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!

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Eid Mubarak!

Yesterday was the end of the month of Ramadan, and Muslims around the world celebrated. If you’re curious about the culture, we’ve got information at the library! Here are a few books, and even a movie or two.

Funny in Farsi

Firoozah Dumas was just seven years old when she moved to the United States with her family. She had no idea what to expect. This collection of essays documents her struggle to adjust; the book’s been called hilarious and touching.

Continue reading “Eid Mubarak!”

It’s Nearly Mother’s Day!

And do we have books (and DVDs and CD Audiobooks) about mothers! Mothers of all varieties; working mothers, stay at home mothers, divorced mothers, single mothers, teenage mothers, surrogate mothers, foster mothers, and even mothers of presidents.  And as many books on mothers and daughters or mothers and sons as you could think to read (or view or listen to).

Recent books about mothers and daughters include Lisa Scottoline’s humorous Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s beautiful generational novel, Before We Visit the Goddess,  Amy Gentry’s psychologically suspenseful Good as Gone, or Kimberly Williams Paisley’s heartrending biography, Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again.

Good choices in the mothers and sons subject area include The Nix, Nathan Hale’s recent bestseller about family secrets and self-realization, Anderson Cooper’s The Rainbow Comes and Goes : a Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss, the fascinating collection of correspondence between Cooper and his mother, the celebrated Gloria Vanderbilt or Lisa Scottoline’s psychological thriller, One Perfect Lie. Continue reading “It’s Nearly Mother’s Day!”

Big Little Lies – Who’s Watching?

big-littel-liesBig Little Lies premiered as a TV series last week on HBO. With its all star cast and its crazy mad beach houses, it looks promising.  The setting has been moved from Liane Moriarty’s fictitious Pirriwee Beach just outside of Sydney, Australia to the fictitious Otter Bay in beautiful Monterey, California.  The scenery alone should be worth the price of admission!

There is a ton of angst to work with in any Moriarty novel; Angst could be her middle name.  But she does it SO well!  If you haven’t read, or better yet listened to Caroline Lee read, any of her books, grab one and get busy! Her books are probably longer than they have to be, but, in my humble opinion, I wouldn’t forfeit a word.  She takes on really tough subjects and puts them in the hands of the everyday people who are grappling with them, adding a touch of mystery, a wry sense of humor, and a cast of characters you can’t help but identify with.  We have her books and her books in audio form at Armonk – I just finished listening to Truly, Madly, Guilty. Loved it!  Come on in and check one out.  And let me know what you think of the TV series!

biglittlelies01-590x237

Happy New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! And welcome to the year of the Rooster.

We’ve got many excellent books about China here in the library. I’m going to highlight just a few that are either by Chinese authors, or about China, or both. We’ll start with a quick and easy read by a young American student of Chinese culture.

iron-and-silk

If you haven’t yet read this memoir, you’re in for a treat! In the 1980’s, Mark, a graduate student at Yale, goes to China to teach English and study Kung Fu. He lives in the city of Changsha for two years. The New York Times remarked that his stories of that time “Take the form of a series of lightly sketched episodes; almost without exception they produce the gulp of feeling you might get from an unusually fine short story…”

Continue reading “Happy New Year!”

Love is in the Air

1cd0956e-86f7-4292-9277-b6f794a3db37Valentine’s Day will be upon us before we know it!  If you would like to warm your heart with a good love story during these long, cold days of winter, we have just what you need no matter what kind of reader you are.

the_notebook_coverWe have an abundance of romance available in books, audiobooks, (and movies) by the kings and queens of the genre; Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Balogh, Jude Deveraux, Katie db8d87a6e25b9910ceba42460b07cbccFforde, John Green, Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Kleypass, Dean Koontz, Johanna Lindsey, Debbie Macomber, Alexander McCall Smith, Fern Michaels, and Nicholas Sparks among others.

Recent additions to our collection include I Almost Forgot About You by Terry imagesMcMillan, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, Two By Two by 51bi5m2edwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Nicholas Sparks, A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan,  Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen, and Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave to name just a few.            Continue reading “Love is in the Air”

The Books Behind the 2017 Oscar Nominations…..

This year’s Oscar nominees include several  movies that are based on books.  If you were captivated by the movie, and want to read the book, or if you liked a book that has been made into a movie, check out this list.   It’s always interesting to compare the two!

longwayhome

The Book: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley.  Five-year-old Saroo, living in rural India, gets separated from his older brother and falls asleep on an empty train parked in the station. Suddenly the train takes off, headed for Calcutta, a city where Saroo can’t speak the language. After living on the street for several weeks he is adopted by a couple from Australia. 25 years later, he uses images on Google Maps to jog his memory and find his way back to his original home.

 The Movie: Lion. Nominated for Best: Picture; Actor in a Supporting Role (Dev Patel); Actress in a Supporting Role (Nicole Kidman);  Adapted Screenplay; Cinematography; and Original Score.  

hiddenfigures

The Book:  Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. During World War II, the American aeronautics industry hired black female mathematicians to fill a labor shortage.

The Movie:  Hidden Figures.   Nominated for Best Picture; Actress in a supporting role (Octavia Spencer),  and Adapted Screenplay.

 

 

ove

The Book:  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  A grumpy man hides a personal loss beneath his short-tempered exterior.  He clashes with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness leads to unexpected friendship.  This comical and heartwarming book  has been an enormously popular bestseller.

The Movie: A Man Called Ove. Nominated for Best Foreign Film;  Makeup and Hairstyling. In Swedish with English subtitles. *Available  on DVD.

 

 

tonysusan2-copyThe Book:  Tony & Susan by Austin Wright. Susan Wright receives a manuscript and a request for feedback from her ex-husband of fifteen years. His novel is called Nocturnal Animals, and it is the violent story of a man whose wife and daughter are murdered.  As she is drawn into the life of the story’s main character, she confronts a devastating parallel darkness from her own past.

The Movie:  Nocturnal Animals. Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Shannon).

Continue reading “The Books Behind the 2017 Oscar Nominations…..”