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SEPTEMBER 24, 2011
Just finished reading...
The Greater Journey:Americans in Paris by David McCullough. If you have ever been to Paris, celebrated American historian, David McCullough's latest book will have you wanting to go back, and if you haven't been there, you'll want to go. During the 19th century American painters, sculptors, musicians, aspiring doctors, and statesmen travelled to Paris in droves, seeking inspiration from its fine museums and acclaimed schools. In spite of a very chaotic political climate, Paris had become a center for the very latest ideas and trends in the arts and sciences. McCullough has conjured up a splendid picture of the city through the eyes of these young Americans, but the real stars of the volume are the Americans themselves. Like characters in a novel, their stories are exciting, compelling, and many times, surprising. I lived for three years not ten miles from Cornish, New Hampshire, where American sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, had a home and studio. I never visited it, however, because I had no idea who Saint-Gaudens was, nor of his importance in the art world of his time. McCullough's style of writing is clear and well-organized, very easy to read for history. I especially enjoyed the sections about the young doctors who went to Paris to study. The history of American medicine owes a lot to the French! You might never get to Paris for real, but this book definitely takes you there for free.
Only two weeks left until the Annual Frackville Pumpkin Festival! On Saturday, October 1, 2011 between 10AM and 2PM you'll find lots of autumn fun on Frack Street between Balliet and Lehigh. Pony rides, pumpkin crafts, music, lots of great food, and many contests with prizes provided by our local businesses. Join the scavenger hunt, write a pumpkin limerick, eat a pie very fast, enter your favorite pumpkin or squash recipe, or bid for a pumpkin art piece-you can do it all at the Pumpkin Festival. On Friday, September 30 at 5:30PM at the Schuylkill Mall, you can try your skill at Pumpkin' Chunkin'-throwing a pumpkin as far as you can in the parking lot to win Mall gift certificates. It promises to be a great weekend, so mark your calendar and plan to attend. Your friends and neighbors will be there-why not you too! Call the library for information about all activities at 874-3382.
For fans of the Three Pines series by Louise Penny, the latest book in the series has arrived at the library. In her latest offering A Trick of Light the series picks up on the day that Clara Morrow is about to have her long awaited art show in a prestigious gallery in Montreal. The exhibit is followed by a barbeque party celebration in Three Pines. The next morning as Clara sits in her garden awaiting her husband Peter’s arrival with the much anticipated newspaper reviews, a murdered woman’s body is discovered in their garden. Chief Inspector Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir are called to Three Pines to investigate. Readers can expect to be drawn into the hidden darker side of the Canada’s glittering art world, one in which completion between artists can have deadly consequences. Penny is at her usual brilliance in developing the tone and setting for her characters. Readers can expect the pleasure of being in the good company of Penny’s Three Pines characters and the satisfaction of an absorbing well written mystery.
Embassytown by China Mieville. Humans on a strange planet in the far distant future have forged a sort of alliance with the indigenous population, called Ariekei. In order to communicate with the creatures, pairs of Ambassadors have to be matched and trained to speak the Ariekei's unusual language. As you may have guessed this is science fiction, but it is also a book which challenges the reader to look at speech, communication, and writing in new ways. Mieville has created a world that takes a few chapters to absorb, but once you're there, the story effectively carries you along, and you find yourself rooting for his compelling heroine Avice to save her planet from destruction. Want something different? This novel is definitely that.