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Friday, July 30, 2010

Somerset Maugham

A recent addition to Merrick Library's Biography section is "The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham" by Selma Hastings (Random House). Spotlighted in the July 25 New York Times Book Review, this volume is the first biography in over twenty years and by far the most intimate about one of the most prolific authors in English literature history. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) produced novels, short stories and plays during parts of eight consecutive decades beginning in the 1890s. By the 1930s Maugham was by all accounts the highest paid writer in the world.
"Being Julia," the 2004 motion picture for which Annette Bening won a Golden Globe for Best Actress, was based on Maugham's 1937 novella "Theatre." "The Painted Veil," a 2007 film drama starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, was adapted from Maugham's 1925 novel of the same name. Both films are in Merrick's DVD collection.

Merrick Library also has the following fiction by W. Somerset Maugham:

The Causarina Tree: Six Stories
Liza of Lambeth/Cakes and Ale/Theatre (in one volume)
The Moon and Sixpence
Of Human Bondage
The Painted Veil (in Paperback section)
The Razor's Edge

And these volumes about Maugham:

W. Somerset Maugham and His World - Frederic Raphael (biography)
W. Someset Maugham: A Study of the Short Fiction - Stanley Archer (criticism)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Story of the Week.

Every Monday The Library of America features a new Story of the Week. It could be anything: a short work of fiction, a character sketch, an essay, a journalist's dispatch, a poem. It could be Stephen Crane's "The Black Dog" or George Jean Nathan's "Baiting the Umpire." What is certain is that it will be memorable, because every story is from one of the hundreds of classic works of American literature published by The Library of America.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Books to Movies.

The Switch
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson,
Juliette Lewis

Release Date: August 20th
Based on: The short story “Baster” by Jeffrey Eugenides

Kassie is a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite her neurotic
best friend Wally’s objections, decides it’s time to have a baby ---
even if it means doing it by herself…with a little help from a
charming sperm donor. But, unknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry
because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven
years later when Wally finally gets acquainted with Kassie’s cute ---
though slightly neurotic --- son.

Daniel Schorr

Longtime broadcast journalist and commentator Daniel Schorr died July 23 at age 93. A native of the Bronx, Schorr began his 23-year career with CBS News as a foreign correspondent landing the first televised interview with then-Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1957. Later Schorr wound up on the "enemies list" of President Richard Nixon for his coverage of the Watergate scandal. In 1979 Schorr began the first chief Washington correspondent of the newly formed Cable News Network. From 1985 until July 10 of this year he provided analysis on current events for many National Public Radio news programs including a regular stint on the Saturday "Weekend Edition" anchored by Scott Simon. Daniel Schorr wrote a number of books in his later years including "Come to Think of It: Notes on the End of the Millenium" (Viking, 2008) which can be found at the Merrick Library.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Summer Audiobook Arrivals!

Three women--Holly, Nicola, and Lexi--learn the path to true contentment and save each other in this humorous story about old rivalries, deep secrets, and the three things all women wish they were.

Two generations of women come together off the coast of Nantucket as they spend the summer in the family beach cottage. They're all there for different reasons: Chess is trying to mend her broken heart after her ex-fianc dies in a tragic accident; her sister, Tate, is eager to escape boredom and figure out what she really wants from life; their mother, Birdie, is still coming to terms with her divorce; and Birdie's sister, India, is trying to help them all—while dealing with her own secret pain.

Longtime politician's wife Sylvie is recovering from public humiliation, daughter Kate escaped a loveless marriage by having an unsuitable affair that's just burned her, and Kate's wild daughter Lizzie has just walked out on an abusive boyfriend.

Lily Fox, the baby of her family, sends her sister Abbie urgent emails begging her to return home to Nantucket. Their middle sister, Emma, has taken to her bed, emotionally devastated after the loss of her high-powered stockbroker's job and a shockingly unexpected break-up with her fiancé. Also, Lily is deeply worried that Marina, the beautiful, enigmatic woman renting their guesthouse, has set her sights on the sisters' widowed father, Jim.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Faithful Place" by Tana French

New Fiction Title

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week.....

Goodman, Allegra. The Cookbook Collection.

Are you looking for a pair of siblings to rival the Dashwood sisters in Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility?” Search no further than Emily and Jess Bach. The oldest, Emily is the CEO of a computer start-up company with longings for marriage and all that it traditionally entails. However, her beau Jonathan, a fellow computer executive, is proving someone not to be trusted with details about a breakthrough in Emily’s company. Meanwhile, Jess the perpetual graduate student is juggling attractions for a charismatic ecology crusader and George, an antiquarian book dealer who employs Jess part time. When a mystery woman’s enormous inheritance of cookbooks requires cataloging help, Microsoft stock retiree George sees a chance to seduce comely Jess with gourmet meals and the décor of his home. With numerous literary references and other equally compelling characters Goodman creates a journey to which Miss Austen herself would likely bestow approval.

Also by Allegra Goodman at Merrick Library:

The Family Markowitz
Kaaterskill Falls
Paradise Park

Revieved by Librarian, Bob.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Books to Movies.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
The list author says:
"In theatres July 30th, 2010."

Charlie St. Cloud is a young man overcome by grief at the death of his
younger brother. So much so that he takes a job as caretaker of the
cemetery in which his brother is buried. Charlie has a special lasting
bond with his brother though, as he can see him. Charlie meets up with
his brother (Sam) each night to play catch and talk. Then, a girl
comes into Charlie's life and he must choose between keeping a promise
he made to Sam, or going after the girl he loves.

Book Signing....


Monday, July 26th, 7pm at Book Revue
The original drummer of the iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses STEVEN
ADLER will speak about and sign his new memoir, My Appetite for
Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses.

After forty years, twenty-eight ODs, three botched suicides, two heart
attacks, a couple of jail stints, and a debilitating stroke, Steven
Adler, the most self-destructive rock star ever, is ready to share the
shattering untold truth in My Appetite for Destruction.

When Adler was eleven years old he told his two closest friends he was
going to be a rock star in the world's greatest band. Along with four
uniquely talented—but very complicated and demanding—musicians, Adler
helped form Guns N' Roses. They rose from the streets—primal rockers
who obliterated glam rock and its big hair to resurrect rock's truer
blues roots.

Adler was humiliated and disgraced when Axl Rose kicked him out of GNR
in front of an MTV audience of millions. Adler plunged into the dark
side, spending most of the next twenty years in a drug-fueled hell.
But he finally beat his epic addiction to crack and heroin under the
care of Dr. Drew Pinsky.

With Adler's newfound clarity comes a fierce determination to tell it
all. Revelatory, heartbreaking, hilarious, and ultimately
inspirational, you will never read anything more jaw-droppingly honest
than My Appetite for Destruction.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Meg Cabot's Insatiable

The author of the popular Princess Diaries series and Queen of Babble (2006) jumps on the vampire bandwagon. Meena Harper is a young soap opera writer who possesses the power to see how people are going to die. This ability has allowed her to save the lives of those she cares about, but it's also made her something of an outsider. Her dreams of becoming the head writer on her show, Insatiable, are dashed when the job is given to a well-connected rival who wants to add a vampire character to the sudser. Meena is dismayed by the turn of events at work until a mysterious stranger named Lucien rescues her from a bizarre bat attack. Their romance takes off, until a smoldering vampire hunter named Alaric breaks into Meena's apartment and tells her the man she's dating is the prince of darkness. Meena doesn't want to believe her lover is actually a vampire, but the gravity of the situation becomes apparent when she finds herself embroiled in a deadly vampire war. The vampire craze may be reaching the oversaturation point, but this novel's appealing love triangle and Cabot's popularity should draw plenty of readers.

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week.....

This collection of prose by one of the most prolific writers of the last half-century could not have had a better title. The reader meets Oates before and in the aftermath of the death of her husband of 48 years, Ontario Review founder/editor Raymond Smith.
In reviewing the Annie Leibovitz exhibition and book "A Photographer's Life" (available at Merrick Library) Oates takes significant note of photos taken of her late friend, writer/intellectual Susan Sontag. Another piece looks at the hoarding Collyer brothers whose obsessions led to their joint demise. Balancing out such mortality rooted contributions are insights into current authors such as Annie Proulx and Margaret Atwood and past masters including Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl and Flannery O'Connor. Oates praises Emily Dickinson especially as a a role model of "female stoicism and pragmatism."

Merrick Library carries many volumes by Joyce Carol Oates including the following recent titles:

Dear Husband: Stories
A Fair Maiden (novel)
Little Bird of Heaven (novel)
My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skylar Rampike (novel)
Wild Nights: Stories About the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James and Hemingway

Reviewed by Librarian, Bob.

Friday, July 16, 2010 Article

Dead for a Century, Twain Says What He Meant

A very different and more pointedly political Mark Twain emerges in his new unexpurgated autobiography.

Wry and cranky, droll and cantankerous — that’s the Mark Twain we think we know, thanks to reading “Huck Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” in high school. But in his unexpurgated autobiography, whose first volume is about to be published a century after his death, a very different Twain emerges, more pointedly political and willing to play the role of the angry prophet.

Visit this link for the full article.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

George Steinbrenner and the Yankees.

George Steinbrenner, the long-time and often controversial owner of the New York Yankees, died July 13 at the age of 80. On May 27 this Blog presented a review of the book Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball by Daily News writer Bill Madden.

In addition to this biography, Merrick Library also has the following books on the Yankees in the Steinbrenner era:

Allen, Maury. All Roads Lead to October: Boss Steinbrenner's 25-Year Reign Over the New York Yankees
Bradley, Richard. The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox and the Playoff of '78
Heller, Jane. Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees
Kahn, Roger. October Men: Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978
Mahler, Jonathan. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning: 1977, the Yankees and the Battle for the Soul of a City
Morrissey, Michael. The Pride and the Pressure: A Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl
Sherman, Joel. Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees
Torre, Joe. The Yankee Years

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stieg Larsson's 4th manuscript clouded in mystery....

According to Yahoo News. only two people know about the content of the 4th manuscript: Larsson's longtime partner Eva Gabrielsson, who has refused to talk about it and won't reveal the whereabouts of the last installment in the series, which started with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"; and Larsson's friend John-Henri Holmberg, who received an e-mail about the book from Larsson less than a month before his death on Nov. 9, 2004.

Please visit this link for the full article.

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week.

Morrisroe, Patricia. Wide Awake: A Memoir of Imsomnia. Spiegel and Grau.

No play on words: this combination investigative work and memoir arose from a personal "wake-up" call. After a particularly "bad night," Morrisroe almost was run over by a taxi while after morning coffee. The onetime magazine editor and biographer of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe thus set out to find an answer to her insomnia while tracing the history of sleeplessness back to ancient Greece. Much is mentioned about the role of drug companies given that sleeping-pill prescriptions increased by 55 percent during the 21st century's first half-decade. Over eighty sleep disorders are recognized by the medical world even though most physicians receive little or no initial instruction about them during training. Morrisroe's quest does have a happy ending in that after high-priced clinics and therapies she found rest and enlightenment through Qigong, the Chinese system of exercise and meditation.

Revieved by Librarian, Bob.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New DVD Release.

"Saint John of Las Vegas" - oddball comedy starring Steve Buscemi and Peter Dinklage ("Death at a Funeral")

Author Appearance News

The Great Neck Library welcomes New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs at their Summer Literary Event, Monday, July 12 at 7:30. She will discuss and sign her brand-new novel "As Husbands Go". Discounted copies will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Books of The Times: A Talent for Writing, and Falling Into Things

A biography of the novelist William Golding, whose "Lord of the Flies" became a bible of tortured adolescence in America, has some lighter notes.

Please visit this link for the full article.

New York Times Literary Treat of the Week.....

Mendelsohn, Jane. American Music.

Submitted for your perusal: when paralyzed Iraq War veteran Milo Hatch is massaged by his lonely young physical therapist Honor stories to which neither has a personal connection appear in both their minds. There is a 1936 love triangle involving a saxophone player, his wife who has had many miscarriages, and her cultured cousin who loves the sound of swing. An excursion into the history of cymbals is the ticket to a 1623 drama in Turkey involving a sultan's desire for a beautiful dancer. Then it is forward to 1969 where a Vietnam war photographer married to a disgraced former Army doctor discovers her life work is missing. These and other tales complete with a cameo by jazz giant William "Count" Basie comprise the puzzle Honor seeks to fill in during her visits to Milo. Mendelsohn, who wrote the 2000 vampire shocker "Innocence," (also at Merrick Library), has created a zone in which music (jazz in particular) is the only common thread.

Revieved by Librarian, Bob.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Book Signings at Book Revue!


Wednesday, July 14th, 7pm

Long Island author BEN BAGLIO will speak about and sign his new novel set during World War II, I’ll Be Seeing You.

In his previous novel, A String of Pearls, Ben Baglio used revisionist history to provide a fictionalized account of the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the attack itself, by imagining the lives and conversations of the men on the USS Arizona, Roosevelt and Churchill, and the Japanese pilots who carried out the attacks.

Now, in I’ll Be Seeing You, Baglio returns to the characters he introduced in A String of Pearls to explore what happened after Pearl Harbor, when Americans were called up to make the transition from civilian to soldier, and the country to shift from plowshare to sword. The reader watches Doolittle’s B-25’s bolt from the Hornet to bomb Tokyo, flies with a heroic torpedo squadron at Midway, convulses with
Marines on Guadalcanal, and witnesses German agents land on Long Island. What were the thoughts of Churchill and Roosevelt during these early days? Did it all have to happen as it did?

Dr. Ben Baglio has spent his career working as a public school educator and college professor. He is the author of the four-book World War II series From Infamy to Victory, as well as his nonfiction work Kid’s Are The Easy Part, an insider’s perspective on school reform. When not working as an educational consultant, he continues to write historical fiction. He lives with his wife on Long Island.

Book Signing....


Tuesday, July 13th, 7pm at the Book Revue in Huntington.

Founder and executive director of The Good Dog Foundation
RACHEL MCPHERSON will speak about and sign her new book, Every Dog Has
a Gift: True Stories of Dogs Who Bring Hope and Healing into Our

Anyone who has ever had a relationship with a dog will tell you: They want nothing more than to give love and be loved in return. In Every Dog Has a Gift, Rachel McPherson draws on her experience as the founder and executive director of The Good Dog Foundation, the largest animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast, to share the amazing stories of dogs that bring hope and healing into our lives.

W. S. Merwin to Be Named Poet Laureate

W. S. Merwin acknowledges that his relatively reclusive life on a former pineapple plantation built atop a dormant volcano in Maui, Hawaii, will be disturbed by the Library of Congress’s announcement on Thursday naming him the country’s poet laureate.

Please visit this link for the full article.