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Alone time : four seasons, four cities, and the pleasures of solitude book cover
Alone time : four seasons, four cities, and the pleasures of solitude book cover

Alone time : four seasons, four cities, and the pleasures of solitude

Stephanie Rosenbloom

910.4 /Rosenbloom
Nonfiction, Travel

"A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of travelling solo. In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller--and even in one's own city--is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world--patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds--in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others."--

Stephanie Rosenbloom writes a travel column for the New York Times, and has a breezy, friendly voice. Don't let that fool you, though--she's a thinker. Here she recounts her travels through four different cities, reflecting upon what makes solo travel unique: How does one travel differently when they are alone? How do they experience things? What are the unforeseen benefits? How does travelling alone change somebody? In addition to her own experiences, she references a lot of very current research that relates to the topic. A very interesting and enjoyable book, whether or not you are hitting the road. -Candice

The English cathedral book cover
The English cathedral book cover

The English cathedral

Peter Marlow

726.60942 /Marlow

Among the most magnificent buildings of England are its Anglican cathedrals, great symbols of spiritual and architectural power. There are few experiences more uplifting and humbling than standing in the nave of a cathedral, and no one can fail to marvel at Durham's incomparable Romanesque masterpiece, the elegant stylistic unity of Salisbury, the world-famous stained glass of Canterbury or the striking Gothic scissor arch at Wells.

We have some great English cathedral books (see also my list on the topic), but this new book is unique. The photographer (Peter Marlow) took the pictures from the same vantage point in each of the 42 cathedrals so you get a comparative sense of their size, art, and architecture. My favorite naves: Bristol, Canterbury (soaring arches!), Ely, Lichfield, Liverpool, Wells, Winchester. I really liked the other 35 too. -Heidi L

Black Panther book cover
Black Panther book cover

Black Panther

Action, Science Fiction

King T'Challa returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from divisions within his own country. When two enemies conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must join forces with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Wakandan Special Forces, to prevent Wakanda from being drawn into a world war.

I finally saw the most buzzed about movie of 2018 and it completely lived up to the hype. The visuals were stunning and the main characters were interesting and well-rounded. T'Challa is a nuanced hero whose greatest strength lies in his moral character rather than his physical superpowers. I love that his greatest supporters were all very different women. Shuri is always the mischievous sister even as she showcases her serious smarts as Wakanda's lead scientist. Nakia struggles to balance her love for T'Challa with her desire to independently aid the outside world. Okoye is an incredibly strong warrior/general who is absolutely loyal to Wakanda and its people. -Morgan

Swimming lessons book cover
Swimming lessons book cover

Swimming lessons

Claire Fuller

FICTION Fuller Claire

Disenchanted by the life in which she’s found herself, Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their passionate and troubled marriage. She hides them, unread, in the thousands of books Gil has collected over the years. Then she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two young daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and his unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed Ingrid drowned, returns home to care for her father and investigate her mother’s disappearance. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a turbulent marriage and the dangerous fault lines that remain.

The way the story in this epistolary novel unfolds is extraordinary. Each letter is a revelation into the marriage of Ingrid and Gil, yet each letter also seems to muddy the waters as well. As some things clear up, others become more obscure. -Anne M

Relish : my life in the kitchen book cover
Relish : my life in the kitchen book cover

Relish : my life in the kitchen

Lucy Knisley

641.5092 /Knisley

"Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe-- many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions" -- from publisher's web site.

Reading this book will make you hungry. It will also make you approach preparing dinner in a new light. You aren't just making a meal, you're making a memory. -Meredith

Eat what you love : more than 300 incredible recipes low in sugar, fat, and calories book cover
Eat what you love : more than 300 incredible recipes low in sugar, fat, and calories book cover

Eat what you love : more than 300 incredible recipes low in sugar, fat, and calories

Marlene Koch

641.5635 /Koch

"Enjoy all the delicious foods you love--guilt free as you effortlessly cut the sugar, slash the fat and calories, and curb the excess carbs. Eat What You Love is the perfect family cookbook with healthy recipes that never sacrifice taste"--Jacket.

One of my favorite cookbooks for low calorie meals that everyone in my family enjoys! -Meredith

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