Tag Archives: Warner Library

Look What’s New in the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of new books added to the library collection.

(2014-07-12 001)Title: The Ice-Cream Shop Detective

Author: Ronnie Levine

Publication Information: [No place given]: New Views Press, c2014

ISBN: 0692204482 (i.e. 978-0692204481)

Library of Congress Classification: PS3562.E8474

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Franklin, Lissa (Fictitious character)—Fiction
Artists–New York (State)–Tarrytown—Fiction
Criminal investigation–New York (State)–Tarrytown—Fiction
Ice-cream parlors–New York (State)–Tarrytown—Fiction
Detectives–New York (State)–Tarrytown—Fiction
Love–Fiction

Ronnie Levine is a name I know. She’s a local artist who has had at least one installation at the Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown. She has done paintings of downtown Tarrytown that are quite striking. Main Street Sweets, the family-owned ice-cream shop upon which Bellini’s is based, was in one of the paintings. That painting contained the buildings around the shop, and the sky was a breathtaking blue. I remember how beautiful I thought that blue was.

Lissa Franklin is also a local artist who enjoys the old masters, particularly the French Impressionists. She painted a mural in Bellini’s, and then is asked to add to it. (Main Street Sweets also has a mural which I believe Levine also painted.) Bellini’s is owned by Detective Nick Bellini, whose family owns the shop. (Detective Sargent Eugene Buonanno of the Tarrytown Police Department’s family owns Main Street Sweets.) The book begins with the Lissa discovering the body of an acquaintance who she knew from the local artists’ association. The book then backtracks to bring us up to date, and then continues on until the murders are resolved.

Lissa’s opinion of contemporary art was fascinating and informative. She not only doesn’t like it, she explains the idea behind it: expressing ideas or feelings in physical form. This form can be anything but what the French Impressionists and other artists from the past did, namely painted what they saw around them. I have no real interest in modern art, and this explanation came as a revelation.

The idea fits nicely into the story, as Lissa ends up being enlisted by Nick to help the Tarrytown Police crack a case that deals not only with murder but also with art forgeries, particularly those of Monet. Lissa loves Monet’s art, and has studied him and the other French Impressionists. As a result, she is able to tell by looking at a painting whether or not it is a forgery. In one dialog with an art critic, she discusses the idea behind modern art which, paradoxically, she points out that art forgeries should be considered contemporary, since the entire idea behind them is to mimic and copy something. With a laugh, he agrees. This would theoretically turn forgeries into acceptable modern art.

Lissa’s just had a past relationship that we learn little about, except she had been in it for several years and left after realizing that the man was no good. Nick’s ex-wife materializes after having run away to Europe to work with a world famous doctor that she met where she worked. We find all this out from Nick’s sister, who goes on to tell Lissa that Nick’s ex quickly became dissatisfied with her life and walked out on Nick, but not before having an abortion and not telling her husband beforehand that she was pregnant. The ex and Nick’s sister had been friends since childhood. She came back because she realized her mistake and wanted Nick.

And that’s it. We never see the ex again in the entire book. Occasionally she’s referred to; as far as we (and Lissa) can tell, Nick does not learn about the abortion. Whether or not the ex even talked to him is never revealed. However, Lissa’s attraction to Nick is not only evident, but his evident attraction to her ends with their pillow talk in the last scene of the book. No big surprise.

There were an awful lot of typos, too. I normally don’t pay much attention to typos, unless there are many, and this book has misspellings as well as words repeated or the wrong word used.

This is a first novel. However it is not evident if this is going to be a one-shot novel or if it is the first in a series.

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Look What’s New in the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of what new books the library bought.

Rakoff-Love Dishonor Marry Die Cherish Perish (2014-01-12 003)Title: Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: a Novel

Author: David Rakoff [illustrations by Seth]

Publication Information: New York: Doubleday, c2013 (1st ed.)

ISBN: 978-0-385-53521-2

Library of Congress Classification: PS3618.A436

Dewey Decimal Classification: 813.6

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Men—United States—Social conditions—20th century—Fiction
Women—Social conditions—20th century—Fiction
Gay men—Social conditions—20th century—Fiction
Man-woman relationships—United States—Fiction
Sexually abused children—United States—Fiction

This is a very cleverly-written series of short stories. Two of the chapters were originally broadcast on NPR’s This American Life. And that’s what these stories are about: living in America, an  America from the past, the late 1930s through the 1960s. The stories are written in verse, and I’ve always found it interesting to see how authors rhyme the sentences. I remember in eighth grade, Sister Camilla Mary making the class write one poem, composition and book report every month. The poems were the hardest (it took me a while to fully understand what is a composition), and these poems only  had to be eight lines.

Each chapter stands on its own, but there are links between each story that are revealed as you read. For example, the twelve-year-old who is raped by her step-father in the first story, flees and is kept warm in a frigid railway car by a man in a warm coat. In the next chapter we find out that he’s the father of the main character in the next story. He remembers seeing her freezing and, feeling sorry for her, wrapped her in his arms–he was in a big winter coat–and sang Yiddish songs to her before she fell asleep.

We have Denise, the self-center, pretentious young woman who detests her boyfriend Nathan, who never lets anything bother him. So while they are on vacation with Nathan’s friend Josh, Denise decides to seduce Josh. In a later story, Nathan is the main character in the story and he is has been asked to deliver a toast at Denise and Josh’s wedding. Then there’s Clifford, who discovers he’s gay when he’s in an art class and faints when he sees his first naked man; his cousin, who remembers that Clifford once drew her partially nude and it was the perfect day in her life; and we have Josh, who is now much older and alone, reflecting back on his past–and what he did to Nathan.

There’s sadness here, but also a lot of truth. It’s well-written and very entertaining. The pictures by Seth are powerful, and fit the characters that they portray. Sadly, there will be no further books from Rakoff, who died shortly after finishing the book.

Look What’s New in the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of new books added to the library collection.

Harris-After Dead (2014-01-12 002)Title: After Dead

Author: Charlaine Harris

Publication Information: New York: Ace Books/Penguin, 2013 (1st ed.)

ISBN: 978-0-425-26951-0

Library of Congress Classification: PS3558.A6427

Dewey Decimal Classification: 813.54

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Stackhouse, Sookie (Fictitious character)—Fiction
Vampires—Fiction
Werewolves—Fiction
Magic—Fiction
Harris, Charlaine—Characters

I read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books long before they were popular. I even recommended them to a friend of mine, who went on to read every one of them. Me? I read a couple of them. I have collected most of the series–like many other books that I have and are unread. At this point I will have to start over from the beginning. Reading this book did not spoil any of the novels, and I do intend to get back to reading them at some point.

This book serves as a “bookend” to the series; it is not a novel, nor is it a series of short stories. What you have is an alphabetical listing of all the characters that Harris created that appeared at one time or another in her Sookie novels. She tells fans what happened to everyone after the last novel, Dead Ever After, ended. Some of them, such as Sookie and Sam, have happy endings. Others, like Mustapha Khan, are sad. But that’s life. Some of us come to tragic ends, or waste our lives, while others have happy lives, loves, etc. Entries vary from a line to a few pages, depending on the character and how long he/she appeared or how popular he/she is.

Will Harris write other novels in the Sookie universe without making Sookie the main character ? Perhaps. Some entires, like the one for Dahlia Lynley-Chivers reads that she “… still lives in Rhodes [Iowa] and continues to have her own adventures.” Per Wikipedia, Dahlia already appears in a series of short stories.

Whether or not Harris ever returns to writing novels set in the Sookie universe remains to be seen. An interesting book.

Look What’s in the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Visit your own local library and see what gems you can unearth

(2013-09-22 001Title: Voyage of the Iceberg: the Story of the Iceberg that Sank the Titanic

Author: Richard Brown

Publication Information: New York: Beaufort Books, 1983

ISBN: 0-825-301-874 (i.e. 978-0-82530-187-2)

Library of Congress Classification: GB2595

Dewey Decimal Classification: 551.34

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Icebergs
Arctic regions

I came across this book wandering in the library stacks. Having read it many years ago, I really liked it, so I decided to pass on my experience.

I used to describe this book as about the sinking of the Titanic from the iceberg’s point of view, but the Titanic plays a small part in the story. The book is about how an iceberg is created in the far north, only Brown selects the most famous iceberg in history to tell the story. Icebergs are created from calving in Greenland. The Atlantic currents carry them down the North American coast, passing Labrador and down to the Great Banks, where this iceberg encounters the Titanic.

As the iceberg travels, we are told what the iceberg “sees” going on along the shore. Cultures, animals, explorers–and some history–is what we learn about as the iceberg travels down to its encounter with fame–er, imfamy. It’s history of the area as well as natural history which, if you like to learn new things, you will find this book of interest.

The book is only 152 pages. Some might not like it, but it is an easy read, and I thought it was a hoot.

Look What’s New at the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of what new books the library bought.

004Title: A New New Testament: a Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts

Editor and Commentator: Hal Taussig

Publication Information: Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-79210-1

Library of Congress Classification: BS2361.3

Dewey Decimal Classification: 225.52

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Bible. New Testament—Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Christian literature, Early—History and criticism

Usually I pass right by religious texts, but this one gave me pause and I ended up taking it out.

A New New Testament: a Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts is the traditional New Testament supplemented with ten added works from early Christianity not included in the traditional canon.

Hal Taussig, the editor and commentator, chaired a group of scholars who sat down and decided which ancient texts to add. (Their short bios are included.) Several, like The Gospel of Mary (probably Magdalene) and The Gospel of Thomas, were “lost” until recently discovered, many coming from the Nag Hammadi Library, found outside the Egyptian village in 1945. (Appendix 2 lists the books in each codex.) Of these, several manuscripts may now exist, copied at different times with subtle changes. Other texts, such as The Acts of Paul and Thecla, were never lost, just not included in the canon.

The Acts of Paul and Thecla is surprising. The revered St. Paul does not look so good in this work. He is seen as hesitant and negligent in his dealings with Thecla, a woman who wants to be baptized. Taking matters into her own hands, Thecla BAPTIZES HERSELF then PREACHES the gospels of Jesus to anyone who will listen, becoming a disciple.

No wonder the Christian writer Tertullian attacked this book in the 2nd century. Throughout this book, Thecla is seen as a leader standing up to government authority and cultural biases, all the while maintaining her faith. Ironically, this book was popular throughout the Middle Ages and was viewed as an appropriate reading for women and missionaries.

Taussig refuses to use the term “Christianity” because no one is sure when this term came into existence. Instead, he calls the early Jesus people “Christ movements,” plural because there were many different belief systems in existence early-on. I taught a politics and religion class at Purchase College, the State University of New York, in 2001 and I used the term “Christianities,” but the meaning is the same. There were many different versions of Christianity with radically different views of Jesus and God.

What we have today is Pauline Christianity, that version of Christianity which St. Paul taught and endorsed: Jesus as God, the Trinity, etc. This version of Christianity was adopted by Emperor Constantine; henceforth, all other Christianities were now viewed as heretical. The three major branches of Christianity (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant) and any splinter groups are Pauline Christianity.

There is so much here. Each book, including those in the traditional New Testament, is introduced by Taussig. He includes a short bibliography at the end of every entry. The book also has: an overall introduction; Q&A on typical things asked about the New Testament; a companion section, consisting of nearly 100 pages of research; a bibliography; and subject and scripture indices.

Look What’s New at the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of what new books the library bought. This book I happened to come across and was happy that I did.

003Title: 101 Classic Toy Trains: Best of the Postwar Years

Author: Roger Carp

Publication Information: Waukesha, Wis.: Kalmbach Books, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-87116-410-0

Library of Congress Classification: TF197

Dewey Decimal Classification: 625.19

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Railroads—Models—History
Railroads—Models—Collectors and collecting
Models and modelmaking—History

This book is fun.

With all color pictures, Carp lists the 101 best trains and accessories (in his opinion) that have been released in the postwar period. Though Lionel trains dominate the entries, there are other companies whose trains, like Gilbert and Marx, that make the list. Even Plasticville, known to anyone who has anything to do with toy trains, gets a plug as one of the best-created accessories. Each entry not only gives the history of the item being discussed, but some of the corporate history of the toy manufacturer that created it. Carp is the editor of Classic Toy Trains magazine, so he knows his facts.

If you love toy trains, this is the book for you.