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Shorelines March 2015

Saturday Spring Stories!
Saturday, April 11th at 10:30 a.m.

April showers bring May flowers! Come to the library to celebrate the changing of the seasons and join Miss Ashley for spring stories, rhymes and a make-and-take craft. Story time is designed for ages two to five, but all are welcome.

For a complete list of events for all ages, visit our events page at

Notice anything different? We have a new online catalog! You can browse, renew, and reserve books online. The catalog searches our eBook collection as well. Visit us on "Tech Tuesdays" from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. to learn how to use the new catalog or to learn how to borrow eBooks from the library. Visit the new catalog at
   Our children’s books need cleaning!  We would love to have a couple of volunteers to come in on a regular basis and clean children’s books.  This involves paging through picture books (how fun is that?) looking for torn pages and cleaning the picture book covers.  This can be done sitting down enjoying the view!!! Please let us know if you have time to help us out.
GREAT BENZIE READ : April 22nd, 5:30 p.m. at Caribou Cafe in Beulah
      Have you read ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes? Isn’t it such an interesting, thought-provoking story? Louisa and Will, the main characters in this book are thrown together through random circumstances and could not be more different.  She lived a very small life and his was a life of adventure and challenges, which changed when he had an accident and became a quadriplegic. This is the story about love, families, loyalty, change and personal growth.  It is full of moral issues and relationship nuances. It is one of those rare books that you would like to reread the minute you finish reading it.  In other words, there is a lot to contemplate and discuss!
     The libraries of Benzie County invite you to a countywide discussion of ME BEFORE YOU.  This Great Benzie Read event will be held at the Blue Caribou Café in Beulah at 5:30pm on April 22.  Nibbles will be provided by the Friends of the Benzie Shores, Benzonia, Betsie Valley and Darcy Libraries. Specialty drinks may be purchased.  Everyone is welcome. If you haven’t had a chance to read ME BEFORE YOU or if you would like to review it before the  discussion, multiple copies of this title are available at your local library. It may also be available as an e-Book, audio download, and book on CD at your library.
     The Great Benzie Read is hosted by the Darcy Library of Beulah, the Benzonia Public Library, the Betsie Valley  Library in Thompsonville, the Benzie Shores District Library and the Friends of the Libraries.  For more information, please call or check your local libraries’ website.

Monday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
at Stormcloud Brewing Company
(303 Main St.)

Join us in a unique atmosphere for a lively literary discussion. The program uses the Great Books Foundation sampler "The 7 Deadly Sins." The program meets the fourth Monday of each month through spring. Each month we will explore one of the book's themes. The theme for March is "Anger." This program meets at the brewery and is for ages 21 and up. Discounts available to those with an active library card from any library. Purchase not necessary to participate. Print copies of the short readings are available at the library and at the brewery.
This month's reading, "Mary Postgate" by Rudyard Kipling, is available to read online at
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Short Books for Busy Times...

Suggestions from Cathy

     After writing about long books last month, we had some requests for suggestions of short books.  Short novels and novellas are popular, in part due to the current trend of publishing a short novel or novella in a popular fiction series (often available only as an eBook).   For a short book to be good, it really has to be very well written. The author can’t fall back on long descriptions to communicate a sense of place, feelings, or character.  
 The following are short novels I have enjoyed.

1.    MISSING PERSON by Patrick Modiano.  Modiano won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Since I had never heard of this author, I thought I should read something by him. In this story, written in 1978, the main character has amnesia. While working as an investigator, he looks into his own past. I don’t think I have ever read a book written like this with vignettes, memories and false leads telling the story.  I couldn’t wait to share it with a friend so we could figure it out together!

2.    JOY SCHOOL by Elizabeth Berg.  Most of Berg’s novels are very short and very poignant. In this coming of age story, a young girl is grieving the loss of her mother, starting a new school where she is not accepted, and learning the joys and sorrows of first love. It is quite a good read.

3.    SOUTHWEST CORNER by Mildred Walker.  In this 1951 book, the main character, Marcia, is 83 and has decided she will not go into a long-term care facility. She figures out a way to stay at home where she parks herself in the southwest corner and watches the world go by.

4.    LOVER’S DICTIONARY by David Levithan. It was so interesting to see the story of a relationship unfold one letter of the alphabet at a time.   Although this book is certainly not for everyone, I loved it.  

5.    THREE MEN IN A BOAT (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG) Jerome K. Jerome.  If you like British humor and want a lot of laughs, this 1889 book is for you.  The narrator, during the Victorian Era, takes a boat trip on the Thames with two friends and a dog.  The things that happen on this trip are hilarious.

6.    COMEDY IN A MINOR KEY by Hans Keilson.  During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, a young couple decides to hide a Jewish man.  While in their home, he dies of natural causes, which leads to all sorts of complications, moral issues and survival questions.  It is a book that makes you wonder what you would have done in this situation.  It was published in 1947.

7.    THE WOMAN WHO WOULDN’T by Gene Wilder. This story is set in the early 1900s. Jeremy is a concert violinist who has a breakdown on stage and is sent to a spa/clinic in Germany.  He meets Clara who is also a patient there.  It is a lovely, little story about love and resilience.

8.    THE BEGINNING OF SPRING by Penelope Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is a prize-winning author. For some reason, I haven’t really been a fan of her books, but I quite liked the BEGINNING OF SPRING.  It is set in Russia just before the Revolution. (Imagine a novel set in Russia that is short!)  The author is gifted at characterization and the use of language.  A mother leaves her family and the father picks up the pieces while navigating a world that is about to have a seismic shift.

9.    A FARM UNDER A LAKE by Martha Bergland. This is a gem of a story.  Janet’s life, at 40, is not what she had expected it to be.  Her husband, Jack, has changed…and not for the better. A road trip with an elderly woman gives her the opportunity to examine her past and envision her future.

10.    BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS by Dai Sijie. In this novel, two young Chinese men are relocated for reeducation during the Cultural Revolution.  They meet a young woman with whom they share their hidden, secret stash of books.  It is a wonderful story.  

11.    DREAMING IN CUBAN by Christina Garcia.  Cuba is often in the news these days so this short novel which tells the story of a family fragmented by the Revolution is timely.  The family members are forced to make decisions about whether to stay in Cuba or to flee and live with the ramifications of those decisions.

12.    ELLEN FOSTER by Kaye Gibbons. The 11-year-old main character in this beautifully written novel takes charge of her chaotic life courageously.  It is a lovely story about a self-possessed girl surviving in very difficult circumstances.

13.    WINTER’S BONE by Daniel Woodrell.  Ree is a tough girl in an impossibly difficult situation who discovers much about herself when she is forced into even worse conditions.  This is not a happily-ever-after story, but it is definitely worth reading.

Happy Reading!

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Frankfort, MI 49635

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