Summer fun for people who’d rather stay inside, that is. Seasonal affective disorder is usually associated with wintertime, but did you know that 10% of people with seasonal affective disorder get bleh, blue, and bummed out in the summer? Reader, that’s me! Fortunately, my friendly neighborhood library is filled with happy distractions to help me get through the season.
This is just adorable! Make your own teeny-tiny replicas of characters from well-known novels and plays. There’s a wee Captain Ahab accompanied by a fat little white whale, and Daisy Buchanan, Hester Prynne, Anne Shirley -- even Napoleon the pig from Animal Farm is here, wearing a monocle, suit, and tie! We passed this book around, and the hands-down favorite is the cute little Julius Caesar with toy swords sticking out of him. Oodles of close-up photographs and clear instructions to help you create diminutive reading buddies.
A widowed mother runs a séance business out of her home, with the assistance of her daughters. The elder daughter encounters a Ouija board at a friend’s party, and it seems like it would be a great new addition to the family business. What happens next? Nothing good!
The film is set in 1967, and I really enjoyed the period costumes, hairstyles, and set design. Great care was taken to ensure every bit of décor in the house was accurate for the time. The quality acting and Mike Flanagan’s direction make for a splendid, spooky time. Three out of four screams.
If you liked this one -- or just enjoy a good scare -- be sure to look for Flanagan’s Oculus on DVD, coming soon to your library.
Oh, The Meetings You’ll Go To! by Dr. Suits
This snarky parody of Oh, The Places You’ll Go! hits all the right notes. The meter is correct, the artwork is slyly Seuss-adjacent, and the tone swings wildly between optimist and nihilist. Recommended for recent graduates or anyone who has ever had an office job or giggled at one on TV. Read it soon, because the many references to things like Uber, T-Swift, and TED may not age well.
Day Drinking : 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz by Kat Odell
The trouble with drinking before noon is you really need to know how to pace yourself. Nobody wants to end up face-down in the potato salad! This book contains lower-alcohol cocktail recipes to help you stay somewhat dignified. So have a Bellini on a boat, or a Basilcello on the beach, or a Lady Rogers on the lawn. Or just pull the shades, crank up the air conditioner, and enjoy an Irish Dirty Chai.
100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler
Ughhhh, nooooooo, go away. This is most likely a useful book but I can’t be bothered to read it rn.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None Of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
Now here’s a great summer read! Candid, funny personal essays on relationship, family, identity, racism, sexism, body image, fashion, hair removal, anxiety, grief, and many other topics of interest. The author is the Canadian daughter of Indian immigrant parents and writes for Buzzfeed Canada. Remember the news story from early 2016, when Koul put out a call for nonwhite, nonmale authors and received death threats? She’s had an interesting life so far, and I love her book. Highly recommended.