"What's new?" you ask? Plenty!
It's a busy week for incoming books and movies, which means it will be a busy week with our members coming in to check things out. Welcome!
The powerful new novel Room, by Emma Donoghue, was published this week. "Finally!" you might say. I know. I know. We've been talking about it and telling you about it since May, when we were able to get our hands on some advanced reader copies of the much talked-about book. We welcome that we are now able to share with you the story of Jack and his world....so much so that Room is one of the four carefully selected titles in our Fall Book Discussion Series (click here for details). The premise of the book is shocking and upsetting: Jack and his mother live in an 11 X11 foot room, prisoners of his mother's abductor. The book is told from 5-year-old Jack's point of view, who calls his home "Room." He knows nothing of the outside world (he is the son of his mother's abductor). I urge you...please don't allow the suggested content detour you from this experience.
The wonderful reviews for this book are pouring in.
This morning, Ron Charles of The Washington Post declared "Room to" be "...one of the most affecting and subtly profound novels of the year."
Also this morning, Liz Raftery of The Boston Globe wrote, "One of the most highly anticipated books of autumn, 'Room' deserves all the praise it's received ahead of its release, including recently being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. An emotionally draining read, yet at the same time impossible to put down, it has all the makings of a modern classic."
"Powerful.... Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel--there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense--are astonishing.... Donoghue brilliantly portrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity...will keep readers rapt." -- Publishers Weekly
There's plenty of other room on the shelves and we think that you'll enjoy the additions!
Here's a look at what else is new.
So, what's new with you? Tell us what you've been reading...
If you're a rabid Mad Men fan like myself, waiting each week for Sunday night can seem torturous. Between those weekly doses of Don Draper, indugle in a little Man Men-inspired reading.
The neurotic men and women of Madison Avenue (and their spouses) have excellent taste in both fashion and literature; the following is a list of some of the best books read by characters on the show throughout the past four seasons (thus far.)
Beginning August 16, the Darien Library will expand its audiobook collection to include downloadable audiobooks from OverDrive. OverDrive is a large database of downloadable audiobooks compatible with iPods and a wide variety of other MP3 players. Providing access to popular new titles as well as classics, OverDrive will be accessible to all Darien Library patrons. Each user may download up to 10 audiobooks at a time. The audiobooks "check out " for 21 days and are automatically returned at the end of the borrowing period. Although you cannot renew an OverDrive audiobook, you may check it out again if no one else is waiting for it. In addition, you can rate audiobooks and share suggestions with friends on email, Twitter, and/or Facebook.
Before you can download audiobooks from OverDrive, you will need to download and install some free software--OverDrive Media Console. The download takes just minutes, and the software makes transferring, burning (when permitted by publisher), and playing audiobooks fast and easy.
We hope you're as excited about this new addition to our audiobook collection as we are! Come in and let us show you how it works.
See you @ the Library!
When asked to name my favorite day-trips in Connecticut, I knew my task would be an easy--and pleasant--one. Here are a few that came rapidly to mind, with online links to sites that will provide visitor information, including hours of operation, prices, and directions.
A natural for kids going through their dinosaur phase, and for parents who have never outgrown theirs, Dinosaur State Park is fun for the whole family. Walking among authentic dinosaur tracks made millions of years ago in our own backyard is only half the fun. The other half is making plaster casts of these ancient footprints using materials available on-site or nearby. Our 4th grader's show-and-tell souvenir is still intact (in the attic) a decade or more later.
Looking for an old-fashioned New England town to show your visiting in-laws? They don't get much more typical (or charming) than this compact village, just off Exit 69 of I-95. Water views of the Connecticut River, a grassy park with a gazebo, an inn with a restaurant that attracts visitors from all over the state on holidays (our favorite over the years has been Mother's Day), and boutique shopping are among the lures of this visitor magnet.
Nineteenth-century actor William Gillette gained fame and fortune during the Gilded Age through his memorable and melodramatic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. He used a considerable part of that fortune to build the house now known as Gillette's Castle. When we first visited this spot, it was partially closed for renovations. These have now been completed, and the Castle and its grounds overlooking the Connecticut River (a few miles upstream from Essex) are now open to all comers, making a repeat visit a new addition to our family's to-do list. Tours of the grand mansion are available.
Connecticut's version of Coney Island, located smack in the middle of the state, off I-84 between Waterbury and Hartford, is smaller and homier, which has made it a godsend for parents wanting a good spot for an outing. More than once have I boarded a bus as a chaperone for a day of sun, water rides, and lots of noise. The nation's oldest, continuously operating amusement park, Lake Compounce is a cheaper and nearer alternative to Six Flags.
One of the most celebrated towns in Connecticut--and not just because it was the setting for the Julia Roberts' breakthrough film Mystic Pizza. Besides the Aquarium and the historic ships, Mystic also offers less pricey alternatives to visitors, including a charming village with shops, superb seafood eateries, ice-cream parlors, and, yes, a pizzeria with a famous name. My favorite moment in Mystic was not the windy day we spent inspecting the tall ships, but an early evening in which we watched--from the second floor of a harbor restaurant--the drawbridge open and close for returning boats as the sun was setting and we were enjoying a New England fish dinner.
If none of these is quite your cup of tea, no worries. Connecticut is rich in history and full of places of interest to singles, families, and seniors, too. Before you embark on your next day-trip, check out our catalog. We have a wonderful selection of local travel guides to help you plan your getaway. Here are my top picks:
Once you've whet your appetite browsing through our travel guides, go online and check out these web sites for the latest information on events, prices, and special offers:
Bonus link: The Connecticut Supreme Court, State Capitol and the Museum of Connecticut History have planned two days of programming this summer for families interested in a day-trip with their kids. Click here for details!
See you @ the Library (when you get back)!
We've survived the worst of this July heat wave, but still count on books and movies to take us away...far away. How does an icy glacier in the Andes sound? Or a windswept, snow-covered mountain at the top of the world? We have plenty of great reading and viewing choices that will remind us of those dark, cold winter days and maybe even help bring the temperatures down just a touch.
Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air takes us to Mount Everest with an ill-fated group of adventurers and guides. Who will survive the attempt to summit Earth's highest mountain? You can practically feel the cold wind and sense the foreboding majesty of the mountain as the story unfolds. The 2001 television movie provides breathtaking visuals and brings Krakauer's questions of morality and boundaries into crystal-clear focus.
Touching the Void is a book and film based on the true experiences of two friends, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, climbing in the Peruvian Andes. Simpson breaks his leg during a descent and in an attempt to evacuate, is trapped. His friend Yates must make an impossible decision to either try desperately to save himself or let both men die...this is a lesser-known story than Into Thin Air, but even more of an amazing survival story.
We have lots of other cold-weather stories and films to help beat the heat this summer. Come to the 2nd floor and we'll help you make some really cool choices!
So excited about my trip to Hong Kong in August! However, travel books can be expensive, especially when you're taking an already-expensive trip...
Fortunately, the library has a fantastic selection of travel books. There are the classics like Frommer's, Fodors and Lonely Planet for all different countries, and then more unusual ones. With Hong Kong, for example - I found The Rough Guide To Hong Kong & Macau or Born to Shop. Hong Kong, Shanghai & Bejing.
So make sure to visit Places on the 2nd floor, wherever your summer travel plans may take you!
There are two new options for Darienites to explore the organic and local food movement while helping to keep our community green. Whole Foods Market, known for its natural, organic offerings and efforts to protect the environment, will host its grand opening this week at the store located at 150 Ledge Road. Also, the Darien Farmers' Market has returned! Located behind the Post Road firehouse and across from the Goodwives Shopping Center, the market will run every Wednesday from 11am to 6pm through the holiday season. Produce, flowers, baked goods, meats, dairy - both of these venues have got it all, along with expertise and friendly advice to help you turn your weekday dinner into a spectacular culinary delight!
Still undecided about the entire local vs. non-local, organic vs. non-organic food movements? It's still too early to tell if this movement will be anything but a craze - but why not check out some of the books and DVDs we have on the subject and decide for yourself!
Some call him the best all-around baseball player of all time, and most would agree that he is the greatest player alive today. Born on this date in 1931, Willie Mays grew up in Westfield, Alabama and played in the Negro Leagues as a teenager. Scouts for the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers passed on their chances to recruit him and he signed with the New York Giants in 1950. In 1951, he made it to the major leagues and had a Hall of Fame career with the New York/San Francisco Giants and New York Mets over the next 23 years. Nobody could hit, run, and field like the legendary Willie Mays.
An excellent new biography of Mays was released earlier this year and looks to be the definitive record of his life. Author James S. Hirsch interviewed Mays extensively for the book, and includes many new stories and revelations from the man whose name is synonymous with all-out effort and baseball talent. Mays' career began in a golden era of baseball in New York, when there were three teams for fans to choose among and the rivalries were deep and bitter (see below for our favorite books on the topic). But even the most die-hard Yankees and Dodgers fans knew that Willie Mays was a Giant among men. Today, he's Major League Baseball's greatest ambassador, lives close to the Giants' ballpark in San Francisco, and is known for giving out autographed baseballs to trick-or-treaters. Thanks to this new biography, Willie Mays is back in the spotlight -- happy birthday and many more to #24!
Mortgage-backed securities. Synthetic collateralized debt obligations. Abacus 2007-AC1. Are you having trouble deciphering the headlines these days? Check out these books for the inside skinny on the global financial crisis.
The Desketeers really appreciate your words of praise and kindness about the library’s efforts over the last week.
But we feel the need to tell you all something.
We have been feeling we need to thank you, our patrons for your amazing attitudes during this trying time.
You never lost your senses of humor, your kindness, or your patience.
So many thanks from all of us! We wish you a wonderful, warm, sunny, electric, wind free weekend!