Ferndale Library Staff Recommends: Kathleen's Picks

Another round of personal picks presented for your consideration of recreational/enlightening engagement by the staff at the Ferndale Library. This week, Library Page Kathleen Hellenberg offers a blend of humor, spiritual insight and little-known histor

Kathleen, our dependably delightful, exceptionally attentive Library Page, has a keen eye towards the upkeep of our collection's browseability.

If you haven't seen or met her yet, it's because she's often working the early shift, but she's an enthusiastic, well-read/well-versed individual (an ordained minister, to boot!) with a lot of charm. Her daughter, Reference Librarian Darlene, often refers to her as "Dr. Mom" because of her efficiency in prescribing holistic cures to daily ailments.

Kathleen's got a refreshingly eclectic taste that spans absurdist humor, to operatic pop ballads, to memoir-ish novels of love and nature.

Kathellen's Picks

By Kathleen Hellenberg

Non-fiction (Humor): This Is A Book by Demetri Martin. 

Sometimes, we all just need to read something to make us laugh.

Here are a few examples of the unusual, clever humor Demetri imparts. In the chapter, The Word Awards, he wrote, “The night’s best-dressed word was slanted, who fittingly arrived on the red carpet in italics. Presumptuous was not available for comment but managed to irritate people nonetheless.”  In the chapter, Statistics, he wrote, “The boomerang is Australia’s chief export (and then import).”  

My favorite drawing of Demetri’s is of a man inside a snow globe holding a shovel in one hand, holding his other hand up, with the caption:  “Snowglobe with frustrated man trying to shovel driveway.”

CD           Ancora by Il Divo. 

You may have seen Il Divo’s performance of the songs on this CD in their special which aired on PBS.  There is a nice mix here of some popular songs, sung in various languages, as well as a few new and classic ones. The rich and full harmony of these wonderful singers is soothing and exciting at the same time.  

JBio The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.  

There are some sterling quotes about this book on the back cover, but the most important things written about it are in the introduction, where Rennard Strickland describes it as an “incredibly touching and deeply moving story which informs the heart and educates the spirit.” He calls it a “human document of universal meaning” and says after reading it, “one never again sees the world in quite the same way.”

DVD The Men Who Stare At Goats

This movie is in the comedy section, and it is, indeed, very humorously presented.  However, you may find yourself taking its subject matter seriously if you watch the special features first, because after the opening scene, the words, “More of this is true than you would believe” appear.

History          In the Garden of Beasts:  Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

Through the personal experiences and writings of America’s ambassador to Germany, William E. Boyd and his family, the author reveals the true atmosphere of life in 1930’s Germany. I’ve always wondered why people took so long to realize Hitler’s true intentions and why they didn’t take action against him sooner, and I found the answer in this book.


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