This week we are still quiet, a ghost, a little Tuscany, a peacock or two, some intelligence, angst and a genocide.

Let us begin!

Pat T. says, “I am still quietly reading Susan Cain's book Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking . The author writes about the ‘Extrovert Ideal’ and how people like Dale Carnegie and Tony Robbins, along with the Harvard Business School promote this ideal and she explores the pervasive effects this has had on our society. I must say this topic lends itself to thought and conversation about our varied personalities! I look forward to listening to Susan Cain speak about her book April 19th when she visits the Darien Library.”

Citizen Asha is, no surprise here up to some dark, sketchy and creepy stuff. She reports that, “I am reading Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig. I stumbled upon it this book, while in the stacks and I figured I would give it a go. It’s a modern and darkly funny twist on Hamlet, which I always thought should have been considered a comedy. Philip Noble is visited by the ghost of his father, who tells him that he needs to avenge his death against his Uncle Alan; otherwise his father will be descending into the Terrors for all eternity. “Speaking of The Citizen she will be filling in for me the next two weeks while I take some time off.  Please be kind to her.

Barbara M. is no longer in France but is still on the Continent.  “I’m reading Restoration: A Novel by Olaf Olafsson which takes place in Tuscany during World War II. The characters are intriguing and the story is absorbing. What makes it more interesting is that it is loosely based on the life of Iris Origo who looked after refugee children and escaped Allied prisoners in her villa in Italy.”

The Lovely Priscilla is letting her ears do the reading! “A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano - It always amazes me when an author feels comfortable writing fiction that includes a real person. This wonderful book has Flannery O'Connor as one of its main characters. Flannery has been forced to return to her family farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Georgia to live out her days coping with lupus. The fictional characters of Cookie, her fiancé Melvin, Lona and many others spin around the strong personality of Flannery. It also includes bits on her mother, her Catholicism, her peacocks and the realization that life has more to offer for all. Mistakes and bad decisions are made which result in some shocking realities which caught me completely off guard.   The audio version is how I "read" this book and Debra Monk did an amazing job of capturing the southern inflections and voice of all the characters. I could do it all over again.”

Abby reports in with the following.  “The Expats by Chris Pavone is a great new spy thriller I am really enjoying. Katherine/Kate is a DC intelligence analyst. Or is she?  When her husband, a computer security expert announces he has a great professional opportunity in Luxembourg, the family packs up and join the Expat community in Europe.  When strange things start going on around her, Katherine/Kate must wonder if an event from her past has triggered the events.  Everyone is under suspicion as Katherine/Kate works to protect her family and her secrets. 

Jeannie is reading The Red House by Mark Haddon .  “Written with the usual caustic wit we loved in A Spot of Bother, this appears to be another dysfunctional family, lots of teenage and parental angst. This one, though, is written in choppy paragraphs, each successive one a new character that makes reading a bit difficult, but so much dark fun it may not matter.” This one is out in June.

I have just begun Chris Bohjalian’s new book The Sandcastle Girls which is due out in July.  Based on the author’s own Armenian ancestry this is the story of Elizabeth, newly graduated from Mount Holyoke who has volunteered to deliver aid to the victims of the Armenian genocide.  It is also the story of Laura Petrosian who is a novelist in the present day.  How will these two very different worlds come together?  I can’t tell yet, but I am happy to report that I am enjoying finding out very much. This one should be in the catalog soon.


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