We are thrilled to have our new Library
Director, Chip Schrader on board and
have him add his favorite summer reads
to our ‘staff picks’!
staff picks with The Case of Victor
Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd. The
author takes the classic novel and
paints in the details of Victor
Frankenstein’s life as a student and
young man who catches a compulsive need
to experiment and end human suffering.As the
formative incidents of his life play
out, readers who enjoyed the original
novel, will appreciate why the Doctor
became obsessed with reanimating the
departed.The book’s language flows
serenely like an old Victorian novel,
and the themes of immortality and the
conflict between faith and science are
more fully developed in this version of
the tale. The
characters are vivid and believable
while the story anchors it flights into
fantasy with scientific inquiry and
favorite book of the summer is Gone
Girl by Gillian Flynn.Flynn’s
keeps you guessing and Marie is still
trying to figure out how she felt about
the two main characters.They both liked this book so much
that they read two earlier works by the
author – Sharp Objects and Dark
books were well written and pretty
by Amy Waldman begins with a jury
gathering in Manhattan to select a
memorial for the victims of the 9/11
terrorist attack. The
jurors open the envelope containing the
anonymous winner’s name—and discover he
is an American Muslim.Dawn visited the 9/11 memorial in
April and this book and The Woman
Who Wasn’t There by Robin Gabby
Fisher were both in her mind during this
very emotional visit.
if the world started turning slower and
our days became 30 hours long and kept
getting longer? This is the premise of
the book The Age Of Miracles by
Karen Thompson Walker, Marie’s second
favorite book of the summer.Walker follows
the life of a twelve year old girl and
sees this hypothetical future through
her eyes in this compelling novel.Dawn also
loved this book and has been
recommending this quick read to people.
to her extensive readinglist three good
books that had the common theme of the
sinking of the Titanic. In The House
Of Velvet and Glass by Katherine
Howe, the main character, Sibyl, suffers
the loss of her mother and sister who
were passengers on the Titanic. That
loss opens the way for Sibyl’s
exploration of the spiritual world and
the mysteries that follow.The Dress Maker by Kate
Alcott is a work of historical fiction
that follows the trials that occurred
after the survivors of the Titanic
arrived in New York.Many of the characters from that
novel were written about in the
nonfiction work Gilded Lives, Fatal
Voyage: The Titanic’s First-Class
Passengers and Their World by Hugh
earlier this summer, she had the chance
to catch up on two older titles in a
series written by Maine resident Paul
Poacher’s Son and Trespasser
were two strong mysteries centered on
the adventures of Maine game warden Mike
newest title in the series, Bad
Little Falls, is coming out in
August and she can’t wait to read it!
by Jenny Lawson and Wild: From Lost
to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed are two
autobiographical works by strong women.Lawson’s book
sense of humor is dark and quirky and
Marie found herself laughing out loud at
has always enjoyed books about the
Appalachian Trail, so she picked up Wild.Even though
she liked the book, shewished Strayed
had written more about the trail and
less about her history.
two recommendations from the Young Adult
Area which will be appealing to
adults. For those who are enjoying
twisted fairy tales, she suggests Cinder
by Meyer. In this futuristic play
on Cinderella, Cinder is a Cyborg
mechanic who wins the Prince’s attention
and must deal with her hidden past while
trying to solve daily betrayals.
For a more historically based YA novel,
try Revolution is not a Dinner
Party by Compestine. In this
quick, but deeply moving read, 9 year
old Ling blossoms over a 4 year time
while surviving the horrors of the
Chinese Revolution. The story is
based on true events in the author’s
want to try any books in the Commissario
Guido Brunetti mystery series by Donna
Leon. The setting is Venice, Italy
and Guido is such a down to earth,
intelligent Inspector. When
reading these mysteries, you can hear
the lapping of the water and smell the
fresh Venetian cooking on the
named Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido
Brunettimystery series along with the
following biographies: Consuelo and
Alve Vanderbilt: The Story of a
Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded
Age by Amanda M. Stuart, The
Piano Shop on the Left Bank:
Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a
Paris Atelier by Thaddeus Carhart
and Victoria’s Daughters by
Jerrold M. Packard.
let us know what your summer favorites
Staff Picks are brought to you by Dawn
Brown as she hounds the staff for
submissions for your reading pleasure.
Lots of changes here at Springvale Library over
the past few months!!As
many of you know Karen, our Library Director, is
now the Director at South Berwick Public Library.We will miss her
additions to our ‘staff picks’ but will still pick
her brain once in a while and add her favorites to
our list.We are
excited that Marcia, Marlene and Gus have rejoined
our staff part-time and will be adding picks to
Stephen King’s new one 11-23-63.This honking 600 page
book involves the interesting subject of time
if Lee Harvey Oswald hadn’t assassinated President
two other titles that have become Dawn’s most
recommended The Snow Child by
Eowyn Ivey and Defending Jacob by
titles are also out by Kristen Hannah and Tatiana
de Rosnay would be fun to pick up for a quick
winter hasn’t been the best for getting a lot of
reading done.Holiday knitting took up
most of her time but she did discover Miss Read’s
books The Christmas Mouse and Village Christmas. They took her
back to another era and put her in the holiday
enjoyed The Dovekeepers by Alice
Hoffman.It is a bit
different from her other books, but well worth the
time and effort spent reading it.Set in 70 C.E., The
Dovekeepers tells the intertwined stories of
four women living through a Roman siege in a
community of Jewish refugees at King Herrod’s
former mountain fortress on Masada.
Right now, she is
reading Pure by Julianna Baggott
and she is enthralled.It
has a very similar feel to The Hunger
Games trilogy because it is a
a dystopian future.Pure is also the first in a planned
read Lee Child’s The Affair.
“What more do I need to say? Jack is back!”
going to the facebook page “Tom Cruise is not Jack
Reacher” to check in on whether or not Tom should
play Jack in the upcoming movie “One Shot”.
Reacher is 6’5” and weighs between 230-250
to our list Distant Hours by Kate
classic gothic novel, London book
editor Edie Burchill gets lost on the way to meet
an author, and stumbles upon a decaying castle.This is a satisfying
read with surprising revelations.
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth
George is a winner and her fans won’t be
disappointed Marcia tells us.Inspector Lynley Simon , Deborah St. James
and all the familiar characters are back in this
mystery dealing with secrets and lies!A fun read!
“Making Sense of the
Civil War” is a program sponsored by The Maine
Humanities Council, in collaboration with the Maine
Public Library applied and was accepted as a host
for this program. David St. Pierre read the first
assignment March by Gereldine
Brooks. He described the book as a very good story
told from the fathers point of view from Louise
Alcott’s Little Women and his life
prior to and during the civil war.Vivid scenes of the atrocities of war might
make this book difficut for some to read David
warns, but it is a story that will stay with you
after you have finished it. October 2011
Karen tells us about four books from
her summer reading list;
Summer of the Bear
byBella Pollen has a
touch of atmosphere, atouch
of intrigue, a family of 4 grieving for the
missing 5th, , all in their separate
desperate ways, and a touch of Outer Hebrides
quiet, yet compelling and satisfying stand-alone
novel.I loved it.
Once Upona River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
is a modern day female survival story which makes
it like every other survival story except that it
could be happening down the road and you would
never more than suspect what was happening.How does a girl turn
into a woman, all on her own, with no support she
doesn’t earn through grit and stamina?This is how.
a dictionary handy when you read short, not so
sweet, but rich, The
Summer without Menby
Siri Hustvedt.Mia is
betrayed by her husband of many years so she takes
a summer job far from New York City
to reassess her situation.I
loved the literary quotes, I loved the characters,
I loved the words I didn’t know and how the writer
talked to me!Playful,
loving, and tight!Dawn
and Marie also enjoyed this short novel.
the sunsetover the water on the
cover to the bittersweet end , To be Sung Underwater by Tom
McNeal is beautiful, lyrical, and full of quiet
revelations that unfold in the stories of two
people whose lives converge and separate until
they finally blend together.Settle down and immerse yourself in the
brilliant storytelling of this lovely and
roots were showing with this go around of books
she picked. Michigan
were the setting for the following two gems.
Short Girls by Bich
Nguyen –This 2009 debut novel is about 2
American-born Vietnamese sisters who are forced to
confront their own fragile relationships,
character flaws and strengths when they are called
home to celebrate their widowed father’s
citizenship ceremony. The drama and humor
results from their Mid-western environment
colliding with their Vietnamese heritage and short
stature. It stayed with me days after.
Veronica Roth-Fans of Hunger
Games by Collins and Matched by Conley will want
to read this new young adult novel. This
Dystopian thriller’s setting is Chicago
where people are divided into 5 different groups
based on their most likely character: Candor (the
honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the
brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the
intelligent). Beatrice, a sixteen year old finds
that who she is appears to be less cut and
dry. A page turner that promises to be a
to the list with the following titles:The
Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka is
a tiny book of only 129 pages but it packs a
Japanese ‘picture brides’ and it follows them from
their scary arrival in San Francisco
to the internment camps during WWII.Marie is looking forward to reading this as
she read the author’s first book, When the Emperor Was Divine
which she describes as a powerful
and simply written story also dealing with the
Japanese-American interment of World War II.
follows the disturbing debut of Still Missing with another
edge of your seat novel in Never Knowing.How
would you handle finding out that your birth
mother is the only survivor of a serial killer
still on the loose??And
now that killer is after you!!
On Folly Beach by
Karen White is a book that has so much to it….A family mystery, a
old book store, Nancy Drew references, a lost love
and a love of family that is heart warming.And this book inspired
Dawn’s book group to create their own Bottle
Tree!!We all loved
it and it was a great summer read!
adds to her list another favorite Sisterby
gripping novel explores the bonds between sisters.I loved it and couldn’t
wait to discuss this with others!!Get ready for the spring release of her 2nd
which is sure to create a buzz.
includes the very popular The
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.Though it doesn’t go in
depth with regard to characters, this is a
gorgeous novel with a lot of dark imagery.Another title that is
described as ‘disturbing with a few dark twists
thrown in’ is The Kingdom
of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman.It reads a bit like a
Extremely Loud &
Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran
Foer is an intricate and imaginative story about
the effects 9/11 had on a family and a childhood.
Claire DeWittAnd The City Of The Dead (Sara
Gran) “liked this novel for its quirky character
of Claire DeWitt and sense of place in
post-Katrina New Orleans”
This Life Is In Your Hands
(Melissa Coleman) “memoir about growing up in a
family homesteading in Maine.A serious and sad look
behind an ideal way of life.”
Simmons) and 2030
(Albert Brooks) “two books about the future in the
both believable with a few similarities. Both are
thought provoking, with Flashback having a
A Visit From The Goon Squad
(Jennifer Egan) “very readable mix of fun
characters. 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for
up our list with The Race
by Clive Cussler; an adventure in the early years
of flying.The Dog Who Knew Too Much by
Spenser Quinn and Dragon’s
Time by Anne McCaffrey.
We love to hear what you’re reading so
we may pass suggestions on to others!!
Karen ~ Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
by Lisa Napoli Caleb's
by Geraldine Brooks Sheila
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer
Jacobson Dawn ~ State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Our summer reading programs began this week
... the adult reading program is "Novel
Destinations". Ask at the main desk for
information on this fun program!!
It’s always interesting when the staff
finds a book that sparks so much discussion and
this time the book is Swamplandia!
by Karen Russell.The
setting is a failing alligator theme park in the
hosts a tough young heroine with a dead mother,
an ambitious brother, an absent father and a big
problem: how to save her big sister from eloping
with a ghost.Sound
strange? It is!!Karen
found this book so different but she loved
Russell’s descriptions of the Florida Keys, the quirky
characters and the dreamy way the plot was
strung together. She passed the book along to
her husband who thought the book was awful!Marie agreed with
Karen… and Dawn… thought it was TOO weird and
found huge gaps in the story that just didn’t
make sense to the overall plot. Still a
satisfying read that should be considered.We think it would be a
great book club pick!
Karen enjoyed reading Slam
by Nick Hornby.Hornby
is a British writer whose endearing and
imperfect male characters stumble their way
through some kind of crisis.The movie About a Boy
was based on his novel.
Zoo Story: Life in the
Garden of the Captives by award winning
journalist Thomas French is an intimate look at
the people, animals, and politics of
world-renowned Lowry Park Zoo in TampaFlorida.Karen thought that
this book read easily and it creates a
thoughtful platform for thinking about all kinds
of issues; from animal rights and endangered
species to business management and exploitation.
Dawn and Marie both enjoyed The Weird Sisters by Eleanor
Brown and The Good Daughters by
Joyce Maynard. Both of these explored family
relationships in an easy-to-read way.The Weird
Sisters is about three sisters and their
odd quirks based on ‘birth order’.Rose, the oldest, is a faultfinding
the middle sister, is a promiscuous attention
seeker and Cordy, the youngest, simply refuses
to grow up.Dawn
was amused by this book as she has two older
sisters… and the family’s nickname for the
oldest is “The Colonel”.Not
sure if the characters of the other two sisters
would fit.: )Does Dawn refuse
to grow up??? HmmmmVery
One Thousand White Women:
The Journals of May Dodd by
Jim Fergus is an American
western with a strange twist.It is the fictional account of the
participation of May Dodd and others in the
controversial "Brides for Indians" program
that was proposed but never put into effect.This story is ‘what
if’ if had been this had actually happened.Dawn found it very
interesting and a quick read.
that Dawn enjoyed were The
Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks by
Rebecca Skloot, Great House
by Nicole Krauss, Honoluluby Alan Brennert and The Forgotten Garden by Kate
Marie has been
busy reading and her list consists of a
variety of topics.She
finally read Cutting for Stone by
Abraham Verghese and comments that she
discovered all the good things that she heard
about this novel were true.Radio Shangri-La by
Lisa Napoli disappointed her somewhat as she
described it as a bit incomplete although she
did appreciate learning about the culture in Bhutan
from a first person view. She thoroughly
enjoyed T.C. Boyle’s When the
Killing’s Done and will be reading more
by this author.She
liked his writing style and exploration of two
environmental issues that seem like they
should go together but were actually at odds.
continues with The Paris Wife
by Paula McLain, City of Veilsby Zoe Ferraris, The Poison
Tree by Erin Kelly, River
Marked by Patricia Briggs and The Night Season by Chelsea
summer reading program this year will begin in
June and the theme is “Novel Destinations”. February 2011
Karen has been inspired
by our New Year’s Resolution display. In
January, library staff gathered up books
they have been intending to read but
haven’t gotten to yet and titled it “Our
New Year’s Resolution Display”.Karen was
inspired by this and finally read The 13th Valley
by John Del Vecchio, which, according to
vet brother-in-law is the most accurate
portrayal of the Vietnam War from the
average soldier’s point of view.She followed
that up with All Souls by
Michael Patrick MacDonald.This memoir of a South Boston
native is an eye-opener on poverty and
violence in the everyday lives of our
neighbors. She also snuck in a new chick
lit book by the Larson sisters, Liar Liar, which is sure to
tickle fans of Janet Evanovich.The
and is currently
reading through the newest acclaimed
novel, Matterhorn, (U.S.
military hilltop bases were named after
peaks in the Alps
in this area) by Karl Marlantes.She’s
right back in the jungle and it ain’t
pretty but it is riveting.
Dawn is thoroughly
enjoying her eReader (A Barnes and Noble
Nook) and the ability to download titles
from the Maine Download Library.If you have a
compatible device you just need your
patron barcode number! A few titles that
Dawn has downloaded are: I am Number 4 by Pittacus
Lore, which is soon to be a major motion
picture; The Good Daughters by Joyce
Maynard and Good Grief by
service has been busy since the holidays
as the eReader seems to have been a
popular gift this year!
Dawn gives high praise
to Room by Emma Donoghue
which is a novel narrarated by a 5 year
old named Jack. There is just something
about the way that this child tells the
story of Room and Outside that is amazing
rather than irritating. She’s not sure if
she would have enjoyed it as well if the
story had been told from the mother’s
title that receives high praise from
Dawn and Susie, not soon to be
forgotten, is Unbroken; A
World War II Story of Survival,
Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.This is the
true story of Louis Zamperini who lives
through a multitude of tragedies that
you just can’t fathom.Zamperini was a juvenile
delinquent, an Olympic runner, war POW,
Army hero and overall life survivor.They both felt
overwhelmed by emotions while reading it
and feel that this is a story that needs
to be shared with everyone.
The Sound of
a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth
Tova Bailey is a memoir about the
appreciation of the little things in life.It makes you
slow down a bit and really think about
what matters in your life… and both Dawn
and Marie learned a lot about snails!A very
interesting and thought provoking book.
Marie highly recommends
The World Beneath by Cate
Kennedy if you want a quick, entertaining
and amusing read.This
story takes place in Tasmania
and revolves around an estranged father
also adds to her list Art in
America by Ron McLarty, Girl in Translation by Jean
Kwok, Popco by Scarlett
Thomas, and Body Walk by
also knit a cable tam from our newest
knitting book Stitch N’Bitch
Superstar Knitting by Debbie
Sheila E adds to our
list The Fall by
Guillermo del Toro which is the sequel to
The Stain, another vampire
today – the world tomorrow!!Who will win? Vampires or mankind??Sheila’s hint….
Odds are on the vampires!She also thought The
Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by
Julia Stuart was sweet and funny.
Sheila D. recommends a
young adult title, The 10 pm
Question by Kate De Goldi for those
who have an interest in characters that
must deal with mental health issues.
The characters are believable and the
family members show an array of how
different issues affect families. It
is a hopeful coming of age story.
For those who like fantasy with their cup
of tea and cozy mystery, Sheila suggests
the cottage tales by Susan Wittig Albert. Beatrix
Potter is featuredin this fictionalized
mystery series where the animals play a
major role in the action.
It has been a very snowy
winter, excellent for reading as you can
see by the amount of books read!What have you
been reading through all these snowstorms?
We always enjoy coming up with a fun summer
reading program for our adult patrons.This past year we did
the very popular BINGO and decided to play our
own staff BINGO.We
were so thrilled with the response from our 55
patrons who played along with us and especially
Cathy Lawrence for neglecting her housework to
complete the entire BINGO board!!Congratulations to Cathy and for the many
others who won a ‘special’ flower pen,
Springvale Library mug, Springvale Library book
bag and of course, books!
For the first time ever, the
staff held their very own book discussion group
readingTinkers by Paul
Harding, the most recent Pulitzer Prize winning
novel.It was fun
to meet after work one evening and discuss the
many complexities of this short book.
Below are some interesting comments from the
“An unusual family story told in
beautiful descriptive language.” - Karen
“ I want to be a tinker." - Marie
“Harding reminds us that even
horrifically painful life circumstances can at
times be eased with quick moments of
honest humor.” Sheila D.
“As I lay dying…. This sums it up in a
nutshell." - Sheila E.
“One of those books that you appreciate
more as you discuss it.Not
a quick read, as I found myself reading certain
over….” - Dawn
life." - David
loved reading The
Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia
Stuart. It is a gentle, surprisingly
humorous story of a couple healing from the death
of a child. It is set in the Tower
where Balthazar Jones lives with his fellow
Beefeaters (guards and docents for the Tower)
and their families. Definitely a feel
good story with some wacky moments.
A Prayer for Owen
Meany and the Poisonwood
for Stone by Abraham Verghese would be a
good match for your reading tastes.Verghese is an excellent storyteller with a
light touch, like Irving’s
early and mid-career books.This
book is set in Ethiopia and spans 50 years in the
lives of a set of twins, who almost immediately
upon birth are orphaned by their parents but grow
up in the loving care of an extended family in a
am listening to an audio book by Nick Hornby,Juliet, Naked
which is a laugh out loud funny romance.How did I miss this
When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead is this year’s Newbery Award
winner.It is a
complex time travel puzzle story that will have
astute readers flipping back and forth to figure
out which clues they missed.
Talking to Girls
About Duran Duran: One Man’s Quest for True Love
and a Cooler Haircut by Rod Sheffield. A fun
read for anyone who grew up in the 80’s or is a
fan of the music of that era.Just overall a fun coming of age book
Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trialsby Stephanie Hemphill.An
interesting take on this tragic period of our
the point of view of the girls who were the
accusers.It is all
told in verse as well.
-All sorts of horrible,
depressing things happen to Little Bee in what
turns out to be a very memorable book.
The Scent of Rain
-Loved it more than her
previous novelThe Virgin of
The Passage(Justin Cronin)
-Very LONG book at 700+
pages…not sure worth the effort.
-OMG! Disturbing book… but
could NOT put this down.One
Father of the Rain(Lily King)
-Story about a broken family,
narrated by the daughter, beautifully written.
The Girl Who Played
-A must read in the
The Poachers Son
-Murder mystery set in Maine
with an unexpected ending.
-final book of the Hunger Games
trilogy and must confess to disappointment.
Our Tragic Universe
great “storyless story”
This Must Be The
Place (Kate Racculia)
The Chill Of Night
also enjoyed The Cutting, Hayman’s
first book in the series
conclusion to the Rain Wilds Chronicles
Cupcakes From The
Primrose Bakery (Martha Swift)
ingredients, can’t wait to try a recipe!
Collector (Allegra Goodman)
of characters with multiple story lines
the storm chasing scene with a family story thrown
on a woman’s transformation
The One That I Want
(Allison Winn Scotch)
with mystical elements thrown in
been awarding some books her attention, the
Newbery award books that is! She recommends
The Graveyard bookby Neil
Gaiman (2009 winner) for a little creepy suspense,
Cynthia Kadohata (2005 winner) for historical
fiction fans and the Newest Newbery (2010
you Reach Me by Rebecca Stead for the
suspense & thrill of time-traveling
themes. Charlie Bone fans will want to get
the newest title in the series, Charlie Bone and the
Red Knightfor a satisfying ending.
Little Bee(Chris Cleave)
The Girl who Played
with Fire(Stieg Larsson)
The Girl who Kicked
the Hornet’s Nest(Stieg
Revolution: Rediscover how to Cook Simple,
Delicious, Affordable Meals (Jamie Oliver)
to hear what you read this summer that made an
impression on you… good or bad!!
A series by young adult
author Suzanne Collins has got the staff buzzing
and talking it up to patrons.The Hunger Games
is as Karen put it ‘the ultimate reality game
show’. This book is about a world where the
government has unlimited control and the
conflict is so amazing and ‘out there’ it is
hard to put the book down.Suzanne Collins has the ability to bring
to life the action, suspense, romance, humor,
cleverness with vivid imagery.You can imagine every setting, every
character and every battle as the Games play
out.And, you can’t
help falling in love with the main character!Catching Firecontinues
the story but leaves you wanting more.There is high
anticipation for the final book Mockingjaydue in August.
The Millennium Trilogy is
another series that Dawn and Marie are enjoying.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an
award-winning crime novel by the late Swedish
journalist Steig Larsson.When
the author died in November of 2004 he left
three unpublished novels, the first two topping
the best selling lists since their release and
the third, The Girl Who
Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was just
released in May. These novels revolve around
five generations of the Vanger family and spans
describes the first as a ‘solid read’.
Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli, The Handbook for
Lightning Strike Survivors by
Michele Young-Stone and Silver
Borne by Patricia Briggs are books
that Marie would recommend reading this summer.They’re not light
summer reads but they would be satisfying.
Dawn suggests The Map of True Places by
Brunonia Barry as a summer read.While not as ‘mysterious’ as her first
novel The Lace Reader,
this one is also set in Salem, MA with some of
the same characters making an appearance.Other titles that Dawn
read during the spring are The Last Time I Saw You by
Elizabeth Berg, The
Postmistress by Sarah Blake and Winter Garden by
would be worth the summer book list!
Sheila Dube is on another
mystery reading binge.She
has been reading some titles by classic mystery
authors like Martha Grimes and Dorothy Simpson.
The Old Fox Deceiv’d
by Grimes, as well as, Puppet
for a Corpse, Last Seen Alive, and Dead by Morning
by Simpson have been meeting that “all things
British” need with Chief Inspectors, cups a tea
and descriptions of quaint English villages that
hold deep dark secrets.
Sheila also recommends Laurie
R. King’s newest Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes
book The God of the
Hive as well as Elizabeth George’s
new release in the Inspector Lynley series This Body of Death.
Karen adds to the staff picks
a couple of books with timely themes.February
by Lisa Moore is a novel about a widow’s grief in
the aftermath of an oil rig disaster.The Bell
Porter is a look around the corner into the near
government integrates it data gathering systems
with the help of a corporation and spies on the
populace in order to be more efficient and secure.It is so likely a story
that one starts to wonder who is watching and
listening right now!She
also read The Orcharda
memoir by Adelia Robertson of her years running
the family orchard during the Great Depression in
Ipswich Massachusetts.She writes evocatively
about that time period and the hardships that
almost everyone faced.
We love to hear what you’ve
Zooming to the top of Karen’s
all-time favorite list is Barbara Kinsolver’s
new book The Lacuna
the life story of a writer, set in Mexico and the
from the 1930’s -1950’s.She
describes it as exquisitely crafted, sweeping,
and packed with contemporary themes.In Karen’s opinion,
this is Kingsolver’s best book to date and if
you do audio books do not miss
this reading by the author!
Karen also read two other guy
books recently.Out Stealing Horses
is a translation of a novel by Per Petterson.It is a resonant
coming of age story set in rural Norway
that is beautifully descriptive and quietly
Badlands Saloon by Jonathan Twingly
is a brief story of a young man’s crossing into
adulthood during a summer job in North Dakota.Oliver has returned to
his home state to work after his first year at
art school in New York City.Don’t look for drama
or plot here, just a snapshot rich with the sort
of oddball people all of us meet in life.Kindly told, it flows
along gently and is peppered with paintings by
adds that this book is quirky, vivid and
One of Dawn’s favorite new
books is Colum McCann’s Let
the Great World Spin.In this novel, stories of a group of New
Yorkers are connected by the historical Philippe
Petit's famous wire walk on a cable stretched
between the twin towers of the WorldTradeCenter
which takes place in 1974. McCann captures the
times and people in such a way that you feel
part of the event. The important theme of this
book is not that things end, but that things go
on. In the authors note at the end of the book
McCann writes; "A book is completed
only when it is finished by a reader. This is
the intimate privilege of art; In fact, it's
the intimate privilege of being alive. When
telling stories we are engaged in a democracy
like no other." Dawn loves this quote!
Hoursby Masha Hamilton is a story
that Dawn has thought of often since she
finished it. The mom in the novel wakes up suddenly one
night with a mother's intuition that something
is very wrong with her twenty-one year old son,
Jonas. For the next 31 hours, she will try to
find him before something, she doesn't know
what, goes horribly wrong.Her intuition proves accurate as we learn
that Jonas is preparing to become a suicide
bomber, blowing up a subway in New York.
Interesting and heart breaking, told in the
mother’s perspective and basically taken from
the current days headlines.
Marie wanted to move to
Avening, a fictional town on an island in the Pacific Northwest, after
finishing When Autumn
Leaves by Amy Foster.She describes this novel as a magical
story with a cast of interesting characters.
Christmas Cookie Club by Ann
Pearlman, A Change in
Altitude by Anita Shreve and Bird in Hand by
Christina Baker Kline were titles that showed up
on both Dawn and Marie’s reading list for the
past few months.Not
considered favorites but satisfying and fun
Audrey Niffeneggar follows up
the popular The Time
Travelers Wife with her newest
novel Her Fearful
is an odd ghost story with a twisty plot that
left Dawn questioning some aspects of the almost
Sheila Dube revisited some
well loved mystery authors in the past few
older titles The Murder
Room and Death
in Holy Orders satisfied her need
for Inspector Dalgliesh’s sleuthing and The Clutch of the
Constables by Ngaio Marsh was an
enjoyable older mystery (1969).Doing laundry is usually not Sheila’s
first love, but she loves Mandy Dyer who owns a
Laundromat and solves mysteries on the side.She can be found in Buttons & Foes
by Dolores Johnson.
Marge, one of our faithful
volunteers, adds the following mystery to our
staff picks The Big
Steal by Emyl Jenkns. Marge found it
to be a good read and encourages lovers of
antiques and old houses to give it a try!
Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown continue to be titles that have
very LONG wait lists.If
you want something similar to Stockett’s book,
try Someone knows my
Name by Lawrence Hill, We are all Welcome Here by
Elizabeth Berg or Beth Hoffman’s debut novel Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.For Dan Brown fans
give Steve Berry a try, or James Rollin’s Sigma
read a string of books lately that she claims 'fit
her just right'. The Dart League King by Keith Morris
takes place in one evening and she found every
character in the book, even the local cocaine
dealer, kind of endearing. The ending is
ambiguous, so if you like very tidy endings, it
isn't for you, but she thinks it had a happy
ending for every character. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
was a fabulous young adult fantasy about a child
who grows to manhood in a graveyard with certain
permissions granted that are usually reserved for
the residents. Karen normally isn't a big
fan of fantasy but this ranks high on her list!
with first time novels makes Karen's list for this
Up Glass by
Carolyn Walls packs a punch while being
very readable. This satisfying story is part
mystery, full of excitement, and set solidly in
small town Kentucky. The second novel is What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn.
This mystery is set in New England and
starts with a young girl's fantasies, then
jumps ahead to finish years later.
Karen describes the story as convoluted with
many surprises with beautiful, suspenseful and
The Housekeeper and
the Professor by Yoko Ogawa was described by a
patron as 'a little gem' and the staff here
agrees! This is an intimate story about
family, memory and believe it or not, the poetry
of mathematics. It is also the story
about characters getting to know someone but with
a major twist: the person forgets everything
in eighty minutes. How do you sustain a
relationship with someone who cannot remember?
Karen, Marie and Dawn all loved this book.
It is a quick, 200 page book but will keep
you thinking of the characters and premise of the
book for a long time.
the top of Dawn's "must reads" and "favorite books
of the year" list is Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Short
Elizabeth Strout. Her prior novels Amy and Isabelle and Abide with Mewere favorites as well and when Olive was
released, Dawn picked it up and just couldn't get
into it. Then In April, Strout, won the
Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge and
Dawn tried it again this past summer. LOVED
it. This book is set in rural Maine and
through short stories Olive appears in all, some
as the main character, some as just a mention but
through it all we learn that the way we see
ourselves is not always the way that others see
Unaccustomed Earth by Lahiri Jhumpa
is another collection of stories that Dawn
enjoyed. The book is split into two
sections, the first containing four stories and
the second three stories that are all connected.
These stories all center around ordinary
topics and ordinary people. Because of the
way the book was set up, it was a book that was
put down on numerous occasions but held enough
intrigue to pick up and finish.
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
and A Change in
Anita Shreve were books that Dawn read
picks include The
Richard North Patterson which is a
suspenseful, poignant love story set in a small
private college and also Shannon by Frank Delaney, a beautifully
written story of Robert Shannon, a young American
suffering from shell shock as he searches far for
peace in Ireland.
is currently reading The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt.
Set in fin de siecle, England this magical book
holds a mirror to the new middle class. This
didn't get a great review but Sheila is loving it!
Dead and Gone
Harris is #9 in the southern vampire
series and in this latest saga the werewolves and
other shape shifters reveal themselves to a not
quite ready public. Sheila is our 'in house'
vampire expert!! Other selections that
Sheila adds to staff picks are Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
(sequel to The Hunger Games and every bit
as good) and The
Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larson.
picks include three dystopian novels. The Hunger Games,a young adult novel by Suzanne Collins, has a
grim and different story line set in a world in
which reality television means fighting to the
death for young people drawn in a lottery.
It is compelling and she can't read to read
the second in the series Catching Fire. The Year of the
Flood by Margaret Atwood is disturbing
in its depiction of an imagined future world.
This is a companion novel to her 2003 book Oryx and Crake.
The third novel The Island at the End
of the World by Sam Taylor was unique in that
it is told in three voices influenced by limited
reading materials. Marie figured out the
Shakespeare and the Biblical voices but would
appreciate comments on where the third voice comes
The Physick Book of
Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, The Elegance of the
Muriel Barbery, and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
are titles that Marie would hand to patrons and
say 'try this'.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
has had a long waiting list from the day it
arrived here. It continues to be a staff and
patron favorite and has inspired many discussions
at the front desk. Karen experienced this book by
listening to it and highly recommends it.
Another title with a long list is Dan
Brown's latest The Lost Symbol.
Interested in taking a rafting trip in the Grand
Canyon? You might want to pick up In the Heart of the
Elisabeth Hyde another title that seems
to have made the rounds with the staff. It
reads fast and keeps the reader captivated by the
Please share with us your favorite reads so we may
pass them along to our patrons. We love to
hear what you've been reading and how you liked or
disliked a particular title!
Marie and Karen
start off our list of staff picks with a title
that they describe as 'edgy, fast-paced, and
filled with dark humor that is not for the faint
of heart'. Does this intrigue anyone? Beat
the Reaper by first-time novelist Josh
Bazell turns a hit man into a medical intern and
does it in such a way that the reader is
immediately drawn into the story. The
Washington Post's review states "Beat the Reaper
is a hypochondriac's nightmare but a reader's
dream". Karen and Marie agree and Marie
enthusiastically declares that this is the best
book she has read in 2009!
to have a stack of books to talk about after her
vacation in May but she spent more time in the
garden and at graduations than reading!
(Congrats to her daughter Rosie who just
graduated from Boston University!) Karen did
get through a few, one being Ghosts by Cesar Aira
which is a haunting and dreamy novella, an
international best seller, set on an apartment
building under construction. It has the
mystical elements so typical of the South American
writers. She loved it and so did her
by Sandra Dallas is a wonderful period
piece set in Colorado during the Great Depression.
This is a good book for anyone who enjoys a
gentle story filled with the fabric of social
support women give each other through quilting and
tending the home.
quirky family story (Karen's favorite kind of
book!) is The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews.
It is sad, funny, poignant, happy, quirky,,
all at the same time. Hattie has landed at
her sister's house in Canada after being dumped by
her boyfriend in France and finds her sister
hospitalized again with depression. Not
ready to become an instant parent for her niece
and nephew, Hattie and the kids set off across two
countries to try to find the children's father who
left years earlier. Must be good as it was on
Marie's list also and she also describes it as
quirky with very likable characters.
If you saw the
Academy Award winner Slumdog Millionaire and would
like to read something set in India, Karen
suggests a new novel by first-time author Shilpa Agarwal, Haunting
year old Pinky Mittal unlocks a door in her family
bungalow that has been bolted shut her entire
life, she unleashes the ghost of an infant girl
and her midwife, sending her whole family into a
tailspin. This multigenerational saga had
Karen rushing home to finish it.
narrative structure in Important Artifacts
and Personal Property from the Collection of
Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris by Leanne Shapton
created enough of a stir that a few of us just had
to take it home. This is an auction catalog
with photographs and captions which tells the
story of a New York City couple, Lenore and
Harold. For something different and outside
of the box , this novel is a fun read and is bound
to be a conversation starter.
Dawn thinks Lise
See's new novel Shanghai Girls does
what she does best - writing about the
relationships of people and the ups and downs of
life long relationships. If you enjoyed Snow
Flower and the Secret Fan this is a must
read that will have you thinking about it long
after you finish. ThePiano
by Janice Lee is another novel that deals
with the difficulties of love and survival during
a time of war and the choices made during this
that Dawn recommends are Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Home
Elizabeth Berg and Sonata
for Miriam by Linda Olsson.
by Stephanie Kallos is a new staff
favorite. This is a heart wrenching story of
three siblings who have lived in the shadow of
unresolved grief since their mother's
disappearance when they were children. Karen
and Dawn were anxiously awaiting the release of
this book as we both loved the author's first book
in 2004, Broken
for You. Marie is hooked on this
author after reading both titles and highly
Marcia is the
proud new owner of a Kindle® from Amazon and a
few of the staff enjoyed playing with it one day!!
This nifty little device can store thousands
of books on it and currently Marcia is reading In
the Bleak Mid Winter by Julia Spencer
Fleming. She is also enjoying
Jeffrey Deaver's new book, Roadside
Crossesand tells us that it is quite exciting.
buffs Sheila Dube recommends Hangman
Cassandra Clark. This mystery gives
a flavor of the historical tone of the 1300's with
Hildegard a widowed nun finding the clues as
bodies began piling up. If you are into the
harrowing experience of London's tunnels after the
Great Stink, try Ann
Perry's The Dark Assassin
featuring Inspector Monk. There is nothing
like shifting clay to make life exciting and
dangerous. Twilight fans won't want to miss
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark
Beth Fantaskey. Senior year is
never what anyone expects.
Marie adds to
the list of staff picks the Mercy Thompson series
by Patricia Briggs. This is a four
book series featuring an auto mechanic who can
turn into a coyote! WHAT?? This is
definitely for those who like the supernatural,
werewolves in particular. She also enjoyed Tender
by Margo Lanagan. This young adult
novel is based on the fairy tale Snow White, Rose
Red and Marie describes it as very magical, rich
and thought provoking but..... reader be warned,
there are a few disturbing parts.
As we enter the
summer months Springvale Library will be
experiencing some changes, the major one being the
closing of the library on Fridays. As a
staff, we are disheartened and sad that we have to
do this as we would love to be adding services,
not taking away, but it is a sign of the times.
On a positive note, we are hoping we'll be
able to read more and thus have more staff picks
summer to all.
Things have been extremely busy at the library but
we've still managed to compile quite an interesting
list of books that the staff has read. Please
let us know some of your favorites during this cold
Karen starts off the staff picks with a gracefully
written book that she is currently reading, The
Little Giant of Aberdeen County by new author Tiffany
Baker, and she is loving it. (There
is already a waiting list for this title!) It
is rich with the characters and drama of a small
town. She also describes A
Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas
Drayson as a charming, delightful and
unusual love story. There are birds and
birders in this story but don't be put off by
the title. It is sweet and surprising and
you'll feel right at home in its Kenyan setting.
Dawn is currently enjoying this book.
Knowing that the author Randy Pausch had terminal
cancer as he wrote The Last Lecture,
Karen picked up the audio book for her commute.
She actually expected to find it too
saccharine or maudlin for her tastes but she was
pleasantly surprised to find it interesting, joyous
Dawn took the recommendations of others and read The
Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
and The Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.
Wow! So glad she did. Two very
interesting reads that would be great for book
Sawtelle was very sad and heartbreaking but
well worth the read. She still has many
questions about the ending of this novel.
A few other picks on Dawn's list are Songs
for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan, The
Hour I First Believed, a must read for
Wally Lamb fans, and a young adult book, The
Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne,
that she can only describe as 'disturbing'. If
you're a Jodi Picoult fan The Year of Fog by Michelle
Richmond is a great read. This book deals
with an emotional topic that questions the
biological bond and love between two people when
Abby, the main character, loses her fiancé's
six-year-old daughter. Dawn thought it had a
very Jodi Picoult like ending. Handle
With Care is Jodi Picoult's new book
which is due out in March.
Marie describes The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam
as a very well written and poetic story about the
intersection of diverse characters in Afghanistan,
each having hidden connections with the
others. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
has just won the 2008 Newberry Award and Marie and
Sheila E. loved it. It is the retelling
of Kipling's The
Jungle Book, set in the grave yard of
course!! Marie, who is our in-house artist,
thought the graphic novel The
Good Neighbors by Holly Black had great
artwork and she found the story engaging!
Marie also adds The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
to her list which was one of Dawn's top picks for
Sheila Dube can't get enough of Minette Walter's
mysteries at the moment. The
The Echo and The
Breaker were all suspenseful and thought
provoking. Continuing with the mystery genre
she also enjoyed Quiet as a Nun by
Antonia Fraser which featured the character Jemima
Shore, an investigative reporter. A few of her
non-fiction picks include Dewey: The Small Time
Library Cat which in her words was 'the
cat's meow', (and the pictures helped!) and Plain
Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish by Joe Mackall.
Sheila grew up next to an Amish community in
Indiana so she felt connected in a personal way.
For all the Charlie Bone fans out there Sheila
encourages them to pick up #7 in the series Charlie
Bone and the Shadow.
Spring is coming! October 2008
Karen just finished High Crimes: the fate
of Everest in an age of greed by Michael Kodas
which she guarantees will open your eyes to the lack
of glamour and romance attached to climbing the
world's tallest mountain. (She has scratched
that item off her list now!) She also read A
Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne
which has been widely read by the Sanford School
Department staff, including our very own Sheila
English. This book was an eye-opener and has
given Karen some very useful, practical information
that was delivered in a quick, easy package.
Sheila Dube is currently reading this this
book and echoes Karen's comments.
With winter coming, Karen and Marcia recommend Stephen Carter's New
England White which is an elaborately
plotted murder mystery set in a college town in New
England. Stephen Carter has a few other titles
that might satisfy the mystery reader which include
Emperor of Ocean Park and Palace
A new favorite book??? Staff members Karen,
Marie, Sheila English and Marcia loved The
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer!!
If it was available in paperback, this would make a
perfect December book group choice! Karen
describes it as funny, informative, sad, joyous,
romantic (light on this one), and satisfying.
This novel is set in post World War II
England, and it is a tale told through
Dawn and Marie have both been reading a few of the
same titles and loved Oxygen by Carol Cassella.
The author is a real-life anaesthesiologist
and weaves an intimate story of relationships and
family in a high stakes medical thriller. If
you enjoy Jodi Picoult's novels, this author is very
similar. Another title that staff members Dawn,
Marcia, and Marie continue to talk about is American
Curtis Settenfeld. This novel is
loosely based on Laura Bush's life and was an
interesting read during this election season!
by Brunonia Barry is sure to be a book
group favorite when it is released in paperback!
"Every gift has a price ... Every piece of
lace has a secret....." This book is
mesmerizing and deals with lies, secrets,
half-truths and you have a hard time deciding what
is fact from fiction. We have the book and the
unabridged audio book available to borrow!
Dawn also recommends Anita Shreve's latest novel Testimony
which deals with a sex scandal at a New England
boarding school. It is a story told in the
voices of men, women, teenagers, and parents
involved in the scandal and details the ways that
lives can be changed forever in one foolish
Marie and Sheila English read the very popular The
Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.
This is described as a very well written novel
with an inspiring and different method of
communication between Edgar and the dogs.
Other titles that Marie shares are What
by Catherine O'Flynn, The
by Andrew Davidson and, an old children's
favorite, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
Sheila Dube, while creating a costume for Halloween
of her favorite literary character Sister
Frevisse, reread The Murderer's Tale by Margaret Frazier
which she highly enjoyed -- again! She also read Madapple by Christina Meldrum
which was intriguing and slightly disturbing.
It was a blend of herbs, religious
fascinations and very eccentric family members, but
not a read for everyone!
Please share with us your favorite reads so we may
pass them along to our members!
Karen finished The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer
earlier this summer and she is constantly reminded
of this book every time she is in the water doing
her 'measly' (her words!) 1/2 mile swim. This
book explores the history of four American swimmers
in the race to be the first woman to swim the
English Channel. These women were the
celebrities of the 1920's! Gavin Mortimer
tells the true story of these woman who took on the
challenge. Karen loved the whole thing,
including the fact that the woman who finally did
it, broke the first man's record by 2 hours!
Karen also took home a very fun children's book
because she couldn't resist the cover and the title!
(You can judge a book by its cover in this
instance!) A girl in a swim cap, goggles, and
swimsuit is pretending to read a dog-erred copy of
Stuart Little which is upside down. Moxy
Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
is a delightful story of a girl with a deadline who
does not like to be told what to read.
Another title that Karen describes as a fine novel
is The Pigeon and the Boy by Meir Shalev.
This is a beautiful story set in Israel about
a mother and a son, love, destiny, and the joy of
Karen also had the great pleasure of hearing Louise
Erdrich read aloud from her newest work, The
Plague of Doves and she has now finished
reading it. All of her books are a lovely
blend of humor, character and wisdom and she likes
each one better than the last.
Sheila Dube has been on her summer mystery kick and
many of the titles she read have turned out to be
historical in nature. Don't you just love learning
something when you're reading for fun? She
recommends any of the following: Buckingham
Palace Gardens by Anne Perry, Oh
by Rhys Bowens or the young adult mystery
that will air in September as part of Masterpiece
Mystery! on PBS, The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman.
For Inspector Lynley fans, Careless
in Red by
Elizabeth George is a must read.
it Out by
Lori Baird is a title that Marie encourages
people to read and put into use. This book
delves into the many ways of recycling, renewing,
and reusing many of the common items we find in our
households. Marie also suggests Jeffrey Lent's book A
Peculiar Grace which is a well written
story with Portland, Maine as one of the ending
locations. Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford
reminds her of summertime and Ray Bradbury books.
Dawn highly recommends Here if You Need Me: A
by Kate Brastrup. After the tragic
death of her husband Drew, a Maine State Trooper,
Kate becomes a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service
and this is a touching account of her journey.
She brings a human element to her story that
we all can relate to.
Stephanie Meyer is the author's first adult
novel after her very popular Twilight series
and Dawn had to pick it up and read it after doing
the vampire thing in Twilight. No vampires in The Host, but
it is a science fiction, love story that keeps you
reading. Dawn enjoyed it, although her
favorite sci fi novel still remains The
Mary Doria Russell. There is much
anticipation for Stephanie Meyer's fouth and final
book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn
which is due out August 4th!
Other titles that Dawn has enjoyed include The
Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, An
Unexpected Forest by Eleanor Morse and Skeletons
at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian.
Share some of your summer reads with us and don't
forget that you can place holds on any of these
titles either by a call, a visit, or through our web
site. March 2008
It has been a LONG winter and the staff has filled
the long, snowy days with lots of reading which is
much better than shovelling!
Karen's South Berwick book club chose Don DeLillo's Underworld,
an 800+ page tome that kept her busy for weeks!
She felt it was good to have a little pressure
to delve into the work of one of modern America's
most acclaimed writers. Her exact words were
"He's brilliant!". She loved his inventive use
of language and the plot crafting she described as
stunning! Mr. DeLillo requires a real
commitment to read so he may not be for everyone,
but Karen says give it a go.
Another book that Karen added to her list is Michael Pollan's In
Defense of Food which has made her more
thoughtful with her grocery store purchases.
To overcome her graphic novel phobia (which many of
us may share), Karen picked up Alison Bechdel's Fun
Home: A Family Tragicomic. She
was surprised that the comic book format didn't stop
her from enjoying this memoir of the author's
father. She did want to add that this graphic
novel's mature content might be off-putting or
offensive to some.
Sheila Dube, our children's librarian, reread Roll
of Thunder, Hear My Cry which is found in
our juvenile section but don't let this stop you
from picking it up. This story is about an
African-American family dealing with racism in
Mississippi in the 30's. For readers that are
intrigued by real life oddities, she suggests trying
by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein.
In this real-life memoir, these twins are
separated at six months and then reunited thirty
Sheila recommends for teens the fiction story Memoirs
of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Gavin
and for those mystery lovers, try Laurie R. King's latest
Dawn has really spent her free time reading and has
many to add to the staff picks! One of her
most enjoyable reads included the much talked about
of the Earth by Ken Follett. This was
originally published in 1989 but has enjoyed a
resurgence greatly due to the power of Oprah!
She loved the characters in this historical
novel, especially Prior Philip, and also the
romantic story of Tom and Ellen. She has
admitted to a whole new appreciate of architecture.
Don't be put off by the 900+ plus pages as it
does move along quickly.
at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan inspired Dawn to
pick up another of this author's books A
Prayer for the Dying. This author has
amazing descriptive talents with the scenes and
especially emotions. The plots of both titles
aren't what Dawn calls spellbinding, but the way the
author pulls you into the story is amazing. He
has got a wonderful talent for capturing the mood so
effectively that you feel you are part of the story.
She describes Last Night at the Lobster as a
great read, especially on a snowy 'no school, no
work' snow day, as this book takes place at a Red
Lobster restaurant during a blizzard. Gives
you a whole new insight to the workings of a mall
parking lot restaurant. Karen and Marie
Gregory Maquire has done it again with the young
adult novel What the Dickens: The
Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy. Here he
takes 'skibbereen', aka tooth fairies, and tells a
tale based on believing. 'What-the-Dickens' is
a newly hatched orphan creature who gets into a mess
of trouble. A fun read especially if you're a
fan of Gregory Maquire's style for taking an
existing tale and adding a twist! Dawn loved
it and we've got a signed copy by the author here at
Other titles that Dawn adds to her list are Change
Jodi Picoult's newest novel that is
sure to bring up questions and comments about
religion, Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
which is a disturbing story of child abuse
with an unsuspecting ending, and The
Senator's Wife by Sue Miller, the story of two
different woman and their marriages.
Marcia and Karen had FUN reading The
Man Who Killed Shakespeare by Ken Hodgeson.
It was one of those predictable, you know what
happens next, kind of book but you don't care
because because it is so enjoyable and easy to read.
Marcia and Marie both took home the book Japanese
Temari: A Colourful Spin on an Ancient Craft by Barbara S. Seuss and
Marcia really created a buzz with the staff when she
made one of these beautiful items. A Temari
ball is a Japanese handball traditionally made out
of rags wrapped around a noisemaker and then covered
by colourful thread. The ball is then given to
someone as a sign of friendship. Temari balls
have been decorative additions to the Japanese
household for centuries and this book is an
introduction for the beginning temari-stitcher.
We're trying to convince Marcia to host a
program here at the library for both staff and
patrons to learn this intriguing craft!
Marie suggests trying The Way Life Should Be by Christina Kline, The
Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsbury, Suite
by Irene Nemirovsky, and The
Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum.
In April we will be celebrating "National Library
Month" and the staff will be wearing 'What I'm
Reading' badges -- ask us about our choices!
Also, you are invited to 'pass it on' by
taking and wearing a stick-on badge of your own
announcing your support of public libraries.
Happy Spring! December 2007
As we close out of 2007 we wish everyone a very
Happy Holiday Season and best wishes for 2008!
We hope you've had a great year of good reads and
hope a few good books are on your 'holiday
list'. We've tried to put together some of our
favourites for you! We invite you to share
your favorites with us!
Karen enjoyed reading the novel A
Peculiar Grace by Jeffrey Lunt. A
middle-aged artist-blacksmith finds himself housing
a stray young woman and confronting some of his past
on his way to a better present. It was a
satisfying read and the writing had an everyday ease
about it that made it comfortable to read
She also slowly digested Inside Alzheimer's:
how to hear and honor connections with a person by Nancy Pearce.
The thought of maintaining a relationship with
someone who's mind is diseased and brain is riddled
with holes is daunting, so she appreciated the
practical on-the-front-line approach of this
book. This is a hopeful, positive, and useful
book which offers ways to continue loving
relationships when communication changes through
Sheila Dube needed a respite after a busy story time
season so she allowed herself some cozy reading.
She proceeded to "eat up" the latest three
culinary mystery novels by Diane Mott Davidson, Chopping
Shot and Dark
Tort and then she whipped up a batch of
Christmas cookies followed by a large apple crisp.
Yum. Aren't mysteries inspiring???!
Marcia picked up a book that was recommended by one
of our library trustees and found that she couldn't
put it down! New England White by Stephen Carter
has many twists and turns and is an intriguing look
at American society from an elite black's view which
is a rare!
Marie added some of her most memorable reads of 2007
starting with her most favorite being Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber.
This is a novel that is very surreal with a lot of
contrasting textures. A dreamlike childhood of
an ape mother in a rain forest is in the background
of a snowy Syracuse New York where the main
character analyzes fingerprints for a living.
The main character seems concrete, but at the
same time the reader wonders if something is not
quite right about her. Marie describes it as
Marie also suggests two books that would be great
for book discussion groups. See
You in a Hundred Years by Logan Ward
is the story of a family that lives as if they were
in 1900, even though it is really 2001, for a
year. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
is a non-fiction book where Kingsolver's family
spends a year eating homegrown food. Karen
also enjoyed this book so they were able to share
ideas and thoughts on it.
Both Marie and Dawn read Alice Sebold's new novel The
Almost Moon. They both found it to be
a disturbing, touching and well written account of a
relationship between a mother and a daughter.
The word "disturbing" is emphasized since the
main character kills her mother at the beginning of
the book. The rest of the book cycles between
the past and the present. Marie describes it
as "not the happiest of reading" and Dawn didn't
take to it as much as Sebold's The
Dawn recommends two great reads that also would be
interesting choices for book discussion books.
by Markus Zusak tops her list of great
reads of 2007. This book is billed as a young
adult book but don't afraid to try it as it is an
experience! She describes this book as an
astounding, thought provoking, beautiful book, and
after she finished, thought "Who can I pass
this along to?" Death himself narrates this World
War II-era story. Another of her great picks
for 2007 include A Hatred for Tulips by Richard Lourie
which is another World War II-era story. This
is a riveting novel told from the viewpoint of Joop,
an old man in Amsterdam today, haunted
by his shameful secret of what he did as a teenager
more than 60 years ago.
We can't wait to see what great reads there are in
2008! July 2007
What a dilemma Karen is in as we bring you our July
staff reads! She is currently 100 pages away
from finishing The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
and the new Harry Potter has just come in!
What to do?? The Chabon book is unusual and
she says that she likes it better with every page
turned. It is a detective murder story set in
an alternate history Alaskan state. It has a
noir feel with wonderful similes and the characters
grow as the plot does. Not an action packed,
fast read book, but she is enjoying the
unfolding. Harry Potter will have to wait a
few more days.
But..... Sheila Dube couldn't wait and ate it
up! The long awaited, last installment in the
series pulls all the various threads of the last six
books together neatly in a magically wizardry
way. It is an absolute must read for those
that have read and grown up with the series.
For mystery lovers who want an enjoyable beach read,
Sheila recommends The Sudoku Murder by Shelly Freydont.
Set in New Hampshire, this quick mystery is filled
with "Ayuh's", a murder, a match making aunt and a
touch of geeky romance.
Karen also suggests listening to the audio A
Long Way Gone, narrated by the author, Ismael Beal.
This took her into the unimaginable world of the
degradation of a society in civil war and the
experience of children and child soldiers in Sierra
Leone. It is a taste of a place and time, told in
the beautiful words of a person who has come back
from the brink. This memoir has very strong
and violent material as you may guess by her
description. The book is available also.
Two of our staff members, Karen and Marie, have read
Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle and they both agree that it would
make a great discussion book! Karen, being a
long time gardener, looked forward to reading about
this family's experience during a year of eating
local foods. There are sidebars with recipes
and information about the food industry, as well as
thoughts of the author on the "whys" and "whats" of
Marie has been enjoying Nevada Barr and her Anna
Pigeon mysteries. After listening to High
Country and Hard Truth on
CD, she was hooked and has been reading all of her
mysteries. Anna Pigeon is a feisty law
enforcement park ranger who appreciates the wild and
its creatures. During her time in different
national parks, someone usually gets murdered and
Anna always seems to end up right in the middle of
Maledicte by Lane Robins,
is a dark story that starts out with a fifteen year
old named Miranda and her companion Janus
living on the streets in an abandoned part of town
called the Relicts. Marie enjoyed the sense of
place in this story and some of the descriptions
were beautiful in an ethereal way. It is a
fantasy book with a theme of eternal love and
Marcia enjoyed the new Kerry Greenwood novel Earthly
Delights which is a light headed mystery
that takes place down under in Melbourn, Australia.
The main character is a baker with an array of
"characters" contributing to the plot.
Dawn adds to the list with The True Story of
Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy. WOW... This
book is well written with believable characters but
be prepared to be emotionally moved. It
is a holocaust story set in Poland during WWII with
the fairy tale woven in. Not a light read by
Another favorite for Dawn was Sherman Alexie's Flight.
Alexie does a fantastic job of getting inside the
mind of a teenage boy faced with many
obstacles. "Zits", the main character, is an
orphaned, American Indian teenager who deals with
racism, homelessness and the usual challanges of
The novel Red Leaves by Thomas Cook
begins with "Family photos always lie."
Can you ever really know what lies behind those
posed smiles? Dawn picked up this book and
thought it would be a predictable, missing child
book but found it to be very thought provoking and
surprising in many ways. Others she enjoyed
were Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer, A
Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and The
Last Summer (Of You and Me) by Ann Brashares.
Tell us your favorite summer reads! April 2007
Our staff picks begins with what Karen calls
'her best book of the year so far', A
Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of
Disorder: How crammed closets, cluttered
offices, and on-the-fly Planning Make the World a
Better Place by Eric Abrahamsom and David H. Freedman
. She enthusiastically shares her opinion,
"Yes, Yes, Yes! I knew those people with the
color coded closets were wasting time! This
book illuminates the reasons we work like we do and
affirms the good in chaos." Sounds like a great book
to read instead of organizing those cluttered
drawers and spring cleaning!
Karen also suggests picking up The
Tiger in the Attic: Memories of the
Kindertransport and growing up English by Edith Milton.
This book is described by Karen as being less about
the Kindertransport and Nazi Germany than she
thought it would be. She found it to be a
lively, humorous look at a young child who becomes
more English than Jewish as she grows up a refugee
in an eccentric British household and then later, as
a young woman, her life with her mother in the
Life of Octavian Nothing: The Pox Party by M. T. Anderson
has been a much talked about novel that Karen had to
pick up. After finishing it, she said it was
the most unusual historical novel she had ever
read. The novel begins with the feel of
science fiction and then sends itself into the
Revolutionary War era of colonial America.
Published as a young adult novel, this is a complex,
graphically violent and disturbing book that she
wouldn't give to any young person, but she highly
recommends this to anyone interested in race issues,
U.S. history and ground-breaking writing style.
Sheila Dube has recently finished two adult
non-fiction selections that provide a feminine view
point or voice to opposing life situations.
Frontal Lobe by Katrina Firlish is a memoir of
one of the few female neurosurgeons in the
United States. She gives an educational and
personally insightful account of her residency
by Sabine Kuegler is the story of the
authors life in West Papua, Indonesia living
among the Fayu tribe in neutral
territory. This author lived there with her
family from the age of five into her teen years,
with the purpose of bringing peace to the
tribes. Sheila found this memoir to be a
fascinating read that she couldn't put down.
Cultural differences, jungle dangers and wearing
shoes are all part of this incredible story.
Sheila English's take on Nora Ephrion's I
Feel Bad about My Neck and Other Thoughts
on Being a Woman is summed up with her comment
"Getting old is harder on some body parts more than
others!". She revisited this book after
initially picking it up in the fall.
by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel set
in Tehran in 1958, where a musician loses the will
to live when his beloved musical instrument, the
Tar, is damaged. Graphic novels are not just
for kids anymore!! Sheila suggests picking one
up to try it!
Marcia suggests a few fun mysteries. One of
her favorite authors is Sue Henry and Marcia wasn't
disappointed by her latest The
Refuge Finds Maxie on the Big Island in Hawaii.
After a trip to Hawaii recently, Marcia really felt
a connection to the story. A new mystery
author that Marcia has discovered is Mike Doogan and
she enjoyed his novel, Lost
Angel: A Nik Kane Alaska Mystery which
focuses on a missing girl in the Christian Community
of Rejoice. Seeing as this is the authors
first novel, we expect more Nik Kane mysteries to
Mary and Marcia both read Susan Isaac's Past
Perfect and had conflicting opinions about
it. Marcia enjoyed it while Mary felt it
seemed to fizzle at the end. Give it a try and
let us know what you thought!
Our Springvale Public Library Book discussion group,
led by Mary, has read Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran
and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.
They are currently enjoying They
Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich.
Jodi Picoult is a novel that deals with a
school shooting, where the author tells the story
from the perspective of the shooter. Dawn
describes this novel as a disturbing topic but as a
Jodi fan, one that she had to read.
Dawn also read The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
and didn't find it as fulfulling as her previous
novels, The Red Tent, or Good
Harbor. The characters didn't have
any depth to them and the novel seemed to be
flat. A recent favorite was Anita Shreve's
newest novel Body Surfing.
Stephen King's son, Joe Hill has a new book on the
NY Times Best Seller List, The Heart-Shaped Box
which Dawn read and enjoyed. This novel is
centered around an aging rocker, who is a collector
of bizare, macabre items. The rocker pays
$1000 for a suit that is said to be inhabited by a
ghost and then, not surprisingly... the angry spirit
makes an appearance. Not a gory novel or too
scary, just a fun, entertaining read.
Let us know what you've been reading!! January 2007
Where has 2006 gone??? We apologize for the
long lapse from our last posting. Although we
have been busy with the holiday season, and
especially the "Victorian Tea Time" every afternoon
in December, we still had a chance to read some
great books which we'd like to share!
Ivan Doig was recommended to Karen by two
very different people. The historical western
setting in this book and its humor made it a highly
enjoyable read. A widower and his three boys
hire a housekeeper, ("Doesn't cook, won't bite") and
along with the housekeeper comes her brother, who by
default starts teaching in the rural one room school
house. The story is told by the oldest son and
the book ends when he is ordered to close all the
small schools in the state decades later.
Karen describes it as a very satisfying and smooth
Karen moved on from this western to Mineral
Heather Sharfeddin, another Montana
setting, which is a sensitive portrayal of a sheriff
working on a Jane Doe murder case, who gets involved
with the 10 year old neglected boy who found the
Marcia was engrossed in True Evil by Greg Iles
who brings us his latest suspense thriller.
This is a new take on the traditional cat and mouse
game between an FBI agent and a fiendishly-clever
serial killer. For those of you who enjoy Greg
Iles, it's another edge of your seat read!
A Cork O'Connor Mystery by William Kent
Krueger is another thriller that Marcia
recommends. This sixth Cork O'Connor mystery
continues the saga as the Minnesota Sheriff is sent
running from hired killers. Booklist's review
of this mystery states that this series 'gets darker
and more elegantly written with each new
Marcia suggested Sheila D. try the Maisie Dobbs mysteries
and Sheila is now hooked on them! Maisie is a
single, super-sleuth spinster with a psychic twist
at the turn of the century London. Sheila is
currently reading the third in the series, and is in
line to read the brand new 4th one titled Messenger
Dawn and Sheila both enjoyed and were moved by Hugging
by Susan Taylor Brown. This is a
juvenile title that is presented in brief,
free-verse poems and is a very quick read but one
that stays with you long after you turn that last
page. It is a story of a mentally ill mother
who deserts her husband and daughter. The very
first page of the book describes the daughter
watching her mother packing and leaving. How
do you cope with the question of "What do you do
when your mom runs away from home?" It is the
story of how a loss can reveal the powerful
and complex bonds between a father and daughter.
For the holiday season Dawn enjoyed Elizabeth's Berg's The
Handmaid and the Carpenter which is a very
sweet dramatization of the nativity story.
Being an Elizabeth Berg fan, she wasn't disappointed
in this new perspective of the classic Christmas
story. Dawn continued the holiday theme with
Lupica's Miracle on 49th Street
which is a sports themed juvenile novel revolving
around 12 year old Molly and her desire to win her
father's love who just happens to be the star player
for the Boston Celtics. It is a story with a
strong, young female character and although very
predictable, it was entertaining.
Mary just finished reading what she calls 'one of
the most intriguing books she's read in a long
time', James Church's mystery/thriller, A
Corpse in the Koryo.
you inside the very closed world of North Korea.
Totally different, but another favorite for Mary is
Greg Mortenson's non-fiction book, Three Cups of
Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism
and Build Nations ... One School at a Time.
Tom Brokaw said it is "one of the most remarkable
adventure stories of our time. Greg
Mortenson's dangerous and difficult quest to build
schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and
Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it's proof
that one ordinary person, with the right combination
of character and determination, really can change
We hope this new year brings many blessings to all. September 2006
Back to school.... back to school......
We can't believe the summer went so fast! Here
are some of our favorite titles that the staff have
Karen read Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
which she describes as a lively, riveting, update
(depending on how long ago your high school American
history class was) of the English colonization of
the new world in Plymouth. She listened to the
audio book and thought it was wonderful. She
also read The Great Stink by Clare Clark
which is an English historical mystery set in the
times of Dickens. Currently she is half way
through the novel To Love Mercy by Frank Joseph,
and is having a difficult time putting it down to
come to work! This author's first published
novel is about two young boys, one black and one
white and how they try to be friends in the wrong
time and in the wrong place.
Sheila English read the new best seller by Anna Quindlin Rise
and Shine which is about two sisters in New
York, one of which is wildly successful, and the
other not. She also enjoyed I
Feel Bad About my Neck And Other Thoughts about
Being a Woman by Nora Ephron which is a
collection of essays about aging and life in
general. She thought the essay on reading was
one of the best ones she has ever read.
A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
deals with wizards in Chicago! YIKES!
(Vampires and werewolves too!) (Maybe lion,
tigers and bears.... oh my.) Sheila tells us
that this is a really good series.
In the children's room, Sheila Dube suggests trying
and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset
Sisters which is a 'story within a story'
by Lesley M.M. (yes, thats 2 M's) Blume.
Jenny Nimmo has also continued the Charlie Bone
series with number 5, Charlie Bone and the
From the adult collection, Sheila really enjoyed The
Lori Lansens. This is an intriguing
novel about conjoined twins that seemed so true to
life. Sheila would like to invite the mystery
readers to try some cozy, paperback selections such
as Mr. Malory and the Fatal Legacy by Hazel Holt,
Second Sorrowful Mystery by Jonathan Harrington,
or Keepsake Crimes which is a scrap
booking mystery by Laura Childs.
Dawn continues with the mystery genre adding Gone
by Dennis LaHane. This is suspenseful
mystery, a real 'who dun it?', with many twists and
turns, that keeps you reading. She also
enjoyed the very popular The Memory Keepers
by Kim Edwards which is about how one
decision can affect so many lives.
Lastly, Dawn wanted to add Richard Peck's new young
adult novel Here Lies the Librarian
which is laugh out loud funny and quite appropriate
for us to read!!
Pick up one of these reads and please share your
favorites with us! July 2006
It’s nice to see summer finally here! The staff has
again been busy reading lots of new books plus many
Karen has read all non-fiction as she has been
having a hard time finding novels that look
interesting to her at this time. She has read
Butterfly Hunter: Adventures of People who found
their True Calling off the Beaten Path by Chris Ballad,
A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
(author of The
Perfect Storm) and The
Worst Hard Time: theUuntold Story of those who
Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan.
Karen’s mother, who lived in Oklahoma during the
dust bowl, was shocked by the hardship portrayed in
Sheila Dube read Little Indiscretions by Carmen Posadas
which is a culinary mystery which she found
disjointed at first, but it ‘all comes together in a
nicely whipped soufflé.” She also enjoyed North
by Northhanger or, the Shades of Pemberley : a
Mrs. & Mrs. Darcy mystery by Carrie Beris.
This is a Jane Austin spin-off involving Mrs. Darcy
solving a mystery while pregnant and running a
Victorian household and coping with a conniving
Susie Riding adds to the list with her latest read,
Marker by Robin Cook,
which is a thriller about mapping the human genome.
One of Mary’s favorites so far this summer is Brenda
Serottte’s new memoir, The Fortune Teller’s
Kiss. The author’s perceptive, colorful,
humorous, and sometimes achingly real descriptions
of herself, her family and other people and events
were so vivid, Mary felt that she had seen them
by John McPhee is a grown-up version of
every young boy’s fantasy life, as the peripatetic
writer gets to ride in the passenger seat in an
18-wheel truck along on a barge ride up the Illinois
River and then climb into the cabin of a Union
Pacific coal train a mile long. Gus Hedden, our new
staff member, is hoping that McPhee’s next book is
written along similar lines and includes fire trucks
and heavy construction machinery.
Dawn enjoyed another Elizabeth Noble novel The
Friendship Test which is based on four
women and spans both England and America. The
characters are vastly different with a ‘tristy’ plot
and makes for a great beach read (or a cozy winter
Hannah’s new book The Magic Hour
is another great summer read that Dawn
enjoyed. This book revolves around the soap
opera story of a feral child and the adults that try
to help her. It is a love story of a parent
and child that is heartwarming.
WEIRD, weird, weird is how Dawn describes Christopher Moore’s
latest book A Dirty Job.
‘death’ in his latest wonderful, whacked-out
story!! The main character in this book,
Charlie Asher, is a Death Merchant and has to follow
the rules outlined in “The Great Big Book of
Death”. What a cast of characters!! You
find yourself engrossed in this strange but
entertaining story, and Dawn couldn’t put it
Come visit us this summer and check out some of
these books! March 2006
We are celebrating our 100th year anniversary this
year! There will be many activities throughout
the year so keep checking our web site and
newsletters for updates!
The first book taken out of the Springvale Public
Library in 1906 was The Pearl of Orr's
Island: A Story of the Coast of Maine by Harriet Beecher
Stowe, and in honor of that, Susie Riding
took this book home with her and read it. She
found it to be slow going but could understand the
popularity of it back in 1906.
The staff began the new year with a fun game,
"Staff Winter Reading Bingo" . This is a game
that we will be implementing as part of our
Summer Reading Program for adults so we had to try
it out first! We were to read selections based
on a prepared bingo board and get BINGO. Each
square on the board represented a genre or
instruction of what to read. Examples were;
Read a young adult novel, Ask for a recommendation
from a patron, Read a mystery, Go to the stacks
close your eyes and pick a book, etc. Sheila
Dube was the big winner with Sheila English and
Marcia Goodwin close behind her. It was fun!
Karen was able to cross off two blocks on her board
with Popco by Scarlett Thomas and The
Darwin Conspiracy by John Darnton. Popco was
unpredictable and she didn't know where it was going
while she was reading it but she didn't want it to
end! It is a hybrid novel including mystery
and intrigue, surprises, codes, a little World War
II history, a little mathematics history, fresh
characters who live in today's world, and a cake
Conspiracy toggles back and forth between
Charles Darwin and his family and a couple of modern
graduate students who discover archives that will
change the way the world looks at the the Voyage of
the Beagle and the origin of the theory of
Sheila Dube tackled How the Irish Saved
Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic
Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval
Thomas Cahill. This is a history
selection providing insight into how real history is
as we know it, especially the preservation of
intellectual culture. Although Sheila is not
normally a history buff, she enjoyed the writer's
style and learned a tremendous amount of unfamiliar
facts concerning Christianity, philosophy and Irish
Sheila also recommends The Lighthouse by P.D. James,
as a good mystery along with Margaret Atwood's The
Handmaid's Tale which is a slightly
disturbing, utopian themed adult fiction novel.
Dawn read Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked
God by Joe
Coomer which is a novel set in Portsmouth
NH and deals with three distinctly different women
living together on a boat docked at a pier.
Other popular fiction titles read were A
December Wedding by Anita Shreeve, The
by Richard Paul Evans, Little
by Kim Addonizio and Night by Elle Wiesel.
Dawn and Sheila also read a young adult novel that
is now on their favorites list called The
by Kathleen Benner Duble. This is a
historical fiction novel set in Andover MA and
is based on the author's own family events during
the turbulent Salem witch trial time period.
It is a realistic novel that brings to life the
character of Abigail and her family.
Marcia read a new science fiction novel called Necessary
Susan Palwick which tells of a family that
is exiled to an unknown country through a mysterious
door when one family member is accused of
murder. Survival is the key as they
struggle with language barriers and customs unknown
to them. This novel reminded Marcia of the
Newberry Award winner Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata.
Me by John
Grogan was a fun read and enjoyed by both
Dawn and Sheila English. Another Jodi Picoult
novel, The Tenth Circle has
arrived at our library and Dawn felt that this book
lacked the surprise ending that the author is known
for. It is a novel set both in Bethel, Maine
and Bethel, Alaska and includes a graphic novel as
part of the plot.
Stop in to pick up one of these books!! December 2005
As we end the year, we wish to extend our heartfelt
thanks and gratitude for all our wonderful patrons
and all who have so generously donated to our annual
appeal. We wish you all a happy, healthy and
prosperous new year!
Karen ended the year with many interesting
reads. One selection was Green
Grass Running Water by Thomas King
which is a wild & funny Blackfoot love story
narrated in tandem with multiple versions of the
Blackfoot creation myth as told by Coyote and his
four sidekicks (or is Coyote the sidekick?)
The style is fresh and the story is satisfying.
by Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche is a little gem
of a book that reminds the reader how people
everywhere face the same problems but face them in
very different contexts. Set in Nigeria and
beautifully written, it is the story of a young girl
struggling with the expectations of a cruel
father. Very readable, completely universal.
Rose is the latest children’s novel by
British author Hilary McKay who has been creating
warm and quirky stories for 15 years. This
book is peopled with characters I would love to have
by Sarah Waters is a period piece set in
London with stock characters, illicit trades, and
unexpected plots twists.
Marcia surprising enjoyed The Center of Winter by Marya Hornbacher
which is a novel that deals with a family
tragedy. It is a dark novel but reads quickly
and holds the interest of the reader.
Dawn read the recently popular book A
Million Little Pieces by James Frey.
This is the true story of the authors recovery from
alcohol and drug addiction beginning with his
enrollment in a Minnesota rehabilitation center
after a two week binge and black out. The
vivid details will have the reader cringing.
James Frey also just released My
Friend Leonard which is about one of
the colorful characters that he met while in the
Dawn also enjoyed a few short, holiday books
appropriate for this time of year. Comfort
and Joy by
Kristen Hannah and The
Christmas Scrapbook: A Harmony Christmas by Philip Gulley
were quick reads which both have the traditional
themes of holiday celebrations.
As the long cold months of January and February
loom, come visit the library and pick one of these
suggested books or browse our shelves for other
Happy 2006! September 2005
The busy days of summer are over, and the new fall
season is in full swing. We hope everyone
enjoyed their summer and came away with a favorite
Karen highly recommendsBlink: The Power of Thinking
Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. This is
a fascinating look at the human thinking
processes. It is some science, and also some
anecdote on how we rapidly process information in
our brains. It delves into when we can trust
those "gut" instincts. It’s short and easy to
absorb. Great book!
Mary's favorite summer read was Pocketful
by Joe Coomer. This story is set on
an island off Stonington, Maine where the author
lives part of the year. A very compelling and
beautifully written story and Mary describes it as
her favorite book since The Kite Runner,
which has been a very popular book here at the
library and all across the U.S.
The Maine theme continues with Any
Bitter Thing by Monica Wood. Dawn LOVED
this book, also written by a Maine author,
with a Maine setting. This is a very touching
and emotional story about the numerous jobs of
parenting and keeping families together.
Religion plays a key role in this novel with one of
the main characters being a priest. All the
characters are very believable and the story moves
along quickly… and when the book ends, you still
Sue enjoyed Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart.
She describes it as a poetic tale of love, mystery
and myth set in the wilds of Ireland.
Sheila, our Children’s librarian, would like to
thank everyone who participated and helped out with
the Summer Reading Program this year, Dragons,
Dreams and Daring Deeds. It was very, very
successful! One of her favorite reads
this summer was Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes.
This is a great novel that deals with the question
of ‘what if?’ and this book made her cry!!
Please visit us and also browse through our new
basket by the circulation desk with staff
favorites. Also, let us know if you visit our
website. We would love to hear your comments.
Thanks!! July 2005
We hope everyone is enjoying the summer and reading
lots! We've been busy here and are grateful to
the many volunteers that helped with our very
successful book/yard sale! With all the
activities of summer, our staff has still managed to
read quite an interesting selection of books.
Karen suggests An Instance of the Fingerpost by Ian Pears, a
historical mystery set in England. She also
describes I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe as
an 'eye opener' (or reminder) for a parent with a
college bound child.
If Sherlock Holmes intrigue is your 'cup of tea',
than the newest installment of the Mary Russell series by
Laurie R. King called Locked
Rooms is for you. This psychological
thriller takes place in the early 1900's and centers
around the fire and earthquakes in San
Francisco. The story stays true to the
characters developed in the series. Sheila
just finished reading it and now wants to read
King's first book called The Bee Keeper's
Also, being the children's librarian, Sheila has
just finished Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling and found it as
magical, suspenseful, gripping and dark as the other
five! Springvale Public Library has 4
circulating copies. Come check one out!
Dawn read Raising Hope a first novel by Katie
Willard which is set in NH and is about 12
year old "Hope" who is being raised by her aunt and
father's ex-girlfriend. Sound
confusing....?? A good story of mothers and
daughters and the bonds they share. Another
recent favorite she read is The
by Nicholas Delbanco which is a well
written novel that provides a historical subplot
inside a contemporary family drama. It deals
with an inheritance from the trio of 'vagabonds',
Henry Ford, Harry Firestone and Thomas Edison.
Dawn also revisited a few of the older, juvenile
titles which included The Midwife's
by Karen Cushman, Island of the Blue
by Scott O'Dell and her daughter's
favorite Tales of a Fourth Grade
Judy Blume. Fudge is still funny from
an adult perspective!
Mary was on vacation over the holiday and recommends
a few 'fun' books! The theme of Mary's
vacation was Provence and she read A
Year in Provence by Peter Mayle which is a
wonderful, humorous description of living in
Provence from the viewpoint of a transplanted
English couple. She also enjoyed a "Murder She Wrote"
mystery featuring Jessica Fletcher in Provence,
To Die For, and Jaques Pepin's autobiography The
currently reading the book group selection, His
Excellency, George Washington and is
thoroughly enjoying Joe Coomer's brand new book, Pocketful
Sue enjoyed the new Janet Evanovich's Eleven
on Top which is a funny, outrageous,
laugh-out-loud continuation of Stephanie Plum's
We hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Stop
in to pick up one of our staff selections! April 2005
The staff has read quite an interesting mix in
the last couple of months!
Karen picked up the newly released novel from Mary Doria Russell A
Thread of Grace and was glad she did!
She describes it as a 'lyrically' written W.W.II
novel set in rural Italy, dealing with how the
Italian people worked to save Jewish refugees.
She is anxious to read other novels by this
author. She also read Traveling
Making of a Revolutionary by Alberto Granado.
Sue just got back from vacation in Florida where she
relaxed on the beach and read Lucky's
Tami Hoag. A light read with
suspense, romance and lots of cajun flavor.
Other books recently read include Cold
Robert Parker and Saving Cascadia by John J. Nance.
Marcia suggests Amagansett, by Mark Mills.
She enjoyed this author's debut novel.
"Having coffee every morning with friends" is how
Dawn described The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble.
This novel deals with the issues of a group of
women who belong to a reading group. They
become fast friends despite their differences in
age, background, and situations. She also read
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams,
a soon-to-be released feature film, which has
brought attention to this older book. Dawn's
comment on this selection was 'strange book'.
The Ha-Ha: A Novel by Dave King
was also enjoyed by Dawn and Karen. It is told
from the perspective of a lonely man with a severe
brain injury who is challenged to broaden his world
when he must take care of an 11 year old boy.
Sheila Dube has been absorbed and quite busy with a
Children's Literature class she is taking right
now. Her required reading included Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
(If you like the reality show "Survivor", you may
like this one.), Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson,
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris, The
Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, Number
by Lois Lowery, and Giants
in the Land
by Diana Appelbaum. The
"Giants" in Giants
in the Land are the white pine trees that
England harvested for ship masts before the
revolution in Maine. Sheila recommends this as
a truly interesting non-fiction book.
Khaled Hosseini continues to be a very
popular book and is one of Mary's all-time
favorites. She says that friendship, love,
loyalty, betrayal, survival, the relationship of
fathers and sons -- all that and more are woven into
this beautifully written first novel. However,
she didn't enjoy Bill
Bryson's Neither Here Nor There.
Walk in the Woods, which was full of
hilarious descriptions of his adventures and
misadventures along the Appalachian Trail, in Neither Here Nor There
the author seemed very disconnected from the people
around him and left the reader with little sense of
the places he visited or how he was really thinking
and feeling as he traveled around Europe revisiting
some of the favorite spots of his youth.
Mary reports that Gerard
Robichaud's novel, Papa
was greatly enjoyed by the "Let's Talk About It"
group this month -- and led to animated
discussion about the Franco-American experience here
Another inspiring book that needs to be mentioned is
beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of
Dr. Paul Farmer by Tracy Kidder. This book
deals with one man's dedication to changing the
health of the poor in Haiti which has lead to
innovations in health systems that treat poverty and
illness worldwide. Karen and Mary have both
read this book and it is the book choice for our own
Springvale Public Library Book Group. It
should be an interesting and enlightening
Please stop in to pick up one of these interesting
reads!! February 2005
Karen just finished a young adult fantasy by
Nancy Farmer called Sea of Trolls,
and also Amagansett by Mark Mills
which is a mystery set in a post W.W.II fishing
village on Long Island. She is currently
reading Aloft by Chang-Rae Lee.
Marcia just finished Sharyn McCrumb's St.
Dale, a book that deals with racing
legends, and also Conviction by Richard North
Patterson. She rates this selection
as a great read, which makes one think about 'how
and who' gets the death penalty in the U.S.
Dawn and Sue read a new memoir by Jennifer Traig
titled Devil in the Details:
Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood.
the author tells her story of growing up in the 70's
and her struggle with OCD and anorexia. This
is NOT a textbook type book... reads more like a
novel with a humorous writing style. Laugh out
loud at times.
Our Children's Librarian, Sheila, just
finished the classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White,
a Maine author, and found it just as
enchanting as an adult as she did when she was a wee
child. She suggests picking up an old favorite
or one of the many new children's books that we have
such as the adventure story Bartlett
and the City of Flames by Odo Hirsch,
which her nine-year old son loved!
In addition to these, other titles read are The
Giant's House: A Romance by Elizabeth
A Woman's Journey from her Father's Harem through
the Islamic Revolution by Sattareh
Farman-Farmaian and a recent favorite for a
few of us, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
All of these books are available right here at
Springvale Public Library!
443 Main Street,
Springvale, Maine 04083 |