Posts Tagged: Books
April 22 is Earth Day! Celebrate this Saturday by making treasure from trash. Turn candy wrappers and pop tabs into chains that can be made into keychains, bracelets, even belts!
Where: Board Room, 6960 Oakton St. Niles, IL
During April and May we’re also celebrating the classic novel The Maltese Falcon through our Big Read Program. Pick up a free copy of the book or download the audio dramatization and attend one of our discussions! How does this book compare to crime fiction in books, TV and movies today?
Audio Discussion Monday, April 19
7:00-8:00pm in the Board Room
Book Discussion Saturday, April 24
12:30-1:30pm in the Board Room
Another methodical, character-driven book by the Queen of Family-in-Crisis Novels, Anne Tyler. When I say that Tyler is the Queen of these types of books, it’s a compliment, not an insult. Just because she writes mostly about issues with families doesn’t mean she’s not one of the strongest writers still writing today in America. And this novel proves she is as good as ever! Her main character here, Liam, is a recently laid-off (AKA early retirement) school teacher who, according to him, is too young to retire but too old to be hired by another school. After losing his job, he gives up his larger home for a smaller apartment, and on his first night in the new place, he is attacked by an intruder. Sadly, after he wakes up in the hospital the next morning, he has NO memory of the attack. The last thing he remembers is going to bed. From that moment on, Tyler weaves Liam into a complex, yet simple, man who is trying to get his life, and memory, in order. A slow-moving, yet fascinating story unfolds…Liam’s story. And, Tyler, as usual, tells it with thoughtfulness and care.
A very entertaining read, for Du Maurier lovers and others as well…those who just like a good story and some good mystery. Challis takes the future authoress and fictionally creates her as an amateur sleuth, all the while allowing her to use her sleuthing for material for her novels, mostly Rebecca. Set in Cornwall, England (Du Maurier’s home county in England), Challis sets up a Rebecca-esque story here with all the trimmings…money, a large manor house, an austere housekeeper, a mysterious young woman of a questionable background, and, of course, the sea in the background, its waves crashing against the cliffs. Daphne as a young pre-novelist sleuth is very appealing. She’s innocent, yet worldly. She’s careful, yet adventurous. Rebecca is one of my favorite books and I’m always skeptical when someone tries to “improvise” on already-near-perfect work. Here, I think Du Maurier herself would be proud.
January is awards-season in the library world. Earlier this week, librarians gathered in Boston to select award-winners in several categories for young adults.
They also selected an annual Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) list, with input from teen readers. Here are the top ten books from that list:
Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin
The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker
Visit the YALSA website to see the full BBYA list.
What is most interesting is the portrayal of Sir Thomas More as the reversal of the sainted movie hero in A Man for all Seasons. . In the book he is flawed, nasty, narcissistic and a fanatical torturer of heretics. More is his rigidness to his idealistic spirituality contrasts with Cromwell’s worldly adaptation to the political environment of Tudor England.
Court politics abound along with the political conniving of Rome, the clerics, and the royalty of France and Spain. This is a lively emotional novel with Anne Boleyn, Catherine, Mary Tudor, and Jane Seymour starring in vivid roles.
In an NPR interview Hilary Mantel is questioned why she champions villains in her novel. If a historical figure has been given bad press armed with a sense of justice she is drawn into a re-examination of his life. She feels she does not have to redeem the character of Cromwell the facts will redeem him.
As an Anglophile, I guess my most deep, dark fantasy (no, NOT that kind) is that I will find out that I was switched at birth…and that my real parents are British! Trust me…this is not an insult to my American parents. They would be MORE than happy to trade me to an unsuspecting couple across the pond. But, alas, my fantasy is just that…fiction. Well, in this novel, the first by stand-up comedienne/actress Alison Larkin, the main character, Pippa, is raised by British adoptive parents in England but finds out that her biological parents are truly American. This immediately makes sense to Pippa, since she’s always considered herself something of an American-phile but most importantly, she is NOTHING like most the British people around her. This information propels Pippa on a quest to find her true identity and the reasons for all of her non-British idiosyncrasies. Larkin, herself, is a biological American and adoptive Brit, so the story resonates very true. Larkin’s writing style is sharp and witty and Pippa is a truly engaging and highly enjoyable character. We want her to be happy…whether in America or England. For me, I will just keep searching for that one day when I find my true parents…and I’m able to go home where I belong…England! Sorry mom and dad.