Did you hear that? Did you hear that collective sigh of relief when the mercury in the thermometer edged up past 32 degrees, when the snow started melting and when the stuff coming down from the sky was just water? I think that we have turned a corner here, People. Sure, it’s still less than charming out there but our standards are so low at this point that just that little bit of improvement does wonders. I swear it’s like all my Train Friends have had Prozac slipped into their hot beverage of choice, so buoyant is the atmosphere on the platforms. The words from The SoNo Loft are Kickstart Your Life. Timely, given that when the weather makes that turn for the better, you feel like things are possible again. One more week of Winter, People! Hold tight! We can do it. The Fitbit Challenge update: As many of you who visit are aware we were soundly thrashed by our friends up the road. We salute you Fairfield Public! We salute you and what have to be the bloody stumps that you all now call your legs. This week we have some fuss, some Grace, naughtiness, charisma and a hot mess. Of course, we have The Playlist.
Let us begin!
Asha. Sometimes she’s here and sometimes she’s not. Here’s what she gathered up from the last time she was here. “I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Girl on the Train and I can see why people would be enthralled by it; the voyeuristic aspect, the unreliability of our narrator, and the utter failure that is her life. Still, I was disappointed, mostly because rather early on I was aware of who did the act and why. This is not to say that it wasn't a good book, I just wished it was a bit more insidious and not so lacking in its sketchiness. I'm not sure what that says about me as a person.”
Diane is new to YAWYR and Darien Library. She can be spotted on the Welcome Desk. Welcome Diane! “Saving Grace by Jane Green is a book I would like to recommend. Meet Grace and Ted Chapman a well-respected couple living outside New York City. Ted is an author and Grace is an active volunteer in their community. Life becomes chaotic when Ted's longtime assistant leaves her job and Ted can't handle his career without her. He becomes nasty, threatening and difficult to live with. When a young woman appears in the couple's life, Ted's life finds balance again while Grace suddenly finds hers falling apart. The book had a slow start but suspense and mystery became part of the story. In the end I couldn't put the book down.”
Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is here with an old favorite that she somehow missed. “Delicious and a little bit naughty, but laced with a sharp edge of regret and sorrow is how I would describe Charles Dubow’s book, Indiscretion. Harry and Madeleine Winslow are the quintessential East coast couple. You know the type: gorgeous, successful, with the brownstone in NYC, and the cottage in the Hamptons. Harry and Maddy have been married for twenty years with a beautiful child, and are still madly in love with each other. Together they radiate that special charisma that draws people in and makes them feel at home. Like a moth to a flame, that very magnetism draws in a young woman who will ultimately shatter the idyllic world of the Winslow’s in tragic ways. One of the things I most enjoyed about the book is the narrator, Maddy’s childhood friend, Walter, whose reflection provides insight, and innate Waspish tone provides moments of humor. This was a book that made me long for a beach, a sunset and, of course, an umbrella drink. Luckily Dubow’s second book, Girl in the Moonlight, is being released soon. “
Steph! What’cha doing? “Everyone seems to be on the hunt for lighter reads now that the snow is finally melting. As a result, I am gearing up to recommend The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (recognize those names? perhaps you know their amazing snarky fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself?) when it comes out in a few weeks. The Royal We is their retelling of the courtship of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and both women are notoriously obsessed with that coupling, so you know this’ll be good. In this story, Prince William becomes Prince Nicholas, and Kate becomes Bex, an American who literally runs into him on her first day studying abroad at Oxford. Despite everything, they fall madly in love, but when their love goes from secret fling to something more serious, the drama increases about as much as you’d expect. Hysterically funny and such a delight to read, but not too frothy, there’s enough seriousness to the plot that gives it more depth than a tabloid rehash. I predict that this will be one of the big beach reads of 2015. Anyone who had opinions on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress (or Pippa’s dress, for that matter!) will love this one.”
On the one day a week that I drive to work I can be found in my tiny little car listening to the totally charming I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style with a Twist by Betty Halbreich and read by Jane Curtin. Babs B pressed it into my hands promising me that I would soon be in love with Betty. And as usual, Babs is right. Eighty-six-year-old Betty has spent nearly 40 years at the Shopping Mecca that is Bergdorf Goodman. She has seen a lot; the good, the bad, and the severely unfortunate and she’s not afraid to tell you to take that hot mess off, put down that over-priced handbag and remind you that to look good is to feel good. Jane Curtin is doing an amazing job of bringing Betty and her story to life. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
DJ Patty McC is here from The State Which Shall Not Be Named. “This has been a week of endings but also an opportunity for beginnings. This week we offer our condolences over the death of our friend, and library lover Lisa Bonchek Adams. She asked me a few years ago to remind everyone that she was not ‘lost’ and that she never ‘gave up a battle’. Cancer doesn’t work like that and the language that our society uses to discuss it bothered Lisa. She will be missed by the thousands of lives she touched through her kindness and grace. I think she would have liked this week’s playlist. In honor of Lisa’s daily mantra, let’s all go out, find a bit of beauty in the world and share it.”