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Meet Us On Main Street

Stephanie and Jen graced us with a selection of titles, that, let's just call this list of books "The Dazzlers."  

Jen brought four non-fiction stories, and one fiction, of what she calls her obsessions -- books she can't not suggest for people to read - no matter how long ago they were published.  Cold Comfort Farm, (2006) by Stella Gibbons, Jen's fiction choice, is a hilarious account, set between the World Wars, about an orphaned British debutante sent to a distant relative's farm; Sara & Gerald: Villa America and After, (1982) by Honoria Murphy Donnelly, a touching memoir about her childhood with her amazing renegade parents, Sara and Gerald Murphy, who left America in the 1930's to live an unabbashed life in France, befriending the greatest literary, art and musical artists of the time; Zelda: A Biography, (2011) by Nancy Milford, a more truthful, less sensational, account of the amazing talent and true tradegy of Zelda Fitzgerald, her marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald and her mental illness; couple that with West of Sunset, (2015) by Stewart O'Nan, that captures, with perfect light, Hollywood in the 1930's and Fitzgerald's frustration and failures of producing a sceenplay for cinema; and Straight on Till Morning, The Biography of Beryl Markham, (1987) by Mary S. Lovell, an engrossing account of the not-to-be stopped aviatrix, race horse trainer and author who, as a child, was abandoned by her mother in Africa and raised by her eccentric dad. As an adult she married three times, and had many lovers; friends' husbands and a royal prince.  She is the first person to fly the Atlantic solo from east to west.  Spellbinding.  

Stephanie chose books that, after reading them, have stayed with her; thier messages impact her daily.  Her two top favorites are Ghettoside, A True Story of Murder in America, by Jill Leovy,, an intimate account of police officers trying to do good in solving a crime in the city of LA where most murders are forgotten, even ignored, and never solved; A Little Life: A Novel, by Hanya Yanangihara about four men who meet in college and the aftermath of life as they are challenged emotionally by their pasts, their ambitions and what it is like to be a man in America.  Stephanie warns this is a unsettling read but she couldn't put it down.  For the Library's Business Book Group book Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo, by Nicholas Carlson, is the inside story of how Yahoo got into such awful shape in the first place, Mayer's controversial rise at Google, and her desperate fight to save an Internet icon.  And it wouldn't be Stephanie if she didn't broaden the group's genre horizon with the action comic Ms. Marvel, 1, No Normal of a muslim teen age girl from Pakistan, living in NJ, who is suddenly impacted with extraordinary powers that she uses for good.  A new action hero that is a young woman.   

Jen and Stephanie both rave about Kate Atkinson's latest book A God in Ruins, where Teddy, from Atkinson's Life and Life, returns from battle and faces a future he never imagined as the world transitions from wartime to peace.  Jen has ordered more copies because it is flying off the shelves.  

And a friendly, heads-up from the fabulous duo are two fantastic reads, Kitchens of the Great Mid West by J. Ryan Stradal and City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg.  Both are coming out this fall. 

The list begins below:

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.

What's the Hoopla?

Uh-oh!  3 weeks away from the official start of summer.  Are you Beach Body ready?  Here's some fitness regimes to help you get there.  And remember you don't have to wait!  Immediate gratification can be yours!

Not sure what this means?  Click here!

What are my neighbors up to?

Here is a list of the most popular items this week.

You Are What You Read!

Hello!  We made it to MAY!  I don’t know about you but my relief is palpable on this score.  Even if my walk to the train this morning felt more like March than May, we have made it to MAY!  Saturday we have the Kentucky Derby which is a favorite harbinger of spring.   People! Polish the Julep cups, crush that ice, muddle the mint, and dig the bourbon out from the back of the liquor cabinet. Although truth be told, these days I use my Julep cup as my toothbrush holder mostly because it has my married initials on it. We all know how I feel about that.  The bathroom feels like a good place for that to reside. This Sunday we will see this month’s Full Moon. Here is the 411 from the Farmer’s Almanac on the Full Flower Moon: “May's Full Flower Moon, also called Mother's Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon, marks a time of increasing fertility with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.” So there you go. It would appear that our time on the Tundra has, happily, come to an end.  In related, albeit disturbing, news tomorrow is World Naked Gardening Day.  Yes this is a ‘thing’.  Please don’t.  There is not enough Julep in the world for that. One last thing you have one week and 2 days to get it together for the mothers in your lives.  Make it good People. They deserve it.  This week we have a cult, a widow, triplets, a glossy, and Quebec.  The Playlist?  But of course!

Let us begin!

Miss Claire of the CL is back and here’s what she did while she was adrift in the world. “After a recent trip to LA, my friend's boss said we had to pick up Last Night at the Viper Room for our girls' weekend. The book is a partial bio of River Phoenix, the childhood actor who was destined for greatness, but it's also interspersed with pieces of 90s cultural references. The book tells of Phoenix's early beginnings as the oldest sibling of a vagabond family whose parents moved their kids from state to state, and then to South America. The family became increasingly involved the Children of God, a cult which encouraged sexual experiences among its young members. The Phoenix clan eventually ended up in Los Angeles where the singing brothers and sisters performed on the Hollywood streets.   The book was compelling, although sad as River dies as a result of a drug overdose on Halloween morning. I vividly remember my friends and I finding out the news after trick-or- treating in 8th grade. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed being an insider to young Hollywood in the early nineties and also discovering that the director Gus Van Sant graduated from Darien High!”

Sweet Ann has just finished  Bettyville by George Hodgman.  “When I read the review of this book, I knew I had to read it.  I love family stories and this is a terrific one.  George Hodgman leaves Manhattan to return home to Paris, Missouri to take care of his ninety year old mother Betty.  Betty is getting forgetful and frightened of being alone now that she is a widow and her health is failing.  She and her son have a witty and caring relationship but one where George's homosexuality was never discussed.  Bettyville also addresses George's childhood of feeling that he was not normal and the torment he felt.  He loved his mother and this book is a love song to her and the people who were there for him as a child and a young man. I highly recommend this memoir.”

Jeanne is only doing one thing this week.  Feel free to discuss. “Liane Moriarty has a way of working the bad things that happen to good people into slapstick episodes. In the case of this novel, Three Wishes, she does this in triplicate. Yes, the Kettle sisters, Gemma, Lyn and Cat are beautiful, long-legged, 30 something triplets.  Life is never perfect; no one is exempt from the bad stuff. Not even these headstrong Australian women are above wrongdoing, mishaps and mayhem. There is a lot going on with the Kettle sisters;  from marital discord, unplanned pregnancies, slashed tires and plenty of champagne. If you enjoyed Big Little Lies, as I did, you will also enjoy Three Wishes, narrated via hoopla by the talented Heather Wilds.”

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is very happy this week.  Here’s why. “Tickled pink, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven. You get the gist. I am happy, happy, happy.  You know why?  Because, my dear friends, it is my favorite time of the year! Prime Patio Time, or in my part of the world known as PPT. To celebrate this beautiful weather, I bring you the perfect PPT book, The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, a deliciously fun read full of wit, drama and fashion with a little bit of soul thrown in. Imogene Tate, editor-in-chief of Glossy Magazine, one of the top fashion books in the world, finds herself at a crossroads when she returns to work after a six-month medical leave, only to discover her former assistant, Eve, has manipulated her way into a position of power and is trying to convert the magazine into a digital version and app. Many of Imogene’s peers ‘the gray hairs’ have been let go or moved into the supply closet and been replaced with ‘a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings.’ If Imogene wants to save her beloved Glossy then she will have to evolve and learn the necessary digital tools to compete in this new landscape, which she does with grace, integrity, creativity and a whole lot of moxie. I know this book seems to be your typical chick-lit novel, but it also is a good commentary on how technology has impacted the business world today. Thoroughly charming, laugh out loud funny and surprisingly relevant, The Knockoff is the perfect read while enjoying your Prime Patio Time.”

Steph.  Also happy this week. In fact, she is downright evangelical in her delight.  “Rejoice! For Louise Penny has a new book on the way, and it is a true return to form for her. I know some readers, me included, were a bit disappointed in the last Inspector Gamache book, The Long Way Home, it was good, just not as good as previous books in the series, in my humble opinion. I feared that Gamache’s retirement would spell doom for the series. But fear not! Nothing less than a serial killer, the death of a child, and the discovery of a massive weapon hidden in the Quebec forest have brought Penny’s best back to us. The Nature of the Beast comes out in August. Go on hold now and get excited!

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with some final musings on this week’s lunar event.  What’s good Pats? “It finally feels like spring might stick around. This weekend marks the opening of our Farmers Market here in town and I am ready. I have been waiting to plant my own patio garden. I’ve been living in fear that I’ll be inviting the rodents’ wrath and they’ll throw some frost or snow my way. They’re spiteful like that. So around here while we juggle baseball games, a third grade concert, a middle school musical and art award ceremonies, I’m going to sneak in a little full moon gardening. The full moon isn’t until the 4th but I’m getting a head start.  The Full Moon Playlist is my only listening requirement. Now go out and get your garden on!

DL The Fullest Moon or Just Another Day in the Life of Neil deGrasse Tyson 2013 

New eBooks from OverDrive

Here are the new titles available from OverDrive.

Michelle Obama A Life by Peter Slevin

The Lady from Zagreb by Philip Kerr

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

A Fine Romance by Candice Bergen

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo/Neil Smith

The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

The China Mirage The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia by James Bradley

The Collector by Nora Roberts 

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

Memory Man by David Baldacci

Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason

New eBooks from 3M

Here are the new books from 3M.

Meet Us On Main Street

At first it appeared to be a light day for the Meet Us On Main Street reading group as Alan came to the discussion with only two books -- Erik Larson's Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania about the 1915 sinking of the luxury ocean liner by German U-boats and Galapagos Regained,: A Novel  by James Morrow about an out-of-work Victorian actress who, lured by the a chance to win a large amount of prize money, sets off on a wild adventure to the Galapagos Islands, and beyond, to prove Darwin's evolutionary theory to a panel of judges at The Great God Contest.  Yet, the talk of Darwin's journey inspired him to present a favorite writer of his, Patrick O'Brian, who wrote over 20 sea stories set during the Napoleonic Wars.  A group member, enthused by Alan's accounting, walked away with the first of the Aubrey - Maturin series, Master and Commander.  In the list below, I have included book 2 & 3 of the series Post Captain, and HMS Surprise, though they do not have to be read in any order.  We have the entire series.  

Laura pitched two of her recent favorites: Lila by Marilyn Robinson, a beautifully written book about a young woman, homeless until she meets and marries minister, who tries to make sense of her hardscrabble life and the people she became close to along the way, and Hades, by Cythina Fox, a chilling, thriller about a disgraced detective, his return to the force and the shady and mysterious new co-workers he must work with to catch a serial killer.  

The group discussed news sources we trust-- New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the online hit, The Skimm.  Deb, a MUOMS regular, gave a brief informational tutorial of Good Reads, (here is the link: http://www.goodreads.com) which is an online website she uses to find books to read and also organize her reading lists.  We use it frequently at the Library to find "read-alike" books for patrons, who have a favorite author or genre, but are wanting new authors to read.  

We also talked about food and so, by the end of the meeting everyone's stomach was growling.  They left to get lobster sliders. Yumm.  It was a beautiful day, maybe they did take-out and had a picnic.

The list begins below:


New DVD Releases

New opportunities for your viewing pleasure.

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