AL FRANKEN, GIANT of the SENATE by Al Franken

September 19th, 2017 by Goshen Public Library No comments »

al frankenThis is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending:  the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented 8-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

It is a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.  It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

“Admirably incautious…Franken has weaponized the gifts that proved so useful for comedy—a sharp eye and a sharper tongue. the ability to tease out the essential absurdity of a given situation and deliver the goods with maximum impact.” [Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone]

“A fun and compelling book, [Franken] uses self-deprecating humor to poke fun at everyone on either side of the aisle, and he gives readers insight to the daily workings of life in the Senate.  His love of the people and the state of Minnesota is crystal clear.” [Jeff Ayers, AP]

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NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier

September 6th, 2017 by Goshen Public Library No comments »

new boyArriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day—so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl.

In NEW BOY, the tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington DC schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers.  The youth of the characters is played naturalistically and honestly, yet still manages to elicit much the same pathos that Othello’s tragic path does.  The depth of connection between the original work and this new one is astonishing; Chevalier builds parallels within parallels that are both unexpectedly creative and exquisitely apt.

NEW BOY  succeeds in portraying a Shakespearean tragedy’s sense of growing unease, and culminates in an unnerving and haunting climax that will take a long time to shake.

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LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK by Kathleen Rooney

August 25th, 2017 by Goshen Public Library No comments »

lillian boxfish takes a walkLillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is delectably theatrical; laced with strands of tart poetry and emulates the dark sparkle of Dorothy Parker, Edna St Vincent Millay and Truman Capote.  She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R H Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country.  It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it”.

It’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever,  is on her way to a party; on a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the City.  She meats bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, & parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement & adversity, passion & heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

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COLLARED by David Rosenfelt

August 8th, 2017 by Goshen Public Library No comments »

collared COLLARED is an ‘Andy Carpenter Mystery'; the latest one in a series that now includes 16 mysteries.  Lawyer, Andy Carpenter’s true passion is the Tara Foundation , the dog-rescue organization he runs with his friend, Willie Miller.  All kinds of dogs make their way to the shelter— there is quite a surprise when they scan the newest dog’s embedded chip & discover he is the “DNA dog”.

Two and a half years ago Jill Hickman’s baby & dog were kidnapped in broad daylight & they haven’t been seen since.  Now with the reappearance of the dog, the case is brought back to light & the search for the child is renewed.

This is a courtroom drama with charm & a really clever plot with Jersey gangsters, ruthless criminals, & likable protagonists.  Rosenfelt manages to make the reading both humorous (laugh-out-loud funny) & edge-of-your-seat suspenseful.

To make sure the real kidnapper is in jail, Andy & his team enter the case.  But what they start to uncover is far more complicated and dangerous as they ever expected.

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GO FOR BROKE by C. Douglas Sterner

August 3rd, 2017 by Goshen Public Library No comments »

gfbGo for Broke is a great story of American heroism from WWII.

Japanese-Americans were forcefully removed from their homes & businesses, & placed in “relocation” camps throughout the West.  With countless instances og “Gestapo-like”tactics used against them, no one would’ve faulted them for being bitter or angry at the country that held them captive.

Instead, the remarkable story of these Nesei (first-generation-born Japanese born outside of Japan) warriors explains why they were eager to defend their American homeland, & how they became the most decorated fighting unit ever assembled in U.S. military history.

Go for Broke is the incredible story of how these soldiers, known as the “Purple Heart Battalion”, helped liberate Europe, the Pacific, & America from its pervasive & systemic bigotry.

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