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 January 2016
Upcoming Programs
All programs sponsored by the Friends of Benzie Shores District Library

Circle Time : Mondays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Infants and toddlers and their parents/caregivers will have fun rhyming and moving with Miss Char. With a focus on repetition, children build their repertoire each week of rhymes, both old and new.

After School Tutoring : Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Designed for grades 5 through 12. Call Renee at 231-352-4671 for more information or to schedule an appointment for tutoring. Computer access, study space and book recommendations for students are available during all normal library hours.

Fun Fridays : Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
The library is full of fun on Fridays! In January we have music and singing with Penny Herd. This program is designed for ages 2 to 5; however, all are welcome.

Coloring for Grown-ups : Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Come to the library and enjoy a stress-free hour of coloring.  All materials provided.

Tech Tuesdays : Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
A library staff member will be available to help you with your library related technology issues. Learn how to download ebooks and audiobooks to your personal device. Learn how to search the library's digitized newspaper collection. Non-library related tech issues will be addressed as time allows.

Breakfast Book Share : Wednesday, January 20th from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Bring your own coffee or tea and talk about books. Share what you have read recently and find out what fellow community members have been reading. This is a great way to discover new books!
The library has received a couple of very generous anonymous donations. Many thanks to our mysterious donor!
     January is the time for membership renewals for the Friends of the Library.  The Friends are amazing supporters of the library and sponsor all of the “extras” that the library offers.  They fund the early literacy computer in the children’s area, downloadable e-books and audiobooks, the DVD collection, the books on CD lease program, landscaping, technology (all the public computers, management software, etc.), children’s programming, and more.

To become a member of the Friends, or to renew your membership, you can click here to print out the form.  (Sorry, online sign-up is not available.) Information on the tax benefits is on the form.
Tutoring Update: What a busy place the library is after school!
On Mondays and Wednesdays students are tutored one-on-one by volunteers. We are grateful to the tutors for their gift of time and expertise, and to the students for participating in the program. It is lovely to have the library so lively.
Books! Books! Books!

Historical Fiction: Based on an Actual Person
     Historical fiction is always popular. In many novels, the real historical people and events are part of the story as background or setting, not as the focus of the story. In others, the historical figure is the main character and the story itself is a combination of fact and fiction. Historical fiction stories based on an actual person’s life are especially in demand in our library right now. Here are a few historical fiction titles that give an account of a famous person’s life:

CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty about Louise Brooks
MRS. ENGELS by Gavin McCrea about Lizzie Burns
WHAT THE LADY WANTS by Renee Rosen  about Marshall Field
AVIATOR’S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin about Anne Morrow Lindbergh
LOVING FRANK by Nancy Horan about Frank Lloyd Wright
CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY by Susan Vreeland about Clara Driscoll and Louis Comfort Tiffany
UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan about Robert Louis Stevenson
PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain about Hadley Hemingway
MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES by Alice Hoffman about Pissarro’s mother
AGONY AND THE ECSTASY by Irving Stone about Michelangelo
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves about Tiberius Claudius
SECRET CHORD by Geraldine Brooks about King David

Historical Fiction: “What If” Books
     Counterfactual historical novels are an interesting type of historical fiction.  A philosophical essay on Counterfactuals by Rebecca Onion, published online in Aeon, made me think about a genre I have rarely read and rarely even considered.  Counterfactual historical novels (sometimes called Alternative History) are ones that, like all speculative fiction, imagine a world very different from the one in which we live.  In fiction based on alternative history a story unfolds about an actual historical event going in a different direction with a very different outcome than the real one.   The importance of such novels is to encourage us to question our interpretations of historical events, to think about what could have happened and, perhaps, give us a fresh perspective.
     For instance, do you remember the book FATHERLAND by Richard Harris that describes what life would have been like in the US if Germany had won WWII? A few other titles that have us thinking “what if?” are PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by Philip Roth, 11/2/63 by Stephen King,  and YIDDISH POLICEMAN'S UNION by Michael Chabon.  If you would like to try reading something a bit different this winter, try an Alternative History novel!

Historical Fiction: Mysteries
     Historical mysteries set during WWI, WWII, just about any period in the 20th century and Victorian times are popular.  However, the library has quite an offering of historical mysteries set further back in time.  A couple of authors whose mysteries take place in ancient Rome are Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis.   Saylor’s ROMAN BLOOD features Cicero, a young man who needs the help of Gordianus the Finder to solve a murder.  Davis’ Marcus Falco solves problems for the Roman Emperor.  He travels all over the Roman Empire, from Britain to Egypt, solving crimes.  
     Medieval mysteries do not necessarily fly off the shelves, but the library carries some really good ones that are a nice change of pace from those set in more modern times.  A good series is Sharon Kay Penman’s Justin de Quincey books in which Justin is the illegitimate son of a bishop and solves mysteries for Eleanor of Aquitaine .
     Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael books are wonderful. I love them.  Brother Cadfael was a soldier in the Crusades. When he returned to Britain he gave up soldering and became a monk. Because of his unique skill set, he was never left entirely in peace. Instead he was called upon to solve crimes.
     Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death series is a very interesting series with such an unusual premise.  In the first one, Henry II requests that Rome send him a coroner, a master in the art of death, but Rome sends Adelia, a woman doctor, which leads to many complications.  
     There are not too many Elizabethan series, so if you like Elizabethan times, Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard series is a great find.  Ursula is related to Queen Elizabeth and is forced to do the Queen’s bidding at all times, including solving her problems and dealing with any sensitive issues that occur.
     For the most part, historical mystery authors are very solid researchers and write exceptionally good mysteries.  It is fun to try a mystery set in a time period that is so remote from modern times, where crimes are solved by thinking and investigating without the dependence on modern technology.   

Happy Reading!

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630 Main St.
Frankfort, MI 49635

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