What's the Hoopla?

What if we all just lie back and think of England this week with some great selections from across The Pond?

Not sure what this is?  Read all about it here.

 

You Are What You Read!

Welcome to the Full Worm Moon edition of You Are What You Read!  I consider this to be the ultimate irony and here’s why.  The moon is thusly named because of the softening ground and the reappearance of earthworms.  As we all now know, this is not the case and may never be the case ever again.  We live on the Tundra and that is that.  It is also known as the Sap moon because allegedly this is the time when the tree sap begins to flow.  People, there is no sap on the Tundra.  So let that notion go.   I am sure that by now, you, like me are done and undone.  I just can’t do another week like this one.  Phil.  Please.  We are begging you.  Undo the evil that you have wrought.  The words of the SoNo Loft are “You are forgiven”. I have to believe that these words are in no way directed at Phil.  In addition, kindly remember it is Spring Ahead weekend. This will go a long way to sweetening our moods I am sure.  Check those batteries in the smoke detector!  By the time you all get this, The Fitbit Challenge will be in its death throes and so will its participants.  We tip our caps to our Friends at Fairfield; they are not only worthy opponents but just damn fine people!  We are honored to be your colleagues in LibraryLand!  Be sure you check the service desks next week to find out the outcome. It’s been a close one. This week we have some Poland, Germany, Macy’s, a whole lotta likker, and a labyrinth of lies! 

The Playlist?  Of course!

Let us begin!

Laura is here with something that she recently enjoyed. “Ida is a beautiful film about a young woman who was raised by nuns within the safe walls of a Catholic convent located in the countryside of Poland.  Her family placed her in the convent soon after World War II when she was a child and it is the only life she has known.  The story begins as Ida, now in her twenties, visits her one remaining relative before she takes her vows. When she meets her, Ida is told that she is Jewish.  They then strike out to find her childhood home that was stolen away from her family by the Nazis. The black and white cinematography lends beautifully to the story, and complements the harrowing artistic undertone of the film.  This is a worthy film to watch for the history alone.


Babs B has just started The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen.  How goes it Babs? “This is a psychological thriller set in WWII Germany that centers on two British pilots who have been shot down in enemy territory.  They know they will be executed if captured, so with an enemy patrol in pursuit they manage to jump aboard a train reserved for Senior SS officers wounded on the Eastern Front.  In a state of panic, they throw two dead patients off the train and take their places, hoping they can escape.  But that is not to be as they end up in the Alphabet House, a mental hospital located far behind enemy lines where German doctors' experiment on their patients with shock treatments and experimental drugs.  The pilots' only hope of survival is to fake insanity until the war ends but they find out they are not the only patients using this ploy.  I just started this book last night and hated to put it down!”


Barbara M loves the demented world of David Sedaris. “In December NPR rebroadcast their yearly piece of David Sedaris reading his essay The Santaland Diaries about his experience working as an elf named Crumpet for Macy’s Department Store. It is in the Audio book Holidays on Ice and is laugh-out-loud hilarious. In one incident, he recounts how one day  ‘a woman was standing at one of the cash registers paying for her pictures while her son lies beneath her, kicking and heaving, having a tantrum. The woman said, Riley, if you don't start behaving yourself, Santa's not going to bring you any of those toys you asked for. The child said, he is too going to bring me toys, Liar. He already told me. The woman grabbed my arm, and said you there, Elf, tell Riley here that if he doesn't start behaving immediately, then Santa's going to change his mind and bring him coal for Christmas. I said that Santa changed his policy and no longer traffics in coal. Instead, if you're bad, he comes to your house and steals things. I told Riley that if he didn't behave himself, Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark. The woman got a worried look on her face and said, all right, that's enough. I said, he's going to take your car and your furniture and all of your towels and blankets and leave you with nothing. The mother said, no, that's enough really.’ Although I had read this essay and many others hearing Sedaris read them with his deadpan delivery adds a whole other dimension. For these cold, cold days I’ve decided that funny is the way to go while driving and am now listening to When You Are Engulfed in Flames. I just worry about laughing too much to concentrate on driving. “


Sweet Ann is back to doing two things at once which I find oddly reassuring.   “The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a fun thriller.  And in the beginning, you can relate to the main character Rachel's obsession of watching people from her daily train commute.  However, you quickly realize that Rachel has a drinking problem and is completely obsessed with her ex-husband and his new wife and their baby.  There are quite a number of conflicts between Tom, Rachel's ex-husband, and Anna his new wife as Rachel cannot let go of her new lonely existence.  There are lies and deceptions throughout this novel as well as a missing woman who lives on the same street as Tom and Anna.   This is a novel that you should read with suspended belief and just jump aboard the commuter train and see where it will take you.  I am also listening to There was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me by Brooke Shields.  This audio book is read by Brooke Shields as she tells about being raised by her mother, Teri, an alcoholic. Her mother tried her best but often her drinking would get in the way of her parenting, whether it was setting bedtimes or routines, or orchestrating Brooke's career.  It was an interesting story especially because I remember The Blue Lagoon, the Calvin Klein ads and I did in fact see Brooke on Broadway when she performed in Cabaret.  I think Brooke recognized that her mother had flaws and has spent a lifetime coming to terms with her upbringing.  This was an enjoyable audio book.”

The Ever Delightful Pat S is here with something I have been dying to get my hands on.  “Black Diamonds is a must read for all the Downton fans who have just finished season five. Catherine Bailey is back with the tale of a crumbling aristocratic dynasty during the twentieth century, the Earls of Fitzwilliam. With a fortune based in the Sheffield coal industry, the sixth Earl of Fitzwilliam left the second largest inheritance to his heir upon his death in 1902, somewhere in the neighborhood of three billion dollars in today’s money. He also left what remains the largest private home in England, with 365 rooms, one for every day of the year. Yet all of this was about to change.  The new century would see the collapse of the Yorkshire coal industry, (which is meticulously detailed here) after the most horrific human rights abuses. Oddly enough, the Fitzwilliams were among the best of the land owners, always implementing the newest safety measures in the mines and making genuine strides in quality of life issues in the lives of the miners.   But for all the 'nobility' inferred in the Fitzwilliam title of Earl, the lives of the family were a labyrinth of lies, falsehoods and complicated cover-ups! Illegitimacy, alcoholism, chronic philandering, gambling-it's all here, in vivid detail! This will get even the most stalwart fan through the post season letdown!


Here’s DJ Jazzy Patty McC as always with some final thoughts about life. What’s good Pats? “I’ve had a Phil update from my weather paranoid friend. The latest email from the band of rogue rodents states that even they are tired of the weather they’ve inflicted on us so they’re migrating to warmer climes while they let the rest of us suffer this unending winter. Since the airlines are no longer letting them board (they’ve got a beef about that too) they’ve taken to hopping free rides on birds
Phil was the last of the rodents to be allowed to board a plane so he hopped down under to enjoy the last days of summer. He’s warming his fur and is moving on from his Valentine breakup with Eula. He said he’s impersonating one of his friends who has been helping him heal his wounded heart. He’s taking selfies with folks all over Australia under the guise of being a quokka. Apparently he’s been listening to a LOT of Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto and I just can’t hate on anyone, rodent or otherwise who has this music in their wheelhouse. So if we’re going to be stuck indoors let’s listen to some great jazz and hope that Phil remembers to set his clock forward.

DL Rodent Wrath 2015

Meet Us On Main Street

Stephanie declared to the Meet Us On Main Street group that  winter should be over!  So she brought, to fulfill that promise, "warm" stories/memoirs that take place far from the Connecticut snow:  the island of Majorca,  the jungles of Vietnam, the hills of San Francisco, the beach shores of the Caribbean, the steamy nightlife of Mexico City, and, surprisingly, but yes, the bottom of a mineshaft in Chile.  What a welcome relief from the cold!  The group couldn't have been happier.  The final three titles on the list are books the group has read, enjoyed and wanted to share.  Start your summer "early" with the list below:

New eBooks from OverDrive

Here are the new titles available from OverDrive.

Android Phones For Dummies by Dan Gookin

Android Tablets For Dummies by Dan Gookin

Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies by Rob Yeung

Basic Yoga Postures and Series In a Day For Dummies  by Georg Feuerstein

Common Core Standards For Parents For Dummies by Jared Myracle

Dust  by Patricia Cornwell

Exploring iPad For Dummies by Galen Gruman

The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery

Her by Harriet Lane

Investment Banking For Dummies by Matthew Krantz and Robert R. Johnson

Job Search Letters For Dummies by Joyce Lain  Kennedy

Medicare For Dummies by Patricia Barry

Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer

Plant-Based Diet For Dummies by Marni Wasserman

Running Great Meetings and Workshops For Dummies by Jessica Pryce-Jones and Julia Lindsay

Shame How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele

This Is Your Do-Over The 7 Secrets to Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want
by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz

Windows 8.1 For Dummies by Andy Rathbone

Writing Resumes and Cover Letters For Dummies by Amanda McCarthy and Kate Southam

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!

New DVD Releases

New opportunities for your viewing pleasure.

What's the Hoopla?

Just say, "I'm with the band" with these music documentaries. 

Not sure what this is?  Read all about it here.

What are my neighbors up to?

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

You Are What You Read!

If you were in the library this week you may have been aware of a sort of restlessness. A weird sort of amped up energy, perhaps?  Did you notice lots of staff running up and down stairs, walking willingly (and still necessarily, shame on you Nissan) in the road  in the arctic freezing cold to and fro from Station to Library and back again?  You were most correct in thinking something was going down. My friend Merry M from Fairfield Public Library thought it would be fun to throw down the gauntlet and challenge us to a Fitbit Work Week Challenge.  What the what, you say?  Fitbits are personal tracking devices that measure steps. Fairfield had done an in-house challenge that I was involved with and we had such a good time with it, we thought it would be fun to have our libraries face off.  But first this week, we had an in-house challenge with 4 teams of staff members facing off against each other.  The top seven steppers from these teams will be the ones to go up against our Fairfield Friends.  The loser of the challenge has to post a sign on their Front Desk declaring that they are the losers and are either ‘ashamed’ (our wording for Fairfield) or ‘sad pandas’ (Fairfield wording for us).  Hey, in the end?  Know who’s going to win? Our pants.  That’s who’s going to win. This winter has been rough, rough,rough.  This week we have some Brits, a boy, and a new girl with a rose.

And what’s a workout without a playlist? Not much fun I can tell you that!

Let us begin!

Pat T. is going to tell us what she thinks about our most coveted title. “Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is currently one of our most popular library books and I just finished listening to this thriller on audio and I have to say my commute was much more enjoyable because of this book. The three narrators and their British accents add more intrigue to the story.  The story is told by three characters, Rachel, Megan and Anna. Rachel's life has unraveled because of her divorce, alcoholism and unemployment and as she rides the train each day from home to Euston she makes up stories about the lives of the people she sees through the passing train window. She is envious of a young couple, whom she has named Jess & Jason and despises her ex-husband Tom's new wife Anna. One day she sees Jess, (real name Megan) from the train window with someone other than her husband Jason, (real name Scott). Shortly after this encounter she finds out that Megan has disappeared and begins to involve herself in the disappearance to the annoyance of her ex-husband Tom, Megan's husband, Scott and the police. Because of her blackouts she cannot always remember what she actually witnessed, or is that because others are telling her she is unreliable? The story is a roller coaster of emotions - deceptions, lies and betrayals and makes you question do you ever actually know someone!”

Abby occupied herself with Oscar this week. “Over the weekend I finally had time to watch the movie Boyhood. Written and directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood follows Mason as a little boy up until the time he leaves for college. The movie was filmed over 12 years with the cast reuniting every few years to film the next chapter. The film opens with young Mason and his older sister Sam living with their divorced mom played by Patricia Arquette, who won the Oscar for the role. With her ex-husband out of the picture, she moves her family so she can attend college to make a better life for them. At the next phase, we get reacquainted with the family a few years down the road as mom is attending school and the children are adjusting to their new life with their dad back in their lives, determined to be a good father. As the film continues, Linklater show us aging characters in new stages of life without introduction or fanfare. I found the transitions to the different stages of life to be astounding. Too often, we let important moments slip by where we don’t pay attention and when we turn around, things have altered in some slight but significant way. Life is made up of major events and small moments and Boyhood quietly portrays both, beautifully and seamlessly.” 

Introducing Reed!  Hello Reed!  Reed is our new Money person and we could not be happier to have her here with us.  I for one am delighted to have a fellow Deadhead on staff.  It can be a little lonely.  Here is what Reed has recently enjoyed.  Or not. Welcome Reed! “I recently finished The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly, having inherited it from my visiting mother.  I must say, I read it out of sheer desperation, but was completely drawn into the story even if it was somewhat predictable. I enjoyed her ability to create very vivid and identifiable characters.  I am already waiting on Mom to pass on The Winter Rose, which is next in the series!”

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is here with the end of the road for a journey she has thoroughly enjoyed.  “Apparently, its true…all good things do have to come to an end.  And so I start my review of the final book in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy. In the last installment of the series, The Magician’s Land, we find Quentin kicked out of his beloved Fillery and back at Brakebills, secret elite magical school, where he is working as a teacher’s assistant and trying to lead a quiet life.  But no matter how hard he tries for normalcy, Quentin inevitably ends up in a conspiracy that leads to a great magical discovery that can help save an endangered Fillery. This is an epic ending to a wonderful series.  Grossman does a masterful job of introducing new characters while interweaving favorites from previous novels and tying all of the loose ends up. Even if you are not a fan of fantasy, I think readers will enjoy the series for its intricate plot, darkly humorous tone, rich characters and vivid imagery.” 

DJ Patty McC is here from The State Which Shall Not Be Named.  Where it is still cold, still miserable and sadly still February.  What’s good Pats?   “The temperature is still in the single digits every morning here. I recently read an article about how our health would be better if we lowered the temperature inside our houses to 60 degrees. So while the other parents wait in the running car with their kids, I’m taking this recent research to the extreme by standing in single digit temps waiting for the bus with my son. I’ll let you know how our health fares. In honor of all those folks getting up and moving I think I’ll share a little workout playlist I created for our Miss Amy in the Children’s Library. So get up, brave the cold and cheer on all those walking librarians.”

GO AMY! NOW WORK IT OUT!

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