I need to begin this week with an apology. Apparently I caused some marital discord because I stated the Harvest Moon would take place on Monday when, in fact, it occurred on Wednesday. So my apologies to Curtiss R, I regret to inform you that Leslie was right and I was wrong. As for the rest of you, I hope that your gleaning/threshing activities were in no way inconvenienced. But it was a really pretty moon, wasn’t it? (Hangs head in shame, shuffles away and changes the subject) As you can see, the message from The SoNo Loft this week is Tell the Story. Who doesn’t love a good story? Good stories enlighten, entertain and stay with you. On Wednesday (and yes I double checked that), the National Book Award committee will be announcing the short list for fiction and I am praying that my two favorites, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Some Luck by Jane Smiley will be among the five chosen. Both of these are amazing stories and they are populated by wonderfully rich characters. And with the way the world has been lately, who wouldn’t want to lose themselves in a wonderful story? I for one have this weekend off, no OSU Football to occupy me and I am looking forward to a big stack of book to lose myself in. I hope you have a similar stack. If not, we can help you with that and you know where to find us. This week we have voices, a really questionable romance, letters, life choices, sad discoveries, and a wave. And the Playlist! This week times two!
Let us begin!
Sue S has a new romance novel that she is rabid for. “Let’s face it, it’s a fact, heroes are my weakness. It's also a fact that for this week’s You Are What You Read it is the title of the book I devoured in 2 evenings. Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the story of a young woman, a down-on-her-luck ventriloquist, who has to stay 60 consecutive days on an island in a cottage once owned by her deceased mother or risk losing it. She comes to find that a reclusive writer, Theo Harp, who writes chilling horror novels, is also staying on the island. Annie and Theo (who I found to be as broody as Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights) have a past and now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Annie’s inner voice and those of her puppets is warning her that Theo is trouble and that she should stay way. But it’s Annie's heart that is the real trouble maker when it starts telling her he has changed. Only time will tell who Annie should really listen to! This book will definitely get rid of the chill on a cold day!”
Amanda is heating up her fall with the sizzling new eBook, A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan. “This book first comes with a warning: the lovers are stepsiblings. However, as shocking as this may be to us, fans of historical romance know that stepsibling romance is only unseemly and not all that bad. The hero, Decian, was thrown out of his home 10 years ago. His stepsister, Rosalie, was sent away to school and left there. Now Decian’s father is dead and Rosalie has been unceremoniously dropped on his doorstep after overstaying her welcome at school. Will Decian be able to forgive Rosalie the sin of being her mother’s daughter? And to what lengths will Rosalie go to discover herself before being forced into marriage with a stranger? This book is a marvelous quick read and one of the most scandalous things I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series which alas – has not been announced yet.”
Pat T has taken a suggestion to heart this week. “A patron suggested I read Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. She said, ‘I know you don't like epistolary style books, but I promise this book is laugh out loud funny.’ And she's right! Jason Fitger is a creative writing professor at a small Midwest college and he is always called upon by the students to write letters of recommendation on their behalf. Jason's once promising writing career is in a downward spiral, he wreaked havoc on his personal life by disclosing his private affairs in his novels and he is in rivalries with the other college departments because they are better funded. This and more is detailed in this hilarious, clever and passive aggressive letters of recommendation. Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy this humorous read!”
Sweet Ann has just finished The Children Act by Ian McEwan. “This short read kept me engaged from the first page to the last. Judge Fiona Maye presides over family cases that are heart wrenching. The novel centers on the case of an eighteen year old boy who is a Jehovah's Witness and needs a blood transfusion to survive his cancer. The boy is strong in his beliefs and he and Fiona form quite a bond after she visits him in the hospital to help her determine her decision. Fiona is also having marital trouble. Is she too involved in her work or just dealing with her inability to ever have children? This novel makes you think about life choices we all have to make. It also makes you question how involved one should get in someone else's life. It is a great read and I also loved the novel Saturday by Mr. McEwan.”
Steph has another book to add to the Favorites of 2014 List! “After hearing so much about it online and from fellow readers in the Library, I was glad to finally get a chance to read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. The novel opens with a disappearance, and then a sad discovery: Lydia Lee has drowned in the lake in her small town in Ohio. Her family is devastated, because not only was her death unexpected, but it has also unveiled many family secrets. The book skips from mind to mind and from past to present as the mystery unfolds. The revelations of the story, while quiet and small, are devastating. Ng captures so beautifully (her writing is exquisite) the ways families hurt each other, even, and especially, out of love. My heart ached for every character. This is one of my favorite books of 2014.”
Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is here this week and she’s revisiting one of her obsessions. “This week I return with my love of YA dystopian novels. My newest obsession is Hugh Yancey’s The Infinite Sea, the second installment in The Fifth Wave trilogy. Warning, you really need to read The Fifth Wave first, because this one picks up almost immediately where it left off. I have been anxiously waiting for this book to come out for months and it did not disappoint. Just like the first book, the story is told through different perspectives as the characters try to survive as they prepare to battle the fifth and final wave. Yancey does an excellent job of enriching the story with character flashbacks and, while I was somewhat disappointed one of the storylines took a backseat, by the end I had a better appreciation for some of the other characters. The book was action-packed but it also displayed a rare vulnerability with its character development. While many of the questions from the first book are answered, other mysteries arise, and by the end, Yancey has set himself up for an epic showdown for the final book. This is a series that cannot be missed. Think Hunger Games meets the X-Files meets the Body Snatchers. My only complaint is now I have to wait another year for the third and final installment of the series. “
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Up North (49 days until The Game. Get excited!) and as you can see she is back to herself again. Here’s what she’s thinking about this week. “Is anyone else suffering from media overload? It seems that every news outlet is more focused on producing hysteria than reporting facts. There are a lot of things to worry over. Trust me, I could create an exhaustive list that would leave you in a sweaty ball of anxiety, require heavy medication and a team of specialists to get you out of the house again. I refuse to be another voice of hysteria. Instead, I’d like to suggest that we all take three deep breaths and don’t freak out. There are a few things we can do right now to alleviate some of this craziness:
1) Get a flu shot (I know, I sound like a broken record)
2) Make sure your children’s immunizations are current and get them a flu shot (Needle stuck in the groove)
3) If your child is sick, keep him or her home from school. (Yes, this one is tough for working parents especially if you have a child who is ill for a long time. My third grader was out for eight days straight from school already. I feel your pain.)
If you still find yourself still freaking out, put the newspaper away, step away from the glowing screen, get outside and go for a long walk in nature. Hard data proves that this simple step reduces anxiety.”
DL TELL THE STORY 2014 & DL Don't Freak Out 2013
Jen and Stephanie delighted the Meet Us On Main Street group with a bit of romance (actually quite a collection from author Sarah Maclean) a bit of literary treasures on family sagas, social standings and marriage. And, thanks to Jen, some tales from the dark side, just in time for Halloween.
Here are the new titles available from OverDrive.
And the following:
Here are the new titles available from 3M
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!
Alan Gray, our fearless leader, brought suprise guest, Erica Bess, to Meet Us On Main Street. Erica, a former Louise Parker Berry fellow, is now working at Princeton Public Library. It is always nice to have old friends visit and especially bring with them their recent favorite reads to share with our patrons. Below find an assortment of titles from two very discerning readers.
Next week Meet Us On Main Street will be hosted by another spectacular tag team: the Stephanie and Jen show.
Stephanie Anderson, Head of Reader's Services, is planning to wow the group to popular romance novel titles. Romance is a hot genre these days, circulation here at the Library is up, up, up. Come and get the steamy list. Jen Dayton is our Collections Development Coordinator. She has read almost everything on our Library shelves. If you've read it, most likely she has too. Nothing gets by this literary hound. Plan on attending this best book show of the season this coming Wednesday, Oct. 8, 11:00 am on Main Street. It is not to be missed.
The Loft’s message remains the same; ‘Leaf on the Wind’ and I still don’t get it. If anyone out there is feeling the message, please report back. On Monday we have the Harvest Moon to look forward to. This full moon is thusly named because it is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox and is typically bright enough to allow the finishing of harvest chores after the sun goes down. So those of you with some last minute threshing to take care of will have light from the moon to get that done. Enjoy! Of course this also means that we are in the thick of the fall season and I suppose I should do something this weekend to celebrate that fact. Perhaps an apple pie would make me feel better about this? Or a lovely savory something made with butternut squash? I did sneak in a white pants wearing last weekend because the weather was cooperating but even I have to concede defeat and declare that there will be no more white pants now until May 26, 2015. Mark the calendar. I am however still clinging stubbornly to the bare leg but honestly if the mornings continue to run cool as they have been that will be the next thing to go. This week we have some dystopia, Paris, a team of women, Italy, drinking, grey cells and bodies. A whole town full of dead bodies. Playlist? You betcha!
Let us begin!
Miss Elisabeth of the CL is doing a reversal this week. I’ll let her explain. Miss Elisabeth? “On Saturday I went to see The Maze Runner. It was great! I'd never read the book, so I went in completely blind, and I found the action-packed plot thrilling. The ending of the movie was a bit of a mess; the explanation for the Maze didn't make too much sense, but I assume that's because I didn't read the book. The cast was excellent. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who stole everyone's hearts as the adorable Sam in Love, Actually was one of the main characters, and he looks exactly the same! The lead character was played by Dylan O'Brien, who is very, very funny as sidekick Stiles on MTV's Teen Wolf. The whole cast was really pleasantly diverse and they did a great job with the material, elevating what could have been another run-of-the-mill dystopian movie into something really fun to watch. I just checked the book out today, and I look forward to figuring out what the heck was going on in the last ten minutes of the movie!”
Barbara M. Back in Paris. As it should be. “On the advice of one of my favorite patrons I’m reading Sacré Bleu a whimsical, comedic, absurd novel by Christopher Moore. It’s about van Gogh’s death, the color blue and the art world in Paris during the late 1800s. The cast of characters includes not only well known artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Gaugin and Manet but also a mystical being called The Colorman who roams around trying to sell his special blue paint to artists. The book is a mixture of genres (historical-fiction, fantasy, satire) and is very funny. Although it is not my usual type of book I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
Laura is surprised this week. “Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer was a satisfying surprise. Set in an everyday world, a team of four women, a biologist, a surveyor, an anthropologist and a psychiatrist set out to study Area X, a part of the world that has evolved in a different way. The scene is not necessarily post-apocolyptic and it could be taking place in the present day. The story's point of view is through the eyes and mind of the biologist as she studies and gathers data. There is very little dialog but the inquisitiveness of the biologist keeps you reading. It is a slow burn kind of read that when you pick it up to, you are rewarded with a steady and even handed drama. Annihilation is Book One of the South Reach Trilogy and I am looking forward to reading Book 2, Authority, in the future.
Babs B has finished The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes. “When her adored older brother goes missing in Italy during WWII, Julie signs up to be an Army nurse. When she finds herself assigned to the front lines, her once sheltered life changes dramatically. Her only thought in the beginning was finding her brother, but as the weeks turn into months and she befriends patients, makes new friends, and her whole life opens up. While reading this story I honestly felt transported to another time and place. I had a great time with this book!”
The Always Delightful Pat S has just read A Spy Among Friends by Ben McIntyre. “If you are a 007 fan, this book is going to be a myth buster. Kim Philby, perhaps the greatest double agent of the 20th century, was working for the Soviets while he had a long and high profile position in MI6. This allowed him to infiltrate not just the center of British security but American security as well. McIntyre tells the story of his entrance into the spy world; a seamless transition from the storied world of Cambridge to MI6 where he joined a select and class-conscious few. Predicated on nothing more substantial than knowing the right people, Philby embarked on a career which was ably assisted by his charm, sociability and prodigious drinking habits. In fact, it was Philby’s very sociability which allowed him access to inner circles the world over. When the charade ultimately came to an end in 1963, and Philby defected to Moscow, neither his best friends from Cambridge, fellow spies, nor any one of his three wives had any clue as to his duplicity. This is a fascinating look at a world where the myths are less improbable than the reality.”
Steph is visiting with an old friend in a new way. “It was with some trepidation that I approached The Monogram Murders, by Sophie Hannah. You might not know that this book is by Sophie Hannah if you looked at the cover quickly, because another author’s name is MUCH bigger on it: AGATHA CHRISTIE. That’s right: this is a new Hercule Poirot story, the first since Curtain was published in 1975! It’s always a little scary when someone gets a new crack at a favorite like Poirot, but knowing that she had the full backing of the Christie estate, I tried it out. The result? Quite fun! No, it’s not the Agatha Christie you remember. But the plot is a delightfully Christie-like maze, and more importantly, Poirot sounds exactly like he should. This was very enjoyable and certainly worth the attention of your little grey cells.
I am WILD for The Undertaker’s Daughter by Kate Mayfield. Kate grew up in sleepy, segregated Jubilee Kentucky. Grief brings out the best and the worst in people and as the daughter of the town’s undertaker, Kate saw it all. I recently described it to a co-worker as To Kill a Mockingbird with dead bodies, and a soupçon of mental illness with a side of alcoholism and infidelity. Mayfield is a wonderfully evocative writer who describes her unusual upbringing and her hometown with love and tenderness even while she is conjuring up painful reminiscences. How much do I love this book? I am reading it on my Kindle for my commute and in book form the minute I get home. I am planning what will be for dinner to optimize evening reading time. This gem is due out in January and be glad of it because the Hellidays would probably be a diminished affair if you got your hands on it in December.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is still battling a vicious something in the State Up North. Join me in wishing her recovery. It would appear we are too late to wish her the speedy part. “Last weekend my family and I wrapped up Banned Books Week by venturing out to celebrate a nighttime festival of art and light in downtown Detroit. The Exhibition DLECTRICITY featured over 35 world-renowned and emerging artists whose work lit up the city in brilliant color and movement. Art galleries, studios and cathedrals were open for art projected on their walls both inside and out creating an art display unlike any other. Kids were outside playing Minecraft and their games were successively projected on one side of the Detroit Institute of Arts. There was even a parade, a light bike parade! The Mindfield video projection on the Detroit Institute of Arts and across the street on the Detroit Public Library was mind blowing. So this week, I thought it would be worthwhile to celebrate and listen to an artist who is no stranger to the threat of censure or banning. This week listen to a musical genius and artist who just released not one but two albums! This week I bring you the MAN in PURPLE otherwise known as Prince. Enjoy the tunes.”