seemed to really like it a great deal. We agreed that the writing was wonderful and many quotes were shared that pointed out Edith Wharton's fabulous writing style.
Our discussion leader came with a noted biography of Edith Wharton written by Louis Auchincloss, which she passed around so we could see photos of Edith, her home, her husband, her friends and her style of living. Edith Wharton was born a few blocks from Teddy Roosevelt and was of the same incredibly wealthy class of Americans as Teddy Roosevelt. She lived most of her life abroad, (One aside comment was that she may have had to, because her books put her class in a bad light.) During World War I she was involved with raising money from her wealthy friends to aid Belgian refugees and other needed charities. She received the French Legion of Honor for her good works during that war.
She started writing as a child. Her education was