Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Elizabeth and Monty by Charles Casillo

Elizabeth and Monty is a well-researched biography of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift and a history of their intense friendship. When they met in 1951, Elizabeth was already a beauty at seventeen and Monty, thirty-one, was an established and handsome star. The book covers decades of ups and downs in the actors’ lives, including a tragic car accident in which Clift was seriously hurt. Afterwards, addiction and erratic behavior led to Clift’s downward spiral. The author also chronicles Taylor’s eight marriages, full of drama. An easy, fast and fun read about Hollywood and its glamour. ~Barbara, HH

Storm by George R. Stewart

This is a very unique novel from 1941 whose main character is not a person, but a weather system. You'll follow the storm, named Maria by a young meteorologist in the story, from her humble beginnings in the Pacific as a confrontation of air masses. From there you'll watch her take form and build strength across the ocean until she lands on the California coast wreaking not only widespread havoc in the lives of the many different people you'll meet, but also bringing life-giving rain to the land and farmers. Weather enthusiasts will really enjoy this book, as a lot of the content is devoted to weather dynamics. But even if you aren't an amateur meteorologist, the story is an interesting read. ~Meredith, CCL

Out of My Heart by Sharon Draper

Do you want a story with positivity?  Meet twelve-year old Melody Brookes who has cerebral palsy and cannot speak.  With supportive parents and Elvira, her Medi—talker, Melody could always navigate the real world but she often experienced discrimination from those who could not see beyond her wheelchair—until she goes to Camp Green Glades.  There Melody blossoms, gain new skills, and make friends.  Readers will discover how those disabled or different can enjoy the same satisfying experiences any camper might enjoy in a camp designed to accommodate their differences.  Draper’s story gives new meaning to special needs as she reveals how a camp geared to those needs enables characters to become their best selves.  This is a friendship story. ~Anna Marie, CCL

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Anti-racism scholar and educator Robin DiAngelo has had a lot of opportunity to witness first hand the difficulty of breaking through the defenses of white people when they are presented with a view of their own place in the white-dominated power structure of our society.  She makes clear that it is these very defenses, characterized by emotions such as fear, guilt, anger and denial, that prevent the deep reflection that would lead to meaningful cross-racial dialogue and change.  As a white person, I feel much gratitude for reading this very instructional book that gives me a clear view to a path of self-discovery and growth.  This is a very important book! ~Claire Michelle, HH

Jane Austen by Tom Keymer

In this little book (168 pages) Tom Keymer introduces each Austen novel in its social, literary, and political contexts set against its major theme(s). Keymer observes that her novels "focus on the interpretive efforts of characters whose experience confronts them with uncertainties, contradictions or mixed messages; the experience of reading the novels requires comparative efforts."  Occasionally I disagreed, of course, and undoubtedly so will you.  But in elegant prose Keymer illuminates Austen's literary greatness with wit and insight. ~Elizabeth, CCL