An Alphabet of Maine Titles

A friend and I were talking the other day, and we wondered if it would be possible to create an alphabetical list of books containing Maine places.

My list isn’t quite alphabetical, though the Maine places ARE in alphabetical order.  As you will notice, I did use poetic license with two letters – X and Z.  Please leave a comment if you have ideas for these two special letters!

Summers at Castle AUBURN

The BLUE HILL meadows

CHELSEA Chelsea bang bang

DALLAS Buyers Club

EMBDEN town of yore

FRIENDSHIP makes the heart grow fonder

The GRAY man

HOPE and tears

History of ISLESBOROUGH, Maine

Thomas JEFFERSON builds a library

KENNEBEC gumbo

LIBERTY or death

MOUNT VERNON love story

NORTH HAVEN

The OLD TOWN Canoe Company

Mr. Goodhue remembers PORTLAND

The daring Miss QUIMBY

RANDOLPH Caldecott

SAINT GEORGE and the dragon

TURNER & Hooch

The UNION quilters

Hollywood comes to VINALHAVEN

The three Weissmanns of WESTPORT

Elijah of BuXton

New YORK to Dallas

History of Cape EliZabeth, Maine

New Items In The Library!

FICTION:

The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester.  This re-creates World War II life and the enclosed world of code-breaking and plays out the suspense in a Hitchcock homage almost worthy of the master.

Before we were yours by Lisa Wingate.  A South Carolina lawyer, researching her grandmother’s past, learns about a Tennessee orphanage that kidnapped children and placed them for adoption with wealthy people.

The blinds by Adam Sternbergh.  A tense, broiling, 21st century Western with a crafty premise and a high body count.

Brave deeds by David Abrams.  Spanning 8 hours, this follows a squad of 6 AWOL soldiers as they attempt to cross war-torn Baghdad on foot to attend the funeral of their leader.

The Captain’s Daughter by Meg Moore.  A gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age old question of what could have been.

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor.  A woman inherits a bookstore and discovers her family’s connection to a famous set of photographs.

Deadfall by Linda Fairstein.  The Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper becomes a suspect.

Down a dark road by Linda Castillo.  Kate Burkholder, an Amish-born (but excommunicated) chief of police, believes that an old friend accused of his wife’s murder may be innocent.

The duchess by Danielle Steel.  A 19th century British duke’s daughter, disinherited by her half-brothers, flees to Paris to make a new life.

Exposed by Lisa Scottoline.  Rosato & DiNunzio, Philadelphia’s most drama-ridden law firm, faces perhaps its most dramatic episode ever when it’s threatened both inside and out.

The followers by Rebecca Wait.  A struggling single mother falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader, but her rebellious 12 year old daughter isn’t quite so gullible.

A game of ghosts by John Connolly.  The games begin anew as retired police detective Charlie Parker, along with sidekicks Angel and Louis, bring their special brand of cynicism and expertise to this paranormal thriller.

Gather the daughters by Jennie Melamed.  A haunting novel about a cult on an isolated island where nothing is as it seems.

Grace by Paul Lynch.  A sweeping, Dickensian story of a young girl on a life-changing journey across 19th century Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine.

The grip of it by Jac Jemc.  A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home.

The half-drowned king by Linnea Hartsuyker.  Steeped in legend and myth, this is a swashbuckling epic of family, love, and betrayal that reimagines the Norse sagas.

House of spies by Daniel Silva.  Gabriel Allon, the Israeli art restorer and spy and now head of Israel’s secret intelligence service, pursues an ISIS mastermind.

I know a secret by Tess Gerritsen.  Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles pursue a shadowy psychopath keeping secrets and taking lives.

A kind of freedom by Margaret Sexton.  An urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

The last laugh by Lynn Freed.  A hilarious novel about the riotous, passion-filled adventures of three women who THOUGHT they were past their prime.

The late show by Michael Connelly.  This introduces Rene Ballard, a fierce young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD’s toughest beat.

Less by Andrew Greer.  You are a failed novelist and about to turn 50.  A wedding invitation arrives: your boyfriend of the past 9 years is engaged to someone else.  You can’t say yes – it would be too awkward – and you can’t say no – it would look like defeat.  On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.  How do you arrange to skip town?  You accept them all.

The lightkeeper’s daughters by Jean Pendziwol.  A decades-old mystery is revisited as an elderly woman shares the story of her childhood with a troubled teen.  A haunting tale of nostalgia and lost chances that is full of last-minute surprises.

The locals by Jonathan Dee.  Here are the dramas of the 21st century America – rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism – played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels – the small town.

The lying game by Ruth Ware.  This introduces 4 women who have been carrying a terrible secret since their boarding school days, a secret that is about to be literally unearthed.

The mapmaker’s daughter by Katherine Hughes.  A fascinating evocation of the major players of the Ottoman renaissance. A captured Venetian encounters a strange blend of civilization and barbarism as she attains the highest rank possible for a woman in the Ottoman Empire.

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta.  A mother and son experience existential tizzies following his departure for college.

Secrets of the tulip sisters by Susan Mallery.  Sisters reconnect when one returns to their tulip-centered hometown.

See what I have done by Sarah Schmidt.  This recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time (Lizzie Borden) into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

Seven stones to stand or fall by Diana Gabaldon.  A collection of short fiction – including two never-before-published novellas – featuring Jamie Fraser, Lord John Grey, Mastery Raymond, and others, all extending the story of Outlander in thrilling new directions.

Sun at midnight by Rosie Thomas.  Love and adventure in this epic story set against the stunning backdrop of Antarctica.

Tom Clancy Point of Contact by Mike Maden.  With typhoons, deadly Chinese and North Korean operatives wielding bats, knives, and guns, and a weaponized thumb drive – the action reaches Clancy level early and stays there.

Use of force by Brad Thor.  The counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is called in when a missing terrorism suspect drowns off the Italian coast.

We shall not all sleep by Estep Nagy.  Set on a small Maine island, this is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation – a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.

NEW MUSIC CDs:

Evolve by Imagine Dragons

Come From Away (original Broadway cast recording)

Melodrama by Lorde

Fake Sugar by Beth Ditto

Dear Evan Hansen (original Broadway cast recording)

Divide by Ed Sheeran

NEW DVDs:

The Lost City of Z (2017) starring Charlie Hunnam

Only angels have wings (1939) starring Cary Grant and Jean Arthur

Broadcast News (1987)  starring Holly Hunter and William Hurt

Westworld (1973) starring Yul Brynner and Richard Benjamin

NONFICTION:

The Cooperstown casebook by Jay Jaffe.  Who’s in the baseball hall of fame, who should be in, and who should pack their plaques and go away.

Deaf daughter by Carol Lee Adams.  This memoir reveals what it’s like to be born able to hear, only to be deaf by age 19.

Drawing calm by Susan Evenson.  Relax, refresh, refocus with drawing, painting and collage workshops.

The history of top 40 singles: 1970-1989 by Frank Deangelis.  Once you learn the histories of these hits, you’ll never hear them the same way again.

Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden.  A stirring history of the 1968 battle that definitively turned the Vietnam War into an American defeat.

Magnetic City by Justin Davidson.  From “New York” magazine’s architecture critic, a walking and reading guide to New York City.

Modern ethics in 77 arguments by Peter Catapano.  Guns, race, and human rights are among the varied ethical issues tackled in this wide-ranging collection.

Notes on a foreign country by Suzy Hansen.  Blending memoir, journalism, and history, this is a moving reflection on America’s place in the world today.  It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation – a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.

Scotland: the best 100 places by Peter Irvine.  Extraordinary places to walk, eat, and sleep divided by the themes of reflective, magnificent, and human – all backed up by wonderful photos.

Sons and soldiers by Bruce Henderson.  The untold story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and returned with the US Army to fight Hitler.

Step Parenting by Randall Hicks.  50 one-minute dos and don’ts for stepdads and stepmoms.

The totally unscientific study of the search for human happiness by Paula Poundstone.  This chronicles her amusing and surprisingly personal search for the key to happiness.  A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor and one that delivers more than it promises.

Wild things by Bruce Handy.  It’s a profound, eye-opening experience to re-encounter books that you once treasured after decades apart.  A clear-eyed love letter to the greatest children’s books and authors.

Would everybody please stop?  by Jenny Allen.  An Erma Bombeck for the new age with reflections on life and other bad ideas.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review

 

What Should I Read Next?

What do you do when you have discovered a new (or new-to-you) author, and you want another book that is just like the one you finished?

You’ve read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on by ______ (fill in the blank) and want to read something JUST like (s)he writes.

Fascination with puppy dog tales – yes, I noticed the pun as well – has you craving more animal stories.

What do you do?  Yes, your local librarian is a wonderful help, but when you finish the book at midnight, and really, ReAlLy, REALLY need a new author SOON, please don’t call us! At least, not a midnight!

A fantastic website for you to find that new author, or subject area, or whatever piece of the title you just finished that sends you searching is part of the MARVEL database.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, this amazing resource is provided to all libraries in Maine, and with your current library card you will discover some great new authors and books.

Once you or I access the MARVEL database, which can be accessed through the library website, we need to scroll down, and click on the NOVELIST database.  There are two choices for Novelist – NoveList K-8 Plus and NoveList Plus.  As you might assume, one is geared more to the juvenile, but they both work the same way.

Okay, I’m here.  I type James Patterson in the search bar near the top of the page.  I’m doing a “Basic Search” at this point.  My results show me several things.  On the left side of the page there are several ways to “Refine Results”.  The majority of the page seems to be taken up by several tabs.  These tabs include Books ; Audiobooks ; Series ; Authors and Lists & Articles.

Since the Books tab is the first one (and open), I’ll see what it has to say.

My results include 389 citations.  I know Patterson is prolific, but 389???  Anyway, back to NoveList I go.  As I scroll down the first page, I see books by Patterson, books about Patterson, compilations that include Patterson, and books that he co-authored.  Many choices, but since I have read ALL of his stuff and am looking for something new, I click on the next tab.

Audiobooks appears to be exactly that – James Patterson books that have been recorded for our listening pleasure.  I do notice that the narrator of each audiobook is listed, and as a listener, there are some readers that I particularly enjoy listening to, as well as some that I would rather not hear again.  As I scroll down the first page, I realize that some of the titles are listed more than once and see that perhaps there is a choice of Abridged vs. Unabridged.  All in all, an interesting “tab” to look at.

The next tab is Series.  This one shows me the 22 series that Mr. Patterson writes.

The Authors tab lists six authors who in some way have been associated with James Patterson.  A couple of these authors appear to have written about him, or have co-authored works with him, or simply have the same name.

The last tab is Lists & Articles.  This is exactly what it claims – Lists and Articles about James Patterson.  A great resource for anyone interested in who Mr. Patterson is.

As I explored each of these tabs I noticed several things they had in common.  Below each citation there is a bit of information, as well as a few links.  I see a five-star popularity scale, whether the title is written for Adults, Teens or younger and the Read-alikes.  This is the piece I’m interested in right now.

I click on the Title Read-alikes link for one of the titles on this page.  If there were a specific title I LOVED this would be the time to choose it.  I am taken to a page with several new titles.  There is a “Reason” given for each of the titles on this page.

This process works the same way when I click on Author Read-alikes.  I am taken to a page with several – nine seem to be the maximum number – new authors that might be of interest.

Back to the original “James Patterson” search page I go.  This time I click on the book title itself, and am taken to a page with a description of the book, the genre and tone.  Also on this page, the far right column shows me Read-alikes.  I see the book covers, author and a link to this new title.  I know, I know, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover”, but … .

I can also search for those “puppy tales” I’m interested in.  The search bar is near the top of each of the NoveList pages, so I type in puppy tales.

Yup, this works as well!  I’m taken to pages that include more than 600 “puppy tales”.

Now, I’ve jumped around this great resource, my clock tells me it’s 2:00a.m., I didn’t disturb my local librarian, I’ve found some new reading ideas, and requested them to be picked up at the library.  This looks like several ticks in the WIN column to me!

Narrow Gauge Cinema

The Kennebec Journal announced on July 7th that the Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington was opening a new drive-in theater in the lot behind the cinema.  It brought back all the memories of childhood that involved my parents loading the 4 kids and the dog into the station wagon with bags of popcorn to go to a drive-in theater.  The one we visited had a playground in front of the huge screen that the kids would all play on until dusk arrived and the first movie started.  We always tried to stay awake through intermission to see the second movie since that one was always a little “racier” as smaller children would have fallen asleep by the time it started.  Remember the speaker that was mounted on a pole which you would hang on your car window so you could clearly hear what was happening on the movie screen?  Cars were larger then and a family of 6 with a dog could easily enjoy a double feature at a drive-in without feeling totally cramped and on top of each other.  Below is a web site from the Smithsonian magazine that will help you remember the glory days of the drive-in.  And if you have never had the experience, then it will give you a sense of what you have missed.  Is the experience worth a trip to Farmington to see a double feature under the stars?  It just might be.

 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-history-of-the-drive-in-movie-theater-51331221/

 

Scott Handville, Assistant Library Director

Summer ’17 Children’s Books

Hattie & Hudson by Chris Van Dusen

This eloquent, evocative book about compassion is perfect for sparking discussions on      prejudice. A sensational choice for a seasonal storytime. (School Library Journal)

Be Quiet by Ryan Higgins

This hilarious and fun read-aloud will be a hit at any story time. Kids will be laughing out loud. (School Library Journal)

Little Pig Saves the Ship by David Hyde Costello

The story will be a familiar one to any young reader who feels too small to join in with older siblings or peers, and offers an empowering message of learning to overcome one’s small stature. (School Library Journal)

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Drywalt

Laugh-out-loud funny and outrageous at times, this read-aloud will have listeners jumping out of their seats. This is the sort of story that makes children love to read.

The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler

Twelve-year-old Nell Perkins lives in the small town of Mist Falls with her mother, Rose, and her brothers, George and Speedy. A dark cloud filled with evil witches sucks Rose up, and Nell and her brother’s team up with local resident Duke Badger following the cloud into the Dreamlands, the wondrous and horrific realm of all dreams. (School Library Journal)

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff

It’s kids vs. parents in epic fashion, and Graff’s not-quite-fantasy world is every kid’s dream. All of the frustrations young people feel with their parents during a divorce are hilariously hyperbolized in a way that will make children feel vindicated and less alone. The epistolary format allows readers to get to know all of the characters through creative footnotes, sticky notes, newspaper articles, emails, and tiny drawings. Graff’s whimsical, original work is a breath of fresh air.  (School Library Journal)

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi

Wakening to a terrible storm, 12-year-old Oliver Cromwell Pitts finds his English seaside house flooded and his lawyer father gone off to London, leaving the child bereft, penniless, and facing the unsavory possibility of being remanded to the children’s poorhouse. Alas, that is exactly what happens. Happily, circumstances and quick wits allow him to flee the dreadful place, but, his life now in danger, he must escape to London. But how? Because of  his flight and the  fact that he has, er, borrowed some money, he’s wanted by the  authorities and must travel secretly, and the  road to the  capital is long and fraught with danger—there will be no relying on the kindness of  strangers. Will he find his way to London? This story is filled with suspense, surprises, and ultimately satisfaction. (School Library Journal)

Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy by Ann Ingalls

When Lillie and her aunt finally get to the World’s Fair, they take in all the sights, including a dazzling array of newfangled gadgets, and when they finally get to John and William’s kiosk, Lillie gets to make a batch of fairy floss herself. Ingalls’ story , centered on the  modernization of cotton candy , is well matched by Blanco’s colorful, whimsical, full-page 1904 World’s Fair scenes, which pack in plenty of  period detail, including clothing, transportation, and images of the  historic exhibits. Have cotton candy ready as a follow-up to this dip into the history of a well-loved amusement-park treat. (Booklist)

Ginni Nichols, Children’s Librarian

New Books in the Library!

FICTION:

The adventures of John Carson in several quarters of the world by Brian Doyle.  A young Robert Louis Stevenson is regaled by his landlord of tales of high adventure.

All grown up by Jami Attenberg.  A wickedly funny novel about a 39 year old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.

The arrangement by Sarah Dunn.  This is about a couple that agrees to have an open marriage, for a limited time only and while adhering to certain rules, is a polished, amusing, and highly entertaining take on modern relationships, parenthood, and suburbia.

The coming by David Osborne.  An historical novel beginning with the Lewis & Clark expedition and ending with the decimation of the Nez Perce tribe.  An epic and sure to be a hit with readers interested in the American western expansion.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  Lovers in a city overwhelmed with violence hear about mysterious doors that will carry them into an alien and uncertain future.

Fast and loose by Stuart Woods.  Stone Barrington is enjoying a boating excursion off the Maine coast when a chance encounter leaves him somewhat the worse for wear.

Good time coming by C.S. Harris.  A powerful story of war’s destruction of property, people, hopes, and morals during the Civil War in Louisiana.  Top-notchy historical fiction reveals the Civil War in all its brutality.

The hearts of men by Nickolas Butler.  An epic novel of intertwining friendships and families set in the north woods of Wisconsin at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp.

The Hollywood daughter by Kate Alcott.  A Hollywood coming-of-age novel in which Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini forces her biggest fan to reconsider everything she was raised to believe.

The lost order by Steve Berry.  In the 12th Cotton Malone thriller, the former Justice Department operative pursues current and historical conspiracies.

Marlena by Julie Buntin.  A novel about love, addiction, and loss: the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life and define the other’s for decades.

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey.  This reimagines the back story of Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a tale of star-crossed lovers.

Never let you go by Chevy Stevens.  Eleven years ago Lindsay escaped with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship when her husband was jailed for a hit and run.  Now he is out of prison, and she is sure he will track her down.

Red sister by Mark Lawrence.  This begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secret order of holy warriors.

The stars are fire by Anita Shreve.  This is a suspenseful novel about an extra-ordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event and its devastating aftermath – based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine’s history.

Ties by Domenico Starnone.  Four years after leaving his wife and children, Aldo returns to them ready to rebuild.  A slim, studding meditation on marriage, fidelity, honesty, and truth.

The wages of sin by Kaite Welsh.  A tale of murder, subversion and vice in which a female medical student in Victorian Edinburgh is drawn into a murder investigation when she recognizes one of the corpses in her anatomy lecture.

Waking gods by Sylvain Neuvel.  Pure, unadulterated literary escapism featuring giant killer robots and the looming end of humankind.  In a word, unputdownable.

The wanderers by Meg Howrey. Three astronauts and their families must endure the effects of a pioneering deep-space mission.

The widow’s house by Carol Goodman.  Blends the gothic allure of Daphne DuMaurier and the crazed undertones of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – this is a harrowing tale of psychological suspense set in New York’s Hudson Valley.

The young wives club by Julie Pennell.  Finding your one true love happens sometime around high school in Toulouse, Louisiana.  If you are lucky, he might be the man you thought he was.  But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side.

NEW DVDs:

A man called Ove (2016) starring Rolf Lassgard

Hell or high water (2016) starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine

The legend of Tarzan (2016) starring Alexander Skarsgard and Samuel Jackson

Roots (2016) starring Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin

Reversal of fortune (1990) starring Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close

NONFICTION:

An American sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal.  At a moment of drastic political upheaval, here is a shocking investigation into the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, as well as solutions to its myriad of problems.

Dodge City by Tom Clavin.  This history of the “wickedest town in the West”, full of colorful characters, focuses on Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

Enduring Vietnam by James Wright.  The Vietnam War remains the all-encompassing event of the baby boomer generation the author claims in this poignant account of those who fought and died there.  This is an important investigation of the war and its effects on an entire generation.

The face of water by Sarah Ruden.  The author elegantly celebrates and translates the bible’s original languages and looks at how passages have been misunderstood over the centuries.

Fallen glory by James Crawford.  This searching survey of some of humankind’s greatest architectural accomplishments looks at the lives and deaths of history’s greatest buildings.

The 40 year old vegan by Sandra Sellini. 75 recipes to make you leaner, cleaner, and greener in the second half of life.

How not to hate your husband after kids by Jancee Dunn.  A hilariously candid account of one woman’s quest to bring her post-baby marriage back from the brink, with life-changing, real-world advice.

March 1917 by Wil Englund.  A riveting history of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations as Russia faced revolution and America entered World War I.

My Jewish year by Abigail Pogrebin.  This travels through the calendar’s signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of info, capturing the art of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relatable wandering – and wondering – Jew.

My master recipes by Patricia Wells.  165 recipes to inspire confidence in the kitchen – the perfect successor to Julia Child’s classic The Way to Cook.

Never caught by Erica Dunbar.  George Washington had a relentless pursuit – of his runaway slave, Ona Judge.

Strangers tend to tell me things by Amy Dickinson.  America’s most popular advice columnist, “Ask Amy”, shares her journey of family, second chances, and finding love.

2Brides 2Be by Laura Abby.  In response to the dearth of guides on same sex weddings, Abby draws from her own experience and that of wedding planners to create a handbook to help women achieve the wedding of their dreams.

Walking to listen by Andrew Forsthoefel.  A memoir of one young man’s coming of age on a cross-country trek – told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.

Spring Reads!

While you’re waiting for WARM weather to arrive, hang out with these!

Paris Spring by James Naughtie

This novel takes place in Paris, in April of 1968. The cafes are alive with talk of revolution, but for a Scottish-American spy working in the British Embassy–the crisis is personal. A few words from a stranger on the Metro change his life.

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Another great novel by Mary Kay Andrews! A woman truly believes she is over her ex-husband, so she has no problem attending his wedding. But when fate intervenes, she begins to wonder if she’s been given a second chance.

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

New York Times bestselling author LISA KLEYPAS delivers the unforgettable tale of a strong-willed beauty who encounters her match in London.

The Coming by David Osborne

A novel of native-white relations in North America, intimately told through the life of Daytime Smoke–the real-life red-haired son of William Clark and a Nez Perce woman.

National Library Week

In honor of National Library Week – April 9 – 15, 2017 – how about a few titles containing the words library, book or read!

N      Ninja Librarians
I       Inside The Books
A      AD/HD book
L       Lord Of The Libraries
R       Raising Readers
E       Elephant Book
K       Killer Librarian
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Oscar Oddities

 With the Oscars this weekend, it’s fun to look back at some of the odd and interesting facts you may not have known about the big event:

  • Tom Hank’s acceptance speech for his role in Philadelphia became the basis of the film In & Out.
  • Oscar winners sign a contract stipulating they cannot sell their Oscar without first offering it back to the Academy for the sum of $1.
  • One of the requirements to be nominated for an Oscar is that the movie has to be screened in an LA theater for at least 7 days.
  • 3 people have turned down their Oscars, including George C. Scott, who called the awards show a “meat parade” in 1971 and Marlon Brando in 1972.
  • Woody Allen refuses to attend or present at the Oscars, despite winning three awards.  His one appearance was in 2002 when he presented a short about New York City following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • Maggie Smith won an Oscar for portraying an actress who lost an Oscar in California Suite, making it the only film revolving around the Oscars to win one.
  • The only film to show an Oscar in a scene while also winning Best Picture is The Godfather.
  • Alfred Hitchcock and William Holden share the record for shortest acceptance speech.  They simply said “Thank you.”
  • Sealed envelopes became customary in 1941, a year after the LA Times broke the press embargo and printed the names of all of the winners before the ceremony.
  • John C. Reilly is the only modern actor to star in three films in the same year that were later nominated for Best Picture: Chicago, The Hours, and Gangs of New York in 2002.
These Oscar oddities are from the web site:

10 Books That Stayed With Me (That Maybe You Haven’t Read)

Recently I noticed a social media post making the rounds in which you are supposed to list ten books that have stayed with you in some way.  The goal is not to overthink it, but simply take a few minutes and answer.  They don’t have to be great books or the “right” books, just books that have stayed with you, impacting you in some way.  So, in no particular order, here are ten books that have stayed with me:

1.     Nine Stories~ JD Salinger:  A collection of stories that is sometimes disturbing, but always full of melancholy.  My favorites are “For Esme–With Love and Squalor”, “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes”, and “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period”.
2.    Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret~ Judy Blume:  This emotionally intense and angst-filled novel has a storyline that is issue-oriented and character-driven.  It grabbed my attention in the 4th grade, and has stuck with me ever since!
3.    Big Russ & Me~ Tim Russert:  This biography is truly heartwarming and quite candid.  The beloved television journalist writes about the relationship between him and his father and offers valuable lessons in life.
4.    The Catcher in the Rye~ J.D. Salinger:  If I was stranded on an island and could only take one book, this is the one I would take! Salinger’s classic coming-of-age story is darkly humorous, reflective, and moving.
5.    The Body in the Library~ Agatha Christie:  This is the first Agatha Christie book I ever read, and it had me at the title!  Christie’s writing style is engaging and the storyline is intricately plotted in this Miss Marple case.
6.    Ethan Frome~ Edith Wharton: Admittedly, the tone is quite bleak and melancholic, but Wharton’s writing style is so descriptive and lyrical that I was sucked in on the first page and never put it down until I finished.  I shan’t spoil the story for you!
7.    On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft~ Stephen King:  A practical view of the writer’s craft, King‘s advice is grounded in memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer.  The style is conversational, and the tone is reflective and darkly humorous.
8.    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd~ Agatha Christie:  Not your conventional Agatha Christie story!  It is one of her best known and most controversial novels, with an innovative twist ending, and is considered her masterpiece.
9.    The Notebook~ Nicholas Sparks:  This was Nicholas Sparks’ first published novel, and I think it’s his best work.  The poignant love story was inspired by his wife’s grandparents and is told through scenes from the past and a collection of intensely personal letters.
10.  Wrecked~ Maria Padian:  I just read this YA novel recently.  It’s a multi-faceted interpretation of a sexual assault on a college campus that will leave you thinking how memory and identity, what’s at stake, and who sits in judgment, all shape what we believe.
It’s always nice to see people celebrating books, but my favorite part of book lists is learning about books that I haven’t heard of before or that I haven’t read yet. So with that in mind, what books have stayed with you?