Book Review: Things To Do When You’re Goth in the Country by Chavisa Woods

31812175This book of short stories focuses on life in small towns the country, particularly the Midwest. The primary characters tend to be queer in some fashion, which (whether goth or not) adds an extra layer of not fitting in. One or two don’t fit this premise, but they still fit the overall theme of surreal encounters or the strangeness of the mundane. The strangest one is “A New Mohawk” in which the main character wakes up with the Gaza Strip on his head, complete with little explosions.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but I also found a few of the stories depressing. My favorite story is “Revelations,” about an old woman whose pastor’s wife has had a vision that someone in the congregation has a terrible hidden sin that must be rooted out, for that is what has caused the steady decline in parishioners over the past few years. She thinks she is the problem, only to learn of a very strange secret a few of her fellow parishioners have been keeping.

Review by Jessica A.

Monday Spotlight: Danville Natives

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It’s Showtime at Your Library

The Adult Services Department would like to invite everyone upstairs for some summer movie fun.  Each month we will be featuring a Danville star.  We will have related movies and books available for checkout all summer long.

On display for June, we feature comedian and dancer, Donald O’Connor.  Donald’s father, Jack Connor, was a Danville native who became an acrobat for the Ringling Brothers’ Circus.  His mother, Effie, was a bareback rider and dancer.  They formed a vaudeville act and took their family on the road.  Donald was born while the family was in Chicago, but he always considered Danville to be his hometown.  The family always returned to Danville between engagements.  Donald was close to his Danville cousins, Lois Shouse and Margaret Cline.  Donald was known for such movie classics as “Singin’ in the Rain”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, and the “Francis the Talking Mule” series.

July’s featured performer will be Dick Van Dyke.  Dick was born in White Plains, MO, and moved to Danville while he was young.  His father, Loren, was better known as Cookie.  His mother was the former Hazel McCord of Danville.  Dick left Danville for Air Force training at age 18.  After World War II, he returned to Danville, and performed in the surrounding area.  He was also a local radio personality.  Dick is best-known for his movie and television career and has been featured in classic films such as “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Mary Poppins”, and has starred in several TV series including “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Diagnosis: Murder.”  He lives in Hollywood with his wife, Arlene Silvers.

Gene Hackman will be our featured performer for August.  Gene is an Academy Award winning actor who currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Betsy.  He grew up in Danville, leaving at age 16 to join the Marines.  Gene has appeared in “The French Connection”,  “Bonnie and Clyde”, “Hoosiers”, “Unforgiven”, “Behind Enemy Lines”, and many more films during a career spanning fifty years.  He also has written several novels, including Wake of the Perdido Star,  Escape From Andersonville, and Justice for None, which was based on a true event that happened in Danville.

 

Post written by Leann S.

Friday Reads: Summer Solstice

June 21 is the first day of summer, the summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year and the rest of the year will have longer and longer nights until the winter solstice on December 21. Here is a selection of books for all you summer solstice needs.

23307015Clade by James Bradley

Adam Leith marks the passage of the summer solstice in Antarctica while back in Sydney, his partner Elllie waits for the results of her latest round of IVF treatment. That result will change both their lives and propel them into a future neither could have predicted. In a collapsing England Adam will battle to survive an apocalyptic storm. Against a backdrop of growing civil unrest at home, Ellie will discover a strange affinity with beekeeping. In the aftermath of a pandemic, a young man finds solace in building virtual recreations of the dead. And new connections will be formed from the most unlikely beginnings.

811g5a2ptwlBimini Twist by Linda Greenlaw

“Jane Bunker returns in another thrilling, small-town mystery set in Down East Maine It seems like everyone in Green Haven knows that Jane Bunker has scored an invite to the ultra-exclusive Summer Solstice Soiree–and they all assume she’ll be in attendance, as one of the few eligible single women in town. Of course, that’s the last place Jane would like to be; hobnobbing and making small talk with the upper crust isn’t exactly her idea of a good time. She prefers to put in her hours working as an insurance investigator, and part-time as the deputy sheriff. When she gets to work one morning, the sheriff asks her to take a break on her personal war on drugs–it seems that she’s been so successful catching dealers and interrupting the flow of drugs in the area that she’s called too much attention to just how bad it’s gotten, and the community is worried that all the attention on the drug trade will deter the summer tourists that Green Haven so badly needs to keep the economy going. Instead, Jane takes on a missing person case–a young woman working at the Bar Harbor Inn has disappeared. The Inn employs foreign exchange students from all over the world during the busy summer season, and the missing Bianca Chiriac is one of them. When it becomes clear that Bianca isn’t just sleeping off a late-night party, Jane is plunged into the underbelly of the resort town, and must find the missing woman before the worst happens”– Provided by publisher.

40189773Witch Summer Night’s Cream by H. Y. Hanna

A witch, a mystery and a chocolate love potion. Celebrating the summer solstice can be fun – especially when your grandmother’s a witch with an enchanted chocolate shop! Caitlyn is looking forward to Midsummer’s Eve in the tiny English village of Tillyhenge. But when a teenage girl is mysteriously murdered and a priceless love potion goes missing, she and her cousins are plunged into a puzzling mystery. Is the girl’s death connected to the midnight bonfires at the stone circle? What about the two strangers who recently arrived in the village? With her naughty black kitten and toothless old vampire uncle – not to mention handsome British aristocrat, Lord James Fitzroy – all lending a helping hand, Caitlyn sets out to do some magical sleuthing. But Midsummer’s Eve is fast approaching and spells are going disastrously wrong – can Caitlyn use her newfound witch power to find the killer – and maybe even mend a broken heart?

29939386The Return by Joseph Helmreich

The coinciding of a lunar eclipse with the winter solstice prompted television coverage that inadvertently captured live video of an alien abduction in California. The victim “washed up celebrity physicist”, Dr. Andrew Leland who had been retained to provide expert commentary on the celestial event was seen lifted up into the sky by an unseen force emanating from a green structure. Almost seven years later Leland is found wandering in a desert but he denies knowing anything about the abduction claiming that he retired from scientific research and has spent those years working as a farmhand. Brilliant young physicist Shawn Ferris becomes obsessed with learning the truth about what happened to Leland.

51ujzdbsfpl._sx334_bo1204203200_Shooting Lights by Mary Victoria Johnson

Tree has always been content with her quiet village life. It’s her best friend, Jeanne, who keeps dragging her into trouble. When Jeanne “kidnaps” Tree in order to visit Stonehenge for the 1987 summer solstice, their paths tangle with two displaced army kids, and what starts out as a simple road trip quickly turns into something far more complicated.

 

 

51lg02jxdql._sx355_bo1204203200_Showtime! by Alexa Pearl, illustrated by Paco Sordo

“The King and Queen have put Sasha in charge of planning a Summer Solstice celebration for the horses of Verdant Valley and Crystal Cove! Sasha has never planned a big party before, and there are so many details! Will she find a way to pull this party off?”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

81iqet7pk0lSummer Solstice by Maddy Spalding

Engage readers with the story of the summer solstice. Readers are introduced to the longest day of the year and the concept of how Earth changes to bring us the warm season. Includes a kid-friendly project inspiring creativity and hands-on fun.

 

 

Note: All book covers are from Google Images and all descriptions are for the SHARE Catalog.

Book Review: Stealing Harry by copperbadge

dw37gd-5530800d-05a8-4d49-896f-bb7ae56adb2fStealing Harry is set in an alternate Harry Potter universe where Sirius Black did not go to Azkaban, but bought a house on Privet Lane to keep an eye on Harry and runs a bookstore in town with Remus Lupin. Fan fiction like this is great, because it gives the fan an opportunity to explore What Ifs. As with a lot of fan fiction, this also means exploring romantic pairings that didn’t exist in the original work. In this case: Black and Lupin.

Having arrived on the scene too late to do anything, Sirius finds Pettigrew already dead, possibly at the hands of Lucius Malfoy, who is promptly sent to Azkaban with a Dementor’s kiss. Sirius knows that Harry must stay with the Durselys, thanks to the protective power of blood relatives, but wants to keep an eye on him anyway. It isn’t long before he realizes the Dudley bullies Harry non-stop and that the Dursleys lock Harry up in the cupboard under the stairs. This is the last straw, and Sirius and Remus take Harry away from the Dursleys once and for all. Sirius sells his house and moves in to Remus Lupin’s flat near the bookshop with Harry, since it’s safer. Dumbledore isn’t happy of course, and cautions the two men to be extra careful since they no longer have that strong protection that Aunt Petunia provided as Lily’s sister. (In this story, Remus is a very distant cousin of James Potter, so the protection spell still works; it’s just not as potent.) Remus and Sirius learn how to raise a child together, gaining some help from the Weasleys and even Severus Snape, all while Remus is convinced that Peter Pettigrew still lives. If he’s right, then they will have a lot more to worry about than making sure Harry is prepared for Hogwarts.

For Harry Potter fans looking to read a story where Harry escapes the Dursleys before he even learns of Hogwarts, this is great. For those who wish that Harry and Sirius had more time together, or who think that Sirius and Remus would make a good couple, or who would like to see another side of Severus Snape; this book is for you. I enjoyed the sweet romance and the character development in this book. One of the best things was something that J.K. Rowling tried and (in my opinion) failed to do in the original books: it redeemed Snape. As this is a work of fan fiction, you will not be able to find it in a bookstore or at the library. Simply search for it and more at the Hugo-nominated website ArchiveOfOurOwn.org

Image credit: “Stealing Harry” by elaboration.

What’s New at the Library?

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See what’s new this week at the Danville Public Library at:

*** http://wowbrary.org/nu.aspx?fb&p=8491-247 ***

There are three new bestsellers, eight new movies, three new music CDs, three new children’s books, and 34 other new books.

The new bestsellers this week are “Mrs. Everything: A Novel,” “The Oracle,” and “The Hive.” The new movies this week include “Captain Marvel,” “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral,” and “The Mustang.”

Book Review: Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets by Feminista Jones

51+z5m6mcULThe book covers the influence Black women have had over politics, entertainment, and media. She calls back to the Combahee River Collective, a group of Black women who met in the 1970s to push forward a progressive feminist agenda, because they felt if they would not speak for Black women, no one would. Jones argues that we are in a new era of such a collective, by boosting TV ratings via live-tweeting a show, or creating open and intersectional spaces both on and offline to talk about issues today. Jones shows how social media has made progress possible and will only continue to bring people together in the future.

If you have been following Feminista Jones’ work online then you will be well-pleased with this book. Her voice is clear and her ideas are those that everyone should be listening to. While this is a book that celebrates Black women, they are not the only audience who will benefit from this book. White people in particular should read this and learn from the experiences of Black women, and learn how to be more intersectional in their own feminism. Jones references so many influential feminists throughout history, that one could gather a very good reading list from the references section of the book.

Review by Jessica A.