I am a huge fan of the New York Public Library. With 87 branches and more than 53 million items, its the second largest in the country behind the Library of Congress. I can borrow physical books as well as ebooks, which really helps me cover my literary bases and access titles quickly. There are also frequent events - book groups, author talks, exhibitions, activities for kiddos - at various locations that are open to the public.
My favorite part of the system, as unsexy as it is, is the efficiency. I request a book online to a specific library location, confirm the request, and receive an email as soon as it's at the desk. If using a tablet or phone, I simply request the download and have it automatically delivered to my device. Ta dah! Efficient amazingness!
It will come as no surprise, then, that I have checked out all* of this month's books from the library. Looking forward to starting in on the stack!
* Honesty note: all but one. Critical Conversations is part of my work's Book Club and is now a permanent part of my library.
1. Tell the Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt
Amazon Rating: 4.4/5
Set in the midst of the late 1980s AIDS epidemic, the story is of a girl dealing with the loss of her uncle to the disease. As she drifts apart from her family, she finds understanding and friendship in her uncle's partner as they begin to navigate life without their common key player.
2. Casebook, by Mona Simpson
Amazon Rating: 3.7/5
A family drama, as told through the perspective of a boy intent on discovering his mother's personal life. He ends up learning more than he had originally planned, and finds deeper insight on his parents and himself in the process.
3. The Fever, by Megan Abbott
Amazon Rating: 3.3/5
Teenage girls are getting sick in a small town, and no one has an explanation. Honestly, I picked this one up because I like Megan Abbott (not because the plot line seems especially compelling), and am regretting the decision having read through some of the reviews. Oh well!
4. Blindness, by José Saramago
Amazon Rating: 3.9/5
A 1998 Noble prize winner, Blindness is regarded as one of the preeminent explorations into epidemics and the devolution of man in times of hardship. After a mysterious white blindness spreads among a city, a doctor, his wife, and a small crew they've assembled navigate the new world of basic human instinct to which their city has been reduced.
I consider white blindness to be ebola-adaptable.
5. Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, and Roppe
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Nonfiction - Interpersonal Relations
As I mentioned earlier, this book is a part of my work book club. I'm excited about this pick! Persuasion and negotiation is a critical part of any business deal, and tips I can glean from this highly regarded text will be helpful for both professional and personal use.