You Are What You Read

You Are What You Read

Welcome to the Memorial Day Edition of You Are What You Read.  We made it People.  Break out the coolers, the Solo cups and the white pants! Commence the rejoicing!  Here’s wishing you all a lovely long weekend that involves a healthy dose of whatever makes you happy come the Summer.  As for The Traveling Companion and myself, we will be found at our favorite beach one of these weekend days under the umbrella with the cooler full of contraband, two new chairs, and a bag full of reading material. 

This week’s housekeeping involves a big change coming down the pike and one that we are most excited about.  On Wednesday we will debut our new website which is truly spectacular. This being said,  I need to warn you all that you will need your library card number to access your on-line account so please feel free to talk to the Gentle People at the Welcome Desk this weekend if you can’t find yours and they will be happy to help.  There are a lot of really cool new features and the look is sleek and clean.  We can’t wait for you all to see it.  So get excited People!


In Animals Run Amok News, Mary Lee Shark seems to be gearing up for her Memorial Day Weekend by hanging off the beautiful beaches of Virginia.  I have no way of knowing if she is going to make a Hamptons appearance this year, but with Mary Lee all things are possible. You can track her here.


Going down this weekend is an occurrence that comes but twice a year and is a rather cool thing.  Manhattenhenge is a two day event that occurs on the opposite sides of the summer solstice and it baths the numbered streets that run east and west with beautiful light that is framed perfectly by the buildings on either side giving it that Stonehenge during a solstice affect.  This is happening on Sunday and Monday at about 8:12 and then again on July 11 and 12th.  This is a direct result of how the city was laid out over two centuries ago.  Because of the 90 degree angles there it is only logical that there will be days when this phenomenon happens.  Of course there are other cities where this happens because if your city is a laid out in a grid fashion running from East to West there are going to be Henge days.  But I don’t think that this makes them any less magical.  You can read about that here and if you witness it for reals, please let us know. 


This week we have a dog, a rainbow, some lovers, an island, hippies, a game (or is it?), and small-town America.

Playlist?  I'm still alive, ain't no luck, I learned to duck. Of course there's the Playlist.


Let us begin!


Laura  has just finished Spill Simmer Falter Wither, by Sara Baume.  “This is a touching story told from the perspective of an orphaned, socially-delinquent adult, who adopts a damaged dog that had been rescued from a dog fighting ring.  These two stray souls create a bond that, over the four seasons as depicted in the title of the book, touches the heart.  Baume’s award winning prose is mesmerizing as you understand the hurt and shame that comes from not being perfect and what tragedy awaits those desperate hearts.  This story takes surprising turns across the bucolic landscape of Ireland. “


Pat T is weighing in about our most popular non-fiction book.  “The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt is an emotionally rich and honest reflection of the relationship between a mother and her son. Just before Gloria Vanderbilt turned ninety-two, she experienced a serious illness, so when she recovered, Anderson and Gloria were determined to spend more time together. What ensued was a yearlong email correspondence between mother and son. Anderson came to know his mother in ways he couldn't have imagined.  Gloria opened up about her privileged, yet lonely childhood, early marriage at the age of seventeen , her emotional insecurity, and her search for a father figure. Together they shared their deep sorrow over their  many shared losses. ‘The rainbow comes and goes. Enjoy it while it last. Don't be surprised by its departure and rejoice when it returns.’ captures Gloria Vanderbilt's reflections on her life and advice for her son, Anderson.”

The Always Delightful Pat S and what she thinks of Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift.  “Set in 1924, just after the close of WW I, Mothering Sunday tells the tale of Jane Fairchild, an orphan who is currently a housemaid at one of the posh estates in the home counties. All of the action takes place on one day, Mothering Sunday, a Sunday in March when servants are allowed to visit their Mothers. But Jane is an orphan, with no mother to visit.  Instead, she will go to the neighboring estate, to spend the day in bed with Paul, the son from the neighboring estate. Jane knows that this is the last time she will see the soon-to-be-married Paul, and memorizes each detail, each scent, and each moment of the day.  Interspersed throughout this measured memory, we meet an adult Jane who has become a well-established and celebrated author. Flipping back and forth from the young Jane to older Jane, we are offered details which underline the importance of books and language which ultimately gave Jane the tools to find her voice. Run, don't walk, to find this gem.”

Sweet Ann is listening this week to The Water is Wide: A Memoir by Pat Conroy.  This story details Pat's year teaching in the early 70’s on an impoverished island off the South Carolina Coast.  Pat Conroy was an idealistic young teacher at the time, who thought he could change the lives of the children on the island.  Segregation was just ending but needless to say in the South there was still some resistance to that change.  The children on the island were very poor black children who were treated as if they would never learn anything.  Conroy was shocked that the students did not know what country they lived in , how to add or read beyond basic sight words.   He tried to make the year he taught there special and he tried to show them the bigger world.   His unorthodox methods to teach the children were met with anger and resistance at each turn, from the principal to the superintendent of Board of Education.  This is a heartbreaking journey with a great deal of heart. “

John is revisiting some earlier work. “Last week, I finished Arcadia by Lauren Groff, who I’m starting to develop a bit of a literary crush on. Many readers will be familiar with Fates and Furies, which was Groff’s breakout best seller. Where ‘Fates’ has some finely honed sharp edges, Arcadia yields to compassion, which is unsurprising given that it is about a boy named Bit growing up in a hippy commune in the 1960s. The commune buckles and falls apart under the weight of a growing population of strung-out newcomers, forcing Bit to emerge into an outside world he is completely unprepared to deal with.  This book is simultaneously a gentle critique of and wistful longing for the ‘back to the garden’ movement that infused the early hippy culture with energy and life.”

Babs B has finished up The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner.  Here’s what she’s feeling about that. “This is the story of 5 women who have played bridge together every Monday for 50 years.  In this absorbing memoir, Betsy Lerner probes marriage, career, motherhood, depression, aging, death, religion and sex.  She discovers that, although the Bridge Ladies' generation differs from hers, they share common values of love and kinship.  Tentatively at first, teenage Betsy becomes a regular fixture at her Mother's Monday Bridge Club. Before long, she braves the intimidating world of Bridge and falls under its spell.  Unexpectedly, the Bridge Ladies and the bridge table became a catalyst for change between Betsy and her Mother as they reconciled years of painful misunderstandings and long silences.”

Steph is here with what made her the most excited in Chicago.  “At BEA this year, I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Katarina Bivald, author of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. She was so funny that I had to give her book a try. I am about halfway through, and loving it! It’s so sweet and charming—the perfect clever summer read. As if The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and 84 Charing Cross Road had a baby, and then raised  that baby in Sweden. Bivald’s Scandinavian eye captures small-town America at its worst and its best, and all with a great sense of humor. I can tell I’ll have a very long to-read list at the end. This would be just perfect for a book group looking for a light read, or to share with a book-loving friend.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with the final musings and the Playlist.  What’s good Pats?    “This Memorial Weekend we will be spending time with our family and taking in a parade. This weekend’s parade is a somber reminder of those who serve and those who’ve lost their lives for our freedom. This weekend, I’ll also be attending a performance art piece by Billy Mark called Wrestle: The Match. Artist, Eno Laget describes it as, “He's gonna do some crazy/wonderful thing on the median on 8 Mile -- til the cops maybe shut him down. Will be crazy/cool and a life affirming assault on race and class divisions. Not to be missed as a Detroit experience challenging the status quo.” Now, how could I pass up an invitation like that?! Hope your weekend includes a parade, glorious weather and plenty of time to ponder the meaning of freedom and its’ cost.”

DL FIREWORKS, PARADES & BBQs 2016

Nice New Book Goodness

Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Blue Moon Edition of You Are What You Read.  For those keeping score, the Blue Moon is not really depressed or even colored blue, rather it is a rare thing in that it is the second full moon of the month.  Celebrate People.  Celebrate! 

 
In Animals Run Amok News it has been discovered that at least two man-eating crocodiles have been found in the Florida Everglades. This species is native to the African Nile and can grow to 20 feet long.  Their dietary habits not only include men but also cows and perhaps our own American crocodile.  No one is quite sure how they landed on these shores, but no one is happy to have them there because of the threat they pose to the fragile Everglades eco-system.  Anyway, you can read about that here.


I am back from Chicago, aka The Windy City where it was, indeed, windy.  Windy and as wet and cold as s dog’s nose. But no matter!   Get excited for the upcoming year.  There is a lot of Book Goodness coming your way.  Next week I will tell you all about a book that has knocked Eligible off the top spot on Jen’s Favorite of 2016 list.  Get excited.


Have you all heard about what is going down on Canal and Varick Street near the Holland Tunnel?  It all started when ad agency put some Post-Its on a window and spelled out ‘Hello’ to their neighbors across the street.  The neighbors responded with ‘S’Up?’  And that, People was the beginning of what is being called The Post-It War.  From such humble and probably yellow colored beginnings, it has evolved to the creation of many masterpieces made from all colors of Post-Its.  Apparently this area of Manhattan is lousy with Ad Agencies and this has proven to be a nice outlet for some excessive creative energy. There have been tributes to Prince, Spiderman sightings, Keith Waring riffs and messages like “Cuervo, No Chaser’. Because,  they’re ad men after all.  Of course, 3M, the maker of Post-It Notes has jumped gleefully in to the fray and has sent along boxes and boxes of many colored Post-Its in varying sizes to the two buildings.  Who knows how long it will go on and where it will end, but you all know this is the sort of thing I really kind of love. For those of you on Twitter, you can keep a real time watch by following the hash tags CanalNotes or PostItWar.  I think the real winner here will not be the warring factions, but the poor soul responsible for ordering the office supplies.  They have a bright future of gainful employment ahead of them keeping that closet stocked.  You can read about it here should you wish.


This week we have some Brahmans, a wedding, apples and two besties. 


Playlist? In a sticky situation, we’ve got you covered!

Let us begin!


J-Rae is BACK!!!  She can be found welcoming people at the Welcome Desk being her very cool self.  This week she has just finished up a big staff favorite.  “I'm sure I'm late to the game with this one, but I knew it would be good when Barbara Monin called me lucky because it was my first time reading.  The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan did make me feel lucky indeed. Starting at the end of the 19th century of India, it begins by following the ceremonies and traditions for a newly eligible 10 year old Brahman bride, Sivakami. Early on in the book, however, an unthinkable tragedy that seems to come directly from the Gods strikes at the beginnings of the family. Though Sivakami's caste at the time does not usually permit agency for a young woman, but readers root her and the many generations after her on to success. This book details traditions, customs, and perspectives I was always curious about, but never knew where to look for. For the reader who wants to learn, is hungry for a fascinating journey, and loves great writing, this book is a must read. “


Miss Lisa from the CL is reading Adult this week and here’s what she thinks.  “Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride is the latest graphic novel by Lucy Knisley. Something New delves into the nitty-gritty of her wedding, from start to finish, with chapters including “My Feminist Party,” “Fancy Lady: 101,” and “Money, Money, Money” in her beautifully inked, personal, and precise style. Knisley includes wonderful little asides about the origins of different traditions and flowcharts to guide decision-making. She treats the whole process with brutal honesty from  her relationship with her mom and her thoughts on dieting before the wedding, to the  wedding and its buildup. If you’re soon getting married, attending a lot of weddings this summer, or are already married and just want to hear more about the process from a brilliant comic artist, grab a copy!”


This week I have had to drive due to no fault of my own.  (Thanks for nothing Metro-North) WYNC is having its pledge week so that’s not helping the 2 hours I get to spend in my clown car to go 24 miles door-to-door as I stare into the car windows of my fellow commuters and wonder just how in God’s name do people do this day after soul sucking day.  To pass the time and prevent self-harm or murder, it never hurts to have an audio book at ones side.  I finished the amazing News from Heaven and was casting about for a new one when my eye fell upon At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier.  Told by alternating narrators, a device that I love in an audio book, the story begins with the story of James and Sadie Goodenough who leave the comforts of Connecticut in 1838 and literally settle in northwestern Ohio at a site picked because their wagon can go no further in a sea of mud.  The rules of homesteading state that they must maintain an orchard of 50 trees on their claim or else lose it entirely.  Both of the Goodenough’s love the orchard but Sadie loves it for the applejack they produce from the fruit, while James loves it for the comforting nostalgia the fruit provides.  This is not going to end pretty.  I’ll be relieved when trains get back to normal next week but I’ll still look forward to checking in with Drunken Sadie and Sad James.


Steph can also be found in a car this week.  Here’s what she’s doing to stay sane.  “While you’re waiting for Hamilton tickets to become affordable, you can still get your Lin-Manuel Miranda fix, as I did this weekend. In 2013, he recorded the audiobook for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Saenz, which is just a delight. This award-winning story follows two older teenage boys, Aristotle and Dante, as they become best friends and fumble their way through the most awkward phase of life. Their friendship is so sweet and Saenz explores the complexity of male friendship; as well as what happens when it could become something more and what it means to really know who you are. He does a great job of reflecting the reality of the bad choices and consequences of adolescence without pandering or glamourizing. My very boring drive just flew by, thanks to Lin’s theatrical reading, and I almost needed to pull over to cry a bit at the end. As long as you don’t mind a little smooching between friends, this could be a great book for your college road trip with a sulky teenager.”


Here’s DJ Jazzy Patty McC from That State Up North with the final musings and of course, The Playlist.  What’s good Pats?  This week I’ve curated a Post-It sized playlist. My message is also Post-It sized: Find Your Joy!! I’m off to enjoy a couple of bands in town this weekend, Speedy Ortiz and Yeasayer. This is my Joy. I invite you to get out and find yours.


DL POST-IT WARS 2016

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Mother’s Day Edition of You Are What You Read.   We will be taking a break next week, as I will be finishing up 4 days in The Windy City at Book Expo America aka Jen’s Idea of Heaven, where I will have been living, breathing and eating what’s coming up for the next year in Publishing.  And you know I’ll share what I learn.  With you.  When? When I am damn good and ready, People.  In the meantime soldier on.  Soldier on.

Yes, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday.  You will be able to find me working the Reference Desk on Sunday so make sure you stop by and say hello.  It’s a day which we honor our mothers and the hard stuff they do every day with grace and good cheer.  Sometimes anyway. But  I, please, beg of you, DO NOT under any circumstances honor her with a little something that I became aware of this week.  It would appear Kentucky Fried Chicken in Hong Kong has come up with a new marketing tool to help them introduce their perceived truth to the younger generation that their product is ‘finger licking good’. Of what do I speak?  Apparently some evil genius in a lab with too much time on his hands and no interest in solving the real problems we face like climate change or the deplorable conditions under the I-95 Underpass, has come up with, wait for it, fingernail polish that tastes like the Colonel’s Finest.  It comes in two flavors, Original which I assume is the paler color, or Hot and Spicy which I would assume is the red color.  Apparently you paint your nails with this and when you lick them they taste like, well, chicken.  People!  We have much to discuss.  First of all, one of the first mother admonitions that gets drummed into our tiny child brains is “Get your fingers out of your mouth.” Don’t be walking around licking your fingers and then touching stuff, that’s gross.  Secondly, if I want chicken, guess what? I’m going to eat chicken.  Licking my fingers is not going to cut it.  Also, aren’t they rather famous in Hong Kong for walking around wearing face masks to ward against Avian Flu?  With this being so, does this finger licking chicken flavored polish become some sort of weird fetish thing that goes down behind closed doors?  And wonder if, horrors of horrors, one uses it on ones toes.   Old shoes smell bad enough.  Please let’s not add chicken to that mess. Listen People, if you want to do your mom a solid, buy her a bouquet of her favorite flowers (lilies, sweet peas, peonies, and roses that smell like roses thank you, Scott Children), make her a nice dinner that you then clean up after, or if you really feel the need to go the grooming route under the guise of “treating herself” for the love of all that is holy, please just get her a gift certificate to her favorite place.  Anyway, you can read about that here should you wish.  Or not.

This week we have a murder, Maine, Africa, sadness (still), Paris (always), the NCAA and a widow.

The Playlist? You know it!  In fact, we have two!  One for each hand!

Let us begin!

Sweet Ann has just finished one of my favorites of the year, All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage.  “I loved this book and found I was engrossed from the first chapter through to the last. This is an extremely well written novel that begins with the murder of Cathy Clare whose husband George is the prime suspect.   The Clare family has moved into a run down, depressed looking farm house in upstate New York.  George knows the tragedy that happened to the previous family but neglects to tell Cathy.  The surviving boys, who have stayed nearby, of that family become entwined with the Clare family. You will get to know the characters in this novel  and you feel as if you would recognize them coming down the street.   This is one of my favorite books of the year and I can't recommend it enough.”

Abby has just finished Widowmaker by Paul Doiron.  Here’s what she thinks.  “Set mostly in a gritty Maine unknown to tourists, Doiron brings us another look into the life of  Maine State Game Warden Mike Bowditch. When Mike is approached by a woman with a checkered past,  he ends up investigating the whereabouts of her son, newly released from prison and the trail leads Mike places he would rather not go.  This is for readers of mysteries that combine nature with good storytelling and atmosphere. “

Laura feels she has been revisiting an old friend with Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller.  “I was glad to suggest Alexandra Fuller’s recent memoir, Leaving before the Rains Come, for my book group to read and it was like revisiting an old friend.  Fuller’s writing and style of delivery is like having a dear friend  dish to you deeply and unabashedly about her English/African family.  The book is sparing, but you get a great sense of the destruction in her childhood caused by the Rhodesian War of the 70’s and 80’s that she just can’t shake and which doesn’t help her failing marriage to American adventurist Charlie Ross. You will like the book for its honesty and clever weaving of family discourse, especially the self-deprecating English voices of her mother and father, sister Vanessa and of Fuller, known as ‘Bobo’ to her family. “

Kaitlin from the Rock is here and she and I have been talking about how saddened we still feel over recent events.  “Hiyo! Well, I'm still strangely upset by the death of Prince, so this past weekend, I watched Purple Rain for the first time (good movie, great music, but definitely has that issue that I find many 80s movies have--a lack of character development). RIP Purple One--may your afterworld be the ‘never ending world of happiness’ filled with sunlight that you sang about in Let's Go Crazy.  I've been reading The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George. In a weird twist, I got to this line in the book THE DAY AFTER PRINCE DIED: ‘I suspected them all of merely wanting to go to a proper town and visit the cinema again and buy themselves a few Prince records’. The story is about Jean Perdu, who sells books from his floating book barge on the Seine. Or rather, he prescribes books to readers, matching the perfect book to their emotional needs at the time. When a 20-year old letter from the former love of his life resurfaces, and he reads it for the first time, he decides to leave everything behind and travel to where she lived, along with some spunky traveling companions. I loved the idea of this book and the general story; the writing is beautiful, it's heartwarming, there is some humor. But it's a bit too romantic for my personal taste (i.e. someone always seems to be weeping with sorrow or joy at any given time). Overall though, an enjoyable and quick read! BONUS: There are recipes of some of the French meals the characters eat in an appendix in the back of the book!”

Steph aka Birthday Girl Steph has taken a break from her Consumption of Birthday Cheese (no small feat) to tell you what she’s jazzed about this week. “You know, I've never been a fan of the NCAA, but after finishing Indentured: the Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss, I am just livid that they've been able to act the way they do for so long. Any sports fan will have noticed an uptick in the number of stories about bizarre NCAA rules and unfair enforcement of them. Nocera and Strauss go past those stories (many of which they worked on or wrote) to look at the history of the organization and the many power struggles and legal battles that have made it what it is today. The definition of amateurism has changed through the years, and somehow, only schools and athletic departments have benefited--never the players. This book makes a convincing argument (both legal and ethical) that it should be changed again, but this time, so players can be rewarded. Whether you think student-athletes should be paid or not, this is a must-read for anyone who watches college sports.”

The Always Fabulous Babs B has just wrapped up The Widow by Fiona Barton, one of our more popular titles.  “This debut novel tells of the abduction and killing of a young child and attempts to catch the person everyone knows did it, but can't prove.  The story centers on the wife of the suspect, the detective determined to nail him and a journalist intent on getting the wife's story in what has turned out to be a tabloid mess.  I was disappointed with the story as it was not in the vein of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train as I was led to believe.  There are no surprises and everyone knows from the get-go who did this.  I was hoping there would be a last minute plot twist but it was not to be.  However, this is a compellingly eerie story which I finished in two nights!”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from  Meat Chicken with our final musings.  I know you all join me in wishing her the very happiest of Mother’s Days.  What’s good  Pats?  “Mother’s Day is a day of flowers, cards and in our case, brunch. I am thrilled to report that I will not be hosting a feast. Instead, I made a reservation at a delightful restaurant for eleven of us to enjoy a day off and celebrate. If the weather holds, it’s supposed to be sunny and warm. After what feels like endless days of bone-chilling dampness, grey gloom and rain, I can’t imagine a better gift than sunshine. So whatever your own Mother plans, I hope it’s joined by some sunshine and a few good tunes. “

DL MOTHERs GIFT 2016 

DL The Mother Lode 2014 

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Arbor Day Edition of You Are What You Read.   Today is, indeed, Arbor Day for those keeping score.   Originally begun in Nebraska in 1872 by settlers who missed their trees, it became official in 1907 with a proclamation by Theodore Roosevelt.  It is in fact, tree pollen making some of us so miserable with grass a close second. I think that if my eyes and throat are to be this itchy it would be nice if it were warmer.  Just ten degrees warmer?  Please?   Thank you.

Have you all heard about the Fly By Night project?  An artist named Duke Riley is the proud owner of 2,000 pigeons which he houses on a de-accessioned barge in the Brooklyn (of course) Navy Yard.  As if this wasn’t kind of icky enough, he has fastened teeny tiny LED lights to their skinny little bird legs.  When the sun goes down, he then hustles them all out and directs them with a big stick with a garbage bag tied on the end where they will swoop and careen en masse.    Now, I consider myself an open-minded individual but the thought of 2,000 pigeons swooping and diving makes me want to hide under my desk.  My twice daily trip under my nemesis, the   I-95 underpass, is bad enough.  And yes, the conditions under it are still a vile disgrace.  Thanks for asking.   I cannot imagine willingly co-existing with 2,000 of them.  What does that even smell like?   How does one care and feed 2,000 pigeons?  Is this something you can go to PetSmart for?  Do you belly up to the counter and say, “Good Afternoon My Good Man, I’d like 2,000 pigeons please!”  Is there a Pigeon Chow?  I have so so so many questions. We have all heard of pigeons described as rats with wings, but I don’t see some demented human tying lights to a rat’s tail and making them scurry around.  And I am thankful for that.  Also, am I alone in thinking the last thing NYC needs is more pigeon?  Any way you can read about that here.  And if anyone has tickets to this “event” please let us know how it went.  But if I were you, I’d bring an umbrella.  And not for any predicted rain. 

This week we have a Bro and a Dude, few words, recipes, a kingpin, some vigilantes, and some news.  News from Heaven that is!

Playlist?  Don’t be a bird brain, People.

Let us begin!

Steph is here with a total departure from her usual.  “This week I read the cutest book in the Library, thanks to Miss Krishna! Surf’s Up, written by Newbery award-winner Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, is a must-read picture book for anybody heading to the beach this summer. The surfer frogs at the center of the story want to spend the day differently; Bro wants to finish his book (Moby-Dick!) and Dude wants to surf. Who will prevail? The simple story can be read by even those new to books, and Miyares’s illustrations are instantly engaging. This is a book you wouldn’t be sad to read over and over again. Pack it next to the sunscreen.”

John:  a man of few words.  “I’m reading Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement. While it’s not quite as immersive as Memoirs of a Geisha, it’s still classic Tan.”

Pat T is as usual, listening.  “I have just started listening to My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved my Life by Ruth Reichl. The author was surprised the publisher was going to produce her book in audio because she didn't think the recipes would convert well, but surprisingly they do and the narrator sounds just like author! Ruth Reichl was the editor of Gourmet Magazine for ten years. After 70 years of publication, this well-loved magazine was abruptly shut down by Conde Nast during the 2009 recession. She did what she always did when she was anxious and scared; she hid in the kitchen and consoled herself with cooking which, for her, is a form of meditation! The book is part narrative and part recipes with a sprinkling of words of wisdom from a 40 year veteran of the food industry."


Laura is also listening.  “I listened to The Good Girl by Mary Kubica on audio, and that may have made the difference.  The well-read story is a well-crafted, thriller about 25 year old Mia Dennett who was kidnapped by down-on-his-luck thief Colin Thatcher who needed quick cash.  It was to be an easy abduction, grab the girl, and hand her off to a Chicago crime kingpin who had issue with her federal judge father.  But, while driving to the chosen drop-off point, Colin decided to keep driving.  Why did he want to keep her safe?  Meanwhile Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman stop at nothing to find her.  The story reaches into the complicated and fraught lives of families.  What seems perfect and righteous, really isn’t and what seems neglectful and distant, really isn’t as well.  If you liked Girl on the Train, or Gone Girl, this is a good read-alike.”


The Always Delightful Pat S is watching this week with Cartel Land by Matthew Heineman.  And just so you know this is one of her very  special obsessions.  “Cartel Land, a documentary by former Darien resident Matthew Heineman, and a 2015 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, is a riveting expose on the lawless state that exists regarding the cross border cartels in Mexico and to a lesser extent, the U.S. Filmed so up close and personal that you will fully understand the meaning of the expression fly on the wall.  Cartel Land focuses on two vigilante groups which have sprung up in the absence of government on either side of the border. In the US, we have Tim “Nailer” Foley, a veteran of the Army and recovered Meth addict who leads a squad of like- minded souls patrolling the border. In Mexico, leading a group that calls themselves Autodefensas is Dr. Jose Manual Mireles, a charismatic physician whose aim is to take back the towns from the cartels where any government presence has proved wholly susceptible to corruption. Filmed with unparalleled immediacy, Heineman focuses on the humanity of the situation-the fear, panic and helplessness which has created these self-defense groups. This vividly compelling and realistic portrayal of such a hopeless war is a long way off from Sean Penn’s interview of a drug kingpin in Vanity Fair.”

How do I judge a good audio book?  By the amount of time I am willing to drive.  Because, as you all know I am not a fan.  And I knew it was a winner when my child asked if we could keep driving so we could finish a story.  Jennifer Haigh is one of my favorite authors.  She’s a quiet craftswoman who is brilliant and teases out a different story every time.  I somehow missed her short story collection News From Heaven; The Bakerton Stories. Haigh returns to the fictional Pennsylvania coal town that she created in her first novel, Baker Towers.  Spanning years and generations the stories look at the lives of the town’s people whether they be to gentry born or down in the mines, and either at home in Bakerton or out in the larger world.  The audio has a cast of narrators which I love and totally adds to the story telling.  You needn’t have read Baker Towers to enjoy this cross section of life but I think if you haven’t this collection will totally make you want to.

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken and I know I am not alone in being relieved and not disappointed this week.  What’s good Pats?  “Spring is in the air here and with it comes the song of birds. One of the great things about moving into a new place is the new flora and fauna that arrive in the springtime. It’s a gift to see what perennials others have planted in the yard before you owned a particular plot. In our case, it’s just hostas. I was hoping to see some tulips or lilies. It makes me wonder how my bulbs are doing back in Darien. I hope the new owners enjoy the red lilies, irises and tulips.  Here, the most beautiful thing has happened. Every morning I am awakened by the sound of a glorious songbird. I have no idea what kind it is and have never seen it but its song is lovely and melodious. So this week when Jen shared the piece about what I’ve dubbed “Pigeon Sky Art” I was thrilled. Enjoy what this Spring gives to you.”

DL BIRDS OF A FEATHER 2016

Nice New Book Goodness

Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

What Are My Neighbors Up To?

Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Disappointment Edition of You Are What You Read.   The Full Pink Moon, which shall grace our skies this evening is named as such because this is the time that wild phlox begins to bloom.  The moon will not actually be pink.  So don’t be disappointed by that.  It is also known as the sprouting grass moon (yup, have sprouting grass), the egg moon (nope, no eggs), and the fish moon (nope, no fish).  So enjoy that, People.

A Happy Passover to those that celebrate.  May your matzo brei be especially tasty this year, brisket meltingly tender, and may next year be in Jerusalem.


If the disappointment of a moon not tinged with pink was not enough, it appears that the Village of Scarsdale has removed The Banner and will not allow anymore messages.   If anyone out there has the ear of the Powers at Scarsdale Town Hall please put in a good word for Greg and Co. This coupled with the loss of Prince yesterday has me rather at sixes and sevens.  We are here and gone in the blink of an eye People.  We need to make the most of things while we can. 


This week we have some silver, unanswered questions, and a mother and her son.  That's it. That's all. Disapointed yet?


Playlist?   Sorry.  Like I said it’s the Disappointment Edition. 


Sweet  Ann is watching this week with the movie, Learning to Drive.  “This is the captivating story of two people from completely different back rounds come together and form a bond.  Darwin, an Indian immigrant, is a taxi driver and a driving instructor in NYC and Wendy is a book editor.   The movie opens as Wendy and Darwin meet when Wendy’s husband of twenty-one-years decides, while they are in Darwin’s cab, that he wants a divorce.  Needless to say, Wendy's life is thrown into turmoil.  As Darwin drives Wendy to her town house after her husband's hasty exit from the taxi, she realizes that she will need to learn to drive in order to get on with her life and she arranges for Darwin to give her lessons.  This movie follows their budding friendship, as well as their new personal lives, hers as a divorcee and his with an arranged marriage. This is enjoyable movie stars the wonderful Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson. “


Babs B is continuing a story this week with Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom.  “The author of The Kitchen House which is one of my favorites continues the story of Jamie Pyke, the son of a slave and the master of Tall Oaks Plantation.   Jamie, who fled from the Virginia plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith.  When learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South he embarks on journey  that will take him dangerously close to his old plantation and the savage slave hunter who is searching for him.   I loved The Kitchen House and I would say that Kathleen Grissom has another winner!”


Kaitlin from the Rock is here and it is always wonderful to hear what she’s up to. “Hiyo! I just finished reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I loooved it! I loved it in the same way I loved the show Lost and the movie Cloud Atlas and I think fans of those will like this book. The gist is that there is a worldwide pandemic that kills almost the entire population of the world, bringing those who survive back to the primitive basics; i.e. no electricity, no technology, no running water, etc. The main story takes place 20 years into the future, and it follows the Traveling Symphony which is a nomadic group of actors and musicians that travel and perform in the various makeshift villages and towns that have been settled in the aftermath. There are a few main characters that are featured; their stories are told between the present-day and through flashbacks to before and during the plague. I did have some unanswered questions, but it didn't seem to matter, since I enjoyed the storytelling and writing so much.  The book has stayed in my mind more than any other book I've read recently. Loved it!”


Barbara M is very happy this week. “What a wonderful book!  The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt is a dialog between an aging woman and her adult son. Written in candid, revealing segments each expresses their disappointments, losses, fears and above all love and respect for one another. Yes, the mother and son are both  well- known but that is of little importance. The beauty of this book is the honesty of their relationship. It is not always easy for a mother and child to reveal themselves to each other but they do so with much eloquence. An absolute gem of a book – I loved it!”


 

You Are What You Read!

Welcome to the Tax Day Edition of You Are What You Read.  I know, I know.  Not even the fact that it’s on a Friday and we really have until Monday to write the check dulls that blow. This week’s Housekeeping includes a special thanks to Map M (not her real name) for the offering of tea and cookies to the You Are What You Read Gods!  Thanks Map. You rock! And my low 3:00 blood sugar and work- mates thank you too. In Hopeful Sign News, the water has returned to the pool by the entrance and the flowering cherries are in fact flowering.  This may be it People. We may be on the way to True Spring.  I can’t do a bare leg yet, but I am sensing its return any minute now.  Perhaps next week if all holds.  In Animals Run Amok News, we seem to be circling back to Laura’s review from last week about the intelligence of our friends the Octopi.  It would appear that Inky, an Octopus being held against his will in New Zealand, decided to make the Break for Freedom about three months ago by sliding through a gap left by maintenance workers, making his way over to a drain hole where he squeezed his football sized body through a 6 inch hole and swam away. His captors (aka Aquarium Officials) are just making this news known. And apparently this is not the first Octopus break-out, they are easily bored and will take matters into their many hands to rectify that situation.  Any way you can read about that here. Enjoy. 


We have talked in the past about how hard this life can be and how we grab onto any small thing that makes it easier or gives joy.  Smallish things such as a cup of tea and a cookie from a patron turned friend or the kindness from your Train Friends with the offer of a ride on a rainy day can drive the dark back into the corners where it belongs.  And while these are little things, they do make a difference and are easy for us to do for each other.  We also seek out a whimsical dot on the landscape while we head off to our daily travails that enable us to put bread on the table to brighten and lighten the journey. It can be that person who boards the train whose story you have written in your head. Or perhaps, the ever changing landscape as you go over the tidal rivers and see the return of egrets, the removal of the plastic shrouds covering boats in harbors readying them for that first spring sail, or once upon a time, the message from The Loft in SoNo.  I know I am not alone in sadness about the loss of our weekly message.  Many of you have reached out to me personally and have felt the same sense of loss and dismay.  Earlier this week, I caught myself gazing out the train window out at the now empty balcony wishing for reappearance. I like the Huskies as much as the next Nutmeg State denizen but the UConn banner that adorns the neighbor’s deck rail just does not inspire in the same way.  The Loft has been gone since October, and still I look out and hope. On Wednesday, as I sat at my desk to begin doing what I do,  I got a Direct Message on Twitter from the folks at Think Around Corners, the creators of the Banner, asking me how I was doing and telling me that they had a surprise for me. The picture you see for this week’s image was what was sent to me.  They said that as long as the Village of Scarsdale doesn’t object, there will be a message every week and they have promised to share.  To say this made my day, week, month, year is an understatement.  So go forth People!  And in the spirit of The Loft create some whimsy in your landscape to share with others, or extend a small kindness.  And for those of you who have occasion to ride the Harlem Line you’re in luck!  Your trip just got a whole lot more fun. 

 
This week we have some quaint, some crack, and an attack. 


Hello Playlist!  Always good to see and hear from you!

Let us begin!

Pat T just finished one of our most wanted books this week and here is what she thought. “This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. The Summer Before the War is set in the quaint town of Rye, near East Sussex and the story focuses on social class, village life of the early twentieth century. The main character is a charming, and spirited Beatrice who struggles with the constraints of the time. If you like the Edwardian period, Henry James, a slew of interesting characters, as well as some interesting historical facts, you will enjoy curling up with this cozy book.”


The Always Delightful Pat S has just finished Dodgers by Bill Beverly.  But she’s not finished raving about it.  Trust me on this one.  “Billed as a coming of age tale, Dodgers is a debut novel for author Bill Beverly. A far cry from Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, our hero Easton, (East for short) embarks on a voyage of discovery-both figuratively and literally. Fifteen years old, East is a lookout at his dealer uncle’s crack house in an area of Los Angeles known as The Boxes. When the crack house is raided by the police during East’s watch, he is given the opportunity for redemption in a cross country drive with three other boys to kill a witness in an upcoming case against his boss/uncle. The crew, aged 13 to 21, sets off and in Easts’ case it’s the first time leaving The Boxes. Joining East is Michael Wilson, a 21-year-old smooth talker with one year of college under his belt. Walter is a problem solving 17-year-old computer geek, and finally Ty, Easts’ 13-year-old brother whose bloodless persona is simply chilling. Written in spare prose, Beverly has created characters coiled with tension. The emotional intrigue and impending danger leave the reader on the edge of their seat as these boys are faced with impossible choices. This is a book that grabs you from the first page-and does not let go. I am rooting for East even now.”


Steph is here with one I also finished this week.  Here’s her take on All is Not Forgotten. “I picked up a lot of thrillers at the PLA Conference, anticipating the rush of readers this summer looking for smart, fast-paced reads. So far, the best of the bunch has been All Is Not Forgotten, by Wendy Walker. The setting is an affluent Connecticut town called Fairview; an invented town, and yet, one that will feel very familiar. A young woman is violently assaulted, and in the aftermath, her family chooses to go forward with an experimental treatment that erases all of her memories of the attack. But though her brain is cleared, her emotions are still high, and months later, she is still traumatized. The entire family turns to a local psychiatrist for help, and as the narrator, it is through his eyes that we learn everything they are going through. But the good doctor is more invested that you’d think—and there are many surprises to come. It’s an intense and graphic read, definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you can make it through the first thirty pages, you’ll find a nearly perfect page-turner.”


DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with our final musings.  What’s good Pats? “I no longer have a commute, but there was a time in my life when I did. My commute after the Northridge earthquake that shut down the Santa Monica Freeway (the 10) aka the busiest freeway in the United States was seriously messed up for 3 months. I know the side streets of LA like nobody’s business. Then again my commute from Connecticut to Wall Street was no picnic. Throw in a terrible first trimester of morning sickness and you’ll know what kind of hell I’m talkin’ ‘bout. It should come as no surprise then that I am sympathetic to those of you who commute. I deeply understand both coasts commuting woes. So, this week when I heard that something familiar in Scarsdale was visible from the Metro North, I got excited. Anything that makes a commute tolerable is a blessing in my book. This week I celebrate the return of The Word from The Loft with a big HELLO AGAIN! Hello, all the way from The D, we’ve missed you!”


DL HELLO AGAIN 2016 

What Are My Neighbors Up To?

Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

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