From the publisher: Not much is harder than figuring out how to love your partner in all their messy humanness—and there’s also not much that’s more important.
At a time when toxic individualism is rending our society at every level, bestselling author and renowned marriage counselor Terrence Real sees how it poisons intimate relationships in his therapy practice, where he works with couples on the brink of disaster. The good news: Warmer, closer, more passionate relationships are possible if you have the right tools.
This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. Even though it’s designed to help those in romantic relationships, this book changed how I see all of my relationships. Real encourages readers to question the individual-centric culture that is prevalent in western society and reminds us that social connections, on multiple levels, have been necessary for a healthy society since the dawn of humanity. He encourages people to be more patient and empathetic with one another, asking the reader to ask themselves: how is what I’m about to say going to make the other person feel? Real also reminds readers that if the goal of arguing with their partner is to win the argument, both parties end up losing. Though it’s easy to say what one should do when not upset, Real provides sound advice by asking readers to take a deep breath and remind themselves that they love the person they are arguing with before hurling insults or attacking that person’s character.
Having worked with thousands of couples, Real provides clients’ stories as case studies to exemplify his points. Real proves to be a trustworthy source, as he is able to admit his own biases when working with clients. I listened to the audiobook, which is available through Libby. Real himself narrates the book. I always appreciate it when authors narrate their own books, because I think they know the most effective intonation and inflection to convey their message. Clocking in at 10 hours, this book was so easy to digest and flowed so smoothly that I listened to it in pretty much one sitting.
Did you know that the library offers more than just books? It’s true! In addition to books, we also offer audiobooks, magazines, and access to a variety of online resources.
Audiobooks come in many different formats. You can check out books on CD, Playaway, or digitally on Axis360 or Libby. Playaways are little MP3-like devices that require one AAA battery, which are available at the Check-Out Desk, and headphones or an aux cord and speaker. Axis360 and Libby are apps that can be downloaded on your smartphone or tablet and require you to log in with your library card number and PIN. Once you’ve logged in, you can browse thousands of books available at your fingertips.
The library also offers a wide selection of magazines. Check out back issues of several of our titles for one week at a time. Find a new recipe in Bon Appetit or discover nature’s beauty in National Parks!
Your library card allows you to access a variety of databases from home as well. Simply log in using your library card barcode number and your PIN to access a wealth of information on an assortment of topics. Looking for inspiration on how to use chanterelles in recipes or how mace is related to nutmeg? AtoZ Food America has the answers! Need to create or update your resume but aren’t sure how to get started? Cypress Resume will help you choose a format, walk you through putting in your work history, and help you choose skills that match your expertise. When you’re finished, Cypress Resume will generate a PDF file of your completed resume. If you homeschool or are thinking of homeschooling, you can browse learning plans and worksheets for Math, Science, and more for Pre-K-Second Grade.
What will you check out next with your library card?
From the publisher: Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life.
Cho’s memoir is a beautiful and heart wrenching blend of food, reflections on racism in America (especially rural America), and the multifaceted struggles of mental illness (especially in “older” women of color). Her reflections are very deeply thought out and articulate, and she takes great care in exploring each issue minutely. Cho is a very intelligent person– she has a doctorate in Sociology and Women’s Studies– and it shows in her writing without being overbearing or condescending. In addition to her firsthand experiences, it is obvious that she has dedicated a lot of research to back up her writing.
It’s easy to feel close to Grace because she’s so honest about her thoughts and feelings. She isn’t afraid to question her own perceptions and actions, and the way she describes events with such detail and emotion makes it easy for the reader to empathize with her. Though she writes in a flowing, easy-to-digest style, Cho’s non-linear time skips made the timeline a bit hard to follow at times. Perhaps this would have been easier to follow in print– I listened to the audiobook version, which is available on Libby. It is 10 hours long and narrated by Cindy Kay, who does a good job of distinguishing speakers.
Though I was already familiar with schizophrenia and the effects it can have on families, I liked how in-depth Cho questioned what triggered her mother’s psychosis. Cho explores the nuances of her mother’s difficult upbringing influenced by Imperial Japan, the Korean War, and the United States military presence in addition to broader influences such as migrant experiences in the United States and the patriarchy. Throughout the story, Cho weaves the idea that these factors likely had an impact on her mother’s mental health. Overall, this is a fascinating read that covers a lot of ground.
From the publisher: While in detention, Maeve finds an old, unopened package of tarot cards. She quickly learns the meanings of the cards in the deck and begins giving eerily on-point readings to her classmates. Maeve enjoys the attention and the fact that she’s finally found something she’s good at–until Maeve wishes her ex-best friend, Lily, would disappear and she actually does. Suddenly, Maeve must confront her emotions about Lily– while investigating her disappearance– on top of struggles with her new friends at school, navigating her relationship with Lily’s sibling, Roe, and discovering how deep her connection is with the tarot all at the same time.
I was drawn to this book for its unique premise. I started reading the print version of this book, and I enjoyed the font and the cool tarot card designs spread throughout; the art is very unique. However, I struggled with the fact that the book is written in present tense. I hadn’t realized it before, but most of the books I read are written in past tense. This book dragged for a couple of long stretches, punctuated by scenes of excitement. After reading a handful of chapters and getting stuck at one of the draggier parts, I checked out the Playaway version. Not only did this format help me finish the book more quickly, but it also helped me notice the present tense writing less. I also really liked the voice performer, Alana Kerr Collins. It was charming to witness the characters develop, some of them in surprising ways, throughout the course of the story, and the realistic dialogue keeps the story fresh. Since this is the first book in a trilogy, hopefully Maeve’s connection to the tarot will be explained in more detail in the later books.
From the publisher: Ben is handsome (under all that beard) and adventurous (leaps from small bridges in a single bound). He’s also sexy as hell and planning to shuffle off to Berlin before things can get too serious. Oh, and Ben lives in a public park.
Julia is an English teacher in Vienna, Austria. She wishes she could be an author, but every time she has an idea, she realizes that story has already been written. Every day is the same for Julia: she goes to work and then she goes home and watches tv with her cat. Talking to new people is just something she gets paid to do– until a man sits next to her on a bench. Ben is funny, sexy, and well-traveled. He also lives in a bush at a local park. The two have plenty of challenges to face, including disapproving friends and vast lifestyle differences, but they’re pretty sure they only want each other.
I was initially drawn to this book because of the unique love story; it’s a different twist on the “chance meeting” trope. The story is very fast-paced and, clocking in at a crisp 230 pages, was a quick read. It’s charming to watch Julia and Ben grow as characters as they each decide what risks they are willing to take to discover what is important to them throughout the story. While Julia learns that taking risks can lead to fun and exciting things, Ben learns that making commitments and settling down takes a lot of effort. Julia and Ben both have very strong senses of humor, which leads to a few cringe-worthy situations. Neither of them are afraid of saying exactly what they think, though Julia’s outbursts are mostly jokes to get attention and Ben’s are frank expressions of how he feels. Overall, this is a cute, lighthearted read.
From the publisher: Famed British lawyer Gerard Woodward is summoned to an ancient Welsh castle to assist a dying lord in his final affairs. But as his host slips closer to death, Gerard begins to feel less like a guest and more like a prisoner. When he finds himself locked inside his room, he realizes he must escape.
From the publisher: Hannah is a thirty-something wife, home-health worker, and antiwar activist. Her husband, Johnny, is a stay-at-home pothead working—or “working”—on building them a house before the winter chill sets in. They’re currently living and screwing in the back of a truck, hoping for a pregnancy, which seems like it will never come. Legs in the air, for a better chance at conception, Hannah scans fertility Reddits while Johnny dreams about propagating plants—kale, tomatoes—to ensure they have sufficient sustenance should the end times come, which, given their fragile democracy strained under the weight of a carceral state and the risk of horrible war, doesn’t seem so far off. Helping Hannah in her fight for the future is her best friend Gabby, a queer naturalist she idolizes and who adores her. Helping Johnny build the house is Tyler, an off-the-grid conspiracy theorist driven sick by his own cloudy notions of reality…
From the publisher: Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou. This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.
Tillie Walden weaves a surreal twist on the classic road-trip narrative. Like any road trip, there are slow, meditative moments and there are fast-paced chases that make the reader’s heart race. There are moments that feel so real you pause to reflect on your own memories and surreal, hauntingly creepy forays into a world that can only be described as…
The holiday season has us in a cooking mood, and we’re taking to the blog to share some of our staff’s favorite recipes. Have a favorite family recipe? Share it with us! Send to email@example.com and your recipe will be featured in a future blog post!
From the publisher: Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion! Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?
Prince Sebastian recruits expert dressmaker Frances to design and sew dresses for him. The two become fast friends and go on all sorts of adventures together. The tradeoff is…