“What are you holding on to, Sam?”
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
Tolkien, Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth
fighting for. These days, it is easier to notice the fighting rather
than what is fine.
Summary: In his second book, Meik
Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark,
embarks on finding out what happiness is and how the world defines it.
He explores six different areas of happiness and how we can find
happiness in our everyday lives.
My Thoughts: The last several months have been stressful and uncertain. If you are like me it has been hard to find something to be happy about when the world around us is changing so drastically. I read The Little Book of Hygge earlier this year and got inspiration from its pages. Now I needed something more. I need to find happiness in the little everyday things.
cannot help but smile when I see this little colorful book. It
immediately catches the eye and draws me to it. I loved Wiking’s look
into what makes us happy. Things like friends and family, money,
kindness, trust, freedom and health are all factors in our happiness. He
references several studies he and his team have done as well as other
notable groups around the world. Not only does he focus on the science
but the people and ways happiness is spread. He has met so many people
and learned how different communities have made the lives better for
While reading I wanted to do all the things. I now want to buy a bicycle and spend more time outside (when it’s less hot, of course). I want to live in Denmark. I want to live in a bofaellesskab, a cohousing development that is popular in Scandinavian countries where residents have their own space but also share communal space and everyone knows their neighbors. How cool is that?! I have lived in the same apartment for 3-1/2 years and don’t know any of my neighbors’ names.
This is a book I can see myself going back to
for inspiration when times are tough. It makes me realize that there is
good in this world and we can find happiness in the small things around
us. If you need a pick me up then this may be what you are looking for.
FYI: This can be found on Hoopla as well as our catalog.
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
First line: There are two versions of the events of 1887. One is very well known, but the other is not.
Everyone has heard the story of Jack the Ripper. He haunted the streets
of Whitechapel preying on women. His victims known as the canonical
five are Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane. His story has
been researched and turned over hundreds of times but very little is
actually known about the women whose lives he took. Here are their
My Thoughts: I have recommended this book to
anyone and everyone! I was completely engrossed in it. It is thoroughly
researched and well written. It reads like fiction and is easy to get
caught up in these women’s lives. I found myself hoping for better
outcomes as I read even though I knew how each of their stories was a
going to end.
Rubenhold brings these women and the times that
they lived to the forefront. Everyone thinks that they know the victims.
They were prostitutes right? Wrong. Some were but not all five. Each
has a story to tell. I could not believe the detail put into their
narratives. Using housing records, census, interviews and newspaper
reports we get fuller picture of their lives.
romanticize the Victorian time period but it was anything but ideal.
People were barely able to care for their families. Housing was not
always safe or healthy. Disease, alcoholism and poverty were prevalent.
How people survived is astounding.
If you love history, true
crime or biographies than this is perfect for you. It is full of
information that will keep you reading until the very end.
FYI: There is very little mentioned about Jack the Ripper. This book focuses on the women only and the time that they lived.
First line: Barry Sutton pulls into the fire lane at the main
entrance of the Poe Building, an Art Deco tower glowing white in the
illumination of its exterior sconces.
Sutton is a New York cop who witnesses the tragic effects of False
Memory Syndrome when a woman jumps from the forty first floor of a
Helena Smith is a researcher looking for a way to save and record memories to help Alzheimer patients.
the world around them begins to unravel because of the mysterious FMS,
they must team up to try and learn how to stop the phenomenon from
continuing to plague the world. If they cannot not it can lead to the
possible end of the world.
My Thoughts: From the very
first page this story is off and running. There is no build up or major
character development in the first twenty pages like most novels. Crouch
puts us immediately into the story. This is by far one of my favorite
parts of his writing. It is very easy to lose interest in a book that
drags its story out too long.
When we meet Barry we also hear
about False Memory Syndrome but it is not really explained. For a while
it was difficult to understand what is happening to those that are
affected. However, once I understood what the disease entailed it became
obvious why it could be terrifying to contract.
There are several time hops which makes it very important to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of each new section.
I love how fast paced his story telling is. I was on the edge of my seat throughout.
I was never very good with science. Give me history or literature any day. Even though Recursion is very much a science fiction thriller it was not bogged down by the technicalities. When I tried reading The Martian by Andy Weir, the science is what killed the book for me. I just did not get it. But Crouch does a great job of having it as part of the story but not making it overwhelming for the everyday reader.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. Just give it a try. It is worth every minute you spend reading it.
FYI: Pick up Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It is just as thrilling!
The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide by Joy Neighbors
First line: Cemeteries are usually viewed with reservation.
Summary: Filled with helpful tips on how to plan, research and preserve information that can be found at cemeteries. This book describes different symbols, types and information about gravestones and their meanings. It also walks the reader through websites and online tools that can help a novice or experienced genealogist on their journey of discovering their family history.
Highlights: I loved seeing the different types of stones and the symbols with their meanings. I never considered that the type could tell you about the finances or social status of my ancestor. All the hints and tips about ways to search for information were helpful. As I was reading, I would open a browser and try them out on my tree. I have a few illusive ancestors and I tried using the tips to discover more about them. I still have not found their death dates but I have learned other little tidbits about their lives. I hope to continue to find more with time.
Lowlights: There was a lot of information that I was familiar with so it was a little slow going through that but at no fault of the author. I like that they walk the reader through the process of signing up and searching.
FYI: Perfect for any genealogist.