July 30, 2020 - Eve of Harry Potter Birthday Party
Today, July 30th, is among other things, the eve of our annual Harry Potter Birthday Party celebration. This is usually the biggest event we do all year with the highest attendance. So "How," I hear you ask, "can you hold this event during the pandemic?" "By providing a limited number of Potter-party-in-a-bag bags .", you hear me reply. The bags will contain really cool thing like special pens, Potter-themed zipper pulls, instructions on pretzel wand making, recipes for the drinks we normally serve -- "pumpkin" juice (no pumpkins are harmed in the making of it) and butter beer, trivia sheets, some kind of "fortune teller", a nod to potions, and other items too numerous to mention (and which I can't recall at the moment). Only a limited number of these bags are available and the number of items will not , unfortunately, include one each for everyone in your family or group. Think of these bags as a springboard to having your own party. We couldn't get a piece of birthday cake in the bags so perhaps you might make or get your own cake, whip up a batch of pumpkin juice or a butter beer, get into a Potter-based costume, take a picture, and share it with us. Pickup of the bags is planned for the 31st of July (Harry's actual birthday if a fictional character can have an actual birthday that is). Details will be on our website before you read this.
The Summer Reading Program continues through the end of August. Below are some new titles for you to peruse.
Promised Land: How the Rise of the Middle Class Tranformed America, 1920-1968 by David Stebenne. The author of Promised Land argues that the American middle class ballooned throughout the mid-20th-century until it dominated the nation, creating a powerful constituency shaped by racism, gender imbalances and economic prioritization over environmental responsibilities.
Elizabeth Warren by Brenda Jones & Krishan Trotman. Part of a four-book series celebrating women in congress, this biography of the Massachusetts senator with presidential aspirations describes her humble childhood in Oklahoma, becoming a very popular professor at Harvard Law and her championing for rights of lower-income families.
Filthy Beast: A Memoir by Kirkland Hamill. A writer for “Salon” and “The Advocate” reflects on how his newly divorced mother moved her family to her native Bermuda, leaving him and his young brothers home to fend for themselves while she chased nightlife and suitors.
Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman. The feminist hosts of the “Call Your Girlfriend” podcast argue that close friendship is the most influential and important relationship a human life can have, sharing strategies for creating fulfilling, long-term relationships with friends.
The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained by Colin Dickey. The co-editor of “The Morbid Anatomy Anthology” and author of Ghostland examines the world's most persistent unexplained phenomena, from Atlantis and alien encounters to Flat Earth and the Loch Ness monster, to explore their origins and historical endurance.
The Chosen Ones, No. 1 by Veronica Roth. On the 10th anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, one of the Chosen Ones—who brought the Dark One down—dies and the remaining four discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government or even prophecy could have foretold.
The Devil’s Bones, No. 21 (Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries) by Carolyn Haines. Visiting a Jerusalem-inspired garden with the newly pregnant Tinkie, Sarah Booth and Cece stumble on the body of an underhanded local lawyer before taking the case of a wrongly implicated pharmacist. By the award-winning author of Game of Bones.
The Nemesis Manifesto, No. 1 (Evan Ryder) by Eric Can Lustbader. Dedicating her life to protecting her country after surviving an unspeakable tragedy, DOD black-ops field agent Evan Ryder investigates a hostile cabal behind the assassinations of her fellow agents. By the best-selling author of Blood Trust.
Wonderland by Zoje Stage. Moving to a rural farmhouse in far upstate New York, Orla, a retired dancer, must protect her family from an unknown entity that is calling to them from the land, in the earth, beneath the trees – and in their minds.
Make Russia Great Again: A Fake White House Memoir by Christopher Buckley. The best-selling author of Thank you for Smoking offers a new novel in the guise of a fake White House memoir.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Separated by their embrace of different racial identities, two mixed-race identical twins reevaluate their choices as one raises a black daughter in their southern hometown while the other passes for white with a husband who is unaware of her heritage.
The Lives of Edie Pritchard by Larry Watson. Objectified for her beauty through two failed marriages, a hard-working grandmother pursues a life on her own terms when she is harassed by a younger man. By the best-selling author of Montana 1948.
The Geometry of Holding Hands, No. 13 (Isabel Dalhousie) by Alexander Smith McCall. Investigating local rumors about mysterious occurrences taking place throughout Edinburgh, a skeptical Isabel finds the limits of her good sense and ethics tested by the demands of her family, including her tempestuous niece's latest romantic entanglement.
Handbook for Homicide, No. 14 (Booktown Mysteries) by Lorna Barrett. When her assistant manager is implicated in a murder, bookshop owner Tricia Miles investigates a clue on the victim's earring to expose a military scandal that is complicated by family drama. By the best-selling author of Poisoned Pages.