Well hello there and a Happy First Full Week of Summer! It was shocking to feel the heat and humidity yesterday when I went to lunch. And it’s hard to wrap the brain around the idea that this time next week we will be knee deep in Star Spangled Banners, Barbecue, and Beer for the 4th. It feels like just yesterday the only thing we were knee deep in was the four letter S word. But here we are at the beginning of High Summer and I am sure that you all are already thinking about your great escape to wherever it is you Summer. The Message from the SoNo Loft is Really Give It The Gas. If you are on the road heading out, I would gently recommend that you may want to have a crack radar detector before heeding their advice. Those Staties don’t play. This week we have some new neighbors, a chimpanzee, small gestures and some duchesses. Of course we have The Playlist! How can we not have The Playlist?
Let us begin!
Sue tried something new this week and here is her take on Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. “This week I deviated from my normal chick-lit reading and got lost in the realm of YA Fiction with Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. This is about a 16-year-old Goth misfit named Raven Madison. When the old abandoned mansion in town comes alive with new residents everyone believes that the new neighbors are actually secret bloodthirsty vampires. One day, she encounters one of the new inhabitants of the mansion, the attractive yet mysterious Alexander Sterling. The two slowly fall in love, but still the question remains; are the Sterlings really vampires and if they are this could make the town that is nicknamed ‘Dullsville’ anything but dull. I enjoyed this book and was made even happier when I learned that it was the first in a Series.”
Jeanne gives us an insight this week into how she chooses her audio books and it’s about what I would expect. I’ll let her explain. Have at it Jeanne! ”Sometimes with audiobooks I like the title and don’t really look at the cover, and soon I am engrossed in the story and the narration, but suddenly I think, ‘Wait. WHAT is this about?! ‘But by then I like the writing and the voice of the main character and I keep listening and before I know it I am done. This is the case with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, a story of siblings, science experiments, data and there is a chimpanzee on the book cover. The story is deeply disturbing, heart wrenching and plenty thought-provoking. The wonderful Orlagh Cassidy reads with all the right voice, tempo and inflection. I count her as a favorite narrator. “
Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is looking back this week and she has been doing some serious reflection. “I like to think I was kind as a child. Not making fun of others and saying hello to all. But if subject to peer pressure, did I always do the right thing and stand up for the underdog? Probably not. This has been on my mind a lot since I started reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. August Pullman is a young man who was born with an extreme facial deformity who and after years of being taught at home is entering school for the first time as a fifth grader. The book tells the tale of his first year of school and the impact on his family and friends. The book has its faults but it is a beautiful, heartfelt story that made me laugh, cry, and reminded me how the smallest gestures can be the most courageous. This is a wonderful read for people of all ages and if you haven’t read it you should.”
It has been a while since I revealed what the current Blow Dry Book is. For those new to this space a Blow-Dry Book is a book I literally read while I blow-dry my hair. It’s a chore and a bore (the blow-dry, not the book) and so I need something to entertain me while it happens. And I want to state for the record I am not alone in this quirk. Virginia is also a fan of the BDB. My current Blow- Dry Book is The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport. We all know that this story is not going to end well, but it fascinates just the same. The four sisters were beautiful, well educated, and wealthy beyond measure. And yet what is strikes me the most, aside from their tragic fate, is how their lives were filled with crazy contradictions. They lived in a cosseted world where very few outsiders were allowed in and yet because of their brother’s hemophilia and their mother’s frequent turns as an invalid they were often required to be the face of the Russian monarchy. Sure, their homes were palaces and yet the private rooms they lived in are described as homey and decorated in comfy sort of English style filled with chintz and flowers. Yes, there were servants and luxury aplenty and yet they all learned how to make their beds. You can’t help but wonder what would have become of them is they had been allowed to live past their ages of 22, 21, 19 and 17.
DJ Patty McC was back in Da House this week and it was wonderful to see her in the flesh and not just communicate with her via the interwebs. Here is her take on our message this week. Have at it Patty! “Summer is finally here and we are all soaking up that glorious Vitamin D! What's more summertime than rolling down the windows in your car, cranking up the tunes and taking a summer road trip? I could tell you stories from my childhood of road trips gone wrong that would be highly entertaining. They involved travel in a stripped down van with no insulation so that when the sun hit the metal it heated all the way through. Did I mention that there were no windows or seats and that the driver was a chain smoker? Ah, sweet summertime road trips. This week I packed up my daughter and hit the highway for a little housekeeping here in The Nutmeg State. Librarians around the country are gathered in Las Vegas for the ALA conference. I'm hitting the highway tomorrow to head back home to my boys in the mitten shaped state. I'm still grooving to last week’s tunes but I think our town librarians need a little bit of What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. Now go forth and put the pedal to the metal.”