Durham Public Library

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Durham Public Library

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Rapid Reviews!

M. Graykin

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa [fiction] 2018

The perfect book to raise your spirits.  This gentle, tender-hearted tale is narrated by Nana, who becomes devoted to Satoru when he nurses him back to health after being injured by a car. One day they leave in his silver van to find a new home for Nana, a goal which the clever and resourceful cat subtly sabotages along the way. The story travels with, as they visit the people who touched Satoru's life, and the reason he must give up his beloved feline companion is gradually made clear. 

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune [fiction, fantasy] 2020

A magical romance most unexpected. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. He devoted himself to his career as a Case Worker at the Department of Magical Youth, spending his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. One day he is given a particularly sensitive assignment to an unusual orphanage. The caretaker, the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, has forged a special relationship with his wayward charges, who include a bearded female gnome with a caustic attitude and the Anti-Christ who, for all his hellish proclamations, is just a five year-old boy who craves acceptance. Linus is at first terrified by the dangerous nature of the children, and irked by Arthur's lax attitude towards regulations. But as his assignment to "evaluate" theorphanage progresses, Linus feels a truly magical change of heart.  

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke [fiction, fantasy] 2020

By the author of Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell, Piranesi is a much shorter, but equally mesmerizing read. The reader is immersed in a strange world contained in a house of infinite dimensions whose lower floors are flooded by ocean tides and whose world, mapping its rooms and trying to discover the identities of the bones he cares for with reverence. There is another who comes here, a friend, so he thinks, a fellow researcher into the wondrous mysteries of the House. But a sinister purpose motivates "the Other", which guileless Piranesi slowly unravels with his own forgotten past. 

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson [nonfiction; human anatomy and physiology] 2019

In his intimitable and somewhat curmudgeonly way, Bryson travels the back roads and byways of our all-to-frail and quirky bodies. Written plainly with the intelligent, but not necessarily science-savvy reader in mind, The Body includes a generous helping of history and surprising anecdotes which will both amuse and educate.  

My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry by Fredrik Backman [fiction] 2016

I could really recommend any book by Fredrik Backman; they are all gentle and sympathetic explorations into the hearts and lives of extraordinary, ordinary people. This one is my favorite and told from the point of view of seven year-old Elsa, who adores her crazy seventy-seven year-old grandmother. When her beloved grandmother passes away, Elsa is left with a mysterious request, which leads to another, as fairy tales and confabulations become threads that weave together her family, the other people in the apartment house where she lives, and her grandmother's secret past. 

A Becoming Audio Review

M. LaPerle

Hearing Michelle Obama read her story was more commanding than reading the words. The tone and inflection of her voice gave life and meaning to otherwise black letters on a white page. When she told the story of her first public piano recital and how she could not begin to play on an unfamiliar piano, I wanted to say to her “Oh, I know how that is!” I felt her nearness in her voice. I knew she understood. 

Overall, this is not the telling of Mrs. Barack Obama, or the First Lady of the United States. This is a story about Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, born to Frazier and Marian Robinson on the South Side of Chicago, Ill. It’s the story of a girl who exceeded all expectations. A girl whose father was a city water plant employee and whose mother was a stay-at-home mom. Education was the key for her and through the experiences she lists here, encouraged(s) young people, especially, girls, to further their education. She is their example of continued “becoming.” Even though Michelle’s message is listened to by an adult, her story rings true and her message is clearly for all. Each of us has the power and duty to become all that we can be. 

Great Graphic Novels!

K. Maier


All the Answers

by Michael Kupperman

Are You Listening

by Tillie Walden


by Jillian Tamaki

Fun Home

by Alison Bechdel

Home After Dark 

by David Small

Imagine Wanting Only This

by Kristen Radtke

Psychiatric Tales

by Darryl Cunningham

The Night Witches

by Garth Ennis

They Called Us Enemy

by George Takei


by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon




















































Audiobook Favs!

J. Ross

Staff Picks!

Print to Screen Favs!

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt


The Queen's Gambit

by Walter Tevis 


The Help

by Kathryn Stockett