Fun facts for your Friday:
1) A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.
2)Owls are the only birds who can see the color blue. (It would be far more interesting to learn who administers eye tests to owls)
3) Green Eggs and Ham was written when Dr. Seuss’ editor challenged him to write a book with less than fifty words.
4) The Q in Q-tips stands for quality.
5) According to the American Library Association, September is Library Card Sign-Up Month.
6) If you have a library card, you can check out these new books, and countless more…and loads of other fun stuff.
Updraft: Fran Wilde’s phenomenally imaginative new series is set in a world above the clouds made of living bone, which in and of itself sounds like a super reason to start reading, but the heroine of this complex fantasy adventure is also being hailed as a wonder herself. When Kirit inadvertently breaks the law in an attempt to help her family, she finds herself confronted by the Singers, a shadowy, enormously powerful group that demands her allegiance–but at what cost? Publisher’s Weekly made this one of their top ten Sci/Fi, Fantasy and Horror books for September, saying “Wilde leaves many questions unanswered, this only adds to the mystery and delight, encouraging the reader to suspend disbelief and become immersed in Kirit’s story. This well-written and fascinating exploration of a strange land is an extremely promising start for an exciting new writer.”
The Girl Who Slept With God: Val Brelinski is another new author whose book is garnering acclaim from all corners, and her book’s title alone, I think, is enough to turn a few heads. Set in 1970’s Idaho, Brelinski tells the story of three sisters whose world is turned upside down when one of them returns from a missionary trip to Mexico convinced that she is pregnant with the child of God. Forced to move to the outskirts of their town, the family begins to set up a new life with a community of eccentrics and prepare for the arrival of the baby. Many reviews have likened this book to The Scarlet Letter and Chekov’s Three Sisters, which seems high praise indeed, and Booklist raves, “Populated with vibrant, three-dimensional characters and filled with lighthearted moments, pitch-perfect dialogue, and evocative descriptions of the Idaho countryside, Brelinski’s debut…is a piercing yet nuanced exploration of toxic parenting, guilt, manipulation, cowardice, and other human frailties, and the claustrophobic grip exerted by the ties that bind.”
The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and a City That Would Not Be Broken: It seems incredible that this is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall on the Louisiana coast. Wendell Pierce waited out the storm with relatives seventy miles from New Orleans, but returned to find his home and neighborhood of Pontchartrain Park completely destroyed. This book is the story not only of his efforts to rebuild (with $400 from his insurance company), but the history of his home, family, and community, and about how Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot offered an unexpected moment of hope and revelation. James MacBride, author of The Good Lord Bird, says of this story, “This is more than a memoir. It’s an adventure in history, encompassing the timeless elements that propelled this fourth-generation grandson of a slave into one of the most important dramatic actors of our age: family, art, truth, religion, and of course a mother’s love. This is a story of sacrifice and blood struggle, of victory and selflessness, told with deep humility and grace by one of the most important American artists in our generation.”
The Skeleton Plot: J.M. Gregson’s much-loved Detective Chief Superintendent Lambert and Detective Sergeant Hook are back in this 28th mystery novel, investigating the discovery of a body on the boundary of a twenty-year-old property development. As they dive deeper into the shadows of the past, even more secrets are revealed about some prominent local figures who would do anything to keep the secrets of this skeleton from being revealed. Booklist calls this thoroughly British series “a fine example of the contemporary British procedural, with strong characters, intriguing plots, and the ring of authenticity in its descriptions of modern-day policing”, and while this series has clearly been going strong for some time, there is nothing stopping new readers from jumping right in and enjoying this book first.
Reckless: My Life as a Pretender: Chrissie Hynde spent nearly four decades as the lead singer/song-writer of the mega-famous Pretenders, and now she has penned a book that Amazon has already named a Best Book of September. From her upbringing in rural Ohio to her failed–and successful attempts at fame, Hynde remains conscious not only of her own flaws, failings, and strength, but of the world around her. She discusses the urban decay of Akron with the same verve and wit as she does her meeting Iggy Pop and offers fans some tantalizing secrets about the origins of some of the bands most iconic songs. From start to finish, it’s quite clear that no one else could fill Chrissie Hynde’s shoes, and, as The Daily Beast notes, Hynde “writes just like she lives, and just like she makes music. She does it her way, which is an inimitable multiplicity of things: impulsive, untamed, ragged, proud, a little sad around the edges.”
Happy weekend, Beloved Patrons, and happy reading!