Archive for August, 2011

Book Club Resources

Fall is right around the corner, and with everyone going back to school, it’s time to get serious about book club. Not so serious that we turn it into “Fight Club” (the number one rule of Book Club is actually to talk about Book Club). Instead, now is a great time to join or start a book club.

Of course, we’d love to invite you to join the TFPL Book Club. We’re very informal – you can choose how often you come, and we provide snacks and a discussion leader. In fact, you don’t even have to read or finish the book. We just want to get people talking. We meet at 5:30 the second Tuesday of each month (unless it’s a holiday), and we don’t care if you come late or leave early – you can also come early and leave late, if you like! Click on the “tfpl book club” tab at the top of the blog for more information.

If you’re looking at starting or revamping your own book club, we’ve also got resources for you – here are some tips to help you get started. You can always talk with one of the Reference Librarians (Amy, Beth, or Jennifer) for some great recommendations for good books. We’ve also got these handy-dandy Book Club Kits; all you have to do is supply the readers. Keep checking that page for added titles.

Finally, there are some great resources on the web. Here are a few of our favorites:


Reading Group Choices

  • This site is one of the best for book clubs. It offers discussion guides, recommendations, advice, and even drawings for copies of books. Sign up for their monthly newsletter for more ideas.


Reading Group Guides

  • This is another great site for all-around book club use. Find author interviews, discussion guides, and even register your own book club group for special drawings.


Book Browse

  • A great site for readers in general, though they do have a couple of Book Club links, including an online book club, if you’re looking for one to join.


Oprah’s Book Club

  • Oprah’s show may be over, but her interest in books lives on through her book club site. You can check out previous Oprah choices, or get information on exciting new reads.


Barnes and Noble Review

  • Although not geared to book clubs, this site is a great resource for author information, recommendations, and reviews from people in the know. Take a look at their fun “Five Books” feature.


NoveList Plus (just click on the link at the TFPL website)

  • NoveList Plus is almost as good as having your own personal librarian. They offer great content, such as access to professional reviews, discussion guides, and feature articles by their in-house librarians. They also allow you to search for books, both fiction and nonfiction, by such traits as subject, genre, award winners, author nationality, and many more. You can also do a plot search!


Whether you start your own, or join an existing one, give a Book Club a chance this fall. They’re not only great for making friends or finding new books, they’re also good for keeping your mind sharp (which you might need if you also decide to join a Fight Club this fall – good luck with that!)

It’s Getting “Hot” in Here…

Oh, August. You make us yearn for the days when we weren’t already sweating by noon. The days when we didn’t feel the necessity to stand for hours in the frozen food section of the grocery store.  The days when a constant worry didn’t involve leather seats and bare legs. Those days – you know, like June.

Instead, we are forced to focus on the “hot”. As in, “Wow, the temperature is already in the 90s and it’s not even 9 AM”, not as in “Hoo, baby, lookin’ good.” So, in infamous honor of the heat, here are a few “hot” books. Whether or not you read them in front of the air conditioner is up to you.



Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof by Blaize Clement

Hot Chocolate: 50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort by Fred Thompson

Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy

Hot Mahogany by Stuart Woods

Hot Springs: A Novel by Geoffrey Becker

Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich

The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford

Our Red Hot Romance Is Leaving Me Blue by Dixie Cash

Red Hot Lies by Laura Caldwell

Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar by Pamela Morsi

Ride the Hot Wind by Lewis B. Patten

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz



Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty by Tracey Jackson

Hot Biscuits: Eighteen Stories by Women and Men of the Ranching West

Hot (Broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink It Too by Nancy Trejos

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

The Hot Mom’s Handbook by Jessica Denay

Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces, and Organizations Buzz with Energy – and Some Don’t by Lynda Gratton

Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt by Edward P. Kohn

Hot X: Algebra Exposed by Danica McKellar

Hot Zone by Richard Preston

In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Years by Kevin Sites

My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatched From Just the Other Side of Young by Stephanie Dolgoff

L is for Letters

There are those who complain that technology is having a detrimental effect on letter writing (I’m one of them). After all, speaking in abbreviations and emoticons is not the same as receiving a heartfelt, handwritten letter from a loved one. While I love technology as much as the next person – and I’m not saying I don’t text or email, mind you – I think that we’re losing a beautiful thing here.

But, thankfully, the letter lives on in literature. A number of rather good books are set in an epistolary format (consisting in letters). Reading one of the novels listed below might even make you yearn to put pen to paper – at least until your hand starts to ache…

Starred entries are highly recommended (by me).


84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (nonfiction)*

The Color Purple by Alice Walker*

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn*

Emily Hudson by Melissa Jones

From A to X: A Story in Letters by John Berger

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson*

Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock (1st in a series)*

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Homeland  by Barbara Hambly

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Letter to My Daughter: A Novel by George Bishop

The Letters by Luanne Rice

Letters from Yellowstone by Diane  Smith

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions by Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple (nonfiction)

A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1988

Adult Summer Reading is over for the year – and we should have all the results tallied and prizes announced next week. Thanks and congratulations to all the participants. It was a crazy summer (with the carpeting chaos), but it was fun!

This week, we’ll journey back in time to 1988. I remember it well – it was my junior year in high school – but it may also be remembered for: Ollie North being indicted in the Iran-Contra Affair (March), the Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea (September), and Sammy Davis, Jr. died (May).

If you were reading back then, you might remember some of the books listed below, which appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List this week in 1988…


The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy

Alaska by James A. Michener

To Be the Best by Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

Zoya by Danielle Steel

Timothy’s Game by Lawrence Sanders

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Doctors by Erich Segal

The Icarus Agenda by Robert Ludlum

A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

People Like Us by Dominick Dunne

Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker

Rock Star by Jackie Collins

The India Fan by Victoria Holt



A Brief History of Time by Stephen W. Hawking

Talking Straight by Lee Iacocca with Sonny Kleinfield

Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s by Hunter S. Thompson

Trump by Donald J. Trump with Tony Schwartz

The Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Life by Charles Higham

A Trail of Memories edited by Angelique L’amour

Picasso: Creator and Destroyer by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington

Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China by Paul Theroux

Almost Golden by Gwenda Blair

Thriving on Chaos by Tom Peters

Capote by Gerald Clarke

For the Record by Donald T. Regan

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 by Paul Kennedy

Washington Goes to War by David Brinkley

Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick