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Showing posts from September, 2017

Book Buzz

In the middle of September, Wallingford Public Library introduced a new program called Book Buzz. The goal of Book Buzz is to share information on the books scheduled for publication in upcoming months that we think our patrons may want to read. The program took place at The Wallingford Victorian Inn, conveniently located across the street from the library. Before the discussion got underway, participants were able to snack on hors d'oeuvres in the inn's magnificent wood-paneled dining room. Then, glasses of wine in hand, we settled into the inn's beautiful double parlor to talk about the books scheduled for release this fall and early winter that have generated the most pre-publication buzz.

Although we had prepared handouts describing over 170 books across a wide range of genres, including literary and popular fiction, mysteries and thrillers, biography and memoir, history and politics, and other types of non fiction, it would have been impossible to discuss them all. I…

Thursday Night Book Club -- September, 2017

After taking the month of August off, the Thursday Night Book Club reconvened on the evening of September 21st to discuss Annie Barrow's The Truth According to Us. Set in the fictional town of Macedonia, West Virginia ("tucked up in a crook between the Potomac and the Shenandoah") in the summer of 1938, The Truth According to Us stars the quirky Romeyn clan and their summer border, Layla Beck, the daughter of a United States senator who arrives in town as an employee of the WPA's Federal Writers Project to write a history of Macedonia in honor of the town's sesquicentennial. As Layla starts to interview citizens of Macedonia, 12-year old Willa Romeyn decides to adopt the Macedonian virtues of "ferocity and devotion" and begins to investigate the members of her family, starting with her charming, dissolute father Felix and her beloved aunt Jottie. She does this despite her Uncle Emmett's advice not to "ask questions if you're not going to l…

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Much has been written about the importance of the opening sentence of a book. It's been described as the key, or the hook, to reel the reader in.  The purpose of the first sentence, frankly, is to get the reader to want to read the second sentence. Stephen King commented in a 2013 interview in The Atlantic that "an opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this."

I mention this because last week I read what will surely soon take its place on the list of the best opening lines ever in a novel. I checked out John Boyne's The Heart's Invisible Furies from the library at the end of my evening shift on Wednesday, and while I was waiting to leave for the night, I opened the book and started reading:

"Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoloeague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady…

The Fall Book Bonanza

"Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, then Labor Day is its counterpoint, the unofficial end of summer and the start of fall. In Wallingford, the kids are already back in school, and the weather has felt autumnal for more than a week, so the transition between summer and fall feels as though it has already happened. As vacations end and the weather stays cool, the lazy, easy pace of summer goes away, and in its place is a sense of newness, energy and purpose. Autumn brings a new school year, a new season of theatre and concerts and TV shows, the start of the release of Oscar-worthy movies, and the big fall book season.

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Fall is the season when the mosthighlyanticipatedliteraryfictionreleases …