What are my neighbors up to?

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

You Are What You Read!

Happy Easter, Passover, Vernal Equinox, Grilled Cheese Month!  Whatever it is that you celebrate we wish you a happy one.  This weekend will bring us the Full Pink Moon named for the blooming pink wild phlox.  Yup. That’s not happening. Although, I will say on my runs in the evening, I have noticed that the Snow Drops and the Glory of the Snow are FINALLY blooming.  So that’s encouraging.  This full moon is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon which makes sense or the Egg Moon, again there is a sort of sense to that too, but then there is the Fish Moon.  I have no idea why fish would be involved. Are they spawning?  Were they wintering in the deep, deep depths and now they are back closer to the surface and therefore catchable?  If anyone out there has the 411 on the springtime ways of those that swim among us, just let me know and I’ll reveal all next week. Our image this week is of Sweet Ann’s Egg Tree.  Because, really?  How could we not bring you The Egg Tree?  This has become Tradition.  Thanks Ann!  This week we have France, Miami, the Cunard Line, a pilgrimage, a hobby and some California.  The Playlist?  That’s becoming Tradition too.  Can’t mess with Tradition!

Let us begin!

Sweet Ann has just finished The Nightingale by Hannah Kristen, which is rapidly becoming a staff favorite.  Let’s see if she likes it as much as others have.  “This is the first book that I have read by Ms. Kristen and I believe this novel is her first in the historical novel genre.  It is the story of WWII France and two sisters whose lives will be uprooted and changed by the war.  Vianne is married with a young daughter. Isabelle, her younger sister, is a woman who takes risks and won't let people or situations keep her down.  At first I was concerned when I started this novel that it would be similar to many WWII novels I have read before where a main character reflects back on his or her war experience, but this was a different slant on a story and it was quite good.   The story follows the sister’s lives as they choose very different paths.  Vianne will do anything to keep herself and their daughter safe until her husband returns after being imprisoned in a Nazi prison.  She will also have to contend with having German Captain Beck live in her house.  He is an interesting character and at times I found his actions to be caring, something usually not associated with a Nazi officer.  Isabelle, on the other hand, will not stand by and let the Germans take over.  Her decisions will put her life and the lives of those closest to her in danger. This is a well written fast paced novel.”

Always Fabulous Babs B is thrilled to have a new Joy Fielding to tuck into with Someone Is Watching.  “I was so excited to see a new Joy Fielding book and was not disappointed. The story centers on Bailey Carpenter who is a special investigator for a Miami law firm.  On one of her assignments spying on a deadbeat dad in the middle of the night, she is viciously attacked and nearly killed.  Once she is released from the hospital she becomes a veritable prisoner in her own home, unable to venture past her front door without panicking.  To fill her time, she uses binoculars to casually observe from her window the neighboring buildings and other people's lives.  Anyone else see Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window going on here?  Bailey fixates on the handsome guy across the street and then suddenly realizes he is watching her too.  Suddenly she starts thinking the terrifying possibility that he may be the man who shattered her life.  The police become involved and do a check on this man and he is totally clean.  Bailey feels like she is losing her sanity as nobody believes anything she says.  Suffice it to say, there is a real twist at the end which I never saw coming!  Good to have you back, Joy!”

Barbara M has tackled Erik Larson’s latest book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.  Larson describes the tragic event of May 1915 which needn’t have happened.  As he has done with his other books Larson creates an atmosphere by telling the story from different viewpoints; the Cunard Company, the captain of the U-boat, the passengers and crew of the Lusitania, President Wilson, and the British government. His research is meticulous and it is the details which make the story come alive.  For example, one of the passengers, Charles Lauriat Jr., a book dealer from Boston, boarded the Lusitania with two priceless items; a set of drawings by William Makepeace Thackeray and a copy of A Christmas Carol with annotations made by Charles Dickens. Although we know how the story ends Larson’s writing makes this a compelling and exciting read.”

Pat T, as always, can be found listening. Here is what she liked this week. “The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce is the companion book to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye. I just finished listening to the audio book and I think it enhances this charming story. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye takes us on a journey with Harold as he sets off to walk 500 miles across England to visit his friend, Queenie, who is at the end of her life. Now, we have the pleasure of hearing about Queenie's recollections of her friendship and love for Harold. Both books reveal delightful characters reflecting on their lives and move forward with dignity and courage as they reach out, in friendship, to one another one last time. As I began reading Queenie's story I couldn't help but think of one of our former co-workers, who hailed from Britain, because he originally recommended, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, to ‘all us wonderful librarians’! I hope life is good for him and his children, across the pond!”

The Ever Delightful Pat S got her hands on It’s What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario which was a book she was highly anticipating.  Here’s what she thought. “Recommended by a colleague, this memoir is a fascinating exploration of the life and times of an award-winning photojournalist. Addario grew up in Westport, Ct and discovered photography as a hobby in her early teens. After college, wanting to travel and see the world, she wound up in South America and it was there she began to photograph people and realized that photography was a way to tell a story. ‘It was the marriage of travel and foreign cultures and curiosity and photography. It was photojournalism.’ From that moment on, Addario worked ceaselessly  to become the best. Paying her dues in South America, she returned to New York where picture by picture, she began to climb the professional ladder which ultimately brought her to the New York Times. It was on a trip to Afghanistan to photograph an essay on women's issues in 2000 that provided the tipping point for Addario. After September11, 2001, she was one of the few photographers who already had a working knowledge of the Taliban. Ultimately, it is Addario and her colleagues who put a human face to war, genocide, and countless other crimes against humanity in the international arena. After being robbed, kidnapped, beaten up, and molested in the course of her work, Addario's only response to the question Why? is 'It's what I do.’ Not yet forty, Addario has won a Pulitzer Prize and been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. I can't wait to see what she does with the second forty years.”

Miss Claire of the Children’s Library has just read   Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. “Gabi, A Girl in Pieces was the winner of the Winner of the William C. Morris award, given to a debut YA author, and it’s not impossible to see why this novel has captured so many readers of teen literature. Told through Gabi’s diary, I was immediately drawn to the character’s honest portrayal of the struggles of being a Mexican-American teen living in California, especially when your father is an addict and your best friend just found out she’s pregnant. Gabi’s story is both humorous and poignant, and witnessing her transformation into a poet and writer is worth every page! “

DJ Jazzy Patty McC!  From That State Up North!  What's good Pats? "This Easter and Passover feels particularly auspicious. Before sunrise on April 4th we can witness a total eclipse of the Full Pink Moon that will last approximately 5 minutes. Times and locations for best viewing can be found here.  We’re making preparations for our creative session of egg coloring. I am cooking up a tiny ham, loads of vegetables and a Raspberry-Ricotta Cake for our Sunday celebration here with the folks. Big thanks to Jen for the cake recipe share! May your holiday involve eggs, a shared meal with family and friends, some chocolate and don’t forget the music.


New eBooks from 3M

Here are the new titles available from 3M.

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 are my neighbors up to?

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

What's the Hoopla?

How about a modern classic this week? And remember you don't have to wait!  Immediate gratification can be yours!

Not sure what this means?  Click here!

You Are What You Read!

The words fromThe SoNo Loft this week are “Just Build It.” As always The Loft is ON IT.  I have noticed that there seems to be a movement afoot.  People seem to be just building their own damn Spring.  For me, there is the refusal to wear a hat.  I won’t do it.  You can’t make me.  Gloves came next and then this morning came the realization I am down to one knee high.  This can only mean one thing.  It’s time to start thinking about the return of the Bare Leg.  To be honest, The Amazing Amanda started that trend 4 days ago and she gave me the courage to begin to even think about it.  And we are not alone in this!  There was this article in the New York Times on Wednesday all about it.  And you know when the Times reports on it, it’s a real thing.  So begin building your very own Spring!  Daffodils are 2 bunches for $5 at the Whole Foods.  Even I can afford this.  Buy them in bulk and strewn them all over your home.  Banish the grey, the sad and the cold.   Just Build It already!  This week we have a new romance, twins, spies, life lessons,  Civil Rights, and New Jersey.  Did DJ Patty McC build The Playlist?  You know she did!

Let us begin!

The Amazing Amanda asks us the following question:  “Are you tired of dainty debutantes and aggressive men with no personality? Then Mary Jo Putney's The Lost Lords series is going to keep you busy for the next few weeks. The books follow the romances of the first class of well-born, but badly behaved young lords of an early 18th century academy. These are not ordinary gentleman since they range from one duke being half-Indian, another is a master spy, others have fought in the Napoleonic wars, while Lord Grey languished in solitary confinement for 10 years. Each man is evenly matched with an equally intelligent woman. These ladies are accomplished and struggling against the restrictive social order of their times. What I appreciate about these stories is the characters are well-rounded, flawed, and working towards goals that matter to them. Be warned though: these books are violent and feature passionate lovers. They're fun to read through and keep you guessing as to who the villain is in every tale. “

Miz Mallory the Programming Diva is getting creative as is her wont.  “Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of Jude and her twin brother Noah. Told in alternating voices, Noah’s chapters take place when the twins are 13-years-old and Jude’s take place when they’re 16, this was just what I needed after some heavy nonfiction. What seems to matter most to the twins is what happened in those in-between years, the ones not on the pages. When Noah tells his story, the twins are inseparable, often sitting as close as they can just to feel as if they are one being. When Jude tells her story, the twins are cold and distant. As the story goes on, you begin to learn what happened between 13 and 16, what caused the twins to turn their solid, joyful relationship into a sad, almost non-existent one. You’ll fall for Noah and Jude equally and be screaming at the pages for them to just talk to one another. For lovers of LBGTQ fiction, literary YA, and sibling fiction (which is a genre I just made up), two enthusiastic thumbs up.”

Abby has a new series she wants to share. “I pursued a Soviet Studies in college. No, it hasn’t really helped me much but I did enjoy the writing and lively discussions. Then I discovered the series The Americans. Talk about a series being right in your wheelhouse! The series features 80’s pop culture, excellent spy tradecraft, and a tremendous amount of emotional manipulation. It stars Keri Russell as Soviet sleeper agent Elizabeth born Nadezhda, who was paired with Phillip nee Mikhail played by Matthew Rhys, and placed inside the United States as sleeper agents for the KGB. The KGB trained them to blend in, have a family and live life. And they do just that; until they are activated. Once their missions start rolling in, the borscht really hits the fan! Add to this a marriage that started out as an assignment but has clearly always been more than that to Phillip who is indeed in love with Elizabeth. Will the love be reciprocated because she too loves Phillip, or because it’s her job? The writers do some very interesting things with Elizabeth and Phillip as they juggle their home life with their responsibilities to the motherland. They have an arsenal of techniques to recruit others to their cause and are not above seduction, threats, and executions. Watching them exploit the vulnerabilities of their targets is extremely uncomfortable, yet you pull for them on some level while loathing their actions and trying to will their prey to somehow resist and fight back. Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride filled with the excess of the 80’s, cold war brutality, and the use of sexuality to serve a cause. “

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan can be found on a treadmill listening to Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason.  “At some point in our lives, we all hear our mother’s voice in the back of our minds with the lessons they taught us about how to handle ourselves. For me, it was how to conduct myself as a strong, smart Southern woman. To quote my mother ‘always be the one wearing the pink suit in the boardroom full of men. Show them you are a woman and you aren’t going to be forgotten.’ It's those little life lessons that make each of us unique, but for the main character, Dee Aldrich, in the book Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason, her upbringing is a little bit different.  You see, her mother was a top-level spy for the government and she made hyperawareness, sleuthing, and other spy traits as part of her upbringing.  For Dee, her mother’s long absences and alternative lifestyle were too much, and so as an adult she chose the polar opposite, instead settling down with the most normal man she could find and living a nice, if uneventful life. But you can’t escape the lessons learned in childhood, and soon Dee becomes aware things are not right, and she will fully need to rely on what her mother taught her if she wants to survive. I recommend this as a fun Spring Break thriller or if you are like me, and need something to take your mind off of your time on the treadmill, it is the perfect audiobook and can be found on Hoopla.

Steph is taking recommendations!  Here’s what she recently picked up. “I took Barbara’s advice and read March: Book Two. This is the second volume in a planned trilogy written by John Lewis, the Congressman from Georgia who is the only remaining member of the Big Six of the Civil Rights Movement. In the first volume, the scene was set for the movement and Lewis’s involvement; in this volume, the action escalates quickly, as Lewis and his colleagues launch the 1961 Freedom Riders campaign at great risk to their lives. Lewis (and his co-writer, Andrew Aydin and illustrator, Nate Powell) are honest and clear about the violence and hatred they encountered, the difficulties and the successes of peaceful civil disobedience, and the disagreements inside the movement. The simplicity of their storytelling, which is set against an ongoing subplot about President Obama’s first inauguration, is powerful beyond measure. I read it twice and it gave me chills each time. This is not just one of the best graphic novels of the year, but one of the best history books, period. “

I was gifted an Advance Reader’s Copy of In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.   In her first adult novel in 15 years she looks at a 3 month period in 1951-1952.  I was during this time a series of passenger planes crashed in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey.  Blume draws on her own memories of that time to bring us the stories of those who witnessed this horror on the ground but those who perished in the crashes.  Her voice is still as magnetic as it was whenever you first happened to read her. This one comes out in early June.

DJ JaZZY Patty Mc!  What’s good this week? “Winter is finally giving way to spring and everyone here couldn’t be happier. Sure, we’re wading through big muddy puddles but we can see green living things emerging from the swampland. The snowbirds are flocking back to their northern nests and I’m not talking about the geese. The geese beat my neighbor’s return and they make their presence known in many, many ways. I’ve been mucking my way through construction sites looking at houses. It was a coincidence that The Loft proclaimed, “Just Build It”. I’ve got lots of building plans this spring that include raised garden boxes and some really cool vertical ones. I’ve got the tools to do it. So whatever your particular proclivity is for building or creating. It’s spring. Now’s the time! I thought a little Muddy Waters would be appropriate right about now. “


In the Time of Knicks

Knicks fans, the season is almost over. It's been one of the worst -- if not THE worst -- in franchise history. Back in January, the press was already calling them a "dead team walking." The only hope is to tear everything down and start fresh, and it can't come soon enough.

Just three years ago this winter, Linsanity reigned -- it was a brief revival of the excitement that was an everyday occurrence at Madison Square Garden in the late 60s and early 70s. Those Knicks fielded some of the greatest starting line-ups ever: Dick Barnett, Dave DeBusschere, Cazzie Russell, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe, and of course, Walt "Clyde" Frazier. New York was in love with the Knicks and they gave the fans unforgettable thrills and two championship banners in return.

ESPN's excellent "30 for 30" series now brings us When the Garden was Eden, a documentary look at those glory days. The film includes unforgettable moments, like Willis Reed's dramatic entrance in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, against the backdrop of the Viet Nam war and that era in American history. It will provide hope for discouraged Knicks fans and serve as warning to the rest of the NBA: when the Knicks finally come back, watch out!

New DVD Releases

New opportunities for your viewing pleasure.

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