Book reviews by librarians at the Park Hill Branch, Denver Public Library
By Paul Beatty
Punctuated by blistering satire, Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout is the story of an unnamed, pot-smoking urban farmer in Los Angeles who, by a tragic series of events, becomes the owner of a willing slave. The ensuing court case ends up going all the way to the Supreme Court. With this very prescient social commentary, Beatty became the first American to win the Man Booker Prize since its inception in 1969. The Sellout is hilarious and at times feels like the best stand-up from Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor or Chris Rock.
ADULT NON- FICTION
Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
By Tal Ben-Shahar
Everyone can be happier. Happiness is focusing on enjoying the journey of life, setting meaningful challenges for yourself and treasuring your loved ones. Tal Ben-Shahar offers “Time-In” sections for deeper reflection as well as more in-depth exercises to explore your thoughts as they arise during the reading. Ben-Shara’s examples have charming names like the hamburger principle, the lasagna principle, the drowning model and the lovemaking model. This book is recommended for anyone who is interested in the meaning of happiness, the role of happiness in our lives and ways to increase it. If you are interested in doing Experiments in Happiness, be sure to check out the program series at the library in March on Friday afternoons.
YOUNG ADULT FICTION
The Sun Is Also a Star
By Nicola Yoon
You never know what your day will hold. With scant hours to prevent her family’s deportation to Jamaica, Natasha unexpectedly meets and falls in love with Daniel, a young man striving not to let his own immigrant parents down. Alternating perspectives from each of them give the novel a wide appeal and you will fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other. Both bittersweet and hopeful, the lyrical writing style weaves a romantic and moving tale that will especially appeal to fans of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Daniel Finds a Poem
By Micha Archer
This story begins with Daniel noticing a sign in the park announcing a Poetry in the Park event on Sunday. Daniel wonders, “What is poetry?” Each day of the week he asks a different animal what poetry is and receives a descriptive reply. Each animal’s idea of poetry is different than the others, but all are beautiful. Spider says that poetry is “morning dew when it glistens.” Squirrel, says it is “when crisp leaves crunch.” By Sunday Daniel combines his animal friends’ interpretations of poetry and creates a lovely poem. A beautiful book that shows that poetry is all around you. Recommended for preschool through second grade.