Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Make 2017 A Year of Reading

Happy New Year! Make 2017 a "Year of Reading" with monthly book picks and related works selected by our librarians. You can stop in the library to pick up a pocket sized guide or visit our website at

In January, DISCOVER. We kick this off with The Books that Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians and Other Remarkable People edited by Bethanne Patrick. 

Collects one hundred reflections by prominent authors, politicians, actors, musicians, and celebrities on a book that changed their lives and made them who they are today, and why they love them.

Contributors include Al Roker, Carl Hiaasen, Dave Eggers, Emma Straub, Eric Idle, Fay Weldon, Fran Lebowitz, Gillian Flynn, Gregory Maguire, Jeff Kinney, Jim Shepard, Laura Lippmann, Lev Grossman, Liev Schreiber, Margaret Atwood, Mayim Bialik, Nelson DeMille, Rosanne Cash, Susan Orlean, Tim Gunn, and Tommy Hilfiger, among others.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Every Book Its Reader by Nicholas A. Basbanes
In celebration of five eventful centuries of the printed word, Basbanes considers of writings that have "made things happen" in the world, works that have both nudged the course of history and fired the imagination of influential people. Basbanes asks what we can know about such figures as Milton, Gibbon, Locke, Newton, Coleridge, John Adams, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Henry James, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller--even the Marquis de Sade and Hitler--by knowing what they read. He shows how books that these people have consulted, in some cases annotated with their marginal notes, can offer clues to the development of their thought. He then profiles some of the most articulate readers of our time, who discuss such concepts as literary canons, classic works in translation, the timelessness of poetry, the formation of sacred texts, and the power of literature to train physicians, nurture children, and rehabilitate criminal offenders.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Sara arrives in the small town of Broken Wheel to visit her pen pal Amy, only to discover Amy has just died. The tale of how she brings the love of books and reading that she shared with Amy to the residents of Broken Wheel is just a lovely read. Any book lover will enjoy Sara’s story and that of the friends she makes in Broken Wheel. If ever a town needed a bookstore, it is Broken Wheel; the healing power of books and reading is made evident by this heartwarming book.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
‘Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?’ Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, focuses on a personal collection of books that changed his life. Each book he selects provides a lesson, a reminder as to how to live his life. Readers will remember favorite books, find new books to try, and lessons to think about. Schwalbe’s book is warm, charming, and very personal. It’s a book for all avid readers.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"The Trespasser" by Tana French—A 2016 Favorite

I recently finished reading (and listening to) The Trespasser by Tana French. The novel was among my favorites of 2016.

The Trespasser, the 6th book in the author’s outstanding Dublin Murder Squad series, is narrated by Detective Antoinette Conway. Conway has attained her dream job as a detective in the elite murder squad of the Dublin police force, but lately the job has been eating away at her. As the only woman currently on the squad, Conway finds herself the frequent target of harassment by some of her fellow officers. She has a great partner in Detective Stephen Moran, but their boss seems to be throwing too many routine domestic murder cases their way to suit her. Conway is itching for a case with more substance. When yet another domestic lands on Conway’s desk, she is well beyond exasperated. This new case, however, takes some surprising turns and Conway and Moran suddenly find themselves in very complicated, uncharted territory.

The audio version of The Trespasser is wonderfully read by Hilda Fay. Her interpretation, complete with an array of Irish accents, enhances this already fine novel.

Each of Tana French’s novels has an intricate, suspenseful plot, a strong sense of place--contemporary Ireland--and wonderful language. But character trumps all with this author. The reader gains deep insights into the personalities and psychology of the victims and suspects, of course, but French’s attention is focused just as much, if not more, on her detectives--what makes them tick, how they interact with one another, and how the crime they are solving impacts them.

If you have not yet read a Tana French novel, consider giving one a try. Because each novel in the series is narrated by a different detective of the squad, there is no need to read them in a particular order. Just pick one and read it. My strong hunch is that you will soon be back for another.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

George Michael ♥

As my family and I were celebrating Christmas sitting around the tree laughing and enjoying each other's company, my 19 year old daughter blurts out that someone named George Michael died. She of course only being 19 didn't know who he was, but the rest of us close to the age of George Michael, knew exactly why her announcement was so shocking. Some of us were even ruing the cell phone invention, had she not had one, we would have found out the next morning while reading the paper instead of on Christmas. I remember being a young girl hearing WHAM! for the first time, fun and carefree. Here is some of the best work by the beloved artist. I think my favorite song is Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go. The whole world will miss him dearly, lucky for us he left us something AMAZING. Thank you Mr. Michael.

Make It Big

Songs From the Last Century

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael

Also, check out the duets with Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Audiobooks: Great Listens From 2016

2016 was a great year for audiobooks here's a couple of great ones you may have missed. Happy Listening.

A Little Life
By Hanya Yangihara
Read by Oliver Wyman, 33 hours
After graduation four college classmates move to New York to pursue their creative ambitions, Jude a lawyer, actor Willem, Malcom an architect, and JB an artist. In the coming decades the four friends  share love, loss, addiction as their friendships and careers falter and strengthen. Narrator Wyman delivers an astonishing performance of Yangihara's new heartbreaking novel.

Truly Madly Guilty
By Liane Moriarty
Read by Caroline Lee, 17.5 hours
A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one vital moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. The story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences. Moriarty has another hit with this look at the intricacies of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships. Lee's performance is emotionally astute and entertaining.

The Underground Railroad
By Colson Whitehead
Read by Bahni Turpin, 10.75 hours
Magical realism meets historical fiction in this tragic story of Cora's escape from the horrors of enslavement on a Georgia cotton plantation and her dream of freedom in the North. Bahni Turpin's telling is near perfection as she captures the emotional heart of the audiobook. Turpin's strong performance combined with Whitehead's affecting writing makes this one audiobook you cannot miss.

By Stephanie Danler
Read by Alex McKenna, 12.5 hours
Narrator McKenna's husky voice is the perfect match for this coming-of-age story about a 22-year-old Midwestern woman who moves to New York City to begin her adult life. At her new job at one of the city's best restaurants, Tess falls for a mysterious bartender and negotiates the politics of the service industry while building a social life.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ring in the New Year with New Year's Eve-Themed Movies!

A night on the town is festive and fun but if you want, try a better alternative to ringing in the New Year than paying astronomical prices for restaurant fare or spending hours waiting to get into a bar.
You could stay in solo or with family or friends or both and watch one of these New Year's Eve-themed movies. Plus, when you watch a movie on New Year's Eve, you don't actually have to stay up until January 1st. So, whether you go out to celebrate or curl up inside to celebrate, here is a list of films you should watch this holiday season.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)
This is the classic, quintessential romantic comedy with the best NYE scene of all time. Swooping in at the last minute, Harry arrives at the hotel to announce his love for Sally in one of the best-ever romantic confessionals to ever grace the screen. Party goers surround them while they bring in the new year with a kiss.

New Year's Eve (2011)
An ensemble cast celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, in intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
This is a romantic comedy perfect for a night with your girlfriends. "New year, new you" is a mantra many of us will hear when the calendar rolls over to January 1, and that's the title character's initial philosophy. But you knew that!

Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
This screwball comedy caper from the Coen brothers picks up as Barnes, the CEO of Hudsucker Industries offs himself. On New Year's Eve, crushed by the weight of his responsibilities, Barnes heads to a hipster bar to drown his sorrows.

Boogie Nights (1997)
This is a drama about exiting the 1970s with a literal bang. The festivities are brought to a head at porno king Jack Horner's house for his annual New Year's party. Also, the idea of enduring another year, much less a decade with his adulterous wife is too much for assistant director Little Bill (William H. Macy) who finds her in bed with another man again.

Strange Days (1995)
This science fiction tech thriller follows Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes), a former LAPD cop who turns to trading in black market virtual reality memories. His end-of-year good tidings are hampered when he discovers a batch containing the murders of people he knows. The celebration portion of this film is a swanky soiree held by shifty chap, Philo Gant, at the prestigious Bonaventure Hotel for the city's high society crowd.

Trading Places (1983)
After watching this hit mistaken identity comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd, you might think twice before taking a train on New Year's Eve, especially if there is a gorilla on board.

Poseidon Adventure (1972)
This maritime disaster movie centers around a luxury liner bound for Athens from New York City. A preacher leads a group of passengers to safety through the bowels of the ship after it's struck by a tsunami. Look for the grandiose New Year's Eve dinner celebration in the ship's ballroom complete with a full ban;d, top notch cuisine and enough booze to sink a  . . . ahem.

Cheers to good films! Happy New Year's Eve and New Year too!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Kennedy Center Honors - 2016

Kennedy Center Honors will take place on December 4, 2016 and will air December 27 on CBS at 8:00 PM CT.
Martha Argerich (born June 5, 1941)
She is an Argentine pianist who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The family moved to Europe in 1955, where Argerich studied with Friedrich Gulda in Austria.  Her parents had diplomatic posts in the Argentine embassy in Vienna.
Argerich has won innumerable competitions including the Geneva International Music Competition and Ferruccio Busoni International Competition at the age of 16.  In 1965 she debuted in the United States in Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series.
She has won three Grammy awards in 2000, 2005, and 2006.  In 2012, she was voted into Gramophone's Hall of Fame.

Eagles (formed in Los Angeles in 1971)
The original members of the Eagles were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.  They have sold more than 150 million records.  Two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and Hotel California, are among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States.  The Eagles have won 6 Grammy Awards in 1975, 1977 (two awards), 1979, 2008, and 2009.
The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.  In 1999, the Recording Industry of America honored the group with the Best Selling Album of the Century for Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975).  The Eagles were chosen last year for the Kennedy Center Honors, but because of Glenn Frey's poor health, the award was postponed.  He died a month later.

Al Pacino (born April 25, 1940)
Pacino is an American actor of stage and screen, filmmaker, and screenwriter.  He has won an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a British academy Film Award, four Golden Globe Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the National Medal of Arts.

He was first nominated for Best Actor for Serpico in 1973 and won for his role as a blind Lieutenant Colonel in Scent of a Woman in 1992.  He won Tony Awards for Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.

Mavis Staples (born July 10, 1939)
Staples was born in Chicago, Illion and began singing with her family in 1950.  She sang in local churches and appeared on a weekly radio show.  she made her fir solo "Crying in the chapel" for Epic Records in the late 1960s.

She perforned at the 33rd Kennedy Center Honors, won her first Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2011, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2011 from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and from Columbia College in Chicago in 2012.

James Taylor (born March 12, 1948)
James Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.  He was born at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where his father was a resident physician.  He has four siblings who are musicians and have recorded albums.

Taylor has won six Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1971, 1977 and 2001, Best Pop Album in 1998, Best country collaboration with Vocals in 2003, and Grammy Award-sponsored MusiCares Person of the Year in 2006.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Laurie Colwin

Warm and comforting, the lovely books of author Laurie Colwin were about urban life and relationships between those who thought they might never find love. Colwin was also a columnist for Gourmet magazine and wrote several books about food and cooking. Her writing is just the right amount of charming for a cold winter’s read.

Family Happiness
Polly lives happily until she finds herself in a sweet, but painful love affair with painter Lincoln Bennett.

Happy All the Time
A comedy of manners about two couples and how they find love.
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
About the joys of preparing and eating simple food.