August 3, 2016 by Reader's Connection
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.”
This 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.|
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.
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.
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.
|For a moment, my existence on Earth seemed justified. I was totally absorbed by a great cloud of tweetiness.|
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.”
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.
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.
And there’s Nautilus by Katie Hudnall, at Eskenazi Health.
And Harvesting Knowledge by Brose Partington, at City Market.
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.
August 1, 2016 by Reader's Connection
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.
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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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?!
An 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 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 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 – 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
Scandalous secrets from the past begin to reveal themselves when old college buddies reunite for a 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
Check out the reviews on GoodReads.
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
The 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.
A 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
|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.
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 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.
Best-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
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.
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.
Nora 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.
“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
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.
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.
What 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.
How 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
After 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
Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group, will meet at the Glendale Branch 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.
The 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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July 21, 2016 by Reader's Connection
A Great Reckoning by Lousie Penny
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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