The Book Jam Blog
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With Thanksgiving only days away and gift giving season descending soon, we are reminded that people often put that right book in your hands when you didn't even know you needed it. Since this serendipity has happened often lately, today we share three books that found their way to us through the generosity and insight of others. We hope they help you find your next great book; and, Happy Thanksgiving.
This is not a book about Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan (2022). On the surface, and probably on most blurbs, this is a memoir about a woman who likes Benedict Cumberbatch in a way that created the moniker "Cumberbitches" to describe segments of his fandom. It is also about stages of one's life - how we play as a kid, how we react to teenage dramas, how our choices in our 20s shape us, and what happens when we marry or have kids or when our careers do or don't quite lead to where we thought they would. It is about how the gaze of others shapes us. It is also full of science; Carvan is a science writer by trade. The bit about birds and the permeating belief female birds don't sing - spoiler alert, they do - still ruminates around my head.
Carvan is also Australian. Perhaps I should pay attention to that; I seem to be attracted to Australia of late -- my Siri voice is Australian, my Australian friend Maree has popped into my photo feed a lot lately for some odd reason. Just saying that part about paying attention to Australia feels like too much detail about the book because a big part of the fun of this book is riding the wave of Carvan's musings, and not really knowing at any point in your reading what the book is actually about. I do know it is a book I was meant to read this book at this moment in time; thank you KJ for putting it in my hands from the vast stack of books in your car. ~ Lisa Christie
Macando: Welcome to Elsewhere by Liniers (2022). On a recent Saturday, I woke feeling pretty bummed about my current life situation (no details needed; let's just say 2022 has been full of bleak events, thankfully balanced by incredible support from all sorts of people - THANK YOU ALL, and somehow with my extreme optimism intact - much to the chagrin of many). And in my bummed out state, I repeatedly circled the house trying to start my day. Luckily, this book that my amazing neighbors the Mccaulls gave me when our dog of 12 years died last month (one of the bleak events of 2022) caught my eye and saved my day.
Liniers was just what I needed on that Saturday. His cartoons are amazing, with their playfulness enhancing their insight. I am so grateful I picked it up that Saturday. It was the perfect thing to laugh over and cry with so that my day could proceed beyond its initial melancholy. ~ Lisa Christie
Freedom and Unity (2022). Our final example highlights when our friend James Sturm of the Center for Cartoon Studies gave us a perfect book for that moment in time. This latest volume enhances CCS's series of books that help readers understand complicated things: mental health, democracy, health, how we read. In their latest outing, the talented CCS team tackles Vermont's unique governing structure and state motto - Freedom and Unity. The book reminded me why serving on the school board is worth every difficult conversation. This gift's timing was perfect. Thank you James.~ Lisa Christie