It’s election season, so there are a lot of controversies in the news right now. We’ve got some databases that can help you decide who to believe! A terrific new one is here:
The Nix by Nathan Hill – pub. date, August 30, 2016
[A] sparkling, sweeping debut novel that takes place in a large swath of recent American history, and pop culture and turns them on their sides…-Kirkus (Starred Review)
This big (640 page) novel tells the story of apathetic college professor and failed writer, Samuel Anderson, whose mother had abandoned him when he was a boy. Samuel gets another chance at literary fame but, in order to achieve it, he must reconnect with his mother; a risky proposition which could stir up an old wound and uncover new ones.
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer – pub. date, September 6, 2016
Richly conceived… Rigorous questions within an accessible story; highly recommended. ―Library Journal (starred review)
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks, in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis.As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.
Leave Me by Gale Forman –pub. date, September 6, 2016
A #1 September Library Reads Selection
A September Indie Next Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A People Pick
We’ve all fantasized, at one time or another about escaping, running away from our harried, stressful lives. Maribeth Klein, the lead character in Leave Me, does just that.A married, working mother with two 4-year-old twins, she pack her bags and leaves. It is only when she is distanced from her live that Maribeth begins to view it from a different perspective. Leave Me is a story about facing our fears as well as the ambivalent feelings, we sometimes have about motherhood.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – pub. date, September 6, 2016
In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight…this book more than fulfills thepromise of Towles’ stylish debut, Rules of Civility—Kirkus (Starred Review
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett – pub. date, September 13, 2016
The prose is lean and inviting, but the constant shifts in point of view, the peripatetic chronology and the ever growing cast of characters will keep you on your toes. A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers–Kirkus
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly, thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman – pub. date, October 18, 2016
A poignant breakout novel, for fans of Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand, about a single mother inherits a beautiful beach house with a caveat “she must take care of the ornery elderly woman who lives in it”- Amazon
For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance, a house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: the deceased’s 82 –year-old mother, Edith, who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman – pub. date, August 16, 2016
An engaging social history… The vivid recreation of American eating at a historical crossroads is engrossing.” -Publishers Weekly
From the author of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced—the Great Depression—and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen – pub. date, September 27, 2016
In Born to Run, Springsteen describes growing up in Freehold, New Jersey amid the “poetry, danger, and darkness” that fueled his imagination. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized
You may have noticed there were bears everywhere this past spring. People took pictures of them raiding bird feeders, swimming the Hudson river, and even wandering along beaches. If you’d like to learn more about these magnificent predators and how best to deal with them, the library can help! To give just one example, here’s an archived article from the New York Times:
I found this article, and much more on black bears, in one of our new databases, Gale’s Science in Context.
And who isn’t? Check out this great article at the NPR website, Like These Books? Here are 60+ Things You Might Also Like… You will find a plethora of suggestions for, not more books, but other materials you might like including movies, theater performances, podcasts, blog posts, television shows, web series, and more.
For instance, if you liked, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, NPR suggests following up with the FX TV series called The Americans or the 2012 film, Argo, about the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis starring and directed by Ben Affleck. Or, on a lighter note, if you liked Cat Sense by John Bradshaw, you (and your kids) might like My Cat From Hell, a wildly popular TV series or Disney’s time honored classic movie, The AristoCats. Maybe you loved The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. NPR suggests the Masterpiece mini-series, Great Expectations or Woman in Gold, the 2015 movie starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.
Find suggestions for decluttering, falling in love, women’s rights, thrillers, and food among other things.
And if you prefer to do the whole process in reverse, check out their other article, Like These Movies? Here Are 100+ Things You Might Also Like… which links many of your favorite movies to suggested novels and non-fiction selections in addition to other mediums. You will find everything from Willa Cather’s My Antonia to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. There is something for everyone in these two fun and thought-provoking articles. Enjoy!
Audiobooks are a hot topic now. They even have their own month! June is Audiobook Month. Who knew? Audiobooks come in a variety of formats – the good old fashioned CD audiobook that most of us are familiar with, battery powered pre-loaded audiobooks for those on the go, and the newer MP3-CD format for use with enabled CD or DVD players or for downloading to your I-Pod! With all three formats available at the North Castle Public Library, we are sure to have a title for you.
I always thought audiobooks were reserved for long car trips to keep the kids from asking, “are we there yet?” or to fill in the gaps between radio reception – have you ever tried to find a radio station on Interstate 84 between here and Springfield, MA? Then one day about two years ago I needed a book for an online book club, Atonement by Ian McEwan, and the library copies were all checked out! The audiobook was on the shelf. Hmmmm… I had no long car trips in my immediate future and I only have a 10 minute commute to and from work. How will this work? I decided to give it a go. I put the first disc in and I was hooked. Dangerously addicted. I get nervous as I get near the end of one book that it might end before I have my next book securely placed in the car door pocket next to me.
In the 60 some odd audiobooks that I have listened to since, I have met only one that I didn’t like. You will have to come in and ask me which one that was as it doesn’t seem fair to put it in print. But that leaves 59 that I did like so let’s talk about a few of them.
I love Liane Moriarty. She has such a refreshing approach to writing. How can you write a murder mystery and keep the identity of the victim a secret until the end of the book? That’s exactly what Moriarty did in Big Little Lies read by Caroline Lee who has the perfect Aussie accent for Moriarty’s Aussie books.
The Husband’s Secret is another gem, also read by Lee, which gets you thinking about how every choice you make, small or large, has consequences. And don’t be fooled, his secret is probably not be what you think it is.
A recent favorites is H Is For Hawk by Helen MacDonald, read by the author. An interesting memoir about the author’s struggle with grief when her beloved father dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Growing up, MacDonald shared a passionate interest in hawks and falconry with her father, which is why she decides that now is the time to find and tame a goshawk, apparently one of the hardest breeds of hawks to tame. She gives herself and her life entirely over to the care and taming of her hawk, Mabel, to the point that she believes she IS the hawk. She hides behind Mabel and cuts herself off from the rest of the world as she tries to cope with the fact that her father is gone. As a child she read (and hated) T. H. White’s book, The Goshawk, another audiobook I want to listen to, and her book is as much about T. H. White and his extremely dysfunctional life as it is about herself and her nearly incapacitating struggle with grief. Interestingly, her struggles parallel those of White’s although it takes her a long time to understand that.
Finally, Circling the Sun by Paula McLain read by Katharine McEwan – an historical fiction account of the (mostly younger) life of Beryl Markham. This book wasn’t always easy to listen to. Markham, whose early life was sadly and hugely dysfunctional, made inexplicably poor decisions throughout her young years that only made her life more difficult. I wanted to shake her! In addition, given her motherless, wild and free upbringing in the Kenyan bush, she was unable, or unwilling, to cave to the conventions of the times. Yet as liberated and free as she desired to be, she was forever turning to men – always the wrong men – to achieve her goals – she was a terribly conflicted, difficult, and complicated woman. Listening to this made me want to re-read West with the Night, Markham’s (controversial) autobiography and Out of Africa by Markham’s friend, Isak Dinesen. Hmmm… I wonder if I can find them in audio.
You don’t have to spend money to become a spreadsheet pro and learn other important computer skills!
All you need is your North Castle library card. The computer classes that are offered on our library’s website are truly amazing.
A few years ago, I was looking for a job, and I wanted to improve my skills in Excel and website coding. At the time, I spent over $1,000 at a technical school in Manhattan. I have recently been delighted to discover that my library provides access to Lynda.com and Skillsoft online courses, which I’ve used to become more proficient with various Microsoft products and WordPress. I’ve not only saved money, but I’ve benefited from learning at my own pace and I’m not holding up the rest of the class when I’m slow to grasp something!
In addition, both of these websites offer interesting courses on business skills like marketing, finance, workplace professionalism, and much more. Go to our website: http://www.northcastlelibrary.org/, and look at Your Virtual Library in the upper right. Under Educational Resources, you can find Lynda.com and Skillsoft online courses. Or, here are the direct links:
So you have decided to make the plunge into the e-book realm…So many digital platforms! So many electronic books! What’s a person suppose to do these days to find a book to read? How do you get started?
North Castle Public Library has posted links to 4 major platforms that you can choose from, but not all offer the same material. I will try to explain the major differences between the sites we have posted to help you find your next e-book
Overdrive Media Platform : Overdrive has been with Westchester Library System for the quite some time. This platform offers NY Times best sellers and most popular authors in both Mp3 (audio) and e-book. Once an app is installed on your device you can access the catalog directly from your phone, or tablet. It offers formats for Kindle as well as Nook, however additional apps would need to be installed on your device so the material can be opened. Kindle has its own app, nook reader as well. Books remain on your device for 14 days from download. Holds can be placed online and when title is available you will be notified by email. There are no late-fees or penalties as the book “expires” making it unable to open until you either download another license, or delete the image off your device. No worries about shelf space filling up!
Total BooX : Offered through the Westchester Library System, and linked from our website This platform is a GREAT resource for non-fiction / technical books. Marketing, management, professional books as well as Travel books like Fodor’s, Frommers, Lonely Planet and others. Once the book is checked out it goes onto your chosen “shelf” and will stay there until you delete it. No expiration, no returns no fees. If you decide that you do not want it on your shelf any longer, just delete it. This is also an app driven platform, e-books only, no audio at this point
3m Cloud Library: Offered through 9 of the 39 Westchester Libraries at this point. This is a cloud based app-driven platform which is new to the 9 of us. Catalog of NY Times bestsellers is growing by the month and some libraries are starting to purchase audio books as well as. Easy to use and available cross device you never need to worry about not having access to your book, as long as there is wifi to download / stream. Books are borrowed for two weeks, holds will remain available for three days after notification. No fines or fees, book will disappear off your device at the end of the loan period.
One Click Digital: Available through the Westchester Library System . App driven platform that is great for a variety of titles that are more obscure as well as older best selling titles. Favorites that are hard to find may be accessed through this platform. Both Audio as well as e-books are available to download. Developed by Recorded books this is great place to check for some older treasures that may be ready for a re-read! And like all other platforms,two week loan period , no fees or fines.
This is the link to Westchester Library System’s Listen, Read & Watch tab. One worth mentioning, while you are there check out an out of print and out of copyright classics found in The Gutenberg Collection. One can find texts written in other languages as well.
Edie Martimucci is the Director of Adult Services at the North Castle Public Library. She loves hiking, reading, gardening and knitting, not necessarily in that order, it all depends on the weather.