Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
And all of a sudden it was summer!
We're heading right toward the thick of things here in Harbor Springs and we're pleased to see so many faces of returning summer patrons. Please remember that because we don't receive any government funding, we can offer library cards free of charge to readers living in any district, even if they're only in town for a few weeks each summer.
Have you visited our two Little Free Libraries yet? We have one in front of the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society on Main Street and one by the fountain at Zorn Park. We're excited to offer more reading material to Harbor Springs and are so thankful to the following people for helping make it happen:
Mary Cummings from the Historical Society, Vern Kors for building the libraries and donating the materials as well as his talent, Jim Parsons from HT Roofing for providing the roofing material, and John Cupps Sr. and Steve Cupps from Cupps Masonry for building and donating the bases as well as installing both libraries.
We'd also like to thank Emily Proctor and Eric Hemenway once again for sharing their quilting experience with us on June 22nd. We were all fascinated hearing about the Anishnaabek ceremonial quilts.
So what do we have in store for you this summer at the library? If you have children or grandchildren, you'll be pleased to know that storytimes will abound all summer long!
Everyone is welcome to attend our storytimes whether or not you're a patron! We also have a summer reading challenge available, and Waldo is hiding somewhere in our stacks...
We'd also like to remind you that our biannual book sale is in full force here at the library throughout the end of the week. This is a great fundraiser for us- we have tables full of great books!
Paperbacks are $1, hardcovers are $2, and of course we have our tote bags for sale for $10 that hold absolute stacks of books! Please come take a look through this week, we don't have storage space for them once this is over!
In preparation for the second annual Harbor Springs Festival of the Book, we're beginning to bring in new books by the festival's presenters. We're excited to see what's in store for us this year and hope you are too!
Here are some of the newest books that we have on our shelves:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
A very funny novel about the survivor of a childhood trauma.
At 29, Eleanor Oliphant has built an utterly solitary life that almost works. During the week, she toils in an office—don’t inquire further; in almost eight years no one has—and from Friday to Monday she makes the time go by with pizza and booze. Enlivening this spare existence is a constant inner monologue that is cranky, hilarious, deadpan, and irresistible. Eleanor Oliphant has something to say about everything. Riding the train, she comments on the automated announcements: “I wondered at whom these pearls of wisdom were aimed; some passing extraterrestrial, perhaps, or a yak herder from Ulan Bator who had trekked across the steppes, sailed the North Sea, and found himself on the Glasgow-Edinburgh service with literally no prior experience of mechanized transport to call upon.” Eleanor herself might as well be from Ulan Bator—she’s never had a manicure or a haircut, worn high heels, had anyone visit her apartment, or even had a friend. After a mysterious event in her childhood that left half her face badly scarred, she was raised in foster care, spent her college years in an abusive relationship, and is now, as the title states, perfectly fine. Her extreme social awkwardness has made her the butt of nasty jokes among her colleagues, which don’t seem to bother her much, though one notices she is stockpiling painkillers and becoming increasingly obsessed with an unrealistic crush on a local musician. Eleanor’s life begins to change when Raymond, a goofy guy from the IT department, takes her for a potential friend, not a freak of nature. As if he were luring a feral animal from its hiding place with a bit of cheese, he gradually brings Eleanor out of her shell. Then it turns out that shell was serving a purpose.
Honeyman’s endearing debut is part comic novel, part emotional thriller, and part love story. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Upstarts, by Brad Stone
Celebratory biography of the upstart companies that regulators love to hate.
It was just eight years ago that Barack Obama was sworn into the presidency for his first term, a time of newborn hope in the heart of a grim depression. Enter an air mattress, a couple of smart youngsters, and the realization that unused guest rooms could be leveraged into extra bucks, and you have a new player in the service economy: Airbnb. You also have, writes Bloomberg News senior executive editor Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, 2013, etc.), a mess of controversy: housing costs go up, desirable neighborhoods get more crowded, hotels that pay their taxes go unfilled as guerrilla operators offer cheaper alternatives. In all this, there’s the new middleman, those smart youngsters. The same story plays out with the rise of Uber, which turns every driver into a potential cabbie. Stone charts the transformation of Silicon Valley since 2008, and he writes winningly of how people with good—commercially if not ethically—ideas can take them from inspiration to reality. In this aspect alone, the book makes highly useful reading for budding entrepreneurs, who should also take Stone’s point that the winners in this Darwinian struggle were the players who studied the market exhaustively to figure out just the right angle of entry. Granted, in this anecdotally driven account, there is also plenty to pepper the ire of anyone who’s not on board with the thought that a speculator, alive with realization of “lost utility,” can build a robust economy on the backs of others alone. And, as the author notes, these new Silicon Valley firms seem to represent “the overweening hubris of the techno-elite” as much as they represent a disruption of the service sector.
Despite patches of gee-whiz formulaic prose (“the Airbnb marketplace had the most incredible structural momentum that many of the company’s investors and executives had ever seen”), Stone’s account is illuminating reading for the business-minded. (Kirkus Reviews)
Exit Strategy, by Steve Hamilton
Nick Mason, who has been killing people for Darius Cole, the all-powerful inmate who got him sprung from a maximum security prison in exchange for such services, is targeted himself after initiating a scheme to free himself from Cole's clutches.
In Hamilton's acclaimed series debut, The Second Life of Nick Mason (2016), the embattled protagonist agreed to do Cole's lethal bidding after serving five years of a 25-to-life sentence (for a killing he did not commit) so he could see his 9-year-old daughter again. He was set up in a luxury apartment in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, a far cry from the working-class South Side community where he had been a small-time criminal. In the sequel, Mason is ordered to penetrate seemingly impenetrable federal witness protection facilities and kill former associates of Cole's set to testify against him in a retrial. Attempting to regain control of his life, Mason has to contend with not only Cole's henchmen, but also a scary Irish assassin with ties to the crime lord. Moral considerations get short shrift, and Hamilton is nothing if not expedient in dispatching characters, including the attractive pet shop owner with whom Mason is involved. And those who haven't read the first installment will miss quite a bit in terms of context and character development. But when it comes to no-nonsense, pressure-cooker plotting, Hamilton has few rivals. The book starts turning up the heat from the start with an office building bombing and maintains its breathless pacing until the end.
Though this book lacks the depth of the series opener, its hard-wired plot and adrenaline-fueled scenes make it another must-read for fans of lean, mean crime fiction. (Kirkus Reviews)
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, by Ruth Franklin
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of the writer who found the witchery in huswifery.
Critic Franklin (A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, 2010) ably captures both the life and art of Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) in this sharp biography. Franklin presents her as the classic square peg: a woman who didn’t easily fit in to midcentury America and a writer who can’t be neatly categorized. Jackson was the ungainly, rebellious daughter of a socialite mother who never stopped nagging her about her weight or appearance. Later, she would be the neglected wife of an esteemed critic and teacher, Stanley Edgar Hyman, who all but flaunted his adulteries under her nose. It was an anxiety-ridden life, but she had the imagination to put it to good use. Her stories and novels involved people fighting losing battles with either themselves or society, whether they are usurped by the big city or run up against the barbarism of cozy small-town life—as in her classic story “The Lottery.” She wasn’t a witch, although she let people think so; rather, she was a harried domestic goddess who also wrote children’s fiction, bestselling chronicles of life with Hyman and their children, and—further resisting pigeonholing—a masterpiece of horror fiction (The Haunting of Hill House) and a curiously comic novel about a young lady who poisons her parents (We Have Always Lived in a Castle). Jackson’s life was both disciplined and devil-may-care; she ate, drank, and smoked like there was no tomorrow until finally, at the age of 48, there wasn’t. Franklin astutely explores Jackson's artistry, particularly in her deceptively subtle stories. She also sees a bigger, more original picture of Jackson as the author of “the secret history of American women of her era”—postwar, pre-feminist women who, like her, were faced with limited choices and trapped in bigoted, cliquish neighborhoods.
A consistently interesting biography that deftly captures the many selves and multiple struggles of a true American original. (Kirkus Reviews)
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
A poet and writer of clever, innovative ad copy, Margaret Fishback was admired in her time—the pre–Mad Men era—but is mostly forgotten now. Rooney (O, Democracy!, 2014, etc.) has written a lively, fictionalized version of Fishback’s story, drawing on real milestones but imagining her subject’s inner life.
Rooney’s Lillian Boxfish comes to Manhattan in 1926 to make her mark. A smart, stylish, independent young woman, she lands a job at R.H. Macy’s, where she turns out witty rhymes that promote the department store; on her own, she writes light verse, eventually published in several volumes. Though a self-styled “scoffer at love,” Lillian falls hard for Max Caputo, the head rug buyer at Macy’s. They marry, but when she becomes pregnant with their son, Johnny, she's forced to quit her job—maternity leave being a thing of the future. The marriage eventually fractures, and Lillian suffers a mental breakdown. Intercut with this narrative is the more fanciful story of Lillian’s adventures on New Year’s Eve 1984. An old woman now, she roams the streets of Manhattan alone, passing landmarks public as well as private and befriending several New York characters (all too benevolent to be believed) along the way. The city is in decline—the Subway Vigilante is on the loose—which Lillian seems to equate with her own fall from grace. But the chance encounters lift her spirits, helping her come to terms with her past. While the book effectively underscores the fierce struggles of career women like Lillian in a pre-feminist time, it can also feel schematic. And Lillian’s dialogue is sometimes too arch, too written, to be credible.
There is plenty of charm and occasional poignance here even if the novel makes you long for a proper biography of the real woman who inspired it. (Kirkus Reviews)
As a reminder, Katie down at Between the Covers offers a generous 20% discount on books intended to be donated to the library. She has a list of books that we'd love to receive, and we're more than happy to inscribe a bookplate honoring you, your child, your grandchild, your dog, or your favorite teacher! You can also donate directly to the library or on our website via Paypal.
As an independently funded library that doesn't receive any tax dollars, we always appreciate your support.
We look forward to seeing your smiling face in the library soon! We hope you have a wonderful 4th of July in Harbor Springs.
Amélie Trufant Dawson
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Harbor Springs Library206 S. Spring StreetHarbor Springs, MI 49740
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