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Amanda McConnell

My Heart is an Idiot

Davy Rothbart bears all in this aptly titled collection of personal stories.  A likable dreamer, we follow Davy as he chases adventure—usually involving the last sad, mysterious girl with whom he has instantly fallen in love.  He might be driving around Buffalo with a motley crew of people he just met, navigating New York City without pants, or stalking someone with pee to right an injustice.  Lawrence, KS and the band, The Strongest Man in the World, even warrants a brief mention as Davy explores questions surrounding the 1997 murder of college freshman, Anastasia Witbols-Feugen.  From serious to hilarious, Davy Rothbart is always engaging and an adept storyteller.  Longtime fans will recognize him as an intermittent contributor on the radio show This American Life, or know his work as the founder of Found magazine.  The first issue of Found (or as a friend calls it, What’s that dirty thing on the ground?) debuted in 2001—a collection of entertaining notes & random items found by readers.

My Heart is an Idiot invites you to celebrate or chastise the reckless behavior of this hopeless romantic.

Slice of Life – 5 Real Life Documentary Characters You Won’t Forget

Cat Dancers

Ron Holiday narrates the tale of his eccentric life.  He tells of meeting his wife Joy, pursuing dance, and then living the dream as an exotic animal entertainer.  Predating Siegfried and Roy, Ron and Joy and sometimes Chuck perform and cuddle with dangerous animals and each other.  Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, I don’t quite know what to make of Ron and his story, but I definitely won’t forget him.  I might be out on a limb suggesting this for a widespread audience, but Cat Dancers will have its fans. Read More..

Delightful Peculiar

I’m not a regular blogger, but every once in a while a title comes along I’m compelled to share.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is that latest title.  Jacob Portman doesn’t know what is real and what is fiction when it comes to his grandfather’s enigmatic history.  Joining him as he untangles the past was like a delectable morsel—unwrapped slowly and eagerly anticipated.  Vintage photographs give life to fantastical characters and complement the story.   Found in the young adult section, this not only appeals to teens, but also many adult readers.  If you enjoyed The Night Circus, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, or even Harry Potter, I suggest rewarding yourself with this treat of endearing characters and high adventure.     –Amanda Lynn, Circulation