Generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders have enriched the culture of America through art, literature, music, language and history. Check out a few movies and books below:
Can I be honest? I love St. Patrick’s Day. Sure – it has something to do with my heritage, though we didn’t celebrate much as kids. Green is my favorite color, so maybe that’s it? It’s not all the drinking, but I admit I enjoy both Guinness and Jameson’s. I think it must be the Irish culture, the beauty, the pain, the underdog quality of the Irish – their writers and artists, their language, and, of course, the wool (and the sweaters)! And it always means that Spring is around the bend.
Below are a few movies and books that celebrate Ireland, the Irish and Irish writers. If you are looking for more movies, I highly recommend checking out The Irish in Film: a Database of Irish Movies – it’s incredible!
Trying to fill that one Winter Bingo Square with an Award-Winning book? Look no further! There are so many to choose from, in so many genres, I’ll just mention a few titles and then give you links to lists, so many lists!
I’ll start with local award winners: The Anisfield Book Awards. I have attended the ceremony for the past couple of years and find it inspiring and a source of incredible reading material. Here are a couple of books honored there:
Then there’s the National Book Awards, a source of a fantastic array of titles, such as the following:
Love a mystery? Check out the Edgar Awards and a couple of titles they’ve chosen to honor:
And there’s also The Hugo Awards, for works of science fiction and fantasy, the RITA Awards for romance, the Eisner Awards for graphic novels and so many more. If you need help choosing a title, stop by the Reference Desk – we’ll be glad to help!
Some of my Favorites
LISTS TO GET YOU
- The 10 Best Audiobooks of 2018
- 24 Audiobooks You Won’t Be Able To Stop Listening To
- The top 10 audiobooks on Audible.com
- The Best Audiobooks of 2018
- 2018 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
- Here Are The Top 10 Audiobooks Of 2018 And The Consumer Trends They Reveal
- Audio Fiction Books – Best Sellers – The New York Times
- Barnes & Noble Top 100
- 20 best audiobooks of all time
Do you need a suggestion for reading a book set in another country or written by an author from another country? Well you are in luck – there are a wide range of books, both fiction and nonfiction, short and long. Here are just a few:
First I’ll list a few authors with a variety of titles:
And here are a few individual titles:
First They Killed My Father: a Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea (Cuba)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Sweden)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Ethiopia)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (France)
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (India)
The Diary of Anne Frank (Netherlands)
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (North Korea)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Iceland)
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (South Africa)
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Hungary)
You could also read and Irish author; there’s The Dubliners by James Joyce or Tara Road by Maeve Binchy. How about a poetry book such as The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (Lebanon) or Shanghai Girls by Lisa See? So many possibilities! If you don’t see something you’re interested in, feel free to stop by the Reference Desk for a suggestion – we’d be glad to help.
I’ve had a bit of a slow reading year, but I still managed to find many treasures in the stacks. Some I read, others I listened to – through them I journeyed all over the world and went on a few adventures. Here’s a list of my favorites in no particular order:
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai: The AIDS crisis in Chicago during the 80s, a difficult mother-daughter relationship, a job at a Northwestern art gallery – all of these elements spoke to me – I loved this book.
The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon: After seeing his newest book, Mourning, on a few critic’s list, I decided to read this earlier one. Lyrical, contemplative, autobiographical fiction about displacement and identity.
Severance by Ling Ma: A satire set in a dystopian world where a virus turns people into zombies who continue to perform routine actions – it’s told through the eyes of millennial worker bee Candace Chen, who is strangely nonplussed by this epic plague.
A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen: Andrei is not doing too well in New York City so when his brother Dima enlists him to return to Russia to help care for his ailing grandmother, he jumps at the chance. A fascinating look at Russia and funny to boot!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I can’t believe it took me so long to read this – what a great book about Nigeria, immigration, race, love and expectations.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: Hands down, the best book I read this year. It’s the story of four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Beautifully written, insightful, detailed, matter of fact but loving, just great.
The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir and The Atom Station by Haldor Laxness: I travelled to Iceland in September, so I read The Greenhouse Before I left. Though it wasn’t really set in Iceland, it was a lovely book about a young man’s coming of age. In Iceland, I visited the house of Nobel prize winning author Haldor Laxness (do visit if you go there – so cool) and bought The Atom Station there. Laxness has an interesting style and I learned a lot about Iceland in the early 20th century, the government, the the social classes, and of course about drinking The Black Death (Brennevin – quite delicious)!
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez: Winner of the National Book Award, this is a meditation on writing, suicide, grief, and the pleasure of dogs, amongst others.
Belonging: a German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug: a wonderful autobiographical graphic novel about a German woman who digs into her past to discover more about her family’s role during the Nazi era and the silences afterwards. It’s packed with letters, photos and remembrances from her childhood.
BONUS BOOKS: November Road by Lou Berney and Sunburn by Laura Lippman are both really well-written crime/thrillers with great characters. There There by Tommy Orange is an eye-opening look at multiple Native Americans who converge at a powwow in Oakland. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner takes you inside a woman’s prison and the circumstances that can bring you there. Oh and I forgot An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – such an amazing book about a marriage and an innocent man accused of a crime.
Wow – I came up with more than I originally thought – I guess it’s always a good year for reading!