In a world where romantic and familial relationships are at the center of conversations about meaningful connections between people, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman posit that friendships can be just as vital and enriching, if not moreso. Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close reveals the highs and lows of the "big friendship" shared by the two writers and offers strategies for how other friends can cultivate fulfilling long-term friendships. This book is conversational and reflective, and is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever participated in a big friendship of their own.
Beautiful Boy (2018, Rated R) tells the real-life story of Nic Sheff, a teen who has a strained relationship with his father David due to his severe drug addiction. Despite Nic's time in rehab, he continues to use drugs including crystal meth. David tries to help his son, but the more he intervenes the worse things get. Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet give stellar performances as the father/son duo, playing their parts with genuine vulnerability. It's a heartbreaking film that sheds light on the harsh realities of addiction and how it can tear a family apart.
You can watch Beautiful Boy on Amazon Prime with one of our Rokus.
Another fine Ken Burns documentary provides a fascinating look at Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens I thought it was amusing how he got his name from the men aboard those Mississippi river boats who would stick rods into the water marking the depth and yelling "mark twain" so the boat would not get stuck in the shallow. Unfortunately, his life had so many more turns for the worse. I never knew.
His Adventures of Huck Finn will stand forever as one of the true great stories in American literature. Like all of Ken Burns' documentaries, it's loaded with wonderful pictures and stories from historians and literary people, and I recommend Mark Twain (2001).
Watch Mark Twain on Hoopla today.
Laila Lalami, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, interweaves her personal experiences as a Muslim immigrant from Morocco with the realities that all migrants to this country must face. She argues that people who do not look the right way or do not practice the right religion have their citizenship called into doubt.
The library will have a book discussion on this nonfiction title on February 3, 2022.
I thought the PBS documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014, rated TV-14), was a fascinating look at this family and the personal struggles each had and how they triumphed despite great adversity.
I never knew how influential Theodore Roosevelt was regarding the national parks or how popular he was. It made me wonder how different world events and outcomes might have been had he had a third or fourth term like FDR? Would World War I have gone any differently and if so, how would the Treaty of Versailles have gone, or the subsequent rise of Hitler and the Nazi party? Look what happened after that.
While her husband was in the White House, Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, it was like receiving a death sentence. She also suffered from an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. In 1978, her family staged an intervention. Ford was open with the American public about her health issues and would go on to co-found the Betty Ford Center. Her outspokenness about her personal experiences put the focus on women’s health issues, alcoholism, and addiction, prompting many to seek treatment themselves.
You don’t need to be a fan of President Ford or Betty Ford’s politics to enjoy Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer by Lisa McCubbin. This is an inspirational and sympathetic portrait of a woman dealing with many issues while living in the political arena.
Author Ariel Lawhon saves the why of Judge Crater disappearance until a twist in the very last pages. The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress will transport readers to a bygone era of chorus girls, speakeasies, bootleggers, Tammany Hall corruption, gangsters, and irritating rich people.
After the last tear has been shed, the last laugh chuckled, and the family is safe and sound stateside, James adds "My Very Idiosyncratic Guide to a Few Places in Paris" for all of us who dream of visiting Paris someday. She recommends museums, galleries, boutiques, salons, eateries, chocolate shops, and the like that she frequented during her stay in the acclaimed city. Many include websites, just in case we can't wait for our next trip abroad.
Paris in Love is my first taste of the author's work and seems to be atypical. I may have to read one of Eloisa James's (also known as Mary Bly) essays on Shakespeare or romance novels to complete the picture.
Married twice to men, prominent on the world stage, Kati writes candidly of her glamorous life, magically without offending anyone. Now a widow, she looks over shoulder to a life, filled with passion, service, and possibly integrity.
David’s wife Jackie is the “Queen of Versailles” and she is the quirky, stoic, and often over-the-top heart of the movie. Jackie married into money and has enjoyed it to the fullest, but in the face of an uncertain future she is resiliently planning how to cope if her life takes yet another dramatic turn.
But he was much more than that. He was a great humanitarian, an advocate of civil rights, a baseball fan's owner who cared about the fans, a player's owner who cared about his players, an employer who cared about his employees, an innovator who introduced many changes in the game, a patriot, a thinker, a listener, an avaricious reader and man who despite a severe physical handicap would never quit.
This is easily the best biography I have read in the last twenty years and maybe the best ever. This book is especially for White Sox, Indians, and Browns fans. It's for Cub fans too, as Veeck and his father had a profound influence on the Cubs as well (the ivy on the walls, Harry Caray and the singing of "Take out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch and others.) But it is also for any baseball fan and for anyone who appreciates the story of man who lived a truly remarkable life. Read Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick by Paul Dickson.