Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

WE RECOMMEND: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. Boston, MA: Haughton Mifflin, 1986. Call number PR9199.3 .A8 H3 1986

Nothing says “controversial read” like a dystopian novel making social commentary on the United States of America — both of its government and people. The Handmaid’s Tale does just that. Written by Margaret Atwood, this novel takes place in “the near future.” Set in the former United States, this story tells of a new society where many things have changed, primarily the role of women in society. In the fascist Republic of Gilead, society emphasizes procreation due to a recent epidemic of infertility, some say due to a toxic waste spill. As a result, a new caste in society has developed, that of the handmaid.

The story follows protagonist Offred who has experienced the downfall of “freedom” in this new society and been forced into the role of a handmaid. Handmaids, who are chosen for their fertility, are assigned to high-profile couples who are unable to reproduce. The handmaid lives in the home of her assigned couple and is forced to procreate with the husband, providing a child for the couple. Offred’s struggle to change from her previous life to her role as handmaid is unveiled as the novel progresses. Will she be able to escape her place in society as kept woman, and if she does, what happens next?

This is a smart, complicated, and emotional page turner that I would recommend anyone read! The Handmaid’s tale falls at number 88 in the most frequently banned/challenged book list from 2000-2009.

Read a banned book today! Find the Top 100 list here.

Liz Cashman, Outreach and Development Coordinator

WE RECOMMEND: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Bushnell, Candace. The Carrie Diaries. New York, NY: Balzer & Bray, 2010. Call number: PZ7 .B965467 CAR 2010

It’s almost like going back in time – The Carrie Diaries allows you to meet Carrie Bradshaw…before she was THE Carrie Bradshaw. Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw: the shoe-loving, man-toting, sexy single who rules the social scene in New York. The Carrie Diaries focuses on Carrie as she makes her way through high school in a small town outside of New York City. Carrie is crushed when she isn’t accepted into the New School’s Advanced Summer Writing Seminar, and instead begins to resentfully plan her college career at Brown University. But as her senior year rolls along and Carrie joins the newspaper in an “undercover” sort of way, her writing begins to blossom along with her spirit.

For those fifteen and up, The Carrie Diaries will occupy a special place in the heart of Sex and the City fans. Readers are introduced to Samantha Jones in a hilarious, very “New York moment” while Carrie, although not quite yet the fashion guru she becomes in SATC, is endearing and charismatic. Drugs and sex are major topics of the book, so be prepared to see how Carrie…became so Carrie. Recommended for all fans of Candace Bushnell’s works and those who want to slip into that New York slice of life.

Ria Newhouse, Learning Commons Coordinator