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My Librarian

09/26/2017 - 1:22am

I watched Dunkirk when it came to the theaters this summer hoping for an outstanding movie, and I got one. A favorite actor, Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, In the Heart of the Sea), portrayed the desolation of the shell-shocked “Shivering Soldier.” There is a point to never formally naming those characters caught between the German onslaught and the English Channel. They are everymen in their terror, helplessness, and humanity. But, I wondered, who are they? Who are all the nameless ones upon the shore, waiting for deliverance? Who are their rescuers? What are their stories? What could be their stories?

The Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk, by Tracy Groot, begins in an English shipyard in 1940. Clare Childs has inherited a handsome 52-foot yacht from someone she barely knew. She’s tricked it out as a houseboat and makes a small living renting out its rooms as a sort of floating bed-and-breakfast. But Clare doesn’t intend to remain in the harbor forever. She’s saving up whatever spare change she has to sail around the world. For her, it will be the full escape she’s needed ever since she was orphaned at a young age and brought up in isolation by her skinflint uncle.

09/21/2017 - 1:18am
Getting It Together: How to Organize Your Space, Your Stuff, Your Time—And Your Life

How is back-to-school treating you? Are you on top of your assignments and after-school activities? Is your room a great place to relax and work, or is it a pile of piles—of clothes, of papers, of toys, of … stuff? It’s hard to relax, have a good time, and get decent grades when your chaos works against you.

Right now, it may seem as though it’s just too much to take on, but once you get in the habit of treating your time and space as valuable, you will find your days can be much less stressful. No more running late, losing important things in the piles of unimportant things, or procrastinating on projects. It’s not hard. It just takes consistency and a gentle push in the right direction.

Getting It Together (A Smart Girl’s Guide) shows you many of the habits that can depress your day and then tells you how to change them without ever being super judgmental. Whether you are a clutter queen or time management is your tyrant, this book can be a huge help in improving your day-to-day experiences.

09/19/2017 - 1:17am
Cover to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When legendary but reclusive movie star Evelyn Hugo agrees to grant an interview about her forthcoming auction to raise money for breast cancer, the world anxiously waits for her words. But why would she request that Monique Grant, a relatively unknown writer, pen her first public dialogue in years? Even Monique is dumbfounded.

Showcasing her vast physical charms in combination with her relentless drive to succeed, Hugo left Hell’s Kitchen in the dust and rose to join Hollywood’s elite. Her presence both on film and in person was riveting, but, with seven husbands, her career was rife with controversy.  The fact that she chose to live her later years in seclusion only feeds the public’s frenzy for details.

09/12/2017 - 1:11am
Imagine a Forest: Designs and Inspirations for Enchanting Folk Art

There’s something about folk art that brings a touch of warmth and whimsy to a home. The elements of designs are simple yet used imaginatively, and the overall effect is extremely pleasing. In Imagine a Forest: Designs and Inspirations for Enchanting Folk Art, Dinara Mirtalipova shares her creative methods and designs with you.

08/29/2017 - 1:00am
Cover to George Washington’s Virginia by John R. Maass

Virginia has long held the nickname of “the mother of presidents,” and surely its most famous native son was the first president, George Washington. His birthplace in Westmoreland County, now a national monument, can be visited today and often features living history performers demonstrating what life was like in the times he knew. George Washington’s Virginia, by John R.

08/28/2017 - 12:59am
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem

In Jewish lore, there is the legend of the golem, a being composed of earth and given life with ritual prayer. It is a protector that might be brought forth for the darkest days. And, surely World War II must be counted among those days.

Dark Horse Comics’ Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem imagines a scenario where a poor Jewish village, whose fighting-age men have gone to war, has mercy on a downed British pilot, even knowing that his presence will endanger them all.

08/22/2017 - 11:22am
CRRL My Librarian: The Benefits of a Local Writers' Group

Writing tends to be a solitary activity. From hours of research to even more hours of honing one’s prose or choosing just the right word for a new poem, writers spend a lot of their time working alone. That’s what makes a writers' group so helpful and refreshing. You can get together with other writers who understand what you’ve been doing, learn something new to improve your work, make connections for future marketing or partnerships, and get some feedback on your current project.  

09/07/2017 - 9:48am
Covers to Bond, Jane Bond list

If you're looking for books with intrigue and modern heroines, have we got the books for you! These titles all feature women involved in lots of action and adventure around the world.

08/09/2017 - 12:45am
The Shadow Land: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova

In 2008, a young woman from the Blue Ridge Mountains, who loves poetry and literature, arrives in Bulgaria. She’s been hired to teach English but has a month to explore on her own. Jet-lagged, at the wrong hotel and in need of rest and a shower, it’s not surprising Alexandra makes a terrible mistake while simply trying to help a family with their luggage. It’s not the first awful mistake she’s made, either.

In the late 1930s, a 20-something violin virtuoso, who has everything in the world to look forward to, slips back to his Bulgarian hometown on the eve of World War II. When the conflict is over, Stoyan Lazarov has very good reason to believe his talent will grant him fame. So what if he has to play second chair for now in a provincial orchestra? He has the love of his life, brilliant talent and enough patience. But musical genius though he may be, he has not factored in the crushing power of the political police.

In 2008, Alexandra’s and Stoyan’s paths will cross, and their separate, shameful secrets will be laid bare. Elizabeth Kostova’s The Shadow Land is at once a historical mystery and a modern thriller. There is true bravery and true love in this page-turner that spans decades, even as it illuminates an ancient country’s marvels and sorrows.

08/07/2017 - 12:44am
Cover to Perseus retold by Geraldine McCaughrean

Sometimes it’s better to not know what the future holds. King Acrisius asks the oracle serpent how he will die. The answer frightens him: by his grandson’s hand. But he has no grandson. His daughter Danaë isn’t even married…. And now, the king is determined she never will be.

He builds an astonishingly tall tower just for her. Trusting him as she does, she goes to the top to see the view, only to find she is imprisoned. That’s the plan her father had for her. To let her grow old without ever knowing the comfort of a husband or a child. He thought he was being merciful—after all, he didn’t kill her, did he? She could have anything she wanted up there, as long as she stayed up there and away from everyone else.

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