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Archive for Category: Reading Room
A decade after she left Haven Harbor, Maine, Angie Curtis returns after receiving news that the remains of her mother have been found. Raised by her grandmother, Charlotte, since the disappearance of her mother, Angie believed she was abandoned. Now there is evidence not only that her mother was murdered, but that Angie knows the killer. When a member of Charlotte’s needlepointing business dies under mysterious circumstances, it starts to look like the two murders may be connected.
Twisted Threads is promising start for a new series. If you enjoy crafting mysteries, try Maggie Sefton’s knitting series starting with Knit One, Kill Two or Laura Childs’ scrapbook series starting with Keepsake Crimes.
I love cozy mysteries. They are perfect for a snowy day spent reading with a cup of tea and my lap cat. Stay warm!Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »
I learned this week, thanks to an article in the Wall Street Journal, that I actually have a favorite genre. Technically, it’s not a genre; it’s more of a technique or style, but being a reader who has never before been able to claim a more specific taste profile than "general fiction," I could now say that I’m a fan of Slipstream. This term, while not really new, has recently been gaining more of an audience. Slipstream was actually coined back in 1989, by critic and author Bruce Sterling, in an essay addressing the evolution of his genre. He was eager to separate what he considered to be true science fiction, from the stories that simply incorporated elements of the genre. So he called this area of science fiction “slipstream.” He explains the genre thus:
And he goes on to describe other characteristics. The whole essay is available online here.
Before, I would often apply the term magical realism, or realistic fantasy to the stories I preferred to read most, but that never quite seemed adequate. Sometimes the stories would contain charming supernatural creatures, mysterious plant life or visitors from another time or dimension. Other times the stories simply presented a reality that was slightly off kilter, creating an almost dreamlike atmosphere, and would make little attempt to directly address the dissonance. Kelly Link, in a recent NPR interview, describes her stories, many of which are written in this way, as adhering to a “night time logic”, similar to the way the mind, while asleep, sort of accepts the events in a dream, events that would confound us when awake.
I’ve collected some of the titles that fit this type into a Pinterest board on our Chelmsford Library Pinterest page,and included links for a few recent examples above. So, the next time you’re feeling a bit mischievous or playful, or would like to read something a little more out of the ordinary, try one of these books.Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »
Ok, I've been on a binge of graphic novels this past month. But, that's because there are so MANY that are SO GOOD!! This one has to be my reigning favorite (outside of the Marvel and DC Universes that is). It tells the story of a rather prickly restaurant owner and chef, Katie. The restaurant, Seconds, is doing a brisk business and Katie wants to open an additional restaurant across town. The location is in a less desirable area but the building has historic charm. Life is good.
After a series of mishaps and accidents at the restaurant, her life is starting to seem not so good. One night after work, she falls asleep wishing she could reverse all the bad that has happened. Waking in the night she finds a mysterious girl crouching on her dresser. (Stay with me here) As the girl slowly disappears from view, Katie finds a small notebook and a red mushroom left behind.
Within the notebook is a recipe for a do-over, a second chance to make things right. All Katie has to do is write down her mistake in the notebook, eat the mushroom, and things will go back to the way they were. Katie, a type-A personality, cannot be happy with making things the way they were however. She succeeds in finding the source of the red mushrooms and begins redoing her entire life over and over to disastrous results.
With chibi-like characters, bright coloration, and unusual framing for a comic, it is a delight to the eyes yet remains a cautionary tale. How many second chances can you have without your life becoming unrecognizable as your own? The answer lies within.Posted in Books, Graphic Novels, Reading Room | No Comments »
This book has been on my nightstand for a long time and I finally had the time to read it. Stitched into a series of vignettes, the story follows the life of a 500 year-old illuminated Haggadah. Hanna Heath, a book conservator tasked with the job of ensuring the stability of the book, travels from her home in Australia to Sarajevo, Bosnia where the book is under heavy guard. Upon taking the book apart to restitch and fix small holes in the binding and seams, she finds evidence of where the book has been throughout its 500-year history. The story alternates between the present (in this case 1996) and the past. The story of the Haggadah is told in reverse chronology - moving steadily backwards, ending with the creation of the drawings that become the Haggadah.
Not only a story of a book as the title would suggest, but in many ways a history of the Jewish struggle to exist in a world that found reason after reason to make that as difficult as possible. For a student of history as I am, I found more questions than answers that have led me onto more history books about the history of the Jewish people.
If you have never seen an illuminated Haggadah take a look. They are absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea until now that they existed.
Bottom line: I am told that it is a tough book to read because of the alternating plot lines. I didn't have the same sensation perhaps because I listened to it. Try it and see and then come join us at the main library on February 6th, 2015 at Noon to discuss.
NB: I checked this book out of the Chelmsford Public Library. I received no compensation from this review.Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »
Are you paying for a subscription to a service like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix to receive digital books, movies, music and television? Did you know that similar services are available for free through your library?
With just a library card, you can download bestselling eBooks, like John Grisham's Gray Mountain; full-color magazines, like National Geographic; classic films, like "To Kill a Mockingbird;" and popular television shows, like "Wallander" and "MI-5." You can even download and keep up to five songs per week. Whether it's Mozart or Megan Trainor, select from among 8 million songs to keep for as long as you want.
Connect to any of these services from the library's webpage at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/econtent/. For assistance with these services, contact or visit the library, sign up for a one-on-one help session, or register for one of the Tech Talk workshops held each month. The next workshops are scheduled for January 28 at 10 a.m. and February 4 at 10 a.m. Bring in laptops or mobile devices for help setting up, or just attend to learn more. Contact the library's Reference Desk with questions at email@example.com or 978-256-5521 x211.Posted in Reading Room, Resources, Web Tools | No Comments »
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