For those who don’t know, Marilee is one of our very frequent blog writers and also a varied, well-versed, and opinionated reader who has shared many of her favorite reads on this blog. She also had a birthday last week! In her honor, here are ten library items that I was introduced to (or renewed my acquaintance with, in the case of 4 & 2) thanks to her high and frequent praise of them.
- Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis: This book is the best. So funny, so tragic, so perfect. It’s really, super great to read to a child who is cynical and thinks love stories are stupid. Or to anyone who has had an unrequited crush. Or to anyone, period.
- Moonstruck: I am watching this movie right now and I have to admit, the feelings being stirred within me by watching Cher and Nicolas Cage deliver well-written dialogue and believable performances are completely different from what I was expecting. Like, think funny/good/entertaining as opposed to no/bad/help me.
- Truly, Madly, Deeply: We were all very sad when Alan Rickman passed away this year, but it inspired me to finally take Marilee’s word for it that he is in fact capable of the label “swoonworthy” and to watch this movie, which is sweet and charming and has a lot of Alan Rickman being cute and cuddly, which is a thing I did not think was possible.
- All the Little Live Things by Wallace Stegner: This might be Marilee’s favorite book, or at least her favorite author, which is a good enough reason to put it on
your “to read” list, because librarians take the “Who’s your favorite author?” questions verrrry seriously.
- Don’t Get Eaten by Dave Smith: This is one of those little gems in our collection that you might not know to go looking for, but once you happen to find it, you are delighted because it is informative and hilarious and also that title is fabulous. It’s actually a really fun read. Also, Marilee is obsessed both with the outdoors and about being attacked by bears and it’s really fun to bring it up every now and then.
- The Quiet Man: I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before Marilee brought it up. What started as a discussion of “how hot is John Wayne, really, though?” turned into a YouTube fest in our office featuring clips of stormy rain kisses and Irish temper passion rages, and spiraled into the best St. Patrick’s Day celebration family movie night ever.
- North and South: Of all the compelling, charismatic, and bearded men in the world (though, alas, to our chagrin he is clean-shaven in N&S), I think it’s safe to say that Richard Armitage would be most welcome to, as Marilee is fond of putting it, “come and sit next to me.” We are all die-hard fans (or soon to become die-hard fans) of N&S in Outreach and you should be too. It’s possibly my favorite period mini-drama series ever.
- Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery: For some weird reason, Marilee loves octopuses. And I know it’s “octopuses,” not octopi, because I read this book, and gosh darn it, it’s SO GOOD. The author, Sy Montgomery, who also loves octopuses, gets to visit, befriend, and get to know the personalities and lives of a number of octopuses. I learned so much that I never would have known to be curious about in the first place, but more unexpectedly, I felt so much and gained a lot of compassion, empathy, respect, and admiration for these amazingly strong and intelligent creatures.
- Persuasion: While discussing great (and not so great) kisses for future blog posts, Marilee and I happened upon the subject of Persuasion, and it was with great pleasure that I discovered that we have the same ardent love for this, the one true and living adaptation of Jane Austen’s finest novel. Half-hearted apologies to all y’all who love the Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones version, but this one is where it’s at. The wonderfully mature performances of Ciarán Hinds and Amanda Root; the chemistry between Anne and Frederick; the passionate conversation between Anne and Captain Harvile about women’s constancy; the letter; the kiss; forgive me–I would go on, but I think I just swooned.
- Poldark: Without a doubt, Poldark is the number one item that Marilee kept recommending to me basically all of last year and I refused to do it because I didn’t really care for Aidan Turner in The Hobbit and didn’t see what all the fuss was about and then I finally watched it just to shut her up and OH SWEET MERCY I AM ADDICTED. Suffice it to say, Aidan Turner as a doomed dwarf with a much more attractive uncle and Aidan Turner as the proud owner of a rugged appearance and a ruined British estate with a spunky, low-class wife are two very different things, and one of these things is my favorite. I watched it all again just recently with my sister, who had never seen it, and I’m stoked for the second season.