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!

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Well hello there and a Happy First Full Week of Summer!  It was shocking to feel the heat and humidity yesterday when I went to lunch.  And it’s hard to wrap the brain around the idea that this time next week we will be knee deep in Star Spangled Banners, Barbecue, and Beer for the 4th. It feels like just yesterday the only thing we were knee deep in was the four letter S word.  But here we are at the beginning of High Summer and I am sure that you all are already thinking about your great escape to wherever it is you Summer.  The Message from the SoNo Loft is Really Give It The Gas.  If you are on the road heading out, I would gently recommend that you may want to have a crack radar detector before heeding their advice.  Those Staties don’t play.  This week we have some new neighbors, a chimpanzee, small gestures and some duchesses.  Of course we have The Playlist!  How can we not have The Playlist?

Let us begin!

Sue tried something new this week and here is her take on Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber.  “This week I deviated from my normal chick-lit reading and got lost in the realm of YA Fiction with Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. This is about a 16-year-old Goth misfit named Raven Madison. When the old abandoned mansion in town comes alive with new residents everyone believes that the new neighbors are actually secret bloodthirsty vampires. One day, she encounters one of the new inhabitants of the mansion, the attractive yet mysterious Alexander Sterling. The two slowly fall in love, but still the question remains; are the Sterlings really vampires and if they are this could make the town that is nicknamed ‘Dullsville’ anything but dull.  I enjoyed this book and was made even happier when I learned that it was the first in a Series.”

Jeanne gives us an insight this week into how she chooses her audio books and it’s about what I would expect. I’ll let her explain.  Have at it Jeanne!  ”Sometimes with audiobooks I like the title and don’t really look at the cover, and soon I am engrossed in the story and the narration, but suddenly I think, ‘Wait. WHAT is this about?! ‘But by then I like the writing and the voice of the main character and I keep listening and before I know it I am done. This is the case with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, a story of siblings, science experiments, data and there is a chimpanzee on the book cover. The story is deeply disturbing, heart wrenching and plenty thought-provoking. The wonderful Orlagh Cassidy reads with all the right voice, tempo and inflection. I count her as a favorite narrator. “

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is looking back this week and she has been doing some serious reflection. “I like to think I was kind as a child. Not making fun of others and saying hello to all. But if subject to peer pressure, did I always do the right thing and stand up for the underdog?  Probably not. This has been on my mind a lot since I started reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. August Pullman is a young man who was born with an extreme facial deformity who and after years of being taught at home is entering school for the first time as a fifth grader. The book tells the tale of his first year of school and the impact on his family and friends. The book has its faults but it is a beautiful, heartfelt story that made me laugh, cry, and reminded me how the smallest gestures can be the most courageous. This is a wonderful read for people of all ages and if  you haven’t read it you should.”

It has been a while since I revealed what the current Blow Dry Book is.  For those new to this space a Blow-Dry Book is a book I literally read while I blow-dry my hair.  It’s a chore and a bore (the blow-dry, not the book) and so I need something to entertain me while it happens. And I want to state for the record I am not alone in this quirk. Virginia is also a fan of the BDB.  My current Blow- Dry Book is The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport.  We all know that this story is not going to end well, but it fascinates just the same.  The four sisters were beautiful, well educated, and wealthy beyond measure.  And yet what is strikes me the most, aside from their tragic fate, is how their lives were filled with crazy contradictions.  They lived in a cosseted world where very few outsiders were allowed in and yet because of their brother’s hemophilia and their mother’s frequent turns as an invalid they were often required to be the face of the Russian monarchy.  Sure, their homes were palaces and yet the private rooms they lived in are described as homey and decorated in comfy sort of English style filled with chintz and flowers. Yes, there were servants and luxury aplenty and yet they all learned how to make their beds.  You can’t help but wonder what would have become of them is they had been allowed to live past their ages of 22, 21, 19 and 17. 

DJ Patty McC was back in Da House this week and it was wonderful to see her in the flesh and not just communicate with her via the interwebs.  Here is her take on our message this week.  Have at it Patty!  “Summer is finally here and we are all soaking up that glorious Vitamin D! What's more summertime than rolling down the windows in your car, cranking up the tunes and taking a summer road trip? I could tell you stories from my childhood of road trips gone wrong that would be highly entertaining. They involved travel in a stripped down van with no insulation so that when the sun hit the metal it heated all the way through. Did I mention that there were no windows or seats and that the driver was a chain smoker? Ah, sweet summertime road trips. This week I packed up my daughter and hit the highway for a little housekeeping here in The Nutmeg State. Librarians around the country are gathered in Las Vegas for the ALA conference.  I'm hitting the highway tomorrow to head back home to my boys in the mitten shaped state. I'm still grooving to last week’s tunes but I think our town librarians need a little bit of What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. Now go forth and put the pedal to the metal.”

New DVD Releases

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

Remembering "Bobfest"

Monterey...Woodstock...Bangla-Desh...Live Aid...all gatherings of music royalty that were cultural milestones. Add "Bobfest" to the list: a 1992 tribute concert to Bob Dylan held at Madison Square Garden. Onstage that night were Eric Clapton, members of The Band, Byrds and Rolling Stones, Richie Havens, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and many, many more, plus of course, Bob Dylan himself.

A couple of months ago, a deluxe two-disc edition DVD of the concert was released -- a great way to travel back in time (how young everyone looks!) and relive this momentous evening. It's obvious that the 80s were still lingering with all the big hair and bright colors, but the music is what really matters. You'll hear timeless numbers like "Masters of War," "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changing," "Just Like a Woman," "Absolutely Sweet Marie," "You Ain't Going Nowhere," and the grand finale, with everyone on stage to pay tribute to one of the 20th century's most important artists. A must for music fans!

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!

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Hello! I am back!  First I want to send a big thanks to Steph for stepping up last week.   So thanks Steph.  As you can see, the message from the SoNo loft is in the form of a question, ‘What is Your Weird?’  It’s a worthy question for this last day of Spring.  We all have our ‘things’.  Some of mine are as follows and not in any real order:  The Edies of Grey Gardens, Little People, any episode of Hoarders, Clowns, Dolls with Teeth, Victorian Taxidermy Tableaux and of course when Wild Animals decide that they have had enough of  us humans and our nonsense  and they kill and eat us (see the films Grizzly Man and  Black Fish).  Sally of the Reference has an obsession with Extreme Weather.  Caroline?  If it’s on Bravo, she’s all over it.  Cathy?  Our girl Hugette is a favorite.  Abby?  She is all about Scientology.  Amanda?  That girl loves herself some Graveyard.  And of course you know all about our Anne Perry fixation which has so many elements of weirdness, that it’s hard to focus on the whole Chicks with Bricks main story.  So c’mon!  What is your weird obsession?  What will you never have your fill of?  What makes you take a step back; cock your head and say, “I need to learn more about that because that is MESSED UP!”  This week we have an unfortunate accident, a whodunit, some grief, murder, mental unbalance, some serious planning, football and of course we have the playlist and some added value.  Interested?

Let us begin!

Barbara M is working on Family Life by Akhil Sharma.  “While this is classified as fiction it is in  fact the story of his family’s immigration from India to the United States and  his older brother’s unfortunate accident. Akhil’s older brother was a brilliant boy who after only a short time in the United States passed the exam to be admitted to the Bronx High School of Science, a highly competitive New York City High School. His aspiration was to become a surgeon. The accident left him in a vegetative state and the family, far from their home in India, coped or didn’t cope in different ways.  The story is told from the younger brother’s  point of view and it is poignant, heart-breaking and very real. “

Abby has just finished watching the British whodunit Broadchurch starring  David Tennant. “ Set in a picturesque coastal English town, it is the story of the aftermath  when 11- year- old Danny Latimer is killed. The investigation is hampered by the secrets of Danny's family, and the community's collective desire to find someone to blame for the youngsters tragic death. I enjoy Tennant's work and Olivia Colman as  Ellie Miller, an officer who grew up in town and is  a friend of  the Latimer Family is a terrific actress.  Overall, with so many twists and turns there were some gaps in the storytelling and investigation, but the performances and scenery make it a worthwhile watch. In a move that may or may not work, the series is being re-done as a version in the US, with Tennant again starring but as an American detective. “

Sweet Ann who does not seem to have any weirdness tells us about The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  “This novel is about grief and how one woman faces it and goes on with her life.  It is not your typical sad book but one that will make you chuckle as you meet the other people who are coping with the loss as well.  Sarah St. John lives with her father in Colorado.  She is a single Mom to twenty-two year old Cully who died in an avalanche.   Everyone in her world is having a difficult time with Cully's death.  While it is a book about grief  it is also a book about relationships and the people who can make you smile.   Ms. Hemmings previous novel, The Descendants, is written in a similar way with a serious subject and lighthearted moments. “

The Fabulous Babs B is in full summer read mode with Field of Prey by John Sanford.  “This is another top-notch thriller from John Sanford.  The character of Lucas Davenport from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension returns to investigate the disappearance and murder of 15 young girls.  Davenport teams up with Catrin Mattson, a detective with the county sheriff's office.  When the killer decides Mattson is going to be his next victim, the case escalates quickly.  Halfway into the story, Sanford throws in a big twist that I never saw coming.  I think this is the best of Sanford's Davenport novels in a long time and I am not alone!  To quote Stephen King this is ‘The Perfect Summer Read.’”

And then we come to Pat S who has just read Regeneration by Pat Barker.  She tells me that she is not in “summer reading mode” but honestly I don’t think that she and I ever are.  Maybe we need to add that to the “weird list?”  “This is the first book of a WWI trilogy by Pat Barker. Set in the psychiatric convalescent hospital of Craiglockhart, Regeneration is a fictionalized account of the poet Siegfried Sassoon's time in this facility when he had been labeled 'mentally unbalanced' for declaring the war a 'senseless slaughter'. Told through the eyes of both the patients and the physicians, Barker explores the ethical and moral ambiguities of war. It is heartrending to read the recounting of battles and frontline conditions which left healthy young men physically and psychically shattered-not necessarily at the hands of the enemy, but by virtue of the incompetence and arrogance of their own commanding officers. While not an easy read, this is certainly a provocative one.”

Steph, for those unaware, recently became engaged.  This of course is influencing her reading as you will see.  I know we all wish her and the fiancé all the best.  “This week I read A Practical Wedding, by Meg Keene. I have been looking at a lot of wedding books and magazines lately, and most of them seem custom-designed to make a lady anxious so she will buy things she doesn’t need. This book is the complete opposite, and sorely needed in the field of wedding planning. The book includes not just great basic information on the practical side planning a wedding (down to giving you a sample of a spreadsheet to keep track of the details!), it also includes advice on the emotions and everything else that goes with it. And there’s no agenda. If you want the big church wedding, or the small barn wedding, or to elope, or whatever else, Keene’s got your back. It’s like having a really cool aunt who just happens to be a wedding planner. Her blog is also fabulous! It’s also, unlike most wedding books, not bride-centric, because it emphasizes creating a wedding that works for the whole couple—I am making my partner read it as well. Of everything I’ve looked at, this is the only book on weddings I whole-heartedly recommend. I will be buying it for engagement presents in the future.”

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is in summer mode but she’s not happy but her unhappiness has a good resolution.  I’ll let her explain.  Virginia the floor is yours!  “I continued my summer reading this week with Emily Giffin’s new novel The One and  Only.  The book takes place in a small town outside of Dallas, TX and shockingly (I say snidely) the story line revolves around football.  Seriously people, there is more to Texas than football, although, with this book you would never realize it.  Here is my quick synopsis:  Someone dies…football.  Breakup, career change…football. Dating someone new, while having feelings for someone forbidden…football. Domestic abuse…football. Happily ever after…winning the national championship in football.  Oh yeah and  in between all of that was more football.  As you can tell, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the book. The best I can say is it made me nostalgic for real Tex-Mex food, Neiman Marcus and the Ritz Carleton bar. I guess I can thank Giffin for inspiring me to make my plane reservations for a trip home to Dallas.”

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is weighing in on the Weird with some eye and ear candy this week.  Patty?  What’s doin’?  “ There are artistic geniuses all around us and rarely do they do things that are considered normal. What is “normal” for one person may not be “normal” for another whether you’re an artistic genius, working parent or stay-at-home mom. What gets you up and motivated in the morning is probably different for your partner, children, parents or friends. My daughter told her teacher that our family motto is, ‘Let Your Freak Flag Fly.’  This week I have a couple of videos to share that are freaky genius. The first is from the band OK Go. They’ve created another musical masterpiece complete with mind-blowing video for their new song, ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’. It was filmed all in one shot (it took 50 takes) and is chock-full of optical illusions and great art. 

The second video is Stay With Me’ by Sam Smith and if you don’t know who he is yet you will soon. The mind-blowing thing about this song is that the Gospel Choir is HIM! A recent NPR interview with Sam on All Things Considered uncovered this little known fact:

So, this week I invite you to be more accepting of yourself, others and try living in a state of non-judgment. Embrace your own quirks and share them unselfconsciously with others, they may just surprise you. Now, I have to ask, DL DUZ THIS MUZIK MAEK ME LOOK WEIRD? 2014”

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 DVD Releases

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

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Hi, faithful YAWYRers! While Jen is off playing in North Carolina, I (Stephanie) am filling in. We wouldn’t want to leave you with no new book recommendations just as it’s finally starting to feel like summer! And this week is full of great summer reads, including romance, Concord, Hemingway (will he ever go away?), and a DL staff favorite who is taking us to Mallorca. Yes, all of us. Pack your bags, we’re leaving soon!


Amanda read The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James, who is also one of my favorite romance novelists. "This is perhaps the best romance novel I've read. From the first sentence to the last, the story is engaging. Lots of stories give some multi-page introduction before getting into the meat of the plot, but this one dives straight in. There's even a totally unexpected but thrilling twist to the story—one that I never saw coming! It's wonderful that Daisy has such a level head on her shoulders. At the beginning, she's 17 and full of starry-eyed romance. The moment she stops seeing James as her almost-brother and starts seeing him as a man is believable and just like real life. Later on, she grows into a very competent, independent woman who has turned a failing estate into a very profitable one. She's a great heroine."


Virginia survived to tell us about her reading, and I am sure glad she did. “Consumption (ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a horrid summer cold) hit my household this past weekend, and the only thing that made it bearable was a bottle of Nyquil, the new season of Orange is the New Black and the historical novel Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood.  I loved, loved, loved this book. My only complaint is that it was way too short, and I wanted more. Written in four parts and based on real love letters and telegrams, the book gives a glimpse of the life each of Hemingway’s four wives had with him and how they all came to this brilliant but tortured man. It is a captivating read and a perfect summer read. Also, I just started listening to The Vacationers by Emma Straub and I am already caught up in the dysfunction and strife of the family and friends vacationing together in Spain.”


But wait! You thought that was the last you’d hear about Emma Straub today? (Remember her first book, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures?) Think again. Jeanne is listening to it, too. “I’m recommending the audio version of Emma Straub's newest book, The Vacationers. It's kind of a beach read; in fact, it is set on the beaches of Mallorca (or Majorca) so the print version might be easier, but the day-to-day infidelities, backbiting and general dysfunction of the Post family and their friends is much more satisfying out loud. In the book, the NYC and Miami couples and singles converge on a borrowed house for two weeks, and Kristen Sieh has just the right voice and tone to let us enjoy other peoples' discomfort.”


As for me—I have been reaching way back into the past and re-reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau for a book group. And I’ve found it holds up remarkably well! How can any of us disagree with this sentiment? “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them.”


And to send us into the weekend with a smile, especially because it looks like the sun will be making an appearance…The Playlist, which this week is SO FRESH IT’S HOT! Inspire us, DJ Jazzy Patty McC: “Being influenced by what we choose to consume, what we surround and immerse ourselves in is not a bad thing; subconsciously, we take things in, absorb them and then make them our own. Sometimes in our lives we need a little new, a little FRESH! My family has a tradition of creating a theme for our summer. This summer we’ve dubbed it “The Summer of Discovery & Exploration.” No doubt it grew out of our theme from last year “The Year of No Fear” and our move from Connecticut to Michigan. So I invite you this summer to create your own FRESH family theme, or borrow ours. Read something outside your normal genre. Plant something in the ground. Grab a cookbook and try a new recipe. Listen to some new music, a new band. Whatever you choose to do, make it FRESH and make sure you get outside to discover and explore. You just might be surprised at how much it fills you with joy. The surprise could even come from the realization and awareness that it was right there all along in your own backyard, and that’s NEVER a bad thing. Now go forth, discover and explore. Oh, I almost forgot, a BIG ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to all you Daddios!”

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