Can You Ever Have Enough Houseplants?

I currently have one goal:

Crazy Plant Lady by Isabel Serna

I have always liked plants. I got my green thumb from my mom. Some of my plants are from her collection and I take such comfort in being able nurture these keepsakes. My mom never reached crazy plant lady status. I, however, have accepted the challenge. Here are a couple of my favorites. The top right is a new baby I started from my mom’s plant (I also have momma) and bottom right is also from my mother’s house. She bought it over 30 years ago to cover a hole in her dining room floor! I’ve started a couple of babies from her as well. I love buying plants. I love receiving plants as gifts. And I really love the thrill of propagating my plants.

A big part of my plant hoarding lifestyle includes books. Oh, how I LOVE a gorgeous plant book and RRPL keeps me in books.

Wild At Home by Hilton Carter
Plant Parenting by Leslie F Halleck
House Jungle by Annie Dornan-Smith

Don’t have a green thumb? We have a book for that!

Handmade Houseplants by Corrie Beth Hogg

My next plant purchases are going to be large floor plants and I think I need to start browsing our home improvement books for some shelving ideas. I am out of surfaces for potted plants!

If you are more of an outdoor gardener we have seeds for you! We are so excited to have our own Seed Library, courtesy of the Cleveland Seed Bank. To learn more about the seed bank and get your free seeds, check out our page on the RRPL website. I have my eye on some milkweed seeds!

~Megan

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

In this week’s special picks there are new exciting romance, mystery, fantasy, and many more genres for you to choose from! Enjoy!

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards – A celebrated singer in World War II occupied France joins the Resistance to save her estranged family from being killed in a German prison. By the award-winning author of The Fifth Doctrine. A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – Twenty-five years after her father published a wildly popular non-fiction book based on her family’s rushed exit from a haunted Victorian estate, naysayer Maggie inherits the house and begins renovations only to make a number of disturbing discoveries. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound and dangerous secrets hidden within its walls?

Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams – The beloved author returns with a remarkable novel of both raw suspense and lyric beauty – Investigating the fate of a forgotten aviation pioneer, a 1947 war correspondent tracks down the pilot’s former student before learning the remarkable story of their complicated and passionate relationship. By the best-selling author of The Golden Hour.

All the Broken People by Leah Konen – Moving to rustic Woodstock to escape an unhappy past, Lucy bonds with an alluring couple, Vera and John, who embroil her in a plot to fake John’s death, before Lucy finds herself framed for the man’s actual murder. She bargained for in this twisty and addictive domestic thriller for fans of The Couple Next Door.

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris – Organizing a lavish birthday party after decades of hardship, a woman hiding a secret about a daughter who cannot attend is forced to confront a devastating truth when her husband arranges a surprise. NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back.

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean – New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with the much-anticipated final book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, featuring a scoundrel duke and the powerful woman who brings him to his knees.

Holding Out for Christmas by Janet Dailey – A demure kindergarten teacher with dreams of Nashville stardom makes a difficult choice when she reunites with a smitten and wildly attractive rancher during an annual western-themed Christmas ball that launches a holiday season of romance and promise.

Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay – It’s no-holds-barred murder. Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams but it’s not all roses for Briar Creek’s beloved library director, as town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term “book lover” a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey’s house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey’s fiancé, Sully, on edge.

The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty – In this final installment in the critically acclaimed trilogy, Nahri and Ali are determined to save both their city and their loved ones, but when Ali seeks support in his mother’s homeland, he makes a discovery that threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

The Chicken Sisters by K. J. Dell’Antonia – Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster. The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, helping the fading Mimi’s look good on Food Wars becomes Mae’s best chance to reclaim the limelight. When family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

One Last Lie by Paul Doiron – When his beloved mentor disappears amid the discovery of an antique badge,Mike Bowditch investigates the presumed death of an undercover warden before the cold case is upended by dangerous secrets and a daughter’s return.

Firestick by William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone – In this exciting new series, bestselling authors pay homage to America’s trail – hardened backwoodsmen who, like a fine grain whisky, only get better with age. Firestick is the town marshal. Beartooth and Moosejaw are his deputies. And when a hired gunman shows up with bullets blazing, these three hard-cases are ready to prove they aren’t getting older.

Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day – While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery; but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .

Selfcare by Leigh Stein – Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.

~Semanur

Imagine Your Story – Twins, Two Ways

Wow! I just yesterday finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and it has been taking up much of my brain space over the last 24 hours. If you haven’t heard of this brand new, of-the-moment novel yet, listen up. The story is set from the 1950s through the 1990s and begins in Mallard, Louisiana, a town whose population is composed mostly of light-skinned African-American people whose founder believed the lighter they are, the better they are. There, readers meet twins Stella and Desiree Vignes, descendants of their town’s founder, who run away when they are sixteen. The two separate when Stella decides to embark upon a life passing as a white woman – a secret she intends to keep from everyone, including her white husband and daughter. Following the trajectory of these sisters’ vastly different lives had me on the edge of my seat and I literally couldn’t put down this book. Not only is it thought-provoking and timely, it is also an exceptionally well-written look at relationships between mothers and daughters and the men they love that had my heart aching. Read this one. I know your book club will.

If you want to totally twin-out, I have one more twin-focused read. This one is a bit lighter but still tugs at the heart-strings. The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine is the perfect novel for word nerds. It tells the stories of Daphne and Laurel Wolfe, red-haired twins who begin speaking their own private languages as toddlers and are obsessed with words and grammar ever since. Unfortunately, they are equally obsessed with an old dictionary that their late father gave them, something that drives a wedge between them. Watch these wicked-smart girls become adults, figure out their careers and raise families, drifting apart even as they can never lose that twin connection.

And, yes, these are very different reads. I guess, maybe, just like twins can be.                     ~Carol (not a twin)

Imagine Your Story -Book vs Movie

How often have you had the discussion about which was better -the book or the movie? All the time, right? And how often do you pick the movie over the book? Not as often as you pick the book, right? Well, I’ve got a win/win for you this week! You can read the book *and* watch the movie, in any order, and walk away thinking, “that was great!” Are you curious yet?

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson blends his personal experiences and life journey with his drive to create social justice and encourage us all to get involved. I read this book when it first came out, and have enjoyed it as an audio book as well, and I think part of what makes Mr. Stevenson’s book so special is how a reader can emotionally connect to experiences, feeling his pain and his joy, while breaking down those systemic issues surrounding the inequality of our justice system. Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative leading force in the creation of the Legacy Museum as well as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Mr. Stevenson is changing our World for the better!

“But what about Just Mercy as a movie?” you ask. This movie focused in on how Mr. Stevenson became Mr. Walter McMillian’s lawyer over other experiences in the book. Sometimes it’s that trimming that can leave a reader feeling like something was missing, but I would be surprised to hear that after you watch this film. Instead, I’d guess you might also think of this as an additional chapter to the book?

I hope you read *and* watch Just Mercy, and then -please, let me know what you think!

Take care
—Stacey

Virtual Book Club – Difficult Topics – Immigration

Welcome back to the virtual book club on difficult topics – we hope that these resources have helped spark conversations and new ideas for all of you! This week, we’re looking at another facet in the social justice sphere – immigration. Specifically, that of undocumented immigrants and people of color.  

As always, we’ve got a list of books to start your reading journey, local organizations that could use your support, and more reading to further the conversation. Click on any of the book covers below to be taken to Hoopla, one of our emedia sites. Just log in with your library card number and PIN, and you’re ready to go! 

Books to start the conversation: 

Local Organizations to Support: 

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Hope Center for Refugees and Immigrants

Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland  

The Refugee Response 

Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland – Migration and Refugee Services

US Citizenship Privilege Checklist: 

  1. Most if not all of the time I am able to surround myself with people who share a common or collective history, who understand the norms of U.S. society, who speak the same language that I do, and who understand my culture.  
  2. I can see my nation as “default” – it is normal, everybody else is “different”.  
  3. I can view my cultural norms as universal.  
  4. I do not know what is like to have war in my homeland.  
  5. I expect people in other countries to speak my language when I travel abroad.  
  6. I can assume everybody knows, or should know, my culture (for example, “American Idol” contestants).  
  7. I can assume no one else has any of the technological advantages I have (for example, assuming others do not know how to use a computer or oven).  
  8. I can easily ignore the fact that most news stories are told from the USAmerican or Western point of view and are not a universal truth.  
  9. I assume everybody wants to live in the United States, since I have been trained to believe is the best place to live (even without universal health care).  
  10. I see people from other countries as inferior to me, even if they are highly educated and successful. 

The list continues here, in the Examples of US Citizenship Privilege document from the University of Michigan. 

For further reading, check out this summary of key findings on immigrants from the Pew Research Center, a teaching guide on refugees from the UN Refugee Agency, and a lesson plan on asylum seekers from the Advocates of Human Rights

Check back next Sunday for more of the virtual book club!

What We’re Reading Now…

magic

Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey

An introspective murder mystery set at a school for magic, where non-magical private investigator Ivy must find the killer while trying to ignore years of built-up resentment for her magical prodigy of a sister. Shannon

 

 

 

strange

 

Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural by Peter Bebergal

I chose this book from a recommendation of a podcast I listen to and it did not disappoint. An exploration of how technology has historically been used to explore and interact with the supernatural, this book covers a wide range of time periods and topics. The author’s addition of a personal narrative of his own efforts to make and use the discussed technology helps to structure the text. The author is thorough in his research and presents the information in a clear and concise tone. Recommended for readers who enjoyed Real Magic by Dean RadinOccult American by Mitch Horowitz, or Netflix’s new show Midnight Gospel.  Greg

rodham

 

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld’s Rodham is the Hillary Clinton fan fiction you didn’t know you wanted.  Hillary and Bill meet at Yale law school and share a strong intellectual, emotional, and physical connection.  Well, we know that story of what happened, but Sittenfeld chooses her own adventure in Rodham.  Hillary decides against marrying Bill, instead going on to blaze a different trail. Beth

 

good

 

Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America by Kyle Swenson

In Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America journalist Kyle Swenson weaves the personal stories of three young men who were sentenced to grow up in prison with detailed accounts of corruption and injustice that plagued the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland police department. Swenson’s narrative is a scathing indictment of systematic discrimination that continues to this day.

On May 19, 1975, Harry Franks, a white salesman, was robbed, assaulted, and murdered in broad daylight in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Three black youth were sentenced and spent a combined 106 years in prison for the crime. The murderer was never caught. The entirety of the prosecution’s case against Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu, and Ricky Jackson was based on the eye-witness testimony of 12-year old Ed Vernon. Nearly 40 years later Vernon recanted his story, revealing that the police used fear and coercion to convince him to tell the story they wanted him to tell. Megan

 

american

 

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Marie, a Black woman, languishes in the New York FBI counterintelligence offices during the height of the Cold War.  Grieving her sister’s mysterious death and frustrated that she  continuously overlooked for high profile assignments, Marie lets herself be recruited when a CIA agent approaches her to infiltrate the entourage of Thomas Sankara, the visiting Burkina Faso president.  John le Carré styled spy fiction that combines intrigue and examines issues of family, loyalty, what it is to be a good American. Trent

 

mrs

 

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

This is a story of two sisters’ lives, beginning in their childhood in the 1950’s to present day.  The story begins in Detroit, with Jo and Bethie Kaufman, two sisters who could not be more different from each other.  Jo is a tomboy. intelligent and a rebel bent on making the world a more fair place to live in.  Bethie is the feminine good girl, with dreams of a traditional life of marriage and “happily-ever-after”.  From a young age, the girl’s world is shaken with surprise and tragedy, and they learn to lean on each other for support in order to navigate an ever-changing and evolving world around them.  This is historical fiction, and you will experience a trip down memory lane with Weiner’s descriptive writing. I grew close to these sisters as the novel progressed, and by the end, did not want to let them go.  Their life journeys were compelling & bittersweet.  I strongly recommend this book to shelve on your summer reading list, trust me, you will not be disappointed. Mary

 

jake

 

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

I have to admit that when I started this book, I thought it was the book with a popular miniseries based on it, but that’s Defending Jacob —oops! This book has a similar theme. Stay-at-home father, Simon, has tried to do a good job raising his two children while his wife works as a successful lawyer.  He has doubts as to whether he’s done everything right even now as his kids are teenagers, and his son Jake is not as friendly and outgoing as his sister.  One warm November day, Simon receives a text that there has been a shooting at the high school.  As he rushes to his children, he discovers that Jake is nowhere to be found.  As the story unfolds and suspicion is cast upon Jake, Simon must face his demons about what kind of father he really was, and whether or not he knew his son at all.  It was a riveting read, and I enjoyed it all the way through.  Sara

Imagine Your Story – Books

1501133489.01._sx180_sclzzzzzzz_

 

One of my co-workers heartily recommended Mrs. Everything to me, and I am glad that she did!

Growing up in Detroit in the 1950’s, sisters Jo and Bethie Kaufman have very little in common. Much to their mother’s chagrin Jo is not interested in clothes and boys like younger sister Bethie. Realizing the limitations of a long-term relationship with a woman, Jo ultimately marries and has a family. Bethie takes a long time to settle down after drugs, drinking and experiencing life at a commune but eventually marries and becomes a successful business woman. Over the decades Jo and Bethie fall in and out of touch but prove their devotion to each other when it counts most.

This is a multi-generational tale of a family in and out of crisis. There is much to learn about the importance of family in good and bad times.

~Emma