Monday, November 21, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from November 17

Last night, thirteen people took time off from cleaning the house, polishing the silver, cooking and freezing and stockpiling groceries to attend the book discussion. Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed was Dead Wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. On May 1, 1916, during the second year of World War I, after a delay of a few hours, the pride of the British commercial fleet, the Lusitania, set sail from New York City for Liverpool. A few days later, in the Irish Sea, she was sunk by the German submarine U-20, at a cost of 1200 lives. This incident, combined with others, led to the United States entry into the First World War on the allied side and the eventual defeat of the central powers. To this day, there are many questions about the sinking. Was the ship carrying munitions? What role did the three hour delay have on her unintended rendezvous with the U-20? Upon entering British waters, why wasn’t she given a destroyer escort? Why wasn’t the Lusitania warned about the submarines in British waters? What did British intelligence know and when did they know it? Did Winston Churchill want the Lusitania sunk with a large number of American casualties in order to draw the United States into the war? Why was President Wilson so adamant about American neutrality when so many American ships were being attacked? These questions and other issues along with the author’s stories of the people on the ship made for a lively and animated discussion in which everyone in the group participated. It was quite an evening.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm. The book to be discussed, The Boys in the Boat: nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, is available at the Circulation desk. All are welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from October 20th

It was a damp and threatening night, rain storms imminent. Many thanks to the nine people who braved the elements to attend the book discussion. Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed last was The Good Spy: the life and death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird. Robert Ames was a career officer of the C.I.A. Unlike many C.I.A. officials, he was not a blue blood, but came from a middle class background. Unlike James Bond, he was methodical, frugal, sober, a family man, even dull. He loved all things Arab and was fascinated by the language and culture. Where other agents looked upon postings to Yemen or Oman as a hardship, he sought out such assignments and enjoyed them. In violation of U.S. policy, Ames established discreet contacts with senior officials of the P.L.O. He believed that if he could establish a dialogue, he might help to end the continuous violence and bloodshed in the Middle East. He was killed in the bombing of the U. S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. The author contends that had he lived, Ames might have had a positive effect on the history of the Middle East. As might be expected, our discussion was lively and interesting with everyone participating. While discussing Ames’ life and work, we also covered the Arab-Israeli conflict. We spoke about war crimes, the Sykes-Picot agreement, religious fundamentalists, the issues between Israel and Palestine, the difference between eastern and western culture and much more.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 17, 2016. The book to be discussed, Dead Wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan Wins 2016 Nobel Prize In Literature

From NPR: Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter....he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Dylan earned the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize. The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, announced the news Thursday.
Read the rest of NPR's story here.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from September 22

Summer is over. Autumn is here. It’s to find a few good books to read in front of the fire. Maybe join a book discussion group. Many thanks to the eight people who passed on the last dregs of summer to attend.

The book discussed last, Hell and Good Company: the Spanish Civil War and the world it made by Richard Rhodes. In the 1930s, Spain was essentially a medieval society. The aristocracy and the Church held all the land and wealth and the peasants were exploited, illiterate and hungry. A coalition of left-wing parties won a legal and honest election and committed the government to land reform, education and health care. Think Bernie Sanders. Naturally, the aristocracy, the Church, and, most importantly, the army objected. The generals ordered an uprising against the legitimate government and in 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. It was an especially vicious conflict with atrocities committed by both sides. It was also the first proxy war. The Germans and the Italians armed and provided pilots for the fascist Nationalists and the Soviet Union aided the left-wing Republicans. It was a dress rehearsal for World War II. Our discussion was varied and spirited, covering the cruelty of other wars, Picasso’s painting Guernica, medical advances in war, the conflict in Syria and the world’s reaction to refugees and the reasons so many non-Spanish Americans and Europeans volunteered to fight for the Republicans.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, October 20, 2016. The book to be discussed, The Good Spy: the life and death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Reading Club for Adults

A total of 1,094 books were read by 303 patrons who signed up for the 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club.  The most popular nonfiction books were When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and Dead Wake by Erik Larson. 

Six members liked The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (“dysfunctional family at its finest!”).  The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews   was “a great summer read”.   The reviews of Harry Potter & the Cursed Child” by J.K. Rowling were mixed.  Jojo Moyes continues to be a favorite with Me Before You and After You.  Other titles receiving positive reviews were:  A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman,  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (“an awesome read”), Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins(“fast, entertaining read”). Historical fiction fans enjoyed Circling the Sun by Paula McLain and Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites.  Readers can always count on new books by perennial bestselling authors Danielle Steel ( Precious Gifts), Daniel Silva (Black Widow), Liane Moriarty (Truly Madly Guilty),and James Patterson (15th Affair).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Congratulations to the Adult Summer Reading Club Raffle Winners!

Larkfield Lanes Gift Card – Tim M.
Sweet Mama’s Gift Card – Margaret M.
Broadway Pizza and Carvel Gift Card – Rachel B.
Nicky’s Restaurant Gift Card – Debra L.
Elwood Cinemas Gift Card – Karin F.
Value Drugs Gift Card – Victoria L.
Old Fields Restaurant Gift Card – Lisa M.
Greenlawn Restaurant Gift Card – Charles S.
Greenlawn Hardware Gift Card – Jane M.
Ruvo Restaurant Gift Card – Virginia A.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club

Title: Taming Blaze #1 (Inferno Motorcycle Club)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This book was about a college girl named Dani who is trying to escape a bad situation with a boyfriend by running home to her father.  On her way, she has an encounter with Blaze who is with the Inferno MC. Trying to find out who killed her mother, Dani and Blaze uncover her father's secrets.
Rating: 4

Title: Saving Axe #2 (Inferno Motorcycle Club)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: Axe, a former Marine Corps Sniper, is now a member of the Inferno MC until the Inferno MC betrays him.  He heads home to West Bend, Colorado and straight into a past love.  June left years earlier after her parents were killed in a drunk driving accident and her sister committed suicide.  Will
the memories be too much for her or will she fall in love all over again with Axe.
Rating: 4

Title: Breaking Hammer #3 (Inferno Motorcycle Club
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: Struggling to get over the murder of his wife and raise his daughter, Hammer swore he would never fall in love again.  After being taken as a child for trafficking, Meia is now owned like property by another man. After disappearing without a trace, Hammer rallies his motorcycle brothers to
help locate her and her young son who is also being held captive.  Will Hammer find her in time or will this finally break him?
Rating: 4

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club

Title: After Alice
Author: Calvin Trillin
Review: A beautifully written love story by Mr. Trillin to memorialize his wife.  Sweet.
Rating: 3.5

Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Review: In a similar vein of "Gone Girl" this quick reading thriller has a few twists and turns that will keep you turning pages til you find out what happens with this "gripping story of an abduction where nothing is exactly what it seems."
Rating: 4

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Fun at the Harborfields Public Library

Learn more about some of the fun things you can do at  the library.

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club
Title: Elias (West Bend Series-Book 1)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This book was about a woman named River who grew up poor but became a movie star. When she finds her soon to be fiancĂ© and her sister in a compromising position, River leaves Hollywood and heads to West Bend, CO where she meets Elias Saint.  He is just back from rehab after losing his leg in the war and who also has a unfavorable past.  He never thought he'd return to West Bend, but family calls.  I enjoyed reading this book.  The characters were interesting and the plot engaging.  Turns out Elias Saint - is no saint at all.
Rating: 4

Title: Silas (West Bend Series - Book 2)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is the second book in the West Bend Series and focuses on Silas (Elias' twin brother)  and Tempest Wilde.  Tempest is a grifter, but only cons people who deserve to be conned.  She like a modern day Robin Hood - gives money to the victims or those harmed by the people she's conning.
Tempest just happens to also be a past love of Silas - who he was supposed to marry until her parents whisked her away when she was a teenager.  When Tempest returns to West Bend after a heist and also bumping into Silas who was fighting in Vegas, the mystery of Silas father's death and then mother's death comes into play.  Will West Bend be Tempest's biggest con yet?  Read to find out.
Rating: 4

Title: Luke (West Bend Series) - Book 3
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is book 3 in the West Bend Series.  Luke is a Smoke Jumper who returns to West Bend after is parents death.  A mining company is suspiciously trying to buy up all the land in West Bend, including Luke's parents' property.  While there he meets Autumn, a cider orchard owner who needs help running her orchard.  Luke steps up, not only to help out on the orchard, but also to become romantically involved with Autumn who has a 2 year old child.  Who is trying to run Autumn off of her property though?
Rating: 4

Title: Killian (West Bend Series) Book 4
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is book 4 in the West Bend Series.  Killian is a recluse and an oil rig worker who has moved back to a cabin he built in the mountains in West Bend.  He bumps into Lily (the local bakery owner and mother of a 7 year old) and spills his iced coffee all over her shirt.  Lily's trying to escape her past- a betraying (now dead) husband and Killian is just trying to live a quiet life building his cabin.  Sparks fly and their lives will never be the same again.
Rating: 4
Title: Wanted
Author: Kelly Elliott
Review: This is the first book of the Wanted series.  Ellie grew up verbally abused by her mother. She got good grades and headed off to the University of Texas where she falls in love with her brother's best friend, Gunner. Gunner is a football player who is in love with his best friend's little sister, Ellie. Though many obstacles get in their way, will love see them through?
Rating: 5