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Browsing the New Shelves (While You Can’t) – Life as a Work of Art

Posted about 6 months ago by Meg Raymond

At the Richmond Public Library, you can always peruse the Latest Releases page on the library’s website, which gives you digital options for browsing the new bookshelves. Add in curbside pickup, and your reading needs are met! But even with digital browsing, sometimes you want your options a little more … curated.

We can do that! Among the great new books on the shelves at the Richmond Public Library are some that loosely connect at the sometimes-contradictory intersection of art and life and beauty and humanity and solitude. And cheese.

Adventures in Opting Out: a Field Guide to Leading an Intentional Life

by Cait Flanders

Flanders found there is an incredible parallel between taking a different path in life and the psychological work it takes to summit a mountain — especially when you decide to go solo. In this book, she offers a trail map to help you with both.

At the Center of all Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life

by Fenton Johnson

Americans tend to celebrate the “fortress of marriage,” turning an equal right into an omnivorous expectation, marginalizing solitaries as odd, even potentially threatening. This book provides an erudite lesson in embracing aloneness.

The Death of the Artist

by William Deresiewicz

The nineteenth century considered artists to be craftsmen, and the twentieth century treated them as professionals. Artists today are uniquely dependent upon themselves.

Gatecrashers: the Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America

by Katherine Jentleson

After World War I, artists without formal training ‘crashed the gates’ of major museums in the United States, democratizing the art world across lines of race, ethnicity, class, ability, and gender.

Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African-American Kitchen

by Alexander Smalls

Smalls has created a curated set of recipes — a playlist of essential African American dishes. The recipes are the very best of what he has eaten, cooked, and imagined.

Navigate Your Stars

by Jesmyn Ward

For Tulane University’s 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship.

The Passion Economy: the New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-first Century

by Adam Davidson

The twenty-first-century economic paradigm offers new ways of making money, fresh paths toward professional fulfillment, and unprecedented opportunities for curious, ambitious individuals to combine the things they love with their careers.

That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life: Creative Gatherings and Self-care With Cheese by Numbers Method

by Marissa Mullen

Mullen breaks down the cheese plate into its basic components — cheese, meat (aka the Salami River), produce, crunch, dips, garnish — and shows you how to recreate these beautiful spreads for any occasion.

Together: the Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World

by Vivek Murthy

The former Surgeon General addresses the overlooked epidemic of loneliness as the underpinning to the current crisis in mental wellness and offers solutions to create connection and stresses the importance of community to counteract the forces driving us to depression and isolation.

The Values Compass: What 101 Countries Teach us About Purpose, Life, and Leadership

by Mandeep Rai

Takes us into the hearts, minds, and traditions of the cultures and people of the world. It demonstrates how interconnected we are and how the divisions that exist between us stem from acting with narrow self-interest rather than concern for the good of our human family.

Stuck in a reading rut?  Looking to read outside your comfort zone? If you want hand-crafted reading suggestions, check out The Bookologist – a bespoke readers advisory service for adults, teens, and kids.

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Meg Raymond

If I'm not librarianing, or chasing one of my plethora of dogs around the yard, I probably have my nose buried in a book. I like all kinds of books. Regency romances - love 'em. Gory police procedurals - yes, ma'am. Historical fiction - please, and thank you. Heavy "literary" titles - shhhh, I may not have actually finished some of those! Off-beat, warped, slightly askew books - oh, yes, indeedy. Violent supernatural fantasy - why not? Chick lit, hen lit, lad lit - yeah, yeah, yeah. What have you read? Need a suggestion, or ten? Get hand-crafted suggestions with The Bookologist

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