You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Welcome to the Christmas edition of YAWYR.  Well we are in the thick of it, it would seem!  

I am nowhere close to being done.  Just. Am. Not.  What is odd about this is that usually by now I am serenely kicked back watching my fellow humans scurry.  Well, this year I am right there with you all.  The TC asked quite gently last night if I would like to go into New York on Saturday for some festive walkabout.  I looked at him with what I am sure were equal measures of disbelief, panic, and horror.  Speaking of the TC he is on his way to The Homeland on Sunday to celebrate with the Fam.  Please wish him a safe journey.  Thank you.  By now, I hope that all who have the ability have been playing with Hoopla, our fabulous new digital service.  If not, please do.  It really is wonderful.  When you are in a dark closet, hiding from your loved ones with only your cell phone for company while the world outside the closet circles the drain, you could be watching a movie!  See?  We care!  Next week we will be closed on Tuesday and, of course Wednesday, with regular hours resuming on Thursday so this is the last YAWYR for 2013 so we wish you all the most wonderful in 2014.  This week we have a hyperbole, some terrorism, brownies, and the British government.  Oh! And a playlist from DJ Jazzy Patty McC!


Let us begin!


Mrs. Elisabeth of the CL is having some serious fun! “I am delighting in Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened. Allie Brosh is the creator of the blog from which the book gets its title. Hyperbole And a Half is one of the funniest blogs on the internet. The combination of Brosh’s very adult musings and very childish drawings is enthralling, and I have laughed so hard I cried while reading her work more than once. The stories in the book range from classic material from the blog (God of Cake and Simple Dog) and new material that was created just for publication. Mixed in with the laughs is a frank depiction of Brosh’s battle with depression. I can’t recommend this book enough. It makes a great Christmas present, and I like it a lot. The ALOT, btw, is one of Brosh’s greatest creations. “


Barbara M. is tucking into one of my favorites of the year.” I’m more than half way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and although I wasn’t thoroughly convinced in the beginning that it was going to be good, at this point I cannot put it down.  It is the story of a hapless young man, Theo, whose mother dies in an attack on the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is taken in by a friend’s family and for a while lives with them on the Upper East Side before being sent to Las Vegas to live with his father, a man who abandoned him and his mother several years earlier. Though Theo seems to have lost everything, he has one reminder of his mother and that terrible day at the museum – a small painting of a goldfinch. While the story is engrossing, what makes this book a good read is the beautiful writing and the wonderfully interesting characters. My only criticism is that it is sometimes too wordy.”


Pat T. is taking a break with Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. “This is the perfect book for this time of year; you can read it in one sitting, and it is a book that keeps on giving! You will want to read it many times, since Hoffman's prose is powerful offering the reader words of wisdom, a sprinkling of humor, as well as a brownie recipe and knitting instructions. Alice Hoffman's survival lessons are about her cancer diagnosis and treatment, but it applies to any trauma or life altering experience: ‘our lives are made up of equal parts sorrow and joy, and it is impossible to have one without the other. This is what makes us human. This is why our world is so precious’.   Take 30 minutes from the rush of holiday activities, sip a cup of tea and enjoy this gem of a book.  It might be your life raft!”


Abby is someone who is indeed enjoying Hoopla.  “For my second Hoopla selection, I am listening to The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. I’m currently 1/3 of the way in and really enjoying this supernatural semi-thriller. Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany. Yes, it’s Welsh) Thomas is a woman with powers so extraordinary that as a young girl she is acquired by a super-secret branch of the British government known as The Chequy. Raised alongside other supernaturally gifted children, she grows up reluctant to utilize her skills and is disinclined towards field work. Luckily her passive nature sees her placed in an position within The Chequy where she proves herself a remarkably able administrator. When told by a  fortune teller that she will soon have her memory erased, Myfanwy creates a trail for her amnesiac self to follow to figure out who in the organization has targeted her. O'Malley has created a wonderful character in Myfanwy in a story filled with vibrant and clever dialogue. This one has me smiling a lot.”


DJ Jazzy Patty Mc. brings us the following thoughts.  “With Christmas bearing down on so many of us, this week's playlist is a nod (and maybe a wink) to consumerism.  If Christmas just gets you down, feel free to try Festivus.   For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, it involves the airing of grievances, an aluminum pole, feats of strength and an anti-consumerist stance.  It's a  Festivus for the rest of us!“
 

 


 
 

Darien Library's Top 10 Books of 2013: A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Number 9!
Number 9!

For the rest of the year, we're counting down our top ten favorite books of 2013, one a day, as voted on by the Darien librarians! Coming in at number 9: A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki.

Ann posted about how much she loved it in You Are What You Read before she even finished it, saying: “I am not finished this book yet but it is wonderful and I can't recommend it enough. The novel alternates chapters told by sixteen year old Nao who lives in Japan and Ruth a middle aged woman who lives with her husband on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.  Ruth has discovered Nao's diary which was carefully packaged and protected when it washes up on the beach. She doesn't realize the content of the bag until it is opened.  From the opening line of the diary, to the other contents of the container, Ruth as well as the reader is mesmerized. Nao is a very unhappy person and Ruth is drawn to her and wants to find out if she survived the 2011 tsunami. As a reader you learn much about Nao's life, her torturous school days, her love of her father and her wonderful great grandmother who is a Buddist nun. With Ruth you learn about a woman who has made sacrifices and compromises in her life and is questioning her decisions.  It's a wonderful read and I will be sad when I finish their story."

And when John read it, he submitted the following review: "I have been thoroughly engrossed in a fascinating book, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.  This parallel story begins when one of the central characters, Ruth, discovers among debris from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, washed up on the distant shores of British Columbia, a neatly wrapped plastic parcel containing a diary written by a thirteen-year-old Japanese girl who seems to be chronicling the days leading up to her suicide.  The novel cuts back and forth between the diary entries and the story of Ruth's determination to find out more about the Japanese girl, Nao. Nao, it turns out, was a Japanese American who lived in California all of her life until the dot-com bust when she and her family had to return to Japan. Upon her return, Nao is teased mercilessly by her classmates while her mother and father fall deeper into despair. Amid this crisis, she connects with her anarchist, Buddhist nun grandmother while planning her own demise. This is an extraordinary novel from two very distinct voices. Nao's narrative is so crisp, clear and unapologetic. I live for writing that brings characters like her to life and because I'm only halfway through the novel, I worry for her and her fate. This is a must-read.”

(Did you miss Number 10 yesterday? Read about The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes here!)

Darien Library's Top 10 Books of 2013: The Shining Girls

Number 10
Number 10

For the rest of the year, we're counting down our top 10 favorite books of 2013 once a day, as voted in by the Darien librarians! Coming in at number 10: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. When Caroline selected it for You Are What You Read back in July, she said:

“I just devoured The Shining Girls over the weekend. It’s been recently compared to Gone Girl as a smart, engaging page-turner, but instead of a husband and wife plot, this one focuses on an actual serial killer. It also has a completely original approach to storytelling, which I will not give away as it becomes an integral aspect of the many twists and turns. We do learn quickly that the killer’s MO is to first harmlessly approach his victim, then return to her days or years later to finish the job. We follow both him, and his only survivor, Kirby, as she works to untangle his disturbing web of murders in hopes of solving her own. Just a warning! This book does get pretty graphic, in case you’re someone who tends to fast-forward those scenes on SVU.”

Stephanie has been known to describe this one as "part historical fiction, part Stephen King, all delightfully creepy." If you're looking for a great thriller, look no further!

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

With the snow and ice and cold it seems that we are truly in the midst of the Hellidays.  We have noticed that we are a lot less busy and we are chalking it up to the fact that you all are out there shopping, baking a cookie and decorating your hearts out.  The message from the SoNo Loft remains the same: Santa ♥’s U!  I am wondering if it is going to stick for the season.  I do love the touch of whimsy that it brings to my commute.  So if you are out there, I thank you for it! Sweet Ann is too busy getting festive to impart any profound words of wisdom it would seem, but she would like to remind us to smile and enjoy the season. But I think you will see from what we are consuming this week that there is not a whole lot that is Merry and Bright going on.  For those of you who are fans of the wonderful 3M Cloud Library please be aware that Simon and Schuster, the last publishing hold out for selling digital content to libraries has become available!  Speaking of digital content keep your eyes open for more digital excitement to be announced on Monday. This week we have prison, horror, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, New York, ephemera, the New Deal, and London.


Let us begin!

You Are What You Read!

Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Greetings!  I trust everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and that the carcass from The Bird is a distant memory.  Or at the very least, soup.  This year we actually went the traditional roasted route which thrilled the TC beyond reason.  I think that he was really afraid of the frying.  Which, I can sort of understand.  But  really?  What is a holiday without that that impending sense of panic that something is about to go really truly drastically spectacularly wrong?  Usually this feeling is supplied by your family members, but, since in the case of Cousin’s Thanksgiving, we really like each other, we need the fryer to give us that particular thrill.  The words from the SoNo Loft this week are “Santa  ♥ ‘s you” A nice message and the first time we have seen color used!  Very festive! And now it’s time for Sweet Ann Words of Wisdom! “My words of wisdom for this week are for everyone to take a moment in this holiday rush to tell someone via phone, e-mail, text or in person that you are glad he or she is in your life and that they make your heart a little bigger. I like to say they make my heart soar.” This week we have a little something, Nazis, a madam, some illness, consequences, New Zealand and of course Paris.


Let us begin!


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!

New DVD Releases

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

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