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Note to Shelf: January 2021 Edition

We recognize that 2020 was a challenging year for the majority of us. Yet in the midst of it all, there were silver linings to be found. For instance, this past year has given many of us the opportunity to learn the benefits of technology. Some of us have become proficient with virtual meetings, others have enjoyed online programming fun, and many have become experts at downloading an e-Book or e-Audiobook to enjoy. We’ve learned to stream entertaining movies and access musical venues, too!

We owe a huge thank you to all of our first responders, nurses, essential workers, teachers and everyone who continues to work in keeping us safe, healthy, and on the path to renewal in this new year. We have had a year unlike any other and 2020 is definitely one for the books. We are all looking forward to the change the new year brings us.

January weather invites us to reset, recharge, and slow down. It’s okay to indulge in some self-care. As we offer ourselves a much needed rebalance, here are some self-care resources for you to explore. Let’s embrace the inner warmth in each of us during these cold days of winter while we watch our daylight become longer and reset with the new year.

So let’s see what our staff has enjoyed, as well as what interesting new titles await us this month.

Pat T.

I loved The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons. Octogenarian Eudora Honeysett spent her whole life caring for her family at the expense of her own happiness, and has made the decision that she is going to end her life on her terms. She makes the call to a Switzerland clinic to solicit their assistance with end of life arrangements.

As Eudora sets her plan in place, her everyday life is turned on its head by a knock on her door from her new neighbor, ten-year-old Rose Trewidney. Rose’s exuberance for life is contagious and soon enough Eudora finds herself being swept into Rose’s orbit of adventurous outings - seaside visits, carousel rides, shopping excursions, new friends, birthday celebrations, and eating pizza for the first time in her life! Oh, yes, there are many cups of tea in this story, too!

This novel is about the extraordinary power of friendship and human connections, and the author has created likeable characters in relatable moments that are poignant and laugh-out-loud funny! Everyone should have a Rose in their life!

Amanda G.

Netflix's new racy "Bridgerton" series is based on the book series by Julia Quinn. The Regency-era series follows the romantic lives of the eight Bridgerton children.

The first book, The Duke and I, stars Daphne Bridgerton and Simon, the new Duke of Hastings. All of Daphne's suitors have been chased off by her protective brother. Meanwhile, Simon doesn't want to be on the marriage market at all. So, he and Daphne pretend to be courting for both of their benefits. Then, whoops, feelings get involved! The book is a quick read and introduces you to the world of the Bridgerton siblings. You'll then be well prepared to sit back and watch the characters come to life on Netflix. Please note that there is one scene around the lack of consent.

Visit our Bridgerton booklist to place holds on the books.

Jill

With all the challenges 2020 brought to us, including a year that never seemed to be ending, suddenly the New Year has arrived and with its arrival, many of us are looking to redefine ourselves. Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change by Maggie Smith is a wonderful gem that is filled with moving quotes and essays. Each page provides inspiration, motivation and wonderful reminders on how we can move forward and live the best life we can. We are reminded about new beginnings and opportunities for each of us to individually transform.

If you love Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamont, put a copy on hold for yourself and just keep moving! And don’t despair…spring is less than 68 days away!

Amanda D.

Growing up, I discovered Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s first book at a small book shop. I devoured it and instantly became a fan, following all of her literary moves. When she became ill, I was hopeful that her positive spirit would help her prevail. When her essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband” was published in the New York Times Modern Love column, I read it aloud to my husband and we both wept. Amy spent her last days writing a single’s ad for her husband in hopes that he would begin another love story after her death. She purposely left a large blank space, with a note saying that was her way of giving her husband and his future love a fresh start. Unfortunately, 10 days later, Amy passed away and was unable to see the impact her article made.

I was happy to read follow up articles written by Amy’s husband, Jason Rosenthal, and his book, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me. Roughly 300 people wrote to Rosenthal after Amy’s article was published. They included a woman marketing her automotive knowledge to a child writing on behalf of their single mother.

Even though this book was written due to his wife’s passing, it contains moments of sunbeams and joy. I am not going to lie to you, his words will also bring you to tears. Jason and Amy’s love is so big that you cannot help but become emotional about their adventures being cut short. Rosenthal happily retells the beginnings of his relationship with Amy. Rosenthal shares how he continues to follow a list he and Amy made, titled Amy and Jason Rosenthal’s Marriage Goals and Ideas, even after Amy’s passing.

Rosenthal sprinkles photographs, lists, and other trinkets throughout the book, making it feel like a scrapbook of memories. Amy may have given Rosenthal a new blank space to fill, but it is evidentially clear that she has already filled several hundred pages.

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is an inspiring story about Rosenthal’s journey through love, loss, grief, and resilience.

Jane

"The Greatest Showman" a musical biopic inspired by Barnum’s American Museum and the lives of its lead attractions, stars the inimitable Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. The film premiered aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2 and was released in the United States in December, 2017. Just months before, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus folded up its tent for good, following 146 years of uninterrupted entertainment. Were you fortunate enough to attend a performance?

A surprise delight of "The Greatest Showman" is Hugh Jackman. With his powerfully high baritone, he carries the movie from one magical scene to the next. Perhaps he is known to you as "Wolverine," but did you know Mr. Jackson could sing and dance his way through Hollywood?

"The Greatest Showman" was a directorial debut by Michael Gracey. The score was composed by Pasek and Paul, known for their tunes in "La La Land." The duo’s “This is Me”, won Best Original Song at the Golden Globes. The stellar cast includes Michelle Williams as Barnum’s wife and Zac Efron who plays Barnum’s partner, Phillip Carlyle.

We have three copies of "The Greatest Showman" just waiting for you to check out!

January's Spotlight

  • Darien Library is thrilled to share that we've been ranked again as a five-Star Library rating by Library Journal. 
  • Who can resist smiling on January 14th with the celebration of Dress Up Your Pet Day?
  • Share the power of a compliment on January 24th, National Compliment Day. Here are 100 compliments just waiting for you!
  • Take a break and indulge in self-care with this adorable video: Kitten Therapy: A Prescription for Stress.  
  • Register for our Business Book Group on January 28th to discuss No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer. Join us to discuss how reinvention was instrumental in the success of Netflix. This is one of Darien Library’s most unusual book groups because you don’t actually have to read the book to participate!
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