I need to begin this week with an apology. Apparently I caused some marital discord because I stated the Harvest Moon would take place on Monday when, in fact, it occurred on Wednesday. So my apologies to Curtiss R, I regret to inform you that Leslie was right and I was wrong. As for the rest of you, I hope that your gleaning/threshing activities were in no way inconvenienced. But it was a really pretty moon, wasn’t it? (Hangs head in shame, shuffles away and changes the subject) As you can see, the message from The SoNo Loft this week is Tell the Story. Who doesn’t love a good story? Good stories enlighten, entertain and stay with you. On Wednesday (and yes I double checked that), the National Book Award committee will be announcing the short list for fiction and I am praying that my two favorites, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Some Luck by Jane Smiley will be among the five chosen. Both of these are amazing stories and they are populated by wonderfully rich characters. And with the way the world has been lately, who wouldn’t want to lose themselves in a wonderful story? I for one have this weekend off, no OSU Football to occupy me and I am looking forward to a big stack of book to lose myself in. I hope you have a similar stack. If not, we can help you with that and you know where to find us. This week we have voices, a really questionable romance, letters, life choices, sad discoveries, and a wave. And the Playlist! This week times two!
Let us begin!
Sue S has a new romance novel that she is rabid for. “Let’s face it, it’s a fact, heroes are my weakness. It's also a fact that for this week’s You Are What You Read it is the title of the book I devoured in 2 evenings. Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the story of a young woman, a down-on-her-luck ventriloquist, who has to stay 60 consecutive days on an island in a cottage once owned by her deceased mother or risk losing it. She comes to find that a reclusive writer, Theo Harp, who writes chilling horror novels, is also staying on the island. Annie and Theo (who I found to be as broody as Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights) have a past and now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Annie’s inner voice and those of her puppets is warning her that Theo is trouble and that she should stay way. But it’s Annie's heart that is the real trouble maker when it starts telling her he has changed. Only time will tell who Annie should really listen to! This book will definitely get rid of the chill on a cold day!”
Amanda is heating up her fall with the sizzling new eBook, A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan. “This book first comes with a warning: the lovers are stepsiblings. However, as shocking as this may be to us, fans of historical romance know that stepsibling romance is only unseemly and not all that bad. The hero, Decian, was thrown out of his home 10 years ago. His stepsister, Rosalie, was sent away to school and left there. Now Decian’s father is dead and Rosalie has been unceremoniously dropped on his doorstep after overstaying her welcome at school. Will Decian be able to forgive Rosalie the sin of being her mother’s daughter? And to what lengths will Rosalie go to discover herself before being forced into marriage with a stranger? This book is a marvelous quick read and one of the most scandalous things I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series which alas – has not been announced yet.”
Pat T has taken a suggestion to heart this week. “A patron suggested I read Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. She said, ‘I know you don't like epistolary style books, but I promise this book is laugh out loud funny.’ And she's right! Jason Fitger is a creative writing professor at a small Midwest college and he is always called upon by the students to write letters of recommendation on their behalf. Jason's once promising writing career is in a downward spiral, he wreaked havoc on his personal life by disclosing his private affairs in his novels and he is in rivalries with the other college departments because they are better funded. This and more is detailed in this hilarious, clever and passive aggressive letters of recommendation. Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy this humorous read!”
Sweet Ann has just finished The Children Act by Ian McEwan. “This short read kept me engaged from the first page to the last. Judge Fiona Maye presides over family cases that are heart wrenching. The novel centers on the case of an eighteen year old boy who is a Jehovah's Witness and needs a blood transfusion to survive his cancer. The boy is strong in his beliefs and he and Fiona form quite a bond after she visits him in the hospital to help her determine her decision. Fiona is also having marital trouble. Is she too involved in her work or just dealing with her inability to ever have children? This novel makes you think about life choices we all have to make. It also makes you question how involved one should get in someone else's life. It is a great read and I also loved the novel Saturday by Mr. McEwan.”
Steph has another book to add to the Favorites of 2014 List! “After hearing so much about it online and from fellow readers in the Library, I was glad to finally get a chance to read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. The novel opens with a disappearance, and then a sad discovery: Lydia Lee has drowned in the lake in her small town in Ohio. Her family is devastated, because not only was her death unexpected, but it has also unveiled many family secrets. The book skips from mind to mind and from past to present as the mystery unfolds. The revelations of the story, while quiet and small, are devastating. Ng captures so beautifully (her writing is exquisite) the ways families hurt each other, even, and especially, out of love. My heart ached for every character. This is one of my favorite books of 2014.”
Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is here this week and she’s revisiting one of her obsessions. “This week I return with my love of YA dystopian novels. My newest obsession is Hugh Yancey’s The Infinite Sea, the second installment in The Fifth Wave trilogy. Warning, you really need to read The Fifth Wave first, because this one picks up almost immediately where it left off. I have been anxiously waiting for this book to come out for months and it did not disappoint. Just like the first book, the story is told through different perspectives as the characters try to survive as they prepare to battle the fifth and final wave. Yancey does an excellent job of enriching the story with character flashbacks and, while I was somewhat disappointed one of the storylines took a backseat, by the end I had a better appreciation for some of the other characters. The book was action-packed but it also displayed a rare vulnerability with its character development. While many of the questions from the first book are answered, other mysteries arise, and by the end, Yancey has set himself up for an epic showdown for the final book. This is a series that cannot be missed. Think Hunger Games meets the X-Files meets the Body Snatchers. My only complaint is now I have to wait another year for the third and final installment of the series. “
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Up North (49 days until The Game. Get excited!) and as you can see she is back to herself again. Here’s what she’s thinking about this week. “Is anyone else suffering from media overload? It seems that every news outlet is more focused on producing hysteria than reporting facts. There are a lot of things to worry over. Trust me, I could create an exhaustive list that would leave you in a sweaty ball of anxiety, require heavy medication and a team of specialists to get you out of the house again. I refuse to be another voice of hysteria. Instead, I’d like to suggest that we all take three deep breaths and don’t freak out. There are a few things we can do right now to alleviate some of this craziness:
1) Get a flu shot (I know, I sound like a broken record)
2) Make sure your children’s immunizations are current and get them a flu shot (Needle stuck in the groove)
3) If your child is sick, keep him or her home from school. (Yes, this one is tough for working parents especially if you have a child who is ill for a long time. My third grader was out for eight days straight from school already. I feel your pain.)
If you still find yourself still freaking out, put the newspaper away, step away from the glowing screen, get outside and go for a long walk in nature. Hard data proves that this simple step reduces anxiety.”
DL TELL THE STORY 2014 & DL Don't Freak Out 2013