You Are What You Read

New eBooks from OverDrive

Here are the new books available from OverDrive.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America by Dick Cheney

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 

House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure

On the Move by Oliver Sacks

Rising Strong by Brené Brown 

Sisters in Law:  How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
by Linda Hirshman

New eBooks from 3M.

These are the new titles available from 3M.

New eBooks from 3M.

These are the new titles available from 3M.

You Are What You Read!

You Are What You Read
You Are What You Read

Greetings and welcome to the Short Week Edition of You Are What You Read.  There is no housekeeping this week.  No taffy, fudge or cheese.  The Loft may have changed its message or it may not have.  I can’t tell.  I have to sit on the wrong side of the train these days because it is so packed by the time we hit Westport that all the middle seats are taken and I hate being in a full three seater.  I understand that this is ridiculous behavior but we all have our quirks and that is one of mine.  And really?  That the train is that sort of packed and they will not add more cars is what is really ridiculous here.  So listen up Metro North!  The 7:52 out of Fairfield Metro needs more cars. 

This week I have been musing on some things recently found.  We have our newest ancestor, Homo Naledi that has been found in a cave in South Africa.  The bones come from at least 15 individuals ranging from babies to children to grown-ups to some oldsters.  They appeared to be a small, thin people no more than 5 feet tall and they had an odd mix of features never seen before. What I found to be the most interesting was the challenge of bringing these bones to light.  They were found by cavers in 2013 in a place so inaccessible that the call had to put out to “skinny scientists who are not claustrophobic” because you had to descend down a crack 30 feet long that is only 7 ½ “ wide.  This is something I don’t like to think too hard about.  Interestingly enough six women are the ones who got this gig.  If you would like to learn more about this here is a rather nice article on that.

Also, I learned this week that there is more to Stonehenge than meets the eye. Apparently there are a lot of chapels, burial mounds and shrines that no one ever dreamed were there buried in the area surrounding the site.  It seems that they were found because of a faulty sprinkler system.  When brown patches began to appear on the landscape, the maintenance crew discovered that they created a circle around the remaining stones. This caused researchers to survey the area surrounding where the buried structures came to light.  You can read about that here

Isn’t it kind of cool to think that we are still learning about these things? 

This week we have a ghost, a spunky teen, NYPD, a famous newscaster, and a belligerent drunk.

We’d be buggy not to have The Playlist!

Let us begin!

John B just finished A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. “I read it because I loved and related to Stein’s  Art of Racing in the Rain. This is a very different type of novel, an unapologetic ghost/haunted house story. The ghosts take on more of a character role rather than a plot device, however, and the story delves into family trauma and reconciliation. While this book doesn't have the raw edge and driven passion of Racing, it does show how Stein's writing is becoming more refined and his storytelling more crafted. I'll continue to read his novels.”

Amy of the Double One Triple Two Zip Code is here and is unabashed in her love of what she herself calls ‘cheesy Young Adult Lit.  Here’s what she’s fired up about on that front. “I’m a fan of the overly-emotional, sometimes weepy, always sensational genre of Realistic YA Fiction with a side of something unusual, such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. When a copy of debut author Nicola Yoon’s book Everything Everything graced my desk earlier this summer, I pounced at the chance to read. It tells the story of spunky teen Madeline who has a compromised immune system and a rare disorder in which she is basically allergic to everything, so she lives at home in a sterile environment , behind an airlock that keeps the outside world at bay. Cue a new family moving in next door complete with a teenaged boy with the name of Olly, who falls in love with Madeline by gazing at her through his bedroom window, and then through pithy emails and late-night Instant Messages (a nod to modern day online dating? Well done, author Yoon!). Will they be able to overcome the literal door keeping them apart? A twist ending does not disappoint. Those of you that have a secret soft spot for YA romances will find joy in this sensational debut.”

Abby has another crime series she wants to make us aware of. “The Alexandra Cooper Series from Linda Fairstein is usually a safe bet as solid crime fiction but with a light touch. In the Devil’s Bridge, Fairstein felt the need to shake things up a little so she plays around with the narrative voice. When Assistant DA Alex Cooper disappears, Fairstein starts exploring things from other points of view. While the detectives and other members of the NYPD are searching for clues as to Alex’s whereabouts, the characters are allowed to share their thoughts about some of Alex’s less charming character traits and with Alex’s life on the line, everything must be explored.  I’m not sure Fairstein’s narrative experiment was successful, but she does push her characters out of their comfort zones and provide the reader with a little more insight,  warts and all.

Sweet Ann can be found bombing around listening this week to A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw. “Although not read by Mr. Brokaw his words came so alive as I listened, I felt as though it was him and I was hearing a friend. This memoir deals with Tom's multiple myeloma diagnosis and his treatment course, as well as the strength of his family life and moments of history that he reported on such as the Berlin Wall coming down, 9/11 and the 70th anniversary of Normandy.  As a celebrity, as he readily points out he was able to be treated by the best doctors and had the money to travel for treatment.  But this did not spare him from problems in his treatment. Two well-known physicians thought his back pain was due to exercise, not the beginnings of cancer, and another doctor scheduled further surgery that could have ruined his mobility. Tom is not bitter and relates  it to us because all need  to be an advocate for our care or the care of a loved one.  I loved the part of this memoir when he spoke of the love of his life, his wife Meredith, his daughters and grandchildren I have always thought Tom Brokaw was just a nice man from the Midwest and this memoir confirms that image. It is a great audio book.” 

The Always Entertaining Mallory is here with something she has been begging me to read. I’ll let her beg you all now. “Set in the affluent, beachside Connecticut town of Little Neck Cove (cough,Greenwich,cough), The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak, follows middle-aged Cheryl and her college-aged stepson Teddy. Despite living in an active, privileged community, both Cheryl and Teddy find themselves dealing with extreme loneliness and isolation. Teddy, recently kicked out of college, is bored and battling with substance abuse. Cheryl struggles with an absent husband and the need to feel wanted and desired.  Both characters are as infuriating as they are sympathetic, and the novel has a bit of a Kate Chopin The Awakening feel to it as you watch both characters destroy themselves. As believable as Cheryl and Teddy are, The Invaders’ real highlight is in its anti-hero: a drunk, crass old man who rides around on his dilapidated bike and shouts profanities at neighbors, a tertiary character you’ll love to root for.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Up North with some final musings on something you most definitely don’t want to find and would quite happily lose.  What’s good Pats? “This week marked curriculum nights held in schools across the country. Yes, it’s that time when teachers get to meet their students’ parents and run through classroom routines, share curriculum and testing schedules. My fourth grade son will have FIVE mandated testing periods this year and while that news makes me itch and twitch, there’s something else that has parents bugging out. If you read or watch the news you might have heard about the new Super Lice. These mutant bugs are not in fact new, but have been getting around since the late 90’s. Blame it on selfies, blame it on our obsession with being squeaky clean, blame it on whatever helps you sleep at night, but please don’t blame it on kids or teachers or school nurses who have to deal with this nuisance every year. It’s lice folks. No one is going to die. It’s time consuming to deal with but it’s just a bug. Having dealt with this a few times, I have some advice. First, take three deep breaths. Next, check your kid’s hair daily then talk to your kids about NOT sharing hats and hoodies. Finally, just relax. I promise you, it’s possible to get through a case of lice and besides it makes for some great jokes after a little distance from the experience. Need a book to read to the kiddos about it? We’ve got you covered. There’s even a playlist to scratch along to. There’s always a playlist.”


You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to The Labor Day Weekend Edition of You Are What You Read.  This week’s housekeeping is as follows:  Thanks to Karyn A for this week’s taffy and to Diane H for the chunk of cheese.  Diane, Steph is off the next two weeks doing some sort of wacky, not at all life altering thing like getting married. I cannot guarantee that this cheese will still be alive when she gets back, but I’ll do my best. The word/wish from The SoNo Loft is ‘You are Fearless”.  The deck is still being worked on and they have to hang it vertically now.  Here’s hoping the railing comes back soon. People, go out and be fearless please.  The Loft commands it! 

Here we are at the end of Summer 2015.  This summer was unusual in that Memorial Day was on the earliest possible day and Labor Day is occurring on the last possible day giving us a full 15 weeks of summer.  The next time this will happen is 2020, and I am looking forward more to the promise of a full 15 than the candidacy of Kanye.  Although there are possibilities in that; I mean if Kim can make the cover of Vogue?  The sky is the limit for those two. Anyway, this weekend will find me and the Traveling Companion hopefully on my favorite beach in town, soaking up the last rays of summer like a snake on a rock.  It’s a small secluded beach that is just that.  It’s a beach.  There are no concession stands, no playgrounds, no volleyball nets, just surf and sand and rock. What makes this appealing is the utter lack of screaming children, the smell of old grease in the air and college students with dubious taste in music. Because the parking lot is small, occasionally you will get turned away.  It’s a chance I am always willing to take because it’s that kind of peaceful.  Of course there will be a few more weekends to pack the cooler with contraband and Solos and a lovely lunch, but there’s something about the finality of Labor Day that will make that final pack up on Monday afternoon feel bittersweet.  Thank goodness college football is starting back up.  That makes things a little better. Let’s go Bucks! We wish you a lovely long weekend and remember we won’t be here on Monday so neither should you.  We’ll see everybody on Tuesday.

This week we have a widower, New York, Paris, and an Island.  Long Island if you please.

The Playlist? Of course!

Let us begin!

Pat T is revisiting something from earlier this summer; Our Souls at Night, by Ken Haruf. “A widow living in a small town in Colorado makes a very unusual proposition to a neighboring widower. When Lou takes Addie up on her offer they soon settle into a comfortable friendship, enjoying each other's company during the day, as well as during the evening! However, their new arrangement is threatened by the interference of Lou and Addie's adult children who see the arrangement as improper. What happens to their friendship left me stunned and disappointed! This story reinforces something that we intrinsically know but fail to recognize all too often; the human spirit is fully alive only when we feel connected to one another!”

The Always Fabulous Babs B just finished House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure.  “This is a great historical novel that sees New York's Gilded Age with an architect's eye. Familiar figures like the legendary Mrs. Astor and Stanford White help set the scene, and the author embarks on a splendid page-turner as a respectable family discovers its criminal side in old New York.  Since Belfoure is an architect, his knowledge of the craft enriches his portrait of the main character, John Cross. Readers of the Paris Architect will love this book!”

Barbara M is asking questions this week. “What is the cost of courage? For the Boulloche family the cost was a father and a mother and a son. The Cost of Courage by Charles Kaiser is a tribute to a family who was part of the French resistance during WWII. In 1940 the Boulloche family was living in the fashionable 7th arrondissement when the Nazis occupied Paris. Three of their children; Christiane, André and Jacqueline became active in the resistance movement. They never talked about their war experiences with their children until the author, Charles Kaiser, investigated and asked them to tell their story. This is an amazing story of conviction, patriotism and courage. It reads like an exciting thriller. Pair this with The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, a fictional story of the resistance.”

The Ever Delightful Pat S has a new obsession in The Affair, Season 1.  “The Affair explores the painful and wide-reaching emotional effects of an affair between two married people. Noah, fulltime teacher and fledgling author, is apparently happily married to Helen, mother of his four children. Living in New York City, they are spending the summer in Montauk with Helen’s wealthy family. It is here in Montauk that Noah finds himself in a chance meeting with Alison, a waitress at a local diner. Still awash in grief from the death of her only child, and trapped in a marriage that probably died the day her son did, Alison is desperately seeking a way out; from her grief, her marriage, from Montauk. And this is only the first episode! The story is told from the viewpoint of both Noah and Alison, which is an interesting device that reels the viewer in. Initially, I didn’t expect much but I will admit to binge-watching the entire first season in a weekend. The acting by Dominic West, Maura Tierney and Ruth Wilson stands on its’ own and just this morning I found myself trolling to find out when Season 2 begins. Definitely take a look.”

Here is DJ Jazzy Patty McC who I can happily report is not in The State Which Shall Not Be Named this week.  What’s good Pats and where are you?  “Today we are hitting the highway for our final road trip of the summer to attend a wedding. Our friend, whom we’ve known since high school, is having a BIG traditional Indian wedding smack dab in the middle of Pennsylvania. We couldn’t be happier to celebrate these two wonderful people and their love for one another. Saris, kurtas and fabulous Indian jewelry will be worn over the course of the next three days. Feels like an auspicious time to be wed as this weekend will also mark the wedding of our dear Stephanie. So the next time you see Stephanie, stop and congratulate her on her new nuptial bliss. Happy Wedding Weekend!”


You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Full Sturgeon Moon Edition of You Are What You Read. Apparently, this is an excellent time to score some Sturgeon.  Who knew? This week’s housekeeping involves a mystery.  I am not sure who dropped off the North Carolina Taffy on Monday night because you left no name with Sue S.  But I thank you for it, and if it was your husband who I horrified with my Beach Self on Ocean Isle please pass along my most heartfelt apology. Honestly, I will never learn.  It is NEVER safe to go out thinking no one will ever see you in your natural state.   Oh, they’ll find you, trust me on this. They will find you with your naked face, dirty salt crusted hair, a baseball hat, and a bathing suit cover-up.  They’ll find you and they will physically recoil.  Trust.  The SoNo Loft has no message for us this week. I think that they are waiting for the work on the roof to be done already and the railing to go back up.  Here’s hoping that happens soon.

This week I sent an alert on Facebook to my brother and sister-in-law in New Jersey about those bears that were cavorting in a pool.  My brother and his family dwell in the Jersey and seem to have a never-ending parade of wildlife traipsing through their yard.  It feels as though Peter is constantly driving around the state with creatures ripe for relocation in the Have-A-Heart Trap in the back of his car.   For those that missed the Beach Blanket Bears here is the link.  My cousin Suzanne S who lives in Ohio chimed in with the thought that the Mama Bear may have been just Baby Bear Sitting some of those cubs with the way she was tossing them around.  I had to break it to Suzanne that seeing as this is the last week in August, and if you are a mother this is what your heart desires.  You want to throw your progeny out of stuff.  It may be a pool, it may be your house, but those kids are on your last nerve and it’s time for them to go already.  In fact, you want to toss them the gusto that an Australian saves for a Dwarf in a bar.  So Happy Back to School, Work, whatever it is that means the end of summer to you. The signs are all there People!  The mums and grasses are out next door and across the street and when I left Pilates on Monday night at 8, I was walking home in what can only be described as dusk.  It made me want to sit on the sidewalk and weep.  It’s simply a matter of time before we are all stuck behind that fume spouting, stopping every 3 feet school bus, with that annoying kid who is waving at you and making faces while we curse our 9-5 existence. So enjoy these last dregs of summer.

The Playlist? Yes! Yes!  Of course we’ve got that for you times two!

This week we have some defiance, Africa, a priest, and some aliens.

Let us begin!

We kick this week off with Virginia the Tall Cool Texan.  Here’s what she’s been up to.  “Irresistibly charming, poignantly funny, and heartbreakingly sad is how I would describe Anna McPartlin’s beautiful book, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. I started crying two pages into this book, and by page three I was laughing through my tears. Rabbit Hayes is dying, and the novel starts with her being checked into hospice.  The young mother has only a few days to say her goodbyes, and tell her family and friends how much she loves them. Most of all she must make sure her young daughter feels safe and loved. I know, it sounds horribly bleak, but it isn’t. Her family and friends rally around Rabbit in the most beautiful ways; with defiant laughs, loyalty and inspiring strength. The story is told with a multi-perspective viewpoint so the reader can understand how Rabbit’s illness impacts each major character with flashbacks that contain a whirlwind of memories. The book is bittersweet, nostalgic and brave.  It is about a close-knit, boisterous, wonderful family wanting to make the most of every single moment they have left with their loved one, and not just with tears but with laughter.  And trust me, you will laugh.  You will cry, but you will also laugh. If you loved Me Before You and The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, then this book is for you.”

Abby is enjoying some African thoughts this week. “Alexandra Fuller captured my imagination with her memoirs recounting her time growing up in Africa.  As a child of British ex-pats who chose to live in an Africa stricken by civil wars, her writing is rich with wonderful storytelling. Fuller’s eccentric parents made life a big adventure for Alex and her siblings. The first two memoirs are Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. The Fuller’s feared living a mundane life at anything less than full-throttle. There is both great joy in how they choose to live, but also tremendous loss and pain.  Is it any wonder that as an adult, Alexandra realizes the chaos in which she grew up in is very much a part of who she is? Leaving Before the Rains Come deals with this issue. Married to an American with a passion for Africa, Alexandra begins a new life in America. As her marriage falters, she begins to look more closely at the chaos that ruled her childhood. Fuller is one of the best memoir writers working today and I appreciate her willingness to go deep inside all the corners of her life.”

Sweet Ann has just finished A History of Loneliness by John Boyne. “ This is a book I found while shelving here at the Darien Library.   This is the story of Ordran Yates, a man of faith who becomes a priest in the 1970's in Ireland.  The book travels back and forth in Ordran's life, from childhood, to the seminary, Rome, and as a chaplain of a boy's school in Ireland.  He entered the priesthood because his mother felt he had a calling.    You follow Father Yates from the beginning of his priesthood where priests are revered to the scandals that hit the church in the early 2000's where the whole church was rocked by the transgressions of certain priests and the higher church authorities who so wrongly protected them.  Father Ordran Yates is a believable character from the beginning. He loves his family, especially his sister Hannah and his two nephews, his church and his school.  He does question his faith at times and you are right there with him.  This is a very well written book and I recommend it highly. “

Steph is here and she is EXCITED!  “Hooray for Cixin Liu! His novel The Three-Body Problem won the Hugo Award for Best Novel this week, given annually to the best work of science fiction or fantasy for the previous year. It just happens that this week I read the sequel to that work this week, The Dark Forest. And it was just as good as his first book, except on an even grander scale. Three-Body focused on the effects of the discovery of an advanced alien civilization on China (both modern China and during the Cultural Revolution). Broadening the story, the sequel focuses on how learning that this civilization exists and is coming to destroy humanity affects the entire global community, starting now and heading by leaps and bounds 400 years into the future. Liu’s imagination has turned the classic alien-contact story into something new and enchanting. These are a real pleasure to read, even for those who don’t usually read hard sci-fi.  There’s a reason these were instant classics when first published in China.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC!  What's good Pats? "Like those bears playing in the backyard pool, I’m still celebrating summer. Sure we’ve been doing those necessary back to school tasks like buying school supplies, purchasing new shoes and getting haircuts. I’ve filled out numerous forms (I must say the online computerized school forms make me VERY happy) and the kids have attended the back to school events and even a high school football game. We’ve got one more road trip scheduled before resuming the routine of daily lunches and the chilly morning trek to the bus stop. There’s still a little time left for us to swing on the play set and take a dip with a floatie. I encourage you to take full advantage of it. I know we will."


DL Back To School 2013 

New eBooks from OverDrive

Here are the new books available from OverDrive.

X by Sue Grafton

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

Most Likely to Succeed:  Preparing Our Kids for the New Innovation Era by Tony Wagner

Comfort Food Makeovers by America's Test Kitchen

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb

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!

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Happy to be Home Edition of You Are What You Read. Here is this week’s housekeeping. First up; thanks to Steph for filling in for me last week.  She did a fabulous job in spite of the fact there were no cheese offerings from you all.  We are pleased to report that the winner of Guinea Pig Pride and Prejudice goes to Sooo-Z of Westport, CT who wrote us this:

I would love a copy of this book (if I'm not too late) as I am a guinea pig lover and pig mother to 4. It will go in my collection of other fabulous guinea pig literature and will be a welcome distraction from Edith Wharton's House of Mirth which I am laboring over right now.

I’ve been thinking (dangerous I know) and I have no doubt that Mrs. Wharton would not want to see Lily Bart portrayed by a guinea pig. I am pretty sure that putting a corset on a guinea pig would prove problematic. Anyway, we are so happy that this tome is going to a worthy bookshelf!  Congratulations to Sooo-Z! The SoNo Loft is indeed having roof repairs done and has had to use some creative thinking about how to best hang their message of good cheer.  Currently they are putting the sign on the corner of the building which makes it hard to see.  But this week’s message is You Are Worthy. So use that as you will and let’s hope that the railing comes back soon. There was no taffy or fudge, so we don’t need to discuss that.

This week I have been fascinated by a mystery that has taken to the web.  A small town photographer in Virginia found four sets of photographic negatives in a thrift store. Intrigued she took them home and scanned them and was stunned by what she saw.  They show young women in the surf just slightly turned away from the camera.  The Finder, Meagan Abell is now on the hunt to find the identity of the young women in the pictures and the photographer that took them.  She estimates may have been taken in the 40’s or 50’s and she thinks that she has pinpointed the location to being the Del Ray Peninsula in California. Here is the link to the story. If you can help Meagan out, tweet using #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives and let us know too!  Even though I won’t read a mystery, I do love a Mystery.

This week we have some Hungarians, St. Thomas, blackouts, and Scout.

No mystery at all that there is The Playlist. Of course there’s a Playlist!

Let us begin!

Barbara M has just finished The Color of Smoke: An Epic Novel of the Roma by Menyhert Lakatos. “Written in the 1970s and just recently translated into English this is a gritty coming of age story of a Hungarian Roma loosely based on the author’s life between World War I and World War II. In the 1930s and 40s the Roma were segregated and persecuted as they have been for centuries. This book gives an insightful perspective on another way of life whose customs and mores are unfamiliar to most of us. While at times the book is repetitive and perhaps a bit too long, all in all it is fascinating and well worth the read.”

The Always Fabulous Babs B has delved into The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. “From the author of The Dovekeepers comes this forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas.  It centers on the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism. While growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800's, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris.  Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the inquisition, is a tough cookie who refuses to live by the rules.  Rachel ends up in an arranged marriage to a widower 20 years her senior.  When her husband dies, Rachel falls in love with his much younger nephew Frederick, who arrives from France to settle his Uncle's estate.  So begins a defiant, passionate love affair that starts a scandal that affects all of Rachel's family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.  Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frederick is a story that is unforgettable. I could not stop thinking of it long after the book ended.”

The Amazing Amanda is really enjoying Mary Jo Putney’s books and this week it’s The Rake. “I enjoy romance novels where there is real conflict and drama going on in the characters’ lives. In the previous book in this series, Reggie was the villain. In his own work, you discover that he is full of self-hatred, desperation, and grief over a wasted life. He’s no youthful boy; he’s nearly 40-years-old and he has spent most of his time in drunken blackouts. He has given up on himself when he learns of his stolen inheritance which is his childhood home. Then he discovers his estate’s superb manager is a woman. Of course, things sizzle between them. Looking back, I can see some Beauty & the Beast allusions here with an anti-hero who is truly struggling to overcome his problem. He fails repeatedly but works so hard at saving his own life. Yes, this book has romance, but it was Reggie’s story that kept me reading.”

Pat T in her car listening.  As ever. “I have just finished listening to one of the most talked about books of the summer, Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee and to my surprise I have to say I really enjoyed it! Reese Witherspoon narrates the book and being a southern gal she creates a very credible performance, placing the reader right in Maycomb, Alabama with the cast of iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. The book centers on Scout, who comes home from New York to visit her dad, Atticus and her boyfriend, Hank at her childhood home. Her visit is anything but peaceful, when she discovers some secrets that make her question her beliefs about Atticus and the Maycomb community. Calmly and lovingly, Atticus and her uncle help her reconcile the past with the present and help her understand that, as an adult, she has to discover her own moral footing.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with The Playlist and some final musings.  What’s good Pats?  “We’ve returned from Up North and I’m half-heartedly trying to get a routine in place to ready the kids for back to school. Fun fact: The state of Michigan has a law that schools may NOT begin until AFTER Labor Day. I’ve been told it was enacted to support Michigan Tourism. At first I thought that it was a silly law, but now I am a huge supporter. We still have two weddings to attend before summer’s end and frankly I’m not ready to say goodbye to bare feet, shorts and white jeans. Already my freckles that have banded together creating a pseudo-tan are fading, leaving me with what looks like sun damage. It’s almost time for a chemical facial peel. Almost. I’m not saying goodbye to summer yet and neither should you. So make sure you get outside and suck the marrow out of these final weeks of summer. You know you need a playlist for that. No worries, I’ve got you covered.”


You Are What You Read!

Yes, this is a real book.
Yes, this is a real book.

Hey y'all, Stephanie here, filling in for Jen as she cavorts on the beach. And I have two treats for you--yes, you! We did get some taffy this week--thanks, Abby!--but that's not the treat.

The most exciting thing to come into the Library this week was the book you see pictured here. We get many books sent early from publishers--it's a real perk of the job. But this is the first time I opened a book package and then looked around to see if I was on Candid Camera. So, treat number one: First person to claim this book, either by email or by commenting on the website, may have it. Please let me know what you plan to do with it.

Second, just in case you don't have enough books to read, let me tell you about a new service we are about to debut here at the Library. It's called Bookfix. All you do is fill out this super fun survey, and then every 6 or 12 weeks--your choice--we pick a book out for you based on your preferences and put it on hold for you. Couldn't be easier! We have not officially debuted this service yet, and wanted to give loyal readers of our You Are What You Read emails a chance to kick the tires and get their books hand-picked first. The first ten people to fill out the survey at this link will be the lucky ones! Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Okay, here we go!

The title of Laura's selection is a little on the nose, but it fits with our theme of summer books. "I am not a big history buff, but sometimes I enjoy catching up on interesting stories about our country, especially the expansion of the western frontier.  I recently picked up Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, The Most Powerful Indians by S. C. Gwynne out of curiosity. The book is an amazing account of the Comanche, legendary Native Americans of the Southern Plains, and their fierce determination to hold on to their lands. Before our own Revolution, the Comanche had fought and won against the invading Spanish who had conquered most of South and Central America, and they also successfully held back the French who tried to push west from Louisiana. They were formidable warriors, the likes veteran American generals had never seen before. Central to the book is Quanah, one of the most respected chiefs of the Comanche nation. Most intriguing was his mother Cynthia Ann Parker, the “White Squaw” who had been abducted when she was nine years old from her pioneer family’s Texas homestead. Over the years numerous attempts to rescue her were launched, but she refused their attempts, happily choosing to stay with her Comanche family and its culture. Her story, and the rise and fall of the most respected Indian Chief in history, her son, makes for a very moving epic saga worth reading. It's our country's history, we should know about this."

Jeanne is immersed in the fictional future, rather than summer. "I am listening to The Circle by Dave Eggers; narrated with brilliant versatility by Dion Graham. Mae Holland thinks she has landed a dream job at the fabulously successful and powerful internet company The Circle. She suspects that her good friend Annie pulled some strings, but Mae doesn’t care. She starts out in Customer Experience (CE) and is soon inundated with responding to constant!!! inquiries and comments from customers, her boss, Annie, her boss’ boss and pretty much the wide world. Mae is paid well, has all kinds of benefits and social opportunities and she seems over the moon happy. Meanwhile, Eggers takes opportunities to point out to the reader that while Mae is working in the midst of cutting-edge innovation and connectivity, she is also part of a company that continually scans individuals’ online account preferences for monetization opps, constantly asks for (junior-highish) 'likes,' and has a helicopter-style way of treating its employees and the world. She is even required to have bi-weekly physical exams; one in which she unwittingly drinks a sensor that can monitor her sweat level! It’s fascinating stuff."

As you know, if you want a beach read, Susie is your gal. "I am reading Ever After by Jude Deveraux--am about halfway through it and find it to be a very good light easy beach read, with a few unexpected plot twists thrown in the middle that I did not see coming."

Abby's choice is on vacation, too! "Once again, Paul Doiran has come through for me with the latest in his Mike Bowditch series, The Precipice. Set in Maine, Bowditch is a Maine State Game warden, a position similar to a state police officer but with bears and moose. In this book, Mike may actually be having some luck in the romance department when he is called in to help locate to missing young sisters who have been hiking the Appalachian Trail. During the search, Mike meets members of the search and rescue force, civilians with a wide range of backgrounds toting various types of emotional baggage around as they assist in the effort. Mike is trying to approach his work and life with a new found maturity that seems to serve him well. The mystery of the hikers leads to increasingly complicated webs and again dives in to the lesser-seen parts of Maine culture you don't see on tourist brochures. I continue to enjoys Doiron's writing and traveling with Mike Bowditch as he matures into a better man and warden."

Ann, can you share just one more summer pick with us? "I read The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor. This is a quick summer read that will have you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next. Hannah and Lovell have been married for years, and to Hannah their life has become predictable and a bit boring. Lovell, on the other hand, is content, although he gets annoyed that Hannah does not run the household as he would like it done. They have a son and a teenage daughter, who is quite lippy and swears like a sailor (oh wait, that was a judgement on my part!). One night, Hannah and Lovell have a very heated argument that the daughter witnesses. Lovell feels guilty about it, and in the morning before he leaves for work, he fixes Hannah's favorite flavored coffee as a peace offering.  Hannah is upset about the fight in the morning, but feels she and Lovell will work it out and everything will be fine. But as the day progresses, there is no sign of Hannah. At first, Lovell feels she is still angry and has gone to see a girlfriend of hers. This is not the case, and as the story progresses the reader alone will be privy to what happens to Hannah. This is a book that reminds us all how life can change in an instant."

As for myself, I'm somehow already thinking of winter, reading an excellent book coming out in February. I know nobody is looking forward to the February weather, but you should be looking forward to The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, a book that will satisfy fans of The Crimson Petal and the White and other sweeping historical novels. A grand book about a fascinating woman, a legend of the Paris Opera, who manages to survive the American frontier, serving the French Empress, and the terrors of the Paris Commune, but finds all her secrets unravelling just as she prepares to take her rightful place in opera history. Exquisite historical fiction. I've been savoring every page.

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