Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Free E-Books

That's right:  I said FREE.  Check out these websites for FREE E-Books:







Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Our Library Groups Are Reading

One of my avid reading group participants asked me if I had kept a list of our Adult Book Club selections for 2011.  I hadn't.  But I thought it was a great idea to show the variety of titles our readers were reading and discussing so enthusiastically each month at the library.  This is why I decided to include in the list not only what we read for our Adult Book Club, but also our Short & Sweets (short story discussion group), Great Reads, and One Community, One Book.

Here is the collected list for 2011:

Adult Book Club
January 2011:  The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (NF)
February 2011:  The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones (F)
March 2011:  Down the Nile:  Alone In a Fisherman’s Skiff, by Rosemary Mahoney (NF)
April 2011:  Bloodroot, by Amy Greene (F)
May 2011:  Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of the Mona Lisa, by R.A. Scotti (NF)
June 2011:  The Piano Turner, by Daniel Phillippe Mason (F)
July 2011:  The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter, by Holly Robinson (NF)
August 2011:  The Heights, by Peter Hedges (F)
September 2011:  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (NF)
October 2011:  The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield (F)
November 2011:  Growing Up Amish: A Memoir, by Ira Wagler (NF)
December 2011:  Faith, by Jennifer Haigh (F)

Short & Sweets
January 2011:  “White Horse,” by Margaret Atwood
February 2011:  “Chip Off the Old Block,” by Wallace Stegner
March 2011:  “The Real Thing,” by Henry James
April 2011:  “Araby,” & “Eveline,” by James Joyce
May 2011:  “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson
June 2011:  “That Evening Sun Go Down,” by William Faulkner
July 2011:  “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemmingway
August 2011:  “Looking for Mr. Green,” by Saul Bellow
September 2011:  “The Elephant Vanishes,” by Haruki Murakami
October 2011:  “The Masque of the Red Death” & “The Cask of Amontillado,” by E. A. Poe
November 2011:  “When We Rise,” Shann Ray
December 2011:  “Christmas Is A Sad Season for the Poor,” by John Cheever

Great Reads
January 2011:  Creative Non-Fiction
February 2011:  Food Writing
March 2011:  The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
April 2011:  The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
May 2011:  American Nature Writers
July 2011:  The Ballad of the Sad CafĂ© & The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers
September 2011:  My Antonia, by Willa Cather
October 2011:  The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

One Community, One Book
June 2011:  The Lotus Eaters, by Tatjana Soli

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lost In Shangri-La

History, as told through a series of page-turning events, make Lost In Shangri-La:  A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of WWII a perfect mid-winter read.

Award winning journalist and professor of journalism at Boston University, Mitchell Zuckoff, tells the story of a military plane crash on the island of New Guinea in the exotic (and little known) region of Shangri-La.  Of the 24 Americans on board, only 3 survived, including a WAC named Margaret Hastings, whose journal provides a detailed account of the events that follow the crash, including their encounter with a primitive tribe, struggles with injury and infection, and dangerous rescue.  Hastings' journal, in combination with a plethora of newspaper articles, military reports, interviews and photographs create a fascinating story that reads like fiction and makes for great discussion.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Night Circus

If you're looking for the perfect winter escape, look no further.  The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, has all the magic of Harry Potter, poised in sophisticated prose and storytelling that will appeal to anyone with an imagination.

The plot of The Night Circus is framed around a game between the novel's two main characters, Marco and Celia, who've been trained to compete since they were children, without knowing their opponent, or what the game's outcome will be.  The backdrop to this competition is the magical "Cirque Des Reves" (or, "Circus of Dreams"), which travels the world enchanting people of all ages.  Of course, this is no average circus:  the fantastic abounds, growing increasingly more fantastical as the story (and competition) progress.

Marco and Celia eventually discover each other, and the magic intensifies when they fall in love.  Ultimately, they find they must cooperate to win this competition in order to avoid a tragic end.  Highly recommended for teens and adults.