LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s 2015 debut novel Jam on the Vine is this year’s book to savor. Barnett’s story of early 20th-century African-American woman Ivoe Williams and her goal to empower her people through the written word is hard to put down and easy to recommend.
Angel Limb started her public broadcasting career in 1988 as the receptionist at WEDU Public Television in Tampa, Florida, her hometown. With degrees in Art History and African-American Studies from VCU, she came to WCVE Public Radio in 2003 as the writer and announcer of Artsline, WCVE’s daily arts and cultural events broadcast. Besides Artsline, Angel writes reviews for books she likes for ideastations.org.
A confessed bookaholic, Angel created the “Book Angel” persona who distributes free, age-appropriate books to children and young adults at select WCVE events.
When not working, Angel enjoys Scrabble, walking, reading, literacy projects, international film and travel. She completed her life goal to set foot on each of the 7 continents in March, 2009 in Vung Tau, Vietnam. With 55 countries under her belt, Angel’s next goal is 100 countries visited by age 75.
Articles by Angel Limb
Olly Explores 7 Wonders of the Chesapeake Bay, written by Elaine Ann Allen and illustrated by Kelli Nash, is an age-appropriate and fun way to introduce young children to the marvels of the Chesapeake Bay and its wildlife, infrastructure and history. With the curious Olly the Oyster who is looking for adventure, children discover that following the current leads to many wonders big and small. With interactions with Mr. Snail, Mrs. Blue Crab and others, Olly learns about the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem in language that is informative and friendly.
For label readers, Patrick Di Justo’s book This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? is an informative, funny primer about what’s really in some food and household products. Though the ingredient lists sometimes gave me the willies, Di Justo dispels some ingredient fallacies and the clever writing always made me laugh.
Author and ecologist John Gaudet’s 2014 book Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World - From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars reads like a lecture from my favorite college professor. Papyrus is well-researched, meticulously documented and interspersed with color photos, maps and diagrams that bring a holistic, understandable and ardent voice to an environmentally-timely subject.
ARES 3 astronaut/mechanical enginer/botanist Mark Watney needs a break. Waking on Mars alone and covered in sand from strong winds that drove a broken airborne antenna through his spacesuit and into his body, every second is critical to his survival. Watney’s injury occurred while trying to reach the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) to leave Mars as NASA had aborted the 6-member mission due to the possibility of wind damage to the MAV.
British journalist and columnist Melissa Kite is like the woman friend you dearly love. She is educated, well-traveled and spontaneous with an endearing self-deprecating humor. However, you are sometimes embarrassed for her and want to encourage her to re-think some of her lifestyle choices.
ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was a frequent subject in the news over the past few months. Via 2014’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” wherein individuals got doused with icy water or donated $100 to avoid a dousing, awareness of the neurodegenerative, wasting disease with no cure was heightened. As of August 2014, $15 million was raised for ALS – $14 million more than was raised in 2013.
D S. Lliteras’ Flames and Smoke Visible is his “day in the life” account of hardships and triumphs as a firefighter in Norfolk, Virginia. In the book’s short chapters, simple language and clear imagery, Lliteras recounts the danger and excitement of willingly risking his life for others. Whether delivering a baby to a 15 year-old mother in a car, battling a house fire during a windy downpour or his own health emergency while on duty, the author puts readers in the action with gritty detail.
If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the winter holiday season, take heart, you are not alone. If you have ever grieved the loss of a loved one during the winter holidays, you might find comfort in The 13th Gift, a true story about healing, togetherness and purpose.
Furry Logic’s 10th Anniversary Edition has a lot to recommend it. It is a small, colorful book with a large cat face on the cover - what’s not to like? The book can be read and enjoyed in as little as 10 minutes if you have a squirming toddler on your lap or can be lingered over at your leisure. Best of all, the book has Jane Seabrook’s detailed paintings of animals that render them lifelike with expressions nad body positions that complement the text.