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    by Emily M | Mar 02, 2017
    Looking for a good book recommendation? Look no further!  Here are a few good books I’ve enjoyed recently:

    Book Review:  Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    Agnieszka lives in a quiet, peaceful village bordered by the Wood, a dangerous forest full of malicious power, which is kept at bay by a wizard known as the Dragon.  In exchange for the Dragon’s benevolence, once every ten years he comes to pick a Uprootedteenage girl from the village and takes her back to his castle home.  The girl picked is always special – she’s the prettiest of all the girls, or the smartest, or the kindest, or has some special talent.  Agnieszka does not fear being picked because she and everyone else in the village know that Agnieszka’s best friend, Kasia, will be picked.  Kasia is beautiful and smart and kind and talented; she is special, so she will be chosen.  Except, when the Dragon comes, Agnieszka is the one chosen, the one whisked away from her family and home for some unknown purpose, with consequences of which she never could have dreamed. 

    Naomi Novik’s fantastical fairy tale is a page-turning delight, steeped in magic, with frequent nods to fairy tale lore (Beauty and the Beast is heavily alluded to in the beginning of the book).  Uprooted is perfect for fantasy lovers, for fairy tale lovers, and for lovers of bewitching storytelling. 

     

    Book Review:  The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe

    The Rain Before it Falls could perhaps be described as a story within a story within a story.  The premise is this: Gill’s Aunt Rosamond has died, leaving behind a collection The Rain Before It Fallsof cassette tapes she recorded herself.  Rosamond leaves a letter instructing Gill to track down a woman named Imogen, of which little is known, and give her the tapes.  Unable to locate the mysterious Imogen, Gill, along with her 20-something daughters, listen to the tapes themselves.  On the tapes, Rosamond describes twenty photographs, some dating back to World War II when Rosamond, just a child, was sent away from her parents in the city to live with country relatives during the Blitz.  Through these twenty photographs, Rosamond recounts a sixty year history in which she discloses her own story, as well of the story of three other women in her family, revealing family secrets Gill never could have imagined.

    While the plot and characters are well developed, what Coe does so beautifully in this book is create a very precise sense of mood.  Beautiful and tragic, The Rain Before it Falls, is a book to be savored. 

     

    Book Review:  Defending Jacob by William Landay

    Andy Barber is the assistant district attorney in his county and, along with his wife and Defending Jacobson, lives in a small, safe suburban community.  When a teenage boy is found dead in the woods next to the local high school, Andy is assigned to the case, and everything seems to be proceeding normally.  However, when Andy’s son becomes the main murder suspect, the lives of Andy and his family quickly spiral out of control. 

    Defending Jacob is a fast-paced crime drama that goes far beyond asking “Who dunnit?” to explore just how far a parent will go to protect one’s child and how far a parent will go to protect others from one’s child.

    What about you?  What good books have you read recently that our readers might enjoy?


    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

     

    by Becky C | Mar 01, 2017

    It's Women's History Month!  There's not enough room in one post to highlight all of the titles I'd love to call attention to, but here are a few to get you started.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that! 

    Reverend Addie Wyatt
     Wonder Women
     A Warrior of the People
     Beyond Rosie
     Anna Howard Shaw
     Women in American Politics
     History in Blue
     Mary McGrory
     Rad Women Worldwide
     Hidden Figures
     The Firebrand and the First Lady
     Rise of the Rocket Girls
     On Her Own Ground
     Twenty Years
     Harriet Tubman

     
    Looking for more recommendations?  A catalog search for women history or women biography will provide several titles to choose from.  Take advantage of the Limit Search Results options that appear on the left side of the list.  I typically limit my search to include Books and include Adult Reading Level, but you can also choose to focus on fiction or non-fiction, among other things.

    And, of course, you're also always welcome to give us a call or send an email to ask@acpl.info.  We love talking about books!  The Readers' Services department at the Main Library has the largest selection of history and biography titles -- their phone number is (260) 421-1235.  If you prefer to speak to someone at your favorite library branch though, that's okay!  It doesn't matter where a particular item is located -- as long as it is not Express or Reference, it can be sent to the most convenient location for you.

    Who are you most interested in learning about this month?  Which books would you recommend for this post?


    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 | Feb 28, 2017
    planet earthThere were three books that came in neck and neck (maybe “spine and spine” is a better phrase) for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction of 1971.  Ultimately, since the Fiction Jury had noted that it was “not likely that (they) would be able to decide on a single, unanimous, persuasive choice” out of the three recommended titles, the Pulitzer Board decided to not award a Fiction prize at all, thus mandating that Craig read all three “recommended titles” so he could have his own pet opinions and share them with you.  (sigh)

    Recommendation #1:  Losing Battles

    Even if I don’t take major issue with Eudora Welty’s final book and near Pulitzer-win, I don’t not take issue with its never-ending dialogic wanderings, and I definitely take issue with the dude on the Pulitzer Jury for Fiction that called this book “genre fiction.”  What genre?  I mean a work of 436 pages with this little of plot (almost nothing happens for 400 pages) can hardly be called “genre” fiction.  Stuff happens in genre fiction.  Like birth, death, divorce, circle of life sort of stuff.  Stuff that engages the emotions, even in a horrifically maudlin way, and makes us care.  Reading this book I just was never sure why I should care … I could care, but so much was made of so little … My efforts to care were truly a losing battle.  Aha!

    Recommendation #2: Mr. Sammler’s Planet
    Saul Bellow’s book was in many ways above me (I just don’t know that much Latin), however, I didn’t really feel “condescended to” as a member of the Pulitzer Jury put it, and it did not “alienate” me.  That said, I can sometimes be a glutton for literary punishment and the book does actually read a bit more like a series of essays than a traditional novel.  Maybe it’s an attempt at a “high-brow masterpiece” (Bellow’s phrase) or maybe it’s just pretentious.  Either way, it has my vote.  I rather liked it.  It might be even better if it were a little longer. For some reason I wanted just a bit more.  But, oh my, what did I just say!   Longer?!  As in more pages?!  Sacrilege!

    Recommendation #3: The Wheel of Love

    All right Mr. Fiction Jury Man.  Someone was clearly in love with Joyce Carol Oates … and her collection of short stories.  “Plumbs ordinariness” is the phrase you fastened on?  (Is that some sort of “could you ever love an ordinary guy like me” schtick?)  Come on!  These are not ordinary people, these Oatesian characters!  I mean, how many East coast professors are featured in these stories?  There’s upper-middle class money everywhere!  Seriously, Little Women is about ordinary people (sort of).  To Kill a Mockingbird is about ordinary people.  The Stand is about ordinary people (mostly).  That said, I did quite like Oates’ book.  And I have to give Oates (and Mr. Fiction Jury Man) this -- the emotions felt and described in The Wheel of Love are ordinary.   They cover much of the same territory as pop songs, high school poems, and the insidious Hollywood effect.  By this I mean every story is a love story of sorts, which is encouraging.  Even unordinary people experience ordinary emotions, love, romance, etc.; even when that “ordinary” love is sick, middle-aged, and violent.  Which doesn’t give anyone a lot of hope for how that Mr.-Fiction-Jury-Man/Joyce-Carol-Oates romance turned out.  (zing!?)

    So, there’s my two cents on the three books considered but ultimately not chosen for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1971.  And listen, I know I’m “taking issue” and “condescending” to the Pulitzer Jury, some sort of super-people race of the literary world (again, “ordinary?” pshaw), but most of us on this “ordinary” planet find ourselves at some sort of odds with the clinical expertise of the experts and I suppose we must preserve our opinions even if it’s a “losing battle” as we go round the “wheel” of this world trying to figure out what it really means to “love.” 

    Another self-serving sentence like that one and I’m going to put myself to sleep.  (yawn)

    by Becky C | Feb 27, 2017
    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!

    A Man Called Ove
     Babylons Ashes
    Kidding Ourselves
     
     The Good House
     The Passenger
     Behind Her Eyes
     Books for Living
     The Unbanking of America
     The Fringe Hours
     Hillbilly Elegy
     The Latehomecomer
     My Name Is Memory
         

    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 Kay S | Feb 24, 2017
    Before I begin, let’s sing a little song:

    “Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger (or the back of their head)
    You may see a stranger (or the back of their head) across a crowded room
    And somehow you know, you know even then
    That somewhere you'll see her (or the back of her head) again and again”
    – Rodgers and Hammerstein – sort of

    So begins the last of the stories in the Bridgerton series, On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn. AtOn the way to the wedding last it’s Gregory Bridgerton’s turn. Poor Gregory - he’s alone and feeling blue. He’s blue because everyone has someone but him. He wants someone. He’s on the lookout for someone. And then, he enters a room. There - across the way - he spots a beautiful woman. He’s hit by the luv-lightening. Oh lovely lady, I luv you forever and ever. At least the back of your head. Yes, fellow readers, Gregory Bridgerton, of the famous Bridgerton family, falls in love with the back of some woman’s head.

    The woman belonging to that head-back is Hermione Watson. Excuse me while I ponder naming of characters in books. All the way through the book I had a problem with the name Hermione Watson. First of all, I don’t like the name Hermione (sorry all you Hermione’s). Secondly, I kept thinking of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Then it dawned on me that the actress who plays Hermione is Emma Watson. Ms. Quinn would not be so playfully cute as to combine those names for this character – would she??? Because if she did, I have to tell you I found it very distracting.

    But that's neither here nor there because Hermione is not the heroine of this book. No, the heroine of this book is there in the crowd of men surrounding Hermione – Lady Lucy Abernathy. Yes, that’s her – the one who nobody pays any attention to. Anyway, Lucy happens to notice the moment of luv-lightening striking Gregory Bridgerton. She mentally shrugs her shoulders because she sees it all the time. Hermione and Lucy have been friends for a very long time and Lucy is used to men making fools of themselves over Hermione. But this time it’s different and not just because Lucy is sort of attracted to Gregory. No, that's not it. Lucy is sort of engaged so she can’t be interested in Gregory. But the beautiful Hermione is in luv with an unsuitable man and Lucy knows that this unsuitable man will be wrong for Hermione. Lucy decides to help Gregory in his quest to win fair Hermione’s hand. So she starts giving Gregory advice, advice which he has not asked for. Lucy likes to advise people. She likes to make everyone happy. Be prepared, she’s a martyr.

    Gregory follows Lucy’s advice of ignoring Hermione in hopes that Hermione will notice him. Then one morning at the breakfast table Gregory says something and Hermione thinks he's interesting. He makes her flutter. But wait a minute! Lucy’s brother shows up with an emergency message! Lucy must go home immediately because her uncle must see her. But first there’s another party to go to. At that party, Lucy’s brother, who is also in luv with Hermione, seduces Hermione. Well, he actually doesn’t work very hard at the seduction because you see Hermione is now in luv with Lucy’s brother. He makes her flutter. So much for the unsuitable guy and the fluttering Gregory was creating at breakfast. Hermione and Lucy’s brother marry. Gregory is alllll alone – again. However, he watches Lucy as she walks away.

    Lucy has returned home. Her sort-of fiancé is there along with his fat, creepy father. She finds out her fiancé doesn’t care for women, but that’s ok. You see the creepy father informs her that if his son can’t put the erection set together, he will. Lucy turns him down. Lucy’s uncle blackmails her with words like treason, scandal, family destroyed. Lucy the martyr will marry the son.

    Gregory returns to London. He is wandering through Hyde Park. He is once again struck by luvs-lightening when his eyes fall on the back of another woman’s head. It’s luv, luv, luv, luv. He luvs this woman! She turns! It’s…Lucy! Groan – not the good kind.

    What we have here is a case of Lastbookitis. I had a big problem with this book. There were so many things that left me wondering just who had written this. This book had all of the signs of a last book in a series. It was rushed; the plots meandered all over the place. I had the feeling I was in grade school again watching people in the throes of their first love. All we needed was for Gregory and Lucy to write notes: “I love you, if you love me check this box”. They were soooo immature, falling in and out of love at the drop of a hat. Then there was the added blackmail, treason, evil uncle, and kidnapping thrown in at the end. On the Way to the Wedding was allll over the place. Then there was the short-sentence-paragraph-filler.

    Anyone remember Robin Schone?

    She wrote like this.

    That is what happened in this book.

    I was scratching my head wondering what was going on.

    Why was Ms. Quinn filling the pages with sentences like this?

    Overall. This was my least favorite book in the Bridgerton series. The plotline was all over the place, the characters were immature and the love/luv expressed in this book was just fickle. This story had the feel of a rushed job with different ideas thrown in just to get the writing done.



    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 | Feb 22, 2017
    • Author Visit:  Eloisa James
    • March 4, 2017
    • 1:00 pm
    • Main Library, Theater
    • Free; no registration required


    Spend an enchanting afternoon with USA Today and New York Times bestselling historical romance writer Eloisa James! An Oxford-educated professor of Shakespeare, James is the author of over 25 romance novels and a memoir entitled Paris in Love.

    James will talk about her latest book Seven Minutes in Heaven, as well as how she came to write Regency romances, and why the genre is definitely worth reading. 

    Book signing as well as meet & greet with Eloisa will follow the event. Books will be available for purchase.




    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 | Feb 21, 2017

    news

    America has always been awash in dubious information. Thinking about Americans affronted by liars on the Internet takes me deep into the cliche mine where Captain Renault is "shocked" there is gambling in Rick's establishment.

    But social media has enabled fake news to spread more quickly. Before accepting everything that shows up in your newsfeed at face value, and more importantly, before automatically sharing it yourself, there are a few things to consider.
     
    Fact-checking websites are one place to start.  Generally speaking though, you want to do the following: 

    Consider the source.  Who wrote it?  Who published it?  What sources are cited to support the story?  Are the sources credible?  When was it originally published?  Is it satire?

    Read beyond the headline.  What's the whole story?

    I use a few online-only sites for analysis and opinion, but they are not set up to dig for news.  For that, the best source remains the online versions of reporting agencies -- newspapers, magazines and major broadcast outlets. It may well be that some online entity will get a scoop before the big folks do, but it's the news outlets' job to see if it is real or fake news. This is no guarantee that any one of them is always right; I spent more than 20 years writing for newspapers, and I know we got things wrong sometimes. But intentional fakery in regular news outlets is extremely rare and is punished severely when discovered. 

    Still, to get it as close to right as you can, you need to use at least three reliable news sources, perhaps from different editorial directions. A reliable news source will avoid fake news, but editorial judgment will vary.  Whichever news source you prefer, checking the facts reported in at least two other reputable sources will make it easier for you to verify the accuracy of the story.

    Even with these, however, be careful to look for actual news articles and not the cheesy ads that pretend to be news. Here are sites from factcheck.org and the news literacy project that help you detect fake news. One tip is to examine the url; if it looks like a news site but ends with .com.co, then look at it more carefully. It's probably one of those sites that just make up shocking headlines in hopes you will click on them. 

    You will eventually notice that many credible websites will ask you to pay up if you want full access. Do it if you can. Their advertising alone is not enough. Newspapers in particular need your subscriptions to keep doing the reporting that gives you something beyond fake news and whatever the alternative facts of the day are. 





     


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.

     

    by Becky C | Feb 20, 2017
    Lansdowne portrait of George WashingtonWhile many calendars and advertisements identify the third Monday in February as Presidents' Day, the official name of the federal holiday is Washington's Birthday.  The name of the federal holiday indicates that we are celebrating the birth of George Washington, but the name most of us are familiar with implies that we are celebrating other presidents as well.  Which is it?

    As it turns out, the history of this holiday has a few twists and turns.  It originally began as a day of remembrance of George Washington.  Washington was much admired; following his death in 1779, his birthday became a day of commemoration.  February 22 was signed into law as a federal holiday in 1879 by President Rutherford B. Hayes.  Initially, the holiday only applied to the District of Columbia but was expanded to include the entire United States in 1885. 
     
    February 22?  Yes, until 1971, the Father of Our Country's birthday was, in fact, celebrated on his birthday.  In the late 1960s however, there was a push to create more three-day weekends for federal workers.  And, by that time, America had another widely admired President many wanted to celebrate as well:  Abraham Lincoln, also born in February.

    While working out the details of the holiday bill, the committee discussed whether the name of the Washington's Birthday should be changed to Presidents' Day but ultimately decided against it.  However, the decision to place the observance on the third Monday of the month, also placed it between Lincoln's birthday and Washington's.  It was the beginning of the shift in public perception. 

    With the implementation of the Monday Holiday Law in 1971, people began thinking of the third Monday in February as a combined celebration of both Washington and Lincoln.  And, despite the fact that the name of the federal holiday never changed, by the mid-1980s, Presidents' Day had become the more widely used title.  Today, this holiday is popularly regarded as a day to celebrate all United States presidents, past and present.

    That's not all, folks!  I discovered a few more interesting facts while researching this post.

    • You know how I stated earlier that George Washington was born on February 22?  It's a bit more complicated than that.  When he was born, people in Great Britain and the Colonies were still using the Julian calendar ; according to that calendar, he was born on February 11.  
    • The Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752.  People born before 1752 were instructed to add 11 days to their birth dates and those who were born between January 1 and March 25, as Washington was, also had to add one year to be properly in sync with the new calendar.  Ouch.
    • Indiana, among a few other states, likes to celebrate Washington's birthday in December.  ???  Kevin Bleyer asserts that we do this to observe Washington's Birthday without creating another paid holiday. 
    • Make sure you click on "the Father of Our Country'".  It will take you to a fun list of Presidential nicknames.  

    My guess is that George would be perfectly happy to share this holiday with the other presidents of our country, particularly if it encouraged us to get to know each of them better.  With that in mind, here are three well-reviewed titles to get you started.  Happy Presidents' Day!

    The Presidents and the Constitution
    Historical Dictionary of the US Presidency
     
     Where They Stand





     
    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 Kay S | Feb 18, 2017
    No, no! It's not time for a nap, it's time for a few upcoming book releases. For your perusal, coming someplace near you between February 15 to March 14, 2017...and after.

    Historical Romance
    Meredith Duran

    Meredith Duran http://meredithduran.com/
    A Lady’s Code of Misconduct
    Rules for the Reckless series
    February 28

    Lisa Kleypas Lisa Kleypas
    http://www.lisakleypas.com/
    Devil in Spring
    The Ravenels series
    February 21
    Theresa Romain Theresa Romain
    http://theresaromain.com
    Passion Favors the Bold
    Royal Rewards series
    February 28
    Historical Fiction
    Rosen Renee Rosen
    http://www.reneerosen.com
    Windy City Blues
    February 28
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream/New Adult
    Donna Alward Donna Alward
    http://www.donnaalward.com
    Someone to Love
    Darling, VT. series
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Meg Donohue Meg Donohue
    http://www.megdonohue.com
    Every Wild Heart
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 14
    Kasey Lane Kasey Lane
    http://www.kaseylane.com
    Beautiful Mess
    Rock 'n' Ink series
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Rhenna Morgan Rhenna Morgan
    http://RhennaMorgan.com
    Rough & Tumble
    The Haven Brotherhood
    Contemporary Romance
    February 20
    Colleen Oakley Colleen Oakley
    http://www.colleenoakley.com
    Close Enough to Touch
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Danielle Steel Danielle Steel
    http://daniellesteel.com
    Dangerous Games
    Mainstream Fiction/Women's Fiction
    March 7
    Alexandra Teague Alexandra Teague
    https://www.alexandrateague.com/
    The Principles Behind Flotation
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 14
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Cherry Adair Cherry Adair
    http://cherryadair.com/
    Stormchaser
    Cutter Cay series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 7
    Jennifer Armentrout Jennifer L. Armentrout
    http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/
    Till Death
    Romantic Suspense/New Adult
    February 28
    Jorgan Brekke Jorgen Brekke
    https://www.facebook.com/wheremonstersdwellbrekke/
    The Fifth Elemnet
    Odd Singsake series
    Mystery
    February 28
    Tillie Cole Tillie Cole
    http://www.tilliecole.com
    Riot
    Scarred Souls series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 7
    Lea Griffith Lea Griffith
    http://www.leagriffith.com/
    Flash of Fury
    Endgame Ops series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 17
    Faye Kellerman Faye Kellerman
    http://www.fayekellerman.net/
    Bone Box
    Decker/Azarus series
    Mystery
    February 28
    Nicolas Obergon Nicholas Obregon
    http://www.obregonbooks.com
    Blue Light Yokohama
    Mystery
    March 7
    Paige Tyler Paige Tyler
    http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/
    Her True Match
    X-Ops series
    Romantic suspense
    March 7
    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
    Anne Bishop Anne Bishop
    http://www.annebishop.com/
    Etched in Bone
    Others series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 7
    Alex Bledsoe Alex Bledsoe
    http://alexbledsoe.com/blog/
    Gather Her Round
    Tufa series
    Fantasy
    March 7
    Patricia Briggs Patricia Briggs
    http://www.patriciabriggs.com
    Silence Fallen
    Mercy Thompson series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 7
    Meg Elison Meg Elison
    http://www.megelison.com
    The Book of Etta
    The Road to Nowhere series
    Science Fiction
    February 21
    Jeaniene Frost Jeaniene Frost
    http://www.jeanienefrost.com/
    Into the Fire
    Night Prince series
    Paranormal Romance
    February 28
    Sara Humphreys Sara Humphreys
    http://www.sarahumphreys.com
    Undiscovered
    Amoveo Rising series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 7
    Richard Kadrey Richard Kadrey
    http://www.richardkadrey.com/
    The Wrong Dead Guy
    Another Coop Heist series
    Urban Fantasy
    February 28
    Kerrelyn Sparks Kerrelyn Sparks
    http://www.kerrelynsparks.com/
    How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
    Embraced series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 7
    Chuck Wendig Chuck Wendig
    http://www.terribleminds.com/ramble
    Thunderbird
    Miriam Black series
    Paranormal Thriller
    February 28
    Young Adults/Teens
    Katie Bayerl Katie Bayerl
    http://www.katiebayerl.com
    A Psalm for Lost Girls
    March 14
    Stephanie Elliot Stephanie Elliot
    http://www.stephanieelliot.com
    Sad Perfect, debut
    February 28
    Heidi Heilig Heidi Heilig
    http://www.heidiheilig.com
    The Ship Beyond Time
    sequel to The Girl From Everywhere
    February 28
    Jennifer latham Jennifer Latham
    http://www.jenniferlatham.com/
    Dreamland Burning
    February 21
    Lilliam Rivera Lilliam Rivera
    http://www.lilliamrivera.com
    The Education of Margot Sanchez, debut
    February 21
    Gina Showalter Gena Showalter
    http://members.genashowalter.com/
    Lifeblood
    Everlife series
    February 28
    Angie Thomas Angie Thomas
    http://www.angiethomas.com
    The Hate U Give, debut
    February 28
    Inspiration Romance/Mainstream
    Kristy Cambron Kristy Cambron
    http://kristycambron.com
    The Illusionist’s Apprentice
    Jazz Age Entertainment series
    March 7
    Elizabeth Camden Elizabeth Camden
    http://elizabethcamden.com/
    To The Farthest Camden
    February 28
    Kathleen  Fuller Kathleen Fuller
    http://www.kathleenfuller.com
    Written in Love
    Amish Letters series
    March 14
    Joel Rosenberg Joel C. Rosenberg
    http://www.joelrosenberg.com
    Without Warning
    J.B. Collins series
    March 14
    Carrie Turansky Carrie Turansky
    http://carrieturansky.com/
    Shine Like The Dawn
    February 21



    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 Kay S | Feb 17, 2017
    I can hear you now - OMG how many kids are there? Remember, I said eight when I started these reviews.

    At last it’s time for Hyacinth Bridgerton, the in-your-face Bridgerton . Hyacinth has been a Its in his kisssupporting character in almost all of the books in this series. She is one of those scene-stealing secondary characters; one of those characters that make us nervous about her own book. Will that book be good or will it be a dud? Will my expectations be met or will they be crushed under someone's big old foot? Well, I'm happy to say It's in His Kiss worked for me. It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn was published in 2005

    Was Hyacinth a little bit over the top? Yes. Was she a character who some readers may not like? Yes. But for me she had all the ingredients needed to make me smile – even have some laugh-out-loud moments. It’s in His Kiss does justice to Hyacinth and Ms. Quinn writes her just how I imagined her to be.

    Hyacinth is not married. She is not married because men run from her in fear. She is a younger version of the outrageous Lady Danbury, her idol. Hyacinth is outspoken, head-strong, competitive, intelligent, and honest. She knows no fear and she craves adventure. She does things that are outrageous, but because she is a Bridgerton, she has never been condemned for her behavior. If she were an older woman, she would be called eccentric. She is a sparkling, dominating presence wherever she appears. I loved her.

    Gareth on the other hand is the typical manly-man rake who inhabits Romanceland. Yeah, he has problems – his dad is the main one. For all of you people who love to make lists, maybe you could make a list of rotten dads in Romanceland. There sure seems to be a plethora.  Anyway, his father hates him. The reason for this hatred is Gareth really isn’t his son, so there is a strong dislike between the two of them, even more so now that Gareth’s older brother has died, leaving Gareth the heir. Gareth’s father-not-father has also cut Gareth off because Gareth refused an arranged marriage. The only one who Gareth cares for is his grandmother Lady Danbury.

    Lady Danbury. When one applies the term character to Lady Danbury it means more than just a character in a book. She’s been in a number of stories and I would categorize her as a scene-stealer. She’s a pretty entertaining woman, but she’s also a matchmaker and she thinks Hyacinth and Gareth would make a great couple. And, she’s right.

    This is pretty much a character-driven story. The only external conflict comes from Gareth’s paternal grandmother’s diary and that’s not all that much. Most of the story focuses squarely on Hyacinth overwhelming Gareth and Gareth allowing her to overwhelm. Even with all of Hyacinth's strong-willed, adventurous, sparkling, take-over antics Gareth never loses any of his alpha manly-manliness.

    For me, this story was great fun. Yes Hyacinth had her nose in everything and Gareth found her hard to resist, but I didn’t care. I had fun reading this book.




    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 | Feb 16, 2017

    ACPL Artist Fair Logo

    Love art?  Love your local community?  If yes, please join us for ACPL’s local Artist Fair during the last weekend of the Three Rivers Festival.  We will be turning the Great Hall of the Main Library into a bazaar of unique contributions from a variety of local artists.  We are excited to be able to help facilitate this opportunity for local artists to make connections with other artists, local art connoisseurs, and the many resources available at the Allen County Public Library.

    Artists!  Consider submitting an image of a representative piece from your body of work to be printed by the Allen County Public Library as a bookmark/postcard for the promotion of your work and the Artist Fair.
    Apply here.

    Not an artist yourself?  Be sure to come and sample artists’ offerings between 10 am and 3 pm on Saturday, July 15th.  A budding artist?  There will be several programs offered throughout the day to allow you to bloom including Watercolor and Simon Says Art!

    by Craig B | Feb 15, 2017

    cover art for DNCE's eponymous debut albumFilled with lyrics that go right up to the edge of fully-realized cleverness, but, are in the end, mostly overwhelmed by clichés, DNCE’s debut album, DNCE, still has its moments.  From the “shakin’ it-able”, self-referential opening track, “DNCE”, to the irreverent-to-love love song, “Pay My Rent”, the album teases its audience with more-than-acceptable qualities, but in the end, I’d stick to the hit single, “Cake by the Ocean”.  And don’t use a slang dictionary or an explanation from Joe Jonas to figure out what that title means exactly.  Just bask in the surreal quality of the figure of speech and the existential crisis it seems to imply.  I’ve found that’s usually the best way to make a moment last.

    Suggested Use: A placeholder in your CD collection.  What I mean is that this album is really just waiting for a brilliant follow-up that taps into a more mature vein of penmanship.  That said, I’m kind of killing the groove for a band and album calling themselves DNCE, aren’t I?  I mean, who cares about penmanship when all you really want to do is “shake it”?  And who even collects CDs anymore?  Nerd.

    by Becky C | Feb 13, 2017
    It's the day before Valentine's Day and we'd love to set you up on a blind date . . . with a book!  Our Aboite Branch library has selected a variety of books, wrapped them in white paper to conceal all identifying information, and set them out on display. 

    Like an online dating profile, each of our potential dates includes a short description -- unlike an online dating profile, the description is from someone who has previously "dated" the book.  And isn't that the kind of information we all wished we'd had at some point?


    Date a Book    
         
         
         
       Date a Book display  
         
         


    Uncertain?  Our Grabill Branch library offers a more traditional display.  They've pulled together a variety of books for your browsing pleasure but they have not concealed any book information.

         
       Valentines Day_Share the Love  
         
         
       Valentines Day_Staff Pick  


    ACPL has 14 locations and each always has a few book displays to highlight different aspects of our collection.  Your number one matchmaker though is the person at the reference desk.  Let us set you up with the perfect book today!


    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 Kay S | Feb 10, 2017
    Now we come to the sixth book in the Bridgerton series, When He Was Wicked. This is when he was wickedprobably the darkest one so far. I have to give Julia. Quinn credit for trying to tackle some heavy-duty issues, trying to delve a little deeper in to angstland, but I’m not quite sure she succeeded. This story had the feel of another experiment.

    Here’s the plot. The Bridgerton sibling we’ve never seen in the other books, Francesca, is in a wonderfully happy marriage to John. Unbeknownst to John and Francesca, John’s cousin Michael Sterling falls head over heels in love with Francesca when he first meets her. Through the years, Michael has hidden his true feeling behind the rake facade while all the time he has hung out with John and Francesca. The three of them have become the best of buddies. They go places together, they laugh, joke, and confide in each other. They all have come to depend on each other. Then one evening John dies. This opens up allll kinds of problems for Francesca and Michael. Francesca turns to her best friend Michael for comfort in her grief and doesn’t understand when Michael rejects her. In fact he does more than just reject her, he runs away to India. He has all kinds of guilt, yearning, passion, guilt, torment, guilt rushing through his system. The only way he can handle it is to disappear and not be around the woman who he craves.

    Francesca not only has to cope with the loss of her husband but the loss of her best friend. She travels into pity-poor-me land. Michael and Francesca become humongous martyrs. Then after four years Michael decides it’s time to return, at the same time Francesca decides it’s time to move on with her life. So now instead of watching depressing people suffer apart we get to watch them suffer together. Oh joy.

    Rant. I know authors have to stretch their boundaries; they can’t just stay in that little rut, writing the same thing over and over and over. But – some authors can write wonderfully witty, funny, lighthearted books and that’s not a bad thing. Just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it lacks substance. One of the most depressing authors ever, John Steinbeck, wrote one of the best fun books ever – Cannery Row. What a wonderful book, full of great characters, and there is a wealth of meaning behind this story. What’s my point? I don’t know, but it just seems to me that one can get a message through just as well with comedy as with angst. And, if an author already knows how to write so-called lighthearted books, just put more pathos in them. There’s nothing wrong with fluff.

    Anyway, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the rest in the series. There was too much hand-twisting-oh-me-oh-my. Besides that I didn’t feel as if I knew Francesca. She was just a name in the other books and she never seemed fully-developed in this one. So, this one was a disappointment. I wonder if the Bridgerton series is like the Star Trek movies – even/odd/good/bad.


    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 | Feb 09, 2017
    My Oscars season question to you: Where do you prefer to watch movies, at home or in a theater?

    Before VHS was invented, I used to imagine that when something like that did come along, I'd gobble it up and watch movies every night.

    Didn't happen. I've used many technologies at home, but I still watch movies in the theaters. That used to puzzle me. Why would I spend time driving, usually in the winter, in order to pay money for something I could do at home, sometimes for free? 

    It's not so much the big screen or the big sound or the plush rocking chairs, although I enjoy them all. And I am zealously opposed to spending any money on soda and popcorn at a theater. 

    The Purple Rose of CairoIt's the escape. Same thing it's always been about the movies. They get you out of your home, your chores, your life, and take you someplace totally different. At home, I may take weeks to finish a movie, maybe only watching it while I fold laundry. In the theater, the movie has my total attention. (If you have never seen The Purple Rose of Cairo, go find it. It tells the secrets of a movie-goer's heart like nothing else I know.)

    The five Best Picture-nominated movies I've seen this season all kept my attention. I have no more credentials to declare which was best than your little brother does, but I got my money's worth with each.

    "Hacksaw Ridge" took me way past director Mel Gibson and his misdeeds and let me pay due respect to Desmond Doss, who not only saved dozens of lives at Okinawa, but did so in an amazing manner. 

    "Arrival" was my least favorite, but engrossing nonetheless. I doubt we'll ever have alien visitors, but it sure would be helpful if we could learn to talk with each other.

    "Moonlight" goes right through you. It's why they make "small" pictures. The word exquisite was coined for such as this. 

    I started crying early on in "Hidden Figures" and pretty much never stopped.  I have a bi-racial granddaughter who is smart and ambitious. I'll leave it at that.

    And "La La Land"? I saw it on Inauguration Day, so you can take that for what you will. I suppose it could lose the Oscar contest, but that would be Hollywood denying itself. If you like Hollywood movies a lot, you'll like "La La Land" a lot. It's not optional.

    Hell or High WaterIf DVDs are just fine for you, the library is your go-to place. We are purchasing all nine of the top-nominated movies (and, of course, many more), but "Hell or High Water" is the only one available on DVD so far. Click on this sentence to go to the Oscars website for a list of pictures nominated in all major categories.The Academy Awards show will be Feb. 26, 2017 hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. 

    Keep an eye on our website and place your hold requests as soon as you can. You just need your library card number and your PIN. Remember, under the new library policy, you can have movies sent to your local library branch from any of our other branches. You may have to wait awhile for certain ones, but they are free, and there are hundreds of other Oscar-winning films available in our system for you while you wait. 



    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Emily M | Feb 08, 2017
    Editor's Note:  As You Like It began publishing content in 2011.  That's six years of awesomeness!  Here's a look back at a post we originally published February 23, 2015.

    In honor of Black History Month, I selected two books by African-American authors to read during the month of February: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler and Jubilee by Margaret Walker.

    From the mid-1970s until her death in 2006, the award-winning Octavia Butler stood out as an African-American woman in a genre nominated by white males. Her science fiction unapologetically addresses issues of race, class, gender, and religion. Parable of the Sower is the first book in an unfinished trilogy. (Butler died while writing the third book.)

    Parable’s protagonist is teenaged Lauren, who lives in a futuristic Los Angeles in which the government has all but collapsed. The walls of her gated community and the leadership of her pastor/professor father serve as her only protection against the lawless, violent society in which she and her family live. Adding further difficulties to her already challenging reality, Lauren suffers from a condition that allows her to experience the physical pain of those around her. In the midst of her struggle to survive (spoiler alert: that struggle will greatly intensify when Lauren’s community is overrun and she and two other survivors hit the road in an attempt to find somewhere safer to live), Lauren is waxing poetic about religion. She has dismissed her Baptist father’s God, and instead believes that “God is change” and is determined to found a new religion called Earthseed.

    Butler’s world-building (always a challenge in sci-fi) is solid and her characters are interesting and engaging. I was less interested in Lauren’s budding religion and more interested in what was necessary to survive the endless string of tragedies that are commonplace in Lauren’s world. Parable of the Sower held my attention, and I continually wanted to know what would happen next, but the final third of the book was a bit of a let-down for me, as I felt it mostly served to set up the sequel, rather than telling its own story. Nevertheless, I would recommend Parable of the Sower to fans of dystopian sci-fi.

    Jubilee, by Margaret Walker, was published in 1966 and was atypical for its time, as it tells the story of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the eyes of an African-American woman. Walker, who started Jubilee as part of her dissertation while earning her doctorate at the University of Iowa, based Jubilee on the true story of her great-grandmother, a slave who was fathered by her owner. I admit to currently being only about 300 pages into the 500 page book, but have every intention of finishing it. While I am still unable to critique the book as a whole, I admire Walker’s ability to create realistic characters with both strengths and weaknesses. In a novel about slavery, it’s easy to demonize some characters and canonize others into saints, or paint characters with a broad brush based on what “category” they belong to (black or white, slave or free, Southerner or Northerner) but Walker’s characters are multi-faceted, flawed, and sympathetic, rendering them believable. While the subject matter is tough and the book is lengthy, it’s written at a level accessible to teenagers, making this an “easy” read and one I would recommend.

    What about you? What have you been reading for Black History Month? I’d love to hear!


    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

     

    by Kay S | Feb 06, 2017
    A little advertising before I talk about Eloisa James and my moment of Zen. In case you don’t know, Ms. James is coming to the Allen County Public Library on March 4, 2017. The event will start at 1 pm, in the Main Library Theater. Afterward, she will spend some time with us doing author things, like signing books and talking about books and answering questions about books - so join us!

    A Zen moment has been defined as: a moment of clarity, insight, enlightenment. You become aware of the nothing/everything that makes the world go 'round and you are somehow better for it.potent pleasures

    Well, how does that fit in with Eloisa James? I will tell you, my little Petunias. I have been a fan (squeal) of Eloisa James ever since I spent a gazillion dollars for her first novel Potent Pleasures in 2000. Why did you spend a gazillion dollars on a book, you may ask. You see, buckaroos, her very first book was released in hardback only. For those of you who don't know, before electronic books, most romance books were released in paperback form. So, for a debut author to have her first novel published in hardback form was a big deal. What this would mean for us, the readers, was that our expectations were set higher because we were paying a higher price. (In the end it's all about money.) I'll offer a little bit more perspective on this phenomenon. I have a humongous load of books - thousands to be inexact. Out of all the thousands of romance books in my collection, nine of them are in hardback form. So you see, it was rare for me to invest in a hardback romance book. But, buy it I did, and my expectations were high. Because of Potent Pleasures I became a big fan of Eloisa James.

    Here is one of the reasons I'm one of Ms. James' biggest fans. Anyone who is at all familiar with the romance genre and the people who inhabit Romanceland (readers, writers, and critics) know that there are a lot of people who are unafraid to express their opinion, even when they're wrong. On top of that, the readers of historical romance books tend to be nitpickers. Just write about one puffed sleeve in the wrong time period, or call a champagne glass a flute, or address a lordly gent the wrong way, and online sites are inundated with irate voices. Well, Potent Pleasures stirred up a slight controversy among readers of the historical romance genre because it contained a few inaccuracies and – OMG - an unlikable hero. It was the hub-bub heard round the world. Well, Ms. James heard the cacophony of voices and here's what she did. Before her book was released in paperback, she rewrote parts, corrected the mistakes, and tried to make her audience happy. Did she have to do that? Not really. She could have done what other authors do, just let it go, and move on to the next one. But she didn't. She wanted happy readers. In my opinion that is one of the reasons she has such loyal fans. But that isn't the only reason for their loyalty. Even in her debut book there were glimmers of some wonderful writing and characters who were different from the standard players residing in Romanceland. She showed promise and I knew if she persevered, she would become one of the leading voices in romance. And, she has. Ms. James has created book after book of wonderful worlds, filled with fascinating people. As of this writing she has published 28 novels, 5 novellas, 6 collaborations and 1 memoir. (Excuse me if I miscounted.)

    Now for my moment of Zen, when all was made clear. Stop here if you don’t want a spoiler. duke is mineSo, years passed and Ms. James wrote book after book, all of which I read because by then she had earned the honor of being one of my auto-buys. Then in 2012 along came This Duke is Mine. I rubbed my hands together gleefully, excited to be reading another Eloisa James book. The characters were well developed, although I wasn't all that keen on the hero or heroine, but there was a secondary character by the name of Rupert whom I loved. I won't go into the details surrounding Rupert, but let's just say I became very attached to this character.

    Now for my "Annie Wilkes" moment. (You remember Annie from Misery?) Ms. James killed off Rupert! Now, I would never call Ms. James a dirty-birdy - but to say I was really really upset would be an understatement. I might have been a tad bit hysterical, the memory seems to be a little clouded. Let’s just say the book almost hit the wall. How dare she write wonderful Rupert dead! AAAAAAAk!!! He was the bestest secondary character ever!!! I was crushed - I may have even shed a tear. Then I had a moment of clarity.

    My Eloisa James Moment of Zen. An epiphany, a moment of clarity, an awareness. My light-bulb went off. I realized for me to have such a visceral reaction to the death of a character in a book filled with 300 pages full of words, I would have been – dare I say it - emotionally attached to that person. How could I have become attached to a bunch of words? Well, you see that sneaky Eloisa James put all those words together in such a way that I became absorbed by them. Rupert's character drew me in, I liked him. My gut reaction to his loss boiled down to some compelling writing by the author. It was then I knew that Eloisa James could write extraordinary images. Because isn't that what a talented writer does? They create vivid imagery for us to see in our mind – and they use only words to do that. For me, that is what makes Eloisa James a must read.

    And that, my fellow Petunias, is my Eloisa James moment of Zen.



    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 Kay S | Feb 04, 2017
    Yes, my little Petunias, it's time for a few upcoming releases. These treasures will be released between January 15 and February 14 of 2017. So keep an eye out or maybe just look for them on a shelf near you. (Keeping an eye out would probably hurt).
    Historical Romance
    Byrne Kerrigan Byrne
    The Duke
    Victorian Rebels series
    February 7
    James Eloisa James
    Seven Minutes in Heaven
    Desperate Duchesses series
    January 31
    Jenkins Beverly Jenkins
    Breathless
    Old West series
    January 31
    Shupe Joanna Shupe
    Mogul
    The Knickerbocker Club series
    January 31
    Mary Wine Mary Wine
    Highland Vixen
    Highland Weddings series
    February 7
    Historical Fiction
    Williams Beatriz Williams
    The Wicked City
    January 17
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction
    Fabiashi Abby Fabiaschi
    I Liked My Life
    Mainstream
    January 31
    Lori Foster Lori Foster
    Under Pressure
    Body Armor series
    Contemporary Romance
    January 24
    Kristin Higgins Kristan Higgins
    On Second Thought
    Contemporary Romance
    January 31
    Kinkaid Kimberly Kincaid
    Crossing Hearts
    Cross Creek series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 7
    McLaughlin Jen McLaughlin
    Dare to Lie
    The Sons of Steel Row series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 7
    Pagan Camille Pagan
    Forever is the Worst Long Time
    Mainstream fiction
    February 7
    stuart Kimberly Stuart
    Sugar
    Mainstream Fiction
    February 7
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
    Armstrong
    Kelley Armstrong
    A Darkness Absolute
    Casey Duncan series
    Mystery
    February 7
    chaney JoAnn Chaney
    What You Don’t Know
    Thriller - Debut
    February 7
    Gardner Lisa Gardner
    Right Behind You
    Quincy and Rainie series
    Thriller
    January 3
    Lake Alex Lakeaka Curtis Brown
    Killing Kate
    Suspense
    January 31
    McCarthy Ava McCarthy
    Dead Secret
    Thriller
    January 24
    Paranormal/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
    Blackmore Stephen Blackmore
    Hungry Ghosts
    Eric Carter series
    Urban Fantasy
    February 7
    Brust Steven Brust
    Skyler White
    The Skill of Our Hands
    Incrementalist series
    Fantasy
    January 24
    Frank Jacquelyn Frank
    Thirst
    The Energy Vampires series
    Paranormal
    January 17
    Goodkind Terry Goodkind
    Death’s Mistress: Sister of Darkness
    The Nicci Chronicles series
    Fantasy
    January 24
    p_mastai Elan Mastai
    All Our Wrong Todays
    Fantasy - Debut Novel
    February 7
    Sherin Lisa Shearin
    The Ghoul Vendetta
    A SPI Files series
    Urban Fantasy
    January 31
    snyder Maria V. Snyder
    Dawn Study
    Soulfinders series and Study Book series and Chronicles of Ixia
    Fantasy
    January 31
    White Elle Katharine White
    Heartstone
    (Pride and Prejudice with dragons)
    Fantasy - Debut
    January 17
    Young Adult/Teens
    Garber Stephanie Garber
    Caraval
    Debut
    January 31
    Haydu Corey Ann Haydu
    The Careful Undressing of Love
    January 31
    Hopkins Ellen Hopkins
    The You I’ve Never Know
    January 24
    JaeJong S. Jae-Jone
    Wintersong
    Inspiration Romance/Fiction
    Alexander Tamera Alexander
    A Not Yet Unsung
    Belmont Mansion series
    January 31
    Eason Lynette Eason
    Moving Target
    Elite Guardians series
    January 31
    Locke Thomas Locke aka Davis Bunn
    Recruits
    Recruits series
    February 14



    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 Kay S | Feb 03, 2017
    We now turn to the fifth book in the Bridgerton series – To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn . This one is a correspondence story – sort of. Remember julia QuinnEloise Bridgerton from the previous story Romancing Mister Bridgerton? Remember she had ink on her fingers, was sneaking around, and disappeared into the night from a party? Well, we get to find out what all the hub-bub was. You see, Eloise’s distant cousin died and she sent a letter of condolence to her cousin’s husband, Sir Phillip. He responds. She responds. He responds. She responds. He proposes. She accepts – sort of.

    Poor Eloise is feeling sorry for herself. Eloise and her bestest buddy Penelope made a pact. They had both reached the ancient age of 28 and were going to be spinsters forever and ever. They were going to do whatever spinsters do – sit along the wall, raise cats, go shopping together. Then what does Penelope do? She marries Eloise’s brother Colin – so much for growing old together with cats. Well, Eloise has never told anyone that she’s been writing to Sir Phillip Crane for over a year – it’s been her own little secret. Level-headed Eloise decides it would be a good idea to pack her bags and leave the wedding party without telling anyone. Then she still doesn’t see the problem with journeying all the way to Sir Phillip’s country estate and meeting him – sans chaperone. Somewhere in her mind she thinks they should get to know each other and decide whether they like each other well enough to marry. That part of her thought process was ok, it’s just the not letting anyone in on it which turns out to be a problem – a bigggg problem.

    To say Phillip is a tad bit surprised when Eloise shows up on his doorstep is an understatement. First of all, he had not envisioned Eloise as quite the stunner she turns out to be. He’s quite a nerd – a handsome nerd, but a nerd all the same. He’s a scientist, a botanist; he likes quiet, peace, calm. He’s not prepared for the headstrong, attractive woman who invades his domicile. By the way, he hasn’t had any dippity-doo-hoo in eight years, which means that Eloise is in for some rough nights, days, mid-days, mornings, etc. Phillip sends for a chaperone. In the meantime, he and Eloise begin the progress of knowing each other. Eloise thinks she has all the time in the world to do this. I guess she has never read a romance novel featuring over-protective brothers who were once rakes and are now married.

    Did I mention that Phillip has two awful children? These children are close to being “bad seed” children. Anyone ever seen the movie The Bad Seed with Patty McCormick? That’s the movie in which the charming blonde-headed girl burns up the guy sleeping in the excelsior. Well, that’s almost the kind of “pranks” these two do. There is the gluing of the governesses hair to the bedpost - she didn’t stick around long after that. These kids don’t want any woman in the house. They don’t want a governess, they don’t want a mother – they just want their father. The poor little lambs. Having grown up with numerous horrible siblings, Eloise knows how to handle “pranks”. Of course, she injures herself when she trips over the wire they have stretched across the hallway quite close to the stairway. Oh, what little charmers these two are. We find out that they have reasons for being monsters and then we are treated to some psychological babble exiting Eloise’s mouth. If this was a different time period one would think she trained with Jung or Freud, but that’s a different decade. Phillip's problem with his children is that he is afraid, so he ignores them. His fear is that he thinks he will be like his father and explode into a raging maniac who will beat the crap out of the little tykes. Of course Dr. Eloise explains to him that he isn’t like his father and all is well. And then her brothers show up!

    Anthony, Colin, Benedict and Gregory storm into the house to see Eloise’s black eye (remember the wire), assume Phillip did it, then proceed to beat the tar out of Phillip. Well Colin doesn’t – he just smirks knowingly. After Eloise stops the boys, much to her surprise they demand she marry Phillip. Oh my, who would have thought a woman running off, unchaperoned in the 1800s would be forced to marry! Oh, you silly woman, Eloise. So they are married and Eloise has a bang-up wedding night from a guy who has been without for eight years. Knock-knock-knock.

    It was during the reading of this book I noticed a Julia Quinn method of writing. Her main characters think a lot - I mean, a lot. They think so much that they lose track of what ever conversation is going on around them. There is a constant, I’m sorry what were you saying or you weren’t listening to me or silence accompanied with embarrassment. Pay attention people! If I hadn’t been reading her books one after another I probably wouldn’t have noticed this little quirk – but I am and I did notice and it became irritating.

    Overall, this was a passable read. I was a little disappointed the correspondence didn’t play more of a part in this story. I think if we had been able to read more of the letters we would have had a better feel for the two characters. For me the letters didn’t enrich the development of Phillip or Eloise. I would have liked for them to fall in love with the person in the letters and then develop from there. I think Ms. Quinn was experimenting with this book, which is ok. It’s always nice when an author stretches their horizons, but sometimes even with the best of intentions it doesn’t completely work.



    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 Melissa T | Feb 01, 2017
    Editor's Note:  Have you checked out The Genealogy Center's monthly E-Zine, Genealogy Gems?  You should!  The content for this post, written by Genealogy Librarian Melissa, appeared in the September 30, 2016 issue.

    Manuscripts

    Charles F. Heartman (1883-1953), a book seller in Mississippi and former resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, amassed a sizable collection of materials concerning African Americans in the South during his career. His collection of Afro-Americana books and manuscripts covers primarily Louisiana, though it also includes other states, such as South Carolina and Virginia. Xavier University of Louisiana has since purchased the collection and is now actively digitizing what it describes as the “Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection,” making these materials available freely online for researchers.

    The digital collection of more than 4,000 images, dating from 1724 to 1897, documents the social and legal conditions of free people of color and slaves in Louisiana. Half of the collection is comprised of New Orleans municipal records, which correlates with that city’s rich history of having the largest population of free people of color in the United States. Records in the collection include appraisals, ownership affidavits, mortgage records of slaves, receipts for slave work in chain gangs, legal status documents of both free persons of color and slaves, tax receipts, business bonds, deeds, New Orleans police reports, service reports, municipal records, and much more. The records are written in English, French, and occasionally, Spanish.

    To access the collection, visit the “Xavier University Archives and Special Collections – Digital Collections” page  and select the “Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection” from the options. The material can be searched by given name and/or surname, keyword, and/or location. It can also be browsed based on the content of each manuscript box. Each record has an image and a brief description of the document. Researchers can learn more about this wonderful resource by viewing the Collection Guide or using the Finding Aid.

    The “Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection” digital project is still in progress, and materials continue to be added regularly. Researchers should consider it a significant and vital source of materials documenting the lives of both freed and enslaved African Americans during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Louisiana.

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