Blog Posts by Lucy S

Posted by Lucy S on 01/17/19
cover image
Maurice Swift wants to be a writer, but he doesn’t have an original idea in his head. He goes about achieving this fiercely desired stature of novelist by shallowly playing up his good looks, targeting those he feels will help him in a calculating and unscrupulous way. Men and women fall into his orbit as he insinuates himself into their lives. He is ambitious, self-absorbed, secretive and devious with detestable motives. How author John Boyne’s storyline unfolds is well-written, filled with wry wit and clever dialogue with an unlikeable main character who lacks decency and morals. Lured into the story, I kept wondering how his twisted masquerade would end. 
 
A Ladder To The Sky at 362 pages runs a little long but it certainly captured my attention with hints of The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
 
 
Posted by Lucy S on 12/20/18
cover image
Entrepreneur, author and independent shopkeeper Lisa Ludwinski is making a difference at Sister Pie Bakery located within Detroit, a city that has been buffeted with financial and community woes. Her business model is worthy of admiration. She follows a triple-bottom-line business ethic of working to support her employees, the environment and the economy including a “pie-it-forward” program. A deep sense of place and pride is felt through the beautifully photographed pages. Each recipe has a narrative of how it came to be.

Check out Sister Pie if you would like to experiment with new savory and pastry recipes with unusual flavor combinations and to be encouraged to use good quality ingredients. I made the buckwheat chocolate chip cookie recipe without telling my family it was gluten free – no complaints were heard. A wonderful example of someone following their passion, translating it into a successful career.
Cookbooks
Posted by Lucy S on 11/16/18
cover image
What does it mean to be an exile? What weight does it carry? How much of your identity is wrapped around a place? Next Year in Havana is both the title of this book and a toast, a wish for the future, spoken by those who have left and hope to return.
 
Forced to flee in 1959, the Perez family came to the United States when the political tides shifted in Cuba. Told in two timelines. In the present day, the main character, Marisol, travels to Cuba to bring her grandmother’s ashes home. As she explores Havana and the surrounding countryside she uncovers a treasure trove of family history. Written with nostalgia, pride and hope intermingled with romance, high society life, rebellion, and secrecy. 
 

Author Chanel Cleeton grew up on family stories of her own family's departure from Cuba. This story provides an intriguing viewpoint of a country located only 90 miles away.

 
Posted by Lucy S on 10/11/18
cover image
Small mercies, sacrifice, strong will and clever deception fuel a young woman’s determination to aid her small French community in surviving enemy occupation during WWII. The Baker’s Secret is written with a new perspective. Author Stephen P. Kiernan shows how one person can make a far-reaching impact amid desperate circumstances. Even though this is a work of fiction, I could not help but be humbled about the arduousness, deprivation and oppression that people endure during war.
Posted by Lucy S on 09/07/18
cover image
Who is Vera Kelly? A spy? A troubled, conflicted young woman seeking escape and adventure? While working at a radio station in 1960’s New York, Vera’s technical and bilingual skills become known and noticed by a CIA recruiter. Unaware of the political danger brewing in Argentina, she is sent there to radio surveil a high-ranking government official’s office. Another element is at the fore when the U.S. suspects Communism is brewing with young radicals at university. Vera takes on a new name and poses as a college student to try to learn about this undercurrent of unrest.
 
This is not a typical spy novel. It has a quieter tone, a slower build as a military coup is gaining strength around her with Vera caught in the middle. Betrayal, disillusionment and extreme measures come to light in author Rosalie Knecht’s well-written novel with historical fiction components. Readers who enjoyed The Alice Network by Kate Quinn might like to add this book to their reading list.
 
 
Suspense
Posted by Lucy S on 08/07/18
cover image
Author Nina Willner is from a strong family. Forty autumns, forty years of an oppressive, ruthless regime that once in place, no one believed it would ever end. After WWII ended, communism took hold in East Germany; one war morphed into a different kind of war. Eventually, the Berlin Wall went up around the entire perimeter of the city. With such a constant state of fear, oppression, deprivation and suspicion, Nina’s grandmother created a safe haven in their home, a family wall.
 
Many of us watched on television as the Berlin Wall fell. Nina’s perspective and her family’s first-hand accounts make this story come alive as quite a history lesson. This memoir provides an intense, unique portrait of life behind the Iron Curtain.
memoir
Posted by Lucy S on 06/04/18
cover image
The economy is fragile and the employees within the Human Resources Department of Ellery Consumer Research are feeling the effects. Someone has been fired and some may not be performing up to their ability but the department manager’s loyalty to her staff is never in question. This Could Hurt is less about the work these individuals are tasked with doing and more about human interaction and personalities.
 
When a traumatic event occurs, everyone in the department must decide what they are willing to do – follow in the footsteps of their mentor or step aside. To what lengths will they go?
 

Anyone who has worked in a large corporate environment or even any work environment may recognize elements of these characters’ behavior. Some instances might make you smile such as when you read about a secret office hideaway equipped with a few spare necessities on an empty floor or when you can cheer someone making a stand against stereotyped bias.

 
Author Jillian Medoff has captured a snapshot of a workplace filled with good dialogue, acts of friendship and compassion along with some flawed moves and decisions.
 

The audiobook version has a full cast that enhances each character’s narrative.

 
 
Fiction
Posted by Lucy S on 05/12/18
cover image
This delightful little book is an ode to bookstores and to an old-fashioned method of communication. Michael and Hilary, a husband and wife team, opened an independent bookstore in 2013. On the shop’s opening day, the couple set out a manual, non-electric, carriage-return style typewriter loaded with a sheaf of paper. Soon, the clacking sound of the keys striking the platen could be heard.

Notes From a Public Typewriter is a collection of the comments left behind by customers. Some were gibberish, but among the remarks are maxims, whimsies, playful notes, somber expositions, edgy witticisms, sharp observations, random thoughts, anonymous musings and heartfelt reflections.

This book will appeal to those who learned how to type on a manual typewriter (and know what the term “return” means) and to those looking for a feel-good quick, light read.
Posted by Lucy S on 04/19/18
cover image
Impressed by author/poet Rudy Francisco when I recently saw him perform on a television talk show, I immediately sought out a print edition of his work. At only 95 pages long, Helium exhibits a lot of impact in a spare amount of words. It is an observation of life, of what he sees around him and of what he has personally experienced. Some topics are painful, some are humorous, some I can relate to, and some I gained insight into a different perspective. Helium is a showcase of words and language.

I recommend this title for those who like poetry and may be looking for a new voice or for someone who might like to try reading poetry again with a smaller work in honor of National Poetry Month. 
Posted by Lucy S on 03/08/18
cover image
Rebirth is a novel of reconciliation and forgiveness. The book is not a memoir but is inspired by author Kamal Ravikant’s own experiences.
 
Amit is a young man who feels adrift after his estranged father dies. After fulfilling his father’s last wish to take his ashes to India, Amit takes some time away from work.

Troubled, Amit decides to walk the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. This has been a trail for pilgrims since medieval times. One definition of pilgrim is one who journeys in foreign lands, a wayfarer. The route stretches over 500 miles and comes together at the tomb of St. James. Amit walks alone and with others he meets on the trail; almost all of them are trying to heal or to get away from life as it is.
 
I found this book inspiring as the people on the trail are actively seeking to come to grips with grief, to better understand themselves, to forgive, to find answers and to learn. At only 230 pages long, it is a quick read and, I think, can appeal to any reader. No need to be religious to gain insight from the book.
 

Those who read Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel may also enjoy Rebirth.

 
Want recommendations on what to read next? Complete this Book Me form and we will provide a list of recommended books for you to try.
 
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
 
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
 
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
 
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy