Greetings and welcome to the Harvest Moon Edition of You Are What You Read.
That’s right People! It’s time to put down the Pumpkin Spice Latte and hit those fields hard. The Bad Time is coming and you all need to stock those larders.
This moon is called the Harvest Moon because it rises soon after sunset and doesn’t set until just after sunrise. This is the only time that the moon is in the sky all night long enabling all of us to get out there and bring in some sheaves. Also this moon sticks around a few more days than other moons ensuring we can harvest, literally, for days. Or nights as the case may be.
This is also known as The Hunter’s Moon. Again, extra light means more time spent taking Bambi down for some family feasting later on this winter.
A less poetic name for this moon is The Dying Grass Moon, probably named by some suburban tribe of dedicated lawn care freaks.
This is going down on Thursday so get the tools needed ready! It’s Harvest, People!
The 411 on all things Harvest Moon can be found on the Farmer’s Almanac website should you want to learn more.
This week we have some diamonds, some glass, Boston, Space, New York, a saga, and, perhaps, a hermit.
Miss Elisabeth of the CL is dripping in dreams of diamonds. “For the past two weeks I have been drooling over The Queen's Diamonds, by Hugh Roberts. Published on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Roberts was given access to the greatest jewel collection in the world. The resulting book is a magical, sparkly, envy-inducing guide to some of the greatest treasures ever created for the world's most preeminent monarchy. The depth of the collection is astonishing - Queen Elizabeth II could wear a different broach every day for a year, it seems, and a different tiara every day for a month and still have options to consider. The detailed photographs alone make the book worth checking out, but Roberts was also granted unprecedented access to the Royal historian, and the history of the jewels is almost as fascinating as the gems themselves. I am coming up on the end of my three week check-out, and I'm already mourning the loss of this dreamy book.”
The Amazing Amanda just finished reading 1,824 pages in 3 weeks. "Elisabeth introduced me to Sarah J. Maas work with the Throne of Glass series. I recently started Maas' other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. These books follow Feyre, a poverty-stricken woman, who is kidnaped into the faerie world after breaking a sacred treaty. Over the course of this series, she becomes a powerful leader, finds true love, and works to save the human and faerie worlds. As I said over in my video review, this series isn't for young teens. The author embraces sizzling scenes and nausea inducing violence. There's a war going on, after all. What are some plucked eyeballs compared to genocide? I found myself exasperated at some coincidences of plot magic. But Maas is a master world builder and great at making you care. I'm studying these books to learn about structure and good storytelling. I read them for 3 hours a day these past weeks because I couldn't put them down. I hope you'll enjoy the first one as well as A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin."
Spunky Jill M is listening to The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. “Linda Lavin was the perfect narrator for Anita Diamant’s audio version of The Boston Girl! When Addie Baum’s granddaughter asks her how she got to be the woman she is today, the eighty-five year old protagonist shares her life story with great humor and appeal. The story takes you from Addie’s childhood in Boston’s North End living in a one-room tenement with her parents and two sisters to her life as a young Jewish woman seeking her place 20th century America. As the fight for woman suffrage evolves and millions of immigrants arrive, Diamant’s novel reminds me of value and influence that social welfare programs, including settlement houses had during that period. If you haven’t read, or better yet, listened to The Boston Girl, please put it on your list."
Join me in welcoming the Charming Ali S. Ali can be found occasionally on the Help Desk and occasionally on the Reference Desk. “I just finished reading Redshirts by John Scalzi which was hysterically funny. I was actually laughing out loud while reading. I don't think you don't have to be a Star Trek fan to appreciate the humor, but you will understand most of the jokes if you've seen at least an episode of the original series. Or if you watched Lost in Space, or any similarly campy science fiction show. Fair warning, the author does use some profanity. I'm eager to read more of his work.”
The Always Fabulous Babs B just finished A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. “Karen and Tom are a happily married couple who live in a lovely home in upstate New York. Then Tom gets the dreaded knock on the door, his wife has been in a car accident and has been admitted to the hospital with a concussion which has taken away her memory for the time being. The cops think she is faking her memory loss. Karen returns home and realizes something's been moved, something's not quite right and that someone has been in her house. Is it Brigid, Karen's weirdo-psycho friend who lives across the street who has a crush on Karen's husband and a history of a previous affair with her husband Tom? I thought I had the plot all figured out and I was SO wrong! This story has all the makings of a sequel and I can't wait!”
John the Wizard of Minecraft is busy. “This week, I am making my way through the doorstop that is A Column of Fire, Ken Follett’s newly released installment of the Kingsbridge saga. Fans of The Pillars of Earth or World Without End will find themselves at home in the Elizabethan universe, mired in sectarian strife between Catholics and Protestants. Follett is not subtle in crafting his shining heroes and loathsome antagonists. It’s good versus evil with him and I’m thoroughly enjoying this meandering tome secure in the knowledge that I’m going to get exactly what I expected from this book—a jolly good time!"
Jeanne is only doing one thing this week. This always makes me nervous. “Many of us (most of us?) would like to drop out of society when things get tough. But for 27 years?!! I listened to The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel which is narrated quite well by Mark Bramhall. Finkel became obsessed with story of Christopher Knight, aka The North Pond Hermit, who, as a very young man decided to camp out in the woods of Maine. He stayed all year; every year for twenty seven years! Even in the winter, with the snow and the ice and the very sub-zero temperatures. How did he survive? He built a camp and continually stole food, clothing, propane, even books from the summer residents. Does survival justify this invasion; this larceny? Listen in and see if you can decide with Finkel if the story is criminal or sad. Was Knight a true hermit?"
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from that State Up North with our the final thoughts and musings. What’s good Pats? “If you’re a frequent reader of YAWYR, you might remember that this is my favorite week of the year. Banned Books Week is a celebration of our right to read what we like without censorship. Over the decades, there has been a multitude of challenged or banned books in our country. You can view a list of them online. Music has faced the same kind of censorship. So this week, celebrate your freedom to read or listen to whatever makes you happy. I’ve curated a playlist of songs and musicians who once made the banned list, some might surprise you. Enjoy your rights and listen to the BANNED.”