Ferndale Library Picks: Jeff’s Picks, Lately
(Jeff Milo, FPL Circulation Specialist)
People tell me, “If I worked in a library, I’d probably want to bring home ALL the books…”
What I’m sharing with you, here, is just the latest six-pack that’s piled up on my night stand. I usually try not to pass a self-imposed threshold of seven books at a time. It’s hard to resist, as you can imagine, trying this book and then…trying THAT book or THAT BOOK! Oh, and I often start Book A regardless of whether I’m finished with Book B…or even Book F or G!
But that impulsive nature only enriches my literary perspective; this traveler of texts can tell you about the scientific complexities of the human brain (non-fiction section) as well as the sumptuous poetic descriptions of human heart (fiction section). It’s all good.
Jeff’s Picks, lately:
The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
A devastatingly thought-provoking travelogue of cities around the world as viewed from the perch of a humble ten-speed, written by The Talking Heads’ David Byrne.
“Living “in” a story, being part of a narrative, is much more satisfying than living without one. I don’t always know what narrative it is, because I’m living my life and not always reflecting on it, but as I edit these pages I am aware that I have an urge to see my sometimes random wandering as having a plot, a purpose guided by some underlying story. ”
― David Byrne, Bicycle Diaries
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
It’s the end of the world…as we know it…thanks to a pandemic wiping out nearly the entire world’s population.
But, at least there’s still a Traveling Symphony of Shakespearian actors and musicians, grasping and preserving bits of our culture along their routes through the desolate and unfriendly territories of the formerly friendly Great Lakes, by means of faded gossip columns and talisman-like paper-weights.
“I’ve been thinking lately about immortality. What it means to be remembered, what I want to be remembered for, certain questions concerning memory and fame. I love watching old movies. I watch the faces of long-dead actors on the screen, and I think about how they’ll never truly die. Not just the famous ones who everyone knows, the Clark Gables, the Ava Gardners, but the bit players, the maid carrying the tray, the butler, the cowboys in the bar, the third girl from the left in the nightclub. They’re all immortal to me. First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”
― Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac
A fever-dream of stumbling descriptions and rambled confessionals suturing you into the San Francisco underground, with two loved-wrong youths at the center of it all.
“ah, you always go for the ones who don’t really want you”
― Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans
Saga v.3 by Brian K. Vaughan
The action-packed, space-flung, future-set memoirs of a young alien girl born out of an unimaginably foreboding wedlock that will rile up the lethal, war-mongering belligerence of two separate species in constant conflict. Reads like a movie, can’t put it down, sumptuous use of color and effervescent characters and dialogue.
“All good children’s stories are the same: young creature breaks rules, has incredible adventure, then returns home with the knowledge that aforementioned rules are there for a reason…Of course, the actual message to the careful reader is: break rules as often as you can, because who the hell doesn’t want to have an adventure?”
― Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Volume 3
Neuromancer by William Gibson
You wouldn’t have The Matrix without this book. You wouldn’t talk about Internet culture, the digital revolution or the Cloud the same way, without this book. THIS book details an actualized digital underground, rife with a range of network gaming ne’er-do-wells.
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
― William Gibson, Neuromancer
Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 80’s by Lori Majewski
What is New Wave? Truly? Find out here: Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS are among the many bands who share their perspective of that mousse-mussed, glitter-splashed, neon-dashed, synth-heavy era of the early 80’s…a new breed of dance-pop that would leave a lasting influence on music.
“We arrived and we thought, ‘This is our time. This is our generation. We have a responsibility.’ ”
— Gary J. Kemp, Spandau Ballet
For previous Ferndale Library Picks see…
Ferndale Library Picks: Jeff’s Picks, Lately