Check Out an Art iPad

Explore the world of modern and contemporary art with the Darien Library Art iPad. Darien Library is collaborating with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to promote the exploration of art in a variety of mediums. By curling up with an Art iPad, you may:

  • Pore through art eBooks
  • Use apps dedicated to specific artists (e.g. Picasso, Goya, El Greco)
  • Unleash your inner artist using selected sketching and painting apps like:
    • Sketchbook Pro
    • Adobe Ideas
    • Bamboo Paper
  • Turn your surroundings into an amazing visual experience using KaleidaCam
  • Take a quiz with ArtHD to see what you really know

Pick up your Art iPad at the Welcome Desk. Each Art iPad checks out for one week. We also welcome suggestions to adding more great art apps, so let us know by emailing us at art@darienlibrary.org.

Art iPads are available to Darien residents, those who work full-time in Darien, and Friends who have donated $300 or more. Patrons must be 18 years old to checkout an Art iPad.

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. “

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

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

New DVD Releases

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

Nice New Book Goodness!

Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up!

New DVD Releases

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

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 Hunter’s Moon edition of You Are What You Read.  Yup the full moon is tomorrow and I am here to tell you that this month is no better than last.  DJ Jazzy Patty McC. will be addressing just this in our weekly playlist.  I have no Sweet Ann words of wisdom this week but I do have something rather charming to relate.  On my commute, I have spied a loft in SoNo that has been hanging inspiring hand lettered messages on a banner from their deck.   Every morning I make an effort to see what the message is and I can’t lie that it does add some much needed whimsy to what, of late, can be a rather bleak commute  One of this week’s messages was ‘Dream your future.’  I am sure that Sweet Ann would approve this message.  This week we have some despair, melodrama, a head injury, a talk show, murderous tribes, serious drinking,  killer whales, disappointment, divorce, a motorcycle club and of course, our weekly playlist.

Let us begin!

John who is off getting married this weekend sent this in before he left.   I know that you join me in wishing him and his lovely bride nothing but the best.  “I have been thoroughly engrossed in a fascinating book, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.  This parallel story begins when one of the central characters, Ruth, discovers among debris from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, washed up on the distant shores of British Columbia, a neatly wrapped plastic parcel containing a diary written by a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl who seems to be chronicling the days leading up to her suicide.  The novel cuts back and forth between the diary entries and the story of Ruth's determination to find out more about the Japanese girl, Nao.  Nao, it turns out, was a Japanese American who lived in California all of her life until the dot-com bust when she and her family had to return to Japan.  Upon her return, Nao is teased mercilessly by her classmates while her mother and father fall deeper into despair. Amid this crisis, she connects with her anarchist, Buddhist nun grandmother while planning her own demise.  This is an extraordinary novel from two very distinct voices.  Nao's narrative is so crisp, clear and unapologetic. I live for writing that brings characters like her to life and because I'm only halfway through the novel, I worry for her and her fate.  This is a must-read.”

Sweet Ann has two offerings this week.  “I finished Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford this week and wanted to share that I think this is an interesting book that will keep you engaged.  It does talk about the early movie business and as I finished reading it, I thought of it as an engrossing melodrama from the 30's and 40's.   I have to start this review by saying I love Liane Moriarty.  I like the way she writes, her characters and the situations she presents.  The first book I read of hers was What Alice Forgot.  Alice wakes up from a head injury and thinks her marriage and life are perfect, but the injury has caused her to forget the past ten years when her life has been spinning out of control.  In The Husband's Secret, Cecilia Fitzpatrick thinks her life with her husband and children is just about perfect until she finds a sealed letter from her husband that instructs her not to open it until after his death.  Cecilia waits, probably longer than others would, but the letter is finally opened.  What is in the letter is shocking and will have ramifications for the family, friends and others in the town. I have now heard from various friends of mine that I should not do the same with them because they had many suggestions on opening and then resealing envelopes.”

Sue S.  has finished reading and really enjoyed these two very different books.  150 Pounds by Kate Rockland which is a truly delightful read starring Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous who are both Bloggers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there. When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. This book is comedic, makes you laugh out loud  and is familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale.   I am reading Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King   because I loved The Shining but it's totally making me sleep with the lights on! The story picks up on a now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and how he must save a very special twelve-year-old girl from a tribe of murderous paranormals. It's well written with classic creepiness by the King of it himself!

Steph also enjoyed Doctor. Sleep.  Here is her take. “This week I read Stephen King’s new book, Doctor Sleep. This book is a sequel of sorts to The Shining, and you won’t be surprised to hear that poor tortured Danny Torrance, last seen barely surviving his father and the Overlook Hotel, has not made it into adulthood with a clean bill of mental health. Rather, he’s a violent alcoholic, and one pretty close to rock bottom at that, because he’s found that the only way to quiet the shining in his head is to drink constantly. Meanwhile, in another part of the country, a young girl is growing up with powers  even more powerful than Danny’s were—and even further away, a roving band of very scary folks called the True Knot are looking for kids just like her in order to stay alive. It’s all classic King, with the unnerving touches and perfect dialogue we’ve come to expect from him, but it’s layered with something more. King, himself a recovering alcoholic, has matured quite a lot since The Shining, and it shows in this book. His writing about addiction is heart wrenching, and adds a human dimension to the creep factor, much as he did in 11/22/63. You don’t have to have read The Shining to enjoy this one, but if you did, you’ll love it all the more.” 

Won’t you all please welcome Marie to our ranks?  She began as one of our favorite patrons and now she is one of us and working in Materials Management.  “Science and nature is one of my favorite genres so I am really enjoying Death at SeaWorld:  Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby.  I would recommend viewing the SeaWorld show with trainers in the tank on YouTube for an unbelievable visual after completing this book!”

Jeanne.  Always.  Two things at once. “Amy Tan has once again brought us a compelling story of a daughter's relationship with her mother that is rife with disappointment, struggle and search for love. Violet is growing up in Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century when her mother decides it is not safe to stay there and flees her once-prosperous house of pleasure and books passage to return to her family home in San Francisco. Tan seduces us with riddles of the heart, loyalty and power as well as the mystery of a small landscape painting titled, The Valley of Amazement. I am also reading Kate DiCamillo's new book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.  I think everyone should read a good children's book on a regular basis and DiCamillo's writing has heart, it's smart and it's humorous (I love Because of Winn Dixie.) In this new graphic novel, Flora Belle Buckman is a young, self-described cynic with recently divorced parents, often left to her own devices and Ulysses is a squirrel. They meet in a most unusual way and the wonderful illustrations and clever antics make for plenty of adventures for them and the reader. Highly recommended!

Miss Elisabeth of the CL breaking any stereotype you may have had of what Children’s Librarians consume when not putting on Story Times. Proceed with caution on this one.  ”This week I haven’t read anything, because I have been completely and entirely consumed by Sons of Anarchy. We have it at the library and seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix, and though I never thought I would love a hyper-violent show about an outlaw motorcycle club, man, have I been sucked in! The storytelling is superb, and once I picked up on the fact that showrunner Kurt Sutter is retelling Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I loved it even more. For a story based on such tragic source material, the show also has some great light-hearted moments, especially in the first seasons, and a swoon-worthy romance between Jax, played by the delicious Charlie Hunnam, and Tara, his childhood sweetheart. In the newer seasons, it’s been fascinating to watch Jax (aka Hamlet’s) descent into darkness, and the acting on the show is altogether excellent. I highly recommend it!”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC. as always has her fingers on the pulse of what’s doing in our Library World.  “So, I can only speak for myself at any given time and place but things have been a little weird within my own universe as of late.  I think I can safely say it’s been a tad bit off-kilter for my colleagues as well.  I can only chalk it up to the impending full moon and maybe lack of HVAC.  This week I encourage you all to channel your inner Neil deGrasse Tyson, enjoy the full moon on Saturday and be swept away by the pulls and tides of our planetary existence.  Happy weekend all and here is this week's playlist!”
 

New DVD Releases

This is what you will find new to our shelves next week.

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