Blogs

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiassen

Carl Hiaasen has done it again...and for the young adult audience this time!  I have enjoyed all of his books for kids - Flush, Hoot, Scat and Chomp.  The books he writes for adults are entertaining as well.  This is his first YA novel, and it contains all of the elements of classic Hiaasen- engaging dialogue, characters that are a little off base (at least one!), environmental issues and a fast paced storyline.  Skink No Surrender tells the story of cousins - Richard and Malley - and what happens when Malley goes off the grid.  Her parents think she is one place, Richard's not sure what is happening, he just knows something is not right - and all of a sudden he is off to find Malley riding shotgun with Skink, a ragged, one-eyed, wandering vigilante, with perfect teeth.  Skink is also the former governor of Florida...and supposedly dead.  Hope you enjoy this ride - it is a fun read and definitely worth the escape!!  

The Heart Has Its Reasons

 

 

This novel has been translated from Spanish. It's the story of a professor from Madrid who escapes from a failed marriage to California. Interesting flashbacks to the Spanish Civil War, life in Madrid and academia in Spain, California and Pennsylvania. I enjoyed the descriptions of the culture of Spain. I quite liked Bianca Perea.  I'm not sure about this translation, but thought it was quite good. I would probably give it 3 1/2 stars. It was good escapism for cold, winter days for me.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

 

 

This is a cute family movie with a great message.  I was concerned initially about a movie version of one of my favorite children's books, but I love Jennifer Garner.

Out of This World Books For the Rest of 2016

On July 27 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu. The Three-Body Problem has been nominated for this year's Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel, after winning the Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Award in 2006. It is the first in the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy and is a first contact story set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution. The film adaptation is scheduled for 2016.

On August 24 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. This is the first book in the Vorkosigan Saga, a space opera series that has received numerous awards over the 26 years it has been being published, including two Nebulas, four Hugo, two Locuses, and 16 more nominations for those awards. You may also find this book in the collection Cordelia's Honor. The Vorkosigan Saga is noted for its politics, romance, cleverness, and treatment of disability.

On September 28 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This dystopian novel follows a troupe of Shakespearean actors around Lake Michigan after a global epidemic. Station Eleven was selected by the Michigan Humanities Council as the Great Michigan Read for 2015-2016.

On October 26 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. Our annual Halloween horror novel is a hallucinatory account of a recluse's stay at a remote house and his experiences with supernatural creatures and otherworldly dimensions. H.P. Lovecraft listed The House on the Borderlands as one of his greatest influences. Also available in graphic novel version, by Simon Revelstroke and Richard Corben.

On November 23 at 7:00pm, we will be discussing Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, scheduled for publication in October. We have enjoyed the previous two books in the series, Ancillary Justice, which won last year's Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel, and Ancillary Sword, which is nominated for this year's Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel. To tell you about Breq would spoil the first book.

We will not be meeting in December.

Week 2 Challenges and a Grand Prize Drawing Announcement

Week 2 of Summer Reading is here and the Week 2 Challenges are live on elpl.org!  Also, many of you have asked and we are happy to announce that yes, we will be giving away the very cool superhero cardboard standups at the end of Every Hero Has a Story!  Completing the Week 2 challenge will get you one entry into the grand prize drawing, so what are you waiting for?!?  Get reading!

Books on Tap - July 2015

Are you intrigued by this title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? If so, read the book by Jonas Jonasson and join us at Jimmy's Pub on July 14 at 6:30 pm to discuss this book.

**Also: Christmas in July book exchange!!**

Bring in a book you love, a book you hate, something funny, something awful - wrapped up and ready to swap for our summer book exchange.

"A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over …

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

Books on Tap - June Follow Up

Thank you to everyone who came to Jimmy's to discuss Yes Please by Amy Poehler. As usual, we had a very lively conversation about the different topics that struck a chord with the group. There was a slight divide on if you loved it or just kind of went with it. It was agreed that throughout the book Poehler had inserted little nuggets of wisdom that rang out clear and loud as to how we should strive to live our lives and how to treat others:

"How a person treats their waitress is a great indication of their character."

"I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they 'want to do' and start asking them what they don’t want to do."

After jumping around to different points, the conversation veered towards cell phones and the role they now play in our everyday lives - and not necessarily that they are trying to kill us (as Amy suggests). It was interesting to see the different reactions to cell phone use, appropriate time and place, the idea of multi-tasking, and the level of addiction that some have.

Come to Jimmy's on July 14 to discuss The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Also! Bring a wrapped book for our Christmas in July book exchange!

Friends Board Meeting Highlights May 2015

Meeting date May 19, 2015

This was the annual meeting for the Friends – the fiscal year ends April 30.  The Friends Board doesn’t meet now until September so watch for an annual report and newsletter sometime this summer. The continuous book sale and sale of merchandise continues to be our core fund raising effort – thank you Marsha Bristor and all your volunteers. 

Please visit the Friendshop and find some fabulous summer reading.


Library Director, Kristin Shelley reports the selection of architectural firm c2ae to design the library’s renovation.  Work is expected to begin September/October of 2015. The library is accepting donations to the Capital Campaign to raise funds for continued renovation and possible expansion.

Therefore while the renovation is happening the library will be open for business, but the fall Book Sale will be held at the Hannah Center October 10 and 11, 2015.

Purse collection tub is out again, bright pink!!  Please continue to clean out/weed and contribute.  The May 9th Books, Bags and Biscotti raised over $2,000 for the Friends thanks to all who contributed and who came and purchased.  As promised, the biscotti was fabulous and the sale great fun.  Books and Bags will be for sale at the fall Book Sale October 10 and 11 at the Hannah Center.

Lanette Van Wagenen and Sandi Farrell continue to report sales of paintings – view them – RECENTLY DISCOUNTED - on the website. Please stop in the library and take a look.  

Liesel Carlson reports that the first activity of the Junior Friends will be to build a sunflower house in the garden in front of the library.

Don Power reports the jazz fundraiser previously scheduled for the fall of 2015 will be postponed until the library renovation is completed.  We will keep you posted about this exciting event.

The Friends have now set up a ballot question committee called Citizens for the East Lansing Public Library.  The sole purpose is to raise funds for the millage renewal campaign that will come up again in 2022.  Donations are being accepted to ensure the place of the East Lansing Public Library in the East Lansing community. 

Sheila Taylor has now joined the Friends Board and will work on public relations for the Friends – welcome Sheila.

We regrettably say goodbye to Lisa Gold who was our very able secretary for the last two years – thank you Lisa for all your good work.  We welcome Tricia Thorpe to her new role as Secretary and thank Jim Anderson for taking over Legislative Watch.
Gail Light is working on our annual report and newsletter to go out this summer so watch for all the news that is fit to print – about the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library.

Third Annual Michigan Activity Pass Program Is Open

Tahquamenon FallsBeginning May 24, the Michigan Activity Pass will enable library cardholders to print a pass, either from home or their local library, that is valid for one-time entry into any Michigan state park or recreation area and

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light we Cannot See is one of the best books I have read in a very, very long time - so good that I almost wanted to flip it over and read it again. While it is one of many novels about World War II, it is a unique perspective given from the view of a young girl living in France who is forced to flee and to hide, and the view of a young boy in Germany whose skills with a radio lend him a spot in a military academy under Hitler's rule. The courage and love shown between the characters and their friends and families is immense and powerful, and at many times devastating. Although the stories are not fully entwined towards the end, their independent journeys throughout the length of the book are just as important. This book is one of the first I have read where I wanted to slowly read every page, setting it down every so often just to reflect on the beautiful prose Doerr has created, especially towards the end. This book is every bit deserving of its spot on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as the 2015 Pulitzer Prize and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a great story. 

North Art Gallery June 2015

The Friends of the Library are proud to display the work of three amazing artists during the month of June:  Heeyoung You, Oksun Kim, and Soojin Ryu.  Don't miss this opportunity to stop by the library and see this delightful exhibit.


Heeyoung YouHeeyoung You often paints outdoors to do en plein air. By doing a quick drawing on location, she tries to capture the feeling of the moment to which she is attracted on canvas. It is of great importance to her to represent the beauty of the natural world in a looser and expressive manner. With lost edges and suggestive brush strokes, she lets her painting render her emotion. This brings her challenge and pleasure at the same time.

 

 

 

Oksun Kim

Oksun Kim works in oil and watercolor. Her art is inspired by flowers. She strives to capture the vividness and delicacy of flowers. Also value, i.e., the use of light, is another key factor to her painting in order to express the drama of her painting. To better enhance dramatic effect, she simplifies or exaggerates shapes of subjects.

 

 

 

Soojin Ryu

Soojin Ryu is a landscape and still life painter who works mainly in oil. She divides her time between the studio and painting outdoors en plein air. Her art is inspired by her observations of the natural world. Thus, the works that she produces reflect her sense of awe of nature that she instantly feels. When painting outside, she strives to render thoughtful composition, emotional connection, and spontaneity of moment on the canvas. She emphasizes the simplicity of light and dark shapes and applies paint in a loose, relaxed manner breaking edges. It is very important to her to eliminate unnecessary details of the subject matter to render it with a simple, but strong message. 

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