From parenting to cults, this year Bucks County library staff enjoyed reading about how people relate to each other and our world.
Want more staff recommendations? Check out all of our Staff Picks for 2021 or browse the Staff Picks shelves on cloudLibrary.
Cultish by Amanda Montell
Cultish is a book analyzing the language that cults use to persuade and recruit members, and how the definition of “cult” is actually rather vague, referring more to a spectrum of cult-like behaviors that can range from harmless to devastating. Very well researched with lots of stories from people’s real life experiences, this book will have you equipped to spot manipulative behavior and language from a mile away. –Ash S., Warminster Township Free Library, Bucks County Library District
Factory Summers by Guy Delisle
Cartoonist Guy Delisle worked at a pulp and paper factory for three summers when he was a teenager. This graphic novel chronicles the daily rhythms of life in the mill. The 12-hour shifts, the hot, noisy building and his working class, all-male coworkers are all far removed from his ambitions to become an artist. Known for his travelogue-style graphic novels, this this coming-of-age tale takes us to another time as well as another place. –Ceil H., Bucks County Free Library
License to Parent by Christina Hillsberg
This book written by a career spy walks you through raising your kids with some unusual survival skills. Raising them to be savvy, street-smart people will help them when they eventually go off on their own. –Dawn M., Langhorne Branch, Bucks County Free Library
The Natural Mother of the Child by Krys Malcolm Belc
One of the most unique memoirs about parenthood and family I’ve ever read. This book is a fragmented series of essays based loosely on important legal documents of Belc’s life: his birth certificate, his marriage certificate, the birth certificate of his gestational child, and the paperwork through which his wife adopted that child. Belc explores how his transmasculine identity intersected with carrying and giving birth to a child, and how popular ideas of motherhood don’t always include everyone who gives birth. –Emily W., Bucks County Library District
On Time and Water by Andri Snær Magnason
This beautiful and poetic book puts our current climate crisis in personal terms by looking at the author’s native Iceland through the lenses of family history, mythology, science and spirituality. He links these localized, intimate themes across time and space to show the greater connectedness of our impact on the planet throughout history. While the statistics can look overwhelming, grim and impersonal, Magnason weaves them into a story that touches the heart. I found myself feeling profoundly grateful for this book, like a conversation with a good friend. If you’re interested in a thoughtful, nuanced look at climate change that goes deeper than the overworked promises we hear all too often, read this book. –Meredith C., Doylestown Branch, Bucks County Free Library
Unwell Women: Misdiagnosis and Myth in a Man-made World by Elinor Cleghorn
Elinor Cleghorn traces the almost unbelievable history of how medicine has failed women by treating their bodies as alien and other, often to perilous effect. –Terri R., Riegelsville Public Library, Bucks County Library District