Book news

Stories That Connect

Posted by on Monday, Aug 1, 2011 - 4:25 PM

It's such a treat when you find a good book by chance. This happened to me when I picked up a book of stories by Christine more

New Fiction: add to your reading list

Posted by on Saturday, Jul 23, 2011 - 3:14 PM

These books are on order and due to arrive at the Library in August & September. Place your hold now; plan ahead for your reading more

Hot Fun in the Sun

Posted by SusanM on Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011 - 2:24 PM

Around this time of year it seems as if every newspaper, magazine and web site publishes a list with suggested summer reading choices for anyone who has some vacation time or at least has the opportunity to relax a little and enjoy those lazy days of summer.  Lots of book clubs take a break for the summer, so this is a great opportunity to pick up a book that you might not normally be inclined to read and just relax and enjoy.  After surveying quite a few suggested summer reading lists, here are a few titles that seem to be high on everyone’s more


Posted by on Saturday, Jul 2, 2011 - 12:52 PM

See if you can identity these authors. Each of them is enjoying the popularity of a newly published more

I want to read that!

Posted by on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 11:32 AM

The calendar year is just about half over. Best books, so far?read more

Press play...

Posted by on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 2:59 PM

Have you heard about Thirteen Reasons Why: a Novel by Jay Asher? It's a book written for teens and I recommend it to anyone with a teenager in his or her more

Book Expo America

Posted by SusanM on Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 - 11:41 AM

Book ExpoThe end of May always brings BookExpo America (BEA) back to NYC for a week.  This large trade show is aimed primarily at the retail book buyers of America, but BEA provides many great programs and lots of great authors for the library community.  This year’s show was the perfect opportunity to hear about what books will be released in the next few months and what books are likely to be in more


Posted by on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 12:49 PM

I was glad to have a few days of vacation time left over to rest up after my annual trek into New York City for the annual BookExpo America (a.k.a. BEA)—the largest annual book trade fair in the United States.

Nearly all significant book publishers in the US, and many from abroad, have booths and exhibits at BEA, and use the event as an opportunity to showcase their current tiles and to introduce some of their upcoming more

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A Storyteller of Charm & Substance

Posted by on Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 12:43 PM

A few years ago at the Connecticut Library Association conference, I heard Elizabeth Berg talk about her writing career. Her love of writing and reading was obvious, as  she talked about her previous career as a nurse and how that enhanced her understanding of people. Her  keen appreciation of  how people - and especially women- think permeates her work.

My favorite of her books is a short story collection , The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: and Other Small Acts of Liberation.  The title says it all, as she focuses on women of all ages,  teenage  to  80-something,  dealing with issues of dieting, body image, aging, love, loss, letting go and creating a new life. (She will be having  a " Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted party!"   In Illinois.)

Berg writes a book a year; easy additions to your reading list- not too literary , not too slick- good quick reads with thoughtful underpinnings about the pains and pleasures of relationships.

Once Upon a Time, There Was You is her latest.  Sadie is 18 and secretly in love. Her parents are divorced and each engaged in a search for new love. Suddenly, terror intrudes and the parents come together to deal with Sadie's disappearance. About the permanent connections of divorced parents (connected enough to get back together?), the revelations of female friendship (will they push it too far?), the overwhelming anxiety of a mother's fear and concern (will she alienate her daughter?)...the story is about the vagaries of different kinds of love.

I admit that as the mother in the story took her " helicopter" parenting  to new heights, I experienced an uncomfortable twinge of identity.  That is Berg's gift- her empathetic grasp of our  emotions and motivations and her clever and wise ways of telling our stories.  More Berg books.

National Reading Group Month

Posted by SusanM on Friday, Oct 15, 2010 - 12:48 PM

Great_Group_Reads_Logos_72dpi.jpgIf you’re a member of a book group then you already understand the value and enjoyment of a shared reading experience. The Women’s National Book Association recognizes the importance of reading groups each October with the celebration of National Reading Group Month. Events are held in libraries and bookstores across the country and each year a new list of great group-reads is selected by the WNBA. This year’s list has some great choices for book groups and booklovers in search of their next good read.

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin is an excellent choice for those who loved The Help and The Secret Life of Bees. A story of race, identity and growing up in the 1960’s in Mississippi, book clubs will love this novel filled with well written, complex characters.

Heidi Durrow has written a novel loosely based on her own life as the biracial daughter of a Danish woman and an African American soldier. The Girl who Fell from the Sky is also a coming of age story, set in 1980 in Portland, where after a family tragedy Rachel goes to live with her black grandmother. It won the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender is an interesting book, certain to provoke discussion in your book club. With each bite she takes Rose Edelstein, the young protagonist of this story, is able to taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food. This unusual gift is both magical and a curse and Rose struggles with it as she grows from a girl of nine to adulthood.

The Great Group Reads list has ten other suggestions for book groups. In some of my previous blogs I wrote about Blame by Michele Huneven and The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli. The latest addition to our Speaking of Books collection, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, is also on the list. This novel about the friendship of an illegal Nigerian refugee and an English widow has already become a book club favorite.

Book groups know that good books bring people together for discussion, friendship and the enjoyment of literature and reading. It’s your turn to celebrate being a book club member! Let smadeo [at] westportlibrary [dot] org (me )know if you would like to add one of these selections to your club’s more

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