Panorama Library Newsletter
Issue: November 2017 Panorama Library Newsletter
by Sue Ballard, President of the Panorama Library Association
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
This was the November selection of the book club I belong to and the comments are a summary of what we had to say about it. Most people liked it, although most of us agreed it was uneven. The main character lost 20 years mourning for his girlfriend. She had sent him letter, however, he didn’t open it, because he thought she was going to break up with him. He finally opened it only to find out she was dying and wanted him to visit her. People who like books will enjoy the discussion about books. (After all it takes place in a book store.) Several folks didn’t like the ending and made up their own ending. I was one of them – I like happy endings.
Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman
This is the third book that Anne Hillerman has written with the characters her father (Tony Hillerman) had developed. The first book I read of hers I thought it followed the style of Tony Hillerman, but not everyone agreed with me. This book was not written in the same style, but I still enjoyed it. The story was about Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito and I love keeping in touch with them. I feel like they are neighbors, I‘ve known for years.
Never Never by James Patterson and Candice Fox
James Patterson with several writers is one of the most read authors at Panorama. This is the latest book in the library. I read somewhere that Patterson said that this book was one of his favorites and I agree. Usually I have mainly been reading books from The Woman’s Murder Club series. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves mysteries or James Patterson’s book.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
This is a book of 26 essays about different books and the author commented on all the books. Some of the books I loved and some I didn’t. Stuart Little, Gifts from the Sea, & David Copperfield were books I have read and loved. Books I read and weren’t excited about are The Little Prince, The Girl on the Train, & 1984. There were books I wanted to reread Reading Lolita in Tehran and Death Be Not Proud. I will have to admit that I did not read about every book, but I had a good time.
New & Notable Fiction Titles
Haunted by James Patterson and James O. Born.
Detective Michael Bennett is ready for a vacation after a series of crises push him, and his family, to the brink. He settles on an idyllic, small town in the beautiful Maine woods, a recommendation from a former colleague. But just when Bennett thinks he can relax, he gets pulled into a case that has shocked the tight-knit community. Kids are disappearing left and right with no explanation — until several bodies turn up in the woods. As Bennett investigates, he discovers that the seemingly perfect town is reeling from a deadly addiction, and the violence is about to reach a fever pitch.
Enemy of the State by Vince Flynn.
After 9/11, the United States made one of the most secretive and dangerous deals in its history. The evidence against the powerful Saudis who coordinated the attack would be buried. In return, King Faisal would promise to keep the oil flowing and deal with the conspirators in his midst. When the king’s own nephew is discovered funding ISIS, the US president suspects that the Saudis never intended to live up to their agreement. He decides that the royalty needs to be sent a message and that Mitch Rapp is just the man to deliver it. The catch? Rapp must do it entirely on his own.
A Column of Fire by Ken Follett.
“International bestselling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of readers with The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, two stories of the Middle Ages set in the fictional city of Kingsbridge. The saga now continues with Follett’s magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire. In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre.
Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.
Fixing to Die by James Miranda
The New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries and Digging Up the Dirt returns with the latest Southern Ladies Mystery. It’s autumn down south, and An’gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous. Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An’gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin. (Last of the trilogy)
A conclusion to the Hugo Award-winning, post-apocalyptic trilogy that began with The Fifth Season reveals how the powers and agendas of two women determine the fate of humankind in the wake of a returning Moon. The first of the trilogy, Fifth Season, starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. In the second of the series, Obelisk Gate, endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.
The Golden House: a novel by Salman Rushdie.
“When the aristocratic Golden family moves into a self contained pocket of New York City, a park in Greenwich Village called “The Gardens,” their past is an absolute mystery. They seem to be hiding in plain sight: Nero Golden, the powerful but shady patriarch, and his sons Petya, a high functioning autistic and recluse; Apu, the successful artist who may or may not be profound; and D, the enchanting youngest son whose gender confusion mirrors the confusion – and possibilities – of the world around him. And finally there is Vasilisa, the Russian beauty who seduces the patriarch to shape their American stories. Our fearless narrator is an aspiring filmmaker who decides the Golden family will be his subject. ”
An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry.
In the course of his tenure with the Thames River Police, Commander Monk has yet to see a more gruesome crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. Suspecting the murder may be rooted in ethnic prejudice, Monk turns to London’s Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn’t speak.
Sing, Unburied, Sing: a novel by Jesmyn Ward.
Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family.
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben.
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks — and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death.
Enigma by Catherine Coulter.
When Agent Dillon Savich saves Kara Moody from a seemingly crazy man, he doesn’t realize he will soon be facing a scientist who wants to live forever and is using “John Doe” to help him. It’s a race against time literally as Savich and Sherlock rush to stop him and save both present and future victims of his experiments.
More titles (76 books & DVDs) were added last month. Click here to see them all.
Sponsored by the Panorama Library Association
1:30 PM in the Library. Bob Bowers will talk about his new book, Minnie: a story of caregiving. Copies are available in the Library and for sale at Gifts, etc.
“Minnie” is Bob’s first novel. The title is the name of Bob’s grandmother, Minnie Shaw Warren. In 1908, two days before Christmas in Northeast Missouri, Minnie gave birth to twins. One was dead when born. The other was live, weighed 3 pounds and lived for 93 years until 2002. She was Rose Warren Bowers, Bob’s mother. The novel is fiction based upon fact and family legend. Until Bob was encouraged to write this novel by Brian Willis, Minnie was just a name on a tombstone in a small cemetery in the woods in Northeast Missouri. When the novel was finished she had become a living human being to her grandson. It is a perfect subject for a December talk.
1:30 PM in the Library. Judith Mowery, another of our Panorama authors, is an artist/writer originally from the Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington. The words “Wrong book. Write Parallel Lives” came to her during a meditation before she became a resident of Panorama. After months of pondering over these five words and how they came to her, Judith finally began writing the first book in 2011 and completed the third book of The Trilogy of Elizabeth Ann in 2016.
Judith will explain more about the book at her talk. This book talk will be the 22nd talk she has given and she has declared it her final discussion of the Parallel Lives of Elizabeth Ann as she has begun working on her next book.
Judith’s books, The Elizabeth Ann Trilogy, are available in the library and for sale at Gifts, etc.
New & Notable Nonfiction Titles
Wild Things: the joy of reading children’s literature as an adult by Bruce Handy. (also available in regular print)
“In Wild Things, Vanity Fair contributing editor Bruce Handy revisits the classics of every American childhood, from fairy tales to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and explores the back stories of their creators, using context and biography to understand how some of the most insightful, creative, and witty authors and illustrators of their times created their often deeply personal masterpieces. Along the way, Handy learns what The Cat in the Hat says about anarchy and absentee parenting, which themes are shared by The Runaway Bunny and Portnoy’s Complaint, and why Ramona Quimby is as true an American icon as Tom Sawyer or Jay Gatsby.”–
The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison ; with a foreword by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison’s fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books–Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy.If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet — the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life.
No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein.
A road map to resistance in the Trump era from internationally acclaimed activist and bestselling author Naomi Klein.”This book is a toolkit to help understand how we arrived at this surreal political moment, how to keep it from getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can flip the script and seize the opportunity to make things a whole lot better in a time of urgent need. A toolkit for shock-resistance.”
Al Franken, giant of the Senate by by Al Franken.
“From the #1 bestselling author–a book about an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. ”
An Odyssey: a father, a son, and an epic by Daniel Mendelsohn
“When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey that his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician’s unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his ‘one last chance’ to learn the great literature he’d neglected in his youth–and, even more, a final opportunity to more fully understand his son.”
Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives — experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. Now Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.
Called ‘disgraceful, ‘ ‘third-rate, ‘ and ‘not nice’ by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on — and took flak from — the most volatile presidential candidate in American history. Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ — a Trump rally playlist staple. From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?
World Without Mind: the existential threat of big tech by Franklin Foer.
Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science, Foer puts the DNA of the very idea of “tech” under the microscope. Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are breaking laws intended protect intellectual property and privacy. This is not the path towards freedom and prosperity, but the total automation and homogenization of our social, political, and intellectual lives. Today’s corporate giants want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our lives. Foer both indicts these companies, and shapes a path towards reining them in
The Distance Between Us: a memoir by Reyna Grande.
When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother. The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.
More titles (76 books & DVDs) were added last month. Click here to see them all.