Living Columns & Blogs

Looking for ways to make a better you in 2018? Check out these books at the library

“Grant” by Ron Chernow
“Grant” by Ron Chernow

The Fresno County Library’s Bookshelf column shares suggestions for books, music and other items, and provides information about library programs.

Toward a Better 2018

▪ “I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World,” by Kyle Cease. The author, a stand-up comedian and motivational speaker, has produced that rarity – a funny yet practical self-help book that never feels like a lengthy set of instructions.

▪ “Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up,” by T.D. Jakes. This volume illustrates different ways to avoid life’s pitfalls and limited ways of thinking, and succeed in making your most cherished dreams into reality.

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“Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up” by T.D. Jakes FAITHWORDS

▪ “Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want,” by Alexandra H. Solomon. According to the author, the key to building lasting, meaningful relationships is looking inward and better understanding your own intuitions, feelings and shortcomings.

Top 5 Most Requested Books

▪ “The Woman in the Window: A Novel,” by A.J. Finn.

▪ “The Rooster Bar,” by John Grisham.

▪ “Grant,” by Ron Chernow.

▪ “The People vs. Alex Cross,” by James Patterson.

▪ “The Immortalists: A Novel,” by Chloe Benjamin.

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“The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS

New Arrivals

▪ “An Herbalist’s Guide to Formulary: The Art & Science of Creating Effective Herbal Remedies,” by Holly Bellebuono. For those who like their prescriptions natural, this guide offers a simplified system for combining plant parts into medications that promote health and healing.

▪ “Persepolis Rising,” by James S.A. Corey. All that’s standing between the Sol system and imminent conquest by the Laconians are an out-of-date space-battleship and a determined captain-turned-military governor. A new installment in the Expanse series.

▪ “A Map of the Dark,” by Karen Ellis. As FBI agent Elsa Myers tries to find a kidnapped teenage girl, she risks further alienating her dying father and the rest of her family. Will she emerge from this conflict healed, or with new multiple wounds?

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“A Map of the Dark” by Karen Ellis HACHETTE, BLACKSTONE and UNABRIDGED AUDIO


▪ Builder’s Club: New year, new time! Come join us on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month to create Lego masterpieces with other Lego enthusiasts. Each week will feature a new theme to challenge the imagination. 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, Sanger Branch Library. Details: 559-875-2435.

▪ Stitches and Twisted Yarns: Knitters, crocheters and yarn enthusiasts – bring your current projects and share ideas and conversation. Open to all. 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Fig Garden Regional Library. Details: 559-600-4071.

▪ Hmong New Year’s Celebration: Immerse yourself in Hmong culture through music, dance and a fashion show of Hmong clothing from the past and present. Individuals will share their stories and read excerpts from “The Late Homecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang, this year’s Big Read book. 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Woodward Park Regional Library. Details: 559-600-3135.

This is a weekly column written by the Fresno County Public Library staff. Events are usually free. Visit, or call 559-600-6227 for details.