Pediatrician Jill Farrow’s idyllic life with her daughter, Megan and her fiance, Sam, is turned upside down when one of her ex-stepdaughters, Abby, arrives on the doorstep at midnight, drunk, soaked to the skin, and crying that her dad, William, Jill’s ex, has been murdered. Despite distaste for her ex and a three-year estrangement from her ex-stepdaughters, Jill is overcome with love and concern for Abby. Jill is propelled into a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase that risks her relationships with Megan and Sam and eventually threatens her life. Come Home is a satisfying thriller with a family story at its core.
The wonderful books of Maeve Binchy have come to an end with her death last July in Ireland. This last delightful book, A Week in Winter was finished just a few weeks prior to her becoming ill. Those of us who are her fans will miss her common sense and creative approach to life’s obstacles and trauma. Maeve has written about every kind of personality imaginable in her Irish tales. Her stories unite characters bringing support to each other and finding answers to difficulties. Whether it be divorce, unwanted pregnancy, lover’s who run off, death, senility, Maeve’s characters learn to journey on.
In her last novel we are experiencing the windswept coast of western Ireland where Chicky is turning an old estate into a bed and breakfast. She has returned to her home town after many years in New York hiding the fact that her love deserted her after convincing her to leave home. The following chapters each tell the story of a person who finds themselves at Stone House that first week.
Maeve was a journalist for the Irish Times for many years. When interviewed about her books she shared this bit of philosophy that was evident in her wonderful books, “I don’t think you’re happier if you’re thin or beautiful or rich or married. You have to make your own happiness,” Binchy told Australia’s Illawarra Mercury newspaper in 2000. “My heroines do not become beautiful elegant swans, they become confident ducks and get on with life.”
Adult Services Department Manager
Spring Technology Workshops at the Library
Are you an e-reader novice in need of basic help in using your device and downloading free e-books from Manhattan Public Library’s Sunflower e-library? Did you miss out on our earlier e-reader workshop series, or are you a previous attendee who’s now ready for a review and some reassurance? You’re in luck! Manhattan Pubic Library is happy to announce another set of free e-reader workshops featuring live demos and hands-on assistance from Library staff.
Working one-on-one with Library Technology Center staff and Adult Services librarians, you’ll be guided through the process of accessing e-books online and downloading them to your particular e-reader or device. These stand-alone workshops will be offered on three Tuesdays, March 12, March 26, and April 2, at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s Groesbeck Room. You may register to attend a workshop by stopping by or calling the Information Desk at 776-4741 Ext 173 or by clicking on the E-reader Workshop announcement on the library’s website at http://www.manhattan.lib.ks.us Workshop attendance will be limited, so register soon.
“But wait!” as they say on television, “That’s not all!” Through the rest of April and May the library will continue to host twice-monthly technology training sessions that will focus on how to use the online services, information resources, and searching tools offered through the MPL website and online catalog. We’re calling the series “Technology Tuesdays” and again, the programs will be designed to offer live presentations followed by hands-on assistance and guidance from library staff. The dates for these spring programs are April 16, May 7, and May 21, at 2:00 p.m., and they will be informal, walk-in opportunities that will welcome all comers and all technology issues.
At Technology Tuesdays, you will explore the value-added features of the library’s catalog, such as creating a wish list or setting up your reading history. You’ll learn advanced searching methods to help you navigate the library’s catalog to and find the best in books, videos, music, and more. You’ll place your own holds on library books and videos, fill out a request for an interlibrary loan, reserve a meeting room, or send a suggestion about materials you’d like the library to consider purchasing. All these and more can be done through the library’s website and catalog from wherever you access the Internet. In addition to the highlighted topic of the day, Technology Center staff and librarians will be available to talk with you individually about whatever electronic or online issues you may bring to us. We hope to make Tech Tuesdays a continuing series as we move into next fall, with topic possibilities such as genealogy searching, learning a foreign language, locating car repair information, and planning for your education and career, all possible through the library’s power-packed website.
If you prefer to learn individually, don’t forget that we continue to offer basic computer training by appointment, one-on-one with a librarian in the Adult Services Department. Most training sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, but we’ll be happy to make appointments to suit your schedule whenever possible. Training options include basic keyboarding, introduction to computers, searching the Internet, and setting up and using e-mail accounts, but we can also tailor the sessions to fit your needs and interests. As with all of our programs and services, these sessions are free. Call the Adult Services Department at 776-4741 Ext 173 to make an appointment.
And finally, training in basic computer use, help with specific computer projects to enrich your life, or assessment of your own need for adaptive computer technology are also available on a one-time or a standing appointment basis in the library’s Assistive Technology Center. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the options available to you in the ATC, call or email the center’s instructor, Wandean Rivers, at 776-4741 Ext 202 or email@example.com
I am a rather geeky mom and always looking for new ways to share my geekiness with my kid. So I picked up Geek Mom, a book based on the wired.com GeekMom blog, for safe, fun projects to do at home. I really enjoyed looking through this book. The projects are varied and for kids of all different ages from 3 on up to late teens. There are also a few projects just for mom (like the Renaissance style corset). There are a few ideas I particularly liked (like the “One Thousand Blank White Cards” game, the homemade lava lamp, and all the ideas related to food) but there were great ideas for a variety of interests.
Each project included in this book only has a few pages of explanation, so if you’re looking for more, you’ll have to use your internet searching skills for more complete instructions. You might try the website http://www.instructables.com/, recommended in the book.
We also have a few books specifically for geeky dads. Geek Dad : Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead and Handy Dad : 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids by Todd Davis. And wired.com also has a GeekDad blog.
If you are a world traveler or merely an armchair tourist, two new books published by Lonely Planet offer dazzling photos and vivid descriptions of fascinating trips and adventures. Great Adventures: Experience the World at its Breathtaking Best and Great Journeys:Travel the World’s Most Spectacular Routes both offer insights into planning travels to some of the most exotic places on earth. Great Journeys offers descriptions of 74 trips set in locations around the globe, from well-known travels down the Silk Road to less known trails such as the Hippy Trail across Asia. Besides spectacular photographs, each book contains maps and an “Essential Experiences” section that recommends activities that should not be missed. Great Adventures describes adventures of all kinds from around the world–from caving and exploring canyons to mountain climbing and rafting on the Amazon. Travel information, practical advice and spectacular photographs make these books ones to savor and delight in–check one out and dream about your next travel adventure.
by Karen Kingsbury
Every one believes that John and Abby Reynolds are and have always been madly in love. After 22 years of marriage, no one but John and Abby know the truth. The day they had decided to tell their children that they were filing for divorce, was the day their daughter announced her engagement. They couldn’t tell them now, not until after the wedding six months down the road. How could they keep up the farce for that long.
They have left there faith by the wayside and now their love for one another doesn’t exist. Abby believes John is having an affair, despite John’s insistence that he is not. John believes Abby is envolved with her editor, but Abby insists it isn’t true. Although, A Time to Dance is mainly about John and Abby, there are many other interesting characters involved with this story of life. I read this book from the Sunflower eLibrary, but it is available in hard copy too.
Why do the eastern states have more squiggly borders and the western have more straight borders? What does the Civil War have to do with the border of Nevada? If you’re a curious person at all, How the States Got Their Shapes is a fascinating look at our nation’s geography. Brian Unger travels throughout the U.S. talking to the locals and experts about borders, how they came to be and how they affect our lives now. Originally aired on the History Channel, this series will crack you up while you expand your knowledge.
This is probably one of those movies that you will either love or hate. Based on a French play, Carnage features Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, and takes place almost entirely in the living room of a New York City apartment. It details two couples’ attempts to reconcile an incident that occurred between their sons. As the four parents spend more time together, they regress to childlike behavior and grow increasingly frustrated with each other. Great for people watchers, this film allows you to see interpersonal conflict up close. You’ll see the bigger picture and laugh at the ridiculousness into which some situations digress.
Dr. Seuss advised everyone to “fill your house with stacks of books, in every cranny and every nook.” And lucky us, we can celebrate Dr. Seuss’s 109th birthday by filling bags with cheap books at the library’s annual book sale next weekend.
The book sale opens to members of the Manhattan Library Association (MLA), the library’s friends organization, on Friday, March 1, 5:30-7:30. An MLA membership is as little as $10 and can be purchased at the door if you want to be among the first to shop. Saturday, March 2, the book sale is open to the public from 10 to 4. Sunday is a catchall day with remaining books sold by the bag or box from 1-3:30.
“Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”
Bargains abound with thousands of books to browse. Some books are gently read donations from personal collections, and others are books withdrawn from the library’s shelves. Many donations are recently published books in excellent condition. Adult books fill the auditorium and the Groesbeck Meeting Room, arranged by genre, from historical romance to paranormal to self-help. Paperbacks are 75 cents or 2 for $1. Hardcover books are $1.50. Many popular young adult books are available this year, as well as children’s titles including picture books, nonfiction, chapter books and novels. Children’s books can be found on the 2nd floor across from the auditorium, and they are only 75 cents each. Look for DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and even some VHS and cassette tapes on sale in the Groesbeck room.
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
On Saturday, you can also bring a child to our 11:00 storytime or get something good to eat at the bake sale to support teen programs at the library. In the “Move & Groove” storytime for all ages, Ms. Jessica will be reading stories to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and leading some silly rhymes and songs. Children will get a Seuss craft to take home. Young adult librarian Keri Mills and several of our teen volunteers will have delicious goodies for sale from 10:00-2:00, including Seuss-themed cupcakes. Exchange your change for some home-baked goods to raise money for teen summer reading prizes.
Donations for the library’s book sales are always welcome, although the sorting has already begun for this year’s event. Amazing volunteers keep the donations organized year-round and stock our Rosie’s Corner Bookstore where we sell used books in the library all the time. In the coming week, volunteers leading our friends group will be working tirelessly to get items set up for the sale, along with some help from library staff and other volunteers from around town.
All proceeds from the Book Sale go to the friends group, which in turn funds many of the library’s guest speakers, special children’s programs, summer reading prizes, new books and media for our collection, and library furnishings and supplies.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Chris Honeysett, artist and private investigator from Bath, is tired of the cold, snowy weather of England. When offered the opportunity to investigate a missing woman in the sunny, Greek island of Corfu he borrows an old motorhome and starts driving south. Chris stays with an old friend from the past who lives on a remote part of Corfu where she struggles to make a living boarding tourists and giving painting lessons. Her warm welcome doesn’t compensate for the barren, austere, backward living arrangements. Soon Chris is feeling the hostility of the locals as he snoops around for the missing business woman. Strange things begin happening such as snakes appearing in bedrooms and turtles turned into walking incindiaries with lit candles on their backs. As Peter continues to investigate the danger increases and he wonders if he has taken on something he will regret. An Inch of Time is Peter Helton’s fourth Chris Honeycutt novel.
If you are looking for non-stop action and a riveting story line, try The Survivor by Greg Hurwitz. In this fast-paced novel, we meet Nate Overbay–an Iraq war veteran, distanced from his wife and daughter, suffering from PTSD and newly diagnosed with ALS. Seeing no reason to continue living, Nate goes to the ledge of a building to step off to his death (thoughtfully arranging to land in a dumpster so that no one is forced to clean up his remains) when, through a window behind him, he hears gunshots being fired. He sees masked robbers shooting customers and bank employees and when the criminals have their backs to him, he sneaks through the window and becomes a hero, killing 5 of the gunmen as a 6th man escapes. The media hails his heroic actions but Nate is concerned about a comment that the 6th man said to him as he ran out–that Nate would be made to “suffer in ways he never imagined” for his interference. Nate and his family are then hunted by a Ukrainian mobster, whose henchmen have no qualms about committing horrific crimes and killing in cold blood to get to Nate. The plot twists and the action keep the reader glued to the pages–this is a wonderfully written thriller. The character development make this more than just an action-packed story–characters are well-developed and the relationships between Nate, his wife and daughter are believable and touching. Nate has everything to lose and is faced with difficult choices in order to save the lives of his family. Poignant, funny at times, suspenseful and terrifying, this is a thriller you won’t want to put down.
by Lori Copeland
Rebecca just knew Jesse Montgomery would join the Amish life in Apple Grove, Kansas, if she could just find him. When she hears of his whereabouts, she decides to take off to Lawrence, Kansas to find him. Leaving home at age 17 by herself probably wasn’t the smartest thing she ever did, but finding Jesse was worth any trouble she might face.
Little did she realize that trouble would be time in a jail cell for disturbing the peace. The women, all of whom are marching for temperance, help Rebecca. But her ninety day sentence may just get the best of Sheriff Colin Maddox. Colin only has a few more weeks before the new sheriff arrives and he is free to pursue his calling of becoming a minister. But with a woman in his jail cell and wanted men being sighted in town, that few weeks seems like an eternity. I actually read A Plain and Simple Heart from Sunflower eLibrary on my tablet, but it is available in hard copy. Highly recommended to those that enjoy this genre!
African American literature has a long history, tracing its roots to 18th-century writers such as Phillis Wheatley. In addition to being the first African American to publish a book (“Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral,” 1773), Wheatley was the first person of African descent to achieve an international reputation as a writer. Continuing into the present day, literature by African Americans, often the descendants of slaves, has survived through diversity.
The flowering of the genre occurred between 1920 and 1940 during the Harlem Renaissance. Writers created novels, plays, and poetry that have stood the test of time. Works by African American visual artists and musicians also flourished as part of the Renaissance.
“The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes” is the ultimate book for those interested in one of the better known writers of the Harlem Renaissance. This weighty volume includes 868 poems written over five decades and is the definitive sampling of a writer called the poet laureate of African America. Hughes’ poetry and fiction portrayed the lives of working-class blacks in America and stressed a racial consciousness and cultural nationalism. Hughes championed racial consciousness as a source of artistic inspiration.
Scholars consider “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston a seminal work in African American literature, as well as women’s literature. In the novel, Janie Crawford recounts the story of her life and journey to her best friend Pheoby. Janie’s story revolves around her three marriages to three very different men: an older farmer looking for a domestic servant, an enterprising entrepreneur who treats her as a trophy wife, and a drifter and gambler who finally gives her the love she desires. Hurston’s writings were forgotten during the post-World War II period and rediscovered during the surge of Black Studies programs at universities during the 1970s and 1980s, thanks in part to the author Alice Walker.
“My Soul’s High Song” is the collected writings of Countee Cullen, American poet, and a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance. The collection includes poems and essays, his only novel “One Way to Heaven,” and his translation of the Greek tragedy, “Medea.” Cullen’s first collection of poetry, “Color,” published in 1925, celebrated black beauty and decried the effects of racism. It remains a landmark of the Harlem Renaissance.
Arna Bontemps, a poet in his own right, edited “American Negro Poetry,” a popular and highly respected collection of poems by more than sixty African American poets in its revised edition. Included were Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, as well as more contemporary writers such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. Bontemps selected poems that reflected the spontaneity, folklore, and religious sensibilities of African Americans.
Steven Watson’s “The Harlem Renaissance” documents one of the most dynamic movements in twentieth century African American history. The author chronicles the brilliant writings of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, and Jean Toomer, among others. He also portrays the world that supported this literary and artistic renaissance.
“The Power of Pride” by Carole Marks and Diana Edkins is a visually appealing book full of photographs, letters, and drawings capturing the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance. Among the short profiles of style-makers and rule-breakers of the time are biographies of authors Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, and Dorothy West. Other entries include entertainers such as Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Bessie Smith.
Cary Wintz has edited a living history of the Harlem Renaissance in “Harlem Speaks.” This book showcases the artists, writers, and intellectuals behind the outburst of African American culture in the decades after World War I. In a series of biographical essays, experts in the field examine the careers and contributions of individuals including Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ethel Waters, and Eubie Blake. The book also includes a CD of sound recordings of many of the people profiled.
Celebrate African American History Month by sampling these and other titles available at the Manhattan Public Library.
Mortality is sure to make you laugh and may make you cry. After being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Hitchens begins to keep notes and write about his experiences. Not written for any particular audience, this book touches on religion, aspects of being an author, and living with and treating cancer. Fans will appreciate this straightforward discussion of issues involved when facing the end of life. Those who haven’t before read Hitchens’s writing may see why he’s amassed such a great following. At just over 100 pages, this is a very quick and thought provoking read.
Delightful, charming and unique, 12-year old detective Flavia de Luce makes her fifth appearance in Speaking from Among the Bones, the latest novel by Alan Bradley. Flavia uses her intelligence to solve crimes as an amateur detective as well as in her chemistry lab, creating potions and poisons. On the 500th anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, her small village of Bishop’s Lacey is preparing to open the tomb of the saint, leaving Flavia excited to take a look into the crypt. Rather than finding the remains of the saint, Flavia discovers the corpse of the church organist. She naturally inserts herself into the investigation of the murder and along with the help of her trusty bicycle Gladys, she follows clues from the murder. At the same time, Flavia must adjust to changes in her family situation and in her home. We learn more about the her sisters, her father and Dogger, Flavia’s trusted friend at Buckshaw.The books in this series are filled with quirky, interesting characters and with lots of witty dialog. This outstanding series begins with the title The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. If you are not acquainted with Flavia de Luce and her world, start at the beginning and read the series in order–you will be charmed and delighted by this amazing young detective!