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May the Fourth Staff Picks

posted: , by Sarah Skawinski
tags: Library Collections | Recommended Reads | Adults | Art & Culture

We hope you will enjoy these humorous book recommendations from some of our staff members who were hired a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Storm Trooper Pick

Our Storm Trooper Book Club is currently reading The Five Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins. This book promises to teach you how to overcome your fears and become your greatest self in the shortest amount of time possible.

Jabba the Hutt’s Pick

Fans of the grotesque will love Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. It’s gritty, erotic, twisted, and might scar you for life. Recommended for anyone who wants to see what is really wriggling at the end of their fork.

C-3PO’s Pick

Being fluent in over 6,000,000 forms of communication is something that everyone should strive to achieve, otherwise we’re doomed! Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher explores the relationship between language and culture. This is required reading for anyone who hopes to keep up when worlds collide.

R2-D2’s Pick

Artoo usually reads technical manuals, blueprints, and maps, but lately he can’t get enough of The Best Downloadable Star Wars 3D Printer Models & Files: The Ultimate Collection. This website has links to 3D printer models of the Millennium Falcon, BB-8, blasters, lightsabers, and more. Once you decide what to make, send your file to PPL’s 3D printer to get your job started. You can thank Artoo later for saving your life.

Han Solo’s Pick

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams might be the best book ever written. Who wouldn’t enjoy the story of a capable galactic traveler who meets unusual characters and encounters remarkable situations along the way? It’s a delightful, handsome, humorous romp through space.

Princess Leia’s Pick

At its heart, Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart is the story of a strong, determined young woman who must confront her past, discover the secrets of her family, and fight a gang of bullies to save what she loves most. Although the “girl” in this story has a rather ordinary hairstyle, she still manages to fight her way to the top. You can’t help but root for this girl and are left longing for future episodes, I mean books.

Darth Vader’s Pick

In Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra explores the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world. Even those of us who are not susceptible to anger should keep in touch with our dark side to remain well-rounded.

Yoda’s Pick

Live as well as we can, we must. Read Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others by Martha Stewart, you should. Calmness, organization, perfection, Martha Stewart is. Do, or do not. There is no try.


Montgomery’s View: A Celebration of Beatrix Potter

posted: , by Mary Peverada
tags: Montgomery's View | Recommended Reads | Kids & Families


Published by Frederick Warne & Co.

In July of 1866, a most extraordinary woman was born in London, England – Beatrix Potter.  She was a writer, illustrator, natural scientist, conservationist and farmer.  She is best remembered for her children’s books and creating some of  literature’s most beloved characters: Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and many more. This is the perfect book to highlight as we celebrate the Portland Public Library’s 150th.  Beatrix Potter was born only a few months before the library was established.

32 of today’s children’s book illustrators re-imagine characters from 9 of Potter’s books. There are excerpts from each of the nine titles with Potter’s art included. Each illustrator reflects on one of her books and has created an original illustration in tribute to Beatrix Potter.  The influence of Potter is visible through the loving reflections and the art.  The participating artists include Melissa Sweet, Tomie DePaola, Brian Pinkney, Peggy Rathman and Dan Santat.  It is a treat to pour over these tribute illustrations – and easy to see why Potter’s characters are so well-loved.

150 years is a long time to stay vibrant, influential and inspirational – but both the Portland Public Library and Beatrix Potter continue to foster creativity, imagination and curiosity.  

Happy 150th Birthday!

Check this book and other books by and about Beatrix Potter out at the Portland Public Library.

RIP Jonathan Demme

posted: , by Patti DeLois
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture

Jonathan Demme is probably best known as the Oscar-winning director of the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs, but he was also a writer, producer, and actor, and in addition to directing feature length films, he also directed documentaries (Cousin Bobby, The Agronomist) TV episodes (Columbo, Saturday Night Live, American Playhouse) and music videos (including “The Perfect Kiss,” by New Order, and “I Got You, Babe,” by The Pretenders.)

Demme passed away on April 26, 2017, at the age of 73. He will be missed.


For a list of some of the movies directed by Demme, click here.

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