This weekend, if you just can't seem to find the perfect Valentine's Day cards to express your unconditional feelings for the ones you care about, here is a little help from best-selling author Deborah Tannen, who, in my opinion, says it best:
It’s time for the latest installment of what we are reading/watching/listening to! And with a weekend of foul weather ahead we are making sure that we not only have the necessary bread/milk/eggs, but that we also have laid in wonderful books and movies too.
I am loving the latest from Chris Bojhalian Secrets of Eden. From the very beginning you are sure that something is not quite right with the Rev. Stephen Drew and you just can’t put your finger on it. However, if you have ever read Bojhalian before, you know that it will be even more twisted than you ever dreamed.
It would seem that Barbara is in serious nesting mode! Her pick is Your Home, Your Sanctuary by Clodagh. It is a Rizzoli book so you know it will be beautiful.
She is also reading Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America by Kati Marton. Sure, Marton’s family survived the Nazis but little did they imagine that the worst was yet to come under Communist rule. Everyone who we have spoken with who has read it loves this book.
Abs is slogging through the new Ian Rankin Doors Open. She reports that she does not like it as much as she did the Rebus series but she’s sticking with it.
Bill liked the Hurt Locker a lot. This movie is about the US Army bomb disposal unit stationed in Iraq. Not at all political in nature, this film simply tells of the not so simple job these soldiers do every day.
And I must confess that we are still discussing Game Change and can’t wait to get our hands on The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edward’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal that Brought Him Down by Andrew Young. Pat T. asked the very thought provoking question at lunch, "would you still vote for the canidate of your choice at the time after reading this book?" I told you that we can be a tad obsessive!
Have a great, safe weekend!
If you're like me, you are SO EXCITED for tonight's premier of Lost. I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait.
There's lots of speculation about the little hints dropped by the writers of the show, and one thing people like to theorize about is the books that turn up. Here's a list of some of the books that have made appearances on Lost. Maybe if you read them, you'll be able to figure out where the island is?
And we cannot tell a lie, the majority of us are working on Game Change still and loving it. When we get something juicy like this we become obsessed. We discuss endlessly and pass it from person to person. We have not gotten this worked up since Never Enough! But some of us do have other irons in the fire and here is this week’s selection for your perusal!
As some of you may know Erica is a huge fan of Katie Arnoldi who wrote one of our departmental favorites, The Wentworths. You should have heard the squeals of delight when Erica was able to score an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of her new novel Point Dume. It is due out in May and she is having lots of fun with it. Erica is having some good guilty fun watching the Gossip Girl series on DVD.
Found a delightful movie in Bright Star which tells the story of John Keats and his muse Fanny Brawne. It is a Jane Campion film (we love those!) and according to Priscilla it is a good movie to needlepoint to.
Abs has left Sweden behind for the moment and is enjoying The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guards Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael Tougias. It tells the tale of the dramatic rescue off Cape Cod in 1952 of two ships broken in two by a storm.
Pat is happily listening to The Vagrants by Yiyun Li. It revolves around the execution of Shan Gu during the Cultural Revolution in China and those affected by it. Some rejoice, some mourn but everyone has a story to tell.
Have a lovely, lovely weekend!
Even though February is the shortest month, the foul weather and long dark nights can make it feel like a situation that will go on forever. Hopefully some fabulous new offerings that are making their way towards us will help that situation.
On February 2nd we have the new Chris Bohjalian to look forward to! In Secrets of Eden was Baptist preacher Reverend Stephen Drew involved in the murder suicide of his two new congregants? What was his involvement with the wife of the pair? We cannot wait to find out the answers to these questions because we know Bohjalian will put a spin on it that we never could have imagined.
One book that several of us have read is a first novel from Sarah Blake entitled The Postmistress and we cannot wait to share it with you. The story begins with the question what would happen if a letter never reaches its intended recipient? Blake then proceeds to spin three stories of three very different women for whom 1940 will be a pivotal year. This wonderful tale takes us from a seemingly simple existence on Cape Cod to a London damaged by the Blitz to a terror filled Europe. We really, really loved this story and we cannot wait to hear what you think. Look for this one around the 9th.
It's Swedish, it’s a mystery, it's Hennig Mankell. Could Abby get any more excited? The Man From Beijing tells the stories of Jan Andren’s time in America as a foreman helping to build the transcontinental railroad and that of San, who was kidnapped in China in 1863 and shipped to America for the same purpose. How are these two men linked to a village massacre in the present day? On February 16th we all get to find out.
We love William Boyd and Ordinary Thunderstormswhich is due out on the 1st sounds like another wonderful story from a man who has never let us down in that department. What happens when you are forced to go “underground” and lose your identity? And, oh yeah! You have an assassin on your trail. Add a pharmaceutical company, some missing documents, and a couple of dead bodies and you have something we can’t wait to get our hands on!
Under the non-fiction umbrella we are fascinated by The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca Skloot tells the story of African American Henrietta Lacks whose cells were harvested months before her death of cervical cancer. What have these cells meant in the world of medicine and research? They have helped find the polio vaccine, shed light on the secrets of cancer, and have aided advances in the world of reproductive medicince. Although these cells are a valuable commodity in the research field of medicine, her family has not only not seen any profit from this but they too have been guinea pigs of a sort. Early reviews are saying this is an eminently readable piece of scientific history. Look for this one at the beginning of the month.
Let’s hope that what feels like the longest month flies by like the shortest month it is!
There is no doubt that we are smack dab in the middle of winter and what better way to wade through than with a good book and a lovely fire in the fireplace. Here is this week’s installment of What We Are Reading This Week!
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. This is the latest silliness from Fforde who always creates an interesting world outside of what is possible and sometimes desirable. In this book, it's a society organized by caste according to what colors one is able to see most vividly. Purple is at the top of the heap, and greys always steal the bacon.
Googled: The End Of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta I am listening to this book on CD which is all about the visionary engineers who created Google and how it has grown into the force we know today.
Then We Came To the End by Joshua Ferris.This novel explores life at an ad agency in its decline and the characters that fill its cubicles and suites.
I 'm reading U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton and it’s another winner from an extremely talented author. Memorable characters and thought-provoking psychological and historical themes make this page turner a very satisfying read.
Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar. The book that started it all! The young, beautiful, privileged and behaving badly and running amok in Manhattan!
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart. Will Ruby be able to survive the loss of her boyfriend, best friend and the respect of her fellow class mates?
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. A fictional account of a very real house that survived World War II.
We all know that it is important to keep both your body and your mind sharp at any age. Exercising the brain can actually improve memory function, increase awareness, and provide a better overall sense of wellness. But did you know about some of the interesting ways you can sharpen your mind at Darien Library?
Here are a few ideas to try:
Flickr photo (above) courtesy of RavenCore17.
NFL playoffs start this weekend, which makes it a perfect time to look back at one of the most important figures in American football: Paul Brown. A brand-new biography tells the story of the "father of the modern offense," the man who founded two NFL teams, invented facemasks and on-field radio communications, and not incidentally, was a major part of integrating professional football.
We follow Brown from his schoolboy days in Ohio, as college player and coach, and as Vice President, General Manager, and first coach of the very first Cleveland Browns (yes, named in his honor!) squad in 1946. His teams were peerless: they won championships their first four years, including the undefeated season of 1948, before merging into the NFL in 1950. There, they continued successful play against well-established teams...until Art Modell came along and purchased the team in 1961. Modell fired Brown after the 1962 season and although they won the 1964 championship, they have never appeared in the Super Bowl since.
So much did Modell's firing hurt Brown that he left the game entirely for the next few years. In 1967, he founded and coached the expansion Cincinnati Bengals (note the shared "CB" initials with his former team, the Cleveland Browns), who play today in Paul Brown Stadium. Brown died in 1991, but is widely considered a cornerstone of today's NFL. A true original, a coach for the ages, and a great new book for football fans.
A favorite holiday tradition is basketball on Christmas Day, and this year's NBA line-up is enough to satisfy any fan's craving: five games starting at noon and running until well past midnight!
Lucky hoops fans might also find a new book by Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard on their wish lists. The Art of a Beautiful Game is an outstanding "thinking fan's tour of the NBA," with chapter titles like "The Dunk: Why We All Wish We Could Fly" and "Free Throws: Standing in the Loneliest Place in the World."
Ballard also profiles a number of current and recent players, going beyond the cliched questions and really digging into the passion and precision of their games. We see Kobe Bryant in the gym at 5:30 AM the morning after a playoffs game victory...Shane Battier memorizing dozens of plays from each opposing team so he's instantly ready for them...and gather pearls of wisdom from "Dr. Free Throw," a retired podiatrist who holds the world record for consecutive free throws (2,750 at age 71!). It's a slam dunk for basketball fans who want to truly understand the game!
On December 1st, Dr. Mark Schenker of Yale University helped us draw our Fall Book Discussion Series to a close with a lecture: "Imagined Travels to Real Places: How Fiction Connects Us to Places We've Never Been." And it's now available online!
Those of us in the audience are very VERY thankful for the opportunity to hear once again the brilliant ways in which our guest explained how literature transports us from the every day, giving us the only true opportunity in life to stop being ourselves, even for just the moment we're on the page, and become anyone we want to be - and that reading a book is like getting an "insider's" view of different cultures...different places...and different times. As soon as the lecture was over, all we wanted to do was stay and hear more!
Take a break from that holiday shopping and enjoy a cup of coffee in front of the screen. If you love reading...if you love travelling...heck, if you love chocolate and sunny days and finding money in your pocket (and who doesn't?!)... you will no doubt be fascinated and inspired by what Dr. Schenker has to say.