Tuesday, May 28, 2013


It's that time of year again...time to start planting your flowers and to start growing your garden!  With the arrival (and continuance) of warm weather it is safe to start caring for your yard whether that means general lawn care, planting flowers, or fruit and vegetable gardening.

Looking for some inspiration for this planting season?  Take a look at the titles listed below.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell
The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawbacks, and the Bottom Line by Jeff Gillman
The Gaia Book of Organic Gardening by Charlie Ryrie
Midwest Cottage Gardening by Frances Manos
Fragrant Gardening by Steve Bradley
Gardening in Eden: The Joys of Planning and Tending a Garden by Arthur Vanderbilt
Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom
Beginners Guide to Herb Gardening by Yvonne Cuthebertson
Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin by Melinda Myers
Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass by Liz Promeau
Kids in the Garden by Elizabeth McCorquodale
Learn to Garden by DK Publishing
Climbing Gardens: Adding Height and Structure to Your Garden by Joan Clifton
Family Gardens: How to Create Magical Spaces for All Ages by Bunny Guinness
The Nature Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People by Marlene Condon

Whether you are new to gardening, or have been practicing for years, it is time to get outside and enjoy the warmth and the sunshine!

 Picture from http://www.empowernetwork.com/teamed/blog/the-psychology-behind-gardening-gardening-tips/

Monday, May 20, 2013


Our Book Club's next meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 18th at 10:30 a.m.  We will be discussing Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  Stop by the library to pick up a copy of the book and come join us!

Little Bee tells the story of two women whose lives intersect one day when one of them must make a terrible choice.  Two years later, they meet again, and this is where the story begins.  The reader slowly learns about the two main characters' pasts as the two women move on with their lives together.

Little Bee is Chris Cleave's second of three novels: Incendiary (now a motion picture starring Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, and Matthew Macfadyen), Little Bee, and Gold.

Already finished Little Bee?  Looking for something similar?  Try one of the titles listed below.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is the story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant.  This is a story of fathers and sons, friendship and betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.

The Sea by John Banville is narrated by Max Morden, who returns to the town where he spent his childhood summers after his wife's death.  Intertwined with the story are memories of Max's wife (of their life together and her death) and the moments that make up his life now.  What he comes to understand about the past and its effect on him is what lies at the center of this novel.

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich tells of the emotional conflict between Irene America and her husband Gil.  Irene is a beautiful, introspective woman who is struggling to finish her dissertation while simultaneously raising her children while Gil is a painter whose reputation is founded upon a series of iconic portraits of Irene.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri follows the Ganguli family as they leave behind their life in Calcutta and adapt to life in America.  After their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima settle in Massachusetts where Ashoke is able to adapt to the changes much more readily.  Ashima resists all things American and misses her family back home.  When their son is born, the task of naming him brings the old and new ways into conflict; ultimately, he is named  for a Russian author: Gogol.  Gogol tries to navigate life as a first-generation American and slowly learns how to define himself along the way.

In Day After Night by Anita Diamont, four young women hope to find a way to recreate themselves in a new country after leaving behind horrible memories and losses.  This story is based on the 1945 rescue of Jewish prisoners from the Atlit internment camp.

Picture from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9781416589631/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, May 13, 2013


I just started reading Joyce Carol Oates' newest novel, The Accursed, and I have to say that I was blown away by her writing style.  She definitely writes like someone who knows what they are doing, and she effortlessly makes you believe you are reading something that was written 100 years ago.

The Accursed is a historical novel that tells a story of possession, power and loss in twentieth century Princeton.  At the turn of the century, Princeton, New Jersey was a quiet place to raise a family.  But, something dark is approaching the town.  Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of its citizens, and a curse begins to affect the well-to-do families of Princeton; their daughters begin to disappear.  Oates' newest work combines historical detail with elements of the supernatural.  As we are pulled in to the story we get to meet all sorts of people: Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson (before he became president), Upton Sinclair, and Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain.

Joyce Carol Oates has written over 50 books and is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.  Oates was also the recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.  She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for three of her works: Black Water, What I Lived For, and Blonde.

Interested in trying some of her work?  Check out one these titles:

We Were the Mulvaneys is a tragic tale.  Oates tells the story of the fall of the House of Mulvaney.  Judd, the youngest, retells the the events in which their world was pulled apart.  At the center of the family's problems lies one event: the rape of Judd's sister.  As a result, Judd, his father, and a brother commit criminal acts, and the family loses their home.  Joyce Carol Oates has the ability to describe the psychological aspects of violence while at the same time show the reader how far down people can fall and still rise back up again.

Blonde sets out the tell the story of Marilyn Monroe.  Oates looks at Marilyn's life from her pre-Marilyn years through to her career in Hollywood.  As she tells the story, Oates brings to life some of America's greatest stars such as Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio, and Marlon Brando.

In The Falls, Joyce Carol Oates introduces us to Ariah, the Widow Bride of the Falls.  On the first day of her honeymoon, her new husband, Erskine, throws himself into Niagra Falls.  Along comes Dirk Burnaby, a local lawyer, who falls in love with Ariah and marries her a month later.  Sixteen years later, we meet her children who do not know of her past as the Widow Bride.  As the children discover their history, they each find direction in their own lives.

Sourland: Stories is a collection of sixteen short stories that explore the power of violence, loss, and grief on the human psyche.

Dear Husband: Stories is another collection of short stories in which Oates examines what seems to be normal family relationships until, looking deeper, the cracks appear.

Little Bird of Heaven:  When Zoe Kruller is found murdered, the police target two primary suspects: her estranged husband (Delray Kruller) and her longtime lover (Eddy Diehl).  In turn, the Krullers' son and Eddy's daughter become obsessed with one anther, each believing that the other's father is guilty of the murder until they meet again as adults.

The Gravedigger's Daughter: In 1936, the Schwarts are desperate to escape Nazi Germany and settle in New York.  Once there, the father, a former high school teacher, is demeaned by the only job he can get: gravedigger and cemetery caretaker.  After a tragedy strikes, the gravedigger's daughter, Rebecca begins her own pilgrimage into America, a journey that leads to self-invention and an American triumph.

Picture from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780062231703/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12

Monday, May 6, 2013


On Thursday, May 23 at 6:00, we will be meeting at Creekside Place to watch the movie The Jane Austen Book Club and to have a discussion with the author, Karen Joy Fowler!

The Jane Austen Book Club tells the story of six individuals who get together to form a book club that discusses the novels of Jane Austen.  Throughout the story, their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, affairs, changing relationships, and love.  Will Jane Austen be able to help them all?

Can't get enough Jane Austen?  Try some of these other Austen inspired works.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrove Manor by Barron
Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
Eliza's Daughter by Joan Aiken
The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough

Read Alikes for The Jane Austen Book Club:
The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
The Last Girls by Lee Smith
Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Interested in reading more by Karen Joy Fowler?  Check out some of her other works listed below.
Wit's End
Sister Noon
The Sweetheart Season
Sarah Canary
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (upcoming release)

Picture from http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0399151613/lc.jpg&client=arrowheadlbs&type=rn12