Adult Fiction: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
Rupi Kaur's first book, Milk and Honey is the poetry collection every woman needs on her nightstand or coffee table. Accompanied by her own sketches, the beautifully honest poems read like the everyday, collective experiences of today's modern woman. (Erin Spencer, Huffington Post)
Rupi Kaur's writing echoes of artistry and wisdom which is seen in the work of those that have been writing for years. (Samira Sawlani, Media Diversified)
Rupi's poetry is simple, relatable, gorgeous, and grounded in the everyday experiences of young women. (Rachel Grate, Hello Giggles)
The honest words of Rupi Kaur leave you continuously wanting more as she writes with eloquence and poise. Her work will send you to past thoughts and realities you might not have known you had. (Sienna Brown, WildSpice Magazine)
Adult Non-Fiction: American Witches by Susan Fair
"The history of American witches is way weirder than you ever imagined. From bewitched pigs hell-bent on revenge to gruesome twentieth-century murders, American Witches reveals strange incidents of witchcraft that have long been swept under the rug as bizarre sidenotes to history.
On a tour through history that's both whimsical and startling, we'll encounter seventeenth-century children flying around inside their New England home "like geese." We'll meet a father-son team of pious Puritans who embarked on a mission that involved undressing ladies and overseeing hangings. And on the eve of the Civil War, we'll accompany a reporter as he dons a dress and goes searching for witches in New York City's most dangerous neighborhoods.
Entertainingly readable and rich in amazing details often left out of today's texts, American Witches casts a flickering torchlight into the dark corners of American history.
Local: Becoming Amish by Jeff Smith – Book Club Selection
Bill and Tricia Moser were living in one of America's wealthiest communities when they stepped away and began a journey that led to a horse-and-buggy Amish life.
No more BMWs. No more architectural or medical careers. Instead, the Mosers drew close with their children, built pallets for money, wore homemade clothes, and bonded with people of their Amish faith and community. Here, in Becoming Amish, they offer a modern couple's honest perspective on that separate and seemingly cloistered world, a perspective that is uniquely insider and outsider at the same time.
The Mosers' journey is rich and fascinating all on its own as we learn about the inner workings of the Amish faith, ways and culture—what their church services are like, how their businesses succeed at such a high rate, how they are so remarkably connected on a human scale (without Facebook!), how they balance technology in their lives, and more.
But though the couple's decision can seem extreme, it can also serve as a mirror that helps us reflect upon our own choices, our own beliefs and values. If we were to be as intentional about our lives, how would we realign our choices big and small to achieve a fulfilling life?
Becoming Amish rounds out the Mosers' tale with interviews, vignettes, and information that adds context, perspective and insight into the Amish community. The reader learns of a startlingly violent book—published in 1660—that is central to this pacifist people's belief and is in nearly every Amish home. The reader visits a "plain" community in the hills of Kentucky—a community that lives even more simply than most Amish—to discuss "the whys" of a low-technology life and faith. The reader contemplates an interview with the Lutheran minister who helped lead the Supreme Court case back in 1972 that allowed the Amish to pull their children from public school after 8th grade—what compelled him to do that?
Young Adult: The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be a witch.
In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon—who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul—in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?
Children: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard . . . clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!
There is enough action and recurring CLOMP CLOMPs, WIGGLE WIGGLEs and SHAKE SHAKEs in Williams's first story to hold any young reader's attention. A brave old woman begins a walk in the forest where she meets two big shoes. Further down the path, a pair of pants, a shirt, two gloves, a hat and a pumpkin head come into sight, each trying to frighten her. When she's back inside her cottage, a KNOCK KNOCK challenges her to open her door. Again, the shoes, pants, shirt, gloves, hat and pumpkin head try to scare her, but find it impossibly discouraging. These assorted items have a calling to frighten someone or something and thanks to the ``little old lady'' they become the nastiest scare-crow ever. The fearless woman's brave showing, and her determination not to be afraid, should strike a note of familiarity with children. Lloyd's dark forest settings, wriggling clothing and homey interiors are a perfect complement to the text.
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