The Great American Read

PBS wants America (the world?) to read.  They have developed an 8-part series, designed to explore and celebrate the power of reading which will be  told through the prism of America’s 100 most loved books (as chosen in a national survey).  The Great American Read will premiere on your local PBS station with a two hour segment on May 22nd followed by five weekly one hour programs.  The finale will reveal which book has been voted America’s best loved book.  Meredith Viera, the Energizer Bunny of the talk show host/anchor world, and 14 time Emmy Award winner, will host the series so it promises to be upbeat, positive, and fun.

The 100 most loved books were released this week and can be found here so you can get a jump on your reading.  I was happy to see that I have read 38 of them if you count War and Peace which I am currently slowly (SO slowly)  wading through!  I should also confess that I read quite a few of them longer ago than I would care to remember but I guess the point is that I read them and I remember that I read them – they had an impact on me.

Browse through the website once you have looked over the books – there is information about the series, how the books were chosen, a trailer, and more.  “The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.” (website)

The Great American Read!  Let’s do it!



Books to Movies in 2018

As part of my self-imposed challenge to read or re-read all of the Newbery Award winning books from 1922 forward, I re-read Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time a couple of years ago. (I actually listened to the audio CD version narrated by the incomparable Hope Davis and it was wonderful.)  I was excited to hear that a movie was in the works, and released in the theaters just last week!

I have since discovered that 2018 is a big year for book to movie releases.  Although we are somehow well into 2018 already, you still have time to read a number of great books  before the movies are are released.  Because we all know, the book is always better than the movie – or is that the other way around?  Well, whatever your perspective, you’d better get started with Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One which is due out in the theaters at the end of March.  This is another book that I recently listened to, read by Wil Wheaton, American actor and arch nemesis of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.  The plot is so far out of my comfort zone and yet I REALLY enjoyed it.  If you are still living in the 1980’s you will thoroughly enjoy it too but you don’t have to be an 80’s fan (I can’t say I am) to like the book.

Other movies due out this year include: Continue reading “Books to Movies in 2018”

Broaden Your Reading Horizons with the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

Are you in a reading rut?  Is everything you pick up starting to sound the same?  Do you want to read more in 2018 but you’re having a hard time getting motivated?  Take a step – or forty or fifty steps – in and outside your comfort zone with the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge and discover genres you possibly didn’t even know existed as well as some you’ve long forgotten about.  There is something for everyone to be found in this challenge and lots of subjects you may never have considered before.

You can take the challenge on your own – just stick the list on your refrigerator and check the boxes as you go – or you can do the challenge in the company of a few thousand other people on Goodreads.  You can read 10 books or you can read all fifty books.  The point is to both read and challenge yourself.  Get out of your reading rut.

I did a similar challenge a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  I’m happy I stumbled across this one this year and I am good to go with it.  Stop by the reference desk at the library and let me know how you are doing and we can discuss, compare, or suggest book choices.

Enjoy the challenge!




A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I cannot stop singing the praises of this book.  Nor, it seems, can anyone else.  The novel met with wildly positive critical acclaim when it was released in 2016.  And a year later, the 158 copies of the print book owned by the Westchester Library System still has a hold list 269 people long.

No matter how compelling a book is, I can no longer read 462 page books in a reasonable time span – I only have time to read at night and I fall asleep two pages in.  You can see the dilemma.  So anything over 300 pages must be in an audio format.  I waited quite some time for the audio CD to become available and from the first sentence I was in love.  With the narrator, Nicholas Guy Smith, who has a voice like silky velvet, with the author, Amor Towles, who writes too beautifully to be of this world, and the story, which I thought could never work for a book that long but it did!

I am including links to the Washington Times review which tells you a bit about the plot, and an interesting Q & A with author, Amor Towles which is well worth the read but I urge you to find this book and read it, or better, listen to my new favorite narrator Nicholas read it to you.  I, meanwhile, am on the hunt for Towles first novel, Rules of Civility which I’m told is just as good, if not better, and, is also on hold everywhere in the system!  Darn!

Lion or A Long Way Home

If you haven’t seen the recent movie Lion or read the wonderful biography A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, on which the movie is based, you need to do one or the other, sooner rather than later.  I recently listened to the MP3 audiobook version of the book, read fabulously well by Vikas Adam (don’t ask me how he has both the Aussie and the Indian accent down having been born in Vancouver, Canada!).  I loved every minute of it.  I also watched the movie, albeit vicariously through someone else (without sound on the tiny media screen of an airline passenger sitting in the seat in front of me) and was, inexplicably to everyone seated around me, sobbing tears of joy by the end. Continue reading “Lion or A Long Way Home”

North White Plains is Celebrating National Pet Week All Month Long!


Be Kind to Animals Week® is May 7 – 14! What can you do to protect and better the lives of animals?

NWP Pet Display

In 1915, American Humane initiated Be Kind to Animals Week® in hopes of inspiring millions of Americans to come together and show their compassion—and build a more humane world—for animals. Over a century later, Be Kind to Animals Week® is still celebrated annually during the first full week of May and is the longest-running, most successful humane education campaign in American history. (American

The American Humane Society would like you to take The Kindness Pledge, pledging to be kind to animals all year by:

  • Buying Humanely Raised Products
  • Protecting Earth’s Animals through Conservation Efforts and Education
  • Protecting Animal Actors
  • Adopting or Rescuing a Pet from and Animal Shelter (Kindness

Other ways to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week all year long:

  • Take care of your pet by keeping vaccinations up to date and taking him to the vet regularly.  Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification.
  • Appreciate wildlife by learning how to coexist peacefully and humanely with it. Create inviting spaces in your yard for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other interesting wildlife.
  • Learn the signs of animal abuse and report it immediately to your local animal control, law enforcement or humane organization.  Pets need you to help keep them healthy and safe.

Come into the branch and check out a few books from out pet display.  Learn about different kinds of pets – an iguana perhaps? – read about how animals help us heal, find out if dogs really dream, catch up on Dewey the Library Cat or read a cozy mystery in which dogs or cats play a starring role.  And celebrate animals all year long.