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!
Well thankfully this month is winding down. I can’t say it’s been a delightful beginning of the year. In fact, I am finding it the opposite of delightful. Between the cold, the snow, the ice and the commuting woes I am more than ready to put January behind me. The SoNo Loft is sticking with last week’s message. Our Sweet Ann’s words of wisdom are not so much words of wisdom but a reminder of sorts: “I don't know if I have any words of wisdom this week except I know for me I am still trying to stick with my resolutions, one being to try to be more patient. I think it is important to set goals and work towards them. I know for me personally, I have set workout goals and it’s not always easy to stick to but it is worth all the effort. Although we will see in a year or two if I need a scooter since my knees have given out.” So remember! Even if you have fallen far from those resolutions, keep working at them! There could be a scooter in your future. This week we have some South Carolina, Philadelphia, Christopher Robin, Montreal, a lost cat, Paris, LA, misfits, the comeback of bawdy and our weekly playlist, and San Francisco.
Let us begin!
Sweet Ann is reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. “This is a very good novel based loosely on the life of Sarah Grimke who was born to a wealthy plantation slave owning family in Charleston, South Carolina in 1792. She was a woman way ahead of her time becoming a feminist and an abolitionist which caused her much hardship. Ms. Kidd has fictionalized her life and used historical facts to move the story along. At the age of eleven young Sarah is given Hette who is to be her personal slave. Sarah does not want her but her parents refuse to take back their gift. Sarah wants the freedom that is denied her because she is a woman and Hette just want to be free. There is brutality in this book that will make you cringe but remember it is based on history and how slaves were treated. This is a very well written novel that will keep you turning the pages.”
Erin is working that Red Carpet State of Mind. Work it Erin! “Because I have the Academy Awards on the mind, this weekend I decided to visit an old favorite from last year. I had not seen Silver Linings Playbook since it was in theaters over a year ago and JEEZ I just love a movie with a good dance sequence. Bradley Cooper has just been released from a state mental institution which he agreed to as part of a plea bargain after a violent confrontation with his wife’s lover. Jennifer Lawrence (my girl J-Law) has recently been widowed and all she wants to do is compete in a dance competition. But she needs a partner. The two make a deal and start practicing religiously. This film has mental illness, comedy, love, Philadelphia sports, and a dance montage set to the tune of a Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan song. What’s not to love?”
Kim, who can be found on many service desks here in the library often wearing those shiny deck shoes, is reading Billy Moon by Douglas Lain. “It tells the fictional story of a real character Christopher Robin Milne. The story takes place in 1968. One quote that I liked from the book is on page 81 where Lain states ‘How was it that Christopher’s strongest memories of his father weren’t of him, but of his absence?’”
Abby is reading The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. “While I have enjoyed the mysteries that take place in the village of Three Pines outside of Montreal, I expected to like them more than I have. In this book, Gamache must solve a murder with the underlying theme of jealousy in both the murder and a crisis in his professional life. The quirky villagers bring their own strengths and foibles to help Gamache understand the time and place of the crime. While this third entry has some flaws, the characters continued growth and depth will keep me reading. Her most recent book How the Light Gets In, was on a number of Best of Lists for 2013. This has me curious about Penny’s growth as a writer since her latest is so highly regarded. Penny has not yet won me over.”
Amanda wants to know what in the world an animal memoir is. Is it written from the perspective of the animal? Is it about how an animal changed a human’s life? This week she picked up Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul. “First off, Lost Cat is a delight to read. I finished it in just over an hour so it’s a perfect read before dinner. The book follows the adventures of the author who shattered her leg in a plane crash. Depressed and feeling sorry for herself, she finds a distraction in tracking down her cat when he goes missing. Her search is laugh out loud funny and the illustrations by her partner had me smiling fondly at the big eyed cats that fill the pages. Then it hit on a depressing note that had me sobbing my heart out for ten minutes. I felt so wretched but Caroline’s description of what it feels like to have your heartbroken was just so true. It made me feel less alone because someone else knows exactly what it feels like. I love this book and heartily recommend it for anyone who wants an amusing read with a happy ending.”
Barbara M. is back in her beloved Paris this week with The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol. “After reading about Chechnya and both World Wars this book is a wonderful and absolutely delightful escape. Josephine Cortes, a scholar specializing in the 12th century, is living in a not-so-nice suburb of Paris with her out of work husband and two daughters. Her husband leaves her and Jo is left to manage on her own. Her sister, a woman-who-lunches and shops, proposes that Jo write a book for which she, Iris, will take credit. The people in this novel are all well drawn caricatures of people we all know. It is laugh out loud hilarious and I can’t wait until Pancol’s next two books are translated into English.”
Steph is enthusiastic! “This week I read Rainbow Rowell's forthcoming book, Landline. Her recent YA books, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, have both made surprising inroads with adults and book groups at our library, so they will be thrilled to hear that this one is written for them! Georgie McCool (yes, that is her real name) knows she's made a mistake after she lets her husband and kids head to his mom's house for Christmas without her because she has to stay in LA to work on what could be the biggest break in her career as a TV writer. Worried she's finally ruined her marriage; she keeps desperately trying to get him on the phone, but finds she can't, except via an old landline phone, which seems to be connecting her to him in the past to the week just before he proposed to her. She's heartbroken and terrified. Will their late-night chats change the future she's living in? Knowing what she knows now, should she even want him to propose to her in the past? Will she be able to hold it together for her big break? The book has all the tension of a great thriller, but also Rowell's deftness with the complexity of relationships and love. I devoured it. And it's coming out this summer just in time for all your smart-beach-book needs. I can't wait to share it with everybody. But in the meantime, read her other books to prepare."
Pat T. is listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book David and Goliath; Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. “Just like his other books, Outliers, Blink and Tipping Point, Gladwell challenges the status quo of societal norms and offers a different and refreshing perspective. In David and Goliath, he uses the biblical story to point out what happens when ordinary people confront challenges and are forced to respond. Do we strike back or forgive, preserve or give? One of his many stories is about a girls’ basketball team that defied expectations and went on to win the season title. Although the girls didn't have exceptional basketball skills they had great attitudes that made them willing to try harder than anyone else. Gladwell is a good story teller and he narrates his own book, but I felt that many of the examples he used were weak. Overall, it is a worthwhile read!
DJ Jazzy Patty McC. is having her usual fun diving into some Non-Fiction and serving up a little tunage on the side. “My read this week turns to the bawdy hilarity of Meaty, a collection of essays by Samantha Irby. Who says the cover of a book doesn’t entice a reader and sell a book? After looking into the eyes of the charging rooster on the cover, I knew I must read this collection of essays! I have not been disappointed. Samantha Irby reads like a delightfully bawdy (we really need to bring that word back...) raw conversation with your single girlfriend. Her fearless vulnerability in ‘My Mother, My Daughter’ will make you tear up or downright weep. I’ll warn you this is not a read for the faint of heart. The language and situations require that I give you a warning. Irby’s frank voice and self-deprecating humor bring a refreshing spot of hilarity to this quick read in a very bawdy, bawdy way. If you need some tunes to go along with this read, I’m sharing an entire album, you heard right… an album! It’s pretty darn great so enjoy a little Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe with your read. “
I have recently started Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music which is her first novel since her phenomenal success with Room. Blanche Beunon is a French burlesque dancer in 1876 San Francisco. Not only is the city in the middle of a heat wave and a small pox epidemic, her friend Jenny has been shot dead through a saloon window. Blanche it appears will do anything to bring the killer to justice. Based on a true unsolved crime, the depictions of a sweltering San Francisco are helping a bit with our reality of freezing cold. This one is due out in April also known as the Cruelest Month. Sorry T.S. but have you lived through a Connecticut January?
¡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.
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!
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!
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!“
Here is what you can find new to the shelves in the upcoming days.
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!
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!