It’s been a few weeks since the library has been closed due to COVID-19, and like so many around the world FTPL staff have been doing as much as possible to keep busy and entertained while social distancing or while in quarantine. We thought it would be a good idea to check in with everyone out there and share what we’ve been reading and/or watching during this difficult and strange time.
What We’ve Been Reading
“I never read an Agatha Christie book before this one. My son has recently become interested in her work from school and asked me to bring a bunch home when we closed. So I picked this one up and started it yesterday. I am half way through it and I must admit I absolutely love it! This title is also available on Hoopla!” -Karen
“In the near future, humanity has been destroyed by a fungus that turns those infected with it into mindless flesh-eating zombies known as “hungries”. On a military base in England, the last hope for mankind lies with the second generation hungries, children born with the desire to eat flesh but who retain the ability to think and learn, and scientist Dr. Caldwell, who experiments on the children in search of a cure. When the base is overrun by hungries, it’s up to Dr. Caldwell, teacher Ms. Justineau, Sergeant Parks, and exceptionally bright second generation Melanie to find a safe place for Dr. Caldwell to continue her research. The Girl with All the Gifts might seem like an odd choice for a quarantine read, but I think now is the perfect time to read it – it makes the emotions in the novel more relatable. This science fiction/horror book is a good choice for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, Neil Gaiman, or zombie fans in general.
The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu) is a Japanese manga about the children of Grace Field House, an orphanage run by a woman all the children call “Mom”. They have good food, clean clothes, a large library, and lots of room to play outside in the forest that surrounds the orphanage. The children are forbidden from venturing off the property; the only time they leave is when they are adopted by a new family, after which they’re never heard from again. 11-year-old Emma loves her life at Grace Field House, until one day she and 11-year-old Norman discover the disturbing truth of their existence and the world outside the orphanage. The Promised Neverland is a perfect read for dark fantasy/horror fans. The characters are endearing, the art is detailed and expressive, and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Definitely recommended to manga fans or anyone looking to read something a little different during their time indoors.” -Virginia
“I just plowed through Linda Nagata’s The Red: First Light which is a mashup military sci-fi and cyberpunk about a cybernetic augmented soldier guided by a near prescient sense of danger. I also checked out Floyd Cardoz’ Flavorwalla from Hoopla; he recently passed away from COVID-19 and was the first Indian born chef to bring Indian cuisine to the fine dining world.” -Mike
“Last week, I finished the latest from Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel. Mandel’s previous novel, Station Eleven, is one of my favorite books, so I was very excited to pick this one up! While very different from Station Eleven, the Glass Hotel contains the same nuanced writing and excellent use of tone that first enamored me with this author. Taking place over about twenty years and following the story of several characters, the book grapples with the financial collapse of 2008, parallel lives, the never-ending “what ifs” that appear when reflecting on life, and ghosts.
I also just finished The Lost City of Z by David Grann. It tells the story of the early twentieth-century explorer P.H. Fawcett and his obsession with finding a supposed long-lost ancient civilization in the heart of the unforgiving Amazon Basin. I was fascinated by the story which was expertly told by Grann. After a few weeks of quarantine down with many more to go, the thought of an adventure in the “green hell” of the Amazon sounded like a nice change of pace.
Lastly, while it isn’t a book, I’ve been listening to a fantastic podcast called Revolutions. Hosted and narrated by Mike Duncan, the podcast delves into the history of famous revolutions in great detail. Mike Duncan does an excellent job conveying information on complex topics in a pleasant way, and I’m pretty hooked on the series about the French Revolution (series 3).” -George
“I am taking this time as an opportunity to pick up some books I’ve had around the house for years and haven’t gotten around to reading, including Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Since all recently released books have had their events canceled and will likely see their sales suffer from the lack of bookstore traffic and media coverage, I’ve made an effort to support writers with new releases. I really loved The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and I ordered but have yet to read Line of Sight by James Queally and Godshot by Chelsea Bieker.” -Kerri
What We’ve Been Watching
“I am watching season 9 of Doc Martin on Hoopla!” -Karen
“After years away, Wynonna Earp, great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, returns to her home town of Purgatory to reluctantly take on the role destined for Wyatt Earp’s heir: demon killer. Her job is to find all 77 resurrected criminals Wyatt Earp killed in his time, known as Revenants, and send them back to hell with Wyatt’s gun, Peacemaker. She’s joined on her mission by her sister Waverely, associate Agent Dolls, and Wyatt’s cursed-with-immortality-best-friend Doc Holliday. Wynonna Earp is a weird western with a little bit of everything: action, drama, humor, romance, the supernatural, and lots of gun-slinging demon killing. The show is returning for a fourth season this summer, so now is the perfect time to catch up!”-Virginia
“[My wife] and I have also been playing catch-up with Marvel’s Agents of Shield.” -Mike
“I’m watching The Great British Baking Show as it is one of the most comforting and relaxing things on TV. I’m also in the middle of Scrubs, which was one of my favorites when I was younger. I just found out the whole thing is available to stream in Hulu, so that should keep me busy for a while!” -George
What have you been reading or watching? Leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there!
-FTPL Reference Department