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Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. (Joseph Addison)

Adult Facebook CSLP2016

 The Adult Summer Reading Program runs until August 8.              

Grab/print a Bingo sheet and begin  - or - click here to log your reading exercisespot9 isolated copyselections.                     

Its that easy - 5 boxes on a Bingo sheet or 5 books in your online log.                   

Prizes include Penn Theatre tickets and gift certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants.


Looking for a good book?

11 Of July's Best New Fiction To Add to Your TBR -'s Melissa Ragsdale collects a list of new fiction with a little something for everyone - romance, mystery, crime, mayhem, and, of course, family drama. A small sample:

womanincabin10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm as the ship begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for--and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong...


Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Set in beautiful Jamaica, at an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles in the herecomesthesuntourist industry to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, this novel offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.



Can't score Hamilton tickets?

alexanderhamiltonCurious about Alexander Hamilton, American Founding Father and first Secretary of the Treasury? Hamilton, the Tony-winning musical about his life, has become the must-see show in New York, with tickets both expensive and scarce. This fall, the show will finally begin touring other cities - the Chicago performances start on September 27. The musical's story is based on the well-received 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton, by historian Ron Chernow, that writer/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda read years ago while on vacation. Hamilton, an extremely bright and accomplished man, was an aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War and a mover and shaker in the new American government, until 1804 when he was challenged to a duel by rival politician Aaron Burr. Burr mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the next day at the age of 47. Hamilton's influence on American politics and government is still felt today; his writing in defense of of the new Constitution in his series of essays, The Federalist Papers, continues to be one of the principal foundations of American political and legal philosophy.

 Founding Father Fiction:

scandalmongerScandalmonger by William Safire
Pulitzer Prize-winner, Safire, exposes the less than honorable side of our Founding Fathers and unveils the dirt behind the nation's first great political scandals in this vivid historical novel. James Thomson Callender, the "scandalmonger" of the title, is an ambitious gossip-peddling editor secretly hired by Thomas Jefferson as a political weapon against his rival, Alexander Hamilton. Callender reports a story about Hamilton's possible financial improprieties that forces Hamilton to admit to adultery in order to defend his business reputation. Disappointed by Jefferson's lack of gratitude or reward, Callender then spreads an account of Jefferson's affair with his slave, Sally Hemmings, in order to ruin Jefferson. "Meticulously recreating the stories and dialogue from diaries, newspaper accounts and court transcripts (there are several trials involving libel), Safire delivers nicely rounded portraits of Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Callender's own suspicious death closes the tale, a case of real life providing grist for melodrama." (Publishers Weekly)


burrBurr by Gore Vidal
Burr is a portrait of perhaps the most complex and misunderstood of the Founding Fathers. An officer in the Continental Army, during the American War of Independence (1775–83), a lawyer (1782), and a United States Senator from the State of New York (1791–97), Burr became the third Vice President of the United States after a hotly contested election against Thomas Jefferson. In 1804, while vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. Vidal sets his novel in 1833, when Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. He retains much of his political influence if not the respect of all. And he is determined to tell his own story. As his scribe, he chooses Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, a young New York City journalist, and together they explore both Burr's past and the continuing political intrigues of the still young United States. "Burr is a dark figure, a prey of romanticists. Vidal, however, fleshes him in fine classical fettle, the full flower of 18th-century rationalism sprouting in his head. It is a clever book, the elegant conception of a spirited professional." (Kirkus Reviews)



Librarian Faves for August 2016

August 2016 LibraryReads List

The top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love

library reads logo websiteThis monthly list is created by librarians and library staff to help connect readers to new books and authors. An online community of librarians vote each month on their favorite new books and the results are tallied. "The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that." The list is not meant to be a "best" list - just a list of collective favorites - books librarians loved and want to share.



#1 for August 2016:

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

greatreckoningIn Penny's 12th book in her popular series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, retired head of the homicide department of the Sûreté du Québec, Gamache is appointed to a new job: head of the Sûreté Academy du Québec, the police school. He is charged with cleaning up decades of entrenched corruption with the goal of transforming the young cadets into honest cops. Of course, the most crooked professor at the school is soon murdered while in possession of a copy of an ancient map of Three Pines, the remote village where Gamache lives. Suspicion falls on Gamache, and the cadets loyal to him, as as a tangle of past and present connections among the characters comes to light. The search for answers leads Gamache back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own secrets. In order to clear himself, he must find the killer before another person dies. "This riveting read, with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot, will keep readers guessing until the last page." (Library Journal).




Missing Outlander

This popular series on the STARZ channel, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, wrapped up its second season last weekend. Two more seasons have been ordered but the broadcast date of Season Three has not been scheduled; it may be nearly a year before viewers can catch up with Clare Randall and Jamie Fraser and follow their exploits in beautiful Scotland. (Hence the hashtag, Droughtlander.) To help ease our withdrawal pangs, Off the Shelf, a blog sponsored by the publishing company, Simon and Schuster, has created a helpful list of books to make the long wait bearable.

Here are some of the "9 Books You'll Need to Ease Your Outlander Withdrawal":

otherqueenThe Other Queen by Phillipa Gregory
Fleeing rebellions in Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots looks to Queen Elizabeth of England for sanctuary. Though promised protection, Mary is soon imprisoned by her former friend as a "guest" in the house of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his  wife, Bess. The newly married couple welcomes the exiled queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. They grow to realize that the task will bankrupt their estate and lose them all favor as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. And Mary is not as hopeless as she appears, as she sharpens her weapons to reclaim her Scottish throne--and to take over Queen Elizabeth's, too.

The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston                                                          witchesdaughter
Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch's Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches. In the spring of 1628,  Bess Hawksmith watches as her witch mother swings from the Hanging Tree and she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had, and rendering her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.


overseasOverseas by Beatriz Williams
When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one's more surprised than she is. Julian's relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she's baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn't had a boyfriend since college? The answer is beyond imagining. Kate and Julian's story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.



Looking for a thrill?

ThrillerFest2016 banner

ThrillerFest XI

The International Thriller Writers held their annual conference in New York last weekend to celebrate thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them. Dubbed "Thrillerfest IX",  the 11th conference ran from July 5-9, with author panels, speeches, and presentations. Among the attendees were this year's ThrillerMaster, Heather Graham, along with 2016 Spotlight Guests C. J. Box, Gillian Flynn, and Walter Mosley. During the Banquet on Saturday night, the winners of the coveted Thriller Awards were announced. These awards are given each year for the best thriller books in hardcover, paperback original, first novel, and other categories.

Among the 2016 winners:

Best Hardcover Novel: The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

fifthgospelA lost gospel, a contentious relic, and a dying pope's final wish converge to send two brothers-both Vatican priests-on an intellectual quest to untangle Christianity's greatest historical mystery. In 2004, as Pope John Paul II's reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before its scheduled opening, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator's research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex, desperate to keep his family safe, undertakes his own investigation. To find the killer he must reconstruct the dead curator's secret: what the four Christian gospels, and a little-known, true-to-life fifth gospel known as the Diatessaron, reveal about the Church's most controversial holy relic. "...the best kind of page-turner, one about which you also have to think." (Booklist)


Best First Novel: Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich

bullmountainClayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family's criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton's office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction. In a sweeping narrative spanning decades and told from alternating points of view, the novel brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the mountain and its inhabitants: forbidding, loyal, gritty, and ruthless. A story of family--the lengths men will go to protect it, honor it, or in some cases destroy it. "The author delivers characters with depth, a lushly described setting, and an intergenerational battle between good and evil. After many twists and turns, the story ends with a welcome surprise." (Library Journal)



The Heat is On!

Adult Facebook CSLP2016

Summer weather has certainly arrived and it's time for summer vacations and recreational reading!

The Adult Summer Reading Program runs until August 8.              

Grab/print a Bingo sheet and begin  - or - click here to log your reading selections.                      exercisespot7 isolated copy

Its that easy - 5 boxes on a Bingo sheet or 5 books in your online log.                    

Prizes include Penn Theatre tickets and gift certificates to Plymouth stores and restaurants.

Pump up your summer!




Excellence in Christian Fiction

christyaward2016 Christy Awards

The Christy Awards, named after the novel, Christy, by Christian author Catherine Marshall,  have honored excellence in Christian fiction since 1999 when a group of Christian publishers established the awards to promote the genre. The Christy Award is designed to "nuture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from  a Christian worldview." Each year the 27 participating publishers submit novels published in the preceding year for consideration in multiple categories. An independent review committee, comprised of librarians, reviewers, and critics, reads and evaluates the nominees based on a ten-point list of criteria. The 2016 winners were announced on June 27.


weddingchapelSome of the 2016 Winners:

Contemporary Novel: The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

Contemporary Romance Novel: The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

First Novel: Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Suspense Novel: Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock



 © 2012 The Christy Awards


Holocaust Survivor, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Elie Wiesel (1928 - 2016)

openheartActivist, professor, writer, and memoirist who became the nightpredominant voice for the millions of Jews killed by the Germans in World War II, Elie Wiesel passed away July 2 at the age of 87. Through his many books and lectures he revealed the scope and horror of the Holocaust to the world; his bestselling memoir, Night, based on his experieces in the camps, is one of the canonical works about that time. In the spring of 1944, when he was 15 years old, Wiesel and his family were sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister died, and later with his father, he was imprisoned in Buchenwald. His father died before the end of the war and the liberation of the camps. Wiesel believed that he survived in order to bear witness to the Germans' systematic genocide of the Jewish people; his life was devoted to that mission. Wiesel used his speeches, teaching, writing, and forceful personality to ensure that world would never forget. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his humanitarian work. As the Nobel Institute's website states, "For the world to remember and learn from the Holocaust is not Elie Wiesel's only goal. It is equally important to fight indifference and the attitude that "it's no concern of mine". Elie Wiesel sees the struggle against indifference as a struggle for peace. In his words, "The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference".




Books to Movies - July

Now (or soon) playing:

ourkindoftraitorOur Kind of Traitor by John Le Carre
Another of spymaster-in-chief Le Carre's espionage novels to be adapted for film or television, this story starts with a young couple on vacation who are approached by a  Russian criminal. Dima, a big-time Russian money launderer, wants their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his criminal brotherhood and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame played by the British Secret Service, the Russian Mafia, and international bankers with a lot to lose. "Le Carre ratchets up the tension step-by-step until the sad, inevitable end. His most accessible work in years, this novel shows once again why his name is the one to which all others in the field are compared." (Publishers Weekly). The movie opens July 1 and stars Damian Lewis, Ewan McGregor, and Stellan Skarsgård.


cellCell by Stephen King
As the book's jacket makes clear, "There’s a reason cell rhymes with hell." This is Stephen King, after all. What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. Savage, murderous, unthinking-and on a wanton rampage. Terrorist act? Cyber prank gone haywire? It really doesn't matter, not to the people who avoided the technological attack. What matters to them is surviving the aftermath. Before long a band of them have gathered on the grounds of Gaiten Academy, where the headmaster and one remaining student have something awesome and terrifying to show them on the school's moonlit soccer field. Directed by Tod Williams, the film opens in limited release on July 8 and stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.


tulipfeverTulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
In 1630s Amsterdam, tulip fever has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul. Cornelis yearns for an heir, but so far he and Sophia have failed to produce one. In a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos. But as Van Loos begins to capture Sophia's likeness on canvas, a slow passion begins to burn between the beautiful young wife and the talented artist. They become lovers and dream of a future together, away from Cornelis and Amsterdam. Desperate for money, they turn to the tulip trade, where the right bulb can yield a fortune. Written by the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, "Moggach's lush and sensuously written novel will appeal to romantics as well as fans of historical novels,..." (Booklist). The film stars Alicia Vikander, Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, and Dane DeHaan, and will be released on July 15.


Books That Shaped American Life



duneOn June 16, the Library of Congress unveiled a new exhibit, America Reads, that highights the public's choice of 65 books by American authors that shaped American life and culture. Of the 65 books, 40 were chosen directly by the public (via surveys and the Internet) and 25 were selected by the public from a list created from a prior exhibit. The Library of Congress makes it clear that these books are not necessarily the "best" of American literature; the list is not the most diverse, comprehensive, or representative of all American writing. Instead the list and exhibit are meant to "jump-start new conversations about the most influential books written in America and what they mean to people." The books are fiction and non-fiction, including some historical documents, childen's books, science fiction, poetry, and the Alcoholics Anonymous manual. The books' publication dates range from 1776 to 1990, with canonical fiction (Melville, Twain, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Harper Lee) well represented. Other less obvious choices are books by Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, Ayn standRand, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Pynchon, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, and Frank Herbert. There are no books written in the past 26 years, which may suggest something about the participating public or about the perceived significance of more recent publications. What would you add to the list? - the website contains a survey for submitting your choice.




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