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    by Becky C | Aug 11, 2016
    Blood TiesBook Review:  Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman

    Saker is an enchanter driven by a painful past.  Bramble is a free spirit gifted with a strong connection to horses.  Ash is the son of Travelers, longing for a place to call home.  All three are of the old blood, among the last of their kind. As their stories unfold, along with the stories of those whose lives they touch, it becomes clear that their fates are connected to each other as well as to the fate of the Domains.

    I loved this book!  The history of the Domains propels the story:  one thousand years ago, Acton and his people invaded the land, massacring most of the native peoples.  Those who survived were forced onto the road as Travelers while Acton’s people claimed their homes.  Many Travelers became roaming entertainers of sorts:  jugglers, tumblers, musicians, singers.  Regardless of talent, however, the dark-haired, dark-eyed Travelers are viewed with prejudice and hostility by the fair-haired, light-eyed invaders.

    Today, each of the Domains is ruled by an independent Warlord.  The Warlords tend to be callous towards their own people; towards the Travelers they tend to be cruel.  While one Warlord seeks to extend his rule, one Traveler seeks to remove the invaders from the land forever.

    The Eleven Domains with its sacred places, various types of sprites, and restless ghosts is an intriguing setting and well-worth a visit!  You'll also want to read Deep Water, Full Circle, and Ember and Ash.

     


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | Aug 08, 2016
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    All In
     The House at the Edge of Night
    The Residence
     
     All Things Cease to Appear
     Parable of the Sower
     Parable of the Talents
     Being Jazz
     Level Up Your Life
     The Supremes
     The Last One
     The Hangman's Daughter  The Happiness Project
         

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Evan | Aug 03, 2016
    When I first visited Austin, the one thing I wanted to see was the Texas Tower. Is that sick, or what? Well, maybe sick, but not abnormal. Charles Whitman, who shot 49 people, killing 16, while perched at the top of it was back in the news this week because the event is now 50 years old. It is being recalled as the beginning of the mass shootings that have been shaking the world, and especially our country, with numbing frequency ever since.

    Murder rates rise and fall, but this business of one or two individuals gunning down as many people as they can in a public setting is a modern thing and seems to only be getting worse. Mass murder for political reasons has been going on for centuries, but usually with bombs or, more recently, with trucks and aircraft. Some of that happens with firearms, too, but so often, as in Austin, the shooters appear to be driven by mental illness.

    One of UsAnders Breivik may be the worst of them, and Asne Seierstad's book about his cold rampage (if there is such a thing) across an island of vacationing children has been strongly praised. One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway tells not only a detailed horror story but also tries to assess how it could happen in such a peaceful country. 

    Closer to home, Colorado has suffered two of the most infamous mass shootings -- the murders at Columbine High School by two suicidal students and the movie theater massacre in Aurora. In The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth, Stephen and Joyce Singular lay out a number of social factors they think are building up that ultimately take people down.  

    Or, if you want a still broader view, consider Italian thinker Franco Berardi's Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide. In it, he critiques the highly competitive global capitalist system as a driving factor in what he considers widespread loss of identity. 

    If I may, let me add, as I tend to do, an old fiction citation that has been proved chillingly prescient about life on a crowded planet in the hi-tech 21st century. It is John Brunner's Hugo Award-winning Stand on Zanzibar, in which he coined the term "muckers," as in people who inexplicably run amok. I read it soon after it was published in 1968, only two years after the Austin slaughter. I think I need to read it again. 





    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Kay S | Aug 01, 2016
    Coming to a library, bookstore, and website near you are some upcoming releases. The publishing dates are between August 15 to September 14, 2016. And, once again that is not the date that these treasures will appear on you library bookshelf.
    Historical Romance
    Jane Ashford
    Jane Ashford
    What the Duke Doesn't Know
    Duke’s Sons series
    September 6
    lenora Bell Lenora Bell
    If I Only Had a Duke
    The Disgraceful Dukes series
    August 30
    Rosanne Bittner Rosanne Bittner
    Love's Sweet Revenge
    Outlaw Hearts series
    September 6
    Laura Lee Guhrke Laura Lee Guhkre
    No Mistress of Mine
    American Heiress in London series
    August 30
    Karen Hawkins Karen Hawkins
    Mad for the Plaid
    The Oxenburg Princes series
    August 30
    Jeannie Lin Jeannie Lin
    Silk
    Swords and Surrender series
    August 23
    Susann Lord Susanne Lord
    Discovery of Desire
    London Explorers series
    September 6
    Sarah Maclean Sarah MacLean
    A Scot in the Dark
    Scandal and Scoundrel series
    August 30
    Ella Quinn
    Ella Quinn
    When a Marquis Chooses a Bride
    Worthingtons series
    August 30
    Historical Fiction
    jennifer Chiaverini
    Jennifer Chiaverini
    Fates and Traitors
    September 13
    Melissa Lenhardt Melissa Lenhardt
    Blood Oath
    Sawbones series
    August 16
    Alyson Richman Alyson Richman
    The Velvet Hours
    September 6
    Jane Thynne Jane Thynne
    Woman in the Shadows aka The Winter Garden (British title)
    Clara Vine series
    September 6
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction
    kate angell, jennifer dawson sharla lovelace Kate Angell
    Jennifer Dawson
    Sharla Lovelace
    The Cottage on Pumpkin and Vine
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Clelie Avit Clelie Avit
    I’m Still Here (Je Suis Là)
    Mainstream
    August 23
    Juliet Blackwell Juliet Blackwell
    Letters from Paris
    Mainstream
    September 6
    Sarina Bowen Sarina Bowen
    Rookie Move
    Brooklyn Bruisers series
    Contemporary Romance
    September 6
    Carolyn Brown Carolyn Brown
    A Cowboy Christmas Miracle
    Burnt Boot Texas series
    Contemporary Romance
    September 6
    emma Cane Emma Cane
    At Fairfield Orchard
    Fairfield Orchard series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Kendra Castle Kendra Leigh Castle
    A Little More Love
    Harvest Cove series
    Contemporary Romance
    September 6
    susan Donavan
    Susan Donovan
    Stealing Taffy Bigler
    North Carolina series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Brandi Granett Brandi Megan Granett
    Triple Love Score
    Contemporary Romance
    September 1
    Marie Harte Marie Harte
    Roadside Assistance
    Body Shop Bad Boys series
    Contemporary Romance
    September 6


    nadia Hashimi
    Nadia Hashimi
    A House without Windows
    Mainstream
    August 16
    Nicole Jacqauelyn Nicole Jacquelyn
    Change of Heart
    Unbreak My Heart series
    Mainstream
    September 6
    Lauren Layne Rachel Lacey
    Run to You
    Risking It All series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Rachel Layne Lauren Layne
    For Better or Worse
    The Wedding Belles series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Maggie McGinnis Maggie McGinnis
    She's Got a Way
    Echo Lake series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Fern Michaels Fern Michaels
    Fast and Loose
    Men of the Sisterhood series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Linda lael Miller Linda Lael Miller
    Always a Cowboy
    Carsons of Mustang Creek series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Sarah Morgan Sarah Morgan
    Sunset in Central Park
    From Manhattan With Love series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Ella Olsen Ella Joy Olsen
    Root Petal Thorn
    Mainstream
    August 30
    Lisa Perry Lisa Marie Perry
    Meant to be Mine
    Guilty Pleasures series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Susan Phillips Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    First Star I See Tonight
    Chicago Stars series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 23
    Cydney Rax Cydney Rax
    My Married Boyfriend
    Love and Revenge series
    Mainstream
    August 30
    katee Robert Katee Robert
    An Indecent Proposal
    O’Malleys series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Melanie Scott Melanie Scott
    Playing Fast
    New York Saints series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Shannon Stacey Shannon Stacey
    Homecoming
    Boys of Fall series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    maisey yates Maisey Yates
    Last Chance Rebel
    Copper Ridge series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 30
    Samantha Young Samantha Young
    The One Real Thing
    Hart’s Boardwalk series
    Mainstream
    September 6
    Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Romantic Suspense
    Maya Banks Maya Banks
    With Every Breath
    Slow Burn series
    Romantic Suspense
    August 23
    Sandra Brown Sandra Brown
    Sting
    Romantic Suspense
    August 16
    Mollie Bryan Mollie Cox Bryan
    Death Among the Dollies
    Cora Crafts Mystery series
    Mystery
    August 30
    ;peg cochran
    Peg Cochran
    No Farm No Foul
    Farmer’s Daughter Mystery series Mystery
    September 6
    Margaret Coel Margaret Coel
    Winter's Child
    Wind River Mystery series
    Mystery
    September 6
    Christina Dodd Christina Dodd
    Because I'm Watching
    Virtue Falls series
    Romantic Suspense
    September 6
    Jessica Estevao Jessica Estevao
    Whispers Beyond the Veil
    Change of Fortune Mystery series
    Mainstream
    September 6
    Andrew Gross Andrew Gross
    The One Man
    Thriller
    August 23
    Shophie Hannah Sophie Hannah
    Agatha Christie's Closed Casket
    Hercule Poirot Mysteries
    Mainstream
    September 6
    Elsa hart Elsa Hart
    The White Mirror
    Li Du series
    Mainstream
    September 6
    a. Hebert A.L. Herbert
    Murder with Macaroni and Cheese
    Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery series
    Mainstream
    August 30

    j. Jance J.A. Jance
    Downfall
    Joanna Brady series
    Suspense
    September 6
    Julia Keller Julia Keller
    Sorrow Road
    Bell Elkins series
    Mystery
    August 23
    Michael Koryta Michael Koryta
    Rise the Dark
    Mark Novak series
    Suspense
    August 16
    Shari Lapena Shari Lapena
    The Couple Next Door
    Suspense
    August 23

    Alyssa maxwell Alyssa Maxwell
    Murder at Rough Point
    Gilded Newport Mystery series
    Mystery
    August 30
    Carla neggers Carla Neggers
    Liar's Key
    Sharpe and Donovan series
    Romantic Suspense
    August 30
    Brenda Novak Brenda Novak
    Darkest Nightmare
    Dr. Evelyn Talbot series
    Romantic Suspense
    August 30
    Jason Overstreet Jason Overstreet
    The Strivers’ Row Spy
    Mystery
    August 30
    J.D. Robb J.D. Robb
    Apprentice in Death
    In Death series
    Suspense
    September 6
    Lisa Scottoline Lisa Scottoline
    Damaged
    Rosato and DiNunzio series
    Thriller
    August 16
    Paige Tyler Paige Tyler
    Her Rogue Alpha
    X-Ops series
    Romantic Suspense
    September 6
    Kevin Wolf Kevin Wolf
    The Homeplace
    Mystery
    September 6
    Rebecca Zanetti Rebecca Zanetti
    Shadow Falling
    Scorpius Syndrome series
    Romantic Suspense
    August 30
    Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
    Jennifer Ashley Jennifer Ashley
    Guardian's Mate
    Shifters Unbound series
    Paranormal Romance
    September 6
    ;J. Patrick Black J. Patrick Black, debut
    Ninth City Burning
    Series (name unknown)
    Science Fiction
    September 6
    Ramsey Campbell
    Ramsey Campbell
    The Kind Folk
    Fantasy
    August 23
    Ashlyn Chase
    Ashlyn Chase
    My Wild Irish Dragon
    Boston Dragons series
    Paranormal romance
    September 6

    Genevieve Cogman Genevieve Cogman
    The Masked City
    The Invisible Library series
    Fantasy
    September 6
    MaryJanice Davidson
    MaryJanice Davidson
    Deja Who
    Paranormal
    An Insighter series
    September 1
    Jennifer Estep Jennifer Estep
    Unraveled
    Elemental Assassin series
    Urban Fantasy
    August 30
    Linda Howard Linda Howard
    Linda Jonesaka Linda Winstead Jones
    Frost Line
    Paranormal Romance
    August 30
    N.K. Jemisin N.K. Jemisin
    The Obelisk Gate
    The Broken Earth series
    Fantasy
    August 16
    Mary Robinette Kowal Mary Robinette Kowal
    Ghost Talkers
    Fantasy
    August 26
    seanan McGuire Seanan McGuire
    Once Broken Faith
    October Daye series
    Urban Fantasy
    September 6
    Nisi Shawl Nisi Shawl
    Everfair
    Science Fiction
    September 6
    Nalini Singh Nalini Singh
    Wild Embrace
    Psy-changeling
    Paranormal Romance
    August 23
    Wen Spencer Wen Spencer
    Project Elfhome
    Elfhome series
    Urban Fantasy
    September 6

    Teen
    Sharon Cameron Sharon Cameron
    The Forgetting
    September 13
    Traci Chee Traci Chee
    The Reader
    Sea of Ink and Gold series
    September 13
    Zoraida Cordova Zoraida Cordova
    Labyrinth Lost
    Brooklyn Brujas series
    September 6
    Laure Eve Laure Eve
    The Graces
    Graces series
    September 6
    Paula Garner Paula Garner
    Phantom Limbs
    September 13
    Abbi Glines Abbi Glines
    Under the Lights
    The Field Party series
    August 25
    Sandy Hall Sandy Hall
    Been Here All Along
    August 30
    Katharine McGee Katharine McGee,debut
    The Thousandth Floor
    Thousandth Floor series
    August 30
    rafi Mittlefehldt Rafi Mittlefehldt
    It Looks Like This
    September 6
    Peadar O'Guilin Peadar O’Guilin
    The Call
    August 30
    jp romney J.P. Romney
    The Monster on the Road is Me
    August 30
    Lindsey Rosin Lindsey Rosin
    Cherry
    August 16
    Erotica
    Lynda Aicher
    Lynda Aicher
    The Deeper He Hurts
    Kicks series
    September 6
    Roni Loren Roni Loren
    Loving You Easy
    Loving on the Edge series
    September 6

    Jodi Ellen Malpas Jodi Ellen Malpas
    The Protector
    September 6
    Dawn Ryder Dawn Ryder
    Dare You to Run
    Unbroken Heroes series
    August 30
    Inspiration Romance/Fiction
    Jennifer Beckstrand Jennifer Beckstrand
    Like a Bee to Honey
    Honeybee Sisters series
    August 30
    Janice Cantore Janice Cantore
    Catching Heat
    Cold Case justice series
    September 1

    Melody Carlson Melody Carlson
    The Christmas Angel Project
    August 30
    Eva marie Everson Eva Marie Everson
    God Bless Us Every One
    September 6
    Kathleen Fuller Kathleen Fuller
    A Love made New
    Amish Birch Creek series
    September 13
    Tricia Goyer
    Tricia Goyer
    Sherry Gore
    Sewn with Joy
    September 1
    Jane Kirkpatrick Jane Kirkpatrick
    This Road we Traveled
    September 6
    Rachel cMillan
    Rachel McMillan
    A Lesson in Love and Murder
    Herringford and Watts series
    September 1
    susan Mason Susan Anne Mason
    Love’s Faithful Promise
    Courage to dream series
    September 13
    Mike Nappa Mike Nappa
    The Raven
    Coffey and Hill series
    September 6
    Sara Price Sara Price
    Mount Hope, an Amish Retelling of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park
    September 6
    Virginia Smith Virginia Smith
    The Room with the Second-Best View
    Tales from the Goose Creek B and B series
    September 1
    Diana Taylor Diana Wallis Taylor
    Mary Chosen of God
    September 1
    Roseanna White Roseanna M. White
    A Lady Unrivaled
    Lady of the Manor series
    September 13



    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Evan | Jul 26, 2016
    Tears of joy came pouring out of me so hard I couldn't see well enough to actually finish reading the book. The lovers were going to be reunited despite years of separation across thousands of miles when communication had been impossible. And I already knew this.

    I'd read Thomas Costain's The Black Rose when I was a teen-ager, but when I re-read it a few months ago, it affected me more deeply than it had the first time. Years of "life experience" can do that to you, I suppose -- give you an appreciation for emotions you can War and Remembrancebarely comprehend when you are young. I suspect the same thing would happen if I re-read Herman Wouk's War and Remembrance, even though I was already in my 30s when I anguished over Natalie's fate.

    And speaking of war, when I was young, I thrilled at combat scenes in books and movies. Now, having been fortunate enough to escape war across a decently long life, I start to cry over personal war stories, especially if they involve Union soldiers in the Civil War or innocents resisting the Nazis. There are people who sacrifice themselves for noble causes, and there are people who live on to gradually appreciate what the others gave up and wonder if they could have done the same.

    Love. Sacrifice. Is there something in books or shows that makes you cry? Nostalgia? Tragic failure? Shock? A big reason we have all these stories in the library is to encourage emotional expression and emotional connection. What kind of story moves you?


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Jul 20, 2016
    Like Sports?  We've got you covered!  Here's a quick look at some new titles recently added to our collection.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    Shut Up and Run
    Greatness in the Shadows
     
     Love Game
     Mavericks Money and Men
     The Champions Comeback
     Art of Being a Baseball Fan
     First Ladies of Running
     I'd Know That Voice Anywhere
     Selling of Babe
     Phantom Punch
     Rise and Fire
     Fall From Grace
     100 Most Important
     Late to the Ball
     Running With the Champ

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Emily M | Jul 18, 2016

    Looking for a book recommendation? Look no further!  Here are a few good books I’ve enjoyed recently:

    OrphanXOrphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

    Evan Smoak was hand-picked at age 12 to enter a top-secret government program in which he receives elite training to become an assassin.  For years he is all in, executing his missions with skill and precision, completely confident in his handler’s instructions, until one
    day he isn’t.  A chain of  events leaves him questioning the morality of his actions, and Evan goes off-grid, creating a new life for himself in which he still uses his specialized killing skills, but at his own discretion, operating as a vigilante.  Katrin White comes to Evan for help because she owes some dangerous men a lot of money and they have her father.  Evan is confident he can keep her and her father safe, but as things quickly spiral out of Evan’s control, it becomes clear that someone is trying to kill Evan.

    If you think this sounds like the plot of a Jason Bourne movie, you’re not wrong, so I can’t give the author full marks for creativity.  Nonetheless, this is an exciting, fast-paced action story.  Flashbacks exploring Evan’s childhood and training help flesh out his character, and Evan’s surprisingly domestic interactions with his neighbors in his L.A. apartment building illustrate the ridiculous and almost humorous aspects of presenting himself as a boring businessman when he is actually a highly skilled assassin.  One of the best aspects of this book is the author’s close attention to detail, whether he’s describing Evan’s high-tech security system, his drink of choice, or a dramatic fistfight.  Orphan X is a great choice for lovers of well-written suspense and action.

     

    MillersValleyMiller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen

    I love a good coming-of-age story, which Miller’s Valley undoubtedly is.  Mary Margaret (Mimi) is a remarkably ordinary girl growing up the youngest of three children on a family farm in the 1960s and 1970s.  The title of the novel, and much of the plot, is centered around the government’s desire to buy up all the land in the valley where Mary Margaret lives on her family’s farm, in order to create a lake by moving a dam.  While this plays an important role in Mary Margaret’s life, it is hardly the biggest game-changer she experiences.  The significant events in her life are not unusual: a friend moving away, a parent suffering a health crisis, a cheating boyfriend.  Yet for anyone who experiences such things, they are huge, life-shaping events.  Our protagonist meets each challenge head-on, persevering through much heartache and difficulty. 

    Anna Quindlen’s prose is simple and lovely.  Her portrayal of family life was refreshingly honest.  Having grown up on a family farm myself, I found her descriptions of that life to ring true. Most of all, it met my number one criteria for what makes a “good book” – I didn’t want to put it down. While I can make a few small complaints (the protagonist seems a bit one-dimensional, the dramatic reveal at the end felt a bit contrived and didn’t really add to the story), overall this is one I’d recommend.  

     

    BullMountainBull Mountain by Brian Panowich

    For the better part of a century, the Burroughs family have run moonshine, marijuana, and meth from their family home of Bull Mountain in the backwoods of north Georgia.  In 2015, Halford Burroughs rules the family business with an iron fist, while his younger brother Clayton has turned his back on a life of crime and serves as county sheriff one county over.  The arrival of a federal ATF agent in Clayton’s office with an appeal to convince Halford to cooperate in an investigation in exchange for immunity will shatter the fragile peace between brothers and have long-reaching ramifications.  Tragic, violent, and bloody, Bull Mountain uses a non-linear storyline and multiple points of view to flesh out a big story of crime, family loyalty, and the deep roots that can attach an individual to a particular place.    
    ​      

    What good books have you read lately?  We'd love to hear!

     

    by Craig B | Jul 15, 2016

    cover for Sumner Locke Elliott's novel, Careful, He Might Hear YouNo Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded in ’64, which seems kind of like news that makes 1964 a less-than-good year, and well, yes, the news is kind of bad, but there’s worse news out there; worse news than an elite body of literary professionals being stymied by their power of choice.

    The good news is the Pulitzer Fiction Jury really did try.  They looked at four titles most closely.  They then recommended those four to the Pulitzer Board, but the bad news is, the Board also found an actual choice impossible.  Thus, I had to (had to!) read four books in order to have an opinion about Pulitzer year ’64.  (Bad news?  Kind of, but the good news is, all of the books were pretty interesting.)  So, good news, bad news, who cares?  For now, four books, four “reviews” …

    Book 1: Joanna and Ulysses by May Sarton

    A charming story that carries a significant message and best of all (wink, wink) keeps it SHORT! 

    Book 2: And Then We Heard the Thunder by John Oliver Killens

    Perhaps the most moving book of the 1964 Pulitzers for me, Killens’ novel about American involvement in WWII focuses on the problematic nature of an armed conflict waged by a deeply-segregated country against Fascism.

    Book 3: Coat Upon a Stick by Norman Fruchter

    Develops well a character that at first I found mighty sympathetic but then by page 171 … well, maybe he’s got it coming.

    Book 4: Careful, He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott

    Tense and miserable … but THOROUGH!  The story of a small boy in a custody battle between his AUNTS!  In AUSTRALIA!  (Not sure why I needed to “loud-write” this one, but there it is.)

    Truly, I’m glad to have read each of these books, yet I won’t lie, I’m also glad that the Pulitzer Board has gotten more decisive.  (Good news!)  One book per year takes long enough to get through, let alone multiples, and I am really wanting to get to the 50 year mark so I can buy myself a new cardigan as a mile-marker/reward and having to read the equivalent of three more years of books on my way to that cardigan is, well, frustrating, though it does have the benefit of timing my cardigan purchase well with the approaching Fall. 

    Run-on sentences aside, 1964 was a good year.  1967 promises to be even better.

    by Kay S | Jul 11, 2016
    Yes, my little buckaroos, it's time for a few upcoming book releases coming to a library near you. These books are due to be released July 15 to August 14, 2016. And, as before, those are the publishing dates not the dates they will line your favorite library shelves.
    Historical Romance
    kelly bowen KELLY BOWEN
    http://www.kellybowen.net
    A Duke to Remember
    Season for Scandal series
    July 26
    Byrne KERRIGAN BYRNE
    http://www.kerriganbyrne.com
    The Highlander
    Victorian Rebels series
    August 2
    Historical Fiction
    Phillippa Gregory PHILLIPA GREGORY
    http://www.philippagregory.com/books
    Three Sisters,
    Three Queens

    The Tudor Court, series
    August 9
    MJ Rose M.J. ROSE
    http://www.mjrose.com
    The Secret Language of Stones
    The Daughters of La Lune series
    July 19
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream
    Lorelee James LORELEI JAMES
    http://www.loreleijames.com/
    Just What I Needed
    Need You series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 2
    Jen McLaughlin JEN MCLAUGHLIN
    http://jenmclaughlin.com
    Dare to Stay
    Sons of Steel Row series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 2
    Allison Morgan ALLISON MORGAN
    http://www.allisonmorganbooks.com
    Can I See You Again?
    Mainstream
    August 9
    Angela Pisel ANGELA PISEL
    http://www.angelapisel.com
    With Love From the Inside
    Mainstream
    August 9
    Sally Thorne SALLY THORNE
    https://www.facebook.com/SallyThorneAuthor/
    The Hating Game, debut
    Mainstream
    August 9
    Susan wiggs SUSAN WIGGS
    http://www.susanwiggs.com
    Family Tree
    Mainstream
    August 9
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Sidney Bristol SIDNEY BRISTOL
    http://www.SidneyBristol.com
    Shift
    Hot Rides series
    Romantic Suspense
    July 26
    John Connolly JOHN CONNOLLY
    http://www.johnconnollybooks.com/
    A Time of Torment
    Charlie Parker series
    Mainstream
    August 2
    Iris Johansen IRIS JOHANSEN
    http://www.irisjohansen.com/
    Night and Day
    Eve Duncan series
    Suspense
    July 19
    Kevin Obrien KEVIN O'BRIEN
    http://kevinobrienbooks.com
    You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
    Suspense
    July 26
    Ridley Pearson RIDLEY PEARSON
    http://www.ridleypearson.com/
    White Bone
    Risk Agent series
    Suspense
    July 19
    Nico Russo NICO RUSSO
    http://www.nicorosso.com/
    One Minute to Midnight
    Black Ops Automatick series
    Romantic Suspense
    July 18
    PJ Tracy P.J. TRACY
    http://pjtracy.com/
    The Sixth Idea
    Monkeewrench series
    Mystery
    August 2
    Stuart Woods STUART WOODS
    http://www.stuartwoods.com/
    PARNELL HALL
    http://parnellhall.com/
    Smooth Operator
    Teddy Fay series
    Thriller
    August 2
    Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
    Jayne Castle JAYNE CASTLE
    http://jayneannkrentz.com
    Illusion Town
    Ghost Hunters series
    Paranormal
    July 26
    Christine Feehan CHRISTINE FEEHAN
    http://www.christinefeehan.com
    Dark Carousel
    Carpathian series
    Paranormal Romance
    August 2
    Max Gladstone MAX GLADSTONE
    http://www.maxgladstone.com/
    Four Roads Cross
    Craft Sequence series
    Urban Fantasy
    July 26
    CA Higgins C.A. HIGGINS
    http://www.cahiggins.com/
    Supernova
    Lightless series
    Science Fiction
    July 26
    Faith Hunter FAITH HUNTER
    http://www.faithhunter.net/
    Blood of the Earth
    Soulwood series
    Urban Fantasy
    August 2
    Joseph Nassise edited by
    J
    OSEPH NASSISE

    http://josephnassise.com/
    Urban Allies
    Urban Fantasy, Anthology
    July 26
    Willow Palecek WILLOW PALECEK
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14430736.Willow_Palecek
    City of Wolves
    Urban Fantasy
    July 26
    Teens
    Colleen Houck COLLEEN HOUCK
    http://colleenhouck.com
    Recreated
    Reawakened series
    August 2
    Mary Pearson MARY E. PEARSON
    http://www.marypearson.com/
    The Beauty of Darkness
    The Remnant Chronicles
    August 2
    Beth Revis BETH REVIS
    http://bethrevis.com/
    A World Without You
    July 19
    Erotica
    Jackie Ashenden
    JACKIE ASHENDEN
    http://www.jackieashenden.com
    Dirty for Me
    July 26
    Kim Jones KIM JONES
    http://www.kimjonesbooks.com
    Sinner's Revenge
    Sinner’s Creed series
    July 19
    Inspirational Romance/Fiction
    Jennifer Beckstrand
    JENNIFER BECKSTRAND
    http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com/
    A Bee in Her Bonnet
    Honeybee Sisters series
    July 26
    Joanne Bishof JOANNE BISCHOF
    http://www.joannebischof.com/
    The Lady and the Lionheart
    August 1
    Carrie Parks
    CARRIE STUART PARKS
    http://www.carriestuartparks.com/index.html
    When Death Draws Near
    Gwen Murrey series
    August 2
    James Rupert JAMES RUBART
    http://jameslrubart.com/
    The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
    August 9
    Beth Vogt BETH K. VOGT
    http://www.bethvogt.com/
    Almost Like Being in Love
    Destination Wedding series
    July 28



    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Craig B | Jul 08, 2016

    cover for Ariana Grande's studio album, Dangerous WomanArguably the new album by Grande, Dangerous Woman, would have made a better EP (as long as I got to choose those four or five songs) but then, the existing full album is all about “Bad Decisions.” 

    That said, I do have to applaud Grande for her general self-restraint on Dangerous (despite the fact that it has 15 tracks).  The title song has its reins strung tightly back making for a tense and memorable (dare I say pleasantly “dangerous) experience and she only pronounces the semi-famous “princess” lyric once.  Most artists could not have held themselves to a one-off like that, but Ariana seems to understand that, so much of the time, less is indeed more.

    Suggested Use: Poker night with the pals?  Betting money on a game that reliant on chance and facial expressions seems to me to coincide nicely with an album about “Bad Decisions.”  (See, even I couldn’t hold myself to a one-off in “cleverness”.)

    by Evan | Jul 06, 2016
    The phrase "eastern philosophy" was swirling around the West about the same time Ravi Shankar was sitting around with his sitar. Add the popularization of yoga and meditative Buddhism and it was easy for an American in the 1960s to equate eastern wisdom with Indian culture.

    Meanwhile, China was into its Cultural Revolution. Other than to a few home-bred Maoists -- largely inspired by opposition to our war in Vietnam -- dirt-poor, chaotic China seemed to have little to teach the rich and democratic United States. 

    Things have changed. China was the global economic engine of the past generation, and while its government still stifles freedoms, you can understand people who might like its seeming orderliness today compared to the frequent reports of sectarian and sexual violence coming out of India and its neighboring states. 

    Now a new little book goes way back in history to explain to Westerners the wisdoms that made China the most successful ongoing civilization for 2,000 years -- and may be helping it surge again now that Mao Tse-tung is long dead. 

    The PathAs Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh demonstrate in The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, at the same time the first Greek philosophers were doing their deep thinking, so too were several brilliant Chinese, including Confucius. While Greek thinking led to theological and scientific advances, the Chinese thinkers focused more on how people can live together peacefully and prosperously. Much of their advice soon became embedded in Chinese society. 

    The Greco-Roman world worked well enough for a few centuries and then fell apart, but China kept chugging along so steadily that even when invaders occasionally conquered it, the Chinese way of ordering society quickly absorbed them. And for most of that time, Chinese culture kept coming up with technologies superior to those in the West or India.  

    India saw the rise and fall of many empires and city states with little to show in what could be called material progress. And while they don't make the explicit comparison, I think Puett and Gross-Loh would put part of the blame on the inward-focused meditative aspect of Indian culture, somewhat comparable to the quest for personal salvation that was central to Medieval Western culture. Instead of looking inward or skyward for life's answers, the authors emphasize, the Chinese philosophers looked for the best ways for people to use the material world and relate to each other. 

    China in the 21st century is no utopia, but given the turbulence in the Islamic world, China's vision of economic prosperity combined with social controls is the dominant philosophical argument against the West's emphasis on personal freedom. Reading The Path is one way to understand the long-term power of that challenge. 


     




    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Jul 04, 2016
    Editor's Note: Originally published July 4, 2013

    Declaration of Independence

    Skirmishes between the colonial militiamen and British troops may have begun in April 1775, but it was in June of 1776, that representatives of the 13 colonies met to consider officially declaring their independence from Great Britain.  On July 2nd, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later, on July 4th, its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence.

    • Because the vote in favor of independence occurred on July 2nd, John Adams believed that was the correct day to celebrate. Legend has it that he would turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest of celebrating the “incorrect” day.
    • Celebrating Independence Day didn’t truly become widespread until after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced off against Great Britain. The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1870, but it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a paid holiday for federal employees.
    • The British may have been our adversary long ago, but for the past century they have been a close ally.
    • In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the United States was 2.5 million. Today, that number is 313.9 million.

    Intrigued?  The Library of Congress offers an extensive online collection of resources related to Independence Day:


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | Jun 29, 2016
    planetfallBook Review:  Planetfall by Emma Newman

    “Someone’s coming toward the colony.  From outside.”

    Lee Suh-Mi felt called to establish a colony on a world far beyond Earth and 1,000 people felt called to join her.  Something happened when they arrived at the planet in Suh-Mi’s vision however, and a couple of decades later, Ren is still haunted by it.  She and Mack are the only two who know the truth; whatever happened was considered so potentially devastating that the other members of the original landing team were murdered to prevent them from telling the other colonists.  Or were intended to be murdered.  When Suh-Mi’s  twenty-something grandson approaches the colony, it’s clear that at least some members of the team managed to survive.  What’s not immediately clear is what Sung-Soo knows.

    Sung-Soo’s close resemblance to Suh threatens Ren’s ability to continue playing along with Mack’s carefully constructed tale.  Told from Ren’s perspective, hints at what happened are slowly revealed, as she reflects back to the beginning of her relationship with Suh, what she left behind back on Earth, and the events of that first Planetfall.

    There’s a lot to love about this story.  To begin with, it’s beautifully written and stunningly subtle.  Set in the future, it features advanced technology including 3D printers capable of printing everything a self-sustaining colony requires, and chip implants capable of connecting individuals to the web and to each other.  It also features an environmentally-friendly, successful colony established on an Earth-like planet.  it’s not a utopia — while there are advantages to being as connected as they are, the story points out that there are disadvantages as well.  And people will always be people.  Add a mysterious alien structure,  a slow reveal from a character slowly cracking under the burden of guilt, and a twist I didn’t see coming, and you have a story worth reading again and again.

    The question of religion versus science underlies the story but the reader isn’t pushed one way or the other.

    I was exasperated by Ren but that’s not a bad thing.  Tormented by whatever happened, she can’t face it directly, but the arrival of Sung-Soo won’t let her continue to bury it.  Hence the slow reveal.  I like having to work for my mystery so I was hooked even though I was never able to connect with her.   I didn’t pick up on her illness right away and when Sung-Soo discovered it, I knew it was important but I didn’t realize how important it was — I was mostly stuck on not understanding the illness itself.

    I love it when an author can genuinely catch me off-guard and Newman did just that when the book hit its climax.  The clues were there — I just didn’t pick up on them.  Stunningly subtle.  Reading the book through a second time, I couldn’t believe that I’d missed what was so obvious.

    I did have a few quibbles with the book but they were minor.  There was a detail that seemed like it would be bigger than it was — ah well.  In addition to Planetfall, there was another “event” that was mentioned but never really fleshed out.  And for all of the description provided, there wasn’t any about the local wildlife — it’s mentioned on a few occasions, so you know it exists, but that’s it.  I want to know what’s roaming the grasslands and why nothing ventures close to God’s City.

    The first time I read the book, I thought the ending felt rushed.  The second time, I appreciated it more.  I would love to see a sequel.


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Cathy B | Jun 27, 2016

    The idea for a post about jewelry books in the Art, Music & Media collection first occurred to me after coming across Chats on Old Jewellery and Trinkets by McIver Percival and Jewellery by Clifford Smith .  I was delighted by these very old books.  Soon after, I came across the Vogue book and was enchanted by the beauty of the book itself.  There are certainly many more books on jewelry and its creation among AMM’s shelves but these few jumped out at me because of their historical importance and/or their beauty:

    Jewellery by H. Clifford Smith, M.A.  1908.Treasures

    “Jewellery is not only worn with the purpose of attracting attention and setting off the beauty of the person, but satisfies the desire, not less deep-rooted in humanity, of establishing a distinctive mark of rank and dignity.”

    It is from this book that I first decided to do a piece on jewelry.  I was at first wowed by the age of the book.  After skimming just the surface, I was captured by the detail of the history of European jewelry, from the pre-historic through to “the modern” (19th century).  Chapters on frauds and forgeries and Memento Mori, jewelry for remembering the dead, are included.

    Opening at random, I found a treatment of the historical development of brooches which “originated from the simple pin, which itself was preceded by and probably derived from a thorn.”  From there the evolution of the safety pin proceeds.  Among chapter titles these stand out as absolutely fascinating:  Prehistoric (Celtic) Jewellery, The Barbaric Jewellery of Europe (The Great Migrations), Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Fifth to Seventh Centuries), Merovingian Jewellery.  This is the history of humanity as told through its jewelry. 

    There are many photographs of early pieces, including the ring of Ethelwulf, King of Wessex (836-858), found in 1780 (pictured above.) I didn’t know I could be so interested in the history of jewelry!

    VogueVogue, the Jewellery by Carol Woolton.  Foreward by Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief, British Vogue.  2015.

    From the foreward:  “In this book Carol Woolton has drawn on her 14 years of experience as British Vogue’s jewellery editor to highlight the role jewellery has played in the pages of the magazine.”  “…Carol’s writing contains a world of knowledge and entertaining facts.”

    This book is a gorgeous and sumptuous collection of photographs from Vogue magazine from the 1930’s until the present. “Photography in Vogue is a famous element of the creative zeitgeist and it is fascinating to see how both the wearing of jewellery and the style of the pictures has adapted to the times…”

    This bound book is itself a thing of beauty, and oversized.  It is organized by chapter into the following subjects:  Show-Stoppers, Rock Chick, Minimalist, Exotic and Classic.

    Faberge, the Imperial Jeweler by Geza Von Habsburg and Marina Lopato.  1993.Faberge

    ​This is a beautiful and historically important book.  It served "as the catalogue of a landmark exhibition held in 1993-94 at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersurg, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.”  The pieces included are stunning and were not well known in the West before the Soviet Union opened the Russian archives to scholars. 

    From the dust jacket notes:

    “…the most comprehensive study of Faberge and his innovative creations to date…”

    From the introduction by the Faberge Arts Foundation: 

    “An unusual opportunity to organize this exhibition was presented by extraordinary developments in Russia.  After more than seventy years of repression, Russia could honour, freely, its cultural heritage.  Glasnost – the opening of the Soviet system – presented an even more specific opportunity:  the archives of the Hermitage harbouring the historical records of the House of Faberge could now be explored.  …and it provides the historical framework for this exhibition.”


    Jewelry from the OrientJewellery from the Orient:  Treasures from the Bir Collection by Wolf-Dieter Seiwert.  2009.

    I love the idea of jewelry from the Orient, especially juxtaposed with the European jewelry found in other books in this post.  It is jewelry of "extraordinary regional breadth and a diversity rarely, if ever encountered."

    “This book takes readers by the hand and leads them on an imaginary journey.  They discover the jewellery of Oriental Europe and the magnificence of Ottoman ornaments.  They criss-cross the Mediterranean, are fascinated by enameled and coral jewellery in north-western African and are astonished by the art of silversmithing in the Maghreb.  Passing Moorish and Tuareg treasure chests, they travel on beyond the Sahara.  In Ethiopia and Yemen they admire the legacy of the Queen of Sheba. Their journey ultimately takes them via Indonesia to the Hindukush.”

    belperronJewelry by Suzanne Belperron.  Patricia Corbett, Ward Landrigan, Nico Landrigan, Foreward by Karl Lagerfeld.   2015.

    “Suzanne Belperron, brilliant, beautiful, aloof and incredibly talented was the only female master jeweler in the twentieth century to create her own indelible aesthetic.  She achieved greatness in a male-dominated world and shattered the status quo, creating a signature style that in 2012 The New York Times labeled “Modern, before the world was.”   From the preface.

    This is a stunning book showcasing the work of a master jeweler.  It is beautiful!

    mastersMasters:  Gold, Major Works by Leading Artists curated by Marthe LeVan.  2009

    This book showcases the work of 41 contemporary artists who “honor gold by letting it speak to and through them in distinctive ways.” 

    From the Introduction: “Each chapter…reveals the groundbreaking work of a singular talent.  From chapter to chapter, the visual vocabulary shifts radically from minimal geometries to opulent fantasies, from still lifes to social commentaries.”

    The sculptural quality of these works is stunning!  Trying to choose a single photograph was almost impossible.  From a plaster face mask with a gold nose to a necklace of gold Zoloft pills, from flora and fauna relief images to stark geometric design, the scope of the subject matter delights and amazes.

    Chats on Old Jewelry and TrinketsChats on Old Jewellery and Trinkets by MacIver Percival.  1912. 

    The title of this book and its age sparked the germ of the idea for this piece on jewelry.  It appears that this is one of a series of “chats.” The books lists chats on English china, old lace and needlework, miniatures, autographs and old pewter, to name a few. 

    The preface states that “This little book has been written mainly for minor collectors – those who love old things, but cannot afford to pay large prices for them.  A piece, the possession of which involves the writing of a cheque for three figures, is definitely out of the their reach; even two figures is not a light matter to them, and they prefer to pursue their hobby in those less exalted regions where ten pounds goes a long way, and quite desirable things can be had for a sovereign or two.”  (!)

    The author begins with a short history of jewelry through the 17th century followed by more detailed accounts of the 18th, 19th and early 20th century.  From there it is organized by type of jewelry – brooches, rings, shoe buckles, and so on.

    This is a charming book.  It is not visually enticing, using all black and white photos and drawings, but it is a wonderment of information!


    Cathy is a circulation assistant in Art, Music & Media. She is a painter and her work has been displayed in the library's Krull Gallery. In addition to painting, Cathy hooks rugs and nurtures her little bonsai trees.


     

     


     


     


     

     


     

     



    by Kay S | Jun 24, 2016
    When I picked up How to Manage a Marquess by Sally MacKenzie I had my fingersSally MacKenzie
    crossed. I had issues with the first book in her new Spinster House series, What to do With a Duke. But because I found Ms. MacKenzie's earlier writings to be fun, I hadn't given up on her. So I was hoping that this book would be the light at the end of the tunnel I was looking for. Sigh.

    Spoilers litter this review.

    Concurrently. I'm not sure how I feel about books which have story lines running concurrently. A number of those books I have liked. But looking back on the books I liked, I believe most of those were published close together. In the case of What to do With a Duke and How to Manage a Marquess there is a spread of a whole stinkin' year. In order for those books to work for me I needed to read them closer together. Maybe some of you would be able to remember why that couple was leaving the room or why they've been gone for an hour or what they were whispering about, but I couldn't. This was an issue for me in this book. The previous hero, Marcus, was still a big part of the storyline - but, gee-willikers it's been a year! I didn't know what was going on and I'm didn't go back and reread just so the light bulb would go off. Anyway, I thought the whole rehash of Marcus' plot line made for a disjointed story. Since there are three books in this series, I suspect the next story about Jane and Alex will be just as problematic.

    Family curses. In the previous story we learned about a 200 year old curse which claims the life of all the male Dukes of Hart once their wife is sprouting. You would think that the line would have died out by now - wrong. No those guys just keep plugging away. You see there was a codicil to that curse. If the heir falls in love the curse will no longer be valid. But, this book wasn't about the Duke of Hart or the curse or the breaking there of. Nope this book was about Nathaniel, Marcus' cousin. Once upon a time Nathaniel promised his mother (on her death bed) that he would watch out for Marcus and never let him die. Now, why his dying mother extracted this promise from her son was not clear to me, but she did. That wasn't the disturbing part of this curse. The disturbing part was Nate. You see Nate takes his job seriously. Real seriously. He's right there following his cousin around day and night, night and day. He's making sure that Marcus wasn't poking spaces that should be left un-poked. One might even say Nate was in Marcus' space - all the time, everywhere Marcus goes, everything he does -there's Nate. Nate was a real oppressive presence in Marcus' life. I found Nate to be more than a little irritating. I just wanted to throw something at him, shout at him - leave that 30 year old Marcus-guy alone. Get off of his back!

    Family curses continued. I had a hard time stretching my belief with this curse. If the time period for this story had been placed in the medieval era or even the early 1600s I might have bought into it. But we are talking 1817 and for me this particular curse just didn't work. This story was a Regency romance not a Regency Gothic romance or a Regency paranormal. I think for the curse part to have worked in this book, Ms. MacKenzie should have been a little bit heavier handed with the supernatural atmosphere. I like spooky stuff, the unexplained, ghosts, spirits, witches, stuff etc. I know I've read other books where there were Regency hero and heroines who were affected by a 300 year old curse and those stories worked - but this one didn't. I can't explain it except to say it must have been the writing.  This time around the curse part of this story didn't work for me.

    Mean, nasty people. When I read the first book in this series I had an issue with the supposed friendship between the three women: Jane, Cat and Anne. They were supposed to be friends, but they treated each other abominably, they were nasty, catty and mean. They were not what I would ever consider a friend. I was hoping in this book we would see something likeable in Anne, but it was not to be. She was a brat. She was horrible to everyone; not just her friends, but her father, her father's fiancée, and the hero. Anne was one unpleasant person and I could feel no sympathy for her, even when I should have. But she isn't the only horrid person in this book. In fact it would be easier to say there were two characters in this book who were enjoyable. Those two characters would be seven-year-old Stephen and five-year-old Edward.  This book is full of unpalatable people; from Anne's unfeeling, selfish father to his unpleasant, rigid fiancée Eleanor to a house full of oblivious relatives.

    Nosedive time. There came a time in this book, (which I was struggling to finish) that it took a real nosedive. Almost a wallbanger moment - so to speak. Anne and her father have lots of obstacles. They don't get along, they don't talk and when they do it's more along the line of sniping. Anne knew her father wanted to marry a much younger woman; in fact this woman, Eleanor, was a year younger than Anne. There were some really harsh feelings between all three of these people. But do not fear, there's a party they were invited to. On the journey there, Anne's father had all kinds of time to talk to her - he didn't. Maybe he was a little put off because every time he tried, she bit his head off. She was a little off-putting. We arrive at the party. Eleanor's entire family was at the county party, plus our hero. There was this biggggg family dinner. It was at this dinner that her father decides to announce his engagement to Eleanor - without telling Anne. Without giving her any kind of warning. Anne is hurt, outraged, livid. Oh by the way, her father also announces that Eleanor and he have been a little precipitous in celebrating their wedding vows. He makes a public announcement that his fiancée Eleanor was with child. Anne precedes to get roaring drunk and throws-up all over our hero. My ears are still ringing from this What-the-Hey scene. First of all Eleanor was a widow of about two months! That's some pretty salacious quick work there. Secondly, how embarrassing - how scandalous - how historically inaccurate would a public announcement of an unwed woman being pregnant be? I couldn't believe this scene. From the surprise announcement to the pregnant shout out to the drunken throw-up, it was a wallbanger moment. Do you see why I didn't like any of these people? Shall I go on?

    Unchaperoned. I had another What-the-Hey moment when Anne traveled back to her home with the hero and no one was chaperoning her except her soon to be step-brothers: a five and seven-year-old. It was unbelievable. Just one more thing to add to my growing list of OMG moments.

    The magical big "C". Once again there is an overabundance of the "C" word (rhymes with rock). I have no idea why that word is used soooo much in this story. Saying C___ a million gazillion times didn't mean it's hot or sexy or passionate. It's not as if Timothy Toad did anything, except in this case - talk. Yes, Nathaniel's Timothy Toad talks to him - all the time. It urges
    timothy Toadhim on, encourages him to seek shelter in the nearest wet cave. But that's ok, because you see Nate talks back to his Mr. Toad. He tells him to shut up, he tells him his hopes and dreams and reads him bed time stories and they play the piano together. I made some of that up. However, I hear that they are going on the road - the Marquess of Haywood and his amazing talking "C" Toad.  Haywood can join those other greats: Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, Jimmy Nelson and Farfel the wonder dog, Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chop, Edgar Bergan and Charley McCarthy, Wayland Flowers and Madame, Senor Wences and his hand.  By the way, when the big bazooga moment happened, I had to reread the paragraph to actually make sure it had occurred.

    There were so many things in this book I had a problem with. Badly written woman-getting-drunk-not-funny-scene; nasty, horrible characters; a stretch of historical accuracy which even I could not overlook; an unfeeling father and a snotty daughter; a I-can't-marry-because-I have-to-follow-my-cousin-around-and-make-him-miserable hero; the overuse of the c-rhymes-with-rock word and last but not least a talking Mr. Toad.

    Time/Place: 1817 England
    Sensuality: Don't Blink



    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Cheryl M | Jun 22, 2016

    Todd PelfreyReading books in a series brings Todd Pelfrey into the library to return one book and check out the next one.  He enjoys the library as a place to slow down and change gears.  Rather than buy books online, he prefers the ambiance of the library, which he regards as “one of the great assets of the community.”

    As Executive Director of The History Center, Todd Pelfrey reads a lot for his job.  It’s a good thing he has always loved to read!  An early library user and a budding historian, he loved reading about ancient history.  He also remembers enjoying a series called Childhood of Famous Americans

    Executive Director for 8 years, Pelfrey has been with the organization for 12 years, previously as Education Director.  To prepare for Indiana’s bicentennial year, he has been reading a lot of local and state history, including early, obscure texts that can produce new, arcane facts. Even for pleasure reading, Pelfrey tends toward history.  A favorite author is Bernard Cornwell, known for fiction series like The Saxon Stories. Another favorite author, Allan Eckert, writes American history in a blend of fact and fiction.  Eckert’s The Frontiersmen, tells of events and people of the Northwest Territory, from which Indiana was formed.  As a change from history, Pelfrey likes to read National Geographic magazine from cover-to-cover.  A member of Quest Club, which provides a forum to present original research, Pelfrey dug into the subject of blood ivory and elephant poaching for his paper.

    Asked what book he would recommend that the President of the United States and presidential candidates read, Pelfrey suggested Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.  Written in 1775, it laid out in plain language, a case for independence from Great Britain.  For Allen County residents, Pelfrey highly recommends History of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005At over 1,700 pages, that 2-volume set might be intimidating.  So, his second recommendation is Fort Wayne: On the Heritage Trail, written for the 1994 bicentennial to commemorate local people and events.  It is now a “fantastic” stand-alone history chronicle and the only history book Pelfrey keeps on his desk.


                               "A historian is a prophet in reverse" - Friedrich von Schlegel

    History Center 2016


    cheryl-mCheryl likes reading, bicycling, scrapbooking, travel, history, and cats. Because every life tells a story, her favorite books to read are biographies.
    by Craig B | Jun 20, 2016

    cover of William Faulkner's novel, The ReiversBook Review:  The Reivers by William Faulkner

    I told some folks recently I was reading William Faulkner’s last novel (his 1963 posthumous Pulitzer win), The Reivers.  I explained to them what a reiver (ree’-ver) was (basically, a 16th century Anglo-Scot robber-baron) and that Faulkner’s novel was set in turn-of-the-20th-century Mississippi/Tennessee.  They asked how then the novel could be called The Reivers.  At the time I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.  It’s a metaphor!  Of course, as my last post declared, this is mostly supposition.  And yet, the characters in this novel do have a lot in common (metaphorically) with the historical reivers of the British Isles.  Simply put, both groups spent a lot of time running around stealing from each other and inspiring each other to new heights of thievery.  I’m not sure what the socio-economic, geopolitical moral is for the historical reivers, but for Faulkner’s novel the moral seems to be, “This is life!”; that whether or not we are literally “stealing” from each other, we are all in some way impinging upon others (no matter our nobility of intentions) and removing resources from off of others’ tables to supply our own.  The most difficult part of all this is for us to learn to live with this fact, to reconcile our ‘nobility’ and high-falutin’ notions about ourselves with the simple brass tacks of our thefts, self-centeredness, and general pillaging of the individuals and cultures alike that surround us.  Put in those terms, I have to say, Faulkner’s novel is rather brilliant, providing food for thought, unexpected twists, and some very welcome, gleeful, and giggle-worthy episodes of naughtiness.

    As for the critics, they didn’t care much about Faulkner’s later novels like The Reivers and A Fable, even though The Reivers continues the mythology of Faulkner’s famous and “apocryphal” Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the setting for nearly all of his novels.  Critics pay more attention to Faulkner’s earlier novels (for which he was made a Nobel Laureate in 1952), but having read As I Lay Dying, I can assure you, the critics are wrong.  The later novels, which get so ignored critically, have, for me, managed quite well to disperse the dark cloud of stream-of-consciousness tom-foolery As I Lay Dying left me under.  I’m just glad the Pulitzers support me in my opinion of these later novels’ worthiness, and agree that The Reivers easily “steals” the show from As I Lay Dying. But wait, now I’m putting words in other people’s mouths.  We may all be reivers to some extent but that’s a level of reiver-ness I shall seek to avoid no matter how much it would serve my ego in the short term.  Perhaps the title of this post should now be, “The critics could be, some say, less than correct!”

    by Emma R | Jun 15, 2016

    In a dystopian future, Katniss stuns everyone when she volunteers to take her sister's place in the brutal Hunger Games.  As the story progresses, she will have to choose between fighting for herself or fighting for others.  The one is encouraged . . . and the other is not.

    If you liked The Hunger Games, check out some more titles on taking—or not taking—a stand. You probably know the new titles in the business, so we thought we’d give you some of the older, classic dystopias! Don’t be afraid to take your own stand and share your recommendations/thoughts in the comments!
     

     1984
     1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother never stops watching you in Orwell’s dystopian vision of the world in the year 1984. When you remember that 2 + 2 actually equals 4—along with a score of other things—instead of whatever Big Brother tells you to think, you’re going to run into trouble. Winston faces just that problem, and will have to face the consequences of wanting to think of things his way…instead of Big Brother’s
     Animal Farm
     

    Animal Farm by George Orwell. In another of Orwell’s dystopian visions, the animals of Mr. Jones’s farm have decided to revolt. But they aren’t in favor of anarchy. Instead they create their own political system, with their own political hierarchy, and they find themselves in rather the same place as they had been before.

     Lord of the Flies
     Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Golding’s depiction of a society without limits talks about a lot more than just no limits. When several boys find themselves on an island where there are absolutely no adults…and absolutely no rules…the world has a lot of potential. But when the inevitable fun and games are over, and human nature butts in, suddenly the situation doesn’t sound so pleasant. 
     Fahrenheit 451
     

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury shows readers a world where books are off limits for anything other than government sanctioned reasons…a world where a job exists whose sole duty is to burn every other book. But governments don’t change just because a man paid to burn books starts questioning his job. When Guy Montag stops burning books and starts keeping them, he’ll have to flee the government…

     The Giver
     

    The Giver by Lois Lowry. A world in black in white isn’t a bad deal for a world with no pain, no suffering, and no death. However, someone has to be in charge of making that world possible, and when the job falls to Jonas, he realizes that the world he’s lived in has only been maintained by hard—and sometimes horrifying—choices.


    Emma did a complete 180 late in high school, abandoning dreams of a degree in Music Performance to pursue a degree in English Literature. She finished her B.A. in December 2015, and now she’s working on her MLS while working in Material Support Services. When she’s not working at the library or on her degree, she spends time with her parents, her siblings, her boyfriend, and her two cats.
    by Becky C | Jun 13, 2016

    Editor's Note:  Originally published June 14, 2012

    While the 4th of July is a day for celebrating our independence, the 14th of June is a day to celebrate the adoption of the Stars & Stripes as the official flag of the United States.  A young teacher, Bernard Cigrand, planted the idea for such an observance back in 1886 when he placed  a 10-inch, 38- star flag on his desk and then assigned essays on the flag and its significance.   From that point through the 1930’s, he publicly called for a holiday celebrating the symbol of our independence.

    Long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about this holiday finally began to pay off during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.  President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of the event on June 14, 1916. However, Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, when President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.

    Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White & Blue in front of homes and businesses.  Flag-raising ceremonies, Flag Day services, musical salutes and street parades are popular ways to observe this holiday.

    Before you ready Old Glory for display, you may want to check the American Legion’s website to ensure that you are following flag etiquette.  Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

    • Torn, tattered or faded flags should be replaced.  The American Legion accepts worn flags and disposes of them respectfully.
    • If a flag is flown at night, it is supposed to be illuminated.  Any type of lighting, even a porch lamp, works.
    • If multiple flags are being flown, the American flag owns the right.  This means that no other flag should be to its right  (the viewer’s left).
    • Flags should only be flown at half staff when authorized by the president or the governor.
    • Flags should only be flown upside down as a distress signal, for example, when a ship requires immediate assistance.

    Did you know that there have been 27 official versions of the flag to date?  Arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President William H. Taft standardized the then-new flag’s 48 stars into six rows of eight.  The 49-star flag (1959-60) and the 50-star flag also have standardized star patterns.  The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960 after Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

    Further Reading:  Flag Code, Flag FAQ, Ask the Expert, Flag Day, America’s Story: Flag Day, National Flag Day Foundation


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | Jun 08, 2016
    My husband and I have spent the last two years fixing up our fixer-upper.  We still have some projects underway but we're getting to the point where we can start thinking about building a patio and adding some landscaping.  If you're looking for ideas or how-to's for your outdoor spaces, here are just a few titles you may be interested in.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that! 

    What's especially wonderful is that there are a lot more titles to choose from!  I used the subject search Garden Structures for this post but, depending on what your focus is, you might also be interested in Gardening , Landscape Design, or Water Gardens.  I promise, I don't have them ALL checked out.  :)

    Have you used the library's collection to make improvements to your home or yard?  Please share pics in the comments!

    Backyard Building
    Complete Outdoor Builder
     
     Sheds and Garages
     Landscape Projects
     Outdoor Carpentry
     Complete Guide to Stonescaping
     Trellises
     Garden Cottages
     Backyard for Kids
         

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.