Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron

It was sad to hear that news that writer, filmmaker and essayist Nora Ephron died yesterday, June 26, 2012. She was known for her wit and all of us of a certain age can remember laughing and crying at "Sleepless From Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally".

Her books include Heartburn about her failed marriage to Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, I Remember Nothing and I Feel Bad About My Neck.

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Front Cover

“We all look good for our age. Except for our necks,” she wrote in the title piece from “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” published in 2006. “Oh, the necks. There are chicken necks. There are turkey gobbler necks. There are elephant necks. There are necks with wattles and necks with creases that are on the verge of becoming wattles. ... According to my dermatologist, the neck starts to go at 43 and that’s that.”

All women of a certain age can definitely relate to that!  I Feel Good About My Neck may make a delightfully easy summer read for our book club.  Her famous wit would have us laughing all the way through the book. 

Her sweetest quote:

“I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
—Billy Crystal to Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally

Our library has several of Nora Ephron's books and movies, why not check one out today?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Only For Doc Martin Fans!

Just a quick reminder for fans of the Doc Martin series.  Our library now has the latest season on DVD.  Get on the waiting list to check out Season 5.  Find out what Martin and Louisa name their new  baby.  And, boy, is he ever cute!

Also, just so you know, they will begin filming Series 6 in 2013.  (It's slated to be the last.)

The French Don't Go for E-Books

 The following is an interesting article taken from a blog posted by The Guardian:

E-books in France have been slow to catch on, as readers overwhelmingly prefer the printed page.
Reading habits were back on the political agenda in France this week when Hollande's government, vowing to protect the printed word and France's bookish reputation, announced it would roll back Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial VAT rise on books.
In contrast to the UK's famous three-for-two deals, the French state fixes the prices of books and readers pay the same whether they buy online, at a high-street giant or a small bookseller. Discounting is banned. The government boasts that price controls have saved small independent bookshops from the ravages of free-market capitalism that were unleashed in the UK when it abandoned fixed prices in the 1990s. France has more than 3,000 independent local bookshops and 400 in Paris, compared with around 1,000 in the UK and only 130 in London. But online book giants are still eating into small bookshops, many of which struggle to stay afloat.
The next question obsessing the market-watchers is whether old habits will change and the ebook will catch on in France. The state price-fixing rule has been extended to digital reading. But the change is not just a question of cost. Surveys have shown that the majority of French readers, like those in Germany, still prefer paper books to reading onscreen. While sales of English-language ebooks have grown rapidly – to around 20% of total book sales in the US and almost 10% in the UK – in France, predictions for this year are hovering at around 3% of the market. Some publishing giants are confident that ebook growth will come to France in time, but for now the paperback has the advantage.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Book To Read Next? Some Summer Reads

As the library saying goes "so many books, so little time"!  There are so many books waiting to be read and more are published each week.  Here are a few intriguing ones. 
Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn:  The New York Times writes:  “This is the hardest part,” confides one of the untrustworthy narrators in Gone Girl “waiting for stupid people to figure things out.” ... Flynn’s latest novel of psychological suspense will confound anyone trying to keep up with her quicksilver mind and diabolical rules...she promises to deliver an account of the troubled marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne, who alternate as narrators, and so she does. The trickery is in the devilish way she tells their story".  USA Today and People Magazine also gave this new book excellent reviews and it seems to be the next "must read".
Heading Out to WonderfulHeading Out To Wonderful by Robert Goolrick:   Robert Goolrick is the author of the taut, sexy, disturbing A Reliable Wife, his first novel, set in Wisconsin at the beginning of the last century.  Amazon says of his new endeavor: "The time now is 1948, as Charlie Beale rolls into the small town of Brownsburg, Virginia. It's the kind of small southern town where "no crime had ever been committed," where memories of the Civil War often seem as fresh as those of the recently completed Second World War, where every single person in town attends one church or another on Sunday mornings.".  If Heading Out to Wonderful is anything close to A Reliable Wife then it's going to be a summer read in the best sense.

The Expats by Chris Pavone:  It is immensely readable and well-crafted.  It explores the secrets that one keeps from friends, spouse and even oneself.  It isn't overly political and not violent.  As a reviewer at Good Reads commented: "the most profound deceptions lurk beneath the most normal-looking of relationships".  How true.  For a fast-paced mystery be sure to check it out!  

Park Lane by Frances Osborne:  This is the story of two determined women in socially constrained Edwardian London.  War breaks out in 1914 and the walls between social classes come tumbling down.  Does this remind you of our favorite saga, Downton Abbey?  That's enough to make me run to the library to check this out!  Happy summer reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Drowning Ruth" by Christina Schwarz

Drowning Ruth   

The Between The Lines Book Club's May discussion was an older Oprah book club selection called Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz. Our book club is rather large with usually 14 to 16 in attendance.  This month only eight attended which was actually the perfect number for discussion.  No one could remember who selected this book but it was a great idea to go back and look at an older "book club" type book.  Everyone enjoyed the book and it created lots of very lively discussion.
 The story is told from different characters' outlooks and also from the point of view of a main charaacter at different ages.  At first this may take a little getting used to but it is an interesting technique.  We all agreed this story is like a soap opera but then, what is a soap opera but just the telling of stories of the lives and interactions of different people, in this case, family members with a terrible secret.

 BookBrowse says:  "Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut."

The author shows how secrets carry through time damaging everyone.  One of the fascinating parts of this story is how perception of an event or non-event effects each of the characters.  Without any basis in truth an entire event (infidelity) that never occurred is perceived to have happened by the husband of one of the sisters.  If you want to wake up the book club members just mention this topic!  Boy oh boy, did this create a lively discussion.

We all agreed this book was an excellent book club choice for creating lots of discussion.  Or, why not check it out just for the pleasure of reading a good book with very developed sympathetic characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.