If you are looking to experience film, theater, art and music this summer then check out the Hudson Valley Summer Arts Pass. Four venues are included in the summer pass allowing access to these venues: 1) The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts 2) Jacob Burns Film Center 3) Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and 4) Historic Hudson Valley landmark sites. Once you purchase a pass by June 20th, you can select tickets for shows at the four venues for $148 (a $320+ value).
1942, Alexandria, Egypt: Yvette and James meet on the eve of her sister Celia’s wedding, at a piano recital. It is during WWII, with German bombs falling and English pilots being shot down in their British Hurricane planes. At war’s end, James, a pilot, becomes a minister and the married couple moves to England. The author frequently jumps around in time: from 1942 to present day 1974, with James and his son Tom finding Yvette’s journals and discovering some startling truths. A neighbor and good friend of Yvette when she was younger is now in a nursing home, unable to say any word besides “yes”. Frances Liardet writes a moving story about love, family, friendship, grief and secrets. I did enjoy it, but thought it moved a bit slowly at times.
Here We Read.com is a web site cultivating lists of books related to DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The annual list ranges from pre-toddlers to teens. An extensive offering with summaries, Here We Read is a good place to begin exploring this wide field of subjects covering biographies, fiction and non-fiction. The web site also has podcasts interviewing authors such as Kwame Alexander in “I’m Not a Fan of Diverse Books, I’m a fan of Diverse Thinking People. A Conversation with Kwame Alexander.”
Heartstopper is (so far) a 4-book graphic novel series and TV show on Netflix. The main characters are 15 years-old and introduce a genre of books and TV for a new generation. Are the books promoting the TV show or is the show sending kids looking to read the books? Either way, both media are a hit with the teen crowd. The article in The Atlantic calls Heartstopper “Mainstream coming-of-age stories about LGBTQ teenagers,” but one that many audiences will enjoy. Far from a dark, disturbing story of bullying, Heartstopper is more of a feel-good look at teens finding their way in the world.
Dana Stabenow is well known for her Kate Shugak mystery series, but this title is first in a series set in Alexandria, Egypt in 45 BC, during Cleopatra VII’s reign. Her Eye, or agent, has just been murdered while tracking a lost shipment of new bronze coins commissioned by the Queen. Cleopatra chooses her childhood friend, Tetisheri, to become the new Eye, and tasks her with finding both the murderer and the lost shipment of coin. Tetisheri is aided by Apolloduros, the queen’s personal bodyguard. Stabenow paints a vivid portrait of the indignities suffered by women during that time, especially slave women. I found both this title and its sequel, Disappearance of a Scribe, to be very satisfying reads. Recommended especially for fans of historical fiction.