Pat T. reports that she has just finished the memoir Box of Darkness by Sally Brady. “There is a lot of dysfunction in this couple’s marriage due to the husband’s dark secrets.” If you have not yet figured it out, Desketeers love dysfunction. It is part of our charm.
Citizen Asha is reading The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe. “I am loving it! The book is filled with British dark humor..I am a fan.”
Elizabeth wants the world to know about Enough about Love by Hervé Le Tellier. “It's basically a philosophical take on a love triangle- or square actually. It was fantastic and I recommend it.” She has since moved on to Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall which she finds “true to Cunningham style, dark and depressing."
Priscilla is jonesing for Spring to start. For real. Not just on the calendar, so she is reading Beautiful Wedding Flowers: More than 300 Corsages, Bouquets, and Centerpieces. This has to be one of the prettiest books we have seen in a long time.
Marianne is reading The Invisible Bridge in anticipation for our book discussion on April 5th. I will not reveal how she and I feel about it. You need to come on the 5th at 7 and hear for yourselves.
Thanks, Edna. We can use some flowers at this point.
Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear is the 8th Maisie Dobbs mystery to come our way. Just because our Maisie is now independently wealthy doesn’t mean that she is going to take it easy. It’s 1932 and the British Secret Service is recruiting her to keep tabs on the pacifist movement that means to keep peace in Europe at any cost. Sure enough there is soon a body count and Maisie is in the thick of it. This is a great series that we adore.
Elizabeth Berg will be back on the new shelves with Once Upon a Time, There Was You. We love her explorations of the human condition and this one proves to be more of just that. Even though Irene and John are divorced and living separate lives they are still united in their love of their daughter Sadie. When tragedy strikes the two of them will need to pull together to see her through. In spite of all they have been through, can they do it?
22 Britannia Road is the address of the new home that Silvana and her 8 year old son Aurek are heading to after hiding in the Polish forests for the duration of World War II. There they will meet up with Janusz, the husband and father who was able to flee to France after his military unit was massacred. Will this family be forever haunted by their pasts? Or will they be able to move on? This is Amanda Hodgkinson’s debut and we are very excited to get our hands on it.
Stuart Woods is certainly no newbie to the book world! He is back with Bel Air Dead his 20th installment in his Stone Barrington series. When Stone receives a call from his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son asking for his help after the death of her husband, of course he flies to her side. But things quickly take a turn for the shady and dangerous.
And just because it’s April that doesn’t mean that we can’t all still heed the Siren’s Song of comfort food. With Saveur Magazine’s new book, The New Comfort Food we can indulge to our heart’s content. Filled with the wisdom and recipes that you have come to expect from one of the best food magazines out there, this is sure to have you wishing for maybe one more cold and rainy day. Ok. Maybe I went too far, but admit that this is one sexy cover.
We know that many of our users are having difficulty in managing their accounts while we finish updating our SOPAC software. The conversion process has been going on since December, and we share your impatience with how long this has taken, and we are sorry that in some cases we cannot provide the services you have been accustomed to finding at the Library. In the meanwhile, our staff members are working hard to assist with difficulties, so please let them know if you would like assistance.
We believe we are getting close to resolving the remaining problems, and for more information, please look here.
At the same time, we have heard from a number of you that you are unhappy with our decision to move away from circulating music CDs. We have taken this decision because we believe it reflects the reality of the music market, where the trend is towards digital music access, not ownership of physical CD albums. We do apologize for how long it has taken for us to determine how we will address this new reality.
For more information about our plans for music, please look here.
Details aside, the most important thing is for me to tell you how sorry I am that we are not providing the service you deserve. I would be happy to speak to you when you’re in the Library if you ask for me at the Welcome Desk. Or you can email me at email@example.com
Again, if you click here you will give me a chance to apologize to you digitally, if not directly.
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As you know, we've been doing a system upgrade over the past month or so. Several of our online features have not yet become available since the changeover. We want to ensure that you are kept up-to-date on the status of these features, therefore we're listing the major outstanding items here so that you can have some sense of when they will become available. Unfortunately, we cannot provide exact timelines, but if you check back here, you will be able to see what we are actively working on. We don't anticipate that these features will be broken for very much longer and we do appreciate your patience during this period of transition. Darien Library prides itself on being a cutting-edge institution, and we plan to restore these critical services and features as soon as possible.
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other mens writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."
What a wonderful quote from Socrates. Most of us like nothing better than to benefit from someone else's hard work, however, chances are, Socrates had a lot more time on his hands than most of us do today. Pulled in all directions, it's often hard to find time to read the newspaper every day, let alone an entire book. Well, we may have just the solution for you. Check out this selection of "small wonders"-- books that measure about 5 x 7 inches, most with fewer than 200 pages, and all certain to improve your life.
The list is rich in titles that amuse, educate, offer advice, and short tales of lives well lived. The smallest in the collection is E. B. White's essay, Here is New York. At 60 pages, it is a witty, perceptive piece about Manhattan, speaking to what lasts and what really matters. If you haven't read it before, you are in for a rare treat.
As you may expect, many of these tiny volumes are dedicated to advice for the newly graduated. Anna Quindlen, Ann Patchett and Maria Shriver each have words of wisdom about what you can do with your life, especially when you are young and opportunities abound. Perhaps the best known is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a college professor, diagnosed with terminal cancer, who wrote about achieving childhood dreams. It is at times humorous and inspirational, but ultimately it is simply about living your best life.
Please take the time to enjoy one of these small wonders, it won't take long and will certainly be worth the effort.
NEW BOOK GOODNESS!!!!!!!!
We got a beautiful shipment of New Book Goodness to help you through.
Who’s in The House?
So glad you asked!
Come on down and visit us!
Sure. Everyone has a top Ten List and why should the Desketeers feel left out? And why just stop at ten? We like an even dozen!
Here is what thrilled us this year. We guarantee that this is a list like no other. They are not in order of favorites. That is like singling out your favorite child. Sure you have one, but you never admit it.
Room by Emma Donaghue. You have heard us rave about this one. We loved the story of five year old Jack and his Ma and their life in and out of Room.
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Although Henrietta died in 1951 at the age of 30 her legacy lives on in her harvested cells. This is a fascinating story of faith and medicine.
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. A family tragedy told in Quindlen’s wonderful prose and believable characterizations. While you may think you know where this one is going, you will be surprised.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. A first novel about Hungary, World War II and star crossed lovers. This one has been called a modern classic.
Father of the Rain by Lily King. This novel features not only beautiful writing but also a great story about a WASP family from the 60s to present day.
Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy. Heroine Jane Howard keeps trying to “leave the world” whether by wallowing in Academia or through escapes of her own design, but she is never quite successful. We loved how Kennedy is one of the few male authors who actually “get” the female voice right on the written page.
And of course because we are the Desketeers and we are food obsessed here are our favorite food books of the year.
Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. A lunch date in Paris ends in marriage and a new life in Paris.
Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Not just 300 recipes, but sumptuous food photography, wonderfully doable recipes and great food writing. We love Dorie!
97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegleman. This is a fascinating look at how five immigrant groups shaped what is our food culture today. Foie Gras anyone?
Fannie’s Last Supper: Re-Creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Cookbook by Christopher Kimball. Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated took 2 years to research and prepare in the style and form of Fannies's day a 12 course Christmas dinner.
We wish you a joyous holiday season and the most happy of new years!
As we mentioned earlier this week, due to an upcoming major upgrade to our library catalog, some new items may not be appearing in our OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog), so it may look as if we don't have the item that you are searching for. Also, until the upgrade is complete, the option to place holds has been disabled. (The completion date for the upgrade is December 8th.) We know that this is frustrating and we apologize. If you have a question about a new or upcoming publication or release, please come in or call. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, IM us on AIM & Y!M at deweydarien, or text us.
It appears that this glitch in the system has mostly affected the display of new and upcoming DVDs.
Here's what's coming out on Tuesday, November 23rd (not only are they on order, they're in the building and ready to go on Tuesday!):
Eat Pray Love
The Pillars of the Earth (The 2010 STARZ miniseries)
Here are the titles that came in earlier this week:
Disney's A Christmas Carol
The Kids Are All Right
Cats & Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore
We will continue to post notices on our catalog page alerting you about books and DVDs that are on order and the dates that they are expected.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
library catalog noun. an enumeration of all the resources of a library; a register of all bibliographic items found in a library; a log or register of all the materials owned by a particular library.
Our library catalog, the register of all items in our library, is undergoing a major (major!) change -- a system upgrade that will offer many service enhancements, including better account information, faster and more reliable performance, and advanced member and staff tools. The last time we undertook this major a change to our system was when we updated from the old card catalog system (shown below, left) about 20 years ago. At that time, we replaced the card catalog with the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). The photos below (center and right), taken during our conversion to the OPAC, convey only a hint of the massive effort and energy that an event of this magnitude requires. During the last conversion, the enormity of this task was highly visible and unfortunately, very disruptive to life in the Library. This time, all of the migration of records will take place behind the scenes. Though not visible in the physical space of our building, the task is still huge and unfortunately, some disruptions cannot be avoided. Some of our regular services will experience interruptions and limitations and there will be periodic reductions in system availability during the transition.
As you know, the current system upgrade has already impacted the ability to place holds. Online holds cannot be accepted during this time; the hold option has been disabled. (Items currently on hold will not be affected.)
Also note, some new items may not be appearing in the OPAC, so it may look as if we don't have the item that you are searching for. (Of course, we have Eat Pray Love on DVD on order! In fact, the copies have already been delivered and they will be on our shelves on the release date on Tuesday, 11/23.) So, please check with us. Come in or call. Email us at email@example.com, IM us on AIM & Y!M at deweydarien, or text us. We will post notices on our catalog page alerting you about books and DVDs that are on order and the dates that they are expected.
We will be going live with the new system on Wednesday, December 8.
An off-line version of the Library catalog will be available for searching.
The Welcome Desk, Information Desk, and Help Desk will be fully staffed and operating.
Our public computers will still be available and our databases will be able to be accessed from within the Library.
We will continue to keep you updated during this time of change at Darien Library. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Mark Twain called a classic "a book which people praise and don't read," but that certainly isn't the case with many contemporary classics. They are well-written, in modern English and are approachable for today's high school students. Great Books for High School Kids: A Teacher's Guide to Books That Can Change Teens' Lives provides a wonderful introduction to what makes a book a classic, and while subjective by any measure, the list of over 400 fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles is a wonderful place to start.
In the meantime, check out some of our favorite contemporary classics, featured on the list below. New copies of each book are located in the Classics Room, and many of them are also available in large print and audiobook, as well as part of our Books in a Bag program for reading groups.