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.”

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