eBook - 2020
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"Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years, she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She's become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you've seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience--but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in--funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2020
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385351119
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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From Library Staff

Hired by her famous podcaster mentor to answer letters from increasingly polarized fans, a librarian who has acquired her education from a lifetime spent reading struggles between the limits of her knowledge and growing crises in the outside world.

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Sep 30, 2020

A novella-length run-on sentence

Sep 18, 2020

Probably the worst, go nowhere story I have ever read. Had high hopes because of the reviews but for me the author's writing style did nothing for me. Lucky it was such a short read. Would not recommend.

Jul 14, 2020

I picked this book up, because Jenny Offill is mentioned often by the editors of the NYT Book Review. Her style is unique, as she doesn't string her stories together with long paragraphs. Instead, she has short one- or two-line paragraphs that are grouped into short segments. Each of these short paragraphs reads almost like poetry to me. I found myself laughing out loud throughout the book. It's funny and clever and engaging. I will likely read other books by Jenny Offill. I think I read this book in about a day, so it grabbed me and didn't let me go until I was done with it.

Jul 02, 2020

Lost interest early in the narrative. The story is told in disjointed paragraphs. Don't want to work that hard to piece together the story.

Jun 28, 2020

I'll be honest. This is probably a smarter book than Dept. of Speculation, but I enjoyed it a little less. I think it is one that takes multiple readings to really reveal its depths. A smart take on the modern condition and our lack of concern for the environment.

JCLFlanneryC Apr 03, 2020

I loved Dept. of Speculation, and love Jenny Offill because she's both erudite and unpretentious, ambitious but accessible. This book started out strong for me but fizzled out, I don't know why. I was hoping for more like a late Anthropocene "Miss Lonelyhearts" or more from a librarian's POV, ha ha, but this book becomes estranged from its characters and abandons its central premise, and though digressions are Offill's trademark style, this one wanders too far off course for me. Still, I this book has many "good parts" and is recommended for anyone who's curious.

Mar 28, 2020

Offill's colorful mind presents social ditties through the everyday life of librarian, Lizzie, who encounters people in a bookstore and family who represent a cross section of parts of all of us. It's somewhat organized stream of consciousness with a mix of humor. Insightful and perceptive writing.

JCLZachC Mar 10, 2020

Frantic and disjointed, we are constantly bounding through librarian Lizzie Benson's life. With a short novel, Jenny Offill translates the sharp edges of existential dread that can permeate the current climate we live in onto the page.

WCL_Morgan Mar 06, 2020

I devoured this little book. "Weather" is an enchanting and poetic account of an Academic Librarian’s day-to-day as she navigates life during uncertain times. With a non-linear plot, readers are thrown into Lizzie’s head as she cares for her recovering-addict brother, navigates her marriage, raises her son, and copes with her own social and eco-anxiety.

ArapahoeKati Mar 05, 2020

I loved the writing and the concept, but it took some time for it all to come together. Definitely not a novel in the traditional sense, but that's why it was interesting.

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