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    by Evan | Sep 05, 2016


    A local man I know recently retired from an executive job and then started a new job as a 60-something stock boy. I mean, really laboring. Carrying 50-pound bags.

    What's with that?

    Why do people want to labor? I don't mean sitting around all day in an office reading, writing and talking. Yes, such jobs are labor by definition, and they can be very difficult, but I'm talking about the kind of labor that makes you hurt, or at least makes you sweat.

    Many people labor for no money at all. They tend their flower gardens for hours every week or volunteer at food banks or -- the epitome of labor for the sake of labor -- they lift weights and run on exercise machines that are literally going nowhere.

    So, health is part of it, both physical health and emotional health -- as long as you don't bust a gut or dive deep into obsessive compulsive behavior. And then there's a sense of accomplishment, as when you and your partner repaint all the rooms of your home in the hottest month of the year. You can add love, too, as when you erect a big swing set  for your children. 

    As you may suspect by now, my backdoor topic is Labor Day. Traditionally, it honors organized labor, to which I tip my hat, but it has broadened over the years to recognize all "working people," most of whom do not belong to unions and most of whom do not break a sweat.

    I'd like to focus today on demanding physical labor, the kind I've frankly tried to avoid for lo these many years. (Although shifting shelf loads of heavy library books is definitely not desk work!) I hope when people think of the holiday this time, they will think respectfully of the highway worker shoveling gravel in the heat, of the city truck driver waking at 3 a.m. to clear a big snow for you, of the factory worker or  hospital nurse standing with an aching back hour after hour to make your car or keep you alive. And especially, those who labor against their will -- from the slaves who picked cotton for so many decades to make our country rich to the slaves mining rare metals in Africa today to make us even richer.

    The lyric from the Hollywood version of "Ol' Man River" in Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Show Boat -- "You an' me, we sweat an' strain, body all achin' and wracked wid pain" -- still impresses, even in the machine age. People who sweat and strain, people who do heavy labor, whether for money or love or having no choice, deserve a day of recognition.



    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Sep 02, 2016

    library-heart

    It’s Library Card Sign Up month, that special time of year when libraries everywhere make an extra effort to let their communities know that a library card offers a world of opportunity for people of all ages.

    Help us spread the word!  Share this post with your family and friends.  And please share with us the words you would include in your heart-shaped word cloud about libraries.


    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 Emma R | Aug 31, 2016

    Sometimes, when it comes to our literature/films/etc, we like to go mainstream. Everyone’s reading the Star Wars spinoffs, or the Star Trek spinoffs, or the World of Warcraft spinoffs? We’re in.

    But sometimes we want to push the envelope a bit; we want to put on our hipster glasses and shake up the status quo. Everyone’s watching the Marvel/DC universe films, or the James Bond films, or the Harry Potter films? We’re not in.

    And sometimes our taste in literature/films/etc has never been mainstream. Everyone’s digging into Fifty Shades of Gray? We’ve got our noses stuck in anything Jane Austen. Everyone’s relishing The Walking Dead or World War Z? We’re still watching Night of the Living Dead.

    So next time the same old just feels…well, old, here are some books and films that have gotten a little less love -- but still keep you in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries! And for those of us who prefer to stay in the olden days, here are some books and films that will keep you in your sweet spot -- while bringing you a little closer to modern times!

    Tin Man
     Tin Man, film (2008): A sci-fi twist on The Wizard of Oz. So maybe little girls with puppy dogs and pigtails and dresses aren’t your thing: D.G is a rebel in jeans and a jacket, riding a motorcycle over the speed limit in her tiny Kansas town…until bad guys show up at her house, and her parents insist that the only way to escape them is to jump into a freak tornado. Tin Man has all the same loveable characters, just on steroids. This is, largely, an okay film for group watching; a few scenes might be considered too violent/inappropriate for children though, so parental guidance is encouraged.
       
       
     The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor (2006-2009): Alice in Wonderland gets a makeover. Alyss didn’t get sucked into Wonderland; she was born there. She ends up in London when her jealous-for-the-throne aunt goes on a killing spree, and getting back home won’t be as easy -- or as safe -- as falling down a rabbit hole. The Looking Glass Wars gives the innocent characters of Alice in Wonderland a brutal edge in a brutal world, but you’ll still know who they’re supposed to be!
     Looking Glass Wars
       
       
     Pride Prejudice and Zombies
     Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith (2009), film (2016)Pride and Prejudice on every kind of steroid you can think of. The Bennet girls are still single; the Bingley gang still comes to town; and just as things are going just the way Austen planned them…you get zombies. All the romance of an Austen novel with all the gore and violence of popular zombie movies: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a great read or a great watch. Since this film contains large amounts of gore, it may or may not be a good choice for family movie night.
       
       
     

    Shakespeare and Smythe Mysteries, by Simon Hawke (2000-2003): Shakespeare gets a series…and a sidekick. When Tuck Smythe runs into William Shakespeare on the road to London in the late 1500s, these two wanna-be actors tag team their way to the London theater scene. But things never seem to go their way. This series offers an interpretation of Shakespeare as a person and his entrance into theater—but with mysteries and a fellow detective.


     

    merchant-of-vengeance

       
       
     Dying by the Sword
     Musketeers Mysteries, by Sarah D’Almeida (2006-2008): Another mystery twist on an old classic, The Three Musketeers, gets a hint of spice. D’Artagnan arrives in Paris, but gets sucked into a different kind of drama than Dumas fans are used to. The three musketeers encounter mysteries of a personal sort in the early days of their friendship with D’Artagnan, but they’ll find that there’s as much trouble in these mysteries as there is in more political matters. Sarah D’Almeida’s mysteries recreate the musketeers in a unique way, while still offering recognizable characters; the mysteries themselves will suck you into the aspects of the musketeers Dumas glossed over. Several scenes within this series contain adult situations.
       

     


    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 Evan | Aug 29, 2016

    Dark Knight meme


    “Holy DVD, Batman! This month we can start getting movies for seven days at the Allen County Public Library! And we can even have most movies sent to our branch library for us!!!”

    That’s right, Robin. High drama here at ACPL.  Check with your branch library staff as to when the new rules start there; the start dates are not all the same. But by the end of August, you won’t have to drive across the biggest county in Indiana to get a copy of Bridesmaids. Instead, you’ll be able to put it on hold and have it sent to your local branch, where it will wait for you for up to seven days -- and then you can keep it for seven days. Even better, you can renew it for a week at a time. 

    As they say, certain restrictions apply. The main one is that the newest movies and TV show DVDs will be Express items, which means you can’t put a hold on them and you can’t renew them. And, of course, since popular older movies can now be put on hold, you may have to wait awhile for them to be available, since other people may place holds ahead of you.

    Also, if you like to borrow educational DVDs that until now have had the same 21-day borrowing time that books have, you need to know that we are changing those to seven days as well, although you will still be able to renew them up to five times if no one else has a hold on them.

    Again, check with your branch library for details, and be sure to look at your receipt for the due date the next time you check out any DVDs. Then sit back and watch the Dark Knight all night long.  




    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 26, 2016
    Webster defines cat-and-mouse as:  "a:  the act of toying with or tormenting something before destroying it. b: a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes (played a game of cat and mouse with the police); broadly: an evasive action."

    Where to begiElizabeth Hoytn, where to begin? In the world of Romanceland, we are oftentimes faced with bad boys, rakes, and rascals. You know those handsome devils who supposedly do bad things while all the time helping the orp-fi-ans of London. Well in Elizabeth Hoyt's latest, Duke of Sin, we have a bad boy with a capital B. In fact he comes really close to being a narcissistic sociopath. Think back to some of those Anne Stuart hero/villains. Yes my little petunia's, Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, fits in comfortably with fellow scary hero/villain Sebastian from The Devil in Winter. And, Sebastian is tame compared to Valentine. A word of warning - some readers may find Valentine too much to accept and I suspect you are either going to love this guy or hate him. I loved him. From the very first scene I wanted to know just how Ms. Hoyt was going to save Valentine. Ms. Hoyt has created a most memorable character in Valentine. I couldn't put this book down. I was mesmerized - ooooOOOoooo.

    Spoiler and warning ahead. Valentine is a dark, cold, unfeeling man. He doesn't seem to have a concept of what is right and what is wrong. People live in fear of him (and they should). He is ruthless, he sees nothing wrong in kidnapping, blackmailing and even dispatching someone if the need arises. There is only one person in his life who he has ever had any feeling for and that is his half-sister Eve. But even with her he isn't sure what he's feeling. He enjoys making people uncomfortable, afraid, desperate. He uses blackmail not because he needs money, but to alleviate his boredom and because he loves to play with people’s lives. Which is what he intends to do when he catches his housekeeper snooping in his secret hiding places. By the way, he's been hiding in the secret passages of his home because he's supposed to have been banished to Europe. Anyway, when he spies his housekeeper snooping he is intrigued and he begins a game of cat-and-mouse with her. In this book the Webster definition hits the nail on the head. By the way, Valentine is the cat.

    The mouse would be Bridget Crumb. Bridget is also an interesting character. She considers herself to be the best housekeeper in London. While she has a great deal of fondness, even love for the woman (her adopted mother) who raised her - there is a sadness about her because her biological mother gave her up. Pay close attention to Bridget's back story because it has made her what she is. She has worked her whole life to prove that she is worth something. Bridget is a very strong woman, intelligent, and stands firm against the odds she is confronted with. She needs to be, because Valentine is one cold manipulator. How does she end up in his household? You see, Bridget is the illegitimate daughter of Lady Caire. Lady Caire has been careless with some of her correspondence. She is being blackmailed by Valentine, so she has asked Bridget to retrieve those letters. Much like a mouse, Bridget gets into places she really shouldn't be.

    Dark warnings. For those of you who worry about animals making it through movies (regardless of how many humans bite the dust), there are some parts in this book which will be very upsetting to you. Valentine's horrible father belonged to a group of creeps who called themselves the Lords of Chaos. His father used all kinds of torture to control his son when he was a youngster. One of his many twisted beliefs was that a way to control people was to kill the thing they love. Without going into too much detail, when this was revealed in Valentines back story, it was heartbreaking and very upsetting. So, be warned. Valentine has made it a priority to find and seek revenge on the Lords of Chaos. I believe we will see further Chaos people in future books.

    Now, everything in this book is not all dark. Even in all of the blackness there are moments of humor - two of them stayed with me. There is a confrontation between Lady Caire, Lady Caire's son, Bridget, and Valentine. Valentine loudly announces he has been bedding his housekeeper - he gets punched in the nose for that one. There is also a moment of funny revenge toward the end of the book when Lazarus Huntington's little daughter tells Valentine "I don't wike you." What does Valentine do? He gives the little girl a tiny kitten and then proceeds to hand out seven more little kittens to all the little children. These little children happen to belong to heroes from previous books and these heroes haven't decided to accept Valentine yet - so this is his revenge. After all what hero can deny his child a cuddly kitty? It was a sweet funny moment.

    Overall, this was a great addition to the Maiden Lane series. Everything about this book was spellbinding and I had a hard time putting it down. The story has some amazing writing, and amazing storytelling. It takes a truly gifted author to pull off a character like Valentine and to make us, the reader, cheer for him. He has joined my list of favorite heroes (even though I don't know if hero is the correct word) - what a dynamic guy. Loved this story and it stayed with me long after I closed the book.

    By the way I somehow missed Eve's story  - I need to take another look at how I'm cataloging my books cause it's there on my Nook but never been opened. It will be soon.

    PS - There is one Hot Hot Hot bathtub scene in this book and it's not the water!!

    Time/Place: 1741 Maiden Lane England
    Sensuality: Yipes!



    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 Becky C | Aug 24, 2016
    Confession:  I'm a stepmom and a relatively new one at that.  I regularly find myself asking questions like "How can I encourage our kids to try different foods?  Put their toys away when they're done playing with them?  How can I help them when they've had a fight with their best friend?"

    My husband and I address these questions together, and I think we're doing a pretty good job of it, but I'm a librarian -- research is what I do.  And I've found a wealth of information on ACPL's bookshelves. 

    Here's a quick look at some parenting titles recently added to our collection.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    Parent Hacks
    Two homes One Childhood
     
     Gist
     Raising the Perfectly Imperfect Child
     Give Your Child the World
     Discipline Without Damage
         
         
         


    What's especially wonderful is that there are a lot more titles to choose from!  I used the subject search Parenting for this post but, depending on what your focus is, you might also be interested in Child Development, Discipline of Children, or Children of Divorced Parents.

    Is there a book that you've found particularly helpful?  If so, please share the author and title information in the Comments!


    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 Craig B | Aug 22, 2016

    map of USA with highlighted state of MississippiBook Review:  The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau

    Getting a cross burned on your lawn is no joke.  Ask Shirley Ann Grau, author of the Pulitzer Prize winner for 1965, The Keepers of the House.  Grau wrote her novel as a narrative of seven generations of the Howland family and their home in the hills of Mississippi.  Along the way she was awful hard on Mississippi in her depiction of the state’s history of racism.  Basically, she managed to upset the Klan.  Thus the cross … and the burning.

    Messing with Grau’s main character, Abigail Tolliver nee Howland, is also no joke.  The final chapters of Grau’s book read a bit like the plot for a Michael Bay movie.  Things get doused in gasoline (I don’t think that gives away too much), there are shotgun blasts, and hurried rustlings in the nearby woods.  It was invigorating.  And yet the promise and dread of satisfied vengeance was also stultifying, leaving the reader in an immobile but pressurized dream lending itself to reflection.  It was quite an accomplishment on Grau’s part, in execution and intention.  I was happy to be reading a book that so carefully crafted a reflective space through an embrace, rather than a fear, of adrenaline.  So hooray for her, no joking.

    by Megan | Aug 19, 2016

    LiveLife

    Our neighbor is dying. He opted out of cancer treatment due to its ineffectiveness and was given six months to live.  He is three months in and every single day he impresses me. I see his thin frame on his riding lawn mower taking care of his lawn, pedaling his bicycle down the street in lazy loops like a man without a care, riding his motorized wheel chair around the neighborhood, and taking walks with friends and family as they push him in his wheelchair. He is not waiting to die, but living his life despite his prognosis and pain, all the while cherishing the sun upon his face.

    His situation has not held him up, but almost freed him to savor these moments until the end. What a great reminder for me, for all of us, really. You see, I get so overwhelmed with my everyday life. I get overwhelmed with my dirty bathrooms, unswept floors, dusty baseboards, and unmade beds. I get overwhelmed by working full time, cooking dinner, and keeping up with a husband, dog, five year-old, and a two year-old. Life is busy and non-stop and some days I am not sure I can put one foot in front of the other. Like…. I would for real love to lay on my couch all day long while binge watching Golden Girls, or HGTV, or, soap operas. Wouldn’t that be amazing? No one talking to me, no one sharing my meal, or dumping my coffee, or needing a diaper change. Yeah, I could handle the day off. And then I think of my neighbor, in his 50’s, living out his last moments and truly living them. I mean, he is in it. He is riding and pedaling his way through his situation with grace and peace. He isn’t letting his truly overwhelming circumstances swallow him up, he is in it until the end.

    I want to tell him I see this. I want to tell him he impresses me and he has encouraged me to be in the moment, to cherish every sticky, dirty handprint, kiss, and mess. He has encouraged me to absolutely be in it, to tickle my kids and laugh with them when I want to lose patience. He has encouraged me to go slow, to be joyful, and to never stop no matter how overwhelmed I become. What a gift he has given me and he doesn’t even know it. This tired mama/wife/employee is going to keep moving forward slowly, but surely and enjoy it all, good and bad because of my incredible neighbor. I am going to do this for me, for my husband, and for my precious babies, because, yes our lives are busy, but they are good and they are manageable. I am going to do this for my neighbor who will not be able to do this himself, far too soon. In light of this I have taken a statement from Gary Null’s book, Living in the Moment, and made it my motto. “Every day is a new opportunity to reexamine how we can make our life better and richer with remarkable experiences.” I think we can all benefit from this proclamation. I plan to and I hope you do as well.

    by Craig B | Aug 16, 2016

    cover of Drake's studio album, ViewsI would have listened to Drake’s new album, Views, twice, so as to be able to talk about it more intelligently, but it’s 20 tracks/79 minutes long.  That was just asking too much for an album I’m only a little academically interested in.  I am glad to feel that I now kind of understand the “Hotline Bling” craze, though.  How can you say no to such a charming little ditty?

    Suggested Use: Getting to the end of a spat with your significant other?  Say you’re sorry and plug this album in.  20 tracks of relationship woe certain to cast your troubles in a different light and perhaps even catalyze gratitude for whatever it is you’ve got going on in your own life.

    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.