Celebrate good libraries – come on!

There’s a party going on right here, a celebration to last throughout… the week. Ok, I’ll stop with the Kool and the Gang, but it is National Library Week and a good time to celebrate all of our wonderful libraries!  Here at Rocky River we are asking for reasons why you love your library – fill out a entry slip and you’ll not only be spreading the love but you’ll have a chance to win a Books-A-Million gift card! Entry slips and box are at the Reference Desk.

Julie

Top Ten of 2012

Here are my tops:

1. Living in Gratitude by Angeles Arrien

2.  Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

3.  Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

4.  Have You Seen Marie by Sandra Cisneros

5.  700 Sundays by Billy Crystal

6.  Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

7.  Elephant Keeper’s Children by Peter Hoeg

8.  Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

9.  Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

10. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten

I think there’s something for everyone in this list, give ’em a whirl!

—Julie

The Best Month(?)

That’s the title of John Gladden’s “My Ohio”  column in the February 2012 edition of Ohio Magazine. Except for the question mark, I added that. But c’mon, calling February in Ohio “the best” – I don’t think anyone could convince me. However, I found myself being swayed by his words and I think you can consider me converted! For example, after making it out of your warm bed into the bitter cold:

It’s work just driving around. But you do it. You make it. You get back home and you feel a lift, a sense of accomplishment. Walking through the door of your own house never feels as sweet as it does in February.

And then, his discussion of one of my favorite things, soup:

With soup, you bring you face to the food. You bend. You hunker. You hunch. You supplicate. You souplicate. You breathe the steam and it warms you inside and out. You browse the latest seed catalog while you eat, gazing at alluring pictures of Swiss chard and golden sweet corn. You feel better.

Check out the rest of his musings on February in the article in the current issue (available to read in the library), or treat yourself to some of his earlier articles for Ohio Magazine online.

— Julie

March Madness is Coming!!

Sorry sports fans, this isn’t about basketball – we’re talking books, man, books! The chance to get in on some bracket and betting fever is here for those who aren’t motivated by college ball, but written word one on one action?  Oh yeah, sign me UP!

What I’m talking about is the 8th annual TMN Tournament of Books. The Morning News, an online magazine, along with Powell’s Books  and Field Notes brings us this compitition of novels written in 2011 that begins March 7, 2012. So get your office pools going and get in on the “action.” Among the competing titles in the first round are Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder  vs. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt.  March madness rules!!

—Julie

Late to the party?

Not so – you still have time before tomorrow to check out Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt asking me to go out New Year’s Eve… or maybe they’re asking you…I’m not totally sure… 

But anyway,  it’s a lovely little rendition of Frank Loesser’s song, (What are You Doing) New Year’s Eve. Check out their version on Youtube, so sweet! And if you’re still on Christmas time, check out Zooey in the movie Elf bringing some Christmas cheer. Or you can hear more of her music as part of the group She & Him  – yes the library has copies of the CDs.  Happy New Year!!

—Julie

Top Ten of 2011

Ok, so I managed to finish some books this year – whoo hoo! But did 10 of them merit the end of the year “best of” list? No. Or at least not that I remember…. Soooo, I will be rounding out the list with some titles that I have only just started but will be compelled to finish (if all the rave reviews can be believed).

Allen, Sarah Addison: Girl Who Chased the Moon

Bailey, Elisabeth Tova: Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Forman, Gayle: Where She Went

Harkness, Deborah: A Discovery of Witches

Hiaasen, Carl: Star Island

Joyce, William: The Man in the Moon

Perkins, Stephanie: Anna and the French Kiss

Almost-reads:

Horowitz, Anthony: House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

Kaaberbol, Lene & Agnete Friis: The Boy in the Suitcase

Morgenstern, Erin: Night Circus

— Julie

Traffic Made Tolerable

Once again, a traffic jam led me to a musical happy place – nothing like inching along on the highway for concentrating on new music. When we came to a standstill on I480, I put in the latest by Ian Moore and The Lossy Coils. I “listened” to it once but this time I really heard it and I really like it! Some of the lyrics that caught me were, “I’ve got a lazy eye but an activated mind” from the first track, Secondhand Store. (Unfortunately, I think most people have their eyes going but the mind, not so much.)  And from The Levees:

These days go by/ but most days we’re just barely getting by/Maybe we will be different/maybe we will be different today

I liked every song, but I especially loved the last track, Sad Affair, a little bit of Bowie, a little more of Elvis Costello, but definitely his own.   I can’t describe the album better than the writer for Jam Magazine, Tim Taylor: “(El Sonido Nuevo is) a guitar-fueled, energetic record with beautiful melodies, intelligent lyrics, and exceptional vocal harmonies.” The CD is El Sonido Nuevo, check it out!!

—Julie

Run away with him!

I’ve meant to write about musician Josh Ritter for some time, ever since I first listened to his album, So Runs the World Away. It was really the 3rd track that made me stop and fully pay attention – no mean feat in my world. It’s such a striking, cinematic song and I loved it even more as I read the lyrics. Here’s the first verse from “The Curse”:

He opens his eyes falls in love at first sight
With the girl in the doorway
What beautiful lines and how full of life
After thousands of years what a face to wake up to
He holds back a sigh as she touches his arm
She dusts off the bed where ’til now he’s been sleeping
And under miles of stone, the dried fig of his heart
Under scarab and bone starts back to it’s beating

I think he is very good writer and certainly not afraid to take an unusual subject to turn into a song. How many songs have you heard about a mummy who wakes up, meets modern girl, falls in love? Ok, well, how about one in which the mummy goes on a book tour? Didn’t think so. 

Anyway, I just came across a novel this morning authored by Mr. Ritter. With his storytelling and writing talent, it didn’t surprise me to see he had published a book. It’ll be interesting to see how how his talents translate. Keep you posted…

—Julie

Hi Steve!

For anyone who has had children in the last  twenty  years, that phrase will conjure up memories of Steve and his dog, Blue. Every week Blue would want to play “Blue’s clues” where Steve and I — I mean, the children in the audience — would look for her clues to solve the mystery.

Well, last week as I was searching for a clue of what to listen to next, I saw a CD from none other than Steve! Steve Burns, as he is known in real life, recorded an album of rock songs a few years ago called Songs for Dustmites. It was strange hearing him sing anything other than children’s music, but after the second listen I stopped thinking about that and enjoyed it. Some songs seemed a little overproduced and I questioned the addition of a trumpet line here and flute solo there, but definitely worth a listen.

— Julie

Traffic made tolerable

Got stuck in traffic the other morning and normally it’d be a stinky way to start the day, but the positive was I finally got to listen to the whole Matt Morris cd. I’ve been enjoying the first half and the 2nd was also good. I knew before going in that he is a former Mouseketeer and fellow alum Justin Timberlake had produced it for his own label. Was this Disney nepotism? Would it sound like Britney Spears or J.C. Chavez? If so, I wasn’t too anxious to listen, but like Mikey, I tried it and I liked it. He’s got a mix of sounds going on – at various points I thought, Radiohead, Jason Mraz, Art Garfunkel, Coldplay – so there’s an interesting mix. It’s worth some time…especially helpful to make bad commute time go faster!

— Julie