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Newsletter

November 2019

Volume 9, Issue 11

A Newsletter of the Blue Mountain Community Library


 

Happy Thanksgiving!Be thankful for your library!

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The library will be closed the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 27 PM shift), Thanksgiving day (Nov. 28 AM and PM shifts), and the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29 and 30 AM shifts) due to renovations.

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The next board meeting will be November 20 at 6:30 PM.  The public is welcome to attend.

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Adult book discussion group selections: 

November 19The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

No book group in December

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Thank you to all who dined at the Slate Hotel and Pub and participated in the recent silent auction.  Your support helps the library!

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Congratulations to the winners of our silent auction!

Mary Jane Boekhurt

Christine Brumbaugh

Nancy Chuss

Debbie Cornman

Nancy Cuono

Lisa Farnan

Laura Goss

Kathy Hinton

Linda Piperato

Linda Miller-Smith

Jill Silvius

Cynthia Strunk

Valerie Viglione

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Adult volunteers are needed for evenings and Saturdays.  Applications are available at the front desk.

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The Christmas tree ornament fundraiser begins November 1!  For a $5 donation, hang an ornament on our tree in honor of or in memory of a person or pet.  Thank you for your support and decorating our tree!

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Special Christmas-themed books will be available for checkout beginning November 1st!

There are two Book Nook specials for November!

  • Buy any book, get two James Patterson books of equal or lesser price free!
  • Buy one children’s book and get one children’s book of equal or lesser price for free.

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Book review:

Beyond the Point

book by Claire Gibson

review by Judy Piper

   The point is West Point where the author lived several years while her father taught at the school.  She also interviewed many of the women cadets who went there so she could write this story.

   Her tale features three high school basketball players who in 2000 were recruited to go to West Point.  All three were accepted and decided to go there even though they realized that basketball would not be their first priority.

   Gibson takes us through their experiences from the day they arrive through the day they graduate and beyond.  We go through all their trials and triumphs as they try to succeed in a male dominated environment. She gives us insight into what their lives were like once they become  a plebe as well as what it was like to go to war.

   Unless you are a veteran, I do not think you can fully understand what happens.  However, this book gives us a good look at what it means for a woman to be an army officer.

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Book review:

Baby Teeth

book by Zoje Stage

review by Jill Silvius

   Baby Teeth makes me soooo glad not to be a mother.

   Protagonist Suzette worries about not doing enough, then about doing too much, as she essentially abandons a career as an artist to take care of her young daughter Hanna.  Hanna, after all, is a precious gift, a miracle baby for a woman like Suzette who has battled loneliness and neglect as a child herself with undiagnosed Crohn’s disease. Now, she battles her own abating demons about body image while simultaneously guarding herself against Hanna’s vicious attempts to sabotage her, almost daily.  The medicinal contents of Imodium pills deftly replaced with flour, thumbtacks sprinkled by the bed, flaming embers flung from a backyard bonfire: Suzette is the victim of all. She needs to die.

   Baby Teeth is a classic depiction of the Electra complex.

   Mute Hanna may be just seven, enjoying listening to stories of the fantastic UnderSlumberBumbleBeast read to her at 8 PM bedtime, but she is a smart, smart little girl.  She manipulates everything and everyone around her to gain her father’s affection – and it works. Initially, Alex never sees Hanna’s horrific treatment of her mother or believes Suzette’s tales.  Until blood runs and therapist Beatrix begins using the words “psychopath” and “sociopath” in discussions of Hanna’s treatment.

   Author Stage alternates narrators for each chapter, using third-person but Suzette and Hanna’s voices.  Both are effective, since the reader essentially gets inside their heads – especially when the book is listened to; the Macmillan Audio reader Gabra Zackman does a phenomenal job of capturing Suzette’s frustration and desperation, as well as Hanna’s wicked internal verbal sneering.

   Hanna is non-verbal, so her chapters are truly those “inside her head.”  With the exception of a few passages issuing from her alter-ego Marie-Anne Dufosset (a French woman accused of being a witch and burned at the stake), and a few spoken words over the telephone in the last few pages, Hanna never speaks.  She does, however, snarl and bark.

   As Suzette’s injuries mount, other casualties also crop up.  For instance, there’s an incident at a grocery store, and one at a school where a peer’s protective helmet is mysteriously removed and he whacks his head repeatedly against a wall.

   For the last few chapters, I ditched the audiobook version because the speaker wasn’t reading quickly enough and I needed to know what was going to happen!  The plot hinges not on any shocking revelation or unexpected climax but rather on nearly palpable tension and, as the chronological timeline unfolds, a constant sense of a new crisis on the horizon, of some new horror for Suzette waiting just around the corner.

   The final chapter brings some finality and a sense of quasi-peace for Suzette and Alex.  But it also hints of a sequel, as Hanna, tucked away at a special facility, Marshes, to learn empathy, vows to become a “good girl.”

   Not possible.

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Interested in sharing your thoughts about a good book?  Please leave your review at the library for a future newsletter.