Meet Us On Main Street

John and Sally met with the Meet Us On Main Street group today and they did not disappoint.  Their presentations included two books, one being fiction, the other non-fiction, on Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine -- and, interestingly written by the same author. Also, a memoir of Sonia Sotomoyor of her amazing journey to the Supreme Court bench.  Two Golden Books for adults (not children) with whimsical lessons on how-to survive life's twists and turns and (just in time) a how-to manage Christmas!  Plus more -- plants that can live on just air; rules on how to run; plus an assortment of sci-fi, mystery and family drama novels to fill out the list below:  

You Are What You Read!

It was such a dreary week, wasn’t it?  We have been so spoiled that when a bit of rain does happen to fall it befuddles us.  I did have a patron say to me that she had been craving weather such as this so that she had an excuse to hole up and read.  I for one never felt the need for excuses but, hey, if that makes you feel better have at it.   It looks like a nice weekend is in store and really isn’t that what we hope for anyway?  This week we have wisdom, a spy, some hype, PTSD and a new favorite. Of course there is a playlist. Of course! 


Let us begin!


Abby is back to reading one of her favorites. “When I finished Louise Penny’s 9th Chief Inspector Gamache novel last year I wondered where she would take the series. Her latest, The Long Way Home while a satisfying read, leaves me with the same question: what’s next? Newly retired Armand Gamache and his wife have set up house in Three Pines, the serene village outside of Montreal too small and hidden to appear on maps. Gamache gets drawn into helping one of his neighbors locate a missing person. While the mystery piece is not strong here, Penny continues to go deeper into the lives of her characters granting them a lovely mix of vulnerabilities, strengths, and quirks. The emphasis here is on how even the strong must tend to themselves and the wisdom we can all take away from the four things Gamache teaches new officers to express: I was wrong, I'm sorry, I don't know, I need help. “


Sweet Ann has just finished Red Joan by Jennie Rooney.  “This is quite an engaging spy novel based on a true story of an eighty-seven-year-old British woman arrested as the longest KGB spy in Great Britain's history.  Joan, the main character, is a brilliant young woman who in the late 1930's is studying science at Cambridge.  Her life is that of a typical student until Sonya, a Russian student, enters her life.  She introduces Joan to her cousin Leo who will introduce Joan to the world of espionage.  Joan is quite reluctant at first to get involved but circumstances change. The story alternates between Joan as an elderly woman being questioned by M15 and her days at college working for the British government during the beginning of World War ll.  This is an intriguing read about the choices people make and the reasons for doing so.  I thought it was well written although perhaps a little bit long.”


The Tall Cool Texan Virginia has just finished one of my favorites of the year.  What did you think VA?  “Believe the hype about Jane Smiley’s newest book, Some Luck, because it deserves all of the praise and accolades it has been receiving.  This epic saga tells the story of Iowan farmers, Rosanna and Walter Langdon, and their children over a 30 year time period, starting in the 1920s.  Each chapter represents a new year in their lives and is told from the perspective of different family members.  Smiley does a masterful job of creating the personalities of each character and giving the reader an intimate look at their unique realities, from the highs and to the lows.  Nothing is spared. While reading Some Luck, I am not sure if I felt more like a fly on the wall or a distant cousin, but all I know is by the end of the book I cared about the Langdon family and wanted to know where the next 30 years would take each of them. Luckily, Smiley has planned this as a trilogy so we can expect to see more of the Langdon family.“


Steph is here and she has taken to heart a patron recommendation.  I’ll let her tell you all about it. “Over the weekend, I read A Test of Wills, by Charles Todd, after a book group read it and highly recommended it. This is the first of sixteen books in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series, a detective mystery series set in Britain after the First World War. In this book, Rutledge is still suffering from what we would now call PTSD, which he experiences primarily as a voice in his head, of a young man who he sentenced to death during the war. He rejoins Scotland Yard after coming home, and is sent to the countryside to investigate a politically sensitive murder in a town where nobody wants to talk to him. He’s plunged into several small town dramas and, having no one to trust, tries to solve the crime alone. It’s not a book with a lot of twists, but it definitely kept me guessing right up until the end. The book rotates through several points of view, but really focuses on Rutledge’s, giving it the same feel as a Tana French or Denise Mina novel. It’s a great series for fans of those writers, or any reader who likes the combination of a detective’s psychology and a well-plotted mystery. I can’t wait to read more books in this series!


Now that the night comes on faster and the weather has turned cooler, I can be found back playing in my kitchen which most of you know makes me happy.  This time of year brings out the nesting instinct in us all I think.  My latest companion in the kitchen is One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living.  The conceit here is that you can make your dinner in one pot, be that pot a Dutch oven, a sheet pan, or a slow cooker. The chapters are dedicated to whatever vessel you choose to be using and there are some really great recipes in here.  So far the favorites are salmon roasted with kale and cabbage and dressed in a lemon vinaigrette, and sausages and potatoes braised in ale.  The other thing I love about this book is that it takes one basic recipe and changes it up 4 different ways.  I can totally see this as a wedding gift with one or more of the pots alongside. Make sure you grab a copy for yourself!


DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State That Shall Not Be Named (35 days until The Game!) and she has some questions for us.  What’s good Pats?  “Are we what we read? That seems to be the thesis of this weekly missive. But an interesting debate has once again emerged. This dialogue always fascinates me, and finds me swimming right into the deep end of this meta-discussion. The debate is about reading, specifically the types of books children should be allowed to or encouraged to read.   There are two camps in this debate. The ‘just so long as they’re reading’ camp versus the ‘from pulp to Proust? No way, start them with real literature and classics’ camp. I would like to offer another version. While there may be some truth to You Are What You Read, it is far too reductive and simplistic. Aren’t we more complex than that?   Take, for example, my seven-year-old son who frequented the reference desk asking for books on fighter planes, as he had already read all the books on planes in the Children’s Library. His interest that began with planes led him naturally to want more complex texts as he desired more knowledge. As a culture we get anxious when it comes to our children and reading. There exists anxiousness that, as parents, if we don’t give our children the right kind of books they will somehow be deficient. My daughter is a voracious reader and my son is well on his way. I trust that their love of stories and what’s going to happen next will serve them well and that they will go on to read difficult texts with complex storylines.   As adults don’t we sometimes need a little light reading to break up an otherwise steady stream of serious novels or non-fiction? Does anyone exclusively read serious literature 24-7? What is wrong with a slice of pulp fiction or a light-hearted beach book with a side of romance or danger? I say, nothing.  After all, We Are What We Read…DL WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU READ? 2014

Meet Us On Main Street

Sue and Elisabeth met with the Meet Us On Main Street group presenting an assortment of newly released titles that patrons can find on the Library's Main Street area.  Elisabeth, whose usual beat is the Children's Room, presented adult tales of magic, dark mystery and adventure.  She also brought, from the children's room, a touching true story (book and DVD) about a gorilla named Ivan who, for 27 years, was held captive in a glass display cage in a mall.  It is a story appreciated by all ages. Sue, the Library's self-appointed Queen of Romance, delivered varied titles, book and DVD, that did not disappoint the group. Hurry to get this popular genre, the books almost fly off the shelves. 

Books by the Fire

Children's Librarians Claire Moore and Lisa Nowlain talk to Meet Us On Main Street about the books they are reading now.

Five Minutes with Alan: July 31, 2014

This month, Alan, our Library Director and a Vietnam Conflict Marine Corps veteran, joined Marianne to talk about his five favorite World War II novels. Our theme is "Book Groups Read About War" for August to commemorate the many battles that are reaching a milestone this year. For example, this August is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.

To reserve any of these books for your book group, please use the "Request a Book in a Bag" button at darienlibrary.org/bookgroups

Freeze Your Holds While You're On Vacation

Have a great trip this summer!
Have a great trip this summer!

Are you going away on vacation this summer? Lucky you!

Fortunately, just because you're out of town does not mean that you'll miss the item you placed on hold. Just click on My Account then check off the box to the right of your requested item. Then click Update Holds

When you're back, just uncheck the Freeze!

If you need to get your Library fix while you're away, you can pick up an eBook, eMagazine, and movies online!

Jen's Book Recommendations

Jen Dayton

Jen Dayton is our Collection Development Manager (AKA she oversees and plans the direction of our book purchases). Jen is tireless in her search for great  new books which maybe initially flying under your radar. A voracious reader, Jen, has the power to tell you what your next favorite book will be.

 

 

 


You Are What You Read
February 2, 2016

Greetings and welcome to the Super Bowl 50 Edition of You Are What You Read.  This week we have Karyn to thanks for The Offering of Taffy.  It came... Read More

February 2, 2016

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. ... Read More

January 1, 2016

Greetings and welcome to the Dead Resolution Edition of You Are What You Read.  This week there were no Offerings and the Animal Kingdom is mercifully quiet.  We hope that you are all... Read More

January 1, 2016

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.  ... Read More

Nice New Book Goodness
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.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

Read more
You Are What You Read

Greetings and welcome to the Dead Resolution Edition of You Are What You Read.  This week there were no Offerings and the Animal Kingdom is mercifully quiet.  We hope that you are all dug out and that extra bread and milk purchased was put to good use.

Since it’s the last week of the first month of the New Year, I have been doing a lot of thinking on my new year’s resolution. I resolved that I would fret less about body image and focus more on being healthy and strong.  But with the newly fallen snow accompanied by ice, cold and  an early sunset, I have found it hard to maintain even the most basic of fitness routines. Here come what I have come to think of as The Winter TenThe Winter Ten are those ten unwelcome pounds that start to keep you company in January and February.  I have come to think of them as that family member that you are never really entirely happy to host and yet they inevitably appear at the door for their annual visit that is a week too long. They usually find their way through the back door in the guise of The Hellidaze Three.  Sure!  One more cookie!  Sure!  Sign me up for that nightcap before we all call it a night.  By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, most of us are determined that we are going to kick what has become The Hellidaze Three to the curb with diligent exercise and healthy eating.  By the end of January, the cold has set in, there are usually dangerous ice and snow conditions that prohibit walking safely, the early onset dark is encouraging only to hibernation and the only comfort to be found is copious amounts of pasta.  Imagine my delight when this week it was announced that we had a new role model in Curvy Barbie.  Granted, early responders (six-year-old girls) do not find the new Barbie curvy. They merely find her, well, fat.  But I say Fi to you six-year-old girls!  Embrace the curves. You can read about Curvy Barbie and her new friends, Petite and Tall Barbie here. Listen, just 8% of people actually achieve goals set on New Year’s Eve.  This Forbes article from 2013 explains all that and offers tips on how to be in that lofty company.  Be kind to yourselves People!  The winter is long and harsh enough without beating yourself up. Now pass the pasta.

This week we have hypnosis, gratitude, falconry, and porn.  Lots and lots of porn.

You know The Playlist is here. Because it’s Friday at 5. And that should always have a playlist. 

Let us begin!

Barbara M is listening this week. “I am listening to Colum McCann’s latest book, a collection of short stories and a novella. I am nearing the end of the novella, Thirteen Ways of Looking which is also the title of the book.  Peter Mendelssohn, a retired judge, living on the upper east side of Manhattan reflects upon his childhood, his late wife, his children and rails against the humiliations he suffers because of his old age and deteriorating body. The story is good but would not be the gem it is without the author’s magical and lyrical use of language.  Listening to it is wonderful as it is read by the author. Colum McCann’s Irish accent is hypnotizing.”

Pat T has just finished Gratitude by the late oh so great Oliver Sacks . “I read Gratitude and all I can say it is a very short book with a very powerful message! This book is a collection of four essays in which the author so eloquently reflects on his life and coming to terms with his own death which he realizes is ‘no longer an abstract, but an all too close presence’. In the essay, My Own Life, Sachs expresses his overpowering appreciation for a life well lived. Gratitude, the book,as well as a resolution, is a very positive way to begin this New Year! I look forward to reading his previous book, On the Move.”

Steph!  Whatcha doing? “I’ve already broken most of my New Years’ resolutions, but I did keep one, I finally read H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. And it was every bit as good as I had hoped when I pledged to read it! Macdonald, a writer and researcher, was devastated by her father’s sudden death, and impulsively decided she wanted to train a goshawk. Though she had trained falcons for years, she had never dared before to train one of these vicious and temperamental birds. This book tells not only her story of training her hawk Mabel, but also reflects on the experience of famous author T. H. White with a goshawk of his own. Words can’t describe what a beautiful book this is. Macdonald writes about nature in a unique and affecting way, and peers deeply into what it means to be human. Her sentences really have lives of their own. As with Joyce Carol Oates in A Widow’s Story, I am grateful for her ability to transform a deep and personal grief into art that speaks to all readers.”

I finished My Father the Pornographer a while ago.  You all will get a chance to read it when it comes out next week. When Chris Offutt's father died there was no inheritance of his father's watch or any other sentimental keepsake.  Instead the legacy left to Chris was the 400 novels of pornography that his father wrote during his lifetime.  Chris embarks on a journey to understand his father and the choices he made.  The writing is clean and spare and while the subject matter is salacious it is handled with a deft sensitivity.

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with the final thoughts and The Playlist.  What’s good Pats? “In between the political rhetoric of the week, I learned that Mattel would be producing 3 new Barbie shapes. FINALLY, the toy industry understood that women come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Kids will now be able to play with dolls that look like their mothers who are tall, or their aunts who are curvy, or their sisters who are petite. Sorry, Ken. It’s not your time yet. This week the playlist is all Barbie.”

 
DL BARBIE GURLz 2016

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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.  Remember that a lot of these items can be found on our new display space behind the Welcome Desk.  Check out the Wonder Wall for 14-Day instant gratification!

Read More...

Read more
You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Full Wolf Moon Edition of You Are What You Read.  This week’s housekeeping is as follows:  There were no Offerings.  Saturday’s Full Moon, the first of the new year, is known as the Wolf Moon and also as Full Snow Moon.  I don’t like the sound of that one bit.  Sorry.  Wolves?  Snow?  No wonder there is panicked bread buying.

This week we have an intriguing Animals Run Amok.  It would appear that if you are on the  hunt for nearby Animals Running Amok  that Queens is your borough.  This past week the Fine Boys in Blue have had to capture a cow that realized just what that line of fellow bovine was all about and faster than you can say, ‘Peace Out Elsie‘ ran from the slaughterhouse at a high rate of speed (at least for a cow).  And if that wasn't enough, a goat broke free from his Humans.  Apparently this is not the first time this has gone down.  In 2011 another cow also made the break for freedom.   So should you be airport bound or just generally touring the boroughs of New York be on the lookout People! You just never know.   You can read about all of them here.  Enjoy.

If you are around this evening won’t you join us in the Art Gallery between 6 and 8 this evening for The Traveling Companion’s Art Reception?  There will be cheese, wine, some really nice art, and a chance to meet Bill.  If you all behave, there may even be some golf stories.  You just never know with that man! He’s full of surprises.

This week we have a horse, a prize, alien invasion, some heart and soul, and broken  trust.

Playlist Are the planets in alignment?  Then yes, yes we do!

Let us begin!

Laura enjoyed her latest read up to a point.  “The Mare by Mary Gaitskill is a story of many people.  Each chapter alternates from the perspectives of the characters.  These inner dialogs develop the story, showcasing desires, fears, anger, misgivings that, with all good intentions, ride dangerously close to the edge of not only emotional cliffs but also a cliff of class.  The story follows eleven-year old Velveteen Vargas, a Fresh Air child, who has to divide her time between the tough streets of Brooklyn, where her abusive mother, Silvia and younger brother, Dante, live, with the rural country home of childless artist and recovering alcoholic Ginger and Paul, her husband who is a  philandering professor.  They live across the street from a horse farm where Velvet finds a mare, Fugly Girl.  She has scars across her nose and an ear ‘out of sorts’  and  is set apart from the rest of the horses.  The two embark on a journey of self-actualization, much  to the consternation of the mother, the Fresh Air family, the trainers, and fellow privileged riders.  My book group met last night to discuss the story and gave Gaitskill high scores in her ability to represent the strivings and expectations of economic class.  Some liked the short chapters and the bouncing from one character’s thoughts to another, though, including me, I did find this tedious.  But still a good read of sensitivity and insight.”


Kaitlin from the Rock is BACK.  Here is what she has been doing.  “Hiyo! I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I'm currently reading All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. I was somewhat wary of this one at first, I was afraid I wouldn't love it after all the hype it received after winning the Pulitzer Prize. I'm about halfway through now, and I don't want it to end!  It's really two stories about a boy and a girl in WWII, very beautifully woven into one. Each short chapter alternates between the points of view of Marie-Laure, a young blind girl who has had to flee Paris with her father once the Nazis invade, and Werner, a young German boy who was plucked from a foster home and placed into the Hitler Youth. I'm not quite sure where the story will go (I'm assuming they will collide!), but I can definitely see how it was deserving of some very high honors.  I'm currently listening to the YA audiobook The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey. I absolutely love it. It's a nice break from the comedic audio books that I've been listening too, and it's just a really exciting book to hear being read out loud (it's very War of the Worlds!). The gist is that Earth is under invasion from aliens, and their calculated attacks have come in "waves"--the power was knocked out, a huge earthquake/tsunami struck, a plague has taken over, etc. Are the aliens walking among us, disguised as humans? We don't know! I really can't tell at this point which way the story will go, and I have no idea who to trust. I'm not sure if I'll see the movie, but I'll definitely keep listening!"

Sweet Ann has just finished Jacques Pepin's Heart and Soul in the Kitchen.  “I like to peruse cookbooks and this is one that I so loved, I bought it after I made a few of the recipes.  I at first thought Mr. Pepin's recipes would be a bit difficult to follow but I was wrong.  This is a beautiful book with pictures accompanying most of the recipes and interesting stories from Jacques.  I have made the Black Bread and Butter Lattice.   Don't worry that you have to bake the bread, you use a small cocktail pumpernickel bread that you slice and present a certain way after you have spread butter and horseradish on it.   It is delicious served with smoked salmon.  I have also made his Potatoes Rachel Ray, which he says his recipe was similar to hers, but hers were easier to make, so he has it in his cookbook...they were yummy.  I am not a pepper fan but his Carrots and Chives ask for pepper and I made them that way and once again his recipe was quite good.  I know there are still quite a few recipes I am looking forward to trying in the near future.   I highly recommend this cookbook to look through or to try some of the delicious recipes." 

The Always Delightful Pat S has just finished The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.   “This is a debut novel about siblings, money, dashed dreams, and unrealistic expectations, you know, family. Four siblings who have long awaited the payday from a family trust are shocked to discover that the oldest, Leo, has decimated it due to his unwholesome antics. Each of the four had spent years planning how they would spend this sum. Such was their reliance on this money that each was now in varying stages of financial distress. Leo has promised to ‘make good’ to all  but will he? I am only halfway through the book but I can’t wait to find out. Told with a perfect balance of humor and poignancy, reading this book feels like spending time with old friends, -or family.”

Of course DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with the final thoughts of the week.  What’s good Pats? "This week planets aligned. Friday evening, Winter Storm Jonas will hit the East Coast. Sunday evening we can once again watch the X Files and then out of the blue, my friend who swore she'd be #ForeverAlone, got engaged. Did I mention that the planets aligned and that they can be best viewed about an hour before dawn now through February 20th?

I think three out of four of these things deserve a viewing party! So if you see Jen at the Welcome Desk or on Ref, stop by gaze upon her finger and wish her and her Traveling Companion all the best. Congrats from our crew out here in the D, Jen! This weekend I hope you all survive Jonas winter blast with a load of good books, good food and family. A couple of snow days deserves a playlist. Happy weekend. Stay safe and warm.

DL PLANETS ALIGN 2015 


 

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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. “

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.

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