BPL Blog

Posted by JGranatino on Thu, Jun 22
It's 1944 and the small town of Verger on the coast of Normandy has been under German occupation for years. Food and supplies for the residents are scarce, and several have been "relocated" or killed for resistance of any kind, among them Emma's father. Emma takes care of her elderly grandmother, Meme, and bakes a dozen loaves of baguettes for the Kommandant each morning. In an attempt to help her neighbors, she secretly begins to add a bit of ground straw to the rationed dough to make an...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Jun 19
In her latest book, Sharon Salzberg, a prolific writer and noted presenter on the topics of mindfulness and meditation, discusses “real love” and the practice of loving-kindness in order to cultivate “transformative strength” in everyday life. She stresses the importance of first loving ourselves in order to reach out to others, including persons whom we find difficult. The book is filled with practical advice, exercises, and meditations intended to increase attentiveness, explore one’s...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Jun 19
Eleanor Oliphant leads an ordinary, routine life and she's just fine with that. She lives frugally, works in a office, talks to Mummy every Wednesday evening and spends the weekend drinking vodka. She has no boyfriend since the last one landed her in hospital, and no friends to speak of. But she's fine. She has a plan, with Mummy's blessing, to give herself a makeover and land a handsome musician she's had her eye on. Then one day her computer decides to crash and Raymond, the IT guy, enters...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Jun 19
Gwendy Peterson has set a goal for herself before starting middle school - she's going to run up what was known as Suicide Stairs every day to get in shape and hopefully lose the nickname of "Goodyear" given her by Frankie Stone. At the top, she pauses to catch her breath and realizes there's a man in a black suit and bowler hat sitting quietly on a bench, watching her carefully. Although she knows she shouldn't speak to strangers there is something non-threatening and charming about him. In...
Posted by JGranatino on Sat, Jun 10
Author Michael Finkel relates the true story of Christopher Knight, an alarm installer who at the age of 20 vanished without a trace, abandoning society to become a hermit in the deep woods of his home state near Moosehead Lake, Maine. Having jettisoned his car and spent the money of his last paycheck, he turned to pilfering food, clothing, and needed supplies from the cabins in this lake region, becoming increasingly bold in his burglaries.  Astonishingly, he escaped apprehension for a full...
Posted by DBarchi on Fri, Jun 09
A New Chapter Upstairs: 2nd Floor Renovation Blog June 8, 2017 Phase II of the building project has been progressing steadily since late April.  Once again with the framing of the new spaces we can see the shape of what will soon be.  Phase II encompasses a new small meeting room, restrooms for the public, a green room for performers, an office for the library’s adult programmer, a handicapped accessible lift to the stage, and most excitingly, a complete...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Jun 05
In the early 1900s, radium was considered the new "wonder" material although many of its effects were still unknown. As the world turned its attention to WWI, hundreds of young women, some as young as 13, were employed in three studios in New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut painting luminescent dials for watches and aeronautic equipment. Unknown to the girls, this paint contained a minute amount of radium. The young women were reassured that the paint was completely safe and were trained to "...
Posted by JGranatino on Mon, Jun 05
Lovers of historical fiction/fantasy such as Gabaldon’s Outlander series and time travel novel such as Nifenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife will be captivated by the story of Beatrice Trovato, a gifted 21st century neurosurgeon who is mysteriously transported back in time to medieval Siena. Supporting herself as a scribe in the Ospedale Santa Maria della Scala, Beatrice will meet and fall in love with Gabriele Accosta, a gifted Sienese artist commissioned to produce a fresco...
Posted by JGranatino on Thu, Jun 01
In this novel, Lisa See explores the lives of Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha people, in a remote Yunnan village.  Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. Haley, as she is now called by her adoptive parents in America, grows...
Posted by JGranatino on Fri, May 26
Beckford is a typical sleepy town in England, surrounded by a river whose peaceful pools hide treacherous weeds and rocks beneath the surface. The town has a history dating back to the days of witches who were drowned in the river’s black waters. A local woman writing a book on the river's history is found floating in the “Drowning Pool” but was it suicide or a murder meant to keep secrets hidden? Hawkins uses different character voices to tell the story where even the upstanding citizens have...

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