Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up!
Sweet Ann’s Words of Wisdom this week are these: “If you do it, it’s done. If you say it, it’s said.” This being said, don’t just say you are going to set the clocks back before bed on Saturday, do it! Also on Saturday, make the hardware store a destination for fresh batteries for your smoke detectors. This is a small investment with a potentially huge payoff. The words from the SoNo Loft this week are profound in a rather interesting way. “I got nothin’” was this week’s message and while it made me literally laugh out loud on the train, I started thinking about the nature of nothing. The idea of Nothing does not necessarily need to connote negativity. Sometimes having nothing can be a positive as in, I have no troubles, I have no need for an exterminator, I have no tooth decay, I have no reason to be concerned about (insert something to be concerned about here). As the brilliant Bob Dylan stated in Like A Rolling Stone, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.” Or let’s go back to the Great American Songbook and George Gershwin, “I got plenty of nuttin’, and nuttin’s plenty for me.” Also! Think about the term “sweet nothings”. We all love having those whispered in our ears. So this weekend, I wish you some nothings in copious quantities to coincide with our longer nights. Speaking of nothing, please don’t forget that we are closed this Monday for the installation of the generator we hopefully will never need. This week we have a coat, a need for sleep, England and India, more India, even more India and a rather poignant set list from DJ Jazzy Patty McC.
Let us begin!
Kim, who can be found on many desks wearing many hats (and have you seen her sparkly boat shoes they are Fabulous!) has been reading The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury and the Obsession on the Trail of a $5,0000 Coat by Meg Noonan. Perhaps she is thinking more about winter than fall? When you see her, won’t you ask?
Caroline! She’s back as you all know. What you may not know, is that she is back and on the minimum sleep schedule of new motherhood. She makes it all look so easy and effortless that it is hard to believe she is pretty much on auto pilot. Maybe the extra hour this weekend will be spent sleeping? I wish this for her and I am sure you do too. “With pregnancy books far behind me, I’m now embarking on a mission for sleep. Ash and Finn are now on a schedule. I’m just not sure they’re aware. We’re rapidly nearing the age of 3 months, when I’m told everything magically gets easier. Until then, you’ll probably see me wandering Body & Soul and the Children’s Room parenting section with a coffee in one hand, and one of these in the other: Sleep: The Brazelton Way, Twin Set: Moms Of Multiples Share Survive & Thrive Secrets, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions To Help Your Child Sleep Well And Wake Up Happy, and The Multiples Manual : Preparing And Caring For Twins Or Triplets. All of them are helpful in different ways, and luckily seem to have some main points in common. I’ve also received a few other multiple-specific suggestions which will be on order shortly. We’ll see you at Baby Laptime!
Jeanne. Staying true to form. Two things at once. “ In the spirit of All Hallows' Eve, I am reading John Boyne's new book, This House is Haunted. I became a fan of his with The Absolutist and with this new offering he continues to prove his versatility as a writer with language that befits the 1867 time period. Eliza Caine responds to an advertisement for the position of governess to young Isabella and Eustace at Gaudlin Hall in Norfolk, England. Already Dickensian? What she finds when she arrives is unnerving, to say the least. But is it a good ghost or a bad ghost? Also, what I really want to do is stay in my car and finish listening to The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Pakistani author, Moshin Hamid. If you have not yet read this or watched the movie, please listen to the audio version. I am positively enraptured with the reader, Satya Bhabha. He drew me in to the cafe where the very personal story of Changez, a Pakistani man who was educated at Princeton and returned to Lahore, takes place. Through Bhabha, Changez relates his story of a captivated American, but he captivates his listener right along with him.
Pat T. has just finished listening to the audio book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo. “The reading of this story, even though hard to listen to at times, was wonderfully performed! The author, Katherine Boo is a documentary journalist who lived in the slums of Annawadi for over two years in order to give a realistic accounting of the ordinary lives of the Indian people living in this settlement. We come to know Abdul, a teenager who has been recycling garbage since the age of six; Asha, a formidable woman who has climbed the ladder by discovering her own way of corrupting the system and her daughter, Manju, who dreams of completing her college education in order to teach. Even though the circumstances of their lives are, at times, desperate, this is their reality and they are resilient, resourceful and always hopeful for a better life.
Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks is my BDB of the week. Lady Pamela is not only the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten but also a cousin to both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. This of course does not automatically make her interesting. What makes her interesting is that she had a front row seat during so many events of historic importance during her life not the least of which was the partition of India. While she will never replace my love/obsession for my Mitford Sisters, she really is a fascination in her own right.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC. leaves us with the following: “This past Sunday the music world lost a giant with the death of Lou Reed. His music and artistic influence shaped and informed decades. Before I learned of his death, I was contemplating all the red, white and blue lawn signs of local politics and the rolling back of clocks for the time change. Pretty pedestrian, small town stuff for sure, but then the news of his death kind of rocked my world. Lou was outspoken, political and honest through his wonderfully crafted art. That's the stuff of real life. Be fearless in your endeavors and never forget to be a force for change in the world. He broke new ground and I am happy to report that I’ve owned a cassette of his for a VERY long time. Lou once said that his goal was to ‘write the Great American Novel in the form of a record album’. Indeed, music tells a story. Sometimes it's a novel or sometimes it's a novella but it always paints a picture and that's the work of an artist. This week my playlist is all things Lou Reed and time going backwards (unless you live in Indiana). Don't forget to set those clocks back! DL The Legacy of Lou Reed 2013
Welcome to the Halloween version of You Are What You Read. Frequent Visitors know that nothing and we do mean nothing, creeps us out quite like a doll, with the possible exception of clowns. So in the spirit of the upcoming Holiday, our theme for this week’s playlist is just that Creepy Dolls. The accompanying visual is actually of two creepy dolls that paid a visit to my desk earlier in the week. In a version of “pay it forward” the dolls proceeded to migrate all over the library. No one was happy to see them despite the fact that they are Creepy Dolls without Teeth. Frequent Visitors know that this is the worst type of doll that we know. Just the same, they were sort of our version of Riders of the Apocalypse. If they appeared in your work space you just knew no good was going to follow. On a happier note Sweet Ann’s Words of Wisdom for the week are these: “Let it go with a smile.” She is concerned that we may all be carrying too heavy of a load. Part of the load that Sweet Ann is carrying is the fear of my mood for the next week. I will do my utmost to maintain my cheery self. This week we have water, tea, more water, gridiron and a little heartbreak !
Let us begin!
Barbara M. is not one to let anything stand in the way of her WW II obsession. Carry on Barbara M! “I’m reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown in preparation for a book discussion I’m doing with Sweet Ann on Wednesday, November 20th. It’s a compelling story about the American rowing team which won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The book focuses on one crew member, Joe Rantz, a young man who endured many hardships growing up. It’s easy to compare this book to Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand as they are both about underdogs succeeding against insurmountable odds. The one thing that disturbs me is the author’s use of quotes without citations in a work of non-fiction. The author not only puts words in the mouth of the characters but also interprets their thoughts and describes their actions in detail. I’ve been told that this makes it a much more readable book, but, I’m not sure. Nonetheless, I am thoroughly captivated by the story and am learning how much team work and strength it takes to be a part of a crew.”
Jeanne is just doing one thing this week. I am concerned. “I am reading and enjoying Mission in A Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently and Succeeding by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. The wonderful graphics are illustrated by Sungyoon Choi. Goldman and Nalebuff are two very smart guys, the first a student; the second his professor. Back in the nineties, Seth was frustrated at not being able to find a bottled drink that was healthful, tasty and not over-sweetened. He approached Barry, a tea aficionado, with his ideas. This book tells the story of their thinking and creative processes and their foray into the beverage industry that led to the manufacturing of Honest Tea. You can now find it in a store near you. Honestly.”
Sweet Ann is happily ensconced in A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. “ I am not finished this book yet but it is wonderful and I can't recommend it enough. The novel alternates chapters told by sixteen year old Nao who lives in Japan and Ruth a middle aged woman who lives with her husband on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Ruth has discovered Nao's diary which was carefully packaged and protected when it washes up on the beach. She doesn't realize the content of the bag until it is opened. From the opening line of the diary, to the other contents of the container, Ruth as well as the reader is mesmerized. Nao is a very unhappy person and Ruth is drawn to her and wants to find out if she survived the 2011 tsunami. As a reader you learn much about Nao's life, her torturous school days, her love of her father and her wonderful great grandmother who is a Buddist nun. With Ruth you learn about a woman who has made sacrifices and compromises in her life and is questioning her decisions. It's a wonderful read and I will be sad when I finish their story.”
Steph who was also visited by The Dolls this week is confident about what she is reading! “This week I have been reading Collision Low Crossers by Nicholas Dawidoff, after hearing Pat S. rave about it. I have been just as taken in as she was! Though I grew up rooting for the Eagles, I have no feelings one way or the other about the Jets, but Dawidoff’s story of his year with them is fascinating. If football is, as many say, the soap opera for men, then this book is the juicy behind-the-scenes look at how the soap opera gets written and produced. I haven’t quite finished it yet but suffice it to say, I spent an extra hour on the train today and barely noticed we were running late—that’s how engrossed I was. This one will be big when it’s released in November.”
Now that the weather is cooler I am back to the Blow Dry and this means that I am back to having a Blow Dry Book (henceforth known as BDB). For those who are Not Frequent Visitors a BDB is literally a book I read while I blow dry my hair; a chore that I find to be such a bore that there needs to be a book to help it along. There are rules for the BDB: It must have shortish break points (the Blow Dry is not a forever activity letters are normally perfect in this regard), it has to be well written (who wants to waste time with drivel), and the story has to be compelling (so that you remember the story line from day to day). Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson has been my Blow-Dry companion and it fits all the perfect Blow Dry Requirements. Janie Ryan is the narrator of what a story that is equal parts funny, and heartbreaking. From the moment Janie is born to her teen mom in 1980’s Great Britian, there is nothing but trouble. The pair is homeless practically from the start and when you throw in drug use, depression and alcoholism you are in for some pretty bleak times. But Hudson’s writing and humor also allow you to feel the love and unbreakable bonds between mother and daughter. This one comes out in February.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC. spins a tale dark, creepy and toothless. “This week I have no words to share. I only have music and two very creepy dolls.”
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai made international headlines when she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban just about a year ago. The world found out about this Pakistani schoolgirl, who advocates for peace and education (especially for girls and women) and still risks her life by speaking out about the oppression and opportunity that she sees in her omeland.
Her new memoir, I Am Malala, was released earlier this month and coincided with her Nobel Peace Prize nomination; she is the youngest candidate in the history of the Nobel Prize. I Am Malala tells her life story to date, including her childhood in an idyllic valley where the Taliban becomes an increasingly dangerous presence and the attack that nearly ended her life in 2012. Malala's memoir is comparable to Anne Frank's diary -- a confusing and dangerous world seen through young, hopeful eyes -- and clearly shows us the progress we still have to make and the strength and determination of this young woman. An excellent and inspiring read for high school students and adults.
Are your book group meetings beginning to feel a little bit sluggish? Do you suffer from anxiety when it’s your turn to choose your group’s book? If so, then we can help. Visit the Book Group Doctor!
October is National Reading Group Month. All month we will have a special display on Main Street of some of our most popular book group titles, to spark your group's imagination. In addition, all month a Library book group team member will be available every day from Monday to Friday to talk with you about all things book related. You’ll find us on Main Street Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12-1pm, Tuesday from 7-8pm, and Thursday from 11am– 2pm.
In subsequent months the Book Group Doctor will be on Main Street on Thursdays from 11am - 12pm. And of course, you don’t have to belong to a book group to join in on the conversation! The Book Group Doctor, and our entire Readers' Advisory team, are always available to chat about the latest books, the classics, or whatever you're reading.
Welcome to The Hunter’s Moon edition of You Are What You Read. Yup the full moon is tomorrow and I am here to tell you that this month is no better than last. DJ Jazzy Patty McC. will be addressing just this in our weekly playlist. I have no Sweet Ann words of wisdom this week but I do have something rather charming to relate. On my commute, I have spied a loft in SoNo that has been hanging inspiring hand lettered messages on a banner from their deck. Every morning I make an effort to see what the message is and I can’t lie that it does add some much needed whimsy to what, of late, can be a rather bleak commute One of this week’s messages was ‘Dream your future.’ I am sure that Sweet Ann would approve this message. This week we have some despair, melodrama, a head injury, a talk show, murderous tribes, serious drinking, killer whales, disappointment, divorce, a motorcycle club and of course, our weekly playlist.
Let us begin!
John who is off getting married this weekend sent this in before he left. I know that you join me in wishing him and his lovely bride nothing but the best. “I have been thoroughly engrossed in a fascinating book, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This parallel story begins when one of the central characters, Ruth, discovers among debris from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, washed up on the distant shores of British Columbia, a neatly wrapped plastic parcel containing a diary written by a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl who seems to be chronicling the days leading up to her suicide. The novel cuts back and forth between the diary entries and the story of Ruth's determination to find out more about the Japanese girl, Nao. Nao, it turns out, was a Japanese American who lived in California all of her life until the dot-com bust when she and her family had to return to Japan. Upon her return, Nao is teased mercilessly by her classmates while her mother and father fall deeper into despair. Amid this crisis, she connects with her anarchist, Buddhist nun grandmother while planning her own demise. This is an extraordinary novel from two very distinct voices. Nao's narrative is so crisp, clear and unapologetic. I live for writing that brings characters like her to life and because I'm only halfway through the novel, I worry for her and her fate. This is a must-read.”
Sweet Ann has two offerings this week. “I finished Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford this week and wanted to share that I think this is an interesting book that will keep you engaged. It does talk about the early movie business and as I finished reading it, I thought of it as an engrossing melodrama from the 30's and 40's. I have to start this review by saying I love Liane Moriarty. I like the way she writes, her characters and the situations she presents. The first book I read of hers was What Alice Forgot. Alice wakes up from a head injury and thinks her marriage and life are perfect, but the injury has caused her to forget the past ten years when her life has been spinning out of control. In The Husband's Secret, Cecilia Fitzpatrick thinks her life with her husband and children is just about perfect until she finds a sealed letter from her husband that instructs her not to open it until after his death. Cecilia waits, probably longer than others would, but the letter is finally opened. What is in the letter is shocking and will have ramifications for the family, friends and others in the town. I have now heard from various friends of mine that I should not do the same with them because they had many suggestions on opening and then resealing envelopes.”
Sue S. has finished reading and really enjoyed these two very different books. 150 Pounds by Kate Rockland which is a truly delightful read starring Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous who are both Bloggers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there. When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. This book is comedic, makes you laugh out loud and is familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale. I am reading Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King because I loved The Shining but it's totally making me sleep with the lights on! The story picks up on a now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and how he must save a very special twelve-year-old girl from a tribe of murderous paranormals. It's well written with classic creepiness by the King of it himself!
Steph also enjoyed Doctor. Sleep. Here is her take. “This week I read Stephen King’s new book, Doctor Sleep. This book is a sequel of sorts to The Shining, and you won’t be surprised to hear that poor tortured Danny Torrance, last seen barely surviving his father and the Overlook Hotel, has not made it into adulthood with a clean bill of mental health. Rather, he’s a violent alcoholic, and one pretty close to rock bottom at that, because he’s found that the only way to quiet the shining in his head is to drink constantly. Meanwhile, in another part of the country, a young girl is growing up with powers even more powerful than Danny’s were—and even further away, a roving band of very scary folks called the True Knot are looking for kids just like her in order to stay alive. It’s all classic King, with the unnerving touches and perfect dialogue we’ve come to expect from him, but it’s layered with something more. King, himself a recovering alcoholic, has matured quite a lot since The Shining, and it shows in this book. His writing about addiction is heart wrenching, and adds a human dimension to the creep factor, much as he did in 11/22/63. You don’t have to have read The Shining to enjoy this one, but if you did, you’ll love it all the more.”
Won’t you all please welcome Marie to our ranks? She began as one of our favorite patrons and now she is one of us and working in Materials Management. “Science and nature is one of my favorite genres so I am really enjoying Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby. I would recommend viewing the SeaWorld show with trainers in the tank on YouTube for an unbelievable visual after completing this book!”
Jeanne. Always. Two things at once. “Amy Tan has once again brought us a compelling story of a daughter's relationship with her mother that is rife with disappointment, struggle and search for love. Violet is growing up in Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century when her mother decides it is not safe to stay there and flees her once-prosperous house of pleasure and books passage to return to her family home in San Francisco. Tan seduces us with riddles of the heart, loyalty and power as well as the mystery of a small landscape painting titled, The Valley of Amazement. I am also reading Kate DiCamillo's new book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. I think everyone should read a good children's book on a regular basis and DiCamillo's writing has heart, it's smart and it's humorous (I love Because of Winn Dixie.) In this new graphic novel, Flora Belle Buckman is a young, self-described cynic with recently divorced parents, often left to her own devices and Ulysses is a squirrel. They meet in a most unusual way and the wonderful illustrations and clever antics make for plenty of adventures for them and the reader. Highly recommended!
Miss Elisabeth of the CL breaking any stereotype you may have had of what Children’s Librarians consume when not putting on Story Times. Proceed with caution on this one. ”This week I haven’t read anything, because I have been completely and entirely consumed by Sons of Anarchy. We have it at the library and seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix, and though I never thought I would love a hyper-violent show about an outlaw motorcycle club, man, have I been sucked in! The storytelling is superb, and once I picked up on the fact that showrunner Kurt Sutter is retelling Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I loved it even more. For a story based on such tragic source material, the show also has some great light-hearted moments, especially in the first seasons, and a swoon-worthy romance between Jax, played by the delicious Charlie Hunnam, and Tara, his childhood sweetheart. In the newer seasons, it’s been fascinating to watch Jax (aka Hamlet’s) descent into darkness, and the acting on the show is altogether excellent. I highly recommend it!”
DJ Jazzy Patty McC. as always has her fingers on the pulse of what’s doing in our Library World. “So, I can only speak for myself at any given time and place but things have been a little weird within my own universe as of late. I think I can safely say it’s been a tad bit off-kilter for my colleagues as well. I can only chalk it up to the impending full moon and maybe lack of HVAC. This week I encourage you all to channel your inner Neil deGrasse Tyson, enjoy the full moon on Saturday and be swept away by the pulls and tides of our planetary existence. Happy weekend all and here is this week's playlist!”