Read Harder 2021 – Poetry

Our next category suggestions is one of the more elusive subjects: Poetry! We received a lot of questions about this one. Poetry is one of those areas where a lot of people don’t know where to start unless it’s an interest of theirs. There’s a lot of different ways to approach poetry. It all depends on your goal and how you want to set up your challenges. You can:

  • Read a poetry collection
  • Read a book written in verse
  • Find a poetry anthology and read entries (you can read the entire book if you want but some of these can be hefty!)

Each of the suggestions we have in this blog post fit under one of the criteria listed above. Some are easier to get into, some are more abstract, and some needs you to read it aloud. There are poems out there for any mood or mindset. The suggestions we are giving here fall under adult, YA, or children’s – but ALL of these are suitable and enjoyable for adult readers!

*Note: Click on the title of the book to be redirected to the CWMars catalog entry for the item.

When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton  Anthology of Native Nations Poetry eBook by - 9780393356816 | Rakuten Kobo  United States
When the Light of the World was Subdued, Ours Songs Came Through

Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate, compiled the work of 160 poets representing nearly 100 Indigenous nations in this anthology.

“This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize–winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete.” – from book description

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Amazon.com: The Poet X (9780062662804): Acevedo, Elizabeth: Books
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X is an example of a novel told in verse, rather than a poetry collection. The main character, 15 year old Xiomara, uses slam poetry to express herself and deal with family conflict. The novel reads similar to diaries entries, but written in slam poetry style from the character’s perspective. Acevedo has a unique voice and the story told is powerful, one with multiple layers of struggle for the protagonist – racial identity, religion, femininity, and family.

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Amazon.com: Blood Water Paint (9780735232112): McCullough, Joy: Books
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

“A lyrical and dreamy verse novel based on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, a talented Renaissance artist whose story is tragic and inspiring by turns. In Rome in 1610, men are likely to take what they want from women, but Artemisia uses her art to surpass both her father, who is jealous of her talent; and her teacher, who rapes her. But in the end, Artemisia must choose whether to keep silent about the abuse or to tell the truth despite what it will cost her.” -suggestion from Heather, Youth Services Librarian

home body by rupi kaur

home body by rupi kaur

Poems for grief, trauma, anxiety, and depression. Kaur’s poems are so raw, readers can use them as a place to find solace and reassurance during difficult and traumatic times. Overall the message is one about personal growth, embracing life, both the good and the bad, and taking the time to reflect and be honest with oneself. Content warning: There are poems where author discusses sexual assault.

Image of two poems from home body

break your glass slippers by amanda lovelace

One of the latest installments from amanda lovelace, break your glass slippers is a poetic rendition of the classic Cinderella tale as a part of her “you are your own fairytale” series. The second installment, shine your icy crown will be released January 26th, 2021. Much of lovelace’s poetry is self reflective, focusing on the experience of women, dealing with topics of abuse, trauma, and healing. The “you are your own fairytale” series is all about being your own fairytale, taking charge of yourself and your life, realizing your full potential, and not allowing others to limit that.

Her other popular series, “women are some kind of magic” is also worth reading if you like lovelace’s style. Check out her complete list of works over on here website: https://amandalovelace.com/index.html

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Amazon.com: Long Way Down (9781481438254): Reynolds, Jason: Books
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

“From standout YA author Jason Reynolds comes this captivating novel in verse that describes the events of a single elevator ride. Will is on the elevator with a gun in his waistband, on the way to take revenge on his brother’s murderer. The elevator stops, and on each floor the ghost of someone Will has lost to gun violence steps on. Each ghost tells him a story that gives him a larger understanding of his brother’s life, and at the end Will must decide what will happen when he walks out the elevator doors.” – suggestion from Heather, Youth Services Librarian

Some final suggestions:

Looking for even more poetry?

Check out the Best Poetry picks from 2020 on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-poetry-books-2020

The New York Times poetry columnist has a list of top 2020 poetry books as well:

Read Harder Challenge 2021 – Anti-racism Books

We have created a Read Harder challenge for the 2021 year, with 24 categories to complete within 12 months. There will be blog posts with recommendations throughout the year for different categories so make sure to check back frequently!

Here is an image of the Read Harder Challenge, which you can find a printable version over on our website or pick one up in the lobby of the library.

Read Harder 2021 Challenge

To start everyone off, here are some book lists the library has on the topic of anti-racism to help you with the very first challenge on the list, “Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism”:

First category: Read a nonfiction book on anti-racism

Books for Adults

Books for Teens

Books for Children and Picture Books

Stream Queen – Festive Watches

The holiday season is here. Maybe you are really getting into the Christmas tunes on your radio, or you can’t wait for them to stop… but I believe there is likely a festive film out there for everyone! I’m going to offer some different Christmas movies (not the Hallmark kind, though Hoopla has a massive collection of holiday romance movies), with a couple winter-themed ones to enjoy throughout the month. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays, and staying warm and safe! – Meghan

Note: All films are available through Kanopy as of when this blog was posted. Click the title of each to be redirected to the Kanopy movie listing.

Black Christmas (1974)

This is one of the earliest examples of the slasher film, helping to pave the way for the genre as we know it now. Premise: It’s Christmas and the girls of the Pi Kappa Sigma sorority are being stalked by a mysterious stranger. Will they survive the night?

Pioneer Slasher: BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) - cinematic randomness
Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas

Fireplace for Your Home

Do you want to added some ambience to your home while you sip some tea or read a book? Fireplace for Your Home is for you! Listen and enjoy the crackling fire, it’s nice to have on in the background if you don’t have a fireplace of your own.

Amazon.com: Fireplace for your Home presents Crackling Fireplace: George  Ford, George Ford, Fireplace for your Home, George Ford
Fireplace for Your Home

Happy Christmas (2014)

This movie is an offbeat indie drama/comedy from Joe Swanberg. Jenny (Anna Kendrick) is an irresponsible young woman recovering from a breakup. She begins live with her brother Jeff (Joe Swanberg), his wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey), and their two year old child. Jenny and Kelly soon become friends, leading to some realizations for Kelly about the current state and direction of her life.

Movie Review: 'Happy Christmas' : NPR
Lena Dunham & Anna Kendrick in Happy Christmas

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

This Finnish film is extremely unique and bizarre, it’s a cross between sci-fi horror, with some comedic elements as well. Premise: On Christmas Eve in northern Finland, an archeological dig has unearthed Santa Claus. But this is not the jolly, ole St. Nick of songs and stories, rather something sinister. When children begin to disappear, an investigation begins into what exactly was awoken.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale movie review (2010) | Roger Ebert
Film still from Rare Exports

Snow Monkeys

This is an episode of the Nature series from PBS. Snow monkeys, or Japanese macaque, live in the Shiga Highlands of Japan, where there are frigid and long winters. This special delves into how they live and thrive in this area as well as their complex society based on rank. While it may be cold in the Shiga Highlands, there are also many hot springs these monkeys enjoy.

How to Get to the Snow Monkeys | Nature Observation | Nature | Trip Ideas |  Go! Nagano
Snow monkeys in hot spring

Tangerine (2015)

Some might not consider this a “Christmas movie” but it takes place on Christmas and so I classify it as such. All yourself to expand your holiday movie selections! Premise: Sin-dee is back from jail and she is NOT happy to hear her pimp boyfriend cheated on her while she was gone. Viewers follow sex workers Sin-dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) through the subcultures of Los Angeles as they get to the bottom of this.

Interesting facts: This whole movie was shot on a three iPhone 5S smartphones. Director Sean Baker also directed The Florida Project.

Tangerine', 'The Florida Project' Director Sean Baker on Mastering the Art  of Guerrilla, Run 'n' Gun Filmmaking
Mya Taylor & Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine

Stream Queen – Yes, God, Yes

If you are looking for something a little more light-hearted and funny for the holiday weekend, check out Yes, God, Yes starring Stranger Things actress Natalie Dyer. This film is a coming of age story of Alice, a Catholic teen during the early 2000s. There are a lot of timely subjects brought up in this less than 90 minute comedy, and I would say it has a wonderfully refreshing feminist perspective on topics such as religion and sexuality. The film explores female sexuality from an unjudgmental point of view, following Alice as she explores her developing feelings, and questions her faith and society.

This is definitely a film for adult or young adult viewers only, as it is rated R. I would not say it is extremely explicit in terms of nudity, but overall subject matter is likely best for older audiences.

Yes, God, Yes can be found streaming on Kanopy.

Gratitude & Self-Care Book Suggestions

I think we can all agree that this year has been a little out of the ordinary. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and while many of our usual plans may be disrupted, it is still the perfect time to reflect on what we are thankful for and on our personal accomplishments from the past year. I’d like to give some suggestions of books which focus on gratitude, mindfulness, self-care, and slowing down – things I think are really important as this holiday season kicks off. This year has been rough for everyone and taking time to reflect on positive aspects and take care of ourselves is exceedingly important. When I think of self care, I think both of this as both mentally and physically, so I’ve found some books on meditation, cookbooks focusing on healthy and wholesome recipes, and books that make you slow down to think about your surroundings, incorporate mindfulness into your daily living, and help reduce stress. I hope that others can find the same joy as I did from some of these books. Stay well, everyone! – Meghan

Note: Click on the link of the book title and you will be brought to the catalog listing in the CWMars catalog.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

This is a book I read during the shutdown early in the year and it felt so immensely relevant then, and still resonates with me now and I have suggested it to so many people. It’s a memoir by Elisabeth Tova Bailey in which she details a time in her life where she was bedridden and suffering from an illness. Much of her entertainment comes from a single land snail which lives in a terrarium next to her. Throughout the book she watches the snail, observes its behavior, and learns from it. As the title suggests, through this endeavor she discovers the comforting sound of the wild snail eating, an observation most would be unable to notice or care to were it not for such a circumstance. The story is one of resilience and the beauty of nature, I found it to be quite inspiring during such a hectic and unusual year. This book is also available on Hoopla as an ebook.

Myth & Moor: On illness, 3: Wild Snails, Shadows, and Grown-Upness 101
Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way by  Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

Ichigo ichie is a Japanese phrase which translates roughly to “once, a meeting” or “in this moment, an opportunity.” The concept boils down to that every moment is unique and cannot repeat in the same manner again. This book delves into the Japanese cultural concept of ichigo ichie and how it relates to mindfulness. Ichigo ichie teaches you how to be present in the moment, and this book is a great introduction to help incorporate it into your daily living.

The Book of Ichigo Ichie by Héctor García, Francesc Miralles: 9780143134497  | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books in 2020 | Ichigo ichie, Japanese tea  ceremony, Finding happiness
Héctor García and Francesc Miralles’ The Book of Ichigo Ichie

How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh

This year may be the perfect time for any of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, but this one in particular as it is pocket sized and easy to digest. For those who are unfamiliar, Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, and has many writings on mindfulness and meditation. This one in specifically is very accessible and simplistic, with beautiful illustrations throughout. If you are interested in mindfulness, this is a great introduction. I am also currently reading another one of his books if you find his writings speak to you: Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm which is available through the catalog but also is available in ebook and audiobook format on Hoopla.

12 Simple Tips to Manage Stress (or 'How to Relax' by Thich Nhat Hanh)
Thich Nhat Hanh’s How to Relax

Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt

This cookbook focuses on flexibility in the kitchen, balanced eating, and finding the recipes that work for you and your lifestyle. Many of the recipes are easily adaptable based on the ingredients you have available. Looking for toast? They’ve got lots of fun ideas on what you can add to make it both healthy and tasty. A majority of the recipes are pretty simple and include accessible ingredients, but also manages to think outside of the box on what healthy eating can look like. There are recipes for all the meals of the days, all types of meats, vegetarian options, soups, and snacks. And of course, there are dessert recipes, many of which use alternative, more wholesome ingredients, so you can have your cake and eat it too! (There actually is not a cake recipe, but there are some delicious looking cookies and bars). This cookbook is also available in ebook format through Hoopla.

Healthyish" Cookbook | Crate and Barrel
Lindsay Maitland Hunt’s Healthyish

Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life by Brooke McAlary

This book is all about creating rituals focusing on mindfulness and slowing down your life. It walks you through how to achieve this step by step, with a lot of journaling exercises within the chapters to help you center yourself, clear your mind, and apply what you are reading about. There are also a lot of great quotes dispersed throughout focusing on happiness and mindfulness. The structure of the book is great as it does not overwhelm the reader with information. Since it is focused on simplicity in life, it really takes that to heart and is simple in its style and instructions. This book is also available as an ebook through Hoopla.

Brooke McAlary’s Destination Simple

Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should but Don’t by Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz

A great meditation book for beginners, it walks you step by step through of what to do, as well as answering the hows and whys to make time for yourself to just sit. The book is also really fun with cartoon illustrations and suggestions on how to customize a meditation or sitting time for your life and schedule. The book discusses all of the benefits to putting aside this time for yourself, like the mental benefits such as helping to relieve anxiety and the physical benefits of reducing stress in your life. This book can also be downloaded as an ebook through Hoopla, with no waiting time!

Sukey & Elizabeth Novogratz’s Just Sit

The Self-Care Cookbook: Easy Healing Plant-Based Recipes by Gemma Ogston

Not only is this book adorable to look at, but it contains some extremely nutritious recipes ranging from quick and simple to more complex. Dispersed throughout the book are mindfulness tips and exercises. The book is broken up into sections: restore, rebalance, reflect, renew, and TLC (tender love and care) with recipes, thoughtful exercises, and tips to go along with each theme. Even though some of the recipes and ideas are quick and easy, part of the charm of this cookbook is how it challenges you to slow down and think about what you are eating and how you are thinking about what you eat. Plus, many of the ideas can easily be altered to fit your lifestyle, such as ideas for overnight oats which you can easily make substitutions but get nice ideas from the book. I personally tried one of the recipes so far – creamy sweet potato soup – and it is delicious! Note: remember to peel your sweet potatoes!

The Self-Care Cookbook by Gemma Ogston - The Herbivore Clothing Co. - The  Herbivore Clothing Company
Gemma Ogston’s The Self-Care Cookbook

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks

This little book packs in so much. It is a collection of essays written by Oliver Sacks during the final two years of his life. The writings all reflect Sacks thoughts on aging, illness, and death. I wouldn’t say this book is a downer though, in many ways it is uplifting. His writings are very lyrical, simple yet beautiful, and revolve around the gratitude he feels about the life he has enjoyed for so many years.

Oliver Sacks on Gratitude – The Imperfectionist
Oliver Sacks’ Gratitude

The Little Book of Hygge : Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

Hygge (pronounced Hoo-Gah) is the Danish and Norwegian word for “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” (definition from Oxford Languages). This book gives an overview of hygge and that it is possible for anyone to achieve. It includes ideas on how create a cozy atmosphere, recipes for comfort food, keeping the comfort through seasonal changes, and tips on how to be present in the moment. Alongside all this information are some very simple yet charming illustrations, perfectly fitting for the subject matter. This is a great book to read curled up with a blanket on the couch with a hot beverage (and if possible, a fireplace going!).

Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living" by Meik Wiking – To  The Nines Manitowish Waters
Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge

Nourish Soups: Hearty Soups with a Healthy Twist by Rebecca Woods

It is the perfect time of year for soups, and I absolutely LOVE soup! This cookbook is full of fun and colorful soup recipes, with sections based on your mood: light & refreshing, hearty & welcoming, and creamy & comforting. If you are a soup fan, this is a definite must read as it has so many unique recipes to try with any kind of vegetable and spices you can think of. There are vegan and vegetarian options throughout as well. The spiced roasted pumpkin with goat’s cheese and maple seed brittle caught my eye and I hope to try it this winter!

Nourish Soups: Hearty Soups With A Healthy Twist | Anthropologie UK
Rebecca Woods’ Nourish Soups

October Seasonal Reads

The month of October brings a lot of changes in nature, the weather is starting to get colder, the days darker, the leaves are fully changing and falling. October also is the month of Halloween, so there are lots of ghostly activities and celebrations going on. For me, who loves autumn, this season just makes me want to light a candle, make a cup of tea, and curl up with a good book. For October, it might be your thing to grab a horror book to scare yourself or maybe you want a more fantasy based book to sweep you into its magical world. There are plenty of books involving magic, witches, or ghosts which aren’t scary, we’re here to provide some suggestions to chose from depending on what you are looking for this season! – Meghan

*click the link for each book title to be connected to the CWMars catalog entry for each book

Adults

 The Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman

Suggestion from Yoshio, Senior Library Assistant

“It may be tough to find canning supplies currently, since now is both the preferred season for it and a time when homebound people are learning new skills.  Still, the recipes in this book are easy to follow and surprisingly varied, ranging from staples like cucumber relish and hot sauce to pickled pineapple with star anise and mincemeat with suet.”

The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles,  Relishes, Chutneys & More: Chesman, Andrea: 9781603425629: Amazon.com: Books
cover photo of The Pickled Pantry

The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow

With a setting like New Salem during the women’s suffrage movement and involving witchcraft, this book is perfect for the season. The story is about three sisters, reunited through circumstances only witching can be responsible for. This book has strong feminist themes and is all about the empowerment of women, as the characters search for not only the power to vote, but power in their own magic.

Amazon.com: The Once and Future Witches (9780316422048): Harrow, Alix E.:  Books
cover photo for The Once and Future Witches

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

This is a good one for paranormal horror fans. Abby and Gretchen have been best friend’s since fifth grade, but once high school comes Gretchen begins to act strange. Abby comes to the awful realization that her friend must be possessed by a demon. Now she must figure out how to save her best friend. This book really goes all out with its 1980s setting and even has a Spotify playlist to go along with the book. The cover design perfectly shows off the type of vibe this book has, and if you are one for 80s culture and creepy stories this is the perfect book for you!

Amazon.com: My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel (9781594749766): Hendrix,  Grady: Books
cover photo for My Best Friend’s Exorcism

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Suggestion from Heather, Youth Services Librarian

“This beautiful and atmospheric novel is the story of a fantastical circus that serves as the game board for an ancient competition. Anyone who’s looking for some escapist reading should pick this one up and get sucked into the autumnal perfection of the circus. There’s a wonderful story about star-crossed lovers, but the real power of this book is in the lush descriptions and beautiful writing.”

The Night Circus: Morgenstern, Erin: 8601401288732: Amazon.com: Books
cover photo for The Night Circus

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Suggestion from Peishan, Library Director

“It’s a great read for this time of the year because it is atmospheric, poetic, and little melancholy, perfect to settle in with by the window with a cup of tea. It is about a woman’s determination to live and love, and to leave an imprint in the world. It’s a beautiful read.”

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue - Kindle edition by Schwab, V. E..  Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
cover photo for The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

YA

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Suggestion from Heather, Youth Services Librarian

“An eerie classic that never fails to disappoint. Jim and Will are neighbors and best friends who face off against the malevolent Mr. Dark and his colleagues at Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show. This travelling carnival comes to town right before Halloween, and the boys seem to be the only people who can stop Mr. Dark from enslaving townspeople with their darkest desires. Written by an author who truly remembered what it was like to be 13, teeming with shocks and scares, and topped off by a palpably loved library, it’s no secret why this is one of my October favorites!”

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Bradbury, Ray: 8601400271759: Amazon.com:  Books
cover photo for Something Wicked This Way Comes

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Another book involving witches, this one taking place in current day Salem. A combination of mystery, suspense, and romance, the main character, and witch, Hannah, must uncover who is spreading dark magic over Salem before she loses everything she loves.

These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
cover photo for These Witches Don’t Burn

Kids

She Wanted to Be Haunted by Marcus Ewert

Clarissa the cottage wants nothing more to be a haunted house just like her mom and dad. She tries all sorts of tricks in this fun, rhyming story, but in the end learns how to be her very best self. This story and the illustrations are very cute and great for the Halloween season.

She Wanted to Be Haunted - Kindle edition by Ewert, Marcus, Ghahremani,  Susie. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
cover photo for She Wanted to Be Haunted

A World Full of Spooky Stories by Angela McAllister

An anthology filled with traditional fairy tales from all over the world. Features stories from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, UK, Canada, France, China, Ireland, Syria, Korea, Sweden, Egypt, Iceland, New Zealand, Arabia, Spain, Tibet, Iran, and Greece. The illustrations are beautiful, and while some of the stories are eerie, there are 50 short stories to choose from for your kiddos.

cover photo for A World Full of Spooky Stories

Stream Queen – Spine-Chilling Movie Time

It’s that time of the year, though for myself as the Stream Queen it is always the time for horror! Hence why my name is a play on the term Scream Queen! I’m going to try to give a selection of movies to choose from for the Halloween season available through Kanopy or Hoopla, depending on what type of eerie you are looking for. Horror is not an all encompassing term, there is such a plethora of subgenres I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a horror sub-genre out there for everyone. Listed here you will find comedies, classics, giallo, paranormal, sci-fi, slashers, and vampires!

Comedy

Horror comedies are an interesting sub-genre. While they have horror elements they also poke fun at horror tropes rather than attempting to truly scare viewers.

Satanic Panic

This movie asks: What happens when you attempt a pizza delivery to a satanic cult? Available on Hoopla.

Satanic Panic (2019) - IMDb
Poster for Satanic Panic

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Definitely a goofy comedy, a pair of men get mistaken for hillbilly psychos and the misunderstanding continues to grow. Available on Kanopy.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) - IMDb
Poster for Tucker & Dale vs Evil

What We Do In The Shadows

Follow along with the lives of a few vampires in this found footage type mockumentary. The movie brought about the creation of the tv series now on FX. Movie available on Kanopy.

Amazon.com: newhorizon What We Do in The Shadows Movie Poster 17'' x 25''  NOT A DVD: Posters & Prints
Poster for What We Do In The Shadows

Classics

Classics are well… classics!

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

A German Expressionist silent horror film, an insane hypnotist uses a sleepwalker to commit murders. The set design is bizarre and unrealistic, with wacky angles and lighting, adding to the unease of the film. Directors like Tim Burton have been heavily influenced by German Expressionism, so see what started it all! Available on Kanopy.

File:Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
Poster for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

House on Haunted Hill

A rich man invites five guests to stay at a creepy, potentially haunted, mansion. Survive a night and you win $10,000 each. What could go wrong? Available on Kanopy.

House on Haunted Hill - Wikipedia
Poster for The House on Haunted Hill

Nosferatu

The original vampire movie, Nosferatu (1922) was inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Another example of German Expressionism like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the contrast in lighting, sharp angles, and skewed shadows create a chilling environment in this classic. Its creepiness still holds as an almost 100 year old silent film. Available on Kanopy.

Nosferatu (1922) - IMDb
Poster for F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu

Giallo

The term giallo is specifically used by English speaking, non-Italian viewers to describe Italian horror-thriller genre films.

The Black Cat

Loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe tale of the same name, Lucio Fulci brings a gruesome tale of a professor with psychic abilities who uses his cat to enact vengeance. Available on Kanopy.

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Poster for The Black Cat

Suspiria

This is one of my favorite films of all time! The story centers around Suzy, who is attending ballet school in Germany. As tragedies keep befalling the school and those connected to it, Suzy begins to uncover the school’s secret past. This film had an American remake from 2018 starring Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. Available on Kanopy.

Suspiria (1977) - IMDb
Poster for Suspiria

Paranormal

Stories consisting of ghosts, possessions, demons, hauntings, and other supernatural elements fall under this category.

The House of the Devil

This is actually one of my favorite horror movies. It is definitely a slow-burn kind of horror, but prepare yourself for an intense and horrifying third act. The basic premise: A young woman takes a mysterious babysitting position, only to find out it wasn’t as she expected. Available on Hoopla.

Amazon.com: Movie Posters The House of The Devil - 27 x 40: Lithographic  Prints: Posters & Prints
Poster for The House of the Devil

The Innkeepers

Two inn employees at a hotel in New England start to investigate the paranormal disturbances in the building, and they may have awoken something. Available on Hoopla.

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Poster for The Innkeepers

Oculus

The story is separated into two narratives about a brother and sister, the present time and 11 years prior. It centers around a mysterious mirror which may be responsible for horrible tragedies that befall on their family. Available on Kanopy.

Amazon.com: Oculus (2014) 11 x 17 Movie Poster - Style B: Posters & Prints
Poster for Oculus

Sci-Fi

Science fiction horror involves sci-fi elements such as futuristic settings, aliens, scientific discovery, and usually something gone wrong to create some very alarming stories. An ultimate example is Alien (1979).

Under the Skin

A mysterious woman travels around Scotland seducing men, does she have ulterior motives? Available on Kanopy.

Under the Skin | Best movie posters, Under the skin movie, Good movies
Poster for Under the Skin

The Void

A group of people are trapped in a hospital with a group of cultists and monstrous creatures. One of those movies you have to watch without knowing much. Available on Hoopla.

The Void (2016) - IMDb
Poster for The Void

Slasher

One of my personal favorite horror sub-genres, someone is stalking or chasing other characters and picking them off one by one.

Halloween

The classic slasher film and also one of my all time favorites, the original Halloween (1978). Watch the original story, maybe on Halloween! Available on Hoopla.

Amazon.com: Buyartforless John Carpenters Halloween (1978) 36x24 Classic Horror  Movie Art Print Poster The Night He Came Home!: Posters & Prints
Poster for Halloween

The House on Sorority Row

A prank at a Sorority house goes terribly wrong, and now someone is picking off the other members. Available on Hoopla.

The House on Sorority Row - Wikipedia
Poster for The House on Sorority Row

Vampire

Vampires have always been a fascinating supernatural creature and enticed readers and viewers for generations. They’re mysterious, seductive, and blood thirsty. These movies are not your Twilight kind of vampires!

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Feminist vampire! This is an Iranian film about a young female vampire who preys on men who disrespect women. Available on Kanopy.

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Poster for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Let the Right One In

A Swedish film revolving around Oskar, a young boy who befriends his new neighbor. As the friendship grows, Oskar finds out more about his mysterious friend and a big, dark secret. This film has an American remake from 2010 (which I have not seen so I cannot speak to it, but I’ve heard this one is significantly better!). Available on Kanopy.

Let the Right One In (2008) - IMDb
Poster for Let The Right One In

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg over the weekend. RBG was a massively successful and influential figure, serving as the second female justice and first Jewish woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. She advocated for gender equality and woman’s rights throughout her years of service, and is extremely well known for fighting against gender discrimination.

To celebrate her life and achievements, here are some materials that Sargent Memorial Library has for you to check out about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For Adults

Notorious RBG: the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Biography written by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik.

Conversations with RBG : Ruth Bader Ginsburg on life, love, liberty, and law

Written by Jeffrey Rosen, informal conversations covering topics from the 1990s until before publishing (2019).

The RBG Workout

Written by Bryant Johnson (personal trainer. Bader Ginsberg was also known for being active and fit, this book is a guide to her workout routines.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

Biography by Jane Sherron De Hart 15 years in the making, covering Bader Ginsberg’s life based on interviews with her as well as her family and friends.

My Own Words

Written by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her biographers Mary Harnett and Wendy W. Williams. A collection of her speeches and writings dating back to the eighth grade.

For Kids

I dissent : Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark

Biography by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg : the case of R.B.G. vs. inequality

Biography by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Stacey Innerst.

No truth without Ruth : the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Biography by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Nancy Zhang.

Who is Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

From the Who is—? series.

Movies

RBG

Documentary film exploring Bader Ginsburg’s life and career. Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West.

On the Basis of Sex

Biographical legal drama film based on the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, her life and early cases, specifically focusing on her work against discrimination on the basis of sex.

Genre Author Suggestions – Cozy Mysteries, Historical Fiction, & Romance

Do you find yourself in love with a certain genre but not sure what authors to look for? Sometimes it can be overwhelming when there are so many books and so little time! We’ve pulled together some authors who write (mostly) within a specific genre to help you narrow your search.

Here at Sargent Memorial Library we strive to provide diverse perspectives and promote newer or lesser known authors for patrons to check out, rather than the first options which pop up on Google. Adding a few pictures of books to look into to get you started, but some of these authors have a lot of options to choose from!

Each authors name listed is a link that will bring you directly to a search on the CWMars Catalog for that author.

Like cozy mysteries?

M.C. Beaton

Vivien Chien

Noodle Shop Mystery series

Laura Childs

Abby Collette

Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series

Amanda Flower

Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen Mystery series

Ovidia Yu

Alexander McCall Smith

Spencer Quinn

Chet & Bernie Mystery series

Like historical fiction?

Isabel Allende

Carolina de Robertis

Louise Erdrich

Ken Follett

Yaa Gyasi

Justina Ireland

Lydia Kang

Ariel Lawhon

Hilary Mantel

Colson Whitehead

Like romance?

Tessa Bailey

Alyssa Cole

Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola (2020)

Sonali Dev

Talia Hibbert

Helen Hoang

Uzma Jalaluddin

Ayesha at Last (2018)

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Mhairi McFarlane

Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue (2019)

Courtney Milan

Beth O’Leary

Josie Silver

Mia Sosa

New Horror Books 2020

Are you looking for a new horror book to sink your teeth into (or have its teeth sink into you)? Our Information Services Librarian, Meghan, loves all things horror and has been quickly devouring some new titles. Hope you find something to catch your interest and spook your soul.

The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson

The Boatman’s Daughter book cover

Taking place in the deep South, the bayous of Arkansas, this book follows the story of a young woman scraping through life by working mad preacher. Ever since her father’s death when she was child, she was pushed into this life in order to protect an old witch and a secret child. The book combines supernatural and folklore elements with modern, real life horrors – murder and greed. I was surprised it was not as overtly supernatural as I had expected it to be. The story revolves much more around character development, the characters’ pasts and present. The chapters rotate through different character perspectives, and it is done in a way that does not disrupt the narrative but adds so much more to the story. The folklore elements at times are disturbing to the characters, but not in a way that this seems too much out of their norm. Although not fully explored, I think the world within the story is one where these folklore elements are frequent so they doesn’t surprise the characters as much as someone being introduced to them for the first time. I would classify The Boatman’s Daughter as a dark fairy tale, so if you are interested in horror fantasy this is for you!

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires book cover

While the book cover is extremely eye catching, that title always gets me tongue tied. When I first heard about this book earlier in the year I was so excited. As an avid fan of True Blood and Charlaine Harris’ The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, the mystery series upon which the television show was based, anything involving vampires has me hooked (except The Twilight series). The book did not disappoint, it was full of mystery and intrigue. The main character, Patricia, is convinced something evil is amiss in her suburban neighborhood, but no one believes her. The book is filled with subtext surrounding sexism, racism, and wealth inequity – adding to not only a supernatural horror Patricia is facing but also issues which are all too real and seemingly unavoidable within her environment. Pick up The Southern Book Club’s Guide if you are looking for a horror that will keep you on your toes and guessing at what’s to come next.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians book cover

This has been one of the most anticipated horror books of 2020 and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I realized very quickly it is not my usual style and took me longer to read than I had expected. It is beautifully told in Jones’ very literary writing style, albeit a horrifying tale of revenge. What I most appreciated about this book was how it integrated a lot of Native American culture and storytelling into a contemporary setting. Throughout the novel all of the characters in one way or another reflect upon their Native American heritage and how it has shaped them and influenced their lives. This book is definitely not light reading, both in structure and content, but I would suggest it for something different as I found it very unique within the horror genre.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic book cover

I could not put this book down! It was so atmospheric and creepy, I really felt like I was living in the decaying, old mansion and the fog surrounding it was pulling me in more. If you are a fan of Gothic horror this is a must read. The story takes place in 1950s Mexico and centers around Noemí Taboada, a strong willed, young socialite from Mexico City. This felt like a nice shift from classic Gothic horrors which usually take place in Europe and center primarily around white characters. Noemí must leave the comforts of her city life to check on her unwell cousin at the mansion High Place in the Mexican countryside. Little does she know that she is stepping into a world of dark secrets, which will soon envelop her and she will find herself fighting for her life. Aside from the vivid visual descriptions throughout the book, there is an overwhelming sense of dread and uncertainty which comes from Moreno-Garcia’s writing. Throughout I felt fully engaged with the environment she created, and even had dreams (nightmares?) where I was within this world. Not only is the environment unsettling, but so are the cast of characters living within High Place that the protagonist is introduced to. Mexican Gothic incorporates many feminist elements, creating a compelling heroine to this deeply disturbing story.

Final Note from Meghan

Out of these four new books my favorite has been Mexican Gothic. It’s still been lingering in my mind for weeks and one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. It led me to read the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman from 1892, which I’ve read was inspiration for Mexican Gothic. I will defintely be looking for more books by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, as well as Gothic horror stories.

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