(Non) Fiction Friday: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

No stranger to the Banned Book list (Books Challenged or Banned in 2009-2010), author David Sedaris in his latest work, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, looks at themes of modern culture. In each chapter, ranging from talking to telemarketers, sitting by strangers on an airplane or French reaction to the reelection of Barak Obama, Sedaris reveals not only something of himself but also something of contemporary society. For instance, in “Attaboy” he describes the reaction of a mother and father when their son is caught defacing a mailbox (accusing the victim of wrongdoing!)…continue reading →

Fiction Friday: Where’d You Go Bernadette?

Part mystery, part family drama Where’d You Go Bernadette? dishes up an engaging cast of quirky characters: Elgin: the father, Microsoft vice-president, software developer, TED Talk star Bernadette: the mother, architect, MacArthur genius, avoider of society Bee: the beloved daughter and all-around good kid The Gnats: the annoying, over-involved parents at Bee’s school Manjula Kapoor: Bernadette’s virtual assistant working from a call center in India—or is she? When Elgin and Bernadette agree to reward Bee with a trip to Antarctica for her perfect middle school grades, the prospect of being trapped with 150…continue reading →

Fiction Friday: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park begins with that awkward-new-girl moment when 16 year-old Eleanor steps on the bus and no one will share a seat with her. In an act of pity Park moves his belongings aside. But not until a few rides later when he catches Eleanor reading his comic book over his shoulder does a slow friendship begin to develop. Besides the bullying Eleanor endures at school she also has a lot to cope with at home. She lives with her mom, four younger siblings and a creepily menacing step-father in a two-bedroom…continue reading →

Fiction Friday: Oleander Girl

Orphaned Korobi Roy leads a sheltered life in Kolkata, India under the care of her doting grandparents. When she meets the handsome and charming Rajat Bose, the only son of prosperous business family, the two fall in love and become engaged. End of story? Not quite. Unexpectedly Korobi’s grandfather dies shortly after the formal engagement ceremony unleashing a cascade of life-changing events. Korobi’s grandmother reveals her knowledge of Korobi’s parents—that Korobi’s father may still be alive and living in the U.S. Part mystery, part coming-of-age story Oleander Girl follows Korobi’s search for her…continue reading →

The Great Gatsby

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father told me something that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” With the release of the movie are you thrilled by all things Gatsby? If so, you might want to check out the Princeton University Digital Library. You can view F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscript—in its original longhand form. (Fitzgerald used not a computer, not a typewriter, not even a pen to write. The manuscripts you can see are written in pencil.) The Princeton Digital Library has high-resolution digital images of The Great…continue reading →