Open to the Public Since 1894
206 S. Spring St.Harbor Springs, MI 49740
Apparently Mother Nature has decided to make up for last year's green Christmas by covering Harbor Springs in a beautiful blanket of snow. I don't know about you, but there's nothing I love more than curling up inside with a great book while the snow is falling outside. Our "new book" shelf is full of them, come check it out!
A big thank you to those of you that have braved the cold and the howling wind to come to our book sale fundraiser! We've decided to leave a few tables up until the end of the year, so if you haven't made it in, you still have time. Paperbacks are $1, hard covers are $2.
In excellent library news, we're thrilled to share that we've received two grants that will boost our children's section considerably! First, we received funding from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation to replace roughly 60% of our juvenile nonfiction section. This shelf was in desperate need of updating, and over the next few months we'll be culling outdated books and purchasing about 450 new books! We're particularly looking forward to adding books about animals, robotics, and the environment to aid younger students in the community. The second children's section grant we received was also through the PHSACF and will be used to purchase new Young Adult books, picture books, middle grade fiction, and also will support our children's programming. Look for upcoming events in the children's corner this spring! We're so appreciative of the generosity of this community! As a privately-funded public library, we rely on donations and grants to grow our collection and provide computers, Wi-Fi, an extensive digital library, and programming to our patrons.
Speaking of programming, our next session of Tail Waggin' Tutors will be on Saturday, January 14th. In this program, we bring in a certified therapy dog that listens patiently while children practice their reading aloud skills in 15-minute sessions. Studies have shown that reading to a dog in a relaxed, non-judgmental environment boosts confidence in young readers, and also...it's loads of fun! Micky the Newfoundland will be here from 10:30am until noon. Please call us at 526-2531 or stop in to put your child's name on the schedule.
We'll also be holding another story time and crafts on Saturday, January 7th at 10:30am. This is an event that we host on the first Saturday of every month. All ages are welcome and as always, it's free.
For the even younger set, don't forget that we have a toddler story time every Thursday morning at 10:30.
The library sends best wishes to all of our patrons this holiday season! We hope you're staying warm and dry and enjoying everything that Northern Michigan has to offer this time of year.
Our hours will not be affected by the holidays.
Here are some of the newest books to grace our shelves:
Faithful, by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman takes a break from writing about distant places and the distant past (Marriage of Opposites, 2015, etc.) to explore the psyche of a young Long Island woman afflicted by survivor guilt.
In her own mind, Shelby Richmond stole her best friend’s future. Two years have passed since the car accident that left Helene tethered to a feeding tube in her childhood bedroom just before she should have graduated from high school, a mute but lovely shadow of her former badass self, a magnet for pilgrims hoping to be cured by touching her hand. This cringeworthy spectacle sometimes causes Shelby to ponder whether it's better or worse that her friend lived. Mainly, though, Shelby focuses on enacting her own penance for being physically and cognitively intact (the jury’s out on emotionally): by shaving her head, sleeping like Dracula in her parents’ basement, skipping college, and sometimes cutting herself in places she thinks won’t be detected. Miserable as things are for Shelby, Hoffman provides readers as well as her deeply wounded heroine some quirky human anchors to make her journey back to higher functionality more than bearable, even entertaining: e.g., an anonymous Samaritan, apparently male, who sends her hand-drawn postcards bearing get-well messages in the form of visual and verbal riddles. And there's black-humored levity in Shelby’s snarky exchanges with Ben Mink—her marijuana source who's grown from high school geek to handsome striver and brings her Ray Bradbury books to read. “I believe in tragedy,” she tells him apropos of Helene’s faithful flock. “Not miracles.” Though bald and self-medicating, she grasps that moving in with Ben while he attends pharmacy grad school (!!!) at NYU might be a better direction. While shacking up with Ben, she finds a job cleaning cages at a gritty pet store. The silver lining is her co-worker Maravelle, a single mom of three young kids, whose lack of self-pity over her bad luck with men ("See a charmer and you're bound to see a snake nearby") attracts Shelby. Perhaps there’s a way these two bruised women can help each other? Ultimately, though, it’s Sue Richmond, Shelby’s mom, who proves to be the real saint of the narrative—her unobtrusive shaping of Shelby’s better instincts is one of the most touching aspects of the book. With Hoffman, it’s a safe bet deus ex machina or mild enchantment is going to enter the plot. By the time it does, however, Shelby’s well on her way to recalibrating. She couldn’t save her friend, but Hoffman endows her with the inner weather to save herself.
A novel full of people—flawed, scarred, scared—discovering how to punish themselves less and connect with others more. (Kirkus Reviews)
City of Sedition: the History of New York City during the Civil War, by John Strausbaugh
A focused study of how the “biggest, wealthiest metropolis in the North” proved as much of a hindrance to the Union war effort as a help.
Strausbaugh (The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village, 2013, etc.), who has been writing about New York City for 25 years, tells a gritty tale of opportunism and chutzpah involving the financial capital of the riven United States when faced with the shutting down of its two golden commodities: cotton and slaves. Around the time of the secession of the Southern states from the Union, cotton represented “a whopping 40 percent of all the goods shipped out of the port of New York.” Not only did the South rely on the New York bankers to finance the expansion of King Cotton—in 1860, the U.S. exported two-thirds of the world’s cotton—but the South, which deigned to develop the necessary mills, had to ship the cotton up the coast or across the Atlantic for manufacture. This allowed New Yorkers to take their cut. Moreover, despite the ban on slave-running since 1820, the practice continued illegally, to enormous profit; the author notes that by the 1850s “it was an open secret that New York was the North’s major slaving port.” At the outbreak of war with the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor on April 12, 1861, patriotic fervor gripped the numerous penny tabloids, and the immigrant communities mobilized target companies. Yet Strausbaugh emphasizes how the struggle by poor immigrants to wrestle employment from the freed blacks led to animosity and even rioting. While this contingent would have never fought over the cause of slavery, the abolitionists and progressives were vociferous, as represented by Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune. New York rebounded nicely with war profiteering, creating a whole new class of “shabby aristocracy.”
A narrative that smoothly and engagingly incorporates many stories of the war that have been told separately elsewhere. (Kirkus Reviews)
The Dollhouse, by Fiona Davis
Davis’s impeccably structured debut is equal parts mystery, tribute to midcentury New York City, and classic love story. It showcases the intersection of two women’s lives at the famed Barbizon Hotel, whose notable residents included Joan Didion, Grace Kelly, and Sylvia Plath.
In the present day, journalist Rose is kicked out of her upscale condo at the former hotel for women after her lover reunites with his wife. While doing research for an article on the grisly 1953 death of Barbizon maid Esme, she stays in the apartment of reclusive octogenarian tenant Darby. Darby, who has been a Barbizon resident for over 50 years, knew Esme and was connected to her demise. Rose’s investigation quickly becomes her obsession and refuge when her father becomes ill, her career implodes, and her hopes for a relationship with her married lover fade. “I need to know... how to start again,” Rose says as she digs to the bottom of the mystery of Esme’s death. Darby and Rose, in alternating chapters, weave intricate threads into twists and turns that ultimately bring them together; the result is good old-fashioned suspense. Through the two characters, Davis juxtaposes the elegance and dark side of a bygone era—its jazz, glamorous models, career-minded women, and nascent heroin market—with the crass, digitally obsessed, and cutthroat media world of today. What crosses the divide is the chance for disappointment and loss to give way to purpose and love. (Publishers Weekly)
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, by Joseph Marshall III (for ages 9-12)
School bullies claim Jimmy McClean’s blue eyes, fair hair, and Scottish surname mean he’s not a real Indian; to validate Jimmy’s Lakota heritage, Grandpa Nyles suggests a road trip in search of another Lakota with fair hair and skin: Crazy Horse.
Their journey takes them across the Great Plains to where Crazy Horse first witnessed attacks on his people and where he fought to end white appropriation of their homeland. Accounts of battles and stories of his integrity and commitment to providing for the weak and elderly in need bring Crazy Horse into focus. The Lakota author’s first book for children (The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, 2007, etc.) doesn’t airbrush tragic events; they are here, placed in context. At each site, Nyles tells the story (set in italics) of what happened to Crazy Horse there. Between stops, Nyles answers Jimmy’s questions in conversations that allow readers distance to process often bleak events and to reflect on their meaning today (the art’s storybook sensibility helps here). The story’s heavy in losses and defeats, but it’s also uplifting in ways seldom addressed in children’s fiction. Crazy Horse could have led his last small band of warriors to a heroic end in battle. But great leadership mandates a different kind of courage. He chose surrender as the best hope for protecting his people—the vulnerable children, women, and elderly.
This powerful introduction to a great warrior and leader invites readers to ponder the meaning of “hero.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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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