Let's make our community a better place!
We are pleased to announce that we will be opening to the public on Saturday, May 1, 2021
Patrons will be allowed in by appointment only. Masks and social distancing will be required. We are allowing one person or family group at a time. Appointments will be from 15-30 minutes long depending on your needs. If you would like to use a computer you may have up to 1 hour.
Appointments will begin at 4:00 Mon., Weds. - Fri., with the last appointment at 7:15. On Saturdays the first appointment will be at 9:15 and the last appointment of the day at 3:15. The building doors will be locked but we will let you in when you arrive.
Please note that children's toys and games are put away at this time. We regret that we can't let patrons linger as others will be waiting their turn.
Patrons enter the building at their own risk. Remember that the school uses the library during the day.
Call us at 726-4877 for an appointment. We can't wait to see you!
A delightful trio for Jane Austen fans came out this year. Read them one after another to totally immerse yourself in Jane's world or space them out over the course of the summer; either way you're in for a treat!
My favorite of the three had to be The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. Loosely based on the true story of how the inhabitants of Chawton, England - Jane's last home - came together to preserve and protect the legacy of their most famous resident. The village doctor, the school teacher, a farmer, an heiress, and a movie star, with nothing in common but their love for Jane's books, somehow band together for a fight to save her home from greedy developers. It's a slice of life in a small English village after the close of WWII; with enough small town drama, thwarted love, humor, and romance to make Jane herself proud.
For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, or lovers of historical fiction.
5 out of 5 stars *****
Miss Austen takes us deeper into Jane Austen's life with a tale about her older sister
Cassandra. At a time when the only form of long distance communication was letter writing, the Austen sisters kept up a constant stream of correspondence with each other and their many friends and relations. It's well known that Cassandra took her responsibility to protect her sister's reputation and legacy quite seriously. Just how far she would go to track down Jane's letters after her death and what secrets those letters contained makes this a fascinating story. Jane wrote convincingly of love in her books but did she ever experience it herself? The world may never know, but the author of Miss Austen reveals a tantalizing glimpse into the possibilities.
4 out of 5 stars ****
Mary Bennet - the bookish, ugly duckling of Pride and Prejudice's 5 Bennet sisters - emerges from the shadows and comes into her own in this delightful debut novel. It's a re-imagining of the Pride and Prejudice story to focus on Mary's life and what might happen if she took a different path than the one that was laid out for her in the original story. Could this marginalized, middle daughter; the plain girl who took refuge in her books, find the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? I never took much notice of Mary in Pride and Prejudice but here she is a fully rounded character: complex, conflicted, vulnerable, but supremely likable and sympathetic. I loved revisiting all the wonderful characters from Pride and Prejudice, it was like spending time with dear, old friends. This was a deeply satisfying and entertaining read. I'd recommend it for anyone who has read and loved Pride and Prejudice (or even watched and loved it). And if you haven't, what are you waiting for?!!
5 out of 5 stars *****
by Bryan Stevenson Book review by Kelli
This is a powerful true story about the need for mercy as a tool to fix our broken criminal justice system; written by one of the most brilliant and passionate lawyers of our time.
Bryan Stevenson was a young, newly minted attorney when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in danger of falling through the cracks of the criminal justice system: the poor, the wrongly convicted, the women and children, the mentally & emotionally challenged, and often, people of color.
Interspersed with the accounts of the many people he defended is the case of Walter McMillian, a young man sentenced to die for a murder he insisted he didn't commit. His case drew Stevenson into a tangled web of conspiracy, political machinations, systemic racism, and barely legal maneuvering by the courts.
This is a moving, unforgettable window into the lives of those falsely accused and exploited by the American criminal justice system; often Black lives. It explores why Black men are incarcerated at a rate of more than 5 times that of whites. Why the disparities? What can be done?
The book makes an inspiring argument for compassion and mercy in the pursuit of justice. A timely, must read for anyone seeking to raise their awareness of inequalities and systemic racism in the criminal justice system. I was deeply moved by this book and learned so much from the heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful stories it tells.
5 out of 5 stars *****
Almost everyone has been touched by mental illness in some way; whether you are dealing with it yourself, or seeing the challenges faced by a friend or family member. Now imagine a family of 12 children, 6 of whom are diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is a non-fiction tour de force by Robert Kolker taking us inside the Galvin family house on Hidden Valley Road. What took place there was so extraordinary that the Galvins became the first family to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream but what was taking place inside the home was a far different reality: psychosis, violence, and abuse as the ill brothers tormented and dominated their siblings and the well children lived in fear of being the next to fall ill. How one family could be struck again and again with schizophrenia is the medical mystery at the heart of this story. It's also a riveting tale of the history of the mental healthcare system and the doctors and researchers using the Galvin family's DNA in the hope of eliminating schizophrenia forever.
But most of all it is the heartbreaking story of what it means to be a family and endure in the face of a devastating mental illness. This was a book that has stayed with me long after I finished the final page. If you liked Educated, or Brain on Fire, or The Tale of The Dueling Neurosurgeons;
or just a captivating family drama you will love this book!
5 out of 5 stars *****
You know that feeling when you finish a book, and you just know that you are going to carry a little piece of it around in your soul, forever, like a memory? That's the kind of book this is.
It is sure to be on almost every "Top Books of 2020" list, if not every one. It will probably be turned into a movie. All your friends will be talking about it. Once book clubs start back up, it will be a favorite. But this isn't the reason you should read this book.
You should read it for the reason behind all these results, and that is that it is a fantastic book! It is a well-written, heartfelt, candid, cathartic deep-dive into a life that is unlike any you have heard about before. Yet it still feels relatable in so many ways.
Mikel Jollett was raised in the infamous Synanon cult for the formative years of his life, living in a school/orphanage without parents, as a "child of the universe". After escaping with his mother and brother, he then bounced back and forth between his parents, witnessing violence, poverty, addiction, and mental illness. But this is not a victim's story. It is a story of a survivor. And it is the story of someone who loves his family, despite their flaws.
If you are wondering why his name sounds familiar, it is probably because he is the frontman for the band The Airborne Toxic Event. He also graduated from Stanford with honors, and his writings have been published in many popular journals, such as Filter magazine. In addition to this novel, he also released an album with the same name, "Hollywood Park", just this month.
If you have never heard of him before, just wait. You will.
I recommend this book for everyone, but especially those who are fans of "Educated", "The Glass Castle", and "Angela's Ashes".
5 out of 5 stars
Paul Yoon's novel starts with an author's note that discloses the factual setting for his fictional story: In the course of nine years, in an attempt to contain the spread of communism from Vietnam, American aerial missions made “the equivalent of one bombardment every eight minutes, 24 hours a day.”
So begins the story of Alisak, Prany, and Noi, three orphans living in a dilapidated mansion that has been converted into a makeshift hospital. There the three teenagers work, come of age, and dream of a different life. But this is only the beginning. The short novel spreads out over continents and decades.
It is a quiet novel, despite the chaos and terror it encapsulates. It dignifies the people that faced such horrors, and allows the reader to have a glimpse into a time and place that they may not have known much, if anything, about. The characters have humanity, resilience, and compassion. I felt a connection with every one.
I think everyone should read this book, especially fans of "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena", "Anna and the Swallow Man", and "White Rose, Black Forest".
5 out of 5 stars
Ruby King's mom has been murdered.
Everyone wants to save Ruby. But they are too late. Nothing seems to matter much to her now. Why couldn't they have tried to help when it mattered?
"Saving Ruby King" is an insightful journey into the long-term effects of abuse, and also what can happen when people continue to "look the other way".
This book keeps you turning pages as one family secret after another comes to light.. The characters are nuanced. Their relationships with each other is complicated. Perhaps this is what makes them feel so believable.
This is a perfect book club pick for those looking for important discussion material..
I recommend it for fans of "The Homecoming of Samuel Lake", "Valentine", and "Nothing More Dangerous".
4.5 out of 5 stars