Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Happy summer! We hope you're enjoying everything northern Michigan has to offer and even perhaps have a chance to dig your toes in the sand with a good book.
There's still over a month left for the kids to finish their summer reading challenge! If they haven't grabbed one yet, send them in. We have a list of six categories and they can choose any book that fits in each. When they finish all six, they can come back in to receive a free ice cream cone from Yummies! We've already had a few finishers in July! It's a great way to keep the reading momentum going while school's out.
We have two story times happening every week throughout the summer: Wednesdays at 11:00am, Linda Culbertson visits us to read to the kids. Stop in after Sprouts at the Farmers Market! And for the even younger set, we have our baby/toddler story time at 10:30am every Thursday.
Don't forget that Tom McDonald hosts an open mic night on the first and third Monday of each month at 6:30pm in the library. BYOInstrument!
A huge thank you to all of our patrons who have generously donated to our annual appeal. The Harbor Springs Library has been community supported for over 120 years and we think it speaks volumes about this town that we're able to provide free public library resources and programming through your kindness. We're proud to be a part of what you love about Harbor Springs.
If you haven't yet had a chance to give, you can donate directly via our website with Paypal or you can donate to our endowment fund through the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation (choose "Harbor Springs Library Endowment Fund" as the fund name). We appreciate your support!
And now here are some of the newest books in the library:
Calypso, by David Sedaris
In which the veteran humorist enters middle age with fine snark but some trepidation as well.
Mortality is weighing on Sedaris (Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, 2017, etc.), much of it his own, professional narcissist that he is. Watching an elderly man have a bowel accident on a plane, he dreaded the day when he would be the target of teenagers’ jokes “as they raise their phones to take my picture from behind.” A skin tumor troubled him, but so did the doctor who told him he couldn’t keep it once it was removed. “But it’s my tumor,” he insisted. “I made it.” (Eventually, he found a semitrained doctor to remove and give him the lipoma, which he proceeded to feed to a turtle.) The deaths of others are much on the author’s mind as well: He contemplates the suicide of his sister Tiffany, his alcoholic mother’s death, and his cantankerous father’s erratic behavior. His contemplation of his mother’s drinking—and his family’s denial of it—makes for some of the most poignant writing in the book: The sound of her putting ice in a rocks glass increasingly sounded “like a trigger being cocked.” Despite the gloom, however, frivolity still abides in the Sedaris clan. His summer home on the Carolina coast, which he dubbed the Sea Section, overspills with irreverent bantering between him and his siblings as his long-suffering partner, Hugh, looks on. Sedaris hasn’t lost his capacity for bemused observations of the people he encounters. For example, cashiers who say “have a blessed day” make him feel “like you’ve been sprayed against your will with God cologne.” But bad news has sharpened the author’s humor, and this book is defined by a persistent, engaging bafflement over how seriously or unseriously to take life when it’s increasingly filled with Trump and funerals.
Sedaris at his darkest—and his best. (Kirkus Reviews)
What the Eyes Don't See: a Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, by Mona Hanna-Attisha
“There are lots of villains in this story”: An Iraqi immigrant and pediatrician recounts the epidemiological sleuthing that uncovered the lead crisis in the drinking water of Flint, Michigan.
The story begins with people turning up sick. But more, longtime Michigander and physician Hanna-Attisha’s story begins in a political moment, when a tea party–dominated state legislature and a former business executive elected governor declared a state of fiscal emergency over the city of Flint. As she notes, Flint was not alone in having its democratically elected government replaced by a technocrat imposed from outside—and those that shared the distinction were far likelier to be areas where African-Americans lived, “effectively colonized by the state.” A budgetary shortcut was to change Flint’s source of drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, long used for dumping industrial waste. Bacteria was one thing, but high concentrations of lead quite another. Drinking Flint River water was “like drinking through a lead painted straw,” with resulting developmental delays and cognitive damage that will plague Flint for generations. Hanna-Attisha combined a background in environmental science and medicine to expose a multilayered conspiracy of crony capitalism involving the lead industry, which she likens to big tobacco in greed and damage, and allies in government and business. Along the way, she notes that medicine itself is not blameless, since older pediatricians in particular have assumed that the old problems of lead poisoning that plagued previous generations have gone away with regulatory changes. Not so, she writes, particularly if you are poor and a member of an ethnic minority. Making this story known proved a challenge, but the author and her allies were methodical in approaching professional journals, the press, and finally federal authorities with their evidence. In the end, writes Hanna-Attisha, this is “the story of a government poisoning its own citizens, and then lying about it”—and it demands greater justice than has been served.
An important contribution to the literature of environmental activism—and environmental racism. (Kirkus Reviews)
There There, by Tommy Orange
Orange’s debut novel offers a kaleidoscopic look at Native American life in Oakland, California, through the experiences and perspectives of 12 characters.
An aspiring documentary filmmaker, a young man who has taught himself traditional dance by watching YouTube, another lost in the bulk of his enormous body—these are just a few of the point-of-view characters in this astonishingly wide-ranging book, which culminates with an event called the Big Oakland Powwow. Orange, who grew up in the East Bay and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, knows the territory, but this is no work of social anthropology; rather, it is a deep dive into the fractured diaspora of a community that remains, in many ways, invisible to many outside of it. “We made powwows because we needed a place to be together,” he writes. “Something intertribal, something old, something to make us money, something we could work toward, for our jewelry, our songs, our dances, our drum.” The plot of the book is almost impossible to encapsulate, but that’s part of its power. At the same time, the narrative moves forward with propulsive force. The stakes are high: For Jacquie Red Feather, on her way to meet her three grandsons for the first time, there is nothing as conditional as sobriety: “She was sober again,” Orange tells us, “and ten days is the same as a year when you want to drink all the time.” For Daniel Gonzales, creating plastic guns on a 3-D printer, the only lifeline is his dead brother, Manny, to whom he writes at a ghostly Gmail account. In its portrayal of so-called “Urban Indians,” the novel recalls David Treuer’s The Hiawatha, but the range, the vision, is all its own. What Orange is saying is that, like all people, Native Americans don’t share a single identity; theirs is a multifaceted landscape, made more so by the sins, the weight, of history. That some of these sins belong to the characters alone should go without saying, a point Orange makes explicit in the novel’s stunning, brutal denouement. “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them,” James Baldwin wrote in a line Orange borrows as an epigraph to one of the book’s sections; this is the inescapable fate of every individual here.
In this vivid and moving book, Orange articulates the challenges and complexities not only of Native Americans, but also of America itself. (Kirkus Reviews)
Barbed Wire Heart, by Tess Sharpe
*Coming to the Harbor Springs Festival of the Book
In this hard-edged thriller set in the gold rush country of Northern California, the daughter of a murderous meth dealer finds that escaping the life of crime her notorious father has trained her for will be more difficult than she imagined.
"My childhood wasn't bikes and swim parties, it was full metal jackets and other men's blood crusted beneath Duke's fingernails," recalls 22-year-old Harley McKenna, referring to her father. In flashbacks, we learn that she was 8 the first time she saw Duke kill a man and that a few weeks later, her mother was killed in a meth lab explosion. Harley was 12 the first time she pulled a gun on someone and 17 the first time she shot a man. "I'm what Duke made me," she says. "There's no running from it. There's only facing it." How the conscience-torn Harley faces it—and faces up to Duke's sworn nemesis—will impact the lives of many people, including Will, the good-hearted childhood friend with whom she has fallen in love (and whose mother also died in the explosion). Early on, the novel tends to go over the same ground too many times and takes too many narrative beats to reach a conclusion. But it has a welcome, powerful feminist sensibility—Harley is closely involved with a shelter for abused women and children—and with its relentless intensity, gritty atmosphere, and compelling father-daughter psychology (as much of a monster as Duke is, he loves his "Harley-girl," and she can't shake her family pride), this promises to be one of the best books of 2018.
Sharpe's first adult novel, following her gritty young-adult effort Far From You (2014), introduces a major talent to the crime fiction genre and, with a sequel all but promised, an exciting protagonist. (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!
We look forward to seeing you in the library,
Amélie Trufant Dawson
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Harbor Springs Library206 S. Spring StreetHarbor Springs, MI 49740
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