The Language of Houses

Product Details

I’ve read Alison Lurie’s fiction with pleasure so thought I would try a nonfiction. This is an in depth book of how buildings, public and private, influence our lives. She begins with materials and styles, which depend on location, finances, and vision, and takes us though all kinds of houses and buildings — houses of God, Art and Science, Schools, Prisons, Nursing Homes, Restaurants, Commerce and everything but Libraries! (I kept thinking she would mention libraries but I only found this reference: she is talking about colleges and says that “at least one iconic building, a stylized image of which appears on their website, letterhead, backpacks, and T-shirts…frequently is the library or administration building.”) Too true.

The book made me think of places I’ve been and the vibes they gave off, and reminded me to pay attention to how our surroundings affect us.

“Rhyme Schemer”

Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt is middle-grade fiction. This novel in verse stars Kevin, a bully, who terrorizes his classmates physically and verbally. Of course, he is always in trouble. Along the way Kevin himself is a victim to his older brothers who are nasty to him. His redeeming quality is poetry, however, he likes to tear out pages of library books and use them for his writing paper. When Kevin gets suspended, he becomes the victim of a bully and feels cornered: who will care or believe him since his reputation precedes him? The school librarian sees through to his literary soul and encourages his gift. A short, entertaining read.

“The Heist”

On my third try, I finally got into Daniel Silva’s “The Heist.”  Gabriel Allon, art restorer and Israeli spy, once again is on the hunt for the bad guys of the world.  “The Heist” moves from country to country throughout Europe and the Middle East.  Along the way the reader learns about art restoration and lost, “stolen,” art works, especially Caravaggio’s “Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence.

This is the seventeenth novel by Silva featuring Allon and his colleagues in Israeli intelligence.  This time they are tracking stolen art that is sold for enormous amounts of cash, which makes its way into corrupt hands.  In this case, the Syrian government is reaping the gains and using the money to keep the Assad regime in power.

Like many other espionage-based plots, the story is complex, but fast moving.  Allon is passionate about art, and dedicated to his mission to rid the world of evil leaders.

“Edward Hopper Paints His World”

1410010651We recently received this J biography on Edward Hopper. It was written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor.  Written in a simple text it follows Hopper from his early days living in Nyack through his later life spent mostly on Cape Cod.

The book includes some useful information on Hopper that even an adult would find informative.  Several quotes, including my favorite “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint,” are discussed.  A bibliography includes books on Hopper, his art, and website sources.

Wendell Minor’s illustrations include many scenes that are familiar to area residents.  Minor was given permission by the directors of Hopper House in Nyack to create his drawings in the rooms where Edward Hopper grew up.  Early in the book, Minor illustrates Hopper sitting at his desk looking out the front window of his home toward the Hudson River.  On the page is a drawing of Hopper’s pencil box .  Hopper House has the box and it is on display there.

Minor will be at Hopper House on November 7 at 7p.m. to give a book talk and sign copies of “Edward Hopper Paints His World.”

J Series

9780142406335_p0_v3_s114x1669780448479989_p0_v2_s114x166  We have finished changing the spine labels for all of our J series books that are currently on the shelves.  The label names the series that the book is part of and will be shelved that way.

I have been adding to some series when a patron expresses interest.  We already had volume one in the Humphrey’s Adventures collection and have now added volumes two through four.  The “Here’s Hank” series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is a series designed using the font Dyslexie.  it was developed by a Dutch graphic designer specifically for dyslexic readers.  We have just received volume two: “A Short Tale About a Long Dog.”