Book Reviews

In the tradition of Hemingway, Adam Gopnik found himself an American in Paris in 1995, raising a baby and writing dispatches for The New Yorker. In her review of Winter Reading selection Paris to the Moon, Plaza Branch librarian Melissa Carle talks about Gopnik's "coming of age in the City of Light."

The Good Earth

Pearl S. Buck drew from her life as the child of missionaries in pre-Revolutionary China in framing her 1931 Pulitzer Prize winner The Good Earth. In this video, Westport Branch librarian Sukalaya Kenworthy reviews Buck's masterpiece, an official selection in the Adult Winter Reading Program.

Smilla's Sense of Snow

Fans of Stieg Larsson would do well to check out Peter Høeg’s atmospheric thriller Smilla’s Sense of Snow. In his Winter Reading Book Review Video, L.H. Bluford Branch librarian Bernie Norcott-Mahany takes us to frozen Denmark, where a trained glaciologist investigates the death of a young boy.

The Underground Railroad book cover

William Still had a very busy life. He was a prominent figure in the Underground Railroad as head of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. When the work of the UGRR was done, he put together an account of the slaves escaping to the North.

It’s a jungle out there, and you need to be prepared. What are you going to do if you run out of food, and all you have are houseplants? Suppose you’re on a road trip and you need to heat up a convenience-store hot dog?

What if you need to start a fire and all you have is a Coke and a Hershey bar?

You’re at the Starbucks and you want to know if it’s going to rain – now what?

These are all jobs for the urban bushman. That would be Matthew Cole, confirmed city dweller with a dad who taught him how to “rig something up, son.”

His latest book is a cosmopolitan DIY guide for better living in overpopulated areas, whether it’s managing a stressful bus commute or entertaining yourself and a buddy at the consumer-soul-eating mall.

How to Predict the Weather with a Cup of Coffee and Other Techniques for Surviving the 9-5 Jungle may save your life after the great world-ending tsunami hits and recedes, leaving you all by your lonesome in Sheboygan, WI.