All New Materials

Staff Picks

Not quite a genius

Nate Dern

817.6 /Dern
Humor, Literary Nonfiction

"From Funny Or Die senior writer and former artistic director at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre comes a collection of absurdist, hilarious stories and essays on relationships, technology, and contemporary society. A brave archaeologist journeys into a suburban man cave. Leif Eriksson writes Christopher Columbus a long overdue letter. A corporate flack admonishes a room of marijuana sales people to get their revenues up. A young man's penis turns into a lobster. Walt Whitman even teaches a spin class. With humor, originality, and narrative guile, Nate Dern examines man buns, dating apps, Wi-Fi terms and conditions, juicing crazes, vegetarianism, and so much more, all while plumbing his own life and a series of fantastical scenarios for a truth that's both revelatory and beautiful."--Jacket.

If you just want something funny and interesting to read that doesn't take too much time or energy, I recommend this fun book. -Heidi K

Apprenticed to Venus : my secret life with Anaïs Nin

Tristine Rainer

818.52 NinYr

“I first met Anaïs in 1962 at her Village apartment, when I was an eighteen-year-old virgin.”

And so begins Tristine Rainer’s years as Anaïs Nin’s accomplice, keeping Nin’s confidences—including that of her bigamy—even after Nin’s death and the passing of her husbands, until now.

Apprenticed to Venus charts Rainer’s coming of age under the guidance of Anaïs Nin: lover to Henry Miller, Parisian diarist, author of the erotic bestseller Delta of Venus, and feminist icon of the sexual revolution. As an inexperienced young woman, Tristine was dazzled by the sophisticated bohemian author and sought her instruction in becoming a woman. From their first meeting in Greenwich Village through Nin’s death in 1977, Tristine remained a fixture of Anaïs Nin’s inner circle, implicated in the mysterious author’s secrets—while simultaneously finding her own way through love, lust, and loss. From personal memories to dramatized scenarios based on Nin’s revelations to the author, Apprenticed to Venus blurs the lines between novel and memoir, bringing Anaïs Nin to life in new way—a pioneer whose mantra was, “A woman has as much right to pleasure as a man!”

A compelling look at the intricacies—and risks—of female friendship and the mentor-protégé relationship, Tristine Rainer’s Apprenticed to Venus is the intimate story of an entanglement only she could tell.

I have always been interested in the literary figure Anais Nin, ever since I was 12 and discovered a dusty old bound copy of her diaries in a library. This is an interesting perspective on Nin from a person who got closer to her than most. Nin was purposefully very secretive and enigmatic - there is much, much more on that topic in this book. Recommended if you like literary memoirs and/or Anais Nin. -Heidi K

Fetch : how a bad dog brought me home : a graphic memoir

Nicole J. Georges

BIOGRAPHY Georges, Nicole J.
Graphic Novels

From an award-winning artist, a memoir of life with a difficult, beloved dog that will resonate with anybody who has ever had a less than perfectly behaved pet. When Nicole Georges was sixteen she adopted Beija, a dysfunctional shar-pei/corgi mix--a troublesome combination of tiny and attack, just like teenaged Nicole herself. For the next fifteen years, Beija would be the one constant in her life. Through depression, relationships gone awry, and an unmoored young adulthood played out against the backdrop of the Portland punk scene, Beija was there, wearing her "Don't Pet Me" bandana. Georges's gorgeous graphic novel Fetch chronicles their symbiotic, codependent relationship and probes what it means to care for and be responsible to another living thing--a living thing that occasionally lunges at toddlers. Nicole turns to vets, dog whisperers, and even a pet psychic for help, but it is the moments of accommodation, adaption, and compassion that sustain them. Nicole never successfully taught Beija "sit," but in the end, Beija taught Nicole how to stay. -- Provided by publisher.

This is an adorable book about a "bad dog" Beija and her human Nicole who loves her anyway. -Heidi K

Are you my mother? : a comic drama

Alison Bechdel

BIOGRAPHY Bechdel, Alison
Graphic Novels, LGBTQ+

A graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

If you like graphic novels, and haven't read this one yet: do it. If you swear you don't like graphic novels or comics: try this one. -Heidi K

Herb gardening from the ground up : everything you need to know about growing your favorite herbs

Sal Gilbertie

635.7 /Gilbertie

This is a great resource that focuses mainly on how to garden and grow herbs, with less of an emphasis on creating herbal preparations or cooking with herbs. Recommended if you are new to gardening, but want to get started with a little herb garden of your own. -Heidi K

Rosemary Gladstar's herbs for reducing stress & anxiety.

Rosemary Gladstar

615.321 /Gladstar
Health, Gardening

Move beyond lavender and learn about other herbs that can help in times of anxiety or just everyday stress and tension. -Heidi K

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