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.
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.
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.
MERCY: The Incredible Story of Henry Bergh, Founder of the ASPCA and Friend to Animals
written by Nancy Furstinger
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month and this is a wonderful book to read on the subject. Henry Bergh was the privileged son of a shipyard owner in 19th century New York. He was born in 1813. Because of his wealth he was able to dabble at writing and spend years finding his true calling without worrying about holding down a job. In 1863 he was appointed to a diplomatic post in Russia. One day, while posted in Russia, he saw a horse being beaten by his driver. No one knows why this particular day Bergh was moved to stop and speak up. Bergh ordered the man to stop – and suddenly realized his words had power – the power to put an end to cruelty to animals. He resigned his post and took a detour to England on his journey back to America. There he met with the president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Henry Bergh had found his passion. He returned to New York and started the ASPCA. In 19th century New York animals worked themselves to death, fought to the death as entertainment and were poisoned by their feed – and Bergh fought tirelessly to pass anti-cruelty laws and help enforce them. Bergh also founded the first child protection agency. The book has photos, drawings, a bibliography and timeline.
Henry Bergh’s name is not well-known today – but because of him we are able to have a Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month today. Stop in to the library and pick up this book about Henry Bergh – or one of our many titles on animals.