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Note to Shelf: September 2021 Edition

September 22nd at 2:30 p.m. EST is the autumnal equinox which marks the end of our summer season and the beginning of autumn. The days are getting shorter and cooler. Children are going back to school, pumpkins and apples are harvested, and people are heading outside to enjoy fall nature walks.

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th which marks the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This year’s celebration theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” Check out our Spotlight section where you will find lots of great information including some delicious recipes.

September is also Library Card Sign-Up Month, so don’t forget to tell your family and friends to come in and get a library card. You may register for a card online, too and everyone who registers in September will be entered in a raffle for a book bundle prize. Now let’s see what our librarians have been reading and enjoying lately.

Marianne

Hands down, Three O’ Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio is my favorite read of 2021 so far!

Antonio, a young man on the cusp of adulthood, has struggled for years with episodic epilepsy. A specialist in Marseille has determined that if the boy can go forty-eight sleepless hours without an attack, he will be considered cured. His father whom he barely knows, since his parents divorced some 10 years earlier, accompanies him. During this time father and son walk, talk, share their innermost selves and discover one another.

Almost without realizing it you’re drawn into their emerging relationship. In spare, moving language the author takes you through the gritty streets of Marseille, to a late night jazz café, a bohemian party, and a swim in the sea. All the while making you, the reader, a companion in this two-day revealing interlude. After recommending the book to a friend she commented: “I really enjoyed Three O’ Clock in the Morning. The narrator had a great voice. Such a little gem.” As the mother of sons, this story of a son and his father who must spend time together and the atmospheric, almost melancholy tone of the book struck a chord with me.

Kiera

The Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan opens in 1966, and novelist Frankie Croy is nursing her wounds after a scathing review and a subsequent public scandal. She heads to Venice in the off season, staying in an empty palazzo owned by the family of her best friend. She spends her days like a ghost, wandering the cold rooms and getting lost in the labyrinthine calli of the decaying city. Then Gilly appears, claiming to be the daughter of a friend, and quickly worms her way into Frankie’s life. Frankie is suspicious of this bold young woman, even as she welcomes the reprieve from loneliness. As a historic flood ravages Venice, things take a dark turn and Frankie’s grip on reality becomes increasingly fragile. Though slow to start, the second act picks up quickly and twists in unexpected ways. An atmospheric and evocative thriller great for fans of mystery, historical fiction, and armchair travel.

Colleen

Homeira Qaderi tells her inspiring yet painful story in a letter to her son in Dancing in the Mosque. The book traces her growing up and becoming a woman with no freedom and few rights in Herat, Afghanistan. In this memoir to the baby son she was forced to leave behind, Qaderi shows her skills as a writer as she shares her perpetual challenges to educate and be educated, to dance and laugh, and to live and love in a Taliban-controlled nightmare. Defying the odds and believing in the value of women, Qaderi shows the reader that there is power in education and in fighting for a better future for young people living in oppressed regimes. Like the Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, this book tells a deserving story of the bravery of women living in misogynistic and violent conditions, and how their determination to preserve the dignity of each other is unwavering.

Looking for some insight and truths held by Afghan women? Then Dancing in the Mosque is a must read for you!

Jill

Kathleen Kent offers the reader a great detective story in her book, The Dime. Betty Rhyzyk, a tough Brooklyn cop moves to Texas and joins the Dallas PD narcotics division. To help her navigate this new environment, Rhyzyk frequently taps into the wisdom bestowed upon her by her seasoned NYC cop Uncle Benny, whose historic words of wisdom help her through many difficult situations.

Her first assignment is dealing with the Texas meth market while working with unruly subordinates in an unfamiliar territory and she is quickly overwhelmed in her new job, but her New York roots help her persevere. The story is filled with grit and guns, and if you are a fan of Sue Grafton or Michael Connelly, you will love this first in a series of police procedural dramas!

Diane

A Year at Clove Brook Farm is a journey that starts off with the planting of seedlings, spring daffodil fields, lilac bursts, beautiful tablescapes, and views of interior and exterior spaces. Christopher Spitzmiller has created excitement by taking us through the beautiful four seasons of Duchess County at his Clove Brook Farm.

The author is best known as a potter and for creating his iconic one-of-a-kind ceramic lamp. While Christopher is still creating and continually expanding his beautiful ceramic portfolio, he pursues his passion of gardening and entertaining.

Any good design starts before the pencil hits paper or the trowel hits soil. The interplay of architecture and landscape design is a classic mixture found at Clove Brook Farm. Christopher starts and ends his book with a beautiful layout watercolor rendering of his farm. And if you haven't noticed his garden spade north arrow on his site plan, it’s very clever. There is so much inspiration on every page of this book. This is definitely a new favorite lifestyle book.

Spotlight

We love to share with you some ideas to check out, both in-person and virtually!

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