You Are What You Read!

Happy Labor Day weekend! Even though this is the last weekend to rock the white pants I say forget that.  We fought winter too hard to yield to autumn just yet and this has been the most beautiful summer I can remember.  Please don’t misunderstand. I love fall as much as the next girl.  What’s not to love about College football (Let’s go Bucks! Beat Navy!), cider and donuts, back-to-school shopping, crisp clear mornings and pretty foliage?  I get the appeal.  But I am not ready to go gentle into the good night of fall. I am going to string this out as long as I can.  I will continue to revel in gorgeous tomatoes, basil and burratta on the dinner table (please save me a ball Fairfield Cheese Company!), the bare leg, an occasional ice cream treat, trips to the beach, a glass of rosé, and yes, the white pant.  So no judging when you see me in white pants in the upcoming weeks.  Please remember that we are closed on Monday but you will see us back at it on Tuesday morning at 9 when we open the doors again.  This week we have yet another TV series, infidelity, dogs, detectives, and some burnt toast.  Playlist?  Times 2 Baby!

Let us begin!


Abby has another series to offer us. “A few years ago, I started watching a show on AMC called The Killing. Based on a popular Danish TV series, this US version is set in Seattle against a background of gray days and rain filled sky. The lead characters are detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. Linden has a troubled personal history and a dangerous tendency to immerse herself in her homicide cases to the exclusion of all else, including her young son.  Holder is a former undercover cop with his own set of troubles. After 2 seasons, The Killing was cancelled but fan outrage brought it back for another try. Season 3 left us with such an intense and breathtaking ending, it was tough to turn off the television once it was over. Netflix brought The Killing back for a final season on August 1st .This series is not for the squeamish and if too much intensity before bedtime keeps you up, watch during daytime hours.” 


Sweet Ann finished Life Drawing by Robin Black.  “Augusta, who is known as Gus, and Owen have decided to marry and put her infidelity behind them. They feel their best chance to move forward is to isolate themselves from the outside world by retreating to a cottage in rural Pennsylvania where Owen can write and Gus can paint. While Owen has forgiven Gus he has asked her not to have any contact with her former lover or his daughter, who was one of Gus' art students.  They are doing well until Alison, also an artist, rents a nearby cabin.  This novel opens with the death of Owen and as a reader you will follow the lies and betrayals to figure out whom or what caused his death.  Life Drawing is an enjoyable read.”


Pat T is in the middle of reading Travels with Casey: My Journey Through our Dog-Crazy Country by Benoit Denizet–Lewis.  “In case you are wondering about the title of this book, it bears no relation to Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. As the author says this is the real deal, he traveled 13,000 miles across the United States in an RV with his nine year old Labrador mix. Together they had a full range of dog related experiences from a stop in Westport to help a couple search for their lost dog, and New York City’s Tompkins's Park where one of the regulars said, ‘Hey, man. If you can survive a day in a dog park in New York City, you can survive anywhere!’ With that sentiment, they continue their travels to D.C. and western Virginia stopping at a winery with a sign that set the tone of the place: Slow Please-Dogs, Kids and Winemakers at Play! I will continue reading about this man-dog adventure because it is fun for anyone, like me, who is a dog-lover!”


Stephanie is picking up where she left off last week. “A banner week for mysteries! First, I read the remaining David Mark book, Sorrow Bound, to make good on my promise last week. It was as good as the first two, so I definitely recommend the Detective Sergeant McAvoy series to all the UK mystery fans out there, especially those who love Denise Mina and/or Luther. Louise Penny also has a new book this week: The Long Way Home. I didn’t love it quite as much as the last one, but it’s still very good, and even a bit of a tear-jerker. We should have known that Chief Inspector Gamache could retire and still have detective work to do. I do feel a bit sad for him that he can’t retire quietly, but I’m happy for us that she’s still writing the series. Either book would be a lovely page-turning companion for Labor Day weekend reading!


I took Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good:  A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family by Kathleen Flinn to the beach last weekend.  It is billed as a “family history with recipes” and indeed it is just that.  The youngest of five, Flinn tells us the story of her family and more to the point her family’s time at the table and traditions.  Be assured this is not a sickeningly saccharine memoir.  There is just enough family drama and secrets to keep you interested.  The only chapter that I skipped was the chapter where her oldest sister embraces the clown lifestyle. That’s all I am going to say about that. The recipes aren’t anything earth shattering or special but when Flinn puts them into the context of her family’s story they become as important to the narrative as the family pictures that begin each chapter.  I also highly recommend The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Flinn.


Here’s DJ Jazzy Patty McC with her take on the long weekend. “The long, slower summer days are rapidly coming to an end and fall will be here soon. Mornings already carry a chill that wasn’t in the air last week. Next week, my children will start another school year and I will post pictures of them going on their way. My current project is to can every last summer fruit and vegetable. I’m putting summer in a jar to be kept on a shelf. I know there will be a day when we are waist deep in snow banks and it will be then that I’ll open a cabinet and reach inside for a jar of summertime. Proust had his madeleines and while I am no Marcel Proust but I will have my own jars of summer preserves, and my own Remembrance of Things Past. This week I invite you to create something for that time when you need a little reminder of summer.  
 

Back to School 

What's the Color of Art

New DVD Releases

Here is what you can find new to the shelves in the upcoming days.

Nice New Book Goodness!

Selected by Jen
Selected by Jen

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 eBooks from 3M

Here are the new titles available from 3M.

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Our thanks this week to Diane H who bought our love with some stellar chocolate chip cookies!  AND she did it even though she wasn’t even Summering.  Thanks again Diane!   This is our last weekend of Darien: The Left Behind.  So for those of you who are here with us, enjoy the last of no long lines at Palmer’s, a quieter Sugar Bowl, an I-95 that does not resemble a mall parking lot at Christmas, premium parking available at the Stations and  even a seat on the train.  As for the rest of you Summering, a gentle reminder that our love can be easily bought with a smallish white box tied with white and red string.  This week marks the arrival of a new member of our library family.  Erica and her husband welcomed a son on Wednesday and we are so happy for them.  Congratulations Erica!   This week we have some perfume, cantankerous aunts, Japan, Scotland, an Archduke, and a hunch.  And of course we have The Playlist!  Of course!

Let us begin!

The Fabulous Babs B has just finished reading The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin.  “‘Her perfume entered before she did.  That was always a mistake.  Leave a slight trail like a memory behind you, but never let your perfume arrive before you.’  So begins this beautifully written historical fiction novel focusing on the history of the perfume industry and its role in World War II.  It is also the story of love, betrayal, survival and friendship.  I loved this quick and fascinating read.”

Miss Elisabeth of the CL is back and here is what she was doing while she was Summering.  “This weekend I read the first two books in Deanna Rayborn’s Lady Julia Grey mystery series, and they were exactly what I needed for my vacation; intrigue, romantic entanglements, and nefarious poisoners abound! In Silent in the Grave, the first book, we meet Victorian Lady Julia Grey, who is saddened but not surprised when her husband of 5 years, who has always had a weak heart, dies suddenly at a dinner party. She is surprised, however, when private detective Nicholas Brisbane comes to call and insists that her husband was murdered. It seems Lord Grey received threatening letters before his death and hired Brisbane to find out who was trying to do him in. Reluctant at first, Julia becomes a believer when she finds one of the mysterious notes while cleaning out her husband’s room, and teams up with Brisbane to solve the murder. The murder mystery twists and turns beautifully and the details of life in the Victorian era make one long for silk gowns trimmed in velvet. The second book, Silent in the Sanctuary, finds Julia home after 6 months abroad in Italy, just in time to spend Christmas with her 10 siblings, their spouses and children, cantankerous great-aunts, Nicholas Brisbane, and a cold-blooded murderer. The whole series is a lot of fun!”

Barbara M is playing catch-up.  “There have been many books and authors that I’ve missed when they were popular. I’m trying to catch up and I’m glad because I might have never read Gail Tsukiyama’s novels. So far I’ve read Women of the Silk, The Language of Threads and The Samurai’s Garden and I’ve loved all of them. Tsukiyama is an American author of Chinese and Japanese heritage and her novels incorporate the troubled history of these two cultures. The Samurai’s Garden is a beautiful story, set in the 1930s, of a young Chinese man sent to his family’s country house in rural Japan to recuperate from tuberculosis. The relationship he forms with the housekeeper Matsu is profound and evolves into a deep bond between the two. Tsukiyama’s writing is beautiful and the characters develop into real people so much so that I hated finishing the book.”

Amanda has just started Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  “I picked up this book after watching the first episode of the new Starz TV show. The episode was alright: nothing to write home about. However, I've been in search of a new audiobook, so I decided to give the Outlander novels a try. I was blown away! Claire was a WWII nurse who after the end of the war is visiting Scotland with her husband. She eventually gets thrown back in time to the 1750s and struggles to survive in her new surroundings as an English outsider i.e. an Outlander. I'm only on chapter two, but what has captured me is the sweet, romantic, fun, and authentic bond she has with her husband. The TV episode portrayed Frank as being very stiff-upper-lip and reserved. He's nothing like the guy jumping on the bed and running down the lane to go geek out over local historical customs like Frank is in the book. So my suggestion is to skip the TV show and go straight to the source material where you'll be delighted by the rich relationships and details that make the heroine come to life. “

Pat S has just finished The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King and Sue Woolmans.  “In full disclosure, my knowledge about WWI has always been a bit murky at best.  But as this is the centennial of the war, I thought I might at least find out how it started and The Assassination of the Archduke seemed to be as good a place to start as any. Yes, the Archduke was assassinated and mayhem flowed from there, but who and why?  King and Woolmans have done an excellent job creating a very moving and sympathetic portrait of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Bohemian wife, Sophie Chotek. Based upon recently opened primary documents, the everyday, often tragic life of this couple is recounted-from their star-crossed courtship to their brutal murder. The myriad of quotidian details presents a wonderful snapshot of upper-class Edwardian life, in addition to recounting the tale of a devoted love story set against a background of political. It’s a fascinating read!”

Steph is trying something new this week.  “I have a new mystery writer this week: David Mark. At least he’s new to me. After reading great reviews of the newest book in the Detective Sergeant McAvoy series, Sorrow Bound, I wanted to start at the beginning with his books. So I read The Dark Winter and Original Skin, the first two books in the series. They were fantastic! This series would be perfect for fans of Denise Mina or Louise Penny.  McAvoy is a gruff giant of a detective who is familiar to the British procedural reader: driven by his hunches and devoted to solving murders in the face of great corruption. As with Mina and Penny, the stories are less than straightforward.  They circle around several plots involving multiple characters, and McAvoy’s home life is always crucial to the cases at hand. The stories are a little rough, so they’re definitely not for cozy mystery fans, but anyone who can handle Luther will feel right at home. I will report back next week about the new one!”


DJ Jazzy Patty McC has been having a rough week in The State Which Shall Not Be Named.  Not even the news of my boy Braxton Miller’s need to take this year off cheered her up.  What’s doing Pats?  “I’ve been completely bummed out by many things happening in the world. It would seem there is lots of unhappiness everywhere I turn.  I’ve been holding my breath waiting for some kind of good news. Wunder-Jen delivered that to me this week with a picture of a sweet new baby boy that joined our library family. Thanks, Jen! We’re going to take action and reboot our vacation vibe with a little lakeside camping. My son will check camping and fishing off his summer ‘To Do’ list and I will spend time with my brother and his lovely wife while indulging and corrupting my four-year-old nephew. So if you too are feeling like life is a little bit crazy and out of control remember it’s always good to gather your loved ones and give them a big hug. DL Bounce Back 2014

The Green Mountain Boys

Lincoln
Lincoln

The Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont is home to adolescent boys with learning and/or emotional difficulties. It's a safe haven where creativity is part of the learning process, social interactions and behavior are cultivated, and the Gettysburg Address is used as a rite of passage. Every year, the students have the opportunity to study, analzye, discuss, and if they choose, memorize the Address and recite it in front of their peers.

Ken Burns recently filmed a documentary that follows a group of Greenwood School students as they work towards their goal. Many of these students would have been hopelessly lost in previous generations...they struggle with concentration, speech, discipline, and comprehension. The challenges can be overwhelming, but the rewards mean everything to the boys. Winning the special coin that's only given to boys who recite the Address is called "a new beginning" by one. You can see the changes and confidence unfolding on the screen. The Address aired quietly on PBS earlier this year and is now available on DVD. Don't miss this excellent documentary!

Nice New Book Goodness!

Selected by Jen
Selected by Jen

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 eBooks from 3M

Selected by Jen
Selected by Jen

Here are the new titles available from 3M.

New eBooks from OverDrive

Selected by Jen
Selected by Jen

Here are the new titles available from OverDrive.

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

First things first this week!   We must give a shout out and thank you to Nina and Dave M who obeyed us this week and found space in the suitcase for some stellar taffy.  Thanks Nina and Dave!  It was delish.  Remember People!  We are here at home, tending to things while you Summer.  The weather has been so delightfully cool it’s safe to put fudge in the suitcase too.  The message from the SoNo Loft this week is an interesting one. " We Are All Shamans." Merriam Webster defines a Shaman as “someone who is believed in some cultures to be able to use magic to cure people who are sick, to control future events, etc.” We all have the power to bring a little magic into each other’s lives.  Sometimes it’s in the form of Taffy and Fudge.  Sometimes it’s finding the absolutely right book that is needed at exactly that moment.  Think about how much those small things can mean and then make sure that you do a Shaman like deed this week.   This weekend Erin will be at Weed Beach from 10-2 spreading a whole lot of Summer Magic in the form of Darien Library Koozies (sanctioned beverages only please), a nice selection of summer reads and of course some friendly games of cornhole. Stop by, say hi and remember no wagering!  This week we have some sailing, a murder, a stack, some dementia, a 14-year-old, spy craft, Australia, and of course we have The Playlist!

Let us begin!


Erin has been using our very cool streaming tool Hoopla.  “This weekend I watched an excellent documentary that I borrowed through Hoopla. The film Maidentrip follows Laura Dekker, the Dutch teenager who became the youngest woman to sail around the world solo. It is part adventure story, part coming-of-age documentary and is mostly comprised of Laura’s own footage. I was completely enthralled with Laura’s insights into travel, patriotism, independence, and family. Because the film follows her two-year journey, you actually see her grow up on screen. I highly recommended it.”


Sweet Ann has just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.  “This novel takes place in the beautiful community of Pirriwee, Australia.  It is at the public school where we meet the main characters of this novel when three women enroll their children in kindergarten.  Madeline has a daughter with her second husband entering the school, as well as an older daughter.  Celeste is married with twin boys and is keeping a dark secret from her friends. Jane is a single mom with a son who is new to the town.   This novel opens with a murder and then takes the reader back to months before the incident.  While the novel does have humor,  Ms. Moriarty tackles some serious subjects as well in her story. There is bullying, infidelity, and domestic abuse. This is a real page turner .”


Abby is tackling The Stack that we all have.   Here is what she thought of Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.  “Over vacation I vowed to read a book that’s been on the To Be Read Stack for a long time.  I can be fussy about how an author puts together a story and this complex and layered mystery converges beautifully. At the center of the story is Jackson Brodie, a former police officer turned private investigator. Brodie feels badly for billing clients for lost causes but understands a case may sometimes be about more than a result. Sometimes a desperate person just wants to know someone is working on their behalf.  The story begins with a missing child from an eccentric family 35 years ago and the impact that event had on the family.  Case Histories is a poignant mix of hope and sadness. I plan to read more of her work. “


Laura is in the middle of reading Jo Walton’s My Real Children. “I am reading a novel that has been classified as a science fiction novel, but I am not convinced that it is sci-fi.  Jo Walton's My Real Children begins in 2015, in a hospital where the elderly protagonist Patty is suffering from memory loss.  Then 100 plus pages into the book, the story revolves around two story lines of Patty's character during World War II. One is  a loving, youthful and promising courtship turned depressing marriage.  The other life is free of the traditional bounds of the era raising three children with her lesbian lover, and openly living between sunny Italy and England.  The time frame and the use of switching the protagonist’s story lines is very similar to Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, which I truly loved reading.   My Real Children is easy to read, so I am not going to give up on it.”


Virginia, everyone’s favorite Tall Cool Texan is a little late to the party for Tell the Wolves I 'm Home but we’re happy she showed up just the same. What’s your take Virginia?  “You will have to excuse my rambling, but I am suffering from a book hangover.  You know the feeling, where you stay up all night, telling yourself, ‘just one more chapter,’ and then the next thing you know its daylight and you finished the book.  Then comes the regret because when you find a book that good, you want to portion it out and make it last as long as possible.  This is exactly what happened to me with the exceptional Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.  The book actually came out in 2012 and I am not sure how I missed it.  It’s set in 1987 and is a coming of age story for June Elbus, a shy fourteen-year-old girl who just lost her beloved uncle to AIDS. It is about the power of love, the impact of death, the effects of disease, and the strength of friendship and family.   It is a beautiful book and has just moved to the top of my summer favorites.”


Stephanie is avoiding Real World Duties our favorite way.  By escaping into a book.  No judging Steph. No judging, “I had such a great time reading Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter. I was supposed to be doing important things, and ignored all of them to finish the book, because once I got into it, I couldn’t stop myself. Carter, who is a master of gripping historical fiction, has imagined a world in which the Cuban Missile Crisis is only resolved through the daring work of Miss Margo Jensen. Margo, one of the only black women attending Cornell, thinks her life is complicated enough, and then she’s accidentally (or is it an accident?), through a professor, pulled into a web of spy craft that would make John Le Carre drool. She becomes the only person through whom Khrushchev will communicate.  The only way she can get his messages to Kennedy is to take advantage of Kennedy’s  reputation and appear to become one of his mistresses. As with any Cold War spy story, there are double crosses galore, and the suspense is killer.  I honestly had no idea whether Carter was going to actually resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis! Historical fiction, literary fiction, thriller, this book has got everything.


Thomas and I have been working through Miss Fisher’s Murder MysteriesMiss Krishna and Miss Elisabeth of the CL are rabid evangelists for this series and with good reason.  But make no mistake; this is a most adult series.  The Honorable Phryne Fisher is taking 1920’s Melbourne by storm and advertising her availability as a Lady Detective.  She solves murders, has men panting at her feet, and she enjoys every moment.  The cinematography is lush and the period details are wonderful. 


What’s DJ Jazzy Patty McC doing in the State Which Shall Not Be Named this weekend?  She’s here to tell us.  Hey Pats!  “We’ve returned from Up North and this Saturday we’ll be parked in lawn chairs enjoying the world’s largest one-day rolling car show down Woodward Avenue aka America’s first highway.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Woodward Dream Cruise. It’s a big ole slice of Americana. People are already camping out in lawn chairs lining the Avenue, swapping and sharing stories of cars they’ve owned or otherwise longed to own. Last year, I mistakenly found myself driving smack in the middle of it. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Everyone was happy, windows rolled down, tops off the convertibles all sharing a high that might have had something to do with the primitive emissions systems on the older cars or just a shared love of a wheeled machine. Imagine 40,000 classic cars and 1 million people here for the event. Now imagine how excited my 7-year-old son will be as it rolls down OUR street. I call everything a “rat rod” just ‘cause I like the phrase. I am corrected by my son who then gives me the actual make of the vehicle. He’s like the Rain Man of automobiles. Though I love this celebration and communion of folks with a shared love of tinkering, wheels and stories, I must admit that I don’t love the pollution it spews. So here’s another Detroit story about a greener, but equally cool cruise.   So wherever you are, jump in your own personal ‘rat rod,’ roll down the windows, crank up the tunes and enjoy this uniquely American pleasure. Certainly a cruise of this magnitude deserves a serious playlist and a hashtag. Yep, we’ve got that covered. Follow along with #WoodwardDreamCruise on Twitter and Instagram.
I’ll see you on the road. 

DL ENJOY THE RIDE 2014 

 


 

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