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January 28, 2008

Poetry and Music at the Library

Filed under: programs,Uncategorized — rmlblog @ 9:31 pm
Tags: ,

It’s not just me! Other people at our Poetry and Acoustic Music Open Mike on Jan. 27 agreed that we are getting better and better. The poets have become much better at reading their poetry. There was a wide range of types from moving memorials to fallen comrades to a humorous piece about a dog to poems about a trip in a dory and the struggles of being 12. The music was also wonderful and varied: a couple of pieces on accordion, two pieces in tribute to Dan Fogelberg and Garth Brooks and a couple of songs written by the performer. Thanks to our participants:

Bill Lambert, Brad Smith and Chuck Durang were our musicians.

Bob Maskell, J. Richard Lebel, Joanne Bixby, Ken Patton, Leslie Joanne Hill, Mary Gregory, Richard Menoche and Robert Toto were our poets.

The Sun Chronicle had a nice spread of pictures. You can see them online in their photo gallery for Jan. 28, 2008.

Another article that appeared was about Irene Davey who just turned 100. Irene graced our poetry open mikes several times in our early years. She once offered a poetry prize for the best poem by a youth.

They also had an article about a poetry slam at the Attleboro Art Museum, that sounded fascinating. Watch for it next time they hold another one.

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January 9, 2008

Romantic Times Best Romances of 2007

Filed under: best books,romance books — rmlblog @ 4:26 pm

Romantic Times has their list of the best books of the year — in more categories than you can imagine. They include mystery, suspense, paranoramal, vampire, erotic, African-American, and much more. Here are the list of their recommendations for Contemporary and Historical Romance.

Contemporary Romance

SIZZLING Susan Mallery
NOT ANOTHER NEW YEAR’S Christie Ridgway
THE WINTER LODGE Susan Wiggs
JUST LIKE HEAVEN Barbara Bretton
SUGAR DADDY Lisa Kleypas
VIRGIN RIVER Robyn Carr
ALL ABOUT EVIE Beth Ciotta
TANGLED UP IN YOU Rachel Gibson
A TOUCH OF MINX Suzanne Enoch (no one owns yet)
THE PERFECT MATCH Kimberly Cates

Historical Novel of the Year

THE SECRET PASSION OF SIMON BLACKWELL Samantha James
SIMPLY MAGIC Mary Balogh
NOT QUITE A LADY Loretta Chase
LADY BEWARE Jo Beverley
THE SECRET DIARIES OF MISS MIRANDA CHEEVER Julia Quinn
SCANDAL BECOMES HER Shirlee Busbee
NEVER DECEIVE A DUKE Liz Carlyle
BEYOND SEDUCTION Stephanie Laurens
SECRETS OF A PROPER LADY Victoria Alexander
MINE TILL MIDNIGHT Lisa Kleypas

January 2, 2008

Best Books of 2007

Filed under: best books,Favorite Books — rmlblog @ 2:33 pm
Tags:

Every year I compile a list from various review sources that recommend best books at the end of the year. Here’s this year “holdable” list. Tell us what you think of the books you’ve read. The descriptions are taken from a variety of sources. Check the Romantic Times blog for romance “best” books of the year.

Aciman, Andre Call Me by Your Name
A 17-year-old boy who lives along the Italian Riviera experiences a sexual awakening when a young man stays with his family. CT, PH, PW

Alarcon, Daniel Lost City Radio
The shadows of civil war hang heavy over three lost souls in a fictional South American country. CT, LA, WP

Berlinski, Mischa Fieldwork
The intentions of anthropologists and missionaries clash in the rice fields of northern Thailand. CT, LA, LJ, PH, PW

Black, Benjamin Christine Falls
When Dublin pathologist Garret Quirke discovers a family member altering the public records of a young woman who died during childbirth 50 years earlier, his curiosity leads him into a conspiracy that stretches across the Atlantic and deep into the Catholic Church. FL, SF, VV (Pseudonym of John Banville)

Bloom, Amy Away
A desperate Russian woman who has recently made a new life for herself in New York drops everything to return to her former burnt-out home when she learns that the daughter she thought was murdered may be alive after all. CT, LA, PJ, STL, WP

Bolano, Roberto The Savage Detectives
In this vividly ironic work by the late Chilean-born novelist, two poets at the heart of a radical literary movement in 1970s Mexico City travel the globe in search of an aging writer. FL, LA, NYT, PPG, PW, WP

Chabon, Michael The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
You haven’t heard of “the frozen Chosen”? They, of course, are the Jews who settled in Alaska after World War II. Welcome to Michael Chabon’s alternate reality. CT, FL, LA, LJ, PH, PJ, STL, VV, WP

Davies, Peter Ho The Welsh Girl
During World War II, a Welsh teenager does the unthinkable, falling in love with a German prisoner of war. BG, CT, FL

Diaz, Junot The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
A clever, lyrical debut in which a nerdy Dominican-American who loves science fiction is enveloped by an ancient family curse. CT, FL, LA, LJ, NW, PJ, PW, STL, TIME, VV, WP

DeLillo, Don Falling Man
Just after the towers of New York’s World Trade Center crash to the ground on 9/11, a man makes his way uptown to his estranged family. A masterful exploration of those murky days following the attacks. BG, CT, LA, NW, PPG, PW, STL

Englander, Nathan The Ministry of Special Cases
In 1976, a Jewish couple in Buenos Aires search for their son, who has become one of Los Desaparecidos — the “disappeared” in Argentina’s Dirty War. BL, CT, LA

Enright, Anne The Gathering
A young Irish woman copes with the suicide of her alcoholic older brother and its effects on her family, in Enright’s fourth novel, winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize. BG, LA, PJ

Ferris, Joshua Then We Came to the End
Ferris explores the insular world of office life, that fertile breeding ground of romance, mental disorders and desktop tchotchkes. BG, NYT, STL

Hamid, Mohsin The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Pakistani man finds success in New York, but after 9/11 he abandons that life when he realizes America isn’t what he had hoped. KI, PW, WP

Horan, Nancy Loving Frank
Fictional account of Frank Lloyd Wright’s passionate affair, a Chicago scandal that ended violently. NPR, PW, WP

Hosseini, Khaled A Thousand Splendid Suns
A look at three decades of Afganistan’s history told from two women’s points of view. FL, PJ, WP

Johnson, Denis Tree of Smoke
The long-awaited novel from the author of “Jesus’ Son” is a zinger about the CIA and the Vietnam War. BG, CT, FL, LJ, NYT, PJ, PW, STL, TIME, WP, PPG

Lippman, Laura What the Dead Know
A woman is involved in an auto accident outside Baltimore. When police demand identification, she has none. FL, PW, VV, WP


Martin, Valerie
Trespass
This novel travels from upstate NY to Croatia and links 2 disparate families and 2 generations in relationships that are both volatile and loving. KI, STL, WP

McEwan, Ian On Chesil Beach
A wedding night goes painfully awry, and the aftershocks are felt for years. BG, CT, PH, PJ, WP

Murakami, Haruki After Dark
Short, hypnotically eerie, full of noirish foreboding. It keeps ratcheting up the suspense. NW, PJ, STL, WP

Patchett, Ann Run
A Boston snowstorm results in a traffic accident — and some shocking discoveries within one family. CT, FL, PPG, STL, WP

Roth, Philip Exit Ghost
Philip Roth alter ego Nathan Zuckerman faces the savagery of old age. CT, NW, STL

Rothfuss, Patrick The Name of the Wind
From the day his family’s theater troupe is massacred by mysterious, demon-like entities known as the Chandrian, the young boy must live by his wits, struggling through crushing poverty on city streets before gaining a place for himself at the university. FL, PW, SF

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
This instant classic earns its catharsis honestly, not through hype or sentiment but through the author’s vision and hard work. NW, PPG, TIME, WP

Russo, Richard Bridge of Sighs
A man travels to Italy to better understand a close childhood friend who, unlike him, long ago deserted their hometown. CT, FL, LA, PJ, STL, WP

Shepard, Jim Like You’d Understand, Anyway
A brilliant collection of wildly imaginative tales. Sometimes eerie, sometimes hilarious, Shepard’s writing is in a league unto its own. CT, FL, LA, PJ, TIME

Shriver, Lionel The Post-Birthday World
A woman lives out her lusty desire to cheat on her long-time beau in an alternate reality. CT, FL, LJ, TIME

Simmons, Dan The Terror
The novel opens in
1847, with the two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, trapped and being slowly crushed in the Arctic ice. Worse, a ferocious and disconcertingly devious predator stalks the subzero wasteland. FL, SF, STL

Trevor, William Cheating at Canasta
Readers slip into the lives of the marginalized and the melancholy in Irish author William Trevor’s latest poignant collection. BG, CT, FL, LA

Wiggins, Marianne The Shadow Catcher
A multihued novel about Edward S. Curtis, a photographer who spent decades snapping shots of American Indians. CT, LA, PPG, PW, WP

Code:

BG Boston Globe

BL Booklist

CT Chicago Tribune

KI Kirkus Review

LA Los Angeles Times

LJ Library Journal

NW Newsweek

NPR NPR Independent Booksellers

NYT New York Times

PH Portsmouth (NH) Herald

PJ Providence Journal

PPG Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PW Publishers Weekly

SF San Francisco Chronicle

STL St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TIME Time Magazine

VV Village Voice

WP Washington Post

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