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216 South Robinson Avenue, Pen Argyl, PA 18072


April 2019

Volume 9, Issue 4

A Newsletter of the Blue Mountain Community Library


This is the 100th issue of “Novels, News, and Notes”!

The winner of the 100th NNN contest is Renee Sprague!


She won a $20 gift certificate to the Book Nook.

Contest answers:

  1. How many book reviews by library patrons were printed in the first 99 issues? 216
  2. How many adult volunteers were interviewed for the first 99 issues? 50
  3. How many junior volunteers were interviewed for the first 99 issues? 32
  4. In the very first issue, to whom did the library staff wish a happy birthday? Dave King, volunteer in the Book Nook
  5. As announced in the February 2011 issue, Book Nook sales in 2010 totaled how much? $4,350.75
  6. What type of fundraiser was done by volunteer Matt Silvius in June 2012 to raise money for computer upgrades? ultramarathon
  7. Which has NOT been a library event/activity since the first issue was printed? Origami
  8. What did the 2014 “quarter back challenge” ask patrons to consider? how much money the library saves you
  9. About which topic did a writer not present at a library event since the first issue was printed? sea turtles
  10. Who was celebrated on May 2, 2015, as described in the June 2015 issue? Susan Pysher, co-founder of BMCL


Our 4th Annual Author Luncheon

Meet author Maryann McFadden

Thursday, April 25

at Grace United Methodist Church

404 E. Mountain Avenue

Pen Argyl, PA  18072

Ms. McFadden is the author of The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife and will discuss her book with a question-and-answer session and a book signing.  Copies will be available to purchase.

Lunch will be catered by Café on Broadway.

Tickets are $10.00 each, through April 18, while supplies last.

Doors open at 11:30 AM with luncheon at 12:00 PM

For information, contact Lisa at 610-863-3029


Mark your calendar now!

Fundraiser at Detzi’s Tavern

Monday, May 9

4-9 PM

Silent auction at the library

Place bids from Monday, May 9 through Saturday, May 25.


Adult book discussion group selections:

April 16The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

May 21The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict (see book review below!)

June 18The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall (see book review below!)

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


The next board meeting will be held on April 17 at 6:30 PM.  The public is welcome to attend.


Preschool storytime is held Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM.  Come for a story and related craft or activity!


There will be no Book Nook special for April.  Consider purchasing a Book Nook gift certificate!


Thank you to diners at and proprietors of Café on Broadway!

Book review:

The Subway Girls

book by Susie Orman Schnall

review by Lisa Farnan

with comments by Judy Piper

  The Subway Girls tells the story of two ambitious women living in New York City decades apart.

  Then:  it’s 1949 in New York City and Charlotte is focused on her college education with dreams of a job in advertising.  Her father is not supportive and will only allow her to work in his hardware store. In order to accomplish her goal and help her father, she applies for the Miss Subways beauty contest and is called for an interview.  There she meets a very glamorous girl named Rose and the two quickly become friends. A betrayal by Rose forces Charlotte to make the decision of a lifetime.

  Now:  it’s 2018 in New York City and Olivia has a career as an advertising executive with a company that needs to acquire a new account in order to stay in business.  Her idea is to feature the history of New York City. Her research leads to the Miss Subways contest and into the life of Charlotte and other winners. Olivia is very confident; her sales pitch is great, her team is prepared and she has a personal relationship with the owner of her company.  But when that person betrays her she is forced to make a lifetime decision.

  Although there are 70 years between them, their lives become connected as both are very ambitious in their professional careers.

  The Miss Subways contest was a campaign for the New York City subway system between 1941 and 1976 and is featured in the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.

  Reader Judy Piper notes:  “Be sure to read the author’s notes and look at the pictures of former winners.  Very interesting read.”


Book review:

The Only Woman in the Room

book by Marie Benedict

review by Judy Piper

  Hedwig Kiesler, Hedwig Mandl, Hedwig Markey—who is she?  You might know her as Heddy Lamarr, the screenstar.

  Heddy Kiesler grew up in Vienna, Austria and was a leading actress.  In 1933 she gained the attention of Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer, who married her after a short courtship.  After her marriage, she resigned her life as an actress, but took on the job of being the wife of a man directly involved in the Austrian politics of the day.  As she accompanied her husband, she came in contact with many leaders in Austria, Italy and Germany, including Hitler. As often the only woman in the room, she was soon forgotten by the men as she was only a pretty face.  Little did they know that she understood what was being said and could foresee what was to happen. Finally, in 1937 she escaped to France, then London and finally to Los Angeles with the help of Louis B. Mayer.

  Once in America, she became a famous Hollywood starlet but she was always concerned with the events in Europe.  After divorcing her husband, she married Gene Markley. Their marriage did not last but during that period she was able to adopt a refugee from Europe. However, she could not forgive herself for not doing more to help her fellow citizens in Austria in the Jewish communities.

  Finally, she teamed up with composer George Antheil to design a torpedo system that could escape jamming by the enemy.  Yes, she was a pretty face, but also an inventor who influenced many electronic devices used today.


Book review:

The Light over London

book by Julia Kelly

review by Nancy Chuss

  This book transports the reader into the WWII time period by means of a diary found by an antique dealer, Cara Hargraves, in the present.

  The diary is written by a 19-year-old girl who will bring you to experience love, valor, and loss.  She is desperate for a more exciting life, and, with her best friend Katie, joins an anti-aircraft gun unit and is assigned as a gunner girl in Londo to help the men shoot down German planes as they try to drop their bombs on London.  She experiences loves, lies, and more, but her diary is never finished. When Cara Hargraves reads it, she is determined to find this woman.

  It is a book that will keep you turning the pages to find out the many secrets revealed.