Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Thursday, March 1st @ 7pmTEDtalks and Discussion"Words Matter"
Saturday, March 10th @ 10amTail Waggin' TutorsChildren Read to a Dog
Saturday, March 24th @1pmSaturday, March 31st @1pmAARP Drivers Safety Course
For more information about our upcoming events please call 526-2531.
The end of February tends to be a time when we're grasping the last (sometimes the best) of the winter snow before turning our focus to springtime. Not here in Northern Michigan I'm afraid...not this year. The snow is melting, I'm seeing some of my neighbors already tapping their trees, and I'm afraid the heaviest part of the winter has already passed us by. While we gear up for a beautiful spring, the Harbor Springs Library has a few events we'd like to share with you.
Our TEDtalks and Discussions have been a great way to get the community together to talk about important issues. Our next event will be this Thursday, March 1st, at 7pm here at the library. Our theme will be "Words Matter." Together we'll watch a handful of TEDtalks based upon our theme followed by a group discussion led by Cyndi Kramer. We look forward to the unique perspective you'll bring to the table!
Micky the Newfoundland is returning on Saturday, March 10th and is excited to listen to some great stories. He's a certified therapy dog from the program "Tail Waggin' Tutors" and he lends his floppy ears to our younger readers who love to practice reading aloud to a relaxing and non-judgmental audience. Our schedule is full, but you're welcome to put your child's name on our list in case of cancellations. He'll be returning again next month so get your child's name in early!
The AARP is offering a Senior Drivers' Safety Course at the Harbor Springs Library. Sessions will take place on March 24th and 31st from 1-5pm and will be taught by George Robson. Completion of the course may result in a discount on auto insurance. Please call 526-2531 to register for this free course.
Lastly, keep an eye on our calendar for another talk by the Gilmore Car Museum this spring! They gave a fascinating lecture last month at the library on women in automotive history and another one is in the works!
Here are some of the newest books on our shelves:
The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
A lyrical, allusive (and elusive) voyage into the mists of British folklore by renowned novelist Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, 2005, etc.).
There be giants buried beneath the earth—and also the ancient kings of Britain, Arthur among them. Ishiguro’s tale opens not on such a declaration but instead on a hushed tone; an old man has been remembering days gone by, and the images he conjures, punctuated by visions of a woman with flowing red hair, may be truthful or a troubling dream. Axl dare not ask his neighbors, fellow residents of a hillside and bogside burrow, for help remembering, “[f]or in this community, the past was rarely discussed.” With his wife, who bears the suggestive if un-Arthurian name Beatrice, the old man sets off on a quest in search of the past and of people forgotten. As it unfolds, Axl finds himself in the company of such stalwarts as a warrior named Wistan, who is himself given to saying such things as “[t]he trees and moorland here, the sky itself seem to tug at some lost memory,” and eventually Sir Gawain himself. The premise of a nation made up of amnesiac people longing for meaning is beguiling, and while it opens itself to heavy-handed treatment, Ishiguro is a master of subtlety; as with Never Let Me Go, he allows a detail to slip out here, another there, until we are finally aware of the facts of the matter, horrible though they may be. By the time the she-dragon named Querig enters the picture, the reader will already well know that we’re in Tolkien-ish territory—but Tolkien by way of P.D. James, with deep studies in character and allegory layered onto the narrative. And heaps of poetry, too, even as forgetfulness resolves as a species of PTSD: “I was but a young knight then….Did you not all grow old in a time of peace? So leave us to go our way without insults at our back.”
Lovely: a fairy tale for grown-ups, both partaking in and departing from a rich literary tradition. (Kirkus Reviews)
White Houses, by Amy Bloom
From the prolific Bloom, whose novels and short stories have often explored the complexity of sexuality and gender (Lucky Us, 2014, etc.), a bio-fiction about the romance between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok told from Hickok’s perspective.
Lorena’s winning narrative voice is tough, gossipy, and deeply humane. Her storytelling begins and continually circles back to shortly after FDR’s death. On the last weekend in April 1945, a grieving Eleanor has summoned Lorena to her Manhattan apartment years after having sent her away. Now in late middle-age, the two fall into their ingrained routine as lovers—and has anyone written about middle-aged women’s bodies and sexuality with Bloom’s affectionate grace? Lorena’s enduring love for Eleanor does not blind her to the reality of the two women’s differences: “Her propriety, my brass knuckles.” Bloom mostly depicts already familiar details of Eleanor’s history, character, and personality. More riveting are Lorena’s memories of her early life before Eleanor, from a dirt-poor childhood to a brief circus career described in arrestingly colorful detail to work as a journalist forbidden to publish her suspicion that Lindbergh staged a coverup concerning his baby’s kidnapping. Lorena and Eleanor fell in love shortly before FDR won the presidency. Given his own complicated love life, FDR accepted the affair and got Lorena a job with his administration. Lorena, far from saintly, continues to love Eleanor almost despite recognizing that Eleanor cannot help living a “sainted life.” The complexity of their mutual attraction is one of the joys of the book, particularly when Lorena recalls an Eleanor tender and even girlish during a private driving vacation to Maine they took without a Secret Service escort. Having lived as an intimate outsider within the FDR White House, Lorena also offers her admittedly biased take on the confidential crises, tragedies, and peccadilloes of the Roosevelt household.
Bloom elevates this addition to the secret-lives-of-the-Roosevelts genre through elegant prose and by making Lorena Hickok a character engrossing enough to steal center stage from Eleanor Roosevelt. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
In 1974, a troubled Vietnam vet inherits a house from a fallen comrade and moves his family to Alaska.
After years as a prisoner of war, Ernt Allbright returned home to his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, a violent, difficult, restless man. The family moved so frequently that 13-year-old Leni went to five schools in four years. But when they move to Alaska, still very wild and sparsely populated, Ernt finds a landscape as raw as he is. As Leni soon realizes, “Everyone up here had two stories: the life before and the life now. If you wanted to pray to a weirdo god or live in a school bus or marry a goose, no one in Alaska was going to say crap to you.” There are many great things about this book—one of them is its constant stream of memorably formulated insights about Alaska. Another key example is delivered by Large Marge, a former prosecutor in Washington, D.C., who now runs the general store for the community of around 30 brave souls who live in Kaneq year-round. As she cautions the Allbrights, “Alaska herself can be Sleeping Beauty one minute and a bitch with a sawed-off shotgun the next. There’s a saying: Up here you can make one mistake. The second one will kill you.” Hannah’s (The Nightingale, 2015, etc.) follow-up to her series of blockbuster bestsellers will thrill her fans with its combination of Greek tragedy, Romeo and Juliet–like coming-of-age story, and domestic potboiler. She re-creates in magical detail the lives of Alaska's homesteaders in both of the state's seasons (they really only have two) and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America.
A tour de force. (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.
Amélie Trufant Dawson
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Harbor Springs Library206 S. Spring StreetHarbor Springs, MI 49740
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