Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mini Review: Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

Fat Girl Walking
by Brittany Gibbons
Dey Street Books (2015)

What's It All About?

Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate.

Brittany Gibbons has been a plus size her whole life. But instead of hiding herself in the shadows of thinner women, Brittany became a wildly popular blogger and national spokesmodel--known for stripping on stage at TedX and standing in Times Square in a bikini on national television, and making skinny people everywhere uncomfortable.
Who Should Read It?

If you love brutally honest memoirs that might make you alternately cringe and pee your pants a little, read this one. Great for fans of Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro. 4 stars.

What Else Should I Read?
What If I Don't Believe You?

Don't take my word for it! Read these other reviews:

Slashed Beauty | A Daily Pinch | Shower Sweat Repeat

Monday, December 5, 2016

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Dara Palmer's Major Drama

Dara Palmer's Major Drama
by Emma Shevah
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (July 2016)


Dara Palmer dreams of being an actress, but when she does not get a part in the school play she wonders if it is because of her different looks as an adopted girl from Cambodia, so Dara becomes determined not to let prejudice stop her from being in the spotlight.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Dara is a winning, fittingly overdramatic character who starts to grow once she takes a more serious look her life and those in it. 
  • With themes of transracial adoption, racism, identity, friendship, and sibling rivalry (not to mention a hyperactively decorated page design), there's a lot going on here, but Shevah's novel raises interesting questions without attempting to neatly answer them all.
  • Crawford-White's charming doodle illustrations along the margins reflects Dara's inner monologues throughout the book.
Who Should Read It:

Great for 3rd-6th graders...and here's the discussion guide.

What Else You Should Read:

P.S. I've discovered a great place to find more middle grade books! Check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday for more suggestions.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Books By Theme: If you like Ann Patchett...

Ann Patchett author collage

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, The Patron Saint of LiarsTaftThe Magician's AssistantBel CantoRun, and State of Wonder. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays that examines the theme of commitment. 

If you've read and enjoyed Patchett's work, you'll probably like these authors too!
(Click on each author's name for their full list of works.)

Anne Tyler author collage

Though Anne Tyler's writing is down to earth and Ann Patchett's contains hints of magical realism, both authors show deep insight into human nature in their thoughtful, somewhat bittersweet, character-driven novels. Both develop themes defining friendship and family in contemporary America; and how different yet interlinked people respond to significant life events.

Sara Gruen author collage

Literary fiction writers Ann Patchett and Sara Gruen, both favorites of book groups, write thought-provoking works of social commentary. Their novels feature richly layered characters, complex moral dilemmas, beautifully crafted prose, and evocative, often exotic settings.

Gloria Naylor author collage

Both authors create moving, character-driven novels, often with a hint of magical realism. In prose that skillfully shifts from direct to poetic, psychological and social issues play out between families, friends, and the contemporary American world around them. Their insights can be bittersweet but they promote hope in a thoughtful manner. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mini Review: Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

The Good Father
by Diane Chamberlain
Mira (January 2012)
Literary Fiction

What's It All About?

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he's never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe. But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he's worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions. With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter's sake. Even if it means he might lose her.

Who Should Read It?

Read it if you like the character-driven domestic fiction that Jodi Picoult or Barbara Delinsky deliver. Also, you probably will like this book if you enjoy alternating narrators. 3 stars.

What Else Should I Read?

What If I Don't Believe You?

Don't take my word for it! Check out these reviews:

Read In a Single Sitting | Mom's Small VictoriesBooks in the City

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Left Out by Tim Green

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Left Out 
by Tim Green
HarperCollins (Sep. 2016)
Sports fiction


All Landon Dorch has ever wanted is to be like everyone else. His deafness and the way he talks have been obstacles all his life. But now he finally sees his chance to fit in. Bigger and taller than any other seventh grader in his new school, Landon plans to use his size to his advantage and join the school’s football team. But the same speech problems and the cochlear implants that help him hear continue to haunt him. 
Just when it looks like Landon will be left out of football for good, an unlikely friend comes along. But in the end only Landon can fight his way off the bench and through a crowded field of bullies bent on seeing him forever left out.

Who Should Read It:

Great for 5th-8th graders...and here's the curriculum guide.

What Else You Should Read:

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