Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

Leave a comment

2016 Year in Review


2016 has been a good year for our blog; hits and comments are up from last year. We hope our spot in cyberspace has helped someone out there find a really good book or movie to enjoy.

Listed here are our favorite books, movies, and music that we enjoyed in 2016. While some of these titles aren’t new this year, it’s never too late for a good recommendation.

First, the 2016 favorites from our patrons. These stats were collected from checkouts countywide.

Most checked out fiction book:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Most checked out nonfiction book:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Most checked out DVD:
Downton Abbey Season Six

And now staff shares their favorite books, movies, and music that they loved in 2016.

Book: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Music: Blackstar by David Bowie

Book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Movie: Moana
Music: The Hamilton Mixtape by various artists

Book: Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People by Tim Reiterman
Movie: The Nice Guys
Music: Emotional Mugger by Ty Segall

Book: The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
Movie: Race
Music: “Growing Up” from the album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Book: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Movie: Zootopia
Music: “Don’t Wanna Fight” from the album Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Book: Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach

Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Book: Fool by Christopher Moore

Book: Pure by Julianna Baggot

Book: Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Book: Bindi Babes by Narinder Dham

Looking to read more books in 2017? Joining a reading challenge is a great way to stay motivated and read a wider range of authors and subjects. There are many challenges out there, but this Master List of 2017 Reading Challenges is very comprehensive. Prepare to be literally inspired.

Happy New Year 2017, everyone!

Leave a comment

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

MennoniteinaLittleBlackRhoda Janzen’s candid, hilarious memoir proves that you actually can always go home, even when home is to Mennonite parents. What problem can’t be cured with a little borscht?

Rhoda is dealt two blows in a week’s time. First she is in a horrific car accident, and then her husband leaves her for a man he met on a gay dating website. With little else to do, Rhonda decides to go home to nurse her wounds and her broken heart.

She finds comfort in the Four F’s: Family, Faith, Food and Flatulence. If you are expecting a book about self-pity, this isn’t it. Janzen’s humor and optimism shine through, even as she begins to reveal the horrors she endured before her road to recovery. After years away from her Mennonite upbringing, she sees the religion through adult eyes. It may be a world she no longer fits into after higher education (Mennonites frown upon that) and 15 years of marriage to an atheist, but she begins to recover fond memories from her childhood. The reader grows to love this quirky family just as much as she does.

Don’t we all have family members who say inappropriate things at the dinner table or fart in public or cook cabbage 15 different ways? Well maybe not, but every family has their idiosyncrasies.

Janzen is sarcastic and unapologetic. She’s one woman finding her own path after tragedy strikes. And I laughed the whole way there.

Check the PPLC Catalog for Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

Leave a comment

They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire

they all fall downRoxanne St. Claire’s They All Fall Down is an exciting page-turner with an intelligent, quick-witted teen as the heroine. The suspenseful plot of this psychological thriller is reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars and Final Destination.

Each year Vienna High releases a “Hottie List” – ten girls voted the hottest in school. Kenzie Summerall cannot understand what the fuss is about or how she ended up on the list. She is more interested in getting into college and competing in the All State Latin Competition. However, her new-found popularity provides her with invitations to the best parties and the attention of the cutest boy in school. Everything seems amazing, until the girls on the list start to die in order… and she’s number five.

Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the unraveling of this exciting mystery!

Check the PPLC Catalog for They All Fall Down.