Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I know I was able to devour a couple of books alongside my plate of turkey over the long weekend and I hope you were too.
Did you know that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday? After the mania of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a day to give back to your community. The movement started five years ago and through social media collaboration kicks off the charitable holiday season.
The Harbor Springs Library is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that relies on donations to continue to operate; we do not receive any tax dollars. For over 120 years, we've served the community of Harbor Springs powered by people like you. Your generous donations allow us to offer not only books, CDs, and magazines, but also children's programming, community programming, a digital library, Wi-Fi, and public computers. We're proud to be a mainstay of our community and hope you feel the same. There are three ways you can give to the library: a check via mail, Pay Pal via our website, or by donating to our endowment fund through the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation (choose "Designated and Agency Endowment Funds" and then "Harbor Springs Library Endowment Fund"). Your donations go toward providing books and services to all of the members of our community and also maintaining our historic downtown building.
Do you have a Harbor Springs High School student? If you do, you might let them know that we'll be staying open late during exams week so they can come utilize our Wi-Fi, printer, and desk space to study. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week we'll stay open until 8pm.
The Harbor Springs Library hosts a children's story time and craft event on the first Saturday of each month, and our next one will be Saturday, December 3rd at 10:30am. Now that the tree is up and lit on Main Street, we'll be making Christmas ornaments and walking down to hang them! Story time and crafts is always free and open to children of all ages.
Finally, we hope you've been saving up your books because we'll be holding another used book sale on Saturday, December 10th, from 10am-3pm. We'll be accepting donations up until the 8th. We sell paperbacks for $1 and hardcovers for $2. There will be something for everyone so don't miss it!
Here are some of our newest books at the Harbor Springs Library:
Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
A faux memoir of the novelist's grandfather, whose life as an engineer, veteran, and felon offers an entree into themes of heroism and imagination.
When "Michael Chabon," the narrator of this novel, was growing up, his maternal grandparents were steepeed in mystery and mythology. His grandmother was a tight-lipped Holocaust survivor with a fixation on tarot cards, while his grandfather was a World War II Army officer who'd also done time in prison. The novel is largely Chabon's (Telegraph Avenue, 2012, etc.) effort to understand his grandfather's wilder escapades. Why did he try to strangle a former business partner with a telephone cord? What was he thinking when he and a buddy in the Army Corps of Engineers prankishly set explosives on a bridge in Washington, D. C.? What did he feel while he hunted down Wernher von Braun in Germany? And, more tenderly, what did he see in the young girl he met in Baltimore after returning home from the war? A study in intellect, violence, and displacement, his grandfather is engaging on the ground level while also serving as a kind of metaphor for Cold War America. And Chabon writes tenderly about his grandparents' relationship- his grandmother was a horror-flick host on local TV and suffered from mental illness her husband was ill-equipped to handle. Chabon's theme is the storytelling (i.e., lies) people lean on to survive through compllicated times: "The world, like the Tower of Babel or my grandmother's deck of cards, was made out of stories, and it was always on the verge of collapse." A noble enough theme, but Chabon is an inveterate overwriter who dilutes his best storytelling with more ponderous digressions- on the manufacture of the V-2 rocket, model-making, Thomas Pynchon, and the relationships his widowed grandfather pursued before his death. He's captured a fine story about the poignancy of two souls' survival but also too many others about plenty else besides.
A heartfelt but sodden family saga. (Kirkus Review)
I'll Take You There, by Wally Lamb
Wally Lamb won readers’ hearts with his New York Times bestselling novel (and Oprah Book Club selection) She’s Come Undone. Four bestsellers later, he returns with I’ll Take You There.
The novel follows film professor Felix Funicello, a divorced father who runs a Monday-night movie club for his film students. One evening, Felix encounters the ghost of Lois Weber, an American silent film actress and director. Felix follows her on the ride of his life, revisiting scenes from his past that are projected onto a movie screen. As Lois takes him back through time, Felix realizes that he has been charged with uncovering a dark secret at the heart of his family. Lamb’s previous work has been quite sensitive to women, painting endearing portraits of female characters who have been ignored, shamed and often mistreated. He builds on that tradition in I’ll Take You There, a love letter to feminism and to trailblazing women—real and imagined—who have graced the silver screen or stood behind the camera. (BookPage Reviews)
Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
A keen, controlled novel about dance and blackness steps onto a stage of cultural land mines.
Smith, who wowed the world at 24 with her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), once again crafts quicksilver fiction around intense friendship, race, and class. She opens with a scene of that social media–fueled nightmare: public humiliation. “I’d lost my job, a certain version of my life, my privacy,” the unnamed narrator tells us. She was “put on a plane, sent back home, to England, set up with a temporary rental in St. John's Wood.” From this three-paragraph prologue, the story jumps abruptly back 24 years to 1982, when the narrator, a “horse-faced seven-year-old,” meets Tracey, another brown girl in North West London arriving for dance class. The result is a novel-length current of competition, love, and loathing between them. Tracey has the tap-dancing talent; the narrator’s gifts are more subterranean: “elegance attracted me. I liked the way it hid pain.” Tracey struggles for a life onstage while the narrator flies aloft, becoming personal assistant to Aimee, an Australian pop star: “I scheduled abortions, hired dog walkers, ordered flowers, wrote Mother’s Day cards, applied creams, administered injections, squeezed spots, and wiped very occasional break-up tears.” Smith is dazzling in her specificity, evoking predicaments, worldviews, and personalities with a camera-vivid precision. The mothers of the two women cube the complexity of this work, an echo of the four protagonists in Smith’s last novel, NW (2012). All their orbits are distorted by Aimee, the Madonna/Angelina Jolie–like celebrity impulsively building a girls’ school in West Africa. The novel toggles its short chapters between decades and continents, swinging time and geography. Aimee and her entourage dabble in philanthropy; Tracey and the narrator grope toward adulthood; and Fred Astaire, dancing in blackface in Swing Time, becomes an avatar of complexity presiding over the whole thing. In her acknowledgements, Smith credits an anthropological study, Islam, Youth and Modernity in the Gambia. Its insights flare against a portrait of Aimee, on the other side of the matrix, procuring “a baby as easily as she might order a limited-edition handbag from Japan.”
Moving, funny, and grave, this novel parses race and global politics with Fred Astaire’s or Michael Jackson's grace. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
The tangled destinies of three kids growing up in a tightknit African-American community in Southern California.
“She was seventeen then. She lived with her father, a Marine, and without her mother, who had killed herself six months earlier. Since then the girl had earned a wild reputation—she was young and scared and trying to hide her scared in her prettiness.” Bennett’s debut novel tells the story of this grieving 17-year-old girl, Nadia, her best friend, Aubrey, and her boyfriend, Luke, told partly by Nadia and partly by a chorus of eponymous “Mothers,” the church ladies of Upper Room Chapel, where Luke’s father is the pastor. The three teenagers are drawn together by the damage they have already suffered: Luke’s promising football career was ended by a terrible injury; Aubrey has moved away from home to escape abuse by her stepfather. More trouble awaits when Nadia discovers she's carrying Luke’s baby and decides not to keep it. This decision creates a web of secrets that endures for decades—though the ever watchful, ever gossiping Mothers never stop sniffing around and suspecting. Nadia tries to escape the clutches of small-town drama by attending college and law school across the country, but when she returns home to care for her ailing father, she finds herself enmeshed in unfinished business. “All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.” Far from reliably offering love, protection, and care, in this book, the mothers cause all the trouble.
A wise and sad coming-of-age story showing how people are shaped by their losses. Recommended for both adult and teenage readers. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Velvet Hours, by Alyson Richman
In this exploration of sensuality, beauty, and the lives of heirlooms, two women narrate a rich tale set in Paris during the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2010, a time capsule of sorts was uncovered in Paris’s ninth arrondissement: an apartment untouched since WWII and filled with treasures of a bygone age. Richman (The Garden of Letters), in her fifth novel, fills in the details of this intriguing mystery by imagining the life and loves of the apartment’s real-life inhabitant, courtesan Marthe de Florian. On the eve of WWII, Marthe recites her adventures in the half-world of belle epoque Paris, where she began as an impoverished seamstress and ended up a demimondaine, to her granddaughter Solange, a budding writer. Solange has her own story to tell; the world she thought she knew is unraveling, and Solange’s mother recently revealed her Jewish heritage before dying. Hoping to understand her past, Solange takes a precious book from her mother’s collection to a rare book dealer. There she meets Alec, the son of the book dealer, and slowly begins to fall in love. Meanwhile, Hitler’s troops draw closer to Paris, her father is conscripted, and Marthe’s health begins to fail. Richman fills her novel with vibrant details (including some of the more juicy bits from Marthe’s real life), much as Marthe decorated her apartment: always with care, craft, and a sharp eye. (Publishers Weekly)
As a reminder, Katie down at Between the Covers offers a generous 20% discount on books intended as donations 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! Please support our local independent bookstore!
We look forward to seeing you in the library,
Amélie Trufant Dawson
Director of the Harbor Springs Library
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Harbor Springs Library206 S. Spring StreetHarbor Springs, MI 49740
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