March 25, 2013 by Reader's Connection
We begin the month in the Awakening Land, take a thousand-mile journey through that land, stop off in Paris for a Stravinsky premiere, are involved with crime and sainthood in Manhattan, and then go whaling. And that’s just in the first week.
The Trees is a moving novel of the beginning of the American trek to the west. Toward the close of the eighteenth century, the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio River was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here, in the first novel of Conrad Richter’s Awakening Land trilogy, the Lucketts, a wild, woods-faring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced and as new settlements threatened their isolation.This novel gives an excellent feel for America’s lost woods culture, which was created when most of the eastern midwest was a vast hardwood forest—virtually a jungle. The Trees conveys settler life, including conflicts with Native Americans, illness, hunting, family dynamics, and marriage. — Publisher’s note
Mary Ingles was twenty-three, married, and pregnant, when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement, killed the men and women, then took her captive. For months, she lived with them, unbroken, until she escaped, and followed a thousand mile trail to freedom–an extraordinary story of a pioneer woman who risked her life to return to her people. — Random House
Thomas Forrest Kelly’s First Nights : Five Musical Premieres includes a section on the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, and that section will be emphasized in the discussion at Central Library on Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:00 p.m.
This is a unique and extremely attractive account of the premieres of five musical masterpieces spanning from 1607 to 1913: Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo, Handel’s oratorio Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and Stravinsky’s ballet Le Sacre du printemps. The focus of each essay is the actual premiere, but Kelly, who teaches a course called “First Nights” at Harvard, first places each event in its broader historical and cultural setting and then proceeds to fill in the scene with numerous interesting details and asides. One of North America’s most prominent musicologists, Kelly paints a vivid and fascinating picture of each premiere by combining information taken from a number of sources, including letters, archival documents, and observations of the music itself. This should appeal to all music lovers. — Library Journal
When a deceased nun, Sister Catherine, becomes a candidate for sainthood in this gripping thriller from bestseller Clark, Monica Farrell, a 31-year-old Manhattan pediatrician, becomes the target of those who don’t want her to inherit what’s left of a fortune created by her unknown grandfather, Alex Gannon, with whom Catherine had a secret love child before she took up holy orders. That child, given up for adoption, became Monica’s father. Monica must now testify whether two boys became cancer-free due to prayers to Sister Catherine so she can qualify for beatification. Meanwhile, Olivia Morrow, Catherine’s 82-year-old dying cousin, ponders whether to tell Monica she’s Alex’s granddaughter. Clark skillfully mixes spiritual questions with down and dirty deeds as she reveals Gannon Foundation funds have been steadily siphoned off by greedy heirs and associates who will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep their criminal misbehavior under wraps. — Publisher’s Weekly
This cover art is from a Norton Critical Edition, and that’s what we are using, but our edition is more recent and our art is much cooler. Queequeg’s tattooed face is on the cover. Drop by and have a look.
Spades Park’s regular book discussion group will meet on April 24th and is noted below.
A 14-year-old boy is stabbed to death in the park near his middle school in an upper-class Boston suburb, and Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber takes the case, despite the fact that his son, Jacob, was a classmate of the victim. But when the bloody fingerprint on the victim’s clothes turns out to be Jacob’s, Barber is off the case and out of his office, devoting himself solely to defending his son. Even Barber’s never-before-disclosed heritage as the son and grandson of violent men who killed becomes potential courtroom fodder, raising the question of a “murder gene.” Within the structure of a grand jury hearing a year after the murder, Landay gradually increases apprehension. As if peeling the layers of an onion, he raises personal and painful ethical issues pertaining to a parent’s responsibilities to a child, to a family, and to society at large. Landay’s two previous novels (Mission Flats, 2003; The Strangler, 2007) were award winners, but he reaches a new level of excellence in this riveting, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. — Booklist
Ever since high school, Rebi Lucas has not led a discreet lifestyle. She has grown accustomed to using her body as a bargaining tool. Although more than a few men have known her physically, only one man has dared to love her as a true friend. Now Rebi must return to her hometown after her mother’s death to face that man. William Donovan is now the assistant pastor of Grace Apostle Methodist Church, adjacent to her family’s home estate. He’s devoted to helping Rebecca heal old wounds and rediscover her passion when she returns home. As they are settling her mother’s estate, Rebi and William unearth a generational curse that threatens to dismantle their carefully built love affair. — Barnes & Noble
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
Compiled for the first time, by his close friend and fellow author [Dan] Wakefield, Vonnegut’s correspondence spans 60 years, from a 1945 letter he wrote to his parents upon being released from a German POW camp to a final declining, at 84, shortly before his death, of an invitation to deliver a lecture at Cornell, his alma mater. In between, bearing all the canny observations and sardonic witticisms that distinguished his most famous works, are dozens of letters to relatives, friends, and sometimes foes, many revealing fascinating insights into Vonnegut’s private thoughts and inspirations. Highlights include reflective letters on his sudden rise to fame, supportive notes to such colleagues as Bernard Malamud and Norman Mailer, and a scathing missive to a school board threatening censorship. Arranged in chronological order and including Wakefield’s insightful background information on Vonnegut’s life, this is a volume fans will treasure. — Booklist
The Pike Library will host a discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, on Monday, April 15th at 6:30 p.m.
American readers will have their imaginations challenged by 14-year-old Kamkwamba’s description of life in Malawi, a famine-stricken, land-locked nation in southern Africa: math is taught in school with the aid of bottle tops (“three Coca-Cola plus ten Carlsberg equal thirteen”), people are slaughtered by enemy warriors “disguised. as green grass” and a ferocious black rhino; and everyday trading is “replaced by the business of survival” after famine hits the country. After starving for five months on his family’s small farm, the corn harvest slowly brings Kamkwamba back to life. Witnessing his family’s struggle, Kamkwamba’s supercharged curiosity leads him to pursue the improbable dream of using “electric wind”(they have no word for windmills) to harness energy for the farm . . . This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy. — Publishers Weekly
De Rosnay’s U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vlodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tzac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vl’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers–especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive–the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. [Sarah's Key] beautifully conveys Julia’s conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah’s trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. — Publishers Weekly
On Wednesday, April 17th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Eagle Library will host the first session of its new book discussion series: Romance Potluck!
The “first immortal human cells,” code-named HeLa, have flourished by the trillions in labs all around the world for more than five decades, making possible the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, and many more crucial discoveries. But where did the HeLa cells come from? Science journalist Skloot spent 10 years arduously researching the complex, tragic, and profoundly revealing story of Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African American mother of five who came to Johns Hopkins with cervical cancer in 1951, and from whom tumor samples were taken without her knowledge or that of her family. Henrietta died a cruel death and was all but forgotten, while her miraculous cells live on, “growing with mythological intensity.” Skloot travels to tiny Clover, Virginia; learns that Henrietta’s family tree embraces black and white branches; becomes close to Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah; and discovers that although the HeLa cells have improved countless lives, they have also engendered a legacy of pain, a litany of injustices, and a constellation of mysteries. Writing with a novelist’s artistry, a biologist’s expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force. — Booklist
Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Discussion Group, will meet at Glendale Library on Sunday, April 28th from 1:00 to 3:00. The theme this month will be “Good Fairy/Bad Fairy: The Fairy Folk in Modern Fantasy.”
On Monday, April 29th at 6:30 p.m., the Southport Library will host a discussion of Dance on the Water, by Laura Lynn Jeffers
March 21, 2013 by Reader's Connection
On Wednesday, April 17th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Eagle Branch will host the first of its new book discussion series: Romance Potluck!
Librarian Ellen Flexman has this to say about the new venture:
Ever been to a pitch-in or a potluck? I especially like the ones where everyone brings their favorite dish to share. After the meal, we’re usually exchanging recipes with each other to try later on.
Well, readers of romances are a lot like good cooks. They have their favorites they love to share, and they love to hear about new authors and books to try out. That’s why we named our new book group at Eagle “Romance Potluck.” It gives everyone a chance to sample good stories and share ones they like with everyone else.
Each month we’ll have a theme, like Nora Roberts & Friends, or Romance Comfort Food, to start off the discussion, but the group can take the discussion wherever it wants to go.
Not sure what books fit the theme? Not to worry—we’ll have a list of suggested books to try before each meeting. For instance, for our first meeting on April 17–with the theme “What’s Your Favorite Romance”–I asked three of Eagle’s favorite romance readers for their favorites, and here’s what they said:
MacKenzie’s Legacy by Linda Howard
The MacGregor series by Nora Roberts, which includes
The Viking Series by Sandra Hill, which includes
and Viking Unchained
To Love a Dark Lord by Anne Stuart (available only as an e-book)
Take Me by Bella Andre
Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl
See you romance readers on April 17th!
March 18, 2013 by Reader's Connection
Thanks to Susanne for sending this.
Just when you think that all of the great fictional characters have already been created, along comes an author who has conjured up someone special.
In this case, it is an 11 year-old girl, pigtailed and precocious, who lives in the English countryside. With her trusty bicycle, Gladys, as her means of conveyance, she snoops around the village of Bishop’s Lacey, generally finding her way into some sort of mischief.
Young Miss Flavia Sabina de Luce resides at Buckshaw, a large, crumbling mansion containing a chemistry lab which once belonged to her Uncle Tarquin de Luce. As a chemist and a sleuth, Flavia manages to constantly annoy the local constables during their investigations, and yet she usually identifies the perpetrators long before anyone else.
Her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, taunt her mercilessly, but with her cleverness she knows exactly how to return the favor tenfold.
Canadian author Alan Bradley has created a smart, funny, and fearless junior detective in the form of Flavia. His irresistible mystery series only becomes more delightful with each and every installment.
You can visit Bradley’s website to join the Flavia fan club, and to download game instructions so that you can host your own “Murder Mystery Tea Party at Buckshaw”!
March 14, 2013 by Reader's Connection
Dear Ann Patchett: I’m excited that you’re coming to Indianapolis to deliver this year’s Marian McFadden Lecture–on Friday, April 26th at 7 p.m., at the North Central High School Auditorium–and I thought I should let you know about some of our plans for you.
The evening will begin with the presentation of the Fictional Travel Award, which you’ve earned just on the basis of the three novels I’ve read. Bel Canto (2001) sends a bunch of strangers to an unnamed South American country, State of Wonder (2011) moves from Minnesota to a Brazilian jungle, and The Magician’s Assistant (1997) begins in Los Angeles and travels to perilous Nebraska.
Your second honor will be the Family Re-Envisioned Medallion.
I read Bel Canto a few years ago, and my calcifying brain can’t remember whether families played a strong part in the story. But in the other two novels, which I’ve just finished, you are adventurous and moving when you look at the ways that families can come together, can be remolded, and can be torn apart.
We don’t want the North Central stage to be cluttered, so the only other trophy will be the Astonishing but Unnoticed Transition Award, for following (in State of Wonder) a horrifying human-vs-wild-animal battle with a scene involving an unexpected pregnancy and a contemplated adoption–the family theme again–and for doing this without any shifting of gears between the “action” scene and the “domestic” scene. The reader is propelled with grace and clarity, and can’t (or I couldn’t) put the book down.
I won’t be mentioning this elsewhere, and you won’t be receiving an award for it, but you’re often funny.
Then comes the lecture. To my knowledge, you are the first McFadden lecturer to be a bookstore owner; and you should feel free to plug Parnassus. (Blog-readers who didn’t know about Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, can click on the picture here and watch Ms. Patchett’s 2012 interview with Stephen Colbert. Apologies if you have to sit through a commercial. And yes, some of the bookstore services Ms. Patchett mentions–story hours and reader’s advisory (what to read next)–are also offered at public libraries. I need both, bookstores and libraries.)
The rest of the lecture is up to you. In your fiction, you’ve already allowed me the exhilarating, frightening experience of appearing on the Carson show and then, years later, the harrowing experience of watching the show on video. You’ve showered me with a rain of arrows, trapped me as a political hostage with a great opera singer, and, time and again, allowed me to watch the birth of love. That last bit may be misleading about the sort of books you write, but I’ll let it stand.
Whatever you manage to say at North Central, I’m already in your debt. Thanks for coming.
March 11, 2013 by Reader's Connection
Thanks to the American Society for Quality, Indianapolis Section 903, the following quality book titles are now available at the Indianapolis Public Library. This is the 22nd consecutive year Section 903 has generously donated to the Library.
Thanks to Betty Tomeo at Central Library for sending this list of titles, authors and Dewey call numbers.
Achieving a Safe and Reliable Product: A Guide to Liability Prevention
E.F. “Bud” Gookins
This high-level guide discusses how critical it is to develop a product liability prevention system. The steps needed to establish an effective product safety plan are presented.
Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM
Cindy P. Veenstra, Fernando F. Padro & Julie A. Furst-Bowe, editors
This publication is a selection of papers and workshops from the first Advancing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in July 2011 by the ASQ Education Division.
Auditing Beyond Compliance: Using the Portable Universal Quality Lean Audit Model
This portable audit model allows for easy connection and interchangeability of the multiple standards even under rapid system changes typical of current-day operations. Simple models are used to integrate lean methodology.
The Biomedical Quality Auditor Handbook/ASQ Biomedical Division, 2nd ed.
610.28 BIO 2013
The biomedical professional who wants to execute better audits for medical devices and acquire knowledge of biomedical technical areas and regulatory requirements will find this to be a valuable reference.
Building Lean Supply Chains with the Theory of Constraints
Discover how these two theories (TOC and lean) complement and reinforce each other to create a smooth flow of goods and services through the supply chain.
The Certified Quality Inspector Handbook, 2nd ed
H. Fred Walker, Almad K. Elshennawy, Bhisham C. Gupta, & Mary McShane-Vaughn
658.562 CER 2013
This book can be used as a ready reference or as a study aid. Quality inspectors will appreciate that the examples and problems used throughout are thoroughly explained, algebra-based, and drawn from “real-world” situations.
The Certified Quality Technician Handbook, 2nd ed.
H. Fred Walker, Donald W. Benbow, & Almad K. Elshennawy
657.562 WAL 2013
This excellent source, written in a conversational tone, helps readers prepare for the Certified Quality Technician exam. The included CD-ROM contains a CQT sample exam.
Development of FDA-Regulated Medical Products: A Translational Approach, 2nd ed.
615.9 WHI 2012
The previous edition of this book was titled Product Development Planning for Health Care Products Regulated by the FDA (published in 1997). Subjects such as clinical outcomes, human factors, and marketing objections that have grown to be more critical are given special attention in this new edition. The Food and Drug Administration’s Modernization Act (FDAMA) is also covered.
Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements
Mark Graban and Joseph E. Swartz
“The continuous search for opportunities for all processes to get better” is the focus of this book directed at healthcare professionals and organizations.
How to Audit the Process-Based QMS, 2nd ed.
Denis R. Arter, Charles A. Cianfrani and John E. “Jack” West
657.458 ART 2013
This is a guide to managing and conducting audits to ISO 9001: 2008. It can be used to establish a new audit program or to revitalize one that is already operational.
Improving Business Performance with Lean
James R. Bradley
This engaging text gives a short, nontechnical, understandable introduction to the essential concepts and tools used in lean.
Insightful Quality: Beyond Continuous Improvement
Victor Sower & Frank Fair
Leaders and managers are challenged to adopt new ways of thinking to increase organizational creativity. What works for one organization might not work well for another.
Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals: Simple Steps to Fast, Affordable, Flawless Healthcare
Learn how to rapidly improve hospital operations and quality of care by using proven Lean Six Sigma methods and tools.
Practical Reliability Engineering, 5th ed
Patrick D. T. O’Connor & Andre Kleyner
620.00452 OCO 2012
Through its progressive editions, this worldwide bestseller has gained recognition as the essential reliability textbook. Emphasis is place on the practical aspects of engineering.
Product Safety Excellence: The Seven Elements Essential for Product Liability Prevention
Timothy A. Pine
Managers and technical personnel responsible for eliminating product safety problems will find this a valuable read. Practicing the seven vital elements defined here results in product liability prevention, product quality improvement, and higher levels of consumer trust and loyalty.
Quality Risk Management in the FDA-Regulated Industry
This book will assist medical and food product manufacturers with the integration of a risk management system into their existing quality management systems. Practical explanations, examples, methodologies, and tools widely used during risk management processes are presented.
Rapid Realignment: How to Quickly Integrate People, Processes and Strategy for Unbeatable Performance
George Labowitz & Victor Rosansky
Learn how to continually realign your business in the face of rapidly accelerating technological, competitive, and social change.
Six Sigma Green Belt, Round 2: Making Your Next Project Better than the Last One
Tracy L. Owens
The nine most critical elements of a project have been identified by this author. With a little coaching, even non-Green Belts will find this guide usable.
There is Another Way! Launch a Baldrige-Based Quality Classroom, 2nd ed
Margaret A. Byrnes & Jeanne C. Baxter
371.2 BYR 2012
Classroom teachers are given activities to help them get started and adapt Baldrige processes and tools to their specific work. This work has been praised as the most concise presentation to date of the connection between the Baldrige framework and total quality in the field of education.
The 12 Pillars of Project Excellence: A Lean Approach to Improving Project Results
Adil F. Dalal
Reach the heights of project leadership by following the groundbreaking techniques and tools provided by this book. Project culture analysis and the “science of simplicity” are among the novel solutions and breakthrough concepts discussed.