Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Intro to Libby September 6th at 1pm
TEDtalk and DiscussionSeptember 20th at 7pm
Tail Waggin' TutorsSeptember 22nd at 10am
Harbor Springs Festival of the BookSeptember 28-30th
Well we finally have the rain we've been waiting for, and how! It's been a rather dry summer (if humid) and this rain is more than welcome. The last days of summer vacation are upon us now, and the kids will all be going back to school next week. Before school starts, however, remind them to bring in their summer reading challenges! We still have ice cream cone coupons to give out to the finishers!
We had a wonderful visit with Micky the Newfoundland this week! Micky is a certified therapy dog that comes to the library to listen to kids read stories through a program called Tail Waggin' Tutors, and we love when he visits! He'll be coming back at 10am on Saturday, September 22nd, so give us a call at 526-2531 to put your child on the schedule for 15 minutes of one-on-one time with Micky. Studies have shown that reading to a dog can boost confidence in early readers, as dogs provide a non-judgmental and relaxed audience while they practice these new skills.
Did you know that you can download ebooks and audiobooks for free with your Harbor Springs Library card? Libby is the new app by OverDrive that allows you to download digital books to your personal device (smart phone, tablet, Kindle, etc.) through your local library. We've offered this service for over a year now, and if you haven't yet taken advantage of it, we're having an "Intro to Libby" session on Thursday, September 6th, at 1pm. We'll be walking through the process of downloading the app, signing in with your library card, and downloading books.
Our next TEDtalk and Discussion is scheduled for Thursday, September 20th at 7pm. TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a nonprofit started in 1984 with the mission of spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks around the world. At the library, we choose a topic and then find a handful of recorded TEDtalks to screen as a group and then have a community conversation about the topic led by Cyndi Kramer. Please join us on the 20th- topic TBA!
The Harbor Springs Festival of the Book is coming up September 28th-30th! If you haven't been to any of the events before, you should definitely try to attend this year. Here is a list of this year's presenters. Some of the events will be held here at the library, some at the Harbor Springs History Museum, the Lyric Theatre, and Holy Childhood, among others. We're thrilled to be a part of this annual festival, and thrilled at the throngs of readers it brings to our town. We have a shelf in the library (as seen in the photo above) of books by this year's festival authors, and there's still a month to read through their books!
One last thing: you may have noticed you're getting reminder emails 3 days before your library books are due, and another notice when they're overdue. If you get this reminder email but you haven't finished the book yet, you can log in to our website here with your library patron number (this is the same P number that you use for ordering books from MeLCat) and the phone number that we have on file for you. Once logged in, you can renew your books, search for new books, and place them on hold so we can set them aside for you. If you have any questions about logging in to your account, kindly email me and I'll walk you through the process. If you're not getting the reminder email, that means we don't have an email address on file for you (or perhaps we have an old address). Please call 526-2531 to update your information. Thank you so much! This service has helped tremendously in keeping our overdue and lost books to a minimum.
And finally, here are some of the newest books on our shelves!
Natural Causes, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Ehrenreich (Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth About Everything, 2014, etc.) returns with research and rumination on the complexity of our human bodies and the misconceptions of our minds.
The author has a doctorate in cellular immunology, and throughout the text, she employs the erudition that earned her degree, the social consciousness that has long informed her writing, and the compassion that endears her to her many fans. Ehrenreich leads us through the recent biomedical research that shows us, among other things, that our immune systems can turn on us, actually easing (rather than preventing) the spread of cancer cells. Elsewhere, she writes about the puzzles of menstruation (why do human women bleed far more than other creatures?), autoimmune diseases, and the pervasive belief that we can control our lives. “We are not,” she writes, “the sole authors of our destinies or of anything else.” The author also explores the social and cultural aspects of health and aging: She notes how wealthier, healthier people look upon the poor—who are more likely to smoke and eat poorly—with moral disdain. She goes after the medical establishment for what she believes are superfluous, redundant tests and procedures, and she assails the self-help industry for our currently dominant, and often unhelpful, ideas of selfhood and wellness. Ehrenreich sees the body-mind connection as incredibly complex and discusses the odd notion that cells often do what they want rather than what they’re “supposed” to do. The author will certainly not endear herself to the pious among us; her discussions of the origins and evolution of religious ideas are hardly orthodox. Mostly, she urges that we recognize that death is natural, that we enjoy our lives while we can, and that we disabuse ourselves of any self-serving notions of post-mortem permanence or even influence.
A powerful text that floods the mind with illumination—and with agonizing questions. (Kirkus Reviews)
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
An absorbing saga of 20th-century Korean experience, seen through the fate of four generations.
Lee (Free Food for Millionaires, 2007) built her debut novel around families of Korean-Americans living in New York. In her second novel, she traces the Korean diaspora back to the time of Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910. “History has failed us,” she writes in the opening line of the current epic, “but no matter.” She begins her tale in a village in Busan with an aging fisherman and his wife whose son is born with a cleft palate and a twisted foot. Nonetheless, he is matched with a fine wife, and the two of them run the boardinghouse he inherits from his parents. After many losses, the couple cherishes their smart, hardworking daughter, Sunja. When Sunja gets pregnant after a dalliance with a persistent, wealthy married man, one of their boarders—a sickly but handsome and deeply kind pastor—offers to marry her and take her away with him to Japan. There, she meets his brother and sister-in-law, a woman lovely in face and spirit, full of entrepreneurial ambition that she and Sunja will realize together as they support the family with kimchi and candy operations through war and hard times. Sunja’s first son becomes a brilliant scholar; her second ends up making a fortune running parlors for pachinko, a pinball-like game played for money. Meanwhile, her first son’s real father, the married rich guy, is never far from the scene, a source of both invaluable help and heartbreaking woe. As the destinies of Sunja’s children and grandchildren unfold, love, luck, and talent combine with cruelty and random misfortune in a deeply compelling story, with the troubles of ethnic Koreans living in Japan never far from view.
An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth. (Kirkus Reviews)
Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman
While scuba diving in Bora Bora, honeymooners Erin and Mark find something in the water that will test their marriage and imperil their very lives.
Simply begging to be filmed, British actress Steadman’s debut novel has already been optioned by Fox 2000 Pictures. With unreliable characters, wry voices, exquisite pacing, and a twisting plot, Steadman potently draws upon her acting chops. Opening with Erin digging her husband’s grave, the novel descends abruptly—how did the honeymoon end so disastrously? The timeline backs up to set Erin and Mark’s roller coaster in motion. A documentary filmmaker, Erin has been working on a project exploring how prisoners envision their lives upon release. She has focused on three inmates: Alexa, an engaging 42-year-old incarcerated for helping her mother die; Holli, a sullen young woman imprisoned for setting a bus on fire during a riot; and Eddie, a charmingly dangerous local mob kingpin doing time for money laundering. While Erin presses on with her film, Mark, an investment banker, has lost his job, and prospects for a new one are dim. Although they've economized on their wedding, the honeymoon is meant to be a final splurge. What they find in the water, however, skews their moral compasses. Caught in a game they do not understand, Erin and Mark are swiftly beset by ominous Russian figures, mysterious text messages, and shadowy stalkers. Meanwhile, Holli has been released and disappears with her boyfriend, who appears to be associated with Islamic extremists in Syria. DCI Andy Foster, a Special Operative for Counterterrorism, questions how much Erin knew about Holli’s post-prison plans. So Erin can add Interpol to the list of people surveilling her every move. As events tangle further, Erin and Mark careen to the edges of international espionage and domestic disaster.
A darkly glittering gem of a thriller from a new writer to watch. (Kirkus Reviews)
Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon
Two friends work at solving a mystery that spiderwebs back in time, not unlike the young girls in Cannon’s debut, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (2016), but this book is set much later in life at an assisted living facility.
As long as she can remember, Florence’s best friend has been Elsie. They both think of Florence’s memory as spotty, though, and Elsie often challenges her to practice calling up facts from their shared past. Strangely—and it is one of many peculiarities permeating the book—the chapters that Florence narrates exude authority, a good eye for detail, and a crotchety independence that unfortunately puts her on probation with the assistant director at her housing complex. This makes it very bad timing for Ronnie Butler to appear, masquerading as a new resident, because Ronnie Butler was supposed to have drowned in 1953 and, before that, was a violent man who infested and harmed Elsie’s family. Florence is terrified; she believes he has come back for her but can’t explain why. Maddeningly, she communicates less efficiently with authorities than with the reader, and they aren’t inclined to believe her anyway. But what begins as a tale evocative of The Yellow Wallpaper turns into an amateur detective story when Florence confides in the kind and clever General Jack, another resident, and they go hunting down clues to Ronnie's motives and the identity he's stolen. The tone then shifts once more (at the seaside, appropriately) to something bittersweet and pensive, concerned with the significance of any one life as well as the texture of devotion. The novel breathes with suspense, providing along the way piercing, poetic descriptions, countless tiny mysteries, and breathtaking little reveals. Some outcomes seem obvious, but enough is left unsaid to keep readers unsure of anything until the last chapter. Perhaps not quite then, either.
A rich portrait of old age and friendship stretched over a fascinating frame. (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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