2005-08-18 / News

From the Librarian’s Desk

By Judith H. Bell

From the Librarian’s Desk

The new book truck has some fast and fun reads to

offer. If you don’t find them on the shelves, be sure to place a hold on anything that tickles your fancy.

Let’s jump right in with two new titles from Luanne Rice. The first is “Summer’s Child.”

Publisher’s Weekly gives it a great review: “Resonant and beautifully written, this novel offers a lyrical meditation on healing, a setting as soft and colorful as beach glass and a story that’s both suspenseful and tender. Lily Malone and her daughter, Rose have built a happy life in Cape Hawk, Nova Scotia, despite the ever-present fear that the abusive husband Lily has fled will find them. Old memories surface as Rose becomes friends with a girl whose wary mom is hiding a similar past. When Rose’s congenital heart defect forces her to undergo open-heart surgery, Lily also faces her conflicting feelings for marine biologist Liam Neill, whose unflinching support she has been too emotionally scarred to accept. Ultimately, Liam’s love and Rose’s recovery give her the strength to confront her longing for the past — and the loved one —she has left behind. Rice (“Dance with Me”) excels at weaving the familiar staples of popular fiction into storytelling gold; her talent for portraying both children at risk and good men scarred by circumstance also dazzles. Above all, this book — one of Rice’s best in recent years — depicts the magical endurance of love with the sensitivity and realism for which she’s known.”

“Summer of Roses” is a sequel, and promises the more of the same.

Luanne Rice is a Connecticut resident who has spent a lot of time in Little Rhody, and Rhode Island is often the setting of her novels. She spoke at the Rhode Island Library Association annual meeting in June and is a charming, lovely woman.

“Trance” by Christopher Sorrentino is a novelistic retelling of the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, bringing back the turbulence of the late ‘70s and the Viet Nam War. According to Publishers’ Weekly, “‘Trance’ is a tour de force, announcing a mature and ambitious talent, one that goes a long way toward capturing the weirdness and stoned fervor of a vital, still-undigested and heavily televised piece of recent American history.”

On the lighter side, try “An Ex to Grind” by Jane Heller, a hilarious tale about a woman who gets what she wants — a husband — but he morphs into a couch potato and a financial drain. Then she wants to get rid of him, but since she is so financially successful, she will have to pay him alimony. The next thing she wants is to trick him into violating the cohabitation rule in their pre-nup so she hires a matchmaker to get him the perfect mate, which she does, and she gets what she wants — she is rid of him. The new companion shapes him up, gets him off the couch and into running, and then — guess what — the wife wants him back. As I said, it is on the lighter side, along with “Mine are Spectacular” by Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger, authors of “The Botox Diaries.”

“The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole” by Stephanie Doyon tells the story of small town where Prosperity and Hope waved as they drove out of town and of Francis Pinkham, the youngest child and only boy in a family of nine horrid sisters. Janet Maslin, a former film critic for the New York Times, says of this work, “Ms. Doyon’s book spans decades and takes some powerful, serious turns. Without overburdening her material, she develops an array of acts and consequences, linking them in ways that give the book some weight. In a novel enveloping enough to prompt regret when it ends, she lets the schoolboys of the book’s early sections live out the self-fulfilling prophecies that are their lives … a smart, disarming pleasure.”

There’s more of interest, including Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men,” Steve Martini’s “Double Tap,” Jack Kerley’s “The Death Collectors,” and “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See.

On to the non-fiction shelf for “Read It and Eat: a Month-byMonth Guide to Scintillating Book Club Selections and Mouthwatering Menus” by Sarah Gardner. For the book club looking to do a little more, this is a terrific book with recommendations of books from “The City of Joy” to “The Secret Garden.” The author provides provocative questions for discussion along with seasonal recipes.

“Venus on the Fairway: creating a swing — and a game — that works for women” was a gift book, and we have the only copy in the state. “Despite the distinct differences in the way women and men should swing a golf club, golf instruction has almost always been presented from the male perspective. In “Venus on the Fairway,” Debbie Steinbach bridges that instructional gender gap by teaching a body-and-mind method for women only,” the publisher touts.

“With the aid of step-by-step instruction, helpful photography, and simple visual keys, women golfers will learn to play better golf by keeping things simple — from basic grip and setup fundamentals to the full swing,” the publisher continues. “Rather than overload the reader with highly technical swing instruction, Steinbach emphasizes practical drills that teach how to ‘feel’ key swing movements, reinforced by a simple and positive teaching style. Steinbach also helps readers choose the right equipment, explains essential rules and etiquette tips, and offers useful advice on playing with male counterparts.” We hope someone will report back on the success of this method.

Also on the non-fiction shelf is “Safe Medicine for Sober People” by Jeffrey Weisberg, “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” by Bernard Goldberg, and “College Ranking Exposed” by Paul Boyer. And for my colleagues and me, “The Image of Librarians in Cinema, 1917 – 1999,” but you are welcomed to borrow it.

Thanks for returning your library survey, and if you haven’t filled it out, take a few minutes to let us know what you think about the library. If you need a copy, you can pick one up at the library or Town Hall.

Remember, the library is a computer hot spot, so you can bring your laptop and work in an air conditioned room.

“The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites.

“It gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”

— Elizabeth Hardwick

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