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Book Chat List from 7/26/16

Starting in April 2002, a panel of library staff members (primarily from the Anderson, Bethany, Gere and Eiseley branches) have appeared somewhat regularly on Cathy Blythe’sProblems and Solutions program on radio station KFOR 1240 AM in a segment called “Book Chat,” sharing information about books and upcoming library programs.

Here is a list of the books discussed in the most recent show: July 26, 2016

Appearing with Cathy on this episode: Becky W.C., Scott C., Lisa V. and KFOR producer Lizz B.

The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction
by the editors of online journal Fresh Boiled Peanuts [808.02 Fre and 808.3 Fre]

Go ahead. Play with matches.

Not the usual advice, is it? But doing so will help you find inspiration, overcome writer’s block, and develop a writing habit – forever. Sounds like a big promise for such a tiny little book…but it’s true.

Inside, you’ll discover more than 1,000 writing prompts designed to get your creative first burning. Consider each prompt a “match” of sorts, capable of starting anything from a tiny blaze (a short story) to a raging inferno (a novel).

You’ll also find guidelines for using these matches to boost your creativity in fun, unexpected ways, along with dozens of inspirational quotes from some of the world’s greatest writers.

So open the book. Pick a match. Starting a fire has never been so easy..

 

howthepostofficecreatedamericaHow the Post Office Created America
by Winifred Gallagher [ On Order ]

A masterful history of a long underappreciated institution, How the Post Office Created America examines the surprising role of the postal service in our nation’s political, social, economic, and physical development.

The founders established the post office before they had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the U.S. government’s largest and most important endeavor—indeed, it was the government for most citizens. This was no conventional mail network but the central nervous system of the new body politic, designed to bind thirteen quarrelsome colonies into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled Europe’s great powers. America’s uniquely democratic post powerfully shaped its lively, argumentative culture of uncensored ideas and opinions and made it the world’s information and communications superpower with astonishing speed.

Winifred Gallagher presents the history of the post office as America’s own story, told from a fresh perspective over more than two centuries. The mandate to deliver the mail—then “the media”—imposed the federal footprint on vast, often contested parts of the continent and transformed a wilderness into a social landscape of post roads and villages centered on post offices. The post was the catalyst of the nation’s transportation grid, from the stagecoach lines to the airlines, and the lifeline of the great migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It enabled America to shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy and to develop the publishing industry, the consumer culture, and the political party system. Still one of the country’s two major civilian employers, the post was the first to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in public life.

 

Murder in Time
by Julie McElwain [McElwain]

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates. While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact. Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

 

thisnewandpoisonousairThis New & Poisonous Air
by Adam McOmber [ downloadable resource ]

She admits she is pleased when the new placard is raised, “Madame Tussaud’s House of Wax.” She stands in the crowd with François at her side. He leans close enough to touch her ear with the fringe of his mustache and whispers, “What part of the museum would the famous Madame Tussaud like to survey on her inaugural visit?””The Chamber of Horrors, I think,” she says softly.”Really, my dear? All that grim fantasy and blood?””There is no fantasy about it, François. It is an embryo, a showing of what is to come.”Blending historical fiction with fantasy and the macabre, Adam McOmber’s debut short story collection brings the influence of Angela Carter, Isak Dinesen, and Edgar Allan Poe to the next generation. In “The Automatic Garden,” a solitary architect from the court at Versailles builds a water-powered pleasure garden; in “There Are No Bodies Such as This,” we read a haunted and romantic fiction about the creation of Madame Tussaud’s wax museum; in “Fall, Orpheum,” a small town movie palace becomes the temple for an entire town’s devotion and sacrifice. McOmber seamlessly blends history, artifice, and desire to create a dream of the past that intertwines with our own notions of modern life.Adam McOmber’s stories appear in Conjunctions, StoryQuarterly, Third Coast, The Greensboro Review, Arts & Letters, and Quarterly West. He is assistant director of creative nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and associate editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika.

 

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places
by The National Geographic Society [910.4 Nat]

National Geographic takes you on a photographic tour of the world’s most spectacular destinations, inspiring tangible ideas for your next trip. Hundreds of the most breathtaking locales–both natural and man-made–are illustrated with vivid images taken by the organization’s world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, scenic islands, stunning artwork, electric cityscapes, white-sand seashores, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets, and both classic and innovative architecture. Loaded with hard service information for each location, Destinations of a Lifetime has it all: when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do to ensure the most enriching and authentic experience.

 

Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
by Mary Norris [LT 428.2 Nor]

Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker’s copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice. Between You & Me features Norris’s laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage comma faults, danglers, “who” vs. “whom, ” “that” vs. “which, ” compound words, gender-neutral language and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and always open-minded, she draws on examples from Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and the Lord’s Prayer, as well as from The Honeymooners, The Simpsons, David Foster Wallace, and Gillian Flynn. She takes us to see a copy of Noah Webster’s groundbreaking Blue-Back Speller, on a quest to find out who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick, on a pilgrimage to the world’s only pencil-sharpener museum, and inside the hallowed halls of The New Yorker and her work with such celebrated writers as Pauline Kael, Philip Roth, and George Saunders. Readers and writers will find in Norris neither a scold nor a softie but a new friend in love with language and alive to the glories of its use in America, even in the age of autocorrect and spell-check. As Norris writes, “The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can’t let it push you around.

 

The Perennial Matchmaker: Create Amazing Combinations With Your Favorite Perennials
by Nancy J. Ondra [635.932 Ond]

Want foolproof ideas for pairing favorite perennials with an array of harmonious plant partners but don’t know where to start? Plantswoman Nancy J. Ondra helps you to jump-start your perennial garden with her one-plant-at-a-time approach for choosing plant partners. Having spent more than 30 years growing and experimenting with perennials and plant combinations, Ondra shares her extensive experience in this in-depth guide to eye-catching color combinations, dramatic textural displays, and stunning seasonal effects. The Perennial Matchmaker features 80 individual perennial profiles, close to 400 exquisite photographs of plant partnerships, and Ondra’s insight into the wide array of plants that make great combinations, including annuals, bulbs, grasses, shrubs, and other perennials. Each plant profile gives dozens of ideas and suggestions for pairings, including region-specific choices, Ondra’s top-choice perfect match, and an at-a-glance summary of the best color partners.

 

Amy Snow: A Novel
by Tracy Rees [Rees]

It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the grounds of her aristocratic family’s magnificent mansion. Her parents are horrified that she has brought a bastard foundling into the house, but Aurelia convinces them to keep the baby, whom she names Amy Snow. Amy is brought up as a second-class citizen, despised by Vennaways, but she and Aurelia are as close as sisters. When Aurelia dies at the age of twenty-three, she leaves Amy ten pounds, and the Vennaways immediately banish Amy from their home. But Aurelia left her much more. Amy soon receives a packet that contains a rich inheritance and a letter from Aurelia revealing she had kept secrets from Amy, secrets that she wants Amy to know. From the grave she sends Amy on a treasure hunt from one end of England to the other: a treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. Ultimately, a life-changing discovery awaits–if only Amy can unlock the secret. In the end, Amy escapes the Vennaways, finds true love, and learns her dearest friend’s secret, a secret that she will protect for the rest of her life.

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