Greetings and welcome to the October in June edition of You Are What You Read. I, for one refuse to go backward and drag out the down comforter and put it back on the bed. This is causing me some less than restful nights. But someone has to draw the line and you all are looking at her.
This week’s housekeeping is as follows. There have been no offerings yet this summer. I understand life gets busy. That’s all I am saying about that People. In Animals Run Amok this week we have an English sea gull that somehow ended up in a vat of Tikki Masala and became as orange as a Cheeto. I don’t understand how a vat of Indian goodness is available for a sea gull to dive into or what was to be achieved by such an act but it happened. Also, I kind of want to know WHO was responsible for making the vat available because I don’t think I want them cooking for me. A vat of Tikki Masala is not meant to be like a box of Cracker Jack with a surprise sea gull inside. It’s meant to be Tikki Masala. Anyway it’s a real thing. You can read about that on NPR.
I’m afraid that the Well of Inspiration is dry this week People. It seems that there are two things that people are talking about this week and neither is appropriate for You Are What You Read. So, instead, please enjoy this image of a dead cricket and a musical accompaniment.
Maybe next week will be better.
This week, we have the movies, a christening, France, France again (still and always let’s be honest), Quebec, Sheffield, and Texas. Don’t mess with it, People.
Playlist? Gentlemen and Ladies! Start your engines! Of course there’s a playlist!
Let us begin!
You Are What You Read
Laura is at the movies this week! Here are two she recently enjoyed; East Side Sushi and The Finest Hour. “Has transitioning from the end of school to summer activities got you down? Are graduations, packing the kids off to camp, swim tests, summer reading lists and garden and lawn chores, taking away your free time? Put your feet up and escape to The Movies courtesy of the Darien Library! A great one, East Side Sushi is a fun, energetic, endearing movie, the journey of a young aspiring Mexican taco chef who doesn’t have the money to have her own taco cantina and instead, to make ends meet, finds work, in the back kitchen, scrubbing pots, of a Sushi restaurant. She watches how sushi is prepared and enjoys the flavors of this foreign cuisine. She is intrigued and wants to learn how to become a proper sushi chef but she is met with more than just cultural roadblocks. The story is sweet, and positive, and great for families. The Finest Hour, is a “Disney telling” of a true rescue of the Pendleton freighter caught on the shoals off Chatham, Cape Cod. In fact, the wreck is still visible from shore. Considered the most daring rescue ever attempted by the Coast Guard, the movie does an okay attempt at the drama and danger of that stormy night over 50 years ago. Some of the computer generated scenes are less than par, but still it is a good action film for all ages to enjoy.”
Always Delightful Pat S has just finished Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. “Commonwealth tells the story of a chance encounter in two peoples’ lives and the profound and irrevocable effect it would have on their families over the next five decades. On a hot afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party. From the first instance he sees Franny’s mother, Beverly, Bert’s life is changed forever. Bert and Beverly marry and move to Virginia, where they begin to build a life with their six less-than-enthralled children/step-children. Told through their eyes, primarily warm-hearted Franny, we see the children gradually bond during summers in Virginia; first through their disenchantment with their parents, and then in death. We next meet Franny as a young law school dropout, falling in love with storied author Leo Rosen. Yet when Leo writes a book based on Franny’s family, suddenly those family ties are tested to the limit-forcing everyone to question their own sense of loss, family, and loyalty.”
Babs B has been raving about A Hero of France by Alan Furst. “This story is set in France, in the spring and summer of 1941, after the German victory over the French and the occupation of most of the country. This is before the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the Germans have the upper hand in western European countries. The United States has not entered the war and things look pretty bleak for occupied France. Enter the Resistance, a group of brave men and women operating in France and carrying on the silent war against the Germans. They smuggle out downed allied fliers to safety and are beginning to sabotage German holdings. I liked this relatively short novel as it allows the reader to get a better idea of what it felt like to be in occupied France in the early months of the war. A must read for Alan Furst fans!"
Barbara M may be back from her rambles and on the Welcome Desk but, as ever, her heart is firmly in her beloved France. Here’s what she’s excited about this week. “For those Francophiles among you I’d like to recommend a wonderful blog. As her blog says ‘Géraldine Lepère is a French language and lifestyle expert who is 29 years old, and helps expats integrate in France.’ She covers everything from common mistakes to ‘what not to ask a French person.’ Geraldine is delightful and a wealth of knowledge about daily life in France.”
Abby is also home. “At the Book Expo Convention in Chicago I was fortunate to get a copy of the newest Louise Penny mystery A Great Reckoning, the twelfth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. The book will be released August 30. Set in the small Quebec town of Three Pines, we spend time with the Inspector as he charts his future following retirement from the force. Gamache chooses a course that will allow him to impact the future of the police force and he makes a series of appointments that puzzle those closest to him and appear to create a dangerous mix. Just when you wonder how Penny will ever be able to proceed and keep her characters moving forward, she adds textures and history to her characters leading us right into the next story. If you have not yet read any of the Gamache series, go back to Still Life and get started this summer because these are best read in sequence.”
Sweet Ann is reading The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeer Sahota. "I am in the middle of this expansive, engrossing novel that tells the story of three young Indian men, Tarlocan, Avtar and Randeep and one woman, Narinder as they settle in Sheffield, England in 2013 to begin new lives. The author conveys the difficulties immigrants have adjusting to a new country as well as the circumstances as to why these four have left their homeland. The language of this book is beautiful and the author includes different Indian words that flow from these characters that as a reader you can get their impact and their meaning. So far, I think this is a great book. It is not your typical light summer read, though it is a journey worth exploring.”
What got me going in Chicago? One of my fellow librarians whose reading taste I really respect asked me why I had not read News of the World by Pauline Jiles yet. To be honest, this question was asked of me in a what-in-the-world-is-wrong-with-you sort of way over dinner complete with cocked head and eye roll. Happily, it was on my Kindle and when I had my usual round of insomnia that comes calling all too frequently, I just dove right in. When sleep finally did decide to avail itself, frankly I was not happy to have that go down because it would mean I would need to stop reading. In News of the World, we meet Captain Kidd who is a widower and veteran of 3 wars, the most recent being the Civil War. He can be found traveling all over Texas, which is under martial law, making his way renting theaters and reading to the citizens of whatever town he is in the news from all over the globe from newspapers for 10 cents a head. When he is approached and offered $50 in gold to deliver a 10-year-old girl who has been ‘freed’ from her Kiowa captors back to her true family, he accepts and a journey of 400 miles across Texas begins. But, this is also a journey towards truth and that what is right thing is not always the expected thing. This gem of a novel has knocked Eligible off the number 1 position of my favorite book of the year. Get excited for October because that’s when this one is coming out.”
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with the final musings and The Playlist. What’s good Pats? “This Sunday I’ll be attending the Firekeepers Casino 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. This will be my first NASCAR race and honestly, my first car race of any kind. A family invitation came our way, so off my son and I will go and experience some fine NASCAR racing. I’m expecting a noisy day, spent watching a pack of cars make an endless series of left-hand turns. In preparation for the day (and because I know nothing about NASCAR racing) I’ve been researching this particular race so that I can speak intelligently with folks who know a thing or two about the race. Turns out, Michigan, over the last couple of years, has become a laboratory for aero experiments in racing and this will be the first race that will test the new aerodynamic rules. They’ve changed the size of the rear spoiler (much smaller) and have eliminated cooling fans and skew. They’ve added a few other rules in the hopes that this will cut away on downforce and side force stabilization and should place more of an emphasis on handling, driver skill and input. See, I’ve done my research. I hope you get out and try something new this weekend. Lord knows this will be a big, new experience for us. There’s a playlist for that…”