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Newsletter

December 2018

Volume 8, Issue 12

A Newsletter of the Blue Mountain Community Library


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the library patrons!

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Please participate in our annual Christmas tree fundraiser and make the library extra festive!!! For a $5 donation, you may hang an ornament in honor or memory of a person or pet on our Christmas tree.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in and donated items for the November silent auction! Your support is greatly appreciated!

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The library will be closed on December 24 and 25, as well as the PM hours on December 31. The library will reopen on January 2.

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The library will be OPEN on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, for regular hours PLUS will host an afternoon Indoor Carnival for children ages 3 to 8!! A variety of fun games and activities will be offered.

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Visit the Book Nook for the readers on your holiday lists! Items available for purchase include fiction and nonfiction for adults, young adults, and children, as well as large print books, DVDs, and puzzles. Gift certificates are also available!

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The public is invited to the next board meeting on December 19 at 6:30 PM.

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Upcoming events:

½ Price Book Nook sale – January 17-19

Indoor Carnival – January 21

Canned food drive for Bender’s Church – January 21-February 22

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Adult book discussion group selections:

December – no book discussion this month

January 15 – In the Shadow of Alabama by Judy Reene Singer

February 19The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife by Maryann McFadden

Book group meetings begin at 6:30 PM. Books are available for checkout.

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Meet a junior volunteer!

Name: Sydney Schreck

Job: 7th-grade student at Wind Gap Middle School

How long I’ve been a junior volunteer: about three months

What I like about being a junior volunteer: When I’m shelving, I see books that I want to read.

Why I read: You can imagine the characters and their world and what’s happening to them. Sometimes that’s better than TV.

How I fell in love with reading: In fifth grade, my best friend recommended the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger, and I was hooked.

My favorite book: Lodestar, the fifth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series

My favorite authors: Shannon Messenger and April Henry

Why I like them: Messenger writes fantasy, depicting an elf in a human world – an elf that almost dies in every book! Henry writes horror but not in a way you’d expect, and she writes surprise endings. These books are long, too.

Favorite genre: fantasy/dystopian fiction

Why I like it: It’s cool to imagine other societies and species in a reality/unreality blend.

Favorite place to read: in bed or under a lot of blankets on the living room couch

Words of wisdom: Don’t speed through a book or read with a deadline. Read thoroughly and more than once. Imagine yourself as a character, too.

Other things to know about me: I cheer at the Middle School, and I’ve been cheering for eight years. Over summer, I volunteered at Miss Rose’s Preschool.

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Book review:

Postmortem

book by Patricia Cornwell

review by Jill Silvius

There are 24 novels by Patricia Cornwell featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner. Postmortem is the first published and a compelling mystery for a number of reasons.

Scarpetta is a complex character—tough, wounded, likeable, fallible. Skeptical of her sister’s dumping her genius ten-year-old daughter Lucy, “an impossible little holy terror of enigmatic Latin descent” on her, Scarpetta struggles to negotiate being both aunt and temporary mother, especially when Lucy fears her aunt will be harmed by a “bad guy” at work. She also tangles with obnoxious boss Amburgey who accuses her (perhaps accurately, she fears) of leaking sensitive information about a series of horrific murders to the press. Solving those strangling cases, and preventing additional ones, while deflecting her boss’ accusations, is Scarpetta’s and her team’s main goal. Meanwhile, quasi-boyfriend Bill Boltz and slovenly detective Marino bring her both satisfaction and more problems.

Scarpetta’s descriptions of the women’s strangled, mangled bodies are not for readers with weak stomachs, though they are also somehow restrained. Worse are her unavoidable imaginative recreations of the moments before their deaths.

Cornwell allows the reader inside an ME’s and police officers’ lives, as Postmortem draws on the author’s own experience as police reporter, employee of an ME office, and volunteer police officer. The novel blends investigative action with dialogue and reflections—both the legwork and mental gymnastics required of a criminal investigator.

Reading Postmortem in 2018 is most interesting in that it shows just how far, even in less than three decades, science and technological advances have made for forensics. The limitations in scope (and amount of time required!) for blood typing, DNA examination, and especially computer searching and evidence collecting as part of the justice system in the early 1990s are quite eye-opening. I couldn’t help but wonder how much more quickly the crimes could have been solved—or if they could have been prevented outright—if set in the present. That makes me wonder, too, how that translates to reality: how many crimes are solved today that simply could not have been solved in the past, no matter how hardworking, insightful, or speculative the MEs, police, and detectives? Is it therefore easier to a detective today—or significantly more challenging?

The ending is a bit disappointing, as the killer turns out to be a minor character (leaving the reader to wonder if he/she could possibly have solved the murders before the police—after all, don’t most mystery readers try to?), but there are more crimes than murders here, and a computer hacker is brought to justice, satisfyingly so.

My trade paperback copy of Postmortem is, at the time of this writing, available in the Book Nook, and the library owns eighteen Cornwell books, most of them featuring Scarpetta. Patrons intrigued by Scarpetta in Postmortem can look forward to many more dark adventures and the changing role of an ME.

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Book review:

Nine Perfect Strangers

book by Liane Moriarty

review by Judy Piper

Nine strangers happened to select Tranquillum House as a “spa” to change themselves. They were not just there to lose weight. Each had some major issue in his or her life that needed to be resolved.

Tranquillum House, directed by Masha, provided some unique experiences to make over their guests. In fact, most of them got much more than they bargained for, and many began to wonder if they would survive the experience.

Moriarty has written another good story that will keep you in suspense.