Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Saturday, January 5th @10:30amStorytime and Crafts
Saturday, January 19th @ 10amTail Waggin' Tutors (Children Read to a Dog)
Thursday, January 31st @ 7pmTEDtalk Viewing and Discussion
We hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday season in our beautiful town! With 2018 ending in just a few days, we'd like to remind you that you can easily make your year-end gift to the library online via PayPal by clicking here or through the mail at 206 S. Spring Street, Harbor Springs MI 49740. You can also donate directly to our permanent endowment fund with the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and help ensure that the library is able to continue providing free resources and programming to our town (the fund name is "Harbor Springs Library Endowment Fund").
The Harbor Springs Library is a community funded 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Coming up for children in 2019, we have a Storytime with Crafts on Saturday, January 5th and Tail Waggin' Tutors on Saturday, January 19th. All children are welcome to storytime with Miss Linda and it goes from 10:30am to about 11 or 11:15. If you'd like your child to get some reading-aloud practice in with Micky the Newfoundland, call 526-2531 to have them put on the schedule between 10am and 11:30am. Each child will get 15 minutes of one-on-one time with Micky reading either your own book or one of ours. It's a great way to read aloud in a no-pressure environment (Micky won't correct you or even notice mispronunciations). He's a gentle giant of a dog and loves to listen patiently to your stories.
We also have a TEDtalk Viewing and Discussion scheduled on Thursday, January 31st at 7pm. We choose a theme and then as a group watch a handful of pre-recorded TEDtalks based on that theme. The discussion will be led by Cyndi Kramer. No reservations needed, just show up prepared to share your perspective. This month's theme will be "The Climate Change Report."
Here are some of the newest books on our shelves:
The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
Another ambitious change of pace for the versatile and accomplished Makkai (The Hundred-Year House, 2014, etc.), whose characters wrangle with the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic at its height and in its aftermath.
In the first of two intertwined storylines, Yale and his live-in lover, Charlie, attend an unofficial wake for a dead friend, Nico, held simultaneously with his funeral service because his Cuban-American family has made it clear they don’t want any gay people there. It’s 1985, and Makkai stingingly re-creates the atmosphere of fear, prejudice, and sanctimonious finger-pointing surrounding the mortally afflicted gay community, even in a big city like Chicago. Nico’s younger sister, Fiona, has rejected their family and attached herself to his friends, with emotional consequences that become apparent in the second storyline, set 30 years later in Paris. As is often the case with paired stories, one of them initially seems more compelling, in this case Makkai’s vivid chronicle of Yale’s close-knit circle, of his fraught relationship with the obsessively jealous Charlie, and his pursuit of a potentially career-making donation for the university art gallery where he works in development. Fiona’s opaque feelings of guilt and regret as she searches for her estranged daughter, Claire, aren’t as engaging at first, but the 2015 narrative slowly unfolds to connect with the ordeals of Yale and his friends until we see that Fiona too is a traumatized survivor of the epidemic, bereft of her brother and so many other people she loved, to her lasting damage. As Makkai acknowledges in an author’s note, when a heterosexual woman writes a novel about AIDS, some may feel she has crossed “the line between allyship and appropriation.” On the contrary, her rich portraits of an array of big personalities and her affecting depiction of random, horrific death faced with varying degrees of gallantry make this tender, keening novel an impressive act of imaginative empathy.
As compulsively readable as it is thoughtful and moving: an unbeatable fictional combination. (Kirkus Reviews) *Note: named one of the best books of 2018 by Kirkus. Also a 2016 Harbor Springs Festival of the Book author.
Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield
In Setterfield’s (Bellman and Black, 2014, etc.) new novel, a town by the River Thames is deeply shaken and inspired by the arrival—and apparent resurrection—of a mysterious young girl.
At the Swan, an inn along the river, storytellers gather to spin their magic on cold winter nights. But not even the most creative teller can compete with the horror of reality when a stranger, horribly beaten, arrives at the door, clutching a dead child. As Rita, the local nurse and midwife, gently takes stock of the man’s injuries, she also realizes that the child is not dead, though no one seems to know who she is. Soon enough, two possibilities arise: She might be the kidnapped daughter of a local businessman, or she might be the daughter of a local farmer’s scoundrel son. She may even be, the denizens of the Swan acknowledge in whispers, and stranger still, the long-lost daughter of the phantom ferryman who patrols the Thames, saving those who fall in before their time and taking those whose time has come to the other side of that vast, mercurial expanse. Setterfield masterfully assembles an ensemble of wounded, vulnerable characters who, nevertheless, live by the slimmest margins of hope—hope that springs from family, from the search for meaning, from people's decency to strangers, from the belief that truth heals and sets one free. Despite the harsh vagaries of the river, it also brings the promise of life and the peace of death and, Setterfield reminds us, the never-ending, transformative power of stories. And stories, in turn, expose our humanity—the best and worst of humankind, and somewhere in between, the quiet, unremarkable connections, the small gestures, the perfect heartbreaks that give our lives meaning.
Celebrates the timeless secrets of life, death, and imagination—and the enduring power of words. Fans, rejoice! Definitely more The Thirteenth Tale than Bellman and Black. (Kirkus Reviews)
Alice Isn't Dead, by Joseph Fink
A female big-rig driver crisscrosses America searching for signs of the wife everyone else thinks is dead.
This spooky third novel by Welcome to Night Vale creator Fink (It Devours!, 2017, etc.) is similarly based on an original podcast and offers a more threatening but equally personal take on the horror genre. Switching from the podcast’s intimate first-person narration, delivered with powerful emotion by actress Jasika Nicole, allows Fink to stretch out into the more remote corners of his mythos while delivering the same scary beats. The main character is Keisha Taylor, whose wife, Alice, disappeared while working for the mysterious Bay and Creek trucking company: “No cause of death. No body. No certainty. There was a disappearance, and after a long and increasingly hopeless search, the presumption of death.” Now Keisha has taken a job with the company as a long-haul driver, which thrusts her firmly into the eerie mythology at work here. Keisha is a fascinating character partially because one of her defining characteristics is chronic anxiety, and it’s a potent imperfection for a character who battles literal monsters on a regular basis. Along the way, Fink unveils the strange universe that swallowed Alice whole, revealing an underground war between two secret societies, time-bending oracles, and other Lovecraft-ian horrors. He also gives Keisha a charismatic ally in Sylvia Parker, a teen on the run who becomes her “anxiety bro,” and a bloodcurdling enemy in the macabre, twisted police officer who stalks her across the span of the country. But the book also tempers its terrors with everyday humanity, portraying the mundane joys of love, the rich fabric of the American countryside, and surreal “Why did the chicken cross the road?” jokes that are a hallmark of the podcast. By the time Keisha learns Alice's fate, readers will realize that this marvelous character is more than the sum of her faceless anxiety or her very real fears.
A terrifying new storytelling experience that affirms, even in our darkest moments, that love conquers all. (Kirkus Reviews)
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.
It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.
An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like. (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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