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News


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Joan’s Review: Women in Sunlight

Women in Sunlight – Frances Mayes Be sure to tuck this into your beach bag for summer reading. This is one of those books about women of a certain age being brave and embracing life (in a gorgeous location of course). This is a fine example of this type of story, which is not surprising, since Frances Mayes delivers quality work. I especially liked that the hopes and dreams, both for reinvention and romance, of the characters of retirement age were not given any less focus than of the younger characters. Be assured, life and adventure after 60 exists and is worth writing and reading about. Thank you! Ms. Mayes

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Staff Reads: May

Check out the books we’re reading! Origin by Dan Brown Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon navigates a dangerous intersection of humanity’s two most enduring questions, interweaving codes, science, religion and other disciplines before making a paradigm-shifting discovery. The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston When a NASA accident kills seven scientists and enables a self-modifying artificial intelligence to escape into the Internet, Wyman Ford and the AI’s creator, Melissa Shepherd, struggle to keep the evolving program out of the hands of scheming Wall Street traders. The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard A gruff, no-nonsense GO-Team leader who relies on the sensual voice of the team’s communication expert to guide him through dangerous assignments becomes her rescuer in the aftermath of an attack that leaves her stranded on a deserted station. All that Glitters by Diana Palmer Taking a job at a prestigious fashion house in New York, Ivory Keene is about to realize her dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but she puts her career on the line when she has a forbidden affair with her older boss, Curry Kells. Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge Detective Helen Grace investigates an elusive serial killer who navigates a world in Southampton, England, where disguises and discretion are the norm, and where no one wants to come forward to say what they saw…

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Staff Reads: April

Each month we ask our staff  “Have you read anything good lately?” Here are their answers. Check out what we’re reading!   Astrophysics for people in a hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson The notable host of StarTalk reveals just what people need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.   Two kinds of truth by Michael Connelly An investigation into the murder of a young pharmacist leads Harry Bosch and San Fernando’s detective squad into the big-business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse at the same time an old case from Bosch’s days with the LAPD returns to haunt him.   Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce A first installment in a highly anticipated new Tortall series follows the experiences of a talented young student at the Imperial University of Carthak, who, alongside his best friends Varice and Ozorne, is forced to decide where his true loyalties lie.   Mister Tender’s girl by Carter Wilson Ten years after she survived a horrible stabbing at the hands of two classmates obsessed with a comic book character, Alice is threatened by someone who knows the deeply private details of her life…

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Irish Themed Second Sunday Program

Journey of an Irish Immigrant – Performance by Kit’s Interactive Theatre “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” For over a century, these words, inscribed on the plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty, have been the idealistic mantra that America, a nation forged by immigrants, has both aspired to and rejected. The image of Lady Liberty, lifting her torch into the air as a beacon while the ships sailed into the harbor, became a symbol of hope and new opportunity for immigrants seeking to start a new life in America. However, the journeys immigrants embarked on were rife with struggle and prejudice. Fearful Americans reviled and fought against every new wave of immigrants, and the Irish wave was no exception. On Sunday, March 11th at 2pm, Kitty Jones from Kit’s Interactive Theatre will be performing at the Florham Park Public Library, putting on an engaging and entertaining program, her one-woman show Journey of an Irish Immigrant. The performance follows fictional Irish immigrant Maggie McLaughlin and her sister as they travel from Liverpool, England to America, recounting aspects of the journey ranging from the harsh conditions and experiences on the boats, to the rigorous screening process at Ellis Island, to their treatment as Irish immigrants as they began their lives anew…

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Diverse Reads: Intro to Horror

Just like horror movies, horror novels have evolved to be more than cheap thrills and gore. Over the last couple decades, authors have reshaped the literature of horror to create a more diverse genre. Here are 3 books we think are a perfect introduction to the different types of horror novels. Classic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson Written in 1950, Jackson tells the story of four people who decide to enter the haunted house for different reasons. As strange phenomena start happening, the strangers believe that is the worst of their troubles, but little do they know the house is bidding its time until it will choose someone to make its own. Supernatural Young Adult: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan In Mary’s world, there are a few simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best, the Guardians will protect and serve and the Unconsecrated will never relent. The only thing protecting Mary and her village is the fence. Beyond the fence is the Forest of Hands and Teeth where the Unconsecrated dwell. Mary’s world is thrown into chaos when the fence is breached. Everything she thought to be true is revealed as lies. Mary must pick between her home and her future, the one she loves and who loves her but most importantly she must…

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Diverse Reads: Beyond WWI & WWII

Historical fiction is one of the most popular genres to read. Most readers seem to stick within the time period between WWI and WWII. This week, we are asking readers to try branching out and travel to an earlier era of history. Here are three books we think historical fans will love.   Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel   During the 1520’s, England is close to falling to pieces. King Henry the VII has yet to secure the kingdom by producing an heir. Now he wants a divorce so he can marry Ann Boylen and hopefully stop the potential fall of the English empire. The novel, the first in the series, follows Thomas Cromwell, the King’s chief minister. Cromwell was a strong and powerful figure in the English Reformation. So sit back, relax and lose yourself in this political drama of Tudor Times.   The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead In Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, the author explores America’s deep south during the height of slavery. The Underground Railroad follows Cora, a cotton plantation slave whose life is filled with unimaginable terrors. Cora escapes her plantation by following another slave, Ceaser, who introduces her to the Underground Railroad. Whitehead re-creates the horrors of this time as we follow Cora fight to gain her freedom. This novel is perfect for those…

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Literary Road Trips

Like peanut butter and jelly, summer and road trips just seem to go together. Whether it’s a journey in a novel or an adventure on screen, road trips have been ingrained into our minds since cars became affordable necessities.   So what are your travel plans? Will they be imaginary or actual? The website Open Culture has mapped the routes of 12 interactive trips. Some are short, some are long but each required you to have a car and gas money.   Of course literary adventures can be a little more affordable done in just a day. One of the latest adventures is Lillian Boxfish’s stroll down memory lane in the novel, notably titled, “Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk”.   The novel follows Lillian as she walks to the places in Manhattan that have her life. This makes for an easy day trip tour of NYC. Throughout the walk Lillian reflects on events in her life including marriage, motherhood, and divorce. Set in 1984, the novel is a love letter to 20th century New York City and the way women have changed American from the Jazz age to the AIDS epidemic.   Following along in your favorite characters footsteps, either by car or by foot can make for a memorable trip that is sure to leave as big of an…

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Staff Reads: April

Ever wondered what the staff is reading? Here are some of the best books we read in April! A U.S. release of an internationally best-selling novel by the author of The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is set in atmospheric 1920s Ceylon and follows the experiences of a young Englishwoman who confronts local hostilities before the discovery of her husband’s secrets forces her to make a devastating choice. A novel based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine’s history follows the experiences of a pregnant woman who struggles to protect her two young children and watches her home burn while her husband joins the volunteer firefighters. By the best-selling author of The Pilot’s Wife. An undercover librarian who works for an occult organization that collects books from different realities must determine what happened to a particularly dangerous book that has been stolen and becomes mired in a mystery infused with peril and conflicting clues. Hired to work for the world’s most powerful Internet company, Mae Holland questions her luck as life beyond her job grows distant, an encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, and her role at the company becomes increasingly public. A single mom’s efforts to support her shy star athlete son’s recruitment into a Division I college are violently complicated by a secretly disturbed young man…

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Friday Reads: As Seen on TV

Some of the greatest new television shows of the past couple months can be categorized in the genre “bio-show”. “Feud”, “The Crown”, and “Z: The Beginning of Everything” are some of the newest shows to entertain viewers with the dazzling lives of some of history’s biggest influencers.   “Feud” takes a look at the long historical riff between two of Hollywood’s biggest legends, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Once you have caught up on all the current episodes we suggest cracking open Bette Davis’ own memoir “This n that” as well as Robert Wagner’s “I loved her in the movies: memories of Hollywood’s legendary actresses” you’ll be swept away by these accounts of the Golden Age of Hollywood and its glamorous stars.      “The Crown” lets us take a peek into the life of Queen Elizabeth II as she adapts to her new role as Queen of England. We could dive into one of her many biographies but consider some juicy historical fiction that is just as good as a TV show. We recommend jumping into a novel by Philippa Gregory. Gregory is known for her series about the illustrious Tudors. The most notable is her novel, “The Other Boleyn Girl” which tells the love story of Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII. Gregory pays attentions to the details just…

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Friday Reads: New Must-Read Thriller

Ill Will by Dan Chaon I just started reading this book and I am Hooked. Dustin is a 40 something psychologist who’s world is about to come undone. The adopted brother convicted of killing their parents decades ago has just been released because of DNA evidence. Meanwhile, young men are “drinking and drowning”. Is there a serial killer at work? One of his patients, a former cop, thinks so and wants Dustin to help him look into the deaths. AND Dustin’s son is starting to hang out with his just released adopted brother! Joan Hipp    

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