Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: Joshua Hammer


Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu with its unique title reveals the struggle and importance of preserving  the ancient transcripts of an old and threatened culture. The scheming and actions taken to hide the valuable documents makes for a good non-fiction read of intriguing content.



Genre: Cultural Heritage, history

The Lost City of Z: David Grann

If you grew up as I did, watching Saturday matinees like King Solomon’s Mines, The Lost World, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, then you will love David Grann’s Lost City of Z. In it he tells the story of one of the last great Victorian explorers, Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett. Sponsored by Britain’s Royal Geographical Society, Fawcett set out to locate an ancient civilization in the remote reaches of the Amazon. For more than 20 years he explored, fighting piranhas, electric eels, jaguars, vampire bats and anacondas as he searched the Amazon– an area around the size of the United States — in the hopes of discovering the ruins of a city with highly advanced art and culture. He called it the City of Z.  Grann writes this factual account with skill and passion- you will get swept up in the adventure, and invested in the outcome.

Soon to be released as a movie- I cannot wait to see how it has translated onto the big screen. Saturday matinees are back!




Genre: adventure, archaeology, exploration, history

Sweet Bean (DVD)

Sweet Bean

A lovely, quiet film that focuses on a lonely baker in contemporary Japan who is struggling with personal issues. Unexpected help comes from a quirky elder and a shy adolescent. Sweet bean refers to the special filling of the pastries made in the small bake shop. The photography and acting are particularly well done. In addition, a unique and disturbing aspect of recent Japanese history is slowly revealed and explored. Based on the Japanese novel An. Starring Kirin Kiki and Masatoshi Nagase. Directed by Naomi Kawase. Shown at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.



Genre: bakery, cookery, drama, historical, Japan, personal relationships

The Martian: Andy Weir

The Martian

This book was fantastic! A thrilling survival story with a hearty dose of humor. The main character Mark was such a sarcastic hero and I LOVED IT. The voice and the premise hooked me in right away and kept me thoroughly engaged the whole time. My only real issues were that some of the minor characters didn’t really stand out as much as they could have, and some of the science heavy bits were a little hard to follow and felt info-dumpy at times. But the human aspect–the heart of the story–was totally on the money.



Genre: action, science, science fiction, space