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Shorelines March 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 lively on Friday mornings. In March we have story time with Miss Clarissa.

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,March 16th 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!
GREAT BENZIE READ: April 20th at 5:00 p.m.
     The Friends of the four Benzie County Libraries (Betsie Valley, Benzonia, Benzie Shores, and Darcy) and the Benzie Area Historical Museum invite you to a countywide book discussion. The informal group discussion is open to everyone and will be held at 5:00pm on April 20 at the Benzie Area Historical Museum, 6941 Traverse Ave, Benzonia. Refreshments will be served. This is the third such countywide Great Benzie Read and this time the book is THE TURNER HOUSE by Angela Flournoy. Each local library has multiple copies of the book available.
     Themes of THE TURNER HOUSE include family, siblings, addiction, responsibility, economic downturn, housing inequality, deteriorating neighborhoods, legacies of the past, aging and parenting. The Turner family history is tied to the history of Detroit beginning in the 1940s when Francis Turner, a young African American from Arkansas, moved to Detroit to find work and instead found discrimination and poverty.  As the economy of the City improved, so did the Turner family’s fortunes. Thus, THE TURNER HOUSE is the story not only of what happened to Turner, his 13 children and his grandchildren, but also the story of the City itself. What an incredible book to discuss! Please join us April 20th for a lively discussion.

Books! Books! Books!

     Oh my goodness! I loved the books I read on vacation! It was a perfect vacation for a bookworm...hours and hours of uninterrupted reading. My airplane book was Georgette Heyer’s TALISMAN RING, a typical Heyer romance and a complete comedy of manners. It was a perfect airplane book, light but entertaining and easy to get back into after an interruption.
     I love Mick Herron’s Slough House series. The third book, REAL TIGERS, has so many layers to the story. The characters are great. They are all outcasts from MI5 either due to mistakes they made or some secret reason. The head of this department of alleged losers, Jackson Lamb, is impossibly rude and crude, but very, very smart and so incredibly good at what he does. What is most interesting is that all of the agents stay in character throughout the series.
     A book I hadn’t expected to read and, actually, hadn’t expected to like was M TRAIN by Patti Smith. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it! There are not too many people or authors who can make me feel illiterate, but Patti Smith, in this book full of references to authors with whom I was unfamiliar, certainly did!  This book made me so grateful not to be a genius and not to be gifted. She sees the world in the most astonishing way and seems to suffer her insights. What I really appreciated about Patti Smith was her ability to stay completely open to ideas, happenstance, and inspiration. She and her family lived in Southeast Michigan for some years and were happy:  'Michigan. Those were mystical times.' She says things uniquely, 'The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there.'
     MUSIC FOR WARTIME by Rebecca Makkai is an exquisite collection of short stories, including a really good one on the process of writing. The stories describe the aftermath of war on individuals even those who are distant from actual events.
     If you enjoyed THE MARTIAN or THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, you might enjoy GHOST FLEET by Singer and Cole which is full of war, our dependence on technology, and China’s quest for world dominance. In this page turner, China finds a way to hack all of the US technological systems including the military. The military personnel are forced to revamp war technology that was in play before computer chips were made in China. The book is very interesting war novel.
     I read THE TURNER HOUSE  by Angela Flournoy because it is the choice for the next Great Benzie Read. What a good choice! There is much to discuss in this novel. An African American family saga parallels the ups and downs of the City of Detroit. This is an important book about family relationships, the impact of housing inequality, addiction, love and hope.
     The third book by Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowlings) CAREER OF EVIL, unsettled me at first because the serial killer shipped women’s body parts to Robin, Cormoran’s partner. However, the book is quite good and the relationships between all of the main characters, as well as the quirkiness of the secondary characters, make this a really good series. Interestingly, each chapter starts with a quote from Blue Oyster Cult lyrics, many by Patti Smith.
     In the book BEING MORTAL the author, Dr. Gawande, refers to DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH by Leo Tolstoy. I decided it would be my classic for this vacation (and it is short). Oh my. I was so taken with it.  A man is dying and no one wants to talk to him about it. Everyone just wants him to pretend to get well and be cheerful to make others feel comfortable. The exception is his servant who tells him that everyone is going must die eventually, then makes him as comfortable as possible.
     Murakami is an author that one staff member has often recommended to me. Patti Smith in her book the M TRAIN, talks about the huge impact that Murkami had on her life. There is also a story about Murakami in MUSIC FOR WARTIME. With that many coincidences in a row, I knew I had to read a Murakami. COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE is a wonderful, unusual  book about the profound impact a thoughtless action has on a person. Tsukuru Tazaki had a very close knit group of friends who abandoned him for no reason he understood.  That single act of total unkindness changed the direction of his life forever.
   SILENT HOUSE by Orhan Pamuk reveals much about Turkey during a time of dramatic political and social changes and the impact of those changes on a family. It’s a very interesting book with compelling, conflicted characters. The story also touches on the violence that erupts during political upheaval.  
     I can see why people quite liked LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole. It was written well enough and had all the elements of a good story with an interesting format beginning with letters from a young man to a woman poet he admired.
     I was so looking forward to THOSE WHO LEAVE AND THOSE WHO STAY, the third in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series! As I was reading, I started to think, "Has her main character gotten a little whiny?" Then the story took another twist and I was once again immersed in the lives of two friends, Elena and Lila.  Like SILENT HOUSE, the impact of political and social changes and the accompanying violence cause seismic shifts in the characters’ lives.  
     And since I’ve been home…..I read A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway and have remembered why I’m not his biggest fan. However, I was struck by his moments of absolute brilliance!  I’m also not the biggest fan of Elizabeth Strout although I have quite enjoyed a few of her books. I absolutely LOVED her most recent one, MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON.  In this book the main character is a writer and at one point is told by a mentor that every author has one story.  This is true of Strout. Her one story is that love is imperfect….and that sometimes imperfect love is all you need. Jim Harrison’s new book of poetry, DEAD MAN’S FLOAT is an amazing collection of poetry in which he explores illness, mortality and the joy of life. He has unparalleled insight, such as in the following lines:

“I was cooking my life in a cracked clay
pot that was leaking. I had found
secrets I didn’t deserve to know.”

Happy Spring and Happy Reading,

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