Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
January 3rd at 6pm
Intro to Libby clinic
January 12th after school
Jonathan Rand reading
January 13th at 10am
Tail Waggin' Tutors
January 26th at 1pm
"Women in Automotive History"
Christmas has been and gone now and we're rounding the corner to the New Year. We had a hefty snowfall in Harbor Springs and we now have to make the weighty decision whether to brave the icy cold temperatures and go skiing or to throw up our hands, climb under a blanket, and just read to our little hearts' content.
We're starting 2018 out with a bang at the Harbor Springs Library!
As 2017 comes to an end, I'd like to thank our patrons for visiting us as much as you do and sharing in our love of reading. We have a lot more in store for you in 2018! As an independently funded library that doesn't receive any tax dollars, we always appreciate your support. There are a number of ways to give back to your library besides a direct donation, and you can read about them by clicking here.
Here are some of the newest books on the library shelves:
Grant, by Ron Chernow
A massive biography of the Civil War general and president, who “was the single most important figure behind Reconstruction.”
Most Americans know the traditional story of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885): a modest but brutal general who pummeled Robert E. Lee into submission and then became a bad president. Historians changed their minds a generation ago, and acclaimed historian Chernow (Washington: A Life, 2010, etc.), winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, goes along in this doorstop of a biography, which is admiring, intensely detailed, and rarely dull. A middling West Point graduate, Grant performed well during the Mexican War but resigned his commission, enduring seven years of failure before getting lucky. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was the only West Point graduate in the area, so local leaders gave him a command. Unlike other Union commanders, he was aggressive and unfazed by setbacks. His brilliant campaign at Vicksburg made him a national hero. Taking command of the Army of the Potomac, he forced Lee’s surrender, although it took a year. Easily elected in 1868, he was the only president who truly wanted Reconstruction to work. Despite achievements such as suppressing the Ku Klux Klan, he was fighting a losing battle. Historian Richard N. Current wrote, “by backing Radical Reconstruction as best he could, he made a greater effort to secure the constitutional rights of blacks than did any other President between Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson.” Recounting the dreary scandals that soiled his administration, Chernow emphasizes that Grant was disastrously lacking in cynicism. Loyal to friends and susceptible to shady characters, he was an easy mark, and he was fleeced regularly throughout his life. In this sympathetic biography, the author continues the revival of Grant’s reputation.
At nearly 1,000 pages, Chernow delivers a deeply researched, everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know biography, but few readers will regret the experience. For those seeking a shorter treatment, turn to Josiah Bunting’s Ulysses S. Grant (2004). (Kirkus Reviews)
Column of Fire, by Ken Follett
A flying buttress of a book, continuing the hefty Kingsbridge saga historical novelist Follett began with Pillars of the Earth (1989) and World Without End (2007).
It’s not that Follett’s been slacking between books: he’s been working away at the Century Trilogy, set centuries later, and otherwise building on the legacy of high-minded potboilers he began with Eye of the Needle (1978). Here he delivers with a vengeance, with his Kingsbridge story, set in the shadow of a great provincial cathedral, now brought into the age of Elizabeth. Ned Willard, returning from the Continent on a boatload of “cloth from Antwerp and wine from Bordeaux,” beats a hasty path through the snow and gloom to the lissome lass he’s sweet on, Margery Fitzgerald. Her mom and dad are well-connected and powerful—but, alas, Catholic, not the best choice of beliefs in an age when Tudor Protestantism is taking a vengeful turn and heads are rolling. Rollo, Margery’s brother, turns out to offer good cause for suspicion; having twitted and tormented Ned over the course of the story, he’s sailing with the Spanish by the end. But will Ned keep his head and Margery hers? Or, as Margery wonders lamentingly, “Had Ned caught Rollo, or not? Would the ceremony go ahead? Would Ned be there? Would they all die?” Ah, it is but to wonder. Follett guides his long, overstuffed story leisurely through the halls of Elizabethan history; here Bess herself turns up, while there he parades the likes of Walsingham, Francis Drake, and the whole of the Spanish Armada, even as Margery yearns, the tall masts burn, and Follett’s characters churn out suspect ethnography: “Netherlanders did not seem to care much about titles, and they liked money.”
It’s all a bit overwrought for what is, after all, a boy-loves-girl, boy-swashbuckles-to-win-girl yarn, but it’s competently done. Follett's fans will know what to expect—and they won’t be disappointed. (Kirkus Reviews)
Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks
Seventeen wide-ranging and whimsical stories—with a typewriter tucked into each one.
Only one of the stories in Hanks’ debut features an actor: it’s a sharp satire with priceless insider details about a handsome dope on a press junket in Europe. The other 16 span a surprisingly wide spectrum. There’s a recently divorced mom who’s desperate to avoid the new neighbor who might be hitting on her; a billionaire inventor who’s become addicted to taking time-travel vacations; a World War II veteran whose Christmas Eve 1953 is disturbed by memories of Christmas Eve 1944; a young man who celebrates his 19th birthday by going surfing with his dad; a Bulgarian immigrant literally just off the boat, spending his first few days as a New Yorker. Three stories are editions of a small-town newspaper column called “Our Town Today with Hank Fiset.” Three others feature a group of pals named MDash, Anna, Steve Wong, and an unnamed first-person narrator. In one story, the friends go bowling; in another, they go to the moon; in the third, the narrator and Anna try dating for three weeks only to find that “being Anna’s boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season.” Or as Steve Wong puts it, “We are like a TV show with diversity casting. African guy, him. Asian guy, me. Mongrel Caucasoid, you. Strong, determined woman, Anna, who would never let a man define her. You and her pairing off is like a story line from season eleven when the network is trying to keep us on the air.” There’s a typewriter in every tale, be it IBM Selectric, Royal, Underwood, Hermes 2000, or some other model. Hanks can write the hell out of typing, and his dialogue is excellent, too. Has he read William Saroyan? He should.
While these stories have the all-American sweetness, humor, and heart we associate with his screen roles, Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star. (Kirkus Reviews)
Paris in the Present Tense, by Mark Helprin
A modern-day story of love, music, and death, with echoes of the Nazi retreat in World War II France.
Septuagenarian Jules Lacour is a widower and a cellist in agony after losing his wife, Jacqueline. His grandson, Luc, has leukemia and will die without treatments that neither Jules nor his daughter, Cathérine, can possibly afford. Stage fright has always prevented him from achieving fame and fortune, and he considers himself a failure. Though in terrific physical shape—he runs, he rows on the Seine—he wants to die and be with Jacqueline again, because “he himself did not need to live. It was Luc who needed to live.” Then, mirabile dictu, a “giant international conglomerate” asks him to write “telephone hold music,” promising obscenely high pay that would easily cover Luc’s treatment. Jules delivers beautifully, but alas, complications ensue. An intelligent and deeply sympathetic man, Jules remembers the day in 1944 when a Nazi soldier retreating through Reims heard his father playing Bach on his cello instead of La Marseillaise, realized the cellist was a hidden Jew and executed the family, leaving only 4-year-old Jules. That shock shaped the man Jules became, but it's just one thread the author weaves. He is in no hurry to finish telling this beautiful tale as he lavishes attention on characters such as Armand Marteau, perhaps the worst insurance salesman in France; a team of homicide detectives, a Muslim and a Jew, eating a ham lunch with a judge; and women of ineffable beauty with whom Jules falls into instant love. One, Élodi, is a cellist 50 years his junior. Even the conglomerate has a personality: “the great, indefatigable, trillion-dollar machine of Acorn, a dispositif with neither soul nor conscience.” As Élodi declares to Jules that she will be his student, he sees “directly into her eyes, and never had he beheld a more elegant and refined woman, not even Jacqueline.” The conversations often read like mini-essays, as when Jules tells Élodi about the “jealous” God of the Jews—arguing with Him is “like a [...] wrestling match."
A masterpiece filled with compassion and humanity. Perfect for the pure pleasure of reading. (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.
We look forward to seeing your smiling faces in the library in the new year!
Amélie Trufant Dawson
This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, .
To search our library catalog, click here.
Harbor Springs Library206 S. Spring StreetHarbor Springs, MI 49740
Contact the Library