March 2013

Bonnie, Lakewood Library

The World to Come by Dara Horn

Attending a singles gathering at a New York art museum leads to trouble for television quiz-show writer Benjamin Ziskind. Not romantic trouble, at least not at first, but legal trouble when Benjamin sees a Marc Chagall painting he’s convinced once belonged to his family -  so he picks it off the wall and takes it home.   In a deftly woven story, author Dara Horn delves into the painting’s history, starting with a Russian Orphanage in the 1920s to the Vietnam War to see how the painting changed hands over generations. If you enjoy charming literary fiction that explores questions of moral responsibility and love, then don’t miss this title.

Jayne, Golden Library

A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El Camino de Santiago" pilgrimage trail from France to Spain. Knowing there is no longer any chance at reconciliation due to his passing, as a tribute to his son, he decides to finish the journey for him. Along the way, he meets and travels with three other pilgrims whose stories and outlooks on life all have their effects on each other. A powerful, moving, and occasionally humorous film about family, friends, and life choices. Beautiful cinematography as well. Stars Martin Sheen (father) and Emilio Estevez (son), real-life father and son.


Christina, Lakewood Library

Many of us are facing the conundrum of caring for our aging parents.  Some of us are in the sandwich generation – we still have children and teens at home and we are caring for aging parents as well.  And some of our parents are far away in another state or city. There are new realities and limitations to navigate as we proceed on this path and we are proceeding as we ourselves are aging.  It is a daunting task and fraught with twists and turns along the way.  We want the best for our parents and want to continue being with them and taking them special places.  And we wonder, are we doing this special trip or event for Mom & Dad or because we can’t bear knowing that they are no longer able to enjoy such an outing.  Here are a few resources to help you.

Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders by Mary Pipher - This exploration into the period of transition which marks the beginnings of old age offers a compassionate view of ways to build communication between generations.  Pipher examines the trials of aging in contemporary America--for all those involved.  The miniature biographies, told with respect and empathy, reveal not only a complicated reality but diverse possibilities as we all age.  We hope this “field guide” to a foreign landscape will be a help and a resource.

Story of my Father by Sue Miller - “This is the hardest lesson... for a caregiver: you can never do enough to make a difference in the course of the disease," Miller writes in this thoughtful remembrance of her relationship with her father as he succumbs to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross - In telling the story of her own struggle to learn how to care for her aging and ailing mother, this New York Times journalist offers helpful insights and advice to other caregivers who feel overwhelmed.  She offers advice for those already caring for their aging and dying parents and issues a wake-up call to those who think they are prepared should the time come.  Gross debunks misconceptions about assisted-living facilities and offers eye-opening anecdotes about Medicare and Medicaid, including how her own upper-middle-class mother ended up on Medicaid and virtually penniless due to health-care costs.  This is a well-researched and thought provoking resource for end of life care.

Caring for Your Aging Parents: An Emotional Guide to Nurturing your Loved Ones while Taking Care of Yourself by Raeann Berman - This book contains much needed direction to lots of resources for aging individuals that family members can use.The authors talk about specifics (finding living arrangements, dealing with memory loss, conversations to have with aging parents while it is still possible to have them) and then give suggestions as to how to proceed.  And for us who are in the middle of this wild ride, they give ideas for the caregiver to stay healthy and well.

Carol, Arvada Library

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Seventeen year old Evie O'Neill is sooo bored living in a small town in Ohio in the 1920’s. She is sure life is passing her by, so she spends her time defying her parents, drinking bathtub gin, and generally causing havoc. As punishment, her parents decide to send her to live with her Uncle Will, who is the curator of a folklore and occult museum known by all as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie is thrilled with her “exile” to Uncle Will’s in New York City, and soon finds herself hanging out with a Ziegfeld girl, her piano player roommate, a pickpocket, and her best friend Mable. When Uncle Will is called upon to help with a series of occult related murders, Evie worms her way into the investigation. She soon finds that she knows more than she can say, without giving away her “special” supernatural talent. As she tries to help, she meets other 17-year-olds who all seem to have talents as well, and together they work to save the future from a great evil trying to come back from the past.

Emily, Columbine Library

Where are you on the hold list for Downton Abbey, season 1, 2, or 3?  Here are some suggestions for British drama to tide you over until it’s ready!  Feel free to chime in with your own ideas, too.

The Cazelets

Coming Home

The Forsyte Saga

The Pallisers

Upstairs Downstairs