The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

by Anne Mangano on June 20th, 2017
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson Cover Image

Lindsey Lee Johnson’s The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is everything you want a summer read to be. It’s fast-paced, full of drama, and you can’t put the book down. The novel weaves the story of a group of wealthy high school juniors in a San Franciscan suburb, all tied in some way to a tragic event that occurred when they were in eighth grade. Fast-forward to junior year, their idealistic new teacher, Molly Nicoll, strives to connect with them. She wants to share her love of A Room of One’s Own and The Great Gatsby. She wants to foster a passion for learning. She wants to understand them and for her students to Read the rest of this entry »

Father’s Day at the Library

by Morgan Reeves on June 18th, 2017

It’s Father’s Day and we are celebrating all of our dynamite dads at the library. We’ve put our favorite books about all kinds of fathers on display in the Children’s Room. Come in to the library to check these out and stop in for our Sunday Funday at 2pm to make a Father’s Day craft.

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Learn How to Build a Better World

by Morgan Reeves on June 9th, 2017
Learn How to Build a Better World Cover Image

In conjunction with this year’s summer reading program, “Build a Better World,” read about ways people have made the world a better place, how you can help right now, and the possibilities of the future.

Since witnessing the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, J. J. Keki has been working with his neighbors of different religions to coexist peacefully and grow coffee together. By focusing on what unites them, instead of what divides them, this village has created an example of religious tolerance and harmony for the world. Read about it in Growing Peace by Richard Sobol.

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Learning to Sew

by Anne Mangano on May 31st, 2017
Learning to Sew Cover Image

My mother is a talented seamstress. Everything she sews has a professional look from the curtains on her windows to my childhood Halloween costumes. She hems pants, takes in shirts, and replaces zippers with ease. But she did not transfer any of these skills to me. Since I live half a country away, I cannot have her “help” me with her projects, so this year, I decided to learn to sew and these books helped immensely.

Need help demystifying the sewing machine? Marie Clayton’s How to Use a Sewing Machine is your best bet. The book goes over everything you need to know about the machine, from adjusting tension to Read the rest of this entry »

Two Great Reads for Summer

by Kara Logsden on May 23rd, 2017
Two Great Reads for Summer Cover Image

I just finished two books and both are highly recommended summer reads.

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box takes the reader on a vicarious trip to the Wyoming and the life of Game Warden Joe Pickett. Joe is in a battle to save his life and the lives of his family. Rodeo star Dallas Cates is out of jail and he wants revenge. Nate Romanowski, Joe’s falconer friend, gets pulled into the drama and trouble always seems to find Joe and Nate. Box’s novels are known for their fast pace, memorable characters and strong sense of place. The reader will be kept on the edge of their seat in this page-turner. I listened to the book and David Chandler’s narration is excellent.

Jacqueline Winspear’s new book in the Maisie Dobbs series, In This Grave Hour, is also a page-turner. Maisie Dobbs is a trained psychologist and personal investigator. England is once again at War, Scotland Yard is overwhelmed, and Maisie is called in to investigate the murders of Belgian refugees from the first World War. The title is foreboding and comes from a quote from King George VI on September 3, 1939: “In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history….for the second time in our lives for most of us, we are at war.”

If you are looking for a great book to kick off your summer, consider these two novels or stop by the Library or Bookmobile. We’re always happy to help you find a great read!

 

1917

by Anne Mangano on May 16th, 2017
1917 Cover Image

There are two major centenaries this year: the United States entered World War I and the Russian Revolution. If you like to acknowledge anniversaries with a great read, then you have many books to choose from and these two are not a bad place to start:

Helen Rappaport’s latest, Caught in the Revolution, tells the story of the Russian Revolution in Petrograd from the perspective of people who found themselves in absolutely the wrong place at absolutely the Read the rest of this entry »

Cleaning Out the TBR Pile

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 16th, 2017

I used to carry a notebook in my purse in which I’d jot down the names of the books I want to read someday. Happiness was drawing a line through one of the titles after I finished a book. That feeling of accomplishment is addictive.Book Diary Notes Leave Write Down Notebook

Unfortunately, the list got out of control, so I started a new notebook. While transferring the titles from the old to the new, I realized some were duplicates. Then there were books I thought sounded interesting a decade ago that didn’t anymore. My system wasn’t foolproof. It was one thing to write down the title of a book, but how many did I actually read?

(Not that many.)

I joined Goodreads a couple of years ago, but rarely used the “Want to Read” function. I already had an out of control TBR (To Be Read) pile. Why would I add to it? It turns out, that little button is a lifesaver for anyone who’s as obsessed with lists and order as I am. I transferred all the books listed in my notebook to the “Want to Read” shelf on my Goodreads account. It’s an insane number, but I no longer worry about duplicate titles. Also, when I’m browsing the Library’s shelves without a specific title in mind, the app reminds me of all my TBR  books.

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Mother’s Day at the Library

by Morgan Reeves on May 14th, 2017
Mother’s Day at the Library Cover Image

At the library, we love books and we love our moms. So of course, we love books about moms. Here are some new titles and old favorites about all kinds of mothers. Come in to the library today to check these out and make a a special Mother’s Day treat during our Sunday Funday program at 2pm.

And I Have You  by Maggie Smith celebrates the bond between mothers and babies both animal and human.

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The Stranger in the Woods

by Tom Jordan on May 12th, 2017

The stranger in the woods: the extraordinary story of the last true hermit is about a man named Christopher Knight who chose to live alone for twenty-seven years in the woods of Maine. His camp was isolated enough to go unnoticed but near enough to other cabins that he could steal what he needed to survive.sitw

There are so many fascinating parts to this story, but I don’t want to share too much because discovering the how and why of Knight’s life is largely what makes it worth reading. One thing: he claimed never to have built a fire. So surviving the winters wasn’t easy.

The book’s author, Michael Finkel, is such a compelling storyteller that he could write on almost any subject and I would read it. I read his True story: murder, memoir, mea culpa ten years or so ago. It’s about Finkel himself, a man accused of murdering his wife and children, and the two men’s relationship. I finished the book in the middle of the night after a couple hours of reading. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror and staring at myself trying to get the horror out of my head…but you should read it!  ICPL no longer has a copy, so you’ll have to make an interlibrary loan request here.

Early in my reading of this book, I imagined Knight as a handsome idealist (like Emile Hirsch playing Christopher McCandless in Into the wild) following the road less traveled by. His project was awesome and noble and he was living true to himself. I’m not as introverted as Knight, so a month or two would do it for me, I thought. As I read on, I became more conflicted. What license does the inclination toward extreme introversion give a person? I’m not referring to his theft of nearby cabins, though that’s a worthy question. The burglarized cabins’ owners, by the way, ranged from being very sympathetic to Knight to feeling terrorized by him.

At what point does a natural inclination become pathological, and when is it appropriate for others to treat it that way? If Knight had secluded himself in an apartment in a city and had burglarized neighbors, would we see it differently?  Of course we would.  Though extreme solitude is suspect, it seems less so or not at all when it is directed at nature.

And what about his family? Knight had no contact with anyone and he never sought any. His parents and brothers had no idea where he was or if he was even alive. As a parent, I think of my own children and how difficult this would be. Your path is to live a life of solitude, you say? I will miss you, but it’s your life. You disappear and we never hear from you again? Well, that’s cruel. And yet, Knight’s family, like himself, is at the far end of the spectrum. They are inclined to be left alone.

We see a bit of Knight’s life in the book after his solitude is ended. He doesn’t die, but there is a death of a sort. I can’t imagine merely surviving and being in nature and that being enough. Then again, I can usually tolerate being around other people.

The Big Five

by Tom Jordan on May 10th, 2017

You’ve heard of Deepak Chopra, I’m sure.  Being healthy, wealthy, and spiritual – he covers it all.  You could spend the next year of your life reading and listening to his work at ICPL.

Deepak’s brother, Sanjiv Chopra, is pretty special too.  Sanjiv is a professor at Harvard Medical School, and, like his brother, he’s authored many works.  Here are the two together in 1973.  Sanjiv is on the right.deepak-and-sanjiv

His latest is The big 5: five simple things you can do to live a longer, healthier life. I find it easy to overlook books like these. They’re everywhere you look, and what does any one have to offer that ten or a hundred others do not? Read the rest of this entry »