The SoNo Loft’s message this week feels a tad urgent. “Hey, change already” is the thought for the week. Did they forget about clocks? Or is it deeper than that? Maybe we all need to think about what we need to change to be better in our world. I don’t know what the intent is here, so I am just going to bring you the message. Do with it what you will. DJ Jazzy Patty McC. has a playlist this week that celebrates a change that we felt we had to make here at the Home. This week we have some LA, some shade, a supermodel, a message, grief, color, crocodiles, and some southern charm.
Let us begin!
Abby is reading ahead. “While I am a big fan of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch LA Detective series, his Lincoln Lawyer work has tended to leave me a bit underwhelmed. That said, The Gods of Guilt (release date Dec.2), the latest Lincoln Lawyer book came as a bit of a revelation. Attorney Mickey Haller, frequent defender of the lowest of the low, shows tremendous growth and complexity of character. Connelly is a terrific writer who appears to have gotten into a strong rhythm with his Haller character. He is one of the few prolific writers capable of maintaining and even elevating the quality of his work without it turning into a painful assembly line product.”
The Fabulous Babs B. just finished Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie. “It has to be a mother's worst nightmare; losing her child at birth. Geniver Loxley was told her daughter was stillborn and eight years later a stranger knocks on her door informing her that her daughter was actually taken away as a healthy infant and raised by another couple. So begins this nightmare of a story. Ignoring the warnings of her husband, who is shady to begin with, and friends, Gen begins to dig into the dark corners of her past, hoping she'll find a clue to her daughter's whereabouts. There are so many twists and turns in this psychological suspense that I never guessed the climatic ending and neither will you!”
John is reading The Cuckoo's Calling. “This is the detective mystery by J. K. Rowling written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I'm not much of a DM buff, but I loved The Casual Vacancy and I admire Rowling's adult narrative voice. So far there is nothing terribly unusual or outstanding about the mystery at hand (supermodel takes a dive off a balcony--is suicide or not?) But for those of you who enjoyed the humanness of ‘Vacancy’, you'll easily slide right into the narrative style of this book. Her writing is very comfortable but I'm struck by the poignancy of her observations and the respect she affords every character--all of which have been gifted something likable--even if they're wholly unpleasant. The setting is London, so for those Anglophiles out there, the dialogue will leave you smiling and fulfilled. There is some indication that this may be the first in a series of DM novels by Rowling, and I will probably keep reading them.”
Pat T. has a message for all you book on CD fans. “I am happy to report the library has just received the unabridged audio book, The Guns at Last Light, by Rick Atkinson! This audio book concludes the Liberation Trilogy about the Allied forces that liberated Europe during World War II. So, all you history buffs who have listened to An Army at Dawn: the War in North Africa, 1942-1944; The Day of Battle: the war in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44 can now look forward to the final volume in this trilogy.”
Sweet Ann has just finished Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. “I listened to this audio book and I am conflicted in my reaction to it. The audio book is read by Julian Barnes and when he speaks of his wife's death and his life without her you feel for him but also feel awkward in sharing his grief. It is a raw raging grief and I wonder why he shared it with strangers as opposed to friends and family. With loss, people will do things and say things others might not understand but I question his motivation in making it so public. Perhaps he found it cathartic but it was difficult to hear him question other people's reactions and comments to his wife's death. He began this memoir with tales about nineteen century ballooning and famous early balloonists which he neatly tied together in the end. Perhaps if I read this book my reaction might have been different as opposed to hearing the actual widower tell his story. I wish him all the best and hope he finds the comfort he needs.”
Barbara M. is reading ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color by Jude Stewart. “This is a fascinating, easy to read book. The book is divided into individual colors and each section is filled with trivia about that color. The short anecdotes or facts may be historic, scientific or just amusing. Many of us are aware that the color worn in one country to play tennis is the color worn for funerals in another, but did you know that many languages don’t distinguish between blue and green or red and orange? Or, did you know that the seven colors we believe the rainbow to be made of were devised by Sir Isaac Newton to correspond with the musical scale? I love the way this book makes you think about perceptions of things we take for granted.”
Jeanne. Only one thing. Discuss. “I am reading an Advanced Reading Copy on my Kindle of The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol and translated from the French by William Rodarmor and Helen Dickinson. The reading is sometimes a little rough because of the possible disconnect with foreign idioms, but I am enjoying the Cinderella story, the first in a trilogy. Joséphine Cortès throws her cheating husband Antonio out and he leaves for Kenya with his cheating girlfriend to manage a crocodile farm owned by the unscrupulous Mr. Wei. Who knew that one crocodile mommy can lay fifty eggs in her nest?! Joséphine is trying to scrape by on her twelfth century historian's pay, while paying her husband's loans and raising her two young daughters. There is a whole host of interesting characters in this novel based mostly in Courbevoie, outside Paris, and I am finding their actions both funny and shocking. I can't wait to see how Joséphine's doctorate in Middle Ages studies pulls her out of her emotional and financial slump.”
I think that when one visits a new locale it just makes sense to study up on the social mores of its denizens before you hit the tarmac. This will save you some embarrassment in the long run if you are up on the ways of the natives. In anticipation of my trip to a place that my traveling companion calls his ‘homeland’ (he does this without irony and frankly, it scares me a little), I picked up Rude Bitches Make Me Tired: Slightly Profane and Entirely Logical Answers to Modern Etiquette Dilemmas by Celia Rivenbark. Celia lives in North Carolina and she is just not having a lot of what passes for polite behavior these days and I have to say that I love her for it. With chapters that are entitled: Funerals: Now is Not the Time for Store-Bought Cakes and Backless Maxi Dresses from Forever 21, and Baby Steps: Is She Pregnant or is that a Booze-Inflated Liver? Hint: Don’t Ask! I also picked up this fact; that a true ‘mixed marriage” is one between a Duke grad and a UNC grad and should be avoided at all costs. Apparently no good can come of this and it will end with tears. This will be good knowledge to possess if we find ourselves in ‘mixed company’ this weekend. I have also learned that the hue of blue you choose to wear can mark you as readily as a gang member wearing his colors. Think Crips and Bloods but with lovely drawls and better manners. Frankly, I find all that exhausting and believe that I will just stick to my Buckeye Scarlet thank you very much. And here’s to 22 games this weekend! Let’s go Buckeyes.
And now a word from DJ Jazzy Patty McC! Who I do adore even if she is from The State Which Must Not Be Named. “If you’ve visited the library recently you might have noticed we have been making some improvements. We apologize for the inconvenience in the parking lot and for being closed this past Monday and sincerely thank you all for your patience. The good news is that from this inconvenience we now have a 400-kilowatt generator that will power our entire library during power outages as well as provide a source for keeping your phones and laptops charged. As a person who is frequently plugged-in, I think this is a GREAT thing. Maybe our new tagline should be, “Apocalypse? We’ve got you covered!” We’re still working on the zombie survival kit, but know that it’s in the works from the best and most paranoid among us. I think this deserves a playlist. And let’s hope we never need to use that generator…much. “