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On The Waterfront

Welcome to On the Waterfront, the place where library director Ellen Connor muses about books and libraries and sometimes things in between.

This cart and its contents on a Monday morning in May epitomize the life of a small town library director. It's everything for the Library that accumulated in my car over the coarse of a week-end. In addition to managing day to day operations of a library, we are working it pretty much all of the time. If nothing on this cart reminds you of anything related to traditional library work you would not be alone in reaching that conclusion. But any kindred library director can probably surmise what the backstory is with the contents in this photograph.

The big rectangular bag, (which I purchased for myself but quickly became “the library bag”) holds old vinyl albums that I talked the owner of Booksellers of Waupaca (thank you John Ryan) into donating to the Library for a DIY program we’ll be doing this summer. Vinyl is making a comeback and it will be making its comeback here at the Library in more ways than one. The bottles of soda were donated by my neighbor (Thank you Laura) who found a deal she could not resist and thought of the Library. The paper bag contains all kinds of things. Visible on top are 10 fleece drawstring bags that we use as “Discovery” bags for our Babygarten program. We take turns taking them home and washing them after they are used a few times. Below the fleece bags are about four books that I’ve spent my evenings and week-ends reading in preparation for the summer reading program. We read a lot of youth books this time of year to get kids fired up about reading over the summer. Below the books are Library Journal magazines that we get as part of a shared subscription with three other libraries. We may be reading them a couple of months after publication but it saves the library over $100.00 a year. Below those Library Journals are some stickers that my sister donated to the Library (thank you Mary) – she herself was a school librarian and knows the value of stickers to any library.

Behind the paper bag you can see the straps of my “mail bag”. It is extra full today because I didn’t get the mail Friday due to the fact that I was at the school district Color Run. (What a fun day that was BTW) I normally pick up the mail every day because if it isn’t picked up daily the box fills up quickly. Picking up the mail often means hauling packages too because some companies won’t ship to our door using UPS. Today there were no packages. Hurrah!

I don’t haul this much stuff into the Library after every week-end but it’s not unusual for us to have get the “big cart” out or to make more than one trip to our cars to unload this and that for the Library.  It’s all part of our normal routine but once in a while the sheer amount of stuff that I haul on a given day makes me pause and take a photograph and write a story about it.

Image of a pile of books

The wide spectrum of books that some of us are reading was well illustrated at our last Book(s) Discussion here at the Library. The Book(s) Discussion is open to anyone who wants to talk about the books they've been reading with others. It is like a Book Club, but there is no one targeted book to be read and discussed. People can discuss the last book they read, their favorite book of all time, their favorite author, or a book they read that they did not like. There are no rules. Show and Tell with copies of the books is encoraged. We like to think of it as a free range book club. The titles below are the books that were highlighted at our last discussion. Links to Infosoup are provided in the event you want to place a hold on a title.

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

The Turtle Warrior by Mary Relindes Ellis

Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy

An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Dark Dawn over Steep House by M.R.C. Kasasian

Opium Nation by Fairba Nawa

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Hero by Rhonda Byrne

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Still Life by Louise Penny

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Mr. Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall

The Book(s) Discussion meets on the first Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September and November. We also have our regular book club that meets on the first Wednesday of February, April, June, August, October and December. This Book Club does pick a book that everyone reads for discussion. The next Book Club will meet on Wednesday April 4th at 4pm and we'll be discussion Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. All are welcome to both programs.

Image of Biblio Bingo Poster

Our annual adult reading program started on Monday and will run for eight weeks. Biblio Bingo was born about a decade ago and this labor of love has become a staple among our adult readers. Your clever library staff come up with all kinds of categories for books and then we find the books to match the categories. Sometimes this is a real stretch and each year we remark that it might be our last because how long can we keep pulling this stuff off - but somehow we do just that and our readers line up to test their mettle yet another time. This program gets you out of your reading comfort zone and don't we all need that now and then?

If you read a book from four categories in a column, row or diagonal you get a small prize and you earn a drawing slip for wonderful prize baskets put together by our designer, Carol. Some might say it's about the baskets ,but if you heard all the conversations that go on in this place when people bring their books back to get their Bingo card stamped you will know it's really about the books. Readers may not like everything they read, but they never regret the time spent reading. This year's categories include, Bildungsroman, Cats&Dogs, City, Cli-Fi, In the Sticks, Propostion Preposition, State of Affairs, Twitter Fiction, Viet Nam, What's that Smell and Wisconsin 2017. Some of these categories are obvious but for the ones that aren't...well, you'll just have to stop in to find out what they mean and while you're here, we'll talk you into signing up to play Biblio Bingo. Thank you dear readers for requesting this program year after year.

The Library’s first general Book(s) Discussion held on Wednesday January 3 was a great way to ring in the New Year. We had eight participants each take a turn talking about books they were reading, books they had received as gifts over the holidays or books they had a special attachment to for some reason. It was a diverse collection of titles and the free for all format of the program made for a lively discussion.Listed below, in no particular order, are the books mentioned during the discussion. If a copy of the book is in infosoup we’ve provided a link for you to go straight to the catalog and reserve a copy online. The next Book(s) Discussion will be March 7th at 4pm in the Library meeting room. We hope to see more of you here!

The Books

 

Manners and Morals of Victorian America by Wayne Erbsen

Of Human Bondage by Somerset Mauham

Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman

Cherry-Pie Tells All: Peace Corps Reflections of Cherry Shauger by Cherry Shauger

Who Killed These Girls by Beverly Lowry

Bobby Kennedy: a raging spirit by Chris Matthews

Scoop by Jeff Miller

Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson

Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime and A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond

Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

A Long Trek Home: 4,00 miles by boot, raft and ski by Erin McKittrick

Endangered by Tim Flach

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City and Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

The Doomsday Machine by Daniel Ellsberg

Prairie Fires: the American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

The Wisconsin Capital: stories of a monument and its people by Michael Edmonds

Vintage Camper Trailers by Paul and Caroline Lacitinola

What a diverse list of books generated by eight people -  and this represents a tiny fraction of the books we’ve been reading or have plans to read. This was a fun way to spend a winter hour. Happy reading everyone.

 

The Huffington Post featured an article of 60 must reads for 2018. There may have been one year in my life that I read 60 books but it was so long ago I cannot remember. I read close to 30 books this year and I consider that an accomplishment. Life seems to get in the way more and more when it comes to the reading life. Of course the online life has something to do that. And even if I could read 60 books in a year, there are still so many books from last year, and the year before that, and the year before that and so on and so forth, that are still waiting for my attention. But if you, dear reader, are inclined to read that many books in a year and you are all caught up from previous years, then I present you with this feast of titles to consider. I like this list because it's anticipating good titles for the coming new year, rather than presenting us with titles already published.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2018-book-preview_us_5a383493e4b0c6...

Picture of Bell

The next "Best of 2017" we are featuring is NPR's Book Concierge. We love this treasure trove site of books that were highlighted through the year on NPR. It also features NPR staff favorites. You can sort by author, genre or even by categories like "rather short" or "rather long". It is a visual feast as well that could match the best Pinterest page out there. Have fun, but be prepared to add at least twenty "must read" books to your list.

https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2017/

Covers from some of Publishers Weekly Best Books

There are many reasons for booklovers to enjoy this time of year. For some it is making lists of books they'd like to get as gifts for the Christmas holiday. For others it is the thought of giving books as gifts to other appreciative booklovers. For us here at the Library it is the coming of the "Best Books of 2017" that we will be reading in the next month or so. There are many different entities that produce these lists and while there are certainly some titles that keep appearing on the different lists, it is amazing how many unique titles there are. There are also lists for young people's literature that we enjoy reading and talking about. We use these lists for figuring out books purchases, for deciding books to read for book club and for creating that chaos in our own lives that every reader knows about...more books on a list we already cannot get through. Click on the link below to see Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Books of 2017. The titles include fiction and non-fiction. Chances are infosoup has all of the titles so if you think you want to read one of the books you can order it directly through the catalog or you can call the Library and we'll reserve it for you.

https://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2017

 

Thanksgiving Hours Image

The Library will close at 5:30pm on Wednesday November 22 and it will be closed on Thursday November 23 and Friday November 24. The Library will be open during regular hours on Saturday which are 9am to 12pm. We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday. We also want to express how thankful we are that we serve a community that supports the Library in ways big and small and we are especially thankful for our patrons who make the Library a vibrant and meaningful place. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

“It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you've made, and there's this panic because you don't know yet the scale of disaster you've left yourself open to.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Our next read for the SML Book Club is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiquro and what a timely choice because it was recently announced that Mr. Ishiguro was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. This prestigious prize always raises the profile of a writer and that will make for a more interesting discussion come December. "Never Let Me Go" is a novel about cloning and is set in a dystopia not altogether unrecognizable. The book was adapted for a movie starring Keira Knightley in 2010. Other works from Mr. Ishiguro include The Remains of the Day which also became a well-known movie starring Anthony Hopkins. We are looking forward to reading and discussion "Never Let Me Go" and we invite anyone who is interested in the book and joining the discussion to attend the next book on the 1st Wednesday in December. If you want to place a hold on the book click here. If you want us to reserve a copy for you give us a call at 920-596-2252. We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Kazuo Ishiguro and look forward to the discussion in December.

We're having our October book discussion this week (Wednesday at 4pm) and we'll be discussing Meet Halfway: Milwaukee Stories by Jennifer Morales. This is one of many interesting books the Library's Book Club has read and discussed through the years and there promises to be many more. The fun of reading a book and then getting together to discuss it with others cannot be overstated. Reading is such a personal experience and we all take in a writer's work in different ways and to listen to others talk about the same book you just read and compare how it made them feel with how it made you feel is sometimes a great experience. We always welcome new members - there is no leader for this group - you aren't required to say anything at all during the discussions if you don't feel like it and we pick our books by consensus based on recommendations from the members. If you're looking for a way to spend a pleasant hour in the company of others and you like to read, consider attending Book Club. We meet every other month on the first Wednesday of the month at 4pm. Sometimes we even have treats.

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