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Columbus Reads

by Public Service Associate Owen

Our humble capital city of Columbus is one of the nicest places to live in the state, and perhaps even the country! If you’re optimistic enough, that is. Often scoffed at by those who don’t reside here and often underappreciated by those that do, I am here to sing the praises of our state capital and to highlight some of the books that provide insight into what makes Columbus a special place to live. From the Statehouse to the Chill, here are four books about Columbus!

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Booklists Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Books I’m Thankful For

by Public Service Associate Owen

I find Thanksgiving to be a wonderful holiday, where friends and family can gather with purpose to be thankful for each other and for what has gone well in their lives. This is the time of year where I am most attentive to what good is around me and what has shaped me as a person. This is especially true with books, which have had such a profound effect on how I was raised and how I view the world today. In this blog post, I will briefly elaborate some of the literary works that have had a substantial impact on my life. In doing so, I hope to both open your eyes to some of these monumental works, as well as to encourage you to reflect on some of the authors and books that have affected your life in a positive way.

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Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Indigenous Heritage Month

by Public Service Associate Owen

November is National Indigenous Heritage Month, and as such it is an honor to use this space to feature some works of prolific indigenous authors. As Americans, it is of vital importance to recognize the peoples of this continent who were here prior to settlers and colonists. By highlighting some great works of indigenous authors, including the one book that brought indigenous literature into the mainstream, I hope to at least pay some respect to those whose voices were often silenced.

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Booklists Recommendations

Hispanic Heritage Month

A Celebration of Gabriel García Márquez

by Public Service Associate Owen

September is Hispanic Heritage Month! In celebration, I would like to use this space to highlight and honor one of the most prolific Latin American authors, whose innovative style, elegant prose, and rich, emotive themes have enlivened bookshelves continents over. The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez who lived from 1927-2014. He was one of the most prolific writers of the last century, and, together with authors such as Julio Cortázar of Argentina, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, and Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru, was a key figure in the Latin American literary boom of the 1960s and 1970s. His novels, especially One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, are pioneering works that provide a window into the condition of Latin American life. These works helped establish Latin America as a bastion of innovative literary styles, as García Márquez’s signature style, magical realism, was pioneered in these novels.

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Recommendations Staff Book Reviews Virtual Book Club

Bride of the Sea

by Public Service Associate Nichole

During a snowy Cleveland February, newlywed university students Muneer and Saeedah are expecting their first child, and he is harboring a secret: the word divorce is whispering in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. Consumed by a growing fear of losing her daughter, Saeedah disappears with the little girl, leaving Muneer to desperately search for his daughter for years. The repercussions of the abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents, but also their interwoven family and friends—those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets.

And when Hanadi comes of age, she finds herself at the center of this conflict, torn between the world she grew up in and a family across the ocean. How can she exist between parents, between countries?

penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/671244/bride-of-the-sea-by-eman-quotah/9781951142452
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Animal, Vegetable, Junk

by Adult Services Library Associate Beth

“This is a book about man’s war against nature, and because man is part of nature it is also inevitably a book about man’s war against himself.”

Rachel Carson
Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal by Mark Bittman | print / digital
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Booklists Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Monopolized by David Dayen

by Adult Services Library Associate Beth

A handful of books published in the past few years illustrate the emergence of a modern anti-monopoly intellectual movement. (‘Monopoly’ referring to the consolidation of market power into one or a small handful of firms/corporations.) Among others, they include: Goliath by Matt Stoller, Break ‘Em Up by Zephyr Teachout, The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu, and Monopolized by David Dayen (this last book being the subject of this particular review, below).

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Staff Book Reviews

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

A book review by BPL team member, Leann.

I read Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror and then immediately read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, because, I guess I don’t want to feel happiness ever again.

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Staff Book Reviews

The Glass Hotel

A book review by BPL team member, Beth.

“The building would have been beautiful anywhere, but placed here, it was incongruous, and its incongruity played a part in the enchantment.”

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Staff Book Reviews

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

A book review by BPL team member, Christian.

While going through some literary articles recently, I stumbled upon one by The Japan Times that discusses the idea of the new Japanese literary golden age. This article debates the merits of whether Japan is experiencing a new literary golden age and how Anglo-saxon translations funnel that to a Western audience. While the outcome of a contemporary literary Golden Age for Japan is left open-ended, it is certain that the voices of women authorship has significantly grown. However, an aspect of it, as mentioned previously, is determined by translation. For instance, one of the books shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2020, The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, was initially published in Japan in 1994. A lot of writers that are defining the contemporary Japanese literary landscape have yet to make their impact in the Western world, but with the recent translations of authors such as Hiromi Kawakami, Hiroko Oyamada, Yukiko Motoya, and many more, that is slowly changing.