Jessica’s Connections

Staff member Jessica says, “I love a wide variety of music, movies, and books, and I’m thrilled when I find that things that don’t seem connected, somehow are. The idea and reality of connection is something that fascinates and intrigues me to no end, and I’m always looking for these sometimes hidden and sometimes obvious connections.” Read on to learn about some of her favorites at the library!

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough- This is an epic book about a family that spans many years and many miles. There are many happy moments and several tragic events. I enjoy reading about families from different time periods and witnessing the trials and tribulations they encounter, and also the strength they build as they find their way through them. There is loss and heartbreak but there is also love.

Born to Die by Lana Del Rey — This has a rich and lazy summer feel that is All-American and full of sadness and longing. The main character of this story is down and out, but knows who she is and knows what she wants. She is finding and taking her power where she can find it, which is usually between the lines. I really love this genre of music (trip hop, indie pop) when it’s done well.

Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality by Thomas Moore- This is a book I look to when I need a reminder and confirmation about the truths about life that I hold dear. I am more spiritual than religious, and so I like that the author draws from different faiths and philosophies. Wisdom comes from many different places, and is most often where we don’t think to look for it. I find this book very inspiring, and I love the quotes that accompany each chapter, as well as the beautiful woodcuts by Joan Hanley.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith- This is a coming of age story about a young woman set in the first two decades of the 20th century in Brooklyn, NY. This book has a warm, lilting, drifting along kind of feel to it, and it’s interesting to learn about how life was for some folks living in Brooklyn during this time. I’ve gotten to know much about the main character Frances’ family, and it matters because her family history has shaped who she is and who she is becoming. It is recognized that a life is made up of many different kinds of things, and that the lessons that we learn each time we fall or fail can be priceless opportunities.

Life is Beautiful – Life is beautiful is a movie about one family and their life during the Holocaust. The lead character uses humor to turn a devastating situation into a fun game. While he cannot always keep the horrors at bay, his intentions are always pure of heart, and this is recognized and appreciated by those closest to him. This movie gives me chills, makes me want to laugh and cry, and it’s that steep contrast against a bleak landscape that makes this one of my very favorites of all time.