You Are What You Read

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. “

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Greetings!   I am back from my trip and have the following to relate.  My Traveling Companion (henceforth known as The TC) always visits his hometown book store.  This is a lovely bookstore with a robust Golf section and The TC likes to scope out product placement and see what his writing brethren are up to.  I just love a bookstore and find no hardship in the visitation of them.  On this particular Saturday, I did not see the need to put make up on, dress up or make any sort of effort at all.  Do I need to tell you this was a huge mistake? Because who was in the back of the bookstore?  Celia Rivenbark!  The author whose book I was using as my Fodor’s guide!  And I am here to tell you her manners are just as lovely as you would expect.  Because when I rushed her, she did not bat an eye at the Insane Yankee Woman with the naked face and comfortable clothing.  Nope.  She was as gracious as she could be.   So let this be a lesson to you all.  Nowhere is safe.  Make an effort.  These are the Jen Words of Wisdom for the week.  This week we have some jumping, a fierce love, a gem and some forgiveness, and some singing circus dwarfs.

Let us begin!


Steph has finished reading The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism, by Naoki Higashida. “This book recently got a lot of buzz when David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas fame) did press for it after its publication, because Mitchell and his wife KA Yoshida translated it from Japanese. Why? Mitchell, who has a son with autism, states it plainly in his foreward: “The Reason I Jump was a revelatory godsend. Reading it felt as if, for the first time, our own son was talking to us about what was happening inside his head, through Naoki’s words.” And indeed, every page of this book is a revelation about Naoki’s inner world that reflected an entirely different way of being back at me. The writing is movingly simple and at times heartbreaking, and the book is so short that when I finished it, I went right back to the beginning and started again. Whether you or someone you are close to live with autism, this is a must-read and an incredible achievement.”


Sweet Ann has no words of wisdom this week.  Maybe next week? Meanwhile this week she brings us her take on The Goldfinch by Donna Tart.  “This is a beautifully written book that takes the reader on a journey that he or she will remember for a long time, not only for the story, but for the characters. Theo loves his mother and she loves him fiercely. So much so, that that you can feel it from the opening pages. Then there is a terrorist attack that alters Theo's life and carries him from living modestly with his mother to Park Avenue, Las Vegas, The Village and Europe. You will root and cheer for Theo and hope his life could have been easier.  His childhood friend Andy will break your heart and Hobie, the antiques dealer who takes him in, will remind you of the good in people.  His friend Boris on the other hand has a great heart coupled with quite an addiction problem that will have adult Theo on the adventure of his life.  I greatly enjoyed this book but I did think it got slightly long winded at the end.  I have enjoyed all of Donna Tartt's novels and I highly recommend them. 

Jeanne.  Back to two things at once.  Thank goodness!  “Sometimes I think the short story collection is the second cousin twice removed from the novel. But there are so many good collections and I had the great fortune to have The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg recommended to me by Greg Cowles. It is a gem and worth anyone’s reading time. With its seven stories about women who get into some kind of trouble and what they do to deal, I like the fast pace. These are stories to marvel at and are not so long you get tired of the women, but long enough for van den Berg to work the magic of her storytelling. I will be seeking out more such collections.  On to Pat Conroy’s new memoir on audiobook, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son. Why would Peggy Peck from Georgia stay with Donald Conroy a Marine Corps Fighter Pilot from Chicago, who abuses and beats her and the seven kids they have?  The author reads his own introduction and this serves to set the turbulent, emotional tone of the book. The rest of the memoir is capably narrated by Dick Hill. As the eldest, Conroy grows up worrying about his siblings and hating his father. When I think of Pat Conroy, I picture a young Nick Nolte in The Prince of Tides in which he says, 'In New York I learned that I needed to love my mother and father in all their flawed, outrageous humanity, and in families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.' I am still thinking about this.”


While The TC was off doing Golfish Things in his Homeland, I was enjoying Love and Treasure the newest from Ayelet Waldman.  Jack Wiseman is a tough New Yorker who  is charged with guarding a train that was captured on the outskirts of Salzburg at the end of World War II.  The train is filled with valuables taken from the Jews of Hungary before they were sent to Concentration Camps.  Before he dies, Jack gives a mysterious necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie and asks her to return it to its rightful owner.  Natalie soon finds herself immersed in a world of shady art dealers, suffragettes, Nazis and a family of singing circus dwarfs.  This is a very rich story told over the entire course of the twentieth century.  It comes out in April and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  


 

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

The SoNo Loft’s message this week feels a tad urgent.  “Hey, change already” is the thought for the week.  Did they forget about clocks?  Or is it deeper than that?  Maybe we all need to think about what we need to change to be better in our world.  I don’t know what the intent is here, so I am just going to bring you the message.  Do with it what you will.  DJ Jazzy Patty McC. has a playlist this week that celebrates a change that we felt we had to make here at the Home.  This week we have some LA, some shade, a supermodel, a message, grief, color, crocodiles, and some southern charm.


Let us begin!


Abby is reading ahead. “While I am a big fan of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch LA Detective series, his Lincoln Lawyer work has tended to leave me a bit underwhelmed. That said, The Gods of Guilt (release date Dec.2), the latest Lincoln Lawyer book came as a bit of a revelation. Attorney Mickey Haller, frequent defender of the lowest of the low, shows tremendous growth and complexity of character. Connelly is a terrific writer who appears to have gotten into a strong rhythm with his Haller character. He is one of the few prolific writers capable of maintaining and even elevating the quality of his work without it turning into a painful assembly line product.”


The Fabulous Babs B. just finished Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie. “It has to be a  mother's worst nightmare; losing her child at birth.  Geniver Loxley was told her daughter was stillborn and eight years later a stranger knocks on her door informing her that her daughter was actually taken away as a healthy infant and raised by another couple.  So begins this nightmare of a story.  Ignoring the warnings of her husband, who is shady to begin with, and friends, Gen begins to dig into the dark corners of her past, hoping she'll find a clue to her daughter's whereabouts.  There are so many twists and turns in this psychological suspense that I never guessed the climatic ending and neither will you!”


John is reading The Cuckoo's Calling.  “This is the detective mystery by J. K. Rowling written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.  I'm not much of a DM buff, but I loved The Casual Vacancy and I admire Rowling's adult narrative voice.  So far there is nothing terribly unusual or outstanding about the mystery at hand (supermodel takes a dive off a balcony--is suicide or not?)  But for those of you who enjoyed the humanness of ‘Vacancy’, you'll easily slide right into the narrative style of this book.  Her writing is very comfortable but I'm struck by the poignancy of her observations and the respect she affords every character--all of which have been gifted something likable--even if they're wholly unpleasant.  The setting is London, so for those Anglophiles out there, the dialogue will leave you smiling and fulfilled.  There is some indication that this may be the first in a series of DM novels by Rowling, and I will probably keep reading them.”


Pat T. has a message for all you book on CD fans.  “I am happy to report the library has just received the unabridged audio book, The Guns at Last Light, by Rick Atkinson! This audio book concludes the Liberation Trilogy about the Allied forces that liberated Europe during World War II. So, all you history buffs who have listened to An Army at Dawn: the War in North Africa, 1942-1944; The Day of Battle: the war in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44 can now look forward to the final volume in this trilogy.”

Sweet Ann  has just finished Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. “I listened to this audio book and I am conflicted in my reaction to it.  The audio book is read by Julian Barnes and when he speaks of his wife's death and his life without her you feel for him but also feel awkward in sharing his grief.  It is a raw raging grief and I wonder why he shared it with strangers as opposed to friends and family.  With loss, people will do things and say things others might not understand but I question his motivation in making it so public.  Perhaps he found it cathartic but it was difficult to hear him question other people's reactions and comments to his wife's death.  He began this memoir with tales about nineteen century ballooning and famous early balloonists which he neatly tied together in the end. Perhaps if I read this book my reaction might have been different as opposed to hearing the actual widower tell his story.  I wish him all the best and hope he finds the comfort he needs.”


Barbara M. is reading ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color by Jude Stewart.  “This is  a fascinating, easy to read book. The book is divided into individual colors and each section is filled with trivia about that color. The short anecdotes or facts may be historic, scientific or just amusing.  Many of us are aware that the color worn in one country to play tennis is the color worn for funerals in another,  but did you know that many languages don’t distinguish between blue and green or red and orange? Or, did you know that the seven colors we believe the rainbow to be made of were devised by Sir Isaac Newton to correspond with the musical scale?  I love the way this book makes you think about perceptions of things we take for granted.”

Jeanne. Only one thing.  Discuss.  “I am reading an Advanced Reading Copy on my Kindle of The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol and translated from the French by William Rodarmor and Helen Dickinson. The reading is sometimes a little rough because of the  possible disconnect with foreign idioms, but I am enjoying the Cinderella story, the first in a trilogy.  Joséphine Cortès throws her cheating husband Antonio out and he leaves for Kenya with his cheating girlfriend to manage a crocodile farm owned by the unscrupulous Mr. Wei. Who knew that one crocodile mommy can lay fifty eggs in her nest?! Joséphine is trying to scrape by on her twelfth century historian's pay, while paying her husband's loans and raising her two young daughters.  There is a whole host of interesting characters in this novel based mostly in Courbevoie, outside Paris, and I am finding their actions both funny and shocking. I can't wait to see how Joséphine's doctorate in Middle Ages studies pulls her out of her emotional and financial slump.”


I think that when one visits a new locale it just makes sense to study up on the social mores of its denizens before you hit the tarmac.  This will save you some embarrassment in the long run if you are up on the ways of the natives.   In anticipation of my trip to a place that my traveling companion calls his ‘homeland’ (he does this without irony and frankly, it scares me a little), I picked up Rude Bitches Make Me Tired:  Slightly Profane and Entirely Logical Answers to Modern Etiquette Dilemmas by Celia Rivenbark.  Celia lives in North Carolina and she is just not having a lot of what passes for polite behavior these days and I have to say that I love her for it.  With chapters that are entitled:  Funerals:  Now is Not the Time for Store-Bought Cakes and Backless Maxi Dresses from Forever 21, and  Baby Steps:  Is She Pregnant or is that a Booze-Inflated Liver?  Hint:  Don’t Ask!  I also picked up this fact; that a true ‘mixed marriage” is one between a Duke grad and a UNC grad and should be avoided at all costs.  Apparently no good can come of this and it will end with tears.  This will be good knowledge to possess if we find ourselves in ‘mixed company’ this weekend.  I have also learned that the hue of  blue you choose to wear can mark you as readily as a gang member wearing his colors. Think Crips and Bloods but with lovely drawls and better manners.  Frankly, I find all that exhausting and believe that I will just stick to my Buckeye Scarlet thank you very much.  And here’s to 22 games this weekend!  Let’s go Buckeyes.

And now a word from DJ Jazzy Patty McC!   Who I do adore even if she is from The State Which Must Not Be Named.  “If you’ve visited the library recently you might have noticed we have been making some improvements. We apologize for the inconvenience in the parking lot and for being closed this past Monday and sincerely thank you all for your patience. The good news is that from this inconvenience we now have a 400-kilowatt generator that will power our entire library during power outages as well as provide a source for keeping your phones and laptops charged.  As a person who is frequently plugged-in, I think this is a GREAT thing.  Maybe our new tagline should be, “Apocalypse? We’ve got you covered!”  We’re still working on the zombie survival kit, but know that it’s in the works from the best and most paranoid among us. I think this deserves a playlist. And let’s hope we never need to use that generator…much. “

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Sweet Ann’s Words of Wisdom this week are these: “If you do it, it’s done.  If you say it, it’s said.” This being said, don’t just say you are going to set the clocks back before bed on Saturday, do it!  Also on Saturday, make the hardware store a destination for fresh batteries for your smoke detectors.   This is a small investment with a potentially huge payoff.   The words from the SoNo Loft this week are profound in a rather interesting way.  “I got nothin’” was this week’s message and while it made me literally laugh out loud on the train, I started thinking about the nature of nothing.  The idea of Nothing does not necessarily need to connote negativity.  Sometimes having nothing can be a positive as in,  I have no troubles,  I have no need for an exterminator, I have no tooth decay,  I have no reason to be concerned about (insert something to be concerned about here).  As the brilliant Bob Dylan stated in Like A Rolling Stone, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”  Or let’s go back to the Great American Songbook and George Gershwin, “I got plenty of nuttin’, and nuttin’s plenty for me.”  Also! Think about the term “sweet nothings”.   We all love having those whispered in our ears.  So this weekend, I wish you some nothings in copious quantities to coincide with our longer nights.   Speaking of nothing, please don’t forget that we are closed this Monday for the installation of the generator we hopefully will never need.   This week we have a coat, a need for sleep, England and India, more India, even more India and a rather poignant set list from DJ Jazzy Patty McC.


Let us begin!


Kim, who can be found on many desks wearing many hats (and have you seen her sparkly boat shoes they are Fabulous!) has been reading The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury and the Obsession on the Trail of a $5,0000 Coat by Meg Noonan.   Perhaps she is thinking more about winter than fall?  When you see her, won’t you ask?


Caroline! She’s back as you all know. What you may not know, is that she is back and on the minimum sleep schedule of new motherhood.  She makes it all look so easy and effortless that it is hard to believe she is pretty much on auto pilot.   Maybe the extra hour this weekend will be spent sleeping?   I wish this for her and I am sure you do too.  “With pregnancy books far behind me, I’m now embarking on a mission for sleep. Ash and Finn are now on a schedule. I’m just not sure they’re aware. We’re rapidly nearing the age of 3 months, when I’m told everything magically gets easier. Until then, you’ll probably see me wandering Body & Soul and the Children’s Room parenting section with a coffee in one hand, and one of these in the other: Sleep: The Brazelton Way, Twin Set: Moms Of Multiples Share Survive & Thrive Secrets, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions To Help Your Child Sleep Well And Wake Up Happy, and The Multiples Manual : Preparing And Caring For Twins Or Triplets. All of them are helpful in different ways, and luckily seem to have some main points in common.  I’ve also received a few other multiple-specific suggestions which will be on order shortly. We’ll see you at Baby Laptime!


Jeanne.  Staying true to form.  Two things at once. “ In the spirit of All Hallows' Eve, I am reading John Boyne's new book, This House is Haunted. I became a fan of his with The Absolutist and with this new offering  he continues to prove his versatility as a writer with language that befits the 1867 time period. Eliza Caine responds to an advertisement for the position of governess to young Isabella and Eustace at Gaudlin Hall in Norfolk, England. Already Dickensian? What she finds when she arrives is unnerving, to say the least. But is it a good ghost or a bad ghost? Also, what I really want to do is stay in my car and finish listening to The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Pakistani author, Moshin Hamid. If you have not yet read this or watched the movie, please listen to the audio version. I am positively enraptured with the reader, Satya Bhabha. He drew me in to the cafe where the very personal story of Changez, a Pakistani man who was educated at Princeton and returned to Lahore, takes place. Through Bhabha, Changez relates his story of a captivated American, but he captivates his listener right along with him.


Pat T. has just finished listening to the audio book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity  by Katherine Boo.  “The reading of this story, even though hard to listen to at times, was wonderfully performed! The author, Katherine Boo is a documentary journalist who lived in the slums of Annawadi for over two years in order to give a realistic accounting of the ordinary lives of the Indian people living in this settlement. We come to know Abdul, a teenager who has been recycling garbage since the age of six; Asha, a formidable woman who has climbed the ladder by discovering her own way of corrupting the system and her daughter, Manju, who dreams of completing her college education in order to teach. Even though the circumstances of their lives are, at times, desperate, this is their reality and they are resilient, resourceful and always hopeful for a better life.


Daughter of Empire:  Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks is my BDB of the week.  Lady Pamela is not only the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten but also a cousin to both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.  This of course does not automatically make her interesting.  What makes her interesting is that she had a front row seat during so many events of historic importance during her life not the least of which was the partition of India.  While she will never replace my love/obsession for my Mitford Sisters, she really is a fascination in her own right.


DJ Jazzy Patty McC. leaves us with the following:  “This past Sunday the music world lost a giant with the death of Lou Reed. His music and artistic influence shaped and informed decades. Before I learned of his death, I was contemplating all the red, white and blue lawn signs of local politics and the rolling back of clocks for the time change. Pretty pedestrian, small town stuff for sure, but then the news of his death kind of rocked my world. Lou was outspoken, political and honest through his wonderfully crafted art. That's the stuff of real life. Be fearless in your endeavors and never forget to be a force for change in the world. He broke new ground and I am happy to report that I’ve owned a cassette of his for a VERY long time.  Lou once said that his goal was to ‘write the Great American Novel in the form of a record album’. Indeed, music tells a story. Sometimes it's a novel or sometimes it's a novella but it always paints a picture and that's the work of an artist. This week my playlist is all things Lou Reed and time going backwards (unless you live in Indiana). Don't forget to set those clocks back! DL The Legacy of Lou Reed 2013

You Are What You Read!

Dolls
Dolls

Welcome to the Halloween version of You Are What You Read.  Frequent Visitors know that nothing and we do mean nothing, creeps us out quite like a doll, with the possible exception of clowns.   So in the spirit of the upcoming Holiday,  our theme for this week’s playlist is just that Creepy Dolls. The accompanying visual is actually of two creepy dolls that paid a visit to my desk earlier in the week.  In a version of “pay it forward” the dolls proceeded to migrate all over the library.  No one was happy to see them despite the fact that they are Creepy Dolls without Teeth.  Frequent Visitors know that this is the worst type of doll that we know.  Just the same, they were sort of our version of Riders of the Apocalypse.  If they appeared in your work space you just knew no good was going to follow. On a happier note Sweet Ann’s Words of Wisdom for the week are these:  “Let it go with a smile.”  She is concerned that we may all be carrying too heavy of a load.  Part of the load that Sweet Ann is carrying is the fear of my mood for the next week.  I will do my utmost to maintain my cheery self.  This week we have water, tea, more water,  gridiron and a little heartbreak !


Let us begin!


Barbara M. is not one to let anything stand in the way of her WW II obsession.  Carry on Barbara M!  “I’m reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown in preparation for a book discussion I’m doing with Sweet Ann on Wednesday, November 20th. It’s a compelling story about the American rowing team which won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The book focuses on one crew member, Joe Rantz, a young man who endured many hardships growing up. It’s easy to compare this book to Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand as they are both about underdogs succeeding against insurmountable odds. The one thing that disturbs me is the author’s use of quotes without citations in a work of non-fiction. The author not only puts words in the mouth of the characters but also interprets their thoughts and describes their actions in detail. I’ve been told that this makes it a much more readable book, but, I’m not sure. Nonetheless, I am thoroughly captivated by the story and am learning how much team work and strength it takes to be a part of a crew.”


Jeanne is just doing one thing this week.  I am concerned. “I am reading and enjoying Mission in A Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently and Succeeding by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. The wonderful graphics are illustrated by Sungyoon Choi. Goldman and Nalebuff are two very smart guys, the first a student; the second his professor. Back in the nineties, Seth was frustrated at not being able to find a bottled drink that was healthful, tasty and not over-sweetened. He approached Barry, a tea aficionado, with his ideas. This book tells the story of their thinking and creative processes and their foray into the beverage industry that led to the manufacturing of Honest Tea. You can now find it in a store near you. Honestly.”


Sweet Ann is happily ensconced in A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. “ I am not finished this book yet but it is wonderful and I can't recommend it enough.  The novel alternates chapters told by sixteen year old Nao who lives in Japan and Ruth a middle aged woman who lives with her husband on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.  Ruth has discovered Nao's diary which was carefully packaged and protected when it washes up on the beach.  She doesn't realize the content of the bag until it is opened.  From the opening line of the diary, to the other contents of the container, Ruth as well as the reader is mesmerized. Nao is a very unhappy person and Ruth is drawn to her and wants to find out if she survived the 2011 tsunami.  As a reader you learn much about Nao's life, her torturous school days, her love of her father and her wonderful great grandmother who is a Buddist nun.  With Ruth you learn about a woman who has made sacrifices and compromises in her life and is questioning her decisions.  It's a wonderful read and I will be sad when I finish their story.”


Steph who was also visited by The Dolls this week is confident about what she is reading!  “This week I have been reading Collision Low Crossers by Nicholas Dawidoff, after hearing Pat S. rave about it. I have been just as taken in as she was! Though I grew up rooting for the Eagles, I have no feelings one way or the other about the Jets, but Dawidoff’s story of his year with them is fascinating. If football is, as many say, the soap opera for men, then this book is the juicy behind-the-scenes look at how the soap opera gets written and produced. I haven’t quite finished it yet but suffice it to say, I spent an extra hour on the train today and barely noticed we were running late—that’s how engrossed I was. This one will be big when it’s released in November.”


Now that the weather is cooler I am back to the Blow Dry and this means that I am back to having a Blow Dry Book (henceforth known as BDB).   For those who are Not Frequent Visitors a BDB is literally a book I read while I blow dry my hair; a chore that I find to be such a bore that there needs to be a book to help it along.  There are rules for the BDB:  It must have shortish break points (the Blow Dry is not a forever activity letters are normally perfect in this regard), it has to be well written (who wants to waste time with drivel), and the story has to be compelling (so that you remember the story line from day to day).  Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson has been my Blow-Dry companion and it fits all the perfect Blow Dry Requirements.  Janie Ryan is the narrator of what a story that is equal parts funny, and heartbreaking.  From the moment Janie is born to her teen mom in 1980’s Great Britian, there is nothing but trouble.  The pair is homeless practically from the start and when you throw in drug use, depression and alcoholism you are in for some pretty bleak times.  But Hudson’s writing and humor also allow you to feel the love and unbreakable bonds between mother and daughter.  This one comes out in February.


DJ Jazzy Patty McC. spins a tale dark, creepy and toothless. “This week I have no words to share.  I only have music and two very creepy dolls.”

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!

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