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February 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 February, Mary Ann Short from MOBBI (Movement Oriented Brain Body Integration) will offer programs with movement and FUN! 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, February 17th 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!
BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK
     Don't judge a book by it's cover! Are you easily distracted by cover art that may not represent what's inside the book? Each of these wrapped titles were hand selected by library staff. These books are available at the circ desk through February.  Take a change- go on a blind date with a book!
BSDL in cooperation with Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools has been displaying student artwork at the library. We are pleased to be sharing artwork from a selection of 5th grade students during the month of February. Student artwork is showcased in the Children’s area. Stop by and see work from the following talented artists from Frankfort Elementary:

Ethan Payne
Jared Cummings
Grace May
Elias Kercher &
Erik Kuykendall
Alex Holmes
Mariah Manning
Kally Kowalewski
Tia Watson
Presley Bartley
Kinzee Stockdale
Andrew Holmes
Quentin Hunt
Books! Books! Books!

Anything you want: Choosing Vacation Reads


     Choosing books to read on my vacation is one of my very favorite things to do. I read and listen to books all the time, but there is something so deliciously anticipatory about choosing what books to read when time limits are not a factor. Before e-Readers, I had such a time carrying enough books with me, but now I can just load my e-Reader with as many books as I please. All year I keep a list of books that I really want to savor. I like a variety. I can read more challenging books on vacation, because I don't have to cope with real life challenges! I also love to have mysteries, a few romances....I just try to pack in as much reading as humanly possible. REAL TIGERS, the new Mick Herron novel, was just published (and Adrian McKinty’s new Detective Sean Duffy book will soon be) so I’ll start with that. I've been waiting to read the 3rd and 4th in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara was on my vacation list, but there are 9 holds ahead of me on Overdrive, so maybe it will be a summer read! Believe it or not, I might try FOREVER AMBER by Kathleen Winsor....I’ve never read it and have had two people mention it to me lately. I always take a classic and a Georgette Heyer.  There are several more books on my list....maybe vacations need to be longer.

Memoirs

     Last month we talked about historical fiction. Memoirs are certainly not historical fiction by any stretch of the imagination. A memoir is one person's truth. However, memory, although not really fiction, is a bit fluid and, perhaps, not totally factual. We are always sure that what we remember is true, but haven’t we all had the experience of speaking with someone about a shared incident and discovering how differently we remember it? The following is from a Psychology Today article by Arthur Dobrin:

Daniela Schiller, of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and her former colleagues from New York University give us a new insight into the nature of memory. Not only are our memories faulty (anyone who has uncovered old diaries knows that), but more importantly Schiller says our memories change each time they are recalled. What we recall is only a facsimile of things gone by. Schiller says that memories are malleable constructs that are reconstructed with each recall. We all recognize that our memories are like Swiss cheese; what we now know is that they are more like processed cheese. What we remember changes each time we recall the event. The slightly changed memory is now embedded as “real,” only to be reconstructed with the next recall.

     Of course, this malleable nature of memory serves not to detract from the memoir, but maybe even to add to the genre. I love all three memoirs by Alexandra Fuller. Although I did not share her unconventional upbringing, I think that I understand her feelings of longing and loss when leaving a place you thought your heart belonged…and maybe that shared understanding is the gift of any good book. Like Fuller’s books, Jill Ker Conway’s ROAD FROM COORAIN is the story of growing up in very difficult circumstances in an exotic location.  Fuller grew up in African bush country and Conway in the Australian outback.

LOST IN PLACE by Mark Salzman was one of those books that serendipitously happened into my life at exactly the right moment.  Salzman describes the absurdity of adolescence for a teenage boy. It was enlightening! Another memoirist who had a pretty tough adolescence is Patti Smith. Fortunately, she was immensely talented.

I’ve mentioned Anna Quindlen’s LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE in the past.  Having just reread it, I can tell you that it is even better the second time.  Her writing is very insightful and she expresses universal feelings and experiences so perfectly that you wish you could have said things the way she does. (Or, maybe we are just like Nora Ephron in her book, I REMEMBER NOTHING.)

Imprecision of Memory

“Marina once told me that we only remember what never really happened.”  from MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

     A terrific plot device that lends itself to complex, layered stories is the one based on the imprecision of memory. I love stories in which characters have unique interpretations of past events, especially when the impacts of those events are so devastatingly different on individuals. Sometimes, the misinterpretation is because the person who experienced the event was too young to have the breadth that allowed understanding or maybe because secrets were kept from them. In each of the following books, the choices made based on misinterpreted memories haunt the characters.

…AND LADIES OF THE CLUB by Helen Hooven Santmyer is an historical novel revolving around the women who belong to a book club. The son of one of these ladies has the experience of being totally convinced that he understands, completely, an incident that happens between his parents. Far into adulthood, he overhears something that rocks his perception of events.
CROW LAKE by Mary Lawson begins with a terrible tragedy. Four siblings are orphaned due to an accident. As an adult, Kate believes that her brother has not been able to live his chosen life. He sees things differently.  
TESTING THE CURRENT by William McPherson is a wonderful coming-of-age novel. What is unique is that the observations of Tommy, the main character, are filtered through his adult perspective and memories, bringing fresh understanding.
MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a fairly strange book, in which you don’t know if the main character is remembering reality or dreams.
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson is also a bit unusual and quite interesting in that every one of Ursula’s memories is suspect because she does not know what is real, what is imagined, or what life she has lived.
In WHISTLING SEASON by Ivan Doig, Paul is the State Superintendent of Schools in Montana. His job, when the novel begins, is to start closing the one room schools. As he contemplates the fate of these schools, he remembers his own experiences as a student in one of them and tries to piece together, from his memories, what really happened during the most pivotal summer of his childhood.
OLD FILTH by Jane Gardam is part of a trilogy in which each book is told from one of three characters’ points of view. This is so interesting in terms of the interpretation of events through the memories of different people who experienced them. These books are not to be missed.

Happy Reading,
Cathy

 
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Benzie Shores District Library
630 Main St.
Frankfort, MI 49635
231.352.4671
bsdl@benzieshoreslibrary.org

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