You Are What You Read

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

¡Oralé! is the message from the SoNo Loft this week .  Don’t worry!  I did not know what this meant either.  But as is always the case of The Loft, the message is uplifting.  It turns out this can mean many things.   It is a sort of Mexican street slang that can mean okay! or let’s do it! or it can be the Chicano equivalent of yeehaw!   What a nice positive message for the beginning of the year.  Thanks SoNo Loft.   This week we have Mississippi, Vermont, and our very own home state of Connecticut!  Specifically Fairfield County.


Let us begin!


Abby is reading Natchez Burning by Greg Iles due out 4/29/14. I know she is not alone in being pleased to see him back. “Iles returns to Natchez, Mississippi home of Penn Cage who wears many hats. A former prosecutor, bestselling author, widower, father, and now mayor, Penn learns his physician father whom he idolizes and is highly respected across the racial lines of Natchez is keeping some deadly secrets.  The story goes back to the early days of the civil rights movement which was not embraced by a great portion of Mississippians. Segregation, a legacy of intense racism, and corruption made it difficult for those attempting to do the right thing to remain safe. The voices that spoke out in favor of justice were often silenced in brutal ways. In Natchez Burning, Penn must assist his father who is facing a murder charge but is unwilling to speak out in his own defense. As Penn works to unmask the ugly secrets of Natchez in the 1960’s to help his father, he may also provide justice for the many victims of the era’s brutality. It’s nice to see Iles back and in such good form following a near fatal car accident a few years ago.”


Thomas of Material Management and my son loves himself some dysfunction.  I am just going to believe that this is because I have provided him with such a lovely stable home life that he needs to read about these things to learn about them.  Yup.  That’s what I am telling myself.  “Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson is the tale of a boy growing up in Vermont during the mid-1980s. After his best friend dies from an accidental drug overdose instigated by his estranged father's girlfriend's daughter, Jude is sent to New York to live with his father in order to stay out of trouble. He soon falls in with the straight edge punk movement and begins running into even more problems than previously expected. If you like reading about slow motion train wrecks, then this book is totally for you!”


I am loving The Land of Steady Habits by Ted Thompson which is due out in March.  Anders Hill lives up the tracks in my neck of the County and he is not going gentle into his 60’s.  In fact he is making some rather drastic changes.  He has left his wife, quit his job and is embracing middle of the day drinking with vigor.  But when things begin to really unravel, Anders wonders if there can be happiness found without dwelling in The Land of Steady Habits.  The writing is glorious and you can really tell that the author spent his formative years dwelling amongst us.  The descriptions of WASP ritual are spot on and it will make you gasp and then laugh out loud for the recognition of it.  

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

What can I possibly say about this week that won’t devolve into whining, swearing and weeping?  It was a rough one.  We had artic cold, transportation woes, some water, and a whole lot of winter discontent.  The real  sorrow here is that it is only the end of the first week of January.   We have a whole lot of winter to slog through yet.  But there is hope!  While I was walking to the train last night I noticed something. Something magical.  Something that made my heart soar.

It was still light out. 

At 5:00 p.m.

So while we are still in the thick of it, there are glimmers that it won’t be forever.  It will just feel that way.

This week we have Chechnya, dysfunction (of course), deception, Scientology, The Street, precocity, danger (!), and mental illness.

Let us begin!

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Happy New Year!  We are pleased to announce that we have kicked the Hellidays to the curb and we are full speed ahead for a glorious new year and getting back to what passes for normal.  As is the case, sometimes the recovery time for things getting back to normal lags. The SoNo Loft has no new words for us.  Sweet Ann wishes she had words but she is too busy coughing to speak.  I know that you join me in wishing her a speedy recovery. We have no playlist for the New Year.  But I am pleased to announce that The TC made it back safe and sound from The Homeland, and the decorations are coming down. So yes.  Back to what passes for normal. This week we have some mystery, romance, miracles, Paris, Detroit, coincidence, Rilke and sheep.  Yes.  Sheep.


Let us begin!

Nice New Book Goodness!

Selected by Jen
Selected by Jen

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!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Welcome to the Christmas edition of YAWYR.  Well we are in the thick of it, it would seem!  

I am nowhere close to being done.  Just. Am. Not.  What is odd about this is that usually by now I am serenely kicked back watching my fellow humans scurry.  Well, this year I am right there with you all.  The TC asked quite gently last night if I would like to go into New York on Saturday for some festive walkabout.  I looked at him with what I am sure were equal measures of disbelief, panic, and horror.  Speaking of the TC he is on his way to The Homeland on Sunday to celebrate with the Fam.  Please wish him a safe journey.  Thank you.  By now, I hope that all who have the ability have been playing with Hoopla, our fabulous new digital service.  If not, please do.  It really is wonderful.  When you are in a dark closet, hiding from your loved ones with only your cell phone for company while the world outside the closet circles the drain, you could be watching a movie!  See?  We care!  Next week we will be closed on Tuesday and, of course Wednesday, with regular hours resuming on Thursday so this is the last YAWYR for 2013 so we wish you all the most wonderful in 2014.  This week we have a hyperbole, some terrorism, brownies, and the British government.  Oh! And a playlist from DJ Jazzy Patty McC!


Let us begin!


Mrs. Elisabeth of the CL is having some serious fun! “I am delighting in Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened. Allie Brosh is the creator of the blog from which the book gets its title. Hyperbole And a Half is one of the funniest blogs on the internet. The combination of Brosh’s very adult musings and very childish drawings is enthralling, and I have laughed so hard I cried while reading her work more than once. The stories in the book range from classic material from the blog (God of Cake and Simple Dog) and new material that was created just for publication. Mixed in with the laughs is a frank depiction of Brosh’s battle with depression. I can’t recommend this book enough. It makes a great Christmas present, and I like it a lot. The ALOT, btw, is one of Brosh’s greatest creations. “


Barbara M. is tucking into one of my favorites of the year.” I’m more than half way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and although I wasn’t thoroughly convinced in the beginning that it was going to be good, at this point I cannot put it down.  It is the story of a hapless young man, Theo, whose mother dies in an attack on the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is taken in by a friend’s family and for a while lives with them on the Upper East Side before being sent to Las Vegas to live with his father, a man who abandoned him and his mother several years earlier. Though Theo seems to have lost everything, he has one reminder of his mother and that terrible day at the museum – a small painting of a goldfinch. While the story is engrossing, what makes this book a good read is the beautiful writing and the wonderfully interesting characters. My only criticism is that it is sometimes too wordy.”


Pat T. is taking a break with Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. “This is the perfect book for this time of year; you can read it in one sitting, and it is a book that keeps on giving! You will want to read it many times, since Hoffman's prose is powerful offering the reader words of wisdom, a sprinkling of humor, as well as a brownie recipe and knitting instructions. Alice Hoffman's survival lessons are about her cancer diagnosis and treatment, but it applies to any trauma or life altering experience: ‘our lives are made up of equal parts sorrow and joy, and it is impossible to have one without the other. This is what makes us human. This is why our world is so precious’.   Take 30 minutes from the rush of holiday activities, sip a cup of tea and enjoy this gem of a book.  It might be your life raft!”


Abby is someone who is indeed enjoying Hoopla.  “For my second Hoopla selection, I am listening to The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. I’m currently 1/3 of the way in and really enjoying this supernatural semi-thriller. Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany. Yes, it’s Welsh) Thomas is a woman with powers so extraordinary that as a young girl she is acquired by a super-secret branch of the British government known as The Chequy. Raised alongside other supernaturally gifted children, she grows up reluctant to utilize her skills and is disinclined towards field work. Luckily her passive nature sees her placed in an position within The Chequy where she proves herself a remarkably able administrator. When told by a  fortune teller that she will soon have her memory erased, Myfanwy creates a trail for her amnesiac self to follow to figure out who in the organization has targeted her. O'Malley has created a wonderful character in Myfanwy in a story filled with vibrant and clever dialogue. This one has me smiling a lot.”


DJ Jazzy Patty Mc. brings us the following thoughts.  “With Christmas bearing down on so many of us, this week's playlist is a nod (and maybe a wink) to consumerism.  If Christmas just gets you down, feel free to try Festivus.   For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, it involves the airing of grievances, an aluminum pole, feats of strength and an anti-consumerist stance.  It's a  Festivus for the rest of us!“
 

 


 
 

New DVD Releases

Here is what you can find new to the shelves in the upcoming days.

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

With the snow and ice and cold it seems that we are truly in the midst of the Hellidays.  We have noticed that we are a lot less busy and we are chalking it up to the fact that you all are out there shopping, baking a cookie and decorating your hearts out.  The message from the SoNo Loft remains the same: Santa ♥’s U!  I am wondering if it is going to stick for the season.  I do love the touch of whimsy that it brings to my commute.  So if you are out there, I thank you for it! Sweet Ann is too busy getting festive to impart any profound words of wisdom it would seem, but she would like to remind us to smile and enjoy the season. But I think you will see from what we are consuming this week that there is not a whole lot that is Merry and Bright going on.  For those of you who are fans of the wonderful 3M Cloud Library please be aware that Simon and Schuster, the last publishing hold out for selling digital content to libraries has become available!  Speaking of digital content keep your eyes open for more digital excitement to be announced on Monday. This week we have prison, horror, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, New York, ephemera, the New Deal, and London.


Let us begin!

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Greetings!  I trust everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and that the carcass from The Bird is a distant memory.  Or at the very least, soup.  This year we actually went the traditional roasted route which thrilled the TC beyond reason.  I think that he was really afraid of the frying.  Which, I can sort of understand.  But  really?  What is a holiday without that that impending sense of panic that something is about to go really truly drastically spectacularly wrong?  Usually this feeling is supplied by your family members, but, since in the case of Cousin’s Thanksgiving, we really like each other, we need the fryer to give us that particular thrill.  The words from the SoNo Loft this week are “Santa  ♥ ‘s you” A nice message and the first time we have seen color used!  Very festive! And now it’s time for Sweet Ann Words of Wisdom! “My words of wisdom for this week are for everyone to take a moment in this holiday rush to tell someone via phone, e-mail, text or in person that you are glad he or she is in your life and that they make your heart a little bigger. I like to say they make my heart soar.” This week we have a little something, Nazis, a madam, some illness, consequences, New Zealand and of course Paris.


Let us begin!


New DVD Releases

Here is what you can find new to the shelves in the upcoming days.

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Edition of You Are What You Read. We will be taking next week off to celebrate.  Sweet Ann wants us all to be mindful of the small things in our world that make us grateful.  Don’t be like the guest at a Thanksgiving I heard about last year.  This particular family had a year that was less than stellar and yet as they went around the table everyone came up with at least something to be thankful for.  Except for the one person who looked around the table, smirked and said, “Pass.” Who does that?  Don’t be that person!  As for me, I am going to be playing with my cousins who I would want to be my friends even if we weren’t related.  Imagine us all gathered around the deep fat fryer praying this is not the year we end up on You-Tube as “that idiot family who tried to fry their turkey and ended up burning down a suburb.”   The TC will be joining us for the first time. He has been warned that we tend to be ‘lively’. Honestly, I think he’s up for it and he will be fine.   The SoNo Loft’s message is NSFW so here’s hoping they bring back a message more in keeping with the upcoming Hellidays.  This week we have a dying wish, some married folk, a challenge, some botany, a love story, for good measure another love story, a helliday gift suggestion, lots of gratitude and of course, a playlist.


Let us begin!


Sue S. has just read The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses who is a former Darienite!  “Ellen Branford is an engaged and soon to be married up and coming lawyer.  While she is visiting her dying Grandmother, she learns that her last wish is for Ellen to deliver a letter to a hometown boy her Grandmother once knew.  Charged with making good on her promise, the task sends Ellen to the town of Beacon, Maine which is a  far cry from the high society life that she knows in Manhattan.  It is in Ellen's search for the hometown boy that she finds out secrets about her grandmother and which has her crossing paths with a man who winds up needing her as much as she needs him.  I would love to see this book made into a movie!”


Amanda’s back with another dive into Regency era romances with Eloisa James’ Duchess in Love.   “Cam is forced by his father to marry Gina.  He jumps out a window a few moments after the ceremony and has been in Greece ever since. Twelve years have now passed and Gina summons Cam home so they can annul their marriage as she loves another. Will Gina keep her engagement as she turns to Cam for lessons in kissing? In a turn from the traditional romance novel structure, this story focuses on a group of married people who have their own extramarital love affairs. The thought being that marriage is to beget an official heir, while your heart belongs to your lover. This book is refreshing to me because it’s the first I’ve read that demonstrates this historical occurrence. “


Sweet Ann has just finished Vatican Waltz by Roland Merullo.  “This is a short novel that tells the story of Cynthia Piantedosi who is having visions that are leading her to challenge her Catholic faith.  She loves her church, not only her local parish, but the bigger church.  She recognizes that there are problems in the church, but she finds such comfort there that she is willing to address them.  She goes to Rome to meet with a Cardinal to present her idea of what her visions are leading her to believe her future in the church is which is a role not open to women in the Catholic Church.  This is a very interesting, thought-provoking book.  As a reader you will see Cynthia as a good daughter, granddaughter, really just a good person, searching for her place in the world.”


Barbara M. is putting her foot down.  Hard and crushingly on the spine of The Signature of All Things.  “In spite of the fact that I wasn’t a big fan of  Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love I started reading her new novel The Signature of All Things because Barbara Kingsolver gave it a great review in the New York Times. I was also attracted to the subject –the story of a woman botanist in the 1800s. I’m almost half way through and am getting bored with its repetitiveness. I like the idea of Alma, the strong woman protagonist, but she and many of the other characters feel like caricatures rather than real people. I don’t think I’ll be finishing this book, nor do I think I’ll read any more by this author. “


Pat T.  has just finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. “This is a delightful and quirky love story about a college professor with Asperger's syndrome, who embarks on a scientific search for the perfect wife called the Wife Project. Along the way he meets a young lady in search of her biological father and together they commence the search for the Father Project. As the two projects become intertwined, the Professor and young lady find their lives upended too!  Even though the story is predictable, you can't help but like these characters and muse on the unexpected twist that one can encounter along the journey of life and love!”


Jeanne is only doing one thing this week.  Perhaps she feels too over extended by the upcoming Hellidays? “What’s so sad about reading a fictional account of a violently dysfunctional family is that it is true somewhere. If it weren't for the bittersweet love story that Rainbow Rowell writes for Eleanor & Park in the YA novel of the same name, it would be completely tragic. Eleanor is a big girl with crazy red hair and crazier outfits. Park is slender, half Korean and mostly wears black. They're just sixteen, they live in the Flats of Omaha and they meet on the school bus. It seems like the eighties judging from the comics they read together and they music they share on their Walkman, but it could be anytime, anywhere for these sweethearts learning about each other, knowing they are mismatched and falling in love anyway.”


Miss Elisabeth of the CL is now Mrs. Elisabeth!  She is fresh back from her nuptials so won’t you join me in welcoming her back and saying Mazel!  “This week I’ve been reading The Book of Jezebel, an encyclopedia/coffee table book from the women behind Jezebel.com, one of my favorite websites geared towards women. The book contains entries in alphabetical order (with cross references!) on topics ranging from Princess Jasmine in Aladdin to the Babysitter’s Club Books to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The entries can be funny, sarcastic, or heartfelt and sometimes they’re all 3! It would make a great gift this holiday season for the female millennial in your life; as it’s basically a cultural compendium of everything that makes our generation, well, ours.”


And what would time spent in the Kitchen be without music?  Here is DJ Jazzy Patty with not only a playlist but a book pick for your down time.  Take it away Jazzy Patty!  “Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm, a memoir by Mardi Jo Link is my gratitude reading selection.  After reading this, I assure you that you will be able to identify many things in your life to be grateful for like heat in your home, food in your refrigerator, money to pay your bills and mortgage, I could go on.  Mardi Jo Link's memoir is heartbreaking and at times hilarious. (Yes, there are chickens involved.)  It's a poignant story of will and resilience during divorce while raising three sons and struggling to make ends meet.  This year marks the convergence of the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving or what’s being touted as Thanksgivukkah.  I can’t imagine a happier time than getting to enjoy turkey and latkes on the same day.  As I began to contemplate these holidays next week, I reflect on all the things that I have in my life.  We all have something we can be grateful for no matter how small or seemingly simple.  .  How about this year we all practice a little more kindness?  What if we all topped that kindness with a sweet cherry of forgiveness?  For this auspicious beginning to our holiday season, my theme is Expressions of Gratitude. “

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