Books on Tap - July Follow Up

With a majority of the group apparently on summer vacation, we had a small group discussion about The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Overall, this light read with hints of the tale of Forrest Gump, was the perfect summer read for our group. It was interesting to see the history of Allan Karlson and the interesting group of people he encountered through his life (Mao Zedong, Winston Churchill, and Harry S. Truman to name a very few). Jonasson's background in journalism is on full display in this book: even though the idea that Allan led the life in the story is far-fetched; the timeline of his actions was thoroughly researched and lined up accordingly.

We also did our summer book exchange and talked a little about other books we've been reading. See the list and descriptions here.

Come to Jimmy's August 11 when we discuss the One Book, One Community selection Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Across Generations Videofest

When Michele Norris spoke at the Wharton Center on September 15, 2014 as part of the One Book, One Community program, she told the audience to talk to our parents, grandparents, our aunts and uncles, our elders to hear their stories. She said we need to have conversations with our elders to preserve our family histories or to know where we came from.

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean

This is another great science read from Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb.  Dueling Neurosurgeons reviews the history of neuroscience as doctors and scientists worked to determine how the brain and consciousness work.  If you have read and loved any of Mary Roach's books you will love Sam Kean.  

New Music Friday on Hoopla - July 10, 2015








Upcoming New Releases

July 17:

  • Chemical Brothers - Born In The Echoes
  • Tame Impala - Currents
  • Iron & Wine/Ben Bridwell - Sing Into My Mouth
  • Galactic - Into The Deep
  • Anthony Brown & group therAPY - Everyday Jesus
  • Memphis May Fire - Unconditional:  Deluxe Edition
  • Flo Morrissey - Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful
  • David Osborne - Laughter In The Rain


July 24:

  • Jill Scott - Woman
  • Ashley Monroe - The Blade
  • Southpaw Soundtrack - Various Artists
  • Warren Haynes - Ashes & Dust
  • Bea Miller - Not An Apology
  • Kasey Chambers - Bittersweet
  • Hopsin - Pound Syndrome

DC Comics are now live on Hoopla!

All your favorite DC Comic characters are now available on Hoopla.  There's no better way to celebrate this summer's reading theme, Every Hero Has a Story, than by curling up with your favorites.











The Blondes by Emily Schultz

I was filling up a display shelf when I first noticed this book; it has a very distinctive cover.  After picking it up I noticed that both Stephen King and Margaret Atwood had recommended it and at that point I was pretty much sold.  

Now that I have finished the book, The Blondes by Emily Schultz, I can't say I completely agree with King and Atwood but I can see why they agreed to allow their endorsements to be placed on the front cover.  The story grabs you very quickly with intriguing lines like "The neighbours have finished burning the hair."  I mean, how can you not want to know more about that?  Schultz also gives one of the most accurate descriptions of early pregnancy that I have ever encountered in fiction, and uses the main protagonist's malaise and indecision to perfectly capture the mood of the beginning of the possible apocalypse. 

Ultimately, Schultz can't quite decide if she is writing a literary character study or an piece of apocalyptic fiction where who lives and dies is dependent on gender and class.  Margaret Atwood covered this territory much better in The Handmaid's Tale but this is still an intriguing read.

Hoopla Undergoing Scheduled Maintenance on July 7

The Hoopla team is planning to perform scheduled maintenance from 2:00 AM - 6:00 AM EST on July 7, 2015, which may result in partial service disruption between these hours.  

North Art Gallery July 2015

Sharon Griffes Tarr’s solo exhibition of oil paintings at the East Lansing Public Library is appropriate as a library played an important role in her journey to becoming a professional artist and teacher.  “When I was very small, I visited the local library bookmobile that stopped in our neighborhood every week.  I would eagerly search out books with beautiful paintings in them to study.  Books, such as “Treasure Island”, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, and other popular illustrators of the time, were my favorite.”

Today, Sharon’s paintings reflect her deep and abiding love of nature and her respect for the commitment required to be an artist.  Working outdoors, en plein air, year round gives her a unique understanding of how light and the vagaries of weather visually affects the landscape.  It is not unusual for Sharon to spend a day painting at her outdoor easel in blistering heat or subzero weather to ensure that the feeling of the moment is captured in her paintings.

Sharon’s commitment to the fine arts is total.  She has painted and shown her work professionally for over 40 years and in that time has taught many hundreds of artists, across the country, the joy of painting.  She says “that to become an artist requires focused hard work and total commitment.  Not everyone is ready or capable of that kind of sacrifice in their life.”  Sharon has been fortunate to have family and many friends that have been emotionally supportive of her and her artistic journey.

Sharon Griffes Tarr currently teaches at Hannah Center in East Lansing and mentors more advanced students from her Williamston studio, as well as conducts painting workshops for art organizations across the state.  She may be contacted and her works viewed via her website:

Construction Projects Near the Library

Update - July 15, 2015

As part of the ongoing major street project on Abbot Road, there will be a full road closure between Saginaw Street and Whitehills Drive beginning next Monday, July 20.  The closure will include the Abbot-Whitehills intersection for the beginning part of the week to complete necessary repairs.

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.

Out of This World Books For the Rest of 2015

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!  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!