Upcoming Films for May!

Here's a list of films that we will be getting this May! Feel free to call us at 203-669-5239 or email us at circ@darienlibrary.org to place a hold on any of the titles.

John and Claire's MUOM Picks

John and Claire's MUOMS Picks
John and Claire's MUOMS Picks

John's Picks:

 The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

One of the most riveting novels I've ever read.  This book sets you down behind the iron curtain of North Korea and immerses you in the insanity and naked brutality of the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il's regime.  Following a plot that is so bizarre that it can only be set in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, this story will make you look at the Hermit Kingdom in a whole new light.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This translated fantasy novel is a hefty tome, but it is well worth the read.  It follows the story of two soul-mates whose paths have yet to reconnect.  In a world that is not quite right, mixed with mysterious undertones and dark forces, these two confront the demons of their past.  But will they ever reunite?

Claire's Picks:

Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found by Sophie Blackall

Illustrator Sophie Blackall gives her visual interpretations of the Craigslist personals. Inspired by her own "missed connection," Ms. Blackhall created a blog and subsequently this book to share these treasured encounters. From amusing entries such as "Furry Arms in Morning Lecture," to more poignant selections like, "The Whale at Coney Island," you will find yourself pouring over this charming collection.

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel

Read this unbelievable memoir before they finish making the film! New York Times Magazine journalist, Michael Finkel was fired from the newspaper as a result of his manipulation of facts in a cover story on child slavery in Africa. On the eve of the New York Times' announcement of his departure, Finkel receives a phone call from a reporter in Oregon asking about the murders. Christian Longo, a man accused of murdering his wife and three children, fled to Mexico and started impersonating Michael Finkel of the New York Times. As a result the former journalist reaches out to Longo and the two men embark on an unexpected friendship.

 

Janet and Elisabeth's MUOMS Picks

Janet and Elisabeth's Pile!
Janet and Elisabeth's Pile!

Janet's Picks: 

The Lifeboat -- by Charlotte Rogan

A debut novel, set two years after the Titanic disappeared in the Atlantic. Narrator Grace Winter has survived the disastrous sinking of another ocean liner and a long ordeal on a lifeboat, which drifted away from all hope of rescue and was lost at sea for several weeks. Aboard the leaky, small vessel are men, women, and children – some are working for the good of all, but others resort to hoarding the small food and water supplies and sabotaging efforts at survival. Grace, a newlywed who watched her husband give up his own chance at life to save her, must decide whose side she is on when it becomes clear that not all will survive.

"Being Elmo" (Doctumentary)

Even if “Sesame Street” isn’t a fixture on your DVR, the Muppet character Elmo is familiar to everyone – he’s the fuzzy red guy brought to life by puppeteer Kevin Clash. Looking behind the energetic Muppet to make a documentary about Clash seems unlikely, but “Being Elmo” succeeds because it’s an incredibly inspiring story. Kevin Clash grew up commandeering his mother’s sewing machine to create his own characters and entertaining daycare groups of children, all in preparation for the day when he would knock on Jim Henson’s studio door and see his dreams come true. A dedicated artist in his own right, Clash’s story will leave you in tears one moment and truly inspired the next. It’s a heartwarming film for children of all ages.

Elisabeth's Picks: 

The Wind Through the Keyhole -- By Stephen King

The Dark Tower Series is Stephen King’s opus. He wrote the first book when he was 23 years old. The seventh and final book in the series was published in 2004. Unlike many of his other full-length novels, the Dark Tower Series is not a horror story, but instead the tale of an epic quest. Roland is a gunslinger, a type of knight in a parallel world to our own. He is the last gunslinger left alive in his world. Roland’s world is “moving on” which is King’s Way of saying it is dying. In his journey to find out what’s destroying his world, Roland will journey into our world and back again to find out what is poisoning the dark tower, the center that holds all worlds together. This book takes place between the fourth and fifth book, but it is a stand-alone story. With the tiny bit of background information I just gave you, you can read and enjoy this new book and get a small glimpse into a different side of Stephen King.

Drift -- By Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow is the liberal host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, and she’s now the author of one of the best reviewed non-fiction books of the season. Drift is about how far this country has drifted from Thomas Jefferson’s original goal of a country without a standing army. She examines the wars and policy changes which led to the United States becoming a nation that is involved in perpetual and extremely costly wars, and looks at ways we can get the American military back on course. Lest you think this book is just liberal propaganda, none other than Fox News CEO Roger Ailes blurbed it, saying “Rachel Maddow makes valid arguments that our country has been drifting towards questionable wars, draining our resources. Drift is a book worth reading.”

College Resources

Need help navigating the college admissions process? Let us be your guide!

We've put together a list of our favorite resources. We have books on rankings, insider secrets from the pros, choosing the best majors and even interview tips and early admissions help.

Make sure to stop by our display on the second floor and also check out these online resources before booking that next college tour!

U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2012

College Board

Student Aid

New York Times Topics: Colleges and Universities

Princeton Review: The College Essay

10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay

Finding the Right School

Department of Education College Prep Checklist

New Books This Week!

Here's a peek at our recently added books...

NPR Bestsellers: Fiction

NPR bestsellers for the week of April 19, 2012.

Sally and Sally's MUOMS Picks

It's the Sally show!
It's the Sally show!

Sally's (the one to the left) Picks

Making Piece -- by Beth Howard.  Beth's story of a year in her life revolves around two things: grieving the death of her husband and making apple pies. While the emotional side of the story was often gut-wrenchingly painful as well as occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, it was the pie-making interludes that captured my imagination. Her descriptions were so vivid and the instructions so approachable, it was all I could do not to put the book down and start baking then and there. Good news for reader/bakers-- she includes several recipes at the end of the book. If you try any of them, let us know how they turn out!

The Presidents Club : Inside The World's Most Exclusive Fraternity -- by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. This is a rich collection of stories about members of an uber-elite club: former presidents of the United States. Staying away from the obvious, the authors bring to light anecdotes about the relationships that developed after their terms were over. While there are any number of positive, uplifting stories within the book, it is the underhanded dealings that will keep the pages turning. Don't let its size deter you, the chapters can be read independent of each other. Dip in and read a bit here and there, you just might get hooked!

Sally's (the one on the right) Picks

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death and hope in a Mumbai undercity -- by Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.  As India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope that they will have a better life. With intelligence, humor and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another this book is an amazing read.  The New York Times Book Review calls this book "Extraordinary"-I couldn't agree more.

Icy Sparks -- by Gwyn Hyman Rubio. This is the story of Icy, a ten year old girl growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky during the 1950's.  Icy is unable to control the croaks, groans and spasms that afflict her- as an adult she will learn that she has Tourette's Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.  Icy is tormented by her classmates and removed from school and sent to an asylum.  When Icy returns home she begins a friendship with eccentric Miss Emily who knows first-hand how it feels to be an outcast.  Both sad and funny, Icy Sparks is a New York Times Notable Book.

 

New York Times Best Sellers: Fiction

Top Ten Hardcover Bestsellers from the New York Times for the week of April 22, 2012.

Here's What's New in Books This Week!

Here's a list of latest titles. This week we have assasins, some fundamentalists, World War I, wayward children, tips from the First Lady and a bit of romance. Enjoy!

Caroline and Kiera's MUOMS Picks

Caroline and Kiera's MUOMS Picks
Caroline and Kiera's MUOMS Picks

Caroline's Picks

Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected - by Stanley Kunitz.  If you read no other poetry book, take a look at this one.  In honor of National Poerty Month, I'm drawing attention to this collection by Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006).  He was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2000, and continued writing and promoting poetry until he passed away at the age of 100.  His unique and meaningful poems center largely on the themes of life and death, and he was once quoted as saying, "The deepest thing I know is that I am living and dying at once, and my conviction is to report that dialogue."  My favorite in this collection is "The Layers."

The Gilly Salt Sisters - by Tiffany Baker.  This is an unusual story about a small town in Cape Cod.  The story centers around two estranged sisters, Claire and Jo.  Their family farm, Salt Creek Farm, produces all of the salt for the town and the surrounding areas, and the salt believed to have unexplained powers.  Every restaurant must have bowls of salt on all of the tables, and every grocery store must stock it or else they are doomed to fail.  Every year, the town gathers for a bonfire and one of the sisters throws salt on the flame - if the flame turns blue there is a good year to come, red means love, and black is bad news for the town.  Secrets, scandals and a beautiful setting keep the story moving and engaging.

Kiera's Picks

The Up Series (DVD) This longitudinal documentary series began in 1964 with fourteen British children chosen to represent a diverse array of socio-economic classes. A new film, looking at their lives and development was produced every seven years. The latest installment, 56 Up, debuts on BBC this May. The series asks the question: Does socio-economic class predetermine future success or failure?

The Big Oyster - by Mark Kurlansky.  Before it was the Big Apple, New York City could have rightfully been called the Big Oyster. Kurlansky cleverly tells the story of the greatest city in the world- its history, its culture, its cuisine- through the lens of that gastronomical delight: the oyster. The Big Oyster will satisfy foodies and history buffs alike.

 

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