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!”