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I have visited 5 out of the 9 Public Collection libraries. Hope to get to all of them.

August 3, 2016 by Reader's Connection

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Evolution of Reading, by Kimberly McNeelan

WARNING: CLICKING ANY PICTURE IN THIS BLOG POST, OR THE NAME OF ANY PUBLIC COLLECTION ARTWORK, WILL TAKE YOU SOMEWHERE, USUALLY TO MORE INFO ABOUT THAT PUBLIC COLLECTION SITE.
Let’s start with Evolution of Reading, at White River State Park, because when I stepped inside the “cave-like form” (as artist Kimberly McNeelan describes it) in late June, I was looking at “a timeline on the wall referencing the cave paintings, which are the first known form of written symbols.”

Juniper FuseThis was especially cool for me, since I’m reading Clayton Eshleman’s Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld, about the beginnings of human consciousness as captured in cave art, a book about which I’ll be gushing in just a few weeks.

There weren’t a whole lot of books in the cave. It’s extremely possible that Evolution of Reading‘s  shelves have been restocked since I visited, but it could have used a few more titles at the time; and that’s another reason for my mentioning this site first. If you have any Public Collection titles to return, or any gently used books to donate, you might think of heading to White River State Park.

HOLD UP A SECOND.
Public Collection logo

Click here for information about the whole Public Collection

DOES EVERYONE KNOW WHAT THE PUBLIC COLLECTION IS? PROBABLY NOT.

There are nine Public Collection sites–works of art which also serve as libraries–in Indianapolis. They just had their first birthday back in July, and will be with us for another year. Click on their logo to learn more about the whole collection.

 

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Monument, by Brian McCutcheon

WHY DID I ASSUME THAT NOT EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT THE PUBLIC COLLECTION?
Because I was on Monument Circle, the night before my visit to White River State Park, and I was admiring (and shopping for a book from) Brian McCutcheon’s Monument. In the few minutes that I was there, I spoke to four or five people about this site and the Public Collection, and it was news to all of them. (Take a book with you, bring it back–or to another Public Collection site–when you’re done with it.)

A fellow from Boston said they didn’t have anything like the Public Collection there, which made me feel hip, and reminded me that the same could be said of Tucson.

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Topiary, by Eric Nordgulen

HOW DO I KNOW THAT, ABOUT TUCSON? I had visited Eric Nordgulen’s Topiary, down on Virginia Avenue, a week or two earlier, and celebrated the 4th of July by posting a review of a book I had found there, Becky Masterman’s Rage Against the Dying.

 

I tweeted about the blog post, and Hope Delion, an editor at St. Martin’s, pull-quoted me (a first for me, and painless) and author Masterman retweeted the quote-pull (?) and commented on the blog.

 

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For a moment, my existence on Earth seemed justified. I was totally absorbed by a great cloud of tweetiness.
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Table of Contents, by Stuart Hyatt, Janice Shimizu and Joshua Coggeshall

 

Every Public Collection site is unique, but perhaps the most unique, in certain respects, is Table of Contents, by Stuart Hyatt & Janice Shimizu & Joshua Coggeshall. It is located at Horizon House, whose doors close to the public at 3:00 pm on weekdays (12:30 pm on Wednesdays). I arrived a few minutes late last Friday, but some kind people let me in when they saw that I had books to donate.

The books and audiobooks on the shelves there are intended for use only by Horizon House neighbors–which is to say residents. As the artists put it, “Table of Contents provides our most vulnerable neighbors with comfortable and inviting pavilions for reading and listening to audio books. The project was conceived and designed in direct collaboration with the ‘neighbors’ of Horizon House who are experiencing homelessness.”

Life after LifeI didn’t know about that rule, at first, and I stumbled out the door with a book in my plastic bag. But the shelves of Table of Contents are well stocked, or at least they were last Friday; and if I end up reviewing a title from there, please don’t think ill of me.
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Cool Books – Food for Thought, by Tom Torluemke

And now we come to the Public Collection site that I visited first, Tom Torluemke’s Cool Books – Food for Thought at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

 

This distinctive refrigerator with its black cat on top was the source of Anne Korkeakivi’s An Unexpected Guest, which I reviewed back in January.

 

 

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HEY, WAIT. THERE’S ANOTHER PUBLIC COLLECTION SITE AT THE IMA. Even if LaShawnda Crowe Storm’s Play Station houses mostly children’s books, I should pay it a visit, if I’m going to do this thing right.

 

 

 

 

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And there’s Nautilus by Katie Hudnall, at Eskenazi Health.

 

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And Harvesting Knowledge by Brose Partington, at City Market.

 

 

 

 

 

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And The answer is in the question by Phil O’Malley, at the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center.

 

 

Five months to go in 2016. Visiting four more sites should be a breeze. Even if I don’t manage to review a book from each of them, scoping them out will be great fun.

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I’ve Lived in East London for 86 1/2 Years: A recommendation

August 1, 2016 by Reader's Connection

I've Lived in East London for 86 1/2 Years

 

If you read only one book for the rest of 2016, I recommend I’ve Lived in East London for 86 1/2 Years by Joseph Markovitch (Words) and Martin Usborne (Photos). Enjoyed the charming arbitrary annotations offered up from the prospective of a wonderful soul. The accompanied photos are delightful. — Montoya

 

 

 

If you would like to submit a review to Reader’s Connection, as Montoya has done, just go to the top of this blog page and click where it says SHARE A REVIEW.
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OR, if you’re using a phone, and there’s no such picture to click, click below, probably where it says Continue reading.

You’ll be taken to a form where you can enter your review, and I’ll post it here on Reader’s Connection as soon as I can.

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Summer is Wedding Season

July 28, 2016 by Reader's Connection

“Someone once told me that true love is your soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another.” – Claire Cleary (Rachel McAdams), Wedding Crashers
The summer wedding season is rolling along, and what better way to enjoy it than to revisit some of our favorite wedding-themed books and movies?!

Books

An Amish WeddingAn Amish Wedding – Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller, Beth Wiseman

A collection of three novellas about three different couples at an Amish wedding includes Beth Wiseman’s “A Perfect Plan,” in which Priscilla King wonders if her wedding to Chester Lapp will come off after a series of problems.

 

Royal WeddingRoyal Wedding – Meg Cabot

The first adult installment of the Princess Diaries series “follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding–but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

 

The WeddingThe Wedding – Nicholas Sparks

After more than twenty years of marriage, Wilson Lewis is determined to figure out how to make his wife fall in love with him again.

 

The Wedding
The Wedding – Dorothy West

In the 1950s, a girl from the black bourgeoisie in Martha’s Vineyard announces her engagement to a white musician. The novel follows the impact this has on her family and the community around them.

 

The Wedding DressThe Wedding Dress – Rachel Hauck

One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte Malone embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her. Emily in 1912. Mary in 1939. And Hillary in 1968. Woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of faith, and the beauty of finding true love.

 

A Wedding in ProvenceA Wedding in Provence – Ellen Sussman

Ellen Sussman, nationally bestselling author of French Lessons, delivers a feast for the senses in A Wedding in Provence—a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France.

 

The Wedding of the CenturyThe Wedding of the Century – Mary Jo Putney, Kristin James, Charlotte Featherstone

Presents three works featuring women who find themselves in marriages where love seems to be the least likely result, only to be surprised by the way that passion and devotion find their way into the relationship.

 

The Wedding PartyThe Wedding Party – Elisabeth Rose

Phoebe Curtis is thrilled when asked to marry friends Lindy and Alex in her seaside hometown of Narooma. Lindy has arranged a pre-wedding holiday week, Phoebe included as a reunion for Alex and his two Best Men. Phoebe loves weddings and hopes for her own happily ever after.

 

The Wedding QuiltThe Wedding Quilt – Jennifer Chiaverini

Meditating on the weddings she has attended in Elm Creek Manor throughout the years on the morning of her daughter’s wedding day, Sarah McClure evaluates the symbolic features on a wedding quilt designed to display the signatures of beloved guests.

 

Wedding SeasonWedding Season – Katie Fforde

Sarah is a wedding planner hiding a rather inconvenient truth, she doesn’t believe in love. But as the confetti flutters away on the June breeze of yet another successful wedding, she somehow finds herself agreeing to organize two more events, on the same day and only two months away. And while her celebrity bride is all sweetness and light, the other bride, Sarah’s own sister, soon starts driving her crazy with her high expectations but meager budget.

 

Movies

 

27 Dresses27 Dresses

After serving as a bridesmaid 27 times, a young woman wrestles with the idea of standing by her sister’s side as her sibling marries the man she’s secretly in love with.

 

The Best Man
The Best Man

Scandalous secrets from the past begin to reveal themselves when old college buddies reunite for a wedding.

 

The Big WeddingThe Big Wedding

To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son’s wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend.

 

BridesmaidsBridesmaids

Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride’s best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef.

 

Father of the BrideFather of the Bride – 1950

Chaos reigns when the beautiful daughter of a family casually announces her plans to marry. What follows is a warmly humorous story, with wedding preparations, ruffled egos and the unavoidable meeting with the prospective in-laws.

 

Father of the BrideFather of the Bride – 1991

In this remake of the Spencer Tracy classic, George and Nina Banks are the parents of young soon-to-be-wed Annie. George is a nervous father unready to face the fact that his little girl is now a woman. The preparations for the extravagant wedding provide additional comic moments.

 

Four Weddings and a FuneralFour Weddings and a Funeral

Romantic comedy about a young man who meets the girl of his dreams at a friend’s wedding. However, she slips through his fingers when the timing seems wrong, and they meet at three more weddings and a funeral before the two finally connect.

 

TITLELicense to Wed

Newly engaged couple, Ben Murphy and Sadie Jones can’t wait to be married and live their life together. The problem is that Sadie’s family church, St. Augustine’s, is run by Reverend Frank. Reverend Frank’s rigorous marriage “prep course” puts Ben and Sadie’s relationship to the test.

 

Made of Honor

Made of Honor

After years of being single, Tom realizes he’s in love with his best friend Hannah, who has just announced her engagement. When she asks him to be her maid of honor, will he be able to convince her it’s him she should marry?

 

Mama Mia!Mama Mia!

20 year old Sophie is preparing to marry at her mother’s hotel on a Greek island. She has a carefree life, a loving fiancée, and great friends. She is only missing one thing: a father. By reading her mother’s diary she discovers that she has three possible fathers. Sophie secretly invites all three men to the wedding in a desperate bid to discover which of them is her father.

 

My Best Friend’s WeddingMy Best Friend’s Wedding

Friends from college make a pact to marry each other if they are not married by 28. When Michael gets engaged, Julianne will stop at nothing to stop the wedding.

 

My Big Fat Greek WeddingMy Big Fat Greek Wedding

A Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity before their upcoming nuptials.

 

Our Family WeddingOur Family Wedding

When college students Marcus and Lucia make a surprise engagement announcement, their feuding fathers threaten to turn a dream wedding into a battle royal. Throw in eccentric relatives and clashing cultures, and you’ve got a recipe for laugh-out-loud lunacy and nonstop fun!

 

The Philadelphia StoryThe Philadelphia Story

Here comes the bride…the ex-husband…and the gossip columnist on assignment. A sophisticated romantic comedy about a rich, spoiled socialite who learns some things about who she is and what she really wants on the eve of her second marriage.

 

Runaway BrideRunaway Bride

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere star as a bride who routinely ditches grooms at the altar and the cynical reporter who decides to do a story on her.

 

Wedding CrashersWedding Crashers

A pair of divorced legal mediators spend their weekends crashing weddings in a search for Ms. Right…for a night. But when one of them falls for the engaged daughter of an influential and eccentric politician, they quickly find themselves in over their heads.

 

The Wedding DateThe Wedding Date

Kat Ellis is determined to attend her younger sister’s wedding with a date. Rather than face the ridicule of her family, and in order to show up her ex-fiance, she resorts to the Yellow Pages to find an escort.

 

The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner

A romantic comedy about love, marriage and other events you just can’t plan for. Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is a successful, work obsessed wedding planner in San Francisco who finally finds a man of her own (Matthew McConaughey), or so she thinks. He turns out to be the groom in the biggest wedding of her career. Will she get the job or the guy?

 

The Wedding RingerThe Wedding Ringer

Doug Harris is a lovable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to go until he marries the girl of his dreams, Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan, owner of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding bromance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy.

 

The Wedding SingerThe Wedding Singer

Robbie Hart is a master of ceremonies, left at the altar at his own wedding. He becomes someone who can only destroy other people’s weddings until he meets a waitress named Julia. Julia, however, is about to have a wedding of her own and may be lost forever.

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

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August Book Discussions: The Portal SF group has changed its theme to POKEMON GO TAKES OVER THE UNIVERSE!

July 25, 2016 by Reader's Connection

No, that’s not true. As far as I know, Portal is sticking to their scheduled theme. See below: Sunday, August 28th.

Concerning the discussions that are part of the Indiana-related Adult Summer Reading Program:
1. Adult Summer Reading discussions are marked here with infused Indiana maps.
2. You have to be 21 years of age to attend a discussion at a tavern or brewery.
3. If not otherwise attributed, book reviews were written by IndyPL staff.

Have a wonderful August.
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In This House of Brede

 

The Franklin Road Branch will host a discussion of Rumer Godden’s novel In This House of Brede on Monday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m.

Check out the reviews on GoodReads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula McLain’s novel Circling the Sun will be discussed at the Wayne Branch on Monday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m.

Circling the Sun

McLain brought Hadley Richardson Hemingway to light with her best-selling novel, The Paris Wife (2011). Bravo to her for now fictionalizing the grandly adventurous, passionate, and scandalous life of British East African Beryl Markham, the first licensed woman horse trainer and breeder on the continent and an intrepid, record-setting pilot. Ernest Hemingway knew and admired Markham and raved about her breathtaking autobiography, West with the Night (1942), which McLain selectively mines. We meet Beryl as a child abandoned by her mother and allowed to run free as her father raises Thoroughbreds. Fearless, curious, and strong, Beryl learns a warrior’s skills with Kibii, a Kipsigis boy, and dreams of a life larger than the confines of domesticity. She resolutely finds her way to daredevilry and terror, love and ostracism as she undertakes the sort of risky and exhilarating things men do even as she suffers through disastrous marriages, homelessness, and a complicated and wrenching entanglement with coffee grower and writer Karen Blixen (i.e., Isak Dinesen of Out of Africa fame) and Denys Fitch Hatton, the exciting and elusive man they both love. McLain sustains a momentum as swift and heart-pounding as one of Beryl’s prize horses at a gallop as she focuses on the romance, glamour, and drama of Beryl’s blazing life, creating a seductive work of popular historical fiction with sure-fire bio-pic potential. — Booklist

Circling the Sun is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, and an audiobook on CD.

 

 

James Alexander Thom’s novel Fire in the Water will be discussed at the White River State Park, The Children’s Maze (801 W. Washington Street) on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

Fire in the WaterThe Civil War is ending and war correspondent Paddie Quinn has recently married and is looking forward to some honeymoon time when news of President Lincoln’s assassination reaches him. Paddie quickly finagles an assignment out of Harper’s Weekly and books passage for himself and his bride on the Sultana steamboat hoping to enjoy a honeymoon while writing his story. The trip takes an unexpected turn when it stops at Vicksburg to pick up numerous prisoners of war whom Paddie begins interviewing during their trip up the flooded Mississippi. It is during one of these interviews that he befriends Robbie Macombie, a Union soldier just released from the infamous Andersonville prison-of-war camp. Their fledgling friendship strengthens and buoys them through the tumultuous night of the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.

 

 

Shirley Hazzard’s novel The Great Fire will be discussed at Central Library on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

The Great FireA new novel from Hazzard is a literary event. It’s been two decades between the publication of The Transit of Venus and this magnificent book, but her burnished prose has not diminished in luster nor has her wisdom about the human condition. Two men who have survived WWII and are now enduring the soiled peace, and one 17-year-old woman who has suffered beyond her years, are the characters around whom this narrative revolves. Aldred Leith, 32, the son of a famous novelist and the winner of a military medal for heroism, has come to postwar Japan to observe the conditions there for a book he’s writing on the consequences of war within an ancient society. In an idyllic setting above the city of Kure, near Hiroshima, he meets teenaged Helen Driscoll and her terminally ill brother, Ben, who are the poetic children of a loathsome Australian army major and his harridan wife. Leith is drawn to the siblings, who live vicariously in classic literature, and he soon realizes that he’s in love with Helen, despite the difference in their ages. Meanwhile, Leith’s close friend Peter Exley, who interrogates Japanese war criminals in Hong Kong, faces a decision about what to do with the rest of his life . . . The leitmotif here is the need for love to counteract the vile wind of history that breeds loss and dislocation. Hazzard writes gently, tenderly, yet with fierce knowledge of how a dearth of love can render lives meaningless. The purity of her sentences, each one resonant with implication, create an effortless flow. — Publishers Weekly

 

 

The discussion of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five will take place on Thursday, August 4th at 6:00 p.m.at the Red Key Tavern (5170 N. College Avenue) at 6:00 p.m.

Slaughterhouse-Five

Billy Pilgrim could travel through time. He also was abducted by aliens
and held in a human zoo on their planet, much to the utter skepticism
of the rest of the world. Yet that did not deter his quest to tell the
world of his experiences that started with his service as a soldier and
then a POW during World War II. Jumping around to different pivotal
points of his life, Billy was “unstuck in time” as he experienced his
past, present, and future while forcibly transported across Germany.
Each episode was a state of blissful obliviousness, leaving him with a
fatalistic “so it goes” air of indifference and apathy as he witnessed
the bombing of Dresden and the deaths caused by the brutal and
tragic events happening around him. The message in this story is
simple- death is inevitable, and life moves on. Slaughterhouse-Five is now considered one of the greatest antiwar novels of all time.

Slaughterhouse-Five is also available as an eBook and an eAudiobook, and is on order as an audiobook on CD.

The photograph of the monument was posted on Wikimedia Commons by X-Weinzar. As translated by Google, it reads in part, “We remember the dead who perished in the Anglo-American bomb attack in February 1945 on Dresden”.

 

 

The Portrait of a Lady
The Shared Reading Group at the East 38th Street Branch is going to take a break for the first two Fridays in August, the 5th and the 12th, and will meet again on the 19th and 26th to read and discuss The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

From 10:00 to 11:30, attendees will read aloud (if they wish to), sample refreshments (if they wish to), and discuss. A poem will be read.

The group’s members are all wondering how this book made it into the canon. But they are also, on some level, enjoying it. I think.

 

 

Mary Monroe’s novel Every Woman’s Dream will be discussed at the Flanner House Branch on Monday, August 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Every Woman's DreamBest-selling Monroe begins her new Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series with a tale about friends Lola and Joan. As teens, they came up with a plan to earn money by writing to lonely older men, which worked just fine until one man’s wife came looking for them. Years later, Lola is stuck in a dead-end grocery-store job, while living with a stepmother who runs off her boyfriends. Joan gets pregnant at 17 and marries the dentist father, Reed, who proves to be a suffocating, controlling husband. As adults looking for escape, the ladies join an online sex club and meet hookups. The point of view switches to a serial killer who is attracted to Lola through the club; as they set up a date, the novel ends. Monroe manages to make Joan and Lola sympathetic throughout their painful missteps, while the killer’s presence heightens suspense. The ending is abrupt, leaving readers waiting for the next installment. — Booklist

Every Woman’s Dream is also available as an eBook and in large print

 

 

Shakespeare's Sonnets And Poems

Joni Mitchell: Hits (Musical scoreOn Monday, August 8th at 6:30 p.m., The Poetry & Lyric Discussion Group at the Beech Grove Branch will talk about William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 7” and Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”

 

 

The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas will be discussed at the Irvington Branch on Thursday, August 11th at 1:30 p.m.

The Time In Between
Sira Quiroga begins life as the bastard daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, but bad luck, fate, and the crooked path toward true love all lead her to a life of dizzying glamour, adventure, and high-stakes espionage. When young Sira is abandoned by her lover in Morocco, she is forced to reinvent herself as a sophisticated dressmaker to the expatriate community while the Spanish civil war devastates her homeland. Her work brings her into contact with powerful men, compelling women, and a man she believes to be a journalist and perhaps the love of her life. When the British government asks her to return to Madrid to spy for them as World War II sweeps Europe, she reluctantly agrees, but in doing so becomes a heroine. The first-person perspective makes this long novel seem short, and the rich narrative includes many important figures and incidents from history . . . It is no surprise this debut novel was a runaway success in Europe. American fans of historical fiction looking for a dramatic, uncomplicated escape will be similarly entranced. — Library Journal

The Time In Between is also available as an audiobook on CD.

 

 

Barbara Shoup’s novel An American Tune will be discussed at the Metazoa Brewing Company (140 S. College Avenue) on Monday, August 15th at 6:00 p.m.

And in addition to this discussion: on Monday August 22nd at 6:00 p.m., Barbara Shoup will give an author talk in the Nina Mason Pulliam Indiana Special Collections Room at Central Library.

An American TuneNora Quillen spends her days contentedly helping with her husband’s veterinary practice and enjoying the beauty of the small town they call home. While helping her daughter prepare for college, though, she is brought face-to-face with, first, an old name and, then, an old love, remnants of a former life she has been hiding since one fateful night during the anti-Vietnam War movement almost 30 years ago. Unable to deny her past any longer, she is forced to look inside herself and make decisions that will inevitably alter the lives of everyone she loves. Shoup takes readers alternately to Indiana University during the 1960s antiwar movement and to northern Michigan at the beginning of the Iraq War, addressing the moral dilemmas of each while exploring Nora’s feelings of guilt and helplessness . . . However politically minded, this poignant and stirring novel is at its root a moving and passionate love story. — Booklist

An American Tune is also available as an eBook.

 

 

Kristin Hannah’s novel The Nightingale will be discussed at the Pike Branch on Monday, August 15th at 6:30 p.m.

The Nightingale“In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are,” Hannah’s narrator, Viann Mauriac, proclaims as she looks back on her life in France. The bestselling author hits her stride in this page-turning tale about two sisters, one in the French countryside, the other in Paris, who show remarkable courage in the German occupation during WWII. Through Viann we learn how life was disrupted when husbands and fathers were forced to enlist while the Germans took over their towns and villages, billeting themselves in people’s homes, gorging on food, and forcing the starved locals to wait in endless lines for rations. Viann’s younger sister, Isabelle, always rebellious, joins the resistance in Paris, finds love with another resistance fighter, and risks her life guiding downed British and American paratroopers over the Pyrenees and out of France. Viann does her part too, saving 19 Jewish children by hiding them in a convent. Despite having a German officer in her own home, she also takes in a Jewish baby–her best friend’s son–when his mother is sent to a concentration camp. The author ably depicts war’s horrors through the eyes of these two women, whose strength of character shines through no matter their differences. — Publishers Weekly

The Nightingale is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, an audiobook on CD, and in large print.

 

 

Monkey up! Karen Joy Fowler’s novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will be discussed at the Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens (1200 W. Washington Street) on Tuesday, August 16th at 3:00 p.m. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY TO GET INTO WHEREVER THE DISCUSSION IS BEING HELD.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Rosemary Cooke, the young woman who narrates this funny, upsetting novel, was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, with an older brother. She had a sister, too, who was about the same age as Rosemary; but the brother was a human, while the “sister” was a chimpanzee. Rosemary’s father was an IU professor who had added a simian to the family as part of a scientific experiment.
The experiment did not go well, and Rosemary can be a hilarious narrator. She is attending college in California—eternally, it would seem—and looking back at her Hoosier years with dismay. The family has fractured. Her brother and “sister” have long-since disappeared, and Rosemary misses them terribly. The novel makes us look anew at what it means to be a family, and what it means to be human.

Ms. Fowler is the winner of the 2016 Indiana Authors Award in the National Author category.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, and an audiobook on CD.

 

 

Elizabeth O’Maley’s Bones on the Ground will be discussed at the Indiana Historical Society (450 W. Ohio Street) on Wednesday, August 17th at 5:00 p.m.

Bones on the GroundWhat happened to the Indians who called this area their home for so long? Bones on the Ground is an accessible examination of the Indians of the Old Northwest Territory and their struggle to maintain possession of their tribal lands while Colonial and American leaders pushed white settlement. O’Maley presents biographical sketches of the key players including Little Turtle, Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, and William Conner, and alternates those histories with first-person narratives that help bring the characters to life. The book covers events in the Old Northwest Territory from before the American Revolution through the removal of the Miami from Indiana in 1846. With alternating points-of-view from both the Indians and the Colonial leaders, readers see that both sides bend and stretch the truth to validate their entitlements. With its focus primarily on the Indian tribes living in what would become Indiana, the book offers a concise, overall perspective on this important period in our state’s development.

Bones on the Ground is also available as an eBook.

 

 

Isis : Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan will be discussed at the Beech Grove Branch on Monday, August 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

Isis : Inside the Army of TerrorHow did a group of religious fanatics, clad in black pajamas and armed to the teeth, manage to carve out a violent, fundamentalist “Islamic state” in wide swaths of Syria and Iraq? How did the widely celebrated revolution against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad descend into a movement led by a psychopathically violent band of jihadists dedicated to the destruction of America? And just who are these brutal Islamic militants–many speaking unaccented English and holding European passports–beheading Western hostages in slickly produced videos? In Isis: Inside the Army of Terror, Syrian journalist Hassan Hassan and American analyst Michael Weiss explain how the terrorists of ISIS evolved from a nearly defeated insurgent group into a jihadi army–armed with American military hardware and the capability to administer a functioning state. Weiss and Hassan, who have both been on the frontlines of the Syrian revolution, have interviewed dozens of experts, American military and intelligence officials, and ISIS fighters to paint the first comprehensive picture of the rise and expansion of America’s most formidable terrorist enemy. ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror is destined to become the standard text on a terror group that, unfortunately, shows no signs of going away. — Baker & Taylor

Isis : Inside the Army of Terror is also available as an eBook and an audiobook on CD.

 

 

R. J. Palacio’s Wonder will be discussed at the Spades Park Branch on Wednesday, August 24th at 6:00 p.m.

WonderAfter being homeschooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle-school life when he looks so different from everyone else? Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too. A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. — Kirkus Reviews

Wonder is also available as an eBook, an audiobook on CD, and in large print.

 

 

Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group, will meet at the Glendale Branchportal on Sunday, August 28th at 1:00 p.m.

This month’s theme: Forward in Time: Characters who find themselves in the far future, or historical figures who wake up in the 21st century: who are your favorite characters who’ve been transported to their own future?

 

 

The Sun King Brewery (135 N. College Avenue) will host the last of this year’s Adult Summer Reading discussions. John A. Beineke’s Hoosier Public Enemy: A Life of John Dillinger will be discussed on Monday, August 29th at 5:30 p.m.

Hoosier Public Enemy: A Life of John DillingerThe Great Depression was a time of hardship and bleakness… except when America’s favorite criminal made news! John Dillinger’s swash-buckling ways, smooth good looks, and his care for the poor farmers – leaving their money on the counter when robbing the banks – won the hearts of Hoosiers and Americans everywhere. For a period of fourteen months, John Dillinger’s escapades lifted the average American from their despair. This book, with historic photos generously splashed through the pages, gives us a fascinating look at Indiana during the Dillinger years (from Johnnie’s childhood through 1934). Fast-paced and full of Dillinger’s sparkling personality, it shows us Dillinger’s early childhood in Indianapolis and Mooresville, and escorts us through his escapades – and thrilling escapes – in a time when fast cars and new modern crime-fighting techniques were finding a place in current culture.

Hoosier Public Enemy is also available as an eBook.

 

 

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LibraryReads for August

July 21, 2016 by Reader's Connection

libraryreads_2016_8
Ten new books reviewed by librarians from eight different states. Two from Texas, two from New York. And Indiana is once again represented.

 

A Great Reckoning by Lousie Penny

A Great Reckoning

Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended. — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC

 

 

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door

This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed. — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS

 

 

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Watching Edie

Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

 

 

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers. — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

 

 

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

The Dollhouse

This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much! — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

 

 

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending. — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY

 

 

Arrowood by Laura McHugh

Arrowood

Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel un-put-down-able! Highly recommended. — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

 

 

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors

On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end. — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

 

 

 

 

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

First Star I See Tonight

First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book. — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI

 

 

Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews

Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly Summerball baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery. — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN

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