You Are What You Read!

Greetings!  Welcome to the Sidewalk Sales Edition of You Are What You Read!  As always let’s begin with the housekeeping chores.  Our thanks go to Pam M for the taffy love of the week.  This batch hails from Bermuda. Thanks Pam! The message from The SoNo Loft is Worrying is Waste.  So just stop the fretting People. The Loft commands it! As far as Sidewalk Sales are concerned, there is a reason it is on the sidewalk, it is just that much closer to the dumpster it’s going to end up in. 

It’s no secret that we have A LOT of cat lovers on staff.  Just look at the state of some black pants mornings before the rollers come out. In this morning’s New York Times, there was this piece in the Arts Section on of all things a Cat Circus that is going to be performing in Brooklyn (of course that’s where it’s going to be) this weekend. This is their first NYC appearance because according the article she was afraid of maneuvering the bus that she and the 14 cat ensemble travel in on the city streets. There is a lot to discuss in this article.  There is the fact that she originally wanted to bring a rat circus to the American Public. I would rather not think about what that would have looked like.  She then tried chickens, but the Avian Flu put a damper on that. So about 10 years ago she started training shelter cats to perform all sorts of crazy tricks.  I can’t lie.  This sort of terrifies me. Would you want to sleep in a room with a cat who knew how to turn on lights or play an instrument?  I think that this is one step away from the cats learning how to access your bank accounts and filling the fridge with Ahi tuna, foie gras and organic cream from Whole Foods. Also, we need to reflect on the idea of what it must be like traveling the country in a bus with 14 cats.  You gotta hope those windows open.  Honestly, this just all sounds too awful but if the Beach is not your gig, your feelings about the Sidewalk Sales echoes mine  and a museum trip feels too high-brow, check out The Cat Circus instead.  And report back.  I want to hear all about it.

This week we have a ballerina, debt collectors, some rogue Russians, and some really angry women.

Of course there is The Playlist!  

Let us begin!

Barbara M has just finished reading Life in Motion : An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland.  “In 2007 at the age of twenty-four Misty Copeland became the first black soloist for the American Ballet Theatre in twenty years. Although Ms. Copeland had the physique and inborn ability to become a dancer the story of her success is remarkable. She and her siblings lived in cramped conditions and slept on blankets on the floor and she didn’t take ballet lessons until she was 13 years old. This is the story of how one young girl used her determination and courage to attain a seemingly unattainable goal. She had mentors who encouraged and helped her and she in turn encourages and helps underprivileged youths to discover their potential. It is a beautiful and hopeful story and to complete my review I urge you to watch her dance. “

Alan spent his July 4th weekend reading Jake Halperin’s Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld. “An excerpt was in the NY Times Sunday Magazine recently. It’s a fascinating story of the debt collections industry as seen from the bottom up. There is a large group of mostly shady people, many with criminal backgrounds, dealing in collecting old debts. This is a quick read revolving around some unforgettable characters that will leave you in disbelief that such a culture exists and is tolerated. You will pity both the debtors and the debt collectors.”

Pat T is here with a current favorite of staff and patron alike. "Any reader who is a fan of  the character, John Corey from Plum Island will enjoy his latest escapade in Radiant Angel by Nelson Demille. John has relocated to NYC to take an assignment -surveilling Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission and his task is to keep a watchful eye on the Russian Colonel, Vasily Petrov. An ordinary Sunday morning surveillance ends up being anything but ordinary as Corey and his team follow the Mercedes with Petrov and two other Russians out to a beach house in the Hamptons. Overall, this novel was a fast paced beach read packed with action, fun characters and a plot more realistic than one would like to imagine!”

I am so in love with Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies.  The Literary Hangover was a long one once I put it down. For those new visitors, a Literary Hangover is that deep aching regret that you have turned your last page and have to say good bye to a story and the characters that you have just given your heart, soul and mind to.   The sort of book that dooms you to home decorating or fashion magazines for weeks after because reading anything else is not an option because nothing can compare.  Otto and Mathilde meet and marry after a whirlwind college romance.  After years of struggle, Otto finds his fame as a famous playwright, while Mathilde makes sure that his genius is nurtured, their home runs smooth and is always full of friends, laughter and love.  This is the Fates portion of the book. And then the Furies piece happens.  Those of you who remember your mythology will remember that the Furies were the female spirits of justice and vengeance. The language is beautiful, the story is amazing, and you will experience not only the Literary Hangover but also Literary Whiplash when you realize the story you were reading isn’t the story at all.  This one comes out in September and is probably one of my favorites of the year.

DJ Jazzy Patty McC has broken free from That State Up North and is loose in the world.  I’ll let her tell all about it. What’s good Pats? “This week finds me in our Nation’s Capitol. My husband was traveling to attend the annual Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Washington D.C., so we decided to tag along. It’s been a summer scorcher here with the kind of humidity that curls my hair into poodle-like ringlets but you will not find me complaining about the heat or the crabbiness that it’s been producing in my children. Nope. I’ve decided to make the most of our time here. I will slather on sunscreen, walk until I feel like I can’t take another step, eat, read, sleep and then repeat. We’ve all chosen specific places to visit and have compiled a list. My list includes the Library of Congress or as I refer to it, “Library Mecca”. This time of year begs for an adventure and a good old-fashioned road trip. I hope you get out, take a break and enjoy one of your own.”


What are my neighbors up to?

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


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!

What's the Hoopla?

It's that most wonderful time of the year!  It's Shark Week, People!  Here are some titles to get that ball rolling.  And remember you don't have to wait!  Immediate gratification can be yours!

Not sure what this means?  Click here!

You Are What You Read!

Greetings and welcome to the Independence Day edition of You Are What You Read! First some housekeeping must be done!  Many thanks to Sandy D for her gift of some of the best fudge we have had in recent memory and the taffy.  Not that there is ever bad fudge mind you.  Thanks Sandy!  We are glad you are home.  Amy C reports from The Mountains somewhere in Wild West where she Summers that the news reported last week about this full moon being known as The Full Buck Moon is indeed correct.  The bucks that she has seen are indeed beginning to show some new growth.  So thanks for the 411 Amy!  Please consider this a friendly reminder that we will be closed tomorrow for the holiday but we will be back at it on Sunday from 1-5.

As you are all receiving this, my oldest will, hopefully, be safely delivered to Soldier Field in Chicago for the first night of the Fare Thee Well tour and while the ‘Core Four’ are calling themselves The Grateful Dead, I feel that the train left that station in August of ’95.  He was blessed enough to score a ticket via his uncle with whom I saw many a show and I know Tyler is in for a great time.  Sadly, no show for me but I am sort of ok with it.  I had my time with The Boys and I am forever grateful for it. Sure, there were nights that were less than great.  There was a great article in the New Yorker which refers to their ‘glorious inconsistency.’ But even on a bad night musically, it was always better than a good night without them.  This of course is not to say that I would not gladly accept a ‘miracle’, a hotel room and a plane ticket over the usual offerings of fudge and taffy.  So if someone wants to get on that I‘d appreciate it.  You know where to find me.

The Always Dapper James has sent me a cautionary video this week that you all can see here.  In it, our government is alerting us to the harmful effects of fireworks on plastic mannequins and the occasional watermelon.  James and I both think that if actual people are using fireworks in these ways we are kind of ok with the consequences depicted all too clearly in the video. In fact, we are more than ok with it because if you are this sort of stupid in your use of explosive devices you deserve what you are about to get and we would appreciate it if you did not reproduce.  But if you decide to blow some stuff up, please give us a call.  We’d love to come and join you.  We’ll bring the watermelon and some cold ones!

This week we have an old woman, a movie star, some shame, a career criminal, cancer, a moon rock, and a brain in a Tupperware container.

The Playlist? You betcha!

Let us begin!

Julia Rae is here with a whole bunch of stuff.  She can be hard to keep up with but we love her just the same.  “Lately I have been on a long rotation of exciting books these past few weeks. The Stone Boy By Sophie Loubiere follows the day to day life of, it seems to be, a bored old woman. But when she begins to see a young boy in her neighbors back yard, abused and neglected, things begin to get very interesting. It is the type of book that makes you wonder what is real and what is not. The next book I am carrying around in my purse at all times is Mislaid by Nell Zink. If you like a story that colors outside the lines like I do, you'll love this. The story is one that follows a lesbian woman and a gay man who fall in love and have a child. But don't worry it's about way, way more than that.  I don't want to spoil any of this book’s magnificence, but it is one of the best I have read all year. Not only is the writing concise and poetic, but the story is refreshing and unexpected. Along with this and my nightly episode of Call the Midwife, I have certainly and gladly had my hands full. How lucky am I?”

Sweet Ann has just finished A Fine Romance by Candice Bergen.  “In this memoir, which is actually Candice Bergen's second one, she tells of her marriage to Louis Malle, the famous French film director, all about daughter Chloe , the  television show Murphy Brown and her life after the death of Louis.  I enjoyed her matter-of-fact writing and her honesty about situations in her marriage with Louis, career and feelings about her second husband.  She is opinionated and you know how she feels.  It was a fun book with the name dropping, beautiful travels  and descriptions of her home in rural France that brought it to life for me as a reader.  Those of you who are old enough and remember the television series, Murphy Brown and liked her character will enjoy this book.  It is just like Candice Bergen is, bright, opinionated, self-deprecating, funny.

The Always Delightful Pat S is here with a book she has been talking to everyone about,  So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.  “I can definitely say that it was eye-opening on every front. Here Ronson explores the resurgence of the phenomena of shaming  as a  direct result of the growing power of social media. Early on Ronson says that intermittent episodes of shaming appeared as if ‘The silenced were ¬getting a voice. It was like the democratization of justice.’  Yet with the fullness of time, has the convenience and anonymity of social media combined with an instant and far reaching public forum given life to the basest of human desires? Using a variety of examples to illustrate the potentially destructive and far-reaching effects of a casual remark, Ronson has written a very engaging and deeply disturbing expose of the darkest side of the Internet.”

Steph is doing something I have never done and I’ve got a good number of years on her.  “After 30 years on this Earth, I am finally tackling Norman Mailer. I’ve always been too freaked out before.  I suppose he is a little bit out of fashion now, but this week while visiting Bay Area bookstores, I came across a shelftalker for The Executioner’s Song that declared it “the fastest 1000 pages you’ll ever read,” and could not resist the challenge. This novel is based on the true story of Gary Gilmore, a career criminal who, in the late 70s, insisted on having his death penalty carried out swiftly and in so doing reignited the long American debate over that punishment. However, to this point anyway (I’m only on page 662), the book is not a grand moral saga. Rather, it’s a painstaking stalking of Gilmore, his girlfriend Nicole, and the many people with whom he interacted before and after the murders. So far, it’s definitely the fastest 662 pages I’ve ever read, and I don’t think I’ll be slowing down. Mailer may have been a jerk, but wow, could he write. If you don’t mind it taking up all the space in your bag, this is actually one I’d recommend as a beach read for the right reader.

Abby is reading something  a little different  this week with A Lucky Life Interrupted by Tom Brokaw. “When I learned that news journalist Tom Brokaw was diagnosed with cancer, I was curious. That it was multiple myeloma made me more curious because it is considered a relatively rare cancer. Brokaw does a good job expressing his disbelief at his diagnosis followed by the stages of grief and finally, acceptance. The way he speaks of his family is touching, in particular, his physician daughter Jennifer who helps guide him on his cancer journey. Brokaw acknowledges his unique situation of having access to the very best physicians, yet he recounts instances of clinicians missing some important clues and symptoms. On several occasions he expresses his well-founded concerns about how average earners could possibly manage to deal with the physical and emotional toll this and other devastating illnesses create. The most valuable take-away for me was the need for patients and their families to be their own tireless advocates for information. They must tap into available resources, do their homework, and ask questions.”

Laura is on dry land this week and here’s what she’s up to, “Summer is a time for crazy fun.  So I have two zany, true stories that, as I read them, I couldn't believe their story lines.  I flipped back and forth checking the back covers, the inside flaps, the prologues, to make double sure that these were, in fact, true.  I even checked the internet and found that indeed, these unbelievable happenings/journeys really did occur. Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich is about a brilliant college student, interning at NASA, who decides the only way to impress his love interest is to steal for her the rarest objects on the planet -- moon rocks.  It is an outlandish heist ; passing security check points, camera-lined hallways and finally, decoding an impregnable high-tech vault. It reads like a Hollywood thriller.  The second book to fill your summer days with is Driving Mr. Albert by Michael Paterniti who literally drove Einstein's brain, floating in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark, with eighty-four year old Thomas Harvey who had performed the autopsy on Einstein back in 1955.  No one at the time claimed the brain and so Harvey took it home where it sat for over forty years. In the late 1990's Harvey decides it is time to return the brain to Einstein's family and so the two set off to California where granddaughter, Evelyn, lives.  Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography Driving Mr. Albert is a very unique road trip worth reading about.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with our final thoughts off the week and of course, The Playlist.  What’s good Pats? “If I had a wish-granting genie, I’d give Jen a trip to Chicago this weekend where generations of Deadheads will convene and celebrate with live music from the Grateful Dead. I will not be one of them. Instead, I will celebrate this holiday weekend with my husband’s family where we will talk politics (we all lean the same so it’s not much of a debate unless one of us decides to play devil’s advocate), watch the kids swim and enjoy great food. Frankly, it’s tougher to get the family all on the same page musically than politically. When in doubt, I just spin classic rock and that makes them all happy, even the kiddos. So, however you celebrate your Fourth of July, I hope that you enjoy it with loved ones, great food, music and a few fireworks.”


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!

Meet Us On Main Street

Today's theme was "What Book Surprised You."  For months the library staff has presented books to the Meet Us On Main Street reading group. Today was different.  Today the group presented books that surprised them -- ones that they didn't expect to be so good.  These lesser known titles make a special list for our library patrons.  Enjoy, the list is below.

Meet Us On Main Street is on a summer hiatus and will return in the Fall.  If you are interested in joining the group please keep an eye on our website for the announcement of the group's return.  


What's the Hoopla?

Going to Chicago this weekend?  Yeah, me either unless some sort of miracle occurs. I will have to content myself with remembering good shows gone by.  And thanks to Hoopla that's an easy thing to do.  And remember you don't have to wait!  Immediate gratification can be yours!

Not sure what this means?  Click here!

What are my neighbors up to?

Here's a list of our most popular items this week.

You Are What You Read!

Hello!  Welcome to the Full Buck Moon edition of You Are What You Read.  This full moon, which occurs this Wednesday, is thusly named because this is when Bucks grow their antlers. It is also called the Thunder Moon because this is when a lot of thunderstorms happen to occur.  It’s promising to be a rainy, thundering weekend so it’s not so far off.  I know nothing about antler sprouting. If anyone gets the 411 on that, please report back.

The SoNo Loft has a cheery message this week which is ‘Manamana, do do do do do’.  If you don’t understand the message here is a clip for you.  Guaranteed you’ll be humming this all weekend. A very special thanks to The Loft (aka Think Around Corners) for the bit of whimsy and charm that they bring to my commute.  Thanks Guys!  You’ll never know how much we all appreciate it.

Earlier this week The Always Dapper James brought a film short to my attention and now I have something new to obsess over; the secret life of those figurines that were all over your Nana’s house. You know the ones of which I speak.  Those little weird Hummel boys and girls (which always looked ‘off’ to me), the LLardo stretchy people that always looked  like El Greco via a second rate Hallmark Card Artist, the animal ones (cats, dogs, birds) or as one of my grandmothers had, weird china shoes in all shapes and sizes with flowers on them. These dust collectors lived on side tables or the occasional decorative shelving that seemed to oddly be made for just this very sort of thing.  Anyway, they apparently have a secret life which will be revealed if you watch this short. I am equal parts fascinated and horrified.  Although nothing can ever mesmerize/repel like a doll with teeth, the stars of this little film comes pretty close.  I almost want to go and seek out a cowgirl of my very own. The very valuable take away from this tiny masterpiece?  Never mess with a Cowgirl.  She’ll.  Mess. You. Up.

This week we have some sardonic wit (not necessarily mine), British humour, what’s next, and a big fat family saga.   This week’s Playlist is Cowgirl approved. 

Let us begin!

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan has two offerings this week.  “Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend are two of the most addicting and hysterical novels I have read in a long time. Think The Devil Wears Prada but based in Singapore with more money and interfering relatives. I am not sure what I loved more: the description of the outrageous lifestyle (who would have thought having a Netjet card would be considered slumming it?), or the mouthwatering description of the food (seriously cannot stop thinking about authentic Chinese food), of course, and the sardonic wit (which made me cackle out loud) given to several of the characters was outstanding.  Regardless, it is a frivolous good time and I couldn’t put either of the books down. 

Barbara M is reaching out to an original. “If you’ve finished watching the latest season of House of Cards brilliantly starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and are wondering what to watch next allow me to suggest that you watch the original British series. It is less violent and more sinister than the American version with an underlying twist of British humor. Wonderful!”

Pat T is all about what comes next. “I picked up, What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas because the title appealed to me. The memoir is a compilation of journal entries about significant events over the course of the author's life ranging from her lifelong friendship with a colleague in publishing; the tragic accident of her husband; her daughter's cancer diagnosis and recovery, as well as many family gatherings with her four adult children and twelve grandchildren and her cherished dogs. Ms. Thomas's memoir is a very honest rendering of the ups and downs of her everyday life and most important of all; the love of family and friends.”

I am in the middle of The Dust that Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres.  I have to tell you that this is one of those books that has me clamoring to get back to it.  This big fat sweeping saga is about 3 families who are neighbors in the English countryside. The British McCosh family, The half- French Pitt family and the American Pendennis family.   Beginning with the coronation of King Edward and the idyllic Edwardian period going through the horrors of World War I and beyond this is a wonderful look at ordinary lives in extraordinary times.  The chapters that chronicled Ash Pendennis’s experience in the trenches of France were some of the roughest I have ever read but they still had a wonderful sort of beauty about them.  You will have to wait until August to pick this one up.

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Which Shall Not Be Named with some final musings and of course The Playlist.  What’s good Pats? “ This week my father-in-law hopped a flight to Music City to induct one of his grads into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. His former student now a Milwaukee country music DJ and morning show host, Karen Dalessandro was honored this week in Nashville. Did I mention that my husband went with him to Nashville? Did I mention that I might be a teeny bit envious? Well, since I couldn’t be there to share in the celebration of a woman DJ being inducted, I thought I’d spin a little Country Music right here. Who knows, maybe Karen has a few of these songs on her own playlist. “


Syndicate content