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Readings and Some Thoughts from Indiana Authors Award Winners

November 8, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Michael Shelden, Norbert Krapf and Kelsey Timmerman

The winners of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award in the National Author and Regional Author categories, and the finalists in the Emerging Author category, were introduced at the Indy Author Fair on October 25th.

Click on the picture to see the introductions, and then to watch the three winners, Michael Shelden (National Author), Norbert Krapf (Regional Author), and Kelsey Timmerman (Emerging Author), read from their works and share some thoughts.

In addition to the monetary award that each author received, each of them selected a public library in Indiana to receive a $2,500 grant:

• Michael Shelden, Monroe County Public Library
• Norbert Krapf, Jasper Public Library
• Kelsey Timmerman, Muncie Public Library


T.V. Shows Based on Books

November 6, 2014 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Jessica Lawrence:

This year has seen some major big-screen book adaptations, and the small-screen isn’t far behind in its love for the literary world. Now that the fall T.V. lineup is here it has bestowed some tried-and-true as well as some brand new small-screen literary adaptations. The trend is steadily increasing in popularity and pilots have recently been requested for adaptations of Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear , Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle.

With the plethora of small-screen adaptations out there, now is a great time to read the book and then explore the show. Check out this list of books that have been adapted to the small-screen over the last few years.

A Country Doctor’s Notebook


Based on A Country Doctor’s Notebook – Mikhail Bulgakov



About a Boy


Based on About a Boy – Nick Hornby




The Astronaut Wives Club


Based on The Astronaut Wives Club – Lily Koppel



Boardwalk Empire


Based on Boardwalk Empire – Nelson Johnson



Déjà Dead, in the Temperance Brennan series


Based on the Temperance Brennan series – Kathy Reichs



Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times


Based on Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times – Jennifer Worth



Red Dragon


Based on Red Dragon – Thomas Harris



The Colorado Kid


Based on The Colorado Kid – Stephen King (ebook)



Hemlock Grove


Based on Hemlock Grove – Brian McGreevy



House of Cards


Based on House of Cards – Michael Dobbs




The credits say that the series is based on the story “Fire in the Hole,” which appears in the collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, but the character Raylan Givens first appeared in Pronto and Riding the Rap. – Elmore Leonard



Orange is the New Black


Based on Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman





Based on the Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon



Ice Cold, in the Rizzoli & Isles series


Based on the Rizzoli & Isles series – Tess Gerritsen



The Leftovers


Based on The Leftovers – Tom Perrotta



The Three Musketeers


Based on The Three Musketeers – Alexander Dumas



The Strain


Based on The Strain – Chuck Hogan, Guillermo Del Toro



The Terror


Based on The Terror – Dan Simmons



You can check out all of these titles and more at the Indianapolis Public Library!



Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice

November 3, 2014 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Emily Chandler:

November is here!  And so begins my favorite time of the year, starting with Veteran’s Day and leading up to Christmas.  It is a time for giving thanks to the world we live in and the people in our world, a time for spending time with family, and a time for food. Lots and lots of food, often in the form of baked goods and warm beverages.

Therefore, I find it only fitting to dedicate this entry to the many current fiction series devoted to that very topic.  As you see, a little mystery here and a little romance there make up the perfect recipe for a good read.  So remember, as you are wading through the rush of the season, try to take some time out of your busy schedule and make life a little sweeter and spicier by taking a bite out of these delicious book treats!

A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery


Adams, Ellery – A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery



Donut Shop Mystery series


Beck, Jessica – Donut Shop Mystery series




Magical Bakery Mystery


Cates, Bailey – A Magical Bakery Mystery




Tea Shop Mysteries


Childs, Laura – Tea Shop Mysteries




Coffeehouse Mystery Books


Coyle, Cleo – Coffeehouse Mystery Books




Domestic Diva Mystery


Davis, Krista – A Domestic Diva Mystery




Recipe for Love mystery


Edwards, Louisa – A Recipe for Love mystery




Hannah Swensen series


Fluke, Joanne – Hannah Swensen series




Cupcake Club


Kauffman, Donna – A Cupcake Club Mystery




Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries


Lowell, Virginia – Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries




Cupcake Bakery Mystery


McKinlay, Jenn – A Cupcake Bakery Mystery




Fresh Baked series


Washburn, Livia J. – Fresh Baked series


Spirit & Place: All Kinds of Journeys

October 30, 2014 by Reader's Connection

A Year with Rumi: Daily ReadingsI’m starting to write this post on October 22nd, and today’s entry in A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings begins this way:

When you die into the soul,
you lift the lid on the cooking pot.

You see the truth
of what you have been doing.

I was inspired to check out the book because Coleman Barks, celebrated re-interpreter of Rumi, will be taking part in one of the first of this year’s Spirit & Place events.

Coleman Barks and other poets.
A Poetic Journey Through Urban America
Saturday, November 8th,  9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
DePauw University, The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics
2961 West County Road 225 S., Greencastle, IN



The festival runs from November 7th through the 16th. Poets, dancers, veterans of the military, journalists, doctors, former prison inmates, a former pastor and a host of others take part. If you click on this One Million Journeys , One Destination image, you’ll be taken to a list of all the events.

The image pertains to one of the events scheduled at Central Library.
One Million Journeys, One Destination is a photo exhibit that will run until January 7th, 2015. The exhibit will have its opening reception on Wednesday, November 12th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. At 7:00, M. Teresa Baer, author of Indianapolis: A City of Immigrants, will give a presentation in the Clowes Auditorium.


Ten days of performances and treasure hunts and conversations–dealing with immigration, love, marriage, recovery from addiction, and other journeys–will close with a public conversation about end-of-life issues.

19th Annual Public Conversation: Journey’s End
Sunday, November 16, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
at Christian Theological Seminary
Shelton Auditorium
1000 W. 42nd St.

The conversationalists will also take part in a two-day symposium, November 17-18, on the IUPUI campus, the first day of which is open to researchers, clinicians, educators, patients/family members, and practice organizations in the community. If you wish to register, click on the symposium link.


Gail Sheehy

Daring: My Passages (2014)

Daring: My Passages

A journalist recounts her risks, fears and triumphs. Author of 16 books, Sheehy has made a career out of examining life stages . . . now, she reflects on her own transitions . . . The author reprises her own reality in three parts: the Pygmalion Years, when she was a young, ambitious journalist trying to establish her reputation and overcome editors’ prejudices about women writers, whom they commonly assigned to stories about food and style; the Passages Years, when she was a star writer for, among many other venues, [husband Clay] Felker’s New York magazine, Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan and Tina Brown’s Vanity Fair; and the Bonus Years, focused on Felker’s cancer and Sheehy’s gradual recovery from alcohol abuse and depression following his death . . . Raising a daughter on her own, adopting a Cambodian girl after visiting a refugee camp and helping to found the Women’s Refugee Commission to advocate for survivors of genocide are among many reasons—aside from her career choices—why Sheehy, too, is one of those audacious pathfinders. Daring, the author amply shows in this spirited life story, defines her. — Kirkus Reviews


Mark Nepo

The Endless Practice : Becoming Who You Were Born to Be (2014)

The Endless Practice : Becoming Who You Were Born to BeNepo writes reflectively and poetically about the lifelong spiritual journey. His tone is ruminative and intimate, as he draws from his own experience–he is a cancer survivor, which has powerfully shaped his life–but also adds poetry, bits and pieces of facts and musings, all strung together by his searching mind. The effect is like reading a journal, though a finely honed one. His perspective is a mature one, allowing him to sift through his years of life and a variety of spiritual readings to find meaning in life events . . . Older readers at the stock-taking stage of life will find this exploration of life’s big questions especially congenial. Mystics will delight. — Publishers Weekly



Timothy E. Quill

Physician-assisted Dying: The Case For Palliative Care And Patient Choice (2004, co-edited by Quill)

Physician-assisted Dying: The Case For Palliative Care And Patient Choice

This excellent book presents arguments supporting acceptance of physician-assisted death as an option for terminally ill patients who are suffering from extreme pain unrelieved by narcotics and whose only wish is to die. Contributors consider all sides, however, and readers will benefit from perspectives from health professionals, families, patients, clergy, and lawyers on assisted death. Oregon is the only state that has enacted a Death with Dignity Act, which allows patients experiencing intractable pain, who are within days or weeks of dying, to elect assisted death. In this, as in any similar proposed legislation, appropriate safeguards are included: repeated written/oral requests by patients to end their lives, confirmation of diagnosis and probable time until natural death, protection from abuse, and psychiatric evaluation to rule out depression as the reason for wanting to die. Many non-Catholic clergymen are beginning to agree that physician-assisted death is warranted in particular cases. Health care professionals, lawyers, legislators, and clergy generally consider physician-assisted death to be an action of last resort. Most Catholics do not accept that physician-assisted death is warranted under any circumstances. As this book makes clear, beliefs about assisted death are a very personal matter. — Choice


Spirit & Place is a project of The Polis Center, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Best wishes to you on all your journeys.


Book Discussions at the Library November 2014

October 27, 2014 by Reader's Connection

I began the previous blog post with a note about the exciting programs coming up in November; and next week we’ll have a season-loving post from Selector Emily Chandler. Let’s begin this one with a chilling view of the month, from Lord Byron’s Don Juan. (Yes, him again.)

‘Twas in November when fine days are few,
aAnd the far mountains wax a little hoary,
And clap a white cape on their mantles blue;
aAnd the sea dashes round the promontory,
And the loud breaker boils against the rock,
And sober suns must set at five o’clock.

Something tasty this way comes at the Franklin Road Library. On Monday, November 3rd at 5:00 p.m., there will be a pitch-in buffet followed by a discussion of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

At 6:00 p.m. a film of the novel will be shown, and at 7:30 there will be a discussion comparing the book and the film.

Something Wicked This Way ComesA little over a month ago I found myself spending the night in Meridian, Mississippi . . . after being refused service at the local Waffle House (don’t ask) I wandered over to a department store parking lot where a carnival was set up. When I left the carnival, it was with a chill down my spine — the setting, the clientele and the proprietors reminded me of a book I had first read almost 40 years ago with a title borrowed from Shakespeare. The book, of course, was SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and I could not get it out of my mind.–Joe Hartlaub, writing at

Something Wicked This Way Comes is also available as a downloadable audiobook and an audiobook on CD.


S. J. Watson’s novel Before I Go to Sleep will be discussed at the Wayne Library on Monday, November 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

Before I Go to SleepForty-seven-year-old Christine Lucas awakens each morning believing she is still in her twenties and single. She suffered a terrible accident that has severely impaired her memory. She doesn’t recognize Ben, the man who tells her he is her husband; she doesn’t remember that she had a son; and, worst of all, she does not feel comfortable in her own skin, appalled by her wrinkled face and old-lady clothes. But it turns out she has been getting some help with her memory problem. Dr. Nash calls her every day after Ben leaves for work to tell her where to retrieve her journal, which contains key details about her previous life and work. The most upsetting thing she learns from her journal, however, is that certain facts don’t match the story Ben has been telling her. But how can she be sure he is deceiving her when she can barely hold on to the threads of her own life? This mesmerizing, skillfully written debut novel from a British author works on multiple levels. It is both an affecting portrait of the profound impact of a debilitating illness and a pulse-pounding thriller whose outcome no one could predict. — Booklist

Before I Go to Sleep is also available as a downloadable e-book.



Central Library will host a discussion of Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes on Tuesday, November 4th at 6:00 p.m.

The Hare with Amber EyesA nimble history of one of the richest European families at the turn of the century.De Waal, a notable London potter, is a descendent of the wealthy Ephrussi family. He seized on an inherited collection of Japanese netsuke–small decorative figures made out of wood or ivory–and traced its ownership down the family line . . . The family’s fabulous wealth derived from the grain-trading business, operating between Paris and Vienna. Charles, who assembled the collection, was a dandyish art collector who settled in Paris at the age of 21, wrote art criticism and a book on Dürer and patronized the early Impressionists. He was quite possibly the real-life character on whom Proust modeled his Charles Swann. Subsequently, the netsuke was given to Charles’s cousin Viktor on the occasion of his wedding in 1899–just at the height of the Dreyfus Affair, when French anti-Semitism burst forth in full force–and the collection passed to Vienna, where the family resided at the surpassingly beautiful Ephrussi Palais on the Ringstrasse. Anti-Jewish feeling pervaded all facets of their lives, and two world wars wreaked havoc on the Ephrussi fortune. Eventually the netsuke was saved from the rapacious hands of the Nazis by a servant who stuffed it in her mattress. De Waal keeps a pleasantly ironic tone throughout this remarkable journey and nicely handles the clutter of objects and relatives.The roster of characters is daunting at first, but this narrative proves a marvelously absorbing synthesis of art history, detective story and memoir. — Kirkus Reviews

The Hare with Amber Eyes is also available in a revised edition with more illustrations, or as a downloadable audiobook or an audiobook on CD.



The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, by Simon Wiesenthal, will be discussed at the Warren Library on Thursday, November 6th at 10:30 a.m.

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of ForgivenessIn 1976, Schocken published the first edition of this book. In it, Wiesenthal related an autobiographical incident and invited responses from a number of prominent thinkers. For this revised version, responses were solicited from 31 new personages; in addition, 11 of the old responses were retained and three included from the 1981 German edition. Among the new respondents, including intellectuals, writers, theologians, political dissidents and religious leaders from around the world, are the Dalai Lama, Robert Coles, Harold S. Kushner and Albert Speer . . . Wiesenthal recounts how, as a concentration camp prisoner, he was one day called to the bedside of a dying SS soldier. The terribly wounded young man had requested a Jew to hear his final confession, because of his guilt over vicious crimes against Jewish civilians. The SS man claimed that he was not anti-Semitic and had only followed the orders and lead of his officers and peers. In a few hours, the solider retold the story of his life, without rationalizations or excuses. Now repentant, he described his crime and asked Wiesenthal for forgiveness. The author has pondered his own response–silence–for more than five decades, and he asks his readers what they might have done in his place. In simple yet elegant prose, Wiesenthal recreates the grim reality of a time when Eastern Europe was hell. Never lapsing into the maudlin or self-pitying, his matter-of-fact realism makes the images all the more horrifying. The responses to the author’s question are as varied as their authors. The mystery of evil and atonement remain, and the reader is left challenged on these most basic issues of meaning in human life. — Publishers Weekly

The Sunflower is also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook and an audiobook on CD.



Rita Mae Brown’s mystery Santa Clawed will be discussed at the Irvington Library on Thursday, November 6th at 1:30 p.m.

Santa ClawedThe holiday spirit takes it on the chin when a series of murders blemish picture-perfect Crozet, Va.Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her equine vet husband Fair are happily shopping for a Christmas tree when they discover a monk with his throat slit. The Brothers of Love, who support themselves by selling trees, do good works in the area. But many of their members are ex-cons. Surely they have some enemies from the past. Brother Christopher, for instance, was a schoolmate of Harry and Fair who lost millions for investors in an insider-trading scheme. Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the crime is the obol found under Christopher’s tongue. One of three stolen from a local coin dealer, it was the customary payment to Charon to transfer souls across the river Styx. Harry, who along with her garrulous pets is a veteran of genteel homicide (The Purrfect Murder, 2008, etc.), can’t keep her nose out of this latest puzzle. When another Brother, an ex-jockey, is found dead in the same fashion, the animals must pitch in again to keep their mother out of trouble. A local physician is the recipient of the third obol, but Harry’s discovery of a chest full of money almost makes her the final victim. — Kirkus Reviews

Santa Clawed is also available as a downloadable e-book, an audiobook on CD, and in large print.




The Shared Reading Group at Spades Park Library will meet from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on every Friday in November–the 7th, 14th, 21st, and even the 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. Unless they change their minds about that one.

Probably sometime early in the month, (vague enough?) the group will begin reading and discussing Jean Toomer’s Cane. They will also, as always, be reading and discussing poems, and eating–if not discussing–refreshments.




Zeitoun by Dave Eggers will be discussed at the Flanner House Library on Monday, November 10th at 6:30 p.m.

ZeitounEggers chronicles, as nonfiction, the tribulations of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American painting contractor who decides to ride out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Although his wife, Kathy, leaves town with their four children, Abdulrahman (known as Zeitoun because few locals can pronounce his first name) stays behind, hoping to protect their home, their job sites, and their rental properties. After the storm, he paddles the flooded streets in a canoe, rescuing stranded people, feeding trapped dogs, and marveling at the sometimes surreal beauty of the devastation. Was it God’s plan that he help others? he wonders. Then people in uniforms take him at gunpoint and incarcerate him. There are no charges, only the guards’ insistence that he is “al Qaeda” and “Taliban.” Zeitoun’s odyssey–23 days of grueling imprisonment, held incommunicado and deprived of all due process–is but one nightmare of many lived after Katrina. But it is exceptionally well told . . . Booklist

Zeitoun is also available as a downloadable e-book and an audiobook on CD.



Edwidge Danitcat’s Claire of the Sea Light will be the subject of a discussion at the Fountain Square Library on Thursday, November 13th at 1:30 p.m.

Claire of the Sea LightAs a native Haitian, Danticat is known for taking an innate cultural understanding and mixing it with a spare, striking writing style, always with marvelous results. The setting for her latest is Ville Rose, a small coastal town in Haiti, where baby Claire is born as her mother dies in childbirth. The novel begins on Claire’s seventh birthday and then flows back in time, revisiting previous birthdays and their parallel events. In the village, life and death coexist in heartrending fashion, and the people live with the understanding that any one of them may be instantly and forever altered by natural forces, irrational acts, or simple circumstances. As Claire’s father, a poor fisherman, makes a difficult decision, personal histories converge and the village comes together both to mourn a death and to save a life. Throughout, everything seems to be driven by the mystical power of the sea, for which Claire is named . . . Danticat . . . has the ability to conjure up the rarified air of Haiti as she manages to pull tightly at one’s heartstrings; this novel is no exception. — IndyPL’s own Susanne Wells, writing in Library Journal

Claire of the Sea Light is also available as downloadable e-book and an audiobook on CD.



On Monday, November 17th at 6:00 p.m., the Cookbook Discussion Program at the Nora Library will focus on baking. Under discussion will be:

Baking: More Than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and TechniquesThe Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America’s Favorite Desserts by Jessie Oleson Moore

Baking: More Than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and Techniques from Better Homes and Gardens

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel

The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book: Baking Demystified: with 450 Recipes from America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Read from one or more of the cookbooks, try a couple of the recipes, and bring a sample of your favorite. Chef Brad Nehrt, Culinary Arts Instructor at the J. Everett Light Career Center, will be the special guest.

Please call 275-4472 to register for this program.



The Pike Library will host a discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior on Monday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m.

Flight BehaviorDellarobia Turnbow is in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Married at 17 to kind, dull Cub, she finds even the satisfaction of motherhood small consolation for the stultifying existence on her in-laws’ struggling Tennessee sheep farm. When a fluke of nature upends the monotony of her life, Dellarobia morphs into the church’s poster child for a miracle, an Internet phenomenon, and a woman on the verge of unexpected opportunity as scientists, reporters, and ecotourists converge on the Turnbow property. Orange Prize winner Kingsolver (The Lacuna) performs literary magic, generously illuminating both sides of the culture wars, from the global-warming debate to public eduction in America. It’s a joy to watch Dellarobia and her precocious son, Preston, blossom under the tutelage of entomologist Ovid Byron. Like E.O. Wilson in his novel Anthill, Kingsolver draws upon her prodigious knowledge of the natural world to enlighten readers about the intricacies of the migration patterns of monarch butterflies while linking their behavior to the even more fascinating conduct of the human species. Highly recommended. — Library Journal

Flight Behavior is also available as an audiobook on CD


M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans will be discussed at the Lawrence Library on Tuesday, November 18th at 10:15 a.m.

The Light Between OceansStedman’s haunting tale opens in 1918 with the return of Tom Sherbourne to his home in Australia after serving four years in the Great War. He applies for a job as a lighthouse keeper and is assigned to the light on Janus Rock, a remote island off the southwest coast where he hopes to erase his horrific memories of war. Several years later, Tom brings to the island his bride, Isabel, a free-spirited young woman who is determined to adapt to Tom’s solitary life with their only contact with the mainland a quarterly visit from the supply boat. Four years later, after Isabel has suffered two miscarriages and a very recent stillbirth, an event occurs that forever changes them. A dinghy washes up on the beach carrying a dead man and a newborn baby girl, giving Isabel hope that she may become, at last, a mother. The choice they make as a couple comes to haunt them, their unexpected happiness replaced by guilt and mistrust. Stedman draws the reader into her emotionally complex story right from the beginning, with lush descriptions of this savage and beautiful landscape, and vivid characters with whom we can readily empathize. Hers is a stunning and memorable debut. — Booklist

The Light Between Oceans is also available as a downloadable e-book and an audiobook on CD


Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Discussion Group, will meet at the Glendale Library on Sunday, November 23rd from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.They will depart from their usual format this month, and discuss one book, Hugh Howey’s Wool, which all group members will read.

This the original stand-alone story Wool, which is the first part of Wool Omnibus. I think the whole omnibus appears on the audiobook on CD (15 discs) and on the downloadable e-book.

The original stand-alone story is also available for free on If you can handle this sort of thing, click here.

The Southport Library will host a discussion of The Shoemaker’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani, on Monday, November 24th at 6:30 p.m.

The Shoemaker's Wife

As the twentieth century begins, two teenagers living in the Italian Alps, Enza and Ciro, share a kiss that will linger across continents and time. Forced by circumstances to leave their beloved mountains, both land in New York City, where they pass in and out of one another’s lives. Gradually, the practical-minded Enza makes a name for herself as a seamstress, eventually sewing for the great Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera, while Ciro develops into a skilled shoemaker and the charming rake of Little Italy. Their paths remain star-crossed until Ciro realizes what Enza has known all along, that they are destined for each other. Drawing on her own family history, adored, best-selling Trigiani has crafted a gorgeous romantic saga that succeeds on the appealing chemistry of her well-matched lovers, whom readers will take to heart as dear friends. Though set a century ago, this expansive epic, which seems tailor-made for a miniseries, manages to feel both old-fashioned and thoroughly contemporary as Enza and Ciro come to exemplify the immigrant experience in America as strangers in a strange land who ultimately find themselves at home in a new world. — Booklist

The Shoemaker’s Wife is also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook, and an audiobook on CD.