Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ category

No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers

October 30th, 2017

no one cares about crazy peopleFrom the centuries of torture of “lunatics” at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era; from the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted loved ones, Powers outlines in clear sharp detail our fears and myths about mental illness & the fractured public policies that have resulted.

Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers’ beloved son Kevin—spirited, endearing, & gifted—who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, & the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.

A blend of history, biography, memoir, & current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here.  This is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.



GPL:  362.26 Powers

Memories of Heaven by Dr Wayne W Dyer and Dee Garnes

October 23rd, 2017



memories of heaven

Nineteenth-century British poet William Wordsworth expressed the idea that we gradually lose our intimate knowledge of heaven as we grow up, observing that “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting” of our previous heavenly existence.

Dr Wayne Dyer and Dee Garnes issued invitations to parents all over the globe to share their experiences of what their young children had told them about their life before being re-born to Earth.  The overwhelming responses are related in this wonderful book.  You may even get goose-bumps.

“At the age of two, my son told me, ‘I am your father and son.’  He was born the same day that my father passed away.”

It seems that infants and toddlers often arrive here with memories of their lifetimes in the spirit world & frequently provide evidence of this to their immediate families.  They tell of dialogues with God, give evidence that they themselves had a hand in picking their own parents, speak about long-deceased family members they knew while in the dimension of Spirit, verify past-life recollections, & speak eloquently & accurately of a kind of Divine love that exists beyond this physical realm—& even of times when telepathic communication took place, as well as the ability to decide just when they would come here to Earth.

This fascinating book encourages parents & grandparents to take a much more active role in communicating with their new arrivals…and to realize that there is far more to this earthly experience than what we perceive with our five senses.

GPL:  133.901 Dyer

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

October 2nd, 2017

FaithfulGrowing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world.  Shelby is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last.

“Alice Hoffman is a spectacular writer—generous and compassionate, elegant and fierce—and Faithful is both a sweeping page-turner and a gorgeous, heartbreaking exploration of family, faith and love.  This novel is as captivating as it is impossible to put down.” [Molly Antopol]


GPL:  F Hoffman

AL FRANKEN, GIANT of the SENATE by Al Franken

September 19th, 2017

al frankenThis is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending:  the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented 8-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It is a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.  It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

“Admirably incautious…Franken has weaponized the gifts that proved so useful for comedy—a sharp eye and a sharper tongue. the ability to tease out the essential absurdity of a given situation and deliver the goods with maximum impact.” [Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone]

“A fun and compelling book, [Franken] uses self-deprecating humor to poke fun at everyone on either side of the aisle, and he gives readers insight to the daily workings of life in the Senate.  His love of the people and the state of Minnesota is crystal clear.” [Jeff Ayers, AP]

GPL: 92 Franken

al franken

NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier

September 6th, 2017

new boyArriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day—so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl.

In NEW BOY, the tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington DC schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers.  The youth of the characters is played naturalistically and honestly, yet still manages to elicit much the same pathos that Othello’s tragic path does.  The depth of connection between the original work and this new one is astonishing; Chevalier builds parallels within parallels that are both unexpectedly creative and exquisitely apt.

NEW BOY  succeeds in portraying a Shakespearean tragedy’s sense of growing unease, and culminates in an unnerving and haunting climax that will take a long time to shake.

GPL: F Chevalie