Harold Fyre is retired, henpecked, and indifferent to life. Then he receives a letter from a elderly friend who is dying. Rather than mail her correspondence Harold decides to walk 600 miles to deliver his message in person. His trek is peppered with fascinating characters who help unlock Harold's buried spirit and renew his sense of life.
Americans spend more time working, more time parenting their children, and less time on vacation than the citizens of any other country on the planet—leading to widespread experience of “the overwhelm,” journalist Brigid Schulte’s term for the feeling of being constantly busy and dissatisfied with life. Her search for the underlying causes of America’s great stress-out takes her from the labs of time researchers scrutinizing time diaries in search of “time confetti” to the trapezes of the “Mice at Play,” a group of women who’ve deliberately made time for play in their lives. Her insights into why we’re feeling busier—and lousier—than ever, and how we can reclaim time for meaningful work, closer families, and greater joy, will provoke discussion and laughs of commiseration.
Meet Britt-Marie, a Scandinavian housewife whose tolerance of her husband’s philandering has finally ended. In need of a job and a place to live, she badgers a bewildered employment office worker into finding her work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be-closed recreation center in tiny, economically depressed Borg. Her neighbors include an enterprising teen whose business ventures are never completely legal; a vision-impaired ex-soccer star who “accidentally” hits people she doesn’t like with her cane; a shy policeman with a crush; a rat that likes Snickers; and a youth soccer team in desperate need of a coach. As Britt-Marie is drawn into their passions, dreams, and schemes, she begins to consider what she wants out of her own life, and both she and the town of Borg find something they thought they’d lost forever: hope.
After a particularly frustrating day, writer Elizabeth Greenwood sat down with a friend and griped about her life, her job, and her six-figure student loan debt. After spinning several increasingly unlikely scenarios for paying back her loans, her friend offered, “Or you could fake your own death.”
The conversation moved on, but the idea stuck, leading Greenwood to investigate the who, how, and—especially—why of “pseudocide.” Her search leads her to a gruff skip-tracer, a jet-setting insurance investigator, a middle-aged lothario who managed to disappear in plain sight, and family members left behind. She learns the worst way to fake your death (drowning), the most common reason to fake your death (money), and the quickest way to get caught (keeping your car).
From New York’s Bear Mountain Bridge to Manila’s black-market bodies, Greenwood leads the reader on a wild tour of the world of death fraud, introducing us to death fakers, the people who help them, and the authorities who hunt them.
With tongue firmly in cheek, Drezner, a professor of international studies at Tufts University, uses the popular interest in zombies to illuminate four major theories in international political science. Referencing writers from Max Brooks to Jared Diamond and Francis Fukuyama, and films from Dead Snow to Dead Alive, this brief, entertaining book will interest zombie enthusiasts and political newbies alike. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a neocon and a constructivist, or tried to figure out what “realpolitik” actually means, you owe it to yourself to give this light-hearted introduction a try.
Allie Brosh’s book, Hyperbole and a half unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened, is not for everyone. It's a collection of illustrated short stories chronicling the author's personal struggles dealing with everyday life. Either you will connect with her style right away or you won't. Judging by the popularity of the book and her blog of the same name, she's connecting with a legion of fans and supporters. I'm one them. The thing I love about her work is the way her purposefully child-like drawing and self-deprecating humor combine to make complex emotions like anxiety and depression visible in a highly accessible way.
It's me on the inside. That's what I'm like when I view myself. I am this crude absurd little thing, this squiggly little thing on the inside. So it's more of a raw representation of what it feels like to be me. Allie Brosh talking to Terry Gross on NPR about her artwork
Anxiety is no stranger to many of us. The authors of these three books allow us to see their personal demons. Who knew cheese could be frightening? But more than that, they help us to see our way to understanding and compassion.
April is the coolest month, mixing poetry and jazz. It comes in like a laugh with National Humor Month and April Fools Day. It goes green with Earth Day. Shakespeare manages to get a word in then it is followed by May and June (two of my favorite months). Libraries are right there in the middle of everything. They always are!
You may have to overlook the April showers and tax day but I think the payoff is well worth the rainy days. Here are some great books. Before April is over you will have millions more to choose from!
- National Humor Month
- UAPL joins the Central Library Consortium April 9, 2014
- National Poetry Month
- Jazz Appreciation Month
- National Library Week: April 13-19, 2014
- Earth Day: April 22, 2014
- Shakespeare's 450th Birthday & Talk Like Shakespeare Day:April 23, 2014