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!
The 24 Hours of Daytona has come and gone (it was enthralling in the rain!) as has Nascar's Daytona 500, testing at Sepang is underway for MotoGP, and American-based open wheel series Indy Car and its global sister Formula 1 have also started to take off the tire warmers for their respective seasons. It's time once again for us as rabid spectators to great ready for another season of speed!
The library has items to get you geared up for the upcoming seasons, including my two favorite fast films: "Winning" with Paul Newman and "Le Mans" with Steve McQueen. And as heart-pumping as a last lap draft pass at Indianapolis, "The Driver" by Alexander Roy will keep you strapped in as you witness the fastest trip across the continental United States.
I hope these items keep your interest as you wait the following 87 days until the annual festival of speed known as the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500. Not that I'm counting days or anything...
Who cares frankly? What we are concerned about is the new March releases! These will help us through winter’s last gasp!
When it is grey and cold and rainy what could be better than some home cooked Italian goodness? We are so excited for Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California by Giada De Laurentis to get us through winter’s last gasp. Creamy risotto with gorgonzola and mushrooms would certainly make me happy at the end of a sunshine challenged day!
Cabin fever got you down? Perhaps The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Madness, Murder and Obsession by David Gram may not be your first pick. But it sure sounds fun! This is a collection of his essays originally published in The New Yorker. And honestly we have found that reading about the weirdness of others can make you feel way better about your own!
Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen is looking to us to be perfect escapist fiction. We loved her book Garden Spell s with its charming blend of Southern storytelling and magic. Sometimes a little quirkiness is just what is needed.
Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley is the second Flavia De Luce mystery out of the UK. If you missed Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie which was the first one of the series, set aside a weekend and spend it with Flavia! Flavia is a brilliant 11 year old who lives in a village with her father and sisters. Everyone has a gift and it would appear that Flavia’s is solving murders.
Ian McEwan is back with Solar. Michael Beard’s professional life is wonderful, but his personal life is in shambles. With his fifth marriage speeding toward divorce, he receives an offer that if he accepts, could quite possibly save the world? Will he accept this unexpected offer that could be his redemption?
Spring is on its way. We promise. But in the meantime you can’t beat a roaring fire and a good book. Why not spend these last days of winter with something new and wonderful?
After last week’s snow, a computer fatality and a Federal Holiday, I was unable to let you all know what it was we have been enjoying. But hopefully we are back on track now!
Here is a sampling of what we have been sampling!
I spent my Monday off reading the latest offering by Cathleen Schine, The Three Weissmanns of Westport. I have always loved her writing; she is one of those quiet craftsmen who does not crank out a book every 6 months, but rather takes her time bringing forth wonderful literary novels that sparkle. In her latest she takes on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and places it 200 years into the future and a few miles up the road in neighboring Westport. Truly, this is wonderful. It is funny and touching and you need to read this.
I am also reading The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. Why did artist and professor Robert Oliver attack a painting in the National Gallery? And why is he in possession of the letters of Beatrice de Cleval, the Impressionist painter and her mentor Olivier Vignot? This is a big fat historical novel that I am enjoying very much.
Barbara cannot seem to leave the court of Henry VIII behind and is tackling Alison Weir’s latest work of nonfiction: The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn. Barbara reports that she is enjoying it very much but it is scholarly in nature and not exactly an easy read. But she is finding it rewarding nonetheless.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. In 1925 British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett and his son Jack set off to find out if the City of Z was fact or myth. They never returned but they did fire up the curiosity of countless others who also ventured into the rain forest seeking the same answers.
Is LOVING one of our favorites, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. She wants everyone to know that while she is not a fiction reader, she started this one on the train last night and was up til 2 in the morning reading and cannot wait to get back to it.
Pat can be seen driving around town listening to one of our favorites from the summer East of the Sun. She pronounces it, “excellent.” What is in her book bag? Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler! Liam Pennywell is having a rather bad time of it. He has lost his job and after an attack in his apartment his memory. Can he get his memory back? And what is up with his new relationship with Eunice, the fashion disaster?
We wish you all a wonderful weekend!
This weekend, if you just can't seem to find the perfect Valentine's Day cards to express your unconditional feelings for the ones you care about, here is a little help from best-selling author Deborah Tannen, who, in my opinion, says it best:
If you're like me, you are SO EXCITED for tonight's premier of Lost. I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait.
There's lots of speculation about the little hints dropped by the writers of the show, and one thing people like to theorize about is the books that turn up. Here's a list of some of the books that have made appearances on Lost. Maybe if you read them, you'll be able to figure out where the island is?
The Privileges by Jonathan Dee is keeping me glued to the page! In fact, I accidently left it behind last night and had a panic attack when I realized that I would have to wait over 12 hours to be with these characters again. And what characters! The book opens with the wedding of a charmed couple Adam and Cynthia who are joined in rapid succession by children April and Jonas. Adam climbs the ladder of success as a hedge fund operator and April ends up becoming a full time mom. As the years fly by, we see the seeds of quiet desperation spring to life. What is totally grabbing me is that I know these people. And I think that you too will recognize them also.
Barbara is reading What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell. It is filled with musings from the New Yorkers’ Gladwell on the quirks of 21st century living.
In her car stereo? Born Round: The Secret History of a Full Time Eater by Frank Bruni. This memoir from the former restaurant critic for the New York Times explores his food-centric life and his struggles with eating disorders.
Pat T. and Babs B.
They are both loving the juicy gossip in Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. This book, while non-fiction, is reading like the best example of political thriller/satire.
Abby has gotten her hands on a copy of The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Steig Larsson. Of course it is Swedish and a mystery, this is Abby we are talking about! It will be released in this country the end of May.
Ann can be spotted driving around Fairfield County listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany. She reports that she while she loves the story the reader is so terrific it is just enhancing the experience. Ann is also working her way through A.S. Byatt’s A Children’s Book.
We wish you a wonderful and peaceful weekend!
Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE won the Printz this year. The Printz recognizes excellence in young adult literature.
And check out these lists, which were released by the American Library Association today:
This is precisely what I thought while looking at NPR’s website this week and loved their new addition to the Books page of “What We Are Reading This Week.” So, every Friday we hope to bring you a bit of what we are reading/watching and listening to this week. We have looked at our nightstands, book bags and coffee tables and here is a list of what is fascinating us for this week!
Fatal Journey The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson by Peter C. Mancall. (from cover: “A tale of mutiny and murder in the Arctic.”) In which Henry and his son are left to die in the north. It’s a bit dry but the story is such a good one that I persevere.
My book bag is toting around the audio book Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson and my kitchen counter has another audio book The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman.
My nightstand is holding Vagrants by Yiyun Li; Lit: a Memoir by Mary Karr and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
My coffee table has the DVD Grey Gardens waiting for me to watch!
Now all I need is time!
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz asks the question will Oscar be able to break the generations old curse that has haunted his family? Or is he fated to be as unhappy as they are? This won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is what is on the coffee table by the fireplace. This is historic fiction concerning the lives of two 19th century women fossil hunters.
In my train tote bag Julia Gregson's The Water Horse which will be published in this country in the spring with the title Band of Angels. This one tells the story of Catherine Carreg who leaves her home in Wales to become a nurse in Scutari with Florence Nightingale.
She is one of my new favorite British writers. We all loved East of the Sun this summer!