BPL Blog

Posted by JGranatino on Thu, Jan 18
A bestseller in Scandinavia, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 years old has been translated for an English audience, depicting life in an elderly living complex. Hendrik, with his best friend and partner-in-crime Evert, form the Old-But-Not-Dead Club with a handful of neighbors, much to the consternation of the administrator of the facility. They organize weekly outings from wine tasting to golf with a sense of humor and purpose. Written in diary form, Hendrik shares the...
Posted by JGranatino on Tue, Jan 16
Although it is not generally known in the West, Muslims greatly venerate Jesus (Issa) and his mother Mary (Maryam), both of whom are mentioned extensively in the Qur’an. Author Akyol gives a detailed explanation the unique prophetic role of Jesus in the Qur’an and explores similarities and differences in Christian and Islamic perspectives on Jesus and his mother. He finds the beliefs of early Jewish Christians as reflected in the Book of James and in some apocryphal...
Posted by JGranatino on Tue, Jan 16
In his recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 76-year old British artist David Hockney included recent artworks created on his iPad using the Brushes app. Observing Hockney’s skillful use of digital media may banish your skepticism about working with non-traditional, technological tools. If you would like to learn more about digital painting, author Jardine’s book is a perfect introduction. She gives information about a variety of popular art apps, brushes, and styluses as well as...
Posted by JGranatino on Fri, Jan 05
Grace and her two children find themselves homeless and penniless after a horrific fire scorches the coast of Maine in 1947, engulfing entire towns in its wake. Unable to find her husband, who has been out helping create a firebreak, she finds her way to her late mother-in-law’s home which has been left untouched. A young stranger, a musician, has found refuge there and becomes a temporary boarder. Grace begins to discover she can have another kind of life, with rewarding work, music and...
Posted by BHanley on Wed, Dec 13
Depression is a difficult subject to discuss in any form: in public, with friends or family, or privately with a therapist. Finding words to describe the feelings and emotions one is experiencing can be like threading a needle. Sabrina Benaim’s debut collection of poetry titled Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family with surprising verve and honesty. Benaim writes with an approachable wit and unguarded empathy. Though the collection...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Dec 11
“No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And never, ever fall in love.” Susanna Owens knows her family legacy well and is determined her children – Frances, Bridget and Vincent – will never fall victim to the family curse. During a summer visit to their Aunt Isabelle, the siblings uncover the family secret and begin to try to find a way to escape the curse. But can anyone really escape the pains of falling in love? A...
Posted by JGranatino on Thu, Dec 07
While Shadow awaits his release from prison, he is told his wife has been killed in a car accident along with his best friend. With no home to speak of or job to return to, he takes an offer from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday to be an errand boy, chauffer and bodyguard. Every culture has its gods, brought to America as immigrants arrived in droves. A storm is coming, and Shadow finds soon himself on the run for his life and for his soul. Gods from every culture are gathering, the ancients...
Posted by JGranatino on Tue, Nov 14
Geometric mandala designs, microcosmic symbols representing the order of the universe, have been used as ritual and religious symbols in Hindu and Buddhist art; they can also be seen in Christian art works such as the rose window of Chartres Cathedral, and in the complex geometric motifs found in Islamic art.  Carl Jung noticed these circular designs appearing in the dream state, reflective of a particular condition of inner wholeness and re-integration.  Creating mandalas can be a way of...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Nov 06
This little guidebook by Sakyong Mipham, son of Tibetan Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, points out that although we are living in an age of technological sophistication and relentless connectivity, paradoxically, many of us seem more challenged in being able to sustain a simple conversation. He explores the art of being present and available to one another as an important “practice of nowness,” grounded in careful listening, generosity, appreciation, and graciousness. Adopting this practice...
Posted by JGranatino on Fri, Nov 03
Congressional intern Aviva Grossman, naïve and starry-eyed, entered into an affair with the married congressman she worked for. Publicly disgraced, pregnant and without prospects, she moves to a remote town in Maine, changes her name and reinvents herself as an event planner. Years later, she is encouraged to run for public office and inevitably, her past catches up with her. A timely novel with humor and warmth, touching on issues women may face in a gender-biased world.

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