Alan Gray, our fearless leader, brought suprise guest, Erica Bess, to Meet Us On Main Street. Erica, a former Louise Parker Berry fellow, is now working at Princeton Public Library. It is always nice to have old friends visit and especially bring with them their recent favorite reads to share with our patrons. Below find an assortment of titles from two very discerning readers.
Next week Meet Us On Main Street will be hosted by another spectacular tag team: the Stephanie and Jen show.
Stephanie Anderson, Head of Reader's Services, is planning to wow the group to popular romance novel titles. Romance is a hot genre these days, circulation here at the Library is up, up, up. Come and get the steamy list. Jen Dayton is our Collections Development Coordinator. She has read almost everything on our Library shelves. If you've read it, most likely she has too. Nothing gets by this literary hound. Plan on attending this best book show of the season this coming Wednesday, Oct. 8, 11:00 am on Main Street. It is not to be missed.
The Loft’s message remains the same; ‘Leaf on the Wind’ and I still don’t get it. If anyone out there is feeling the message, please report back. On Monday we have the Harvest Moon to look forward to. This full moon is thusly named because it is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox and is typically bright enough to allow the finishing of harvest chores after the sun goes down. So those of you with some last minute threshing to take care of will have light from the moon to get that done. Enjoy! Of course this also means that we are in the thick of the fall season and I suppose I should do something this weekend to celebrate that fact. Perhaps an apple pie would make me feel better about this? Or a lovely savory something made with butternut squash? I did sneak in a white pants wearing last weekend because the weather was cooperating but even I have to concede defeat and declare that there will be no more white pants now until May 26, 2015. Mark the calendar. I am however still clinging stubbornly to the bare leg but honestly if the mornings continue to run cool as they have been that will be the next thing to go. This week we have some dystopia, Paris, a team of women, Italy, drinking, grey cells and bodies. A whole town full of dead bodies. Playlist? You betcha!
Let us begin!
Miss Elisabeth of the CL is doing a reversal this week. I’ll let her explain. Miss Elisabeth? “On Saturday I went to see The Maze Runner. It was great! I'd never read the book, so I went in completely blind, and I found the action-packed plot thrilling. The ending of the movie was a bit of a mess; the explanation for the Maze didn't make too much sense, but I assume that's because I didn't read the book. The cast was excellent. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who stole everyone's hearts as the adorable Sam in Love, Actually was one of the main characters, and he looks exactly the same! The lead character was played by Dylan O'Brien, who is very, very funny as sidekick Stiles on MTV's Teen Wolf. The whole cast was really pleasantly diverse and they did a great job with the material, elevating what could have been another run-of-the-mill dystopian movie into something really fun to watch. I just checked the book out today, and I look forward to figuring out what the heck was going on in the last ten minutes of the movie!”
Barbara M. Back in Paris. As it should be. “On the advice of one of my favorite patrons I’m reading Sacré Bleu a whimsical, comedic, absurd novel by Christopher Moore. It’s about van Gogh’s death, the color blue and the art world in Paris during the late 1800s. The cast of characters includes not only well known artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Gaugin and Manet but also a mystical being called The Colorman who roams around trying to sell his special blue paint to artists. The book is a mixture of genres (historical-fiction, fantasy, satire) and is very funny. Although it is not my usual type of book I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
Laura is surprised this week. “Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer was a satisfying surprise. Set in an everyday world, a team of four women, a biologist, a surveyor, an anthropologist and a psychiatrist set out to study Area X, a part of the world that has evolved in a different way. The scene is not necessarily post-apocolyptic and it could be taking place in the present day. The story's point of view is through the eyes and mind of the biologist as she studies and gathers data. There is very little dialog but the inquisitiveness of the biologist keeps you reading. It is a slow burn kind of read that when you pick it up to, you are rewarded with a steady and even handed drama. Annihilation is Book One of the South Reach Trilogy and I am looking forward to reading Book 2, Authority, in the future.
Babs B has finished The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes. “When her adored older brother goes missing in Italy during WWII, Julie signs up to be an Army nurse. When she finds herself assigned to the front lines, her once sheltered life changes dramatically. Her only thought in the beginning was finding her brother, but as the weeks turn into months and she befriends patients, makes new friends, and her whole life opens up. While reading this story I honestly felt transported to another time and place. I had a great time with this book!”
The Always Delightful Pat S has just read A Spy Among Friends by Ben McIntyre. “If you are a 007 fan, this book is going to be a myth buster. Kim Philby, perhaps the greatest double agent of the 20th century, was working for the Soviets while he had a long and high profile position in MI6. This allowed him to infiltrate not just the center of British security but American security as well. McIntyre tells the story of his entrance into the spy world; a seamless transition from the storied world of Cambridge to MI6 where he joined a select and class-conscious few. Predicated on nothing more substantial than knowing the right people, Philby embarked on a career which was ably assisted by his charm, sociability and prodigious drinking habits. In fact, it was Philby’s very sociability which allowed him access to inner circles the world over. When the charade ultimately came to an end in 1963, and Philby defected to Moscow, neither his best friends from Cambridge, fellow spies, nor any one of his three wives had any clue as to his duplicity. This is a fascinating look at a world where the myths are less improbable than the reality.”
Steph is visiting with an old friend in a new way. “It was with some trepidation that I approached The Monogram Murders, by Sophie Hannah. You might not know that this book is by Sophie Hannah if you looked at the cover quickly, because another author’s name is MUCH bigger on it: AGATHA CHRISTIE. That’s right: this is a new Hercule Poirot story, the first since Curtain was published in 1975! It’s always a little scary when someone gets a new crack at a favorite like Poirot, but knowing that she had the full backing of the Christie estate, I tried it out. The result? Quite fun! No, it’s not the Agatha Christie you remember. But the plot is a delightfully Christie-like maze, and more importantly, Poirot sounds exactly like he should. This was very enjoyable and certainly worth the attention of your little grey cells.
I am WILD for The Undertaker’s Daughter by Kate Mayfield. Kate grew up in sleepy, segregated Jubilee Kentucky. Grief brings out the best and the worst in people and as the daughter of the town’s undertaker, Kate saw it all. I recently described it to a co-worker as To Kill a Mockingbird with dead bodies, and a soupçon of mental illness with a side of alcoholism and infidelity. Mayfield is a wonderfully evocative writer who describes her unusual upbringing and her hometown with love and tenderness even while she is conjuring up painful reminiscences. How much do I love this book? I am reading it on my Kindle for my commute and in book form the minute I get home. I am planning what will be for dinner to optimize evening reading time. This gem is due out in January and be glad of it because the Hellidays would probably be a diminished affair if you got your hands on it in December.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is still battling a vicious something in the State Up North. Join me in wishing her recovery. It would appear we are too late to wish her the speedy part. “Last weekend my family and I wrapped up Banned Books Week by venturing out to celebrate a nighttime festival of art and light in downtown Detroit. The Exhibition DLECTRICITY featured over 35 world-renowned and emerging artists whose work lit up the city in brilliant color and movement. Art galleries, studios and cathedrals were open for art projected on their walls both inside and out creating an art display unlike any other. Kids were outside playing Minecraft and their games were successively projected on one side of the Detroit Institute of Arts. There was even a parade, a light bike parade! The Mindfield video projection on the Detroit Institute of Arts and across the street on the Detroit Public Library was mind blowing. So this week, I thought it would be worthwhile to celebrate and listen to an artist who is no stranger to the threat of censure or banning. This week listen to a musical genius and artist who just released not one but two albums! This week I bring you the MAN in PURPLE otherwise known as Prince. Enjoy the tunes.”
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!
Here are the new titles available from OverDrive.
Here are the new eBooks from 3M.
We begin this week with a shout of thanks to Sandy and Jim D for the beautiful floral tribute. No need to apologize that it wasn't taffy or fudge! Just seeing that lovely arrangement can make one forget all about taffy and fudge! We thank you and so do our pants! While I continue to bemoan the fact that summer has left us, The SoNo Loft has moved on and is celebrating the change of season with the message of ‘Leaf on the Wind’. What this means is anyone’s guess. This week we have Rock & Roll, some potential frustration, Dublin, a power couple, Detroit, New York City, and some love. Playlist? Of course!
Let us begin!
Abby has just finished watching 20 Feet From Stardom. “This is a case of better late than never. I finally watched the Academy Award winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. The film introduces us to the voices we grew up listening to and singing along with but we never knew the people behind them. The storytelling is helped along by some of the biggest stars in Rock & Roll who share their appreciation for the backup singers who add layers of complexity and feeling to their work. One of the highlights for me was learning the story of Merry Clayton, the woman who sang the haunting background on the Rolling Stones hit Gimme Shelter. Watching Merry sit in the studio listening to a playback of her part is a wonder. I already knew some of Darlene Love’s story. Learning how her career as a solo artist was sabotaged was heartbreaking but her realization that she was meant to sing reclaimed her career. As one of the singers said, when people sing along, they sing OUR parts. Get ready to get some great music stuck in your head.”
John is looking forward to starting something new. “I have started a behemoth of a fantasy series The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. I may have set myself up for frustration, however, because with only two of ten planned books written, I’m going to have a hard time sitting on my hands, waiting for the next installment (due sometime in 2015). The first book, The Way of Kings weighs in at 1007 pages, but the story is so immersive that the time goes by quickly. I’m on to the second book now, Words of Radiance which, at 1087 pages, is no less captivating. Sanderson is a master world-builder, and while Game of Thrones fans will undoubtedly think his writing significantly less gritty than they are used to, they may find the pace and storyline compelling enough to break into this series.”
Sweet Ann loves The Secret Place by Tana French. “This is the fifth novel by Ms. French concerning crimes that the Dublin Murder Squad tries to solve. Her writing is wonderful and her descriptions transport you to the locales she mentions, whether it is the grittiness of the squad room, or the lush beautiful grounds of a girls' school. This story tells about the death of a sixteen-year-old student at the nearby boys' school whose bludgeoned body was discovered on the grounds of a girls' school. The murder occurred a year ago and there has been no progress on the case until a picture of the victim appears with the words ‘I know who killed him’ written on it. The Secret Place is another great mystery by Tana French.”
Pat T is keeping her latest obsession alive. “Last week many of us watched the highly acclaimed PBS TV series The Roosevelt's: an Intimate History. Now that it is over, I am going through withdrawal, so I decided to listen to the audio book Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley and narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Tavia Gilbert. Just like the Kennedy's and the Clinton's, there has been much speculation about the Roosevelt's marriage, and the author gives us a glimpse into the Roosevelt's unconventional marriage. These two people created a partnership according to their own ambitions and needs, yet at the same time supporting and encouraging one another. Hazel Rowley refers to Eleanor Roosevelt's biography, This Is My Story, so I will add this book to my reading pile too!”
Miss Elisabeth of the CL did some very adult reading with the latest by Lauren Beukes. “I enjoyed reading Broken Monsters but I wouldn’t ever read it again! It’s a very, very dark book. It starts out as a crime thriller: Detroit Homicide Detective Gabriella Versado has caught a particularly gruesome case. A young boy was murdered, cut in half, attached to the bottom of a fawn, and then left in an abandoned tunnel. Soon another body, also horribly disfigured, is found. As Verdosa begins to piece together the madness behind the crimes, we also follow the stories of a failed reporter newly arrived in Detroit, Verdosa’s 15-year-old daughter, Layla and her tragic best friend Cass, a reformed criminal named TK, and an artist named Clayton at the end of his rope. The stories begin to come together with the introduction of a seriously disturbing supernatural element. The writing is beautiful, and the author, who is South African, speaks with surprising authority on the decay of Detroit. Still, the end is SO CREEPY. Shudders all around.”
Virginia the Tall Cool Texan is back this week! What up VA? “This week, I got my greedy little hands on an advanced copy of the sequel to one of my favorite books of all time, The Rosie Project. Author Graeme Simsion brings back Don Tillman in all of his pathologically, micro-managed, organized glory. In The Rosie Effect, Don and Rosie are newly married and have left Australia to live in New York. Just as they are adjusting to being newlyweds, (Don has created a schedule and menu to his liking), they find out Rosie is pregnant. This is where the book falls off course for me. The natural assumption would be for Simsion to focus on Don and Rosie’s relationship and how they adjust to the idea of being pregnant and becoming parents. However, Rosie’s character fades to the background, and Simsion chooses to focus on Don, his conflicting emotions about the pregnancy and his growing relationship with his buddies. In fact, in a lot of ways, this book is more of a bromance than a romance. This was unfortunate, because I found the magic of The Rosie Project to be the important dynamic between Rosie and Don. She provided a good balance to him, making the reader see his personality quirks as more lovable than annoying. Let’s just say in The Rosie Effect, you don’t have the luxury of this buffer. As with most sequels, I didn’t find The Rosie Effect to have the same charm as the original but it was still an enjoyable read.
Thomas S aka My Son is here and is celebrating his freedom to read whatever he pleases. Makes a Mom proud actually, or at least this Mom. “In August of 1998, the recently reunited mid-western emo band Mineral released their single, &Serenading on Crank! Records. The b-side of that single was a totally awesome cover of a song by the band, The Psychedelic Furs. In my own honest opinion, this cover of Love My Way is vastly superior to the original version. You can judge for yourself by clicking here. Continuing the theme of loving your own way, and in honor of Banned Book Week, I have decided to talk about Nancy Garden's Annie on My Mind. First published in July of 1982, this book is groundbreaking because it was really the first novel to explore these themes in a positive light, as opposed to the majority of LGBTQ subjects that were being presented negatively in pulp novels. I will admit, some elements of the story are a bit dated, but that should help paint a clearer picture for the reader as to how important this work of fiction truly was. This book broke all the rules set for presenting homosexual characters. I guarantee that anyone who reads this will walk away thinking about how beautifully the romance was presented. I think it's this reason that the book was banned in the first place. If you choose to pick this up, remember that you don't know everyone around you 100%, and it's this reason that you should never condemn something that makes someone else happy and doesn't harm the people around them.”
DJ Jazzy Patty Mcc is back this week and feeling much better thank you. Here’s what she musing about. “A new season is here that brings us gourds-a-plenty, DIY apple picking, hayrides, apple cider, doughnuts and hours spent wandering lost in giant corn mazes. The cooler temperatures, the new light that filters everything with a soft glow, the changing colors of the leaves all signal a sweet gradual change that will gently ease us into the slumber of winter. We’ve enjoyed some really lovely weather here in my fine state and I’m happy to report everyone is well again. So this week I invite you all to curl up with a book, a steaming mug of something yummy and relish your freedom to read what you want when you want. I can guarantee that this prescription is sure to cure all ills. “
Mallory Arents and Laura Cavers tag teamed today and it was a perfect match. Mallory brought energetic edgy picks from the second floor non-fiction collection and introduced the group to two graphic novels, a genre growing in popularity. Laura served up an assortment of fictional stories -- one being her first audiobook (which she is loving) and a DVD highlighting the obscure life of the back-up singers of the 60's, 70's and 80's. She recommends it to anyone who stands near the express DVD's by the Welcome Desk. It is so good that some of the MUOMS members, who have seen it, said they would happily see it again. It is that great.
Here are the new eBooks from 3M.