Nice New Book Goodness!

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

Your Ann update of the week does seem hopeful.  She seems to think The Sandy Nightmare may just about be close to completion.  She reports that the Appalachian aspect of their home (i.e.

Nice New Book Goodness!

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

Just in case you were disappointed because February was only 28 days, here is another February day.  In April.  Also we have an Ann update of sorts.  She wants all to know the egg tree has been dismantled but is confident it will reappear next year.  She also feels that the end of her Sandy Nightmare might just be on the horizon.  However I feel we need

Nice New Book Goodness!

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!

I know that last week I promised more exciting Caroline news. I lied.  You all are going to have to wait another week.  But trust me. It will be worth the wait.  Also there is no egg tree this week.  We are too cold. In related news, please won’t you join me in visualizing a soup pot in PA with a certain someone inside it? I think you know who.  This week we have Chicks with Bricks (oh yes. They are BACK! And we may never let them leave!), a prostitute, an invalid, a flat out imposter! some perfection, the Bronx, and a few punches being thrown.

Let us begin!

Abby is reading this one on her own.  I swear.  I had nothing to do with this. “They say ‘write what you know’ so it makes perfect sense that Anne Perry is now a world famous writer of murder mysteries. This can only mean that like so many of my co-workers, I too am reading Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham. The book will be released May 1. I'm only about 20% in but am having a tricky time coming up with a one word description. The best I can do: whacked (but in a good way). Thus far, this true story of Perry as a teen living in New Zealand and participating in a brutal murder is creepy, surreal, and disturbing.  High praise indeed. One thing I know is I don't ever want to see the words ‘brick’ and ‘sock’ together in the same sentence. I can't wait to steal a few minutes here and there to keep reading while I'm supposed to be doing other things. By the end, I suspect I will be obsessed with Anne Perry and read everything I can find about the case.”

Miss Kiera of the CL is enjoying some YA lit! “This week I totally love Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I should have known I’d fall in love with this book since I adored her first novel, Between Shades of Grey (not to be confused with another title of dubious origin that employs both the words “shades” and “grey.”) Out of the Easy is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950. Josie is a young girl who is caught between two worlds. Her mother is a prostitute who is selfish, destructive, and abusive. Josie longs to get out of New Orleans, attend college, and remake herself into an educated, respectable person. She doesn’t want to fall into the traps of the environment she has grown up in and yet she finds herself being pulled into the seedy underbelly of the Big Easy. Like David Copperfield, Josie must discover if she is to be the heroine of her own life or whether that station will be held by anyone else. Sepetys populates Josie’s world with fully-formed supporting characters and weaves such rich details into the setting that you can almost taste and smell fresh beignets and chicory-spiced coffee. “


Miss Elisabeth of the CL is sneaking in an adult book! “I just finished The House Girl, a debut novel by Tara Conklin. I enjoyed it, although I could put it down, so it wasn't as enthralling as I thought it would be. It tells the story of two very different women living very different lives. In the present day, ambitious lawyer Lina Sparrow is assigned to work on a slavery reparations case at her prestigious law firm. Her job is to find the descendent of a slave with a compelling story to capture the hearts and minds of the potential jury. Meanwhile, in 1852, Josephine is a talented artist and house slave to Lulu Bell, an invalid and aspiring artist. Their stories intertwine in interesting ways, but I found the parts that took place in 1852 much more interesting than the parts which took place in the present.”

Barbara M.  I cannot continue on believing that this is ok.  “I have finally finished Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and it was worth investing my time in each of its 922 pages. I have, however, not moved from the continent of Asia for I have started How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. It is a parody of a self-help book and because it is written in the 2nd person it puts you, the reader, in the center of the story. Hamid’s writing is clever and wry and the story line holds your interest.”  There is not a baguette, Eiffel Tower or Nazi in sight.  I say, “Bring Back Barbara!  We don’t want this imposter!”


At least Jeannie is back to normal and doing two things at once! “I am reading the The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France by John Baxter. I thought it might be cathartic after reading The Dinner. And it is! I can still look forward to an evening of dining with family and friends. Of course it's the food that matters! Mr. Baxter makes his way from the perfect Apéritif to the perfect Entrée to the perfect Digestif and the many courses in between to create the perfect feast to be enjoyed with family and friends. Baxter, an expat, seeks out the best ingredients and pairs them with engaging commentary on this most wonderful of foodie regions as he travels through Paris and its suburbs. I love the little pen and ink drawings that complement many pages.  My Beloved World is a memoir by Sonia Sotomayor. I am reading it more out of interest in the background of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice than for its page-turning quality. She tells her story in plain language of growing up in the Bronxdale projects in poverty, with an alcoholic father and an angry mother, who both worked to provide her with tuition for what they considered the best education at Catholic schools. Sotomayor grows into a smart, discerning woman and graduates from Princeton and Yale to become a corporate lawyer and a Supreme Court judge. Although she had a difficult life she talks fondly about family, especially her Abuelita with whom she spent a lot of time. She describes many life experiences that may have been influential in her success, like how at an early age she regularly accompanied her grandmother to buy whole chickens and watched them being butchered so they'd get the right one or how she became good at poker. This is an interesting read.”


Stephanie tells us her take on a book that has been divisive to say the least. “Opinion is divided in the library about The Dinner by Herman Koch, so I had to read it. I liked it! So far it seems like the people who haven’t liked it or who have been unable to finish it found the characters too unlikable, which is fair, but I loved how horrible those characters were. They were horrible and unredeemable almost to the point of parody, like in an A. M. Homes novel. I love that. The book is very well-paced and escalates at just the right speed. It’s also an absurdly fast read for being almost 300 pages. A perfect book for the plane, unless you’re stuck behind a seat-reclining jerk, because it will probably nudge you to finally give that jerk what’s coming to him. (There are some great passages about what it feels like to imagine you’re punching somebody in the face.) Or a great summer read if you’re the type who sits under an umbrella instead of out in the sun.”


Nice New Book Goodness!

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!

While this week started dark and stormy it would appear that we may finally be sliding into Spring.  And, not a moment too soon in my humble opinion.  In Spring Related News Sweet Ann is still under Workman Siege.  She is still without electricity and running water in parts of her home.  But this does not stop her from spreading her sunshine.  Yes, that is Ann’s Egg Tree gracing YAWYR this week.  Nothing can keep this woman down.  She is unsinkable!  Also, I promise that this will be the last tidbit involving Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century but Pauline not only decorated with dolls (remember almost as creepy as clowns) but she painted a mural in her home depicting her falling from grace while Anne Perry ascends into the heavens riding a white horse.  You know you want to read this one.  This week we have a new addiction, danger and grave robbing,  Zombie romance, some poignancy, a whole lotta wrong, craziness,  Russia,   TEAM ZELDA!,  a blessed event, and letters to Snorkles!

Let us begin!

John is sticking to his principles!  “I really want to see the movie Life of Pi, but I refuse to until I read the book, so that is what I'm up to.  I just started it but I'm already hooked.”

Miss Krishna has me a little worried.  Ok, actually a lot worried. Read on and discover why.  “I am currently obsessed with The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I read City of Bones in anticipation of the movie adaptation coming out this August. I find that I am drawn to books where there is always danger surrounding the romance of our two main characters, who in this case turn out to be siblings,  a little Flowers in the Attic ew but still highly entertaining.  Lincoln’s Grave Robbers is the other book that I’ve been toting around everywhere. It is just as fast paced as James L. Swanson’s Chasing Lincoln’s Killer and just as fascinating. Steve Sheinkin’s writing instantly draws you in and it’s so mind blowing to read about counterfeiters in the 1800s and the Secret Service’s beginnings. There is such an influx of writing surrounding President Lincoln but I find the kids narrative nonfiction to be the most fascinating as well as the easiest to throw in your tote.”  I may be mistaken but romance between siblings could possibly be the most wrong thing there is.  Discuss.

Miss Elisabeth and Zombies. Who knew? “I just finished Warm Bodies, which was excellent in every way. The book, which was released as an (equally excellent) movie this February, is funny, wry, and a total departure for zombie literature. Telling the story of the zombie uprising through the voice of a zombie R, who just wants to connect, the book looks at what makes us human, what makes us alive, and whether or not it is possible to come back from being undead. There's a great romance (yes, romance in a zombie book!) and the writing is top-notch. This book was tons of fun. “

Pat T. has chosen a book for its cover.  “The cover of  The Obituary Writer enticed me to read the latest novel by Ann Hood. The novel is about two women from different generations who are struggling with their roles in society. We meet Vivien in 1919, working as an obituary writer helping people deal with their grief, as she attempts to come to terms with the disappearance of her lover in the San Francisco earthquake of 1908. Claire is a wife and mother in 1961, who tries to fit into this role while struggling desperately with her unhappy marriage. These two women are connected by the pain of loss, grief and regret and eventually one helps the other  reclaim her future. This story was realistic and poignant, dealing with the roles of women in our society.”

Barbara M. Shantaram. Discuss.  If you are not filled with concern at this point I can’t help you. 

Ann.  Still. “I am still reading The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates.  It is a fascinating book filled with craziness that has kept me quite intrigued.  I am almost finished and can't wait to see how this book will conclude under the wonderful writing of Ms. Oates.”

Lois is revisiting an old friend in a new format for her. “I’m listening to the audiobook of City of Thieves.  I have read the book and loved it, and now I am listening to prepare for One Book, One Community.  This is a great book, great story, and great choice!”

Stephanie, as usual is being too nice.  I literally shoved this book into her hands and demanded that she read it.  This is one I am passionate about and I say to all you writers picking on the bones of Zelda’s life CUT IT OUT!  We are TEAM ZELDA and we will not put up with your sacrilege and lies anymore!  There is no better bio on her out there and to fictionalize her life is a travesty.  Ok.  I’ll let Steph talk now.  “This week I was thoughtfully handed Zelda, by Nancy Milford, and so far I am LOVING it. Poor Zelda. What a life! I haven’t gotten to the sad stuff yet but I know it’s coming. I will revel in her crazy adolescence and stringing-along of ole F. Scott for just a bit longer.”

And now a message from Caroline about an upcoming event that we are all VERY excited about.  “If anyone has seen me around the library recently, it’ll come as no surprise to learn that I’m reading…pregnancy books.  So here are a few recommendations, please let me know if you have others!  Of course I immediately tracked down the classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting – go-to pregnancy advice since first published in 1984.  And yes, there’s an app for that .  If you have a little advance notice,  What to Expect Before You’re Expecting was also very helpful, especially in regard to nutrition and other things you can do to get prepared.  Of course being the Bravo watcher that I am, I had to check out Rosie Pope’s Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy. Great, straightforward and entertaining advice, just like her show!  I don’t think I’ll be ‘pregnant in heels’ anytime soon though."  This is not the only reveal however. Tune in next week for some more exciting news from Caroline.

Those who know me know I always have what is known in Jen Speak as a “Blow Dry Book”.  This is because while the daily blow out is something that has to happen, it is not something I particularly enjoy.  In fact I find it to be a colossal bore.  BUT I am just that sort of vain that this daily activity is a non-negotiable. The Blow Dry Book needs specific criteria to qualify.  The text needs to be able to be read in short snippets but compelling enough to not dread the book and the blow out.  Often the blow dry book is a collection of letters.  And so it is this time.  P.G. Wodehouse:  A Life in Letters edited by Sophie Ratcliff is a fascinating glimpse into the private and professional life of this marvelous British author who was famous for his Wooster and Jeeves series.   The letters I am enjoying the most are the ones between him and his step-daughter whom  he loved like his own.  His pet name for her?  Snorkles!  How cute is that?  One thing I find fascinating was that he did a lot of his writing in the 1920s on Long Island. He says in one letter that he did not find Scott Fitzgerald to be all that drunk.  I just adore a gossipy letter.

Nice New Book Goodness!

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!

We have much to discuss this week.  I am officially over this PA Rodent thing as a predictor of an early spring.  This is no sane human’s idea of Spring.  If the PA Rodent was in an actual paid position I would vote to fire him.   Actually a prosecutor from the Ohio county of Butler has filed an indictment against him and is requesting the death penalty if found guilty.   Honestly I think PA will end up being like Ireland and refuse to extradite him. Also, in a follow up from last week I just wanted to add this one thought.  In Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century this fun fact came up.  What job did Pauline have out of prison?  Librarianship.  Yup.  I am just putting this out there.   She also lives in the country with lots of cats and she decorates with dolls which are almost as creepy as clowns.  Ok enough of my obsessions.   This week we have stereotypes, piqued interest, dragons and fierce females, a wedding day curse, dead presidents bafflement, WWII, a banned book  and more murder.


Let us begin!


The Amazing Amanda is looking for Kindred Spirits. “I just finished Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant and it is one of the most hysterical, smart, and well-thought comics out there. She combined a love of history plus comics to create her award-winning works. While the art is simple, Beaton pokes fun at historical figures, Canadian stereotypes, and most of all herself. Reading through the published volume was a joy. I may also be a bit biased since I suggested via Twitter to Beaton to include a comic on Anne of Green Gables. You’ll have to check out the book to see what story Beaton spun using Anne Shirley.”


John is reading and loving Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.  “Just looking at the subject headings on this book may pique your interest: ‘clocks and watches’, ‘children of gangsters’, ‘fathers and sons’, ‘older women’, ‘end of the world’, ‘London’, and ‘spy stories’. This is one of those books that sucks you in and makes you think, ‘how did he come up with this?!’’


Miss Kiera of the CL is enjoying two things this week.  “This week I'm splitting my time between two very different books: Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Storm of Swords is Book 3 in the Game of Thrones series. Season 3 of the popular HBO series is about to begin and I wanted to read it before watching. There are dragons, battling kings, walking dead,  smoke monsters, scheming courtiers, and fierce female leads. Since it's about 1,000 pages long I opted to read it as an eBook from Overdrive. Speaking of fierce females, I'm also loving Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In. Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and has been named one of the top five Most Powerful Women in the World. She talks about why men are traditionally more ambitious and therefore more likely to rise to leadership positions in their chosen field. And what women can and should do about it. It's a controversial, fascinating book that already has tons of buzz; both positive and critical. I can't wait to finish it and discuss it with the women (and men) in my life. “


Yes.  Sweet Ann still has a house crawling with workmen.  She wants all to know that she would be happy to report that running water and electricity in some rooms are up and running.  Sadly she cannot.  So Ann weighs in with the following:  The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates. “I am a third of the way in this very long book and I love it.  The story takes place in 1904 in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as Princeton University, and tells the tale of a curse that will impact one of the main characters on her wedding day with repercussions for others.  Not only do you get the story of the ‘curse’ but you also get a history of the town and university.  This novel has characters from real life like Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland and Upton Sinclair to name a few.  It is a wild story that is very well written with depth of character and setting.”  We do not feel Ann is cursed.  However, none of us really wants to stand too close.  Especially near large trees.  During Hurricanes. 


Jeanne is cranky this week.  I am not the only one who needs some warmth and sunshine. “I had heard that Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard was very good, but I didn't read it. Then when my book group also chose Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by the same, I thought I'd try it. I am not particularly a Kennedy groupie, but I like to learn the ‘real’ story of historical events. Mostly what I learned and did not need to know were about Kennedy's vices such as conducting meetings in a pool while naked or that he used the military phonetic alphabet to swear in front of Jackie. I don't like O'Reilly's politics and I do not like his sophomoric writing style in this book. If he continues with the assassinated president genre I will have to hear about it from someone else.”   Well Jeanne, all we have left is Garfield and McKinley and I don’t think that even O’Reilly can scrape that shoe’s  bottom.


Barbara M.  Shantaram.  Still.  


Stephanie however is reading a book about WW II and Nazis.  So I basically give up.  “My mom, a fellow crime fiction addict, passed Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr along for my train ride. Between how fantastic this book was and my completed Denise Mina binge, I am getting quite spoiled. The life of the ordinary German during WWII was a horrifying and bland one as an example; it is that inherent tension makes Every Man Dies Alone an incredible book. To pair that perspective with the cranky Sherlockian character Bernie Gunther makes for an amazing book. One of the minor themes of the book is that the actions of the Nazis were so abominable that they could not be believed even by those who saw them, and I think contemporarily, that has translated to them being unable to be comprehended in full. It is so horrific that the brain seems to water it down. To meet Heydrich in a history book is to be horrified by a cold-eyed portrait and a list of statistics. But to meet him in a crime fiction novel is to be horrified by a flesh-and-chuckles human, and that is true horror. I finished this book and sat in silence for quite some time, upset by the Holocaust in a way that I haven’t been since probably the first time I learned about it as a kid. To sneak that punch in under a crime novel’s cover is quite something.”


Patty McC. Programming Priestess,  joins us this week for the first time.  She has asked me to be kind.  How can I be anything but?  Patty had a fight this week with some black ice and the black ice won.  So I know she is on Team End This Endless Winter. “This week I could not resist the graphic novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  Not only is it a memoir about her childhood growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution but it is also a beautifully illustrated graphic novel.  Over the past week there has been much discussion around age appropriateness for this graphic novel in the news and the use of the word  banned in the public schools in Chicago makes this a must read for me.  Marjane describes her family as very modern and avant-garde.  She simply states she was born with religion and then goes on to tell us when she was young she wanted to be a prophet; one that would be justice, love and the wrath of God all in one.  Told through the eyes and voice of a ten year old girl growing up in a time of great turmoil in Iran makes this graphic novel and memoir both deeply personal and political.  It’s a frank, boldly illustrated work that is highly engaging.  I can’t wait to finish it, share it with my own daughter and dig into a great civics discussion.”  Feel better soon Patty!


I have left New Zealand behind and moved on to Italy.  However it would appear I have not left behind grisly crimes and lots and lots of bloodshed.  In Chris Bohjalian’s latest The Light in the Ruins there is a serial killer afoot in 1955 Florence and they are targeting one specific family.  The Rosatis were a privileged Tuscan family previous to World War II living a life of serenity in their villa.  Now they have fallen on hard times but do the remaining family members really deserve to be hunted down, murdered and have their hearts cut out?  As always with Bohjalian you know that you are going to have an amazing story unfold. This one comes out in July.

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