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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#78 - Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling

Title:  Why Not Me?
Author:   Mindy Kaling
Read by:  Mindy Kaling
Genre:  Memoir
Category:  Non-Fiction 791.4502
Rating:  B-
Published:  2015
Dates:  11/17/16 – 11/28/16
Cds/Hrs:  4/5

In Ms. Kaling’s second memoir she goes into her time as a student at Dartmouth, her perceived inability to talk about her sex life and then her sex life, her admonishment of herself for not properly answering a teenage girl about how to find confidence and then her chapter on how to achieve confidence.  She describes the times she’s met President Obama and how cool it was to learn that his daughter Malia was reading her first book – Is Everyone Hanging out without me?  Funny lady Kaling tells it like it is – her inner most fears that keep her awake at night, her desire to marry and have a family and most of all who she is – her sincerity in all the hard work she’s put into her eleven years in Hollywood, making a name for herself. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

#77 - Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Emeralds - Kathryn Kenny

Title:  Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Emeralds
Author:  Kathryn Kenny
Illustrated by:  Paul Frame
Genre:  Mystery
Category:  Fiction
Rating:  B
Published:  1965
Dates:  11/14/16– 11/26/16

Trixie and the Bob-Whites, minus Dan, are on their way to Williamsburg and the Clivedon area of Virginia.  Trixie has found a mysterious letter in the Belden attic.  She, Moms and Bobby were searching for items to donate to the Heart Association’s White Elephant sale.  When Trixie rips open a stuck drawer in a chest she crashes into the wall behind it that leads to the crawl space above the kitchen and finds a canteen and some old clothing in the small room.  The Trixie we know, on closer inspection, wonders about the letter that falls out of the Civil-War era pants pocket.  True to her thoughts about the item, it’s the beginning of something interesting.  Trixie shares with Honey and they visit Miss Julie Sutherland in nearby Croton who provides information they need from her father’s diaries.
Fast forward a day or so later, and we find the Bob-Whites hot on the trail of the location of Rosewood Hall and an emerald necklace mentioned in the letter Trixie has shared with the group.  Through a series of visits to Green Trees, the mansion next door to the now non-existent Rosewood Hall, the Bob-Whites solve the mystery of the location of the emerald necklace.  Along the way they meet Neil, the wayward boy who loves horses, crazy Lizzie who runs the general store, the cruel Jenkins who owns Rosewood, the kind Mr. Carver who owns Green Trees and his friends, Miss Bates and Dr. Brandon.
The Lynches play an important role in this book.  They are into historic restoration and combine their trip that not only culminates in celebrating Diana’s birthday but the discovery of the actual emerald necklace, too.
I love this book because of the surprises that unfold, the generosity of the Lynches and the relationship among the characters – Miss Sutherland and Honey and Trixie, Trixie and Jim, Mr. Lynch and Neil, Mr. Carver and Miss Bates.

Friday, November 18, 2016

#76 - Train Dreams - Denis Johnson

Title:  Train Dreams
Author:   Denis Johnson
Read by: Will Patton
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  B
Published:  2011
Dates:  11/15/16 – 11/16/16
CDs/Hours: 2/2.5

Crammed into two and half hours of listening time is the extraordinary story of Robert Grainier.  A mild-mannered man, a day laborer, a man who falls in love, and together with his wife have a daughter.  They live in eastern WA near the Idaho panhandle and have an acre of land.  One day while he is away his wife and daughter escape a fire and he loses them both – his wife to death from the fire and his daughter from what he perceives to be drowning.  Yet in the subsequent years as his dreams become nightmares he believes his daughter has returned to him, with a broken leg that he splints.  She appears to be a wild thing and crawls away. 
Other extraordinary things happen – his trips to town occasionally to attend performances by visiting out-of-this- world exhibitionists; a red-coated, she-dog who shows up on his door-step and a few months later whelps wolf pups; the deep resonate howl Grainier himself emits that tend to satisfy his longing for the precious things in his life he’s lost.  The Library Journal touts the book this way – “Johnson has skillfully packed an epic tale into novella length.”