Monday, April 27, 2015

The Great Gatsby Readalikes

This Thursday, April 30th at 6pm, we'll be hosting a book and film discussion on The Great Gatsby, the classic 1920s novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read (or reread!) the book, watch one of the many adaptations (or all the available ones, if you can manage), and sit in on the discussion. But what should you read after Gatsby? I've got a few suggestions.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Really, read anything by F. Scott, but this was the novel he published a few years after Gatsby. Based on the Fitzgeralds' experiences as ex-pats in France, this follows a rich and flashy couple in the Riviera and details the wife's history of mental health with a husband who started out as her doctor. Quite autobiographical, as many of F. Scott's books were.

West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan. This recent fiction release chronicles life for F. Scott Fitzgerald after fame had mostly passed him by, and he found himself in Hollywood, desperately trying to make money and regain name-recognition for himself with a daughter nearly grown and a wife in a mental institution.

Gatsby's Girl by Caroline Preston. A fictionalized account of the woman who rejected F. Scott in their youth, and became the basis for some of his female characters, most famously Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. It looks at what she might have thought and experienced as a former flame rises to literary stardom with a book featuring a part of their shared love story.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning!

Interested in getting rid of stuff and getting organized? Need a little guidance with where to start and how to do it? The library has some books that might help you!

It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh. From TLC's Clean Sweep, an expert organizer tells you what's what.

Secrets of an Organized Mom by Barbara Reich. Mom knows best. And when Mama's happy, everybody's happy, right?

Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization: Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Life by Christopher Lowell. A well-regarded interior decorator lays out his expertise for a beautifully organized home.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. A classic for those in business, the tips given also translate to other areas of life.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. The new best-selling classic that has folks everywhere unloading their clutter!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Civil War Reads

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. Agencies and organizations across the US have been commemorating this great and tragic event in American history the past four years, and one of your Bartow Librarians just happens to be a big Civil War buff, and would love to share some of her favorites:

The March by E.L. Doctorow. A new Civil War masterpiece, in my opinion. It follows Sherman's March to the Sea through the viewpoints of different characters affected by Sherman and traces their real-life struggles in this new post-war world. A really fascinating read for those who like a good fictional approach to learning about historical time periods.

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz. A must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War as a topic of any kind. Horwitz is a journalist who decides to look into how the South has continued to react and respond to the Civil War and issues stemming from the conflict. Each chapter is a different story, introducing the reader to reenactors, white supremacists, Sons of the Confederacy, inner-city high school teachers, and other Civil War enthusiasts. Excellent resource for those looking at the Civil War at a different angle.

Ruth's Journey by Donald McCaig. For those of you who REALLY LIKE Gone with the Wind, here's the latest in the "series" - an authorized prequel that focuses on Ruth, Scarlet's mammy, and Scarlet's maternal ancestors. Though not as much of Mammy's story as I would have liked, it's still an engaging read bringing in secessionist politics, slave uprisings, and some love stories only hinted at in Margaret Mitchell's original. Maybe not essential reading, but certainly a fun story for a weekend trip.

We do have a Civil War Besides Gone with the Wind reading list as another resource, available online and as a bookmark at your Cartersville branch library. Or stop by and ask us for recommendations!