Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Consumer Reports: Free Online!

Did you know you don't have to rifle through paper copies of Consumer Reports to find the product review you're looking for? It's all available for free online with a Newport Library card! You'll need to enter the barcode number on the back of your card and your PIN. Call the library at 265-2153 to set up a PIN or come to library to get in-person help.

Simply go to our databases page, accessible from the library's home page: 

Select Consumer Reports, enter your info, and you're in!

Find a product by selecting from the drop down menu, index, or using the search box at the top of the page.

Take advantage of Newport Library's free online access to Consumer Reports and other databases! After all, the library and all its resources are here for YOU!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Resolve to Learn!

At the start of each year we tend to take stock of our lives and consider areas we can improve upon. Have you had a yen to study a language? Did you get a new tablet or computer for Christmas, and need help learning to use it? Would you like to learn how to download eBooks and audiobooks from Library2Go?

If so, you're in luck!  During the month of January, we are offering the following free classes:

  • On Friday, January 9, Online classes with LearningExpress Library and Mango will be offered at 9:00 a.m. This class will introduce students to signing up for online lessons in Microsoft Office products, Adobe software, and over 60 languages. 
Photoshop Tutorial in LearningExpress Library
  •  Introduction to Library2Go will be taught on Monday, January 12 at 6:00 p.m. This class shows how to log in, search, and borrow ebooks and audiobooks from Library2Go. Students may bring their own devices if they have specific questions.
  • On Friday, January 16, Beginning Excel will be taught at 9:00 a.m. This class teaches the basics of creating a spreadsheet and adding rows and columns. Intermediate Excel will be offered at 10:00 a.m. This class teaches how to balance a checkbook, use multiple worksheets, and create charts. 
  • Beginning Word will be taught on January 23 at 9:00 a.m. This class introduces people to the basic commands to create a word processing document. Intermediate Word will be taught at 10:00 a.m. This class builds on the previous one, and teaches how to insert photographs, create lists using bullets and numbers, and set margins, tabs, and line spacing. 
  •  On Friday, January 30 at 9:00 a.m., we’ll teach Introduction to Tablets and iPads. Students are encouraged to bring their own devices, along with any questions they may have.
  • On Saturday, January 31 at 11:00 a.m., Introduction to Computers will be taught. This class covers the basic concepts of using a PC, such as learning to use a mouse, opening programs, and scrolling.
All classes are free and last one hour. Registration is required. For more information, please call (541) 265-2153 or check the library website,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Genre-fication: Now Making YA Books Easier to Find!

Are you tired of sifting through ten paranormal books to find the historical novel you've been longing for?  Really like horror but can never find any because there are too many mushy romances in the way?  Not in Newport Library's revamped YA section, not anymore!

Young adult books are now categorized in different genres to make it easier to browse for the kind of books you like to read.  All the fiction is color-coded into twelve categories, which are alphabetized on the YA shelves.  Can't get enough Hunger Games? Go Dystopian.  Love your rewritten fairy tales?  Try Fairy.  Looking for something light about friendship and romance? Sweet & Sassy is for you.  

There's a guide to genres posted on the YA shelves, explaining what all the categories are. For example, AA is Action-Adventure: spies, thrillers, and daring tales of survival.  And PARA equals Paranormal: where the weird and magical happen in your everyday town or high school.

Deciding on the genre of certain books can be a little tricky: what to do with action-packed historical paranormal romances, or time-travelling mysteries set in post-apocalyptic dystopias?  We tried to decide based on the strongest or most important feature of the book, but that's often subjective.  If you read a book and discover that it's much more of a Sweet & Sassy than a Mystery, or that it's more Science Fiction than Horror, please let us know!

As a matter of fact, we'd love to hear what you think of all of the ongoing changes at our community library.  Chat with a staff member, contact us online, or slip a comment into our suggestion box by the circulation desk.  Thanks!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meet and Greet Databases!

Whenever I use a library database to help someone find what they need, they usually say “I didn’t know you had that!” With that in mind, I’ll be introducing a few of our databases every now and then, with the hope that when you need one, you’ll think, “oh, yeah, I can get that information from the library!”

LegalForms - Have you ever needed a legal form, and spent way too much time searching the internet, to no avail? We subscribe to an Oregon Legal Forms database, which provides a wide selection of legal forms across the most popular legal areas. Included are real estate contracts, wills, pre-marital agreements, bankruptcy, divorce, landlord/tenant and many others.

GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources) - Do you need to brush up on an environmental issue? You can go to GREENR to learn about topics as diverse as Aquaculture, Biofuel Energies, and Carbon Markets to Urban Farming, Vegetarianism, and Water Privatization. Each topic includes an overview, articles from academic journals and magazines, and links to relevant websites. - Folks who like to do their own car repairs have relied on Chilton Car Repair manuals for decades. All of the information from those books is available from home, through It includes thousands of year, make and model combinations covering the most popular vehicles of the past 30 years, plus additional coverage of specialty models.

Our databases are always available, accessible to anyone with a Newport Library card. Take a look at our website; you might find just what you were looking for!  If you need help setting up your PIN, you can call us at 541-265-2153 and we can help.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dangerous Young Nuns

I am not exaggerating when I say I have pretty much read (or started to read and decided I didn't want to finish) every young adult fantasy novel in our library system that features smart and strong female protagonists.  Seriously, I have read more books about girls wielding swords than I care to count. So. Many. Swords. 

This being said, you can imagine my delight when a taut, muscular (I love it when books are described in those terms) trilogy of books about teenage nun-assassins rocking out in fifteenth century Brittany arrived at the library. These girls know their stuff and manage to successfully deal with the respective missions they are assigned to with major craftiness, or, failing that, righteous fighting moves. 

Author Robin LaFevers totally nails historical fantasy fiction in these books. Her skill at seamlessly weaving fantasy elements into straight historical fact is on par with Marion Zimmer Bradley, Libbra Bray, and Diana Gabaldon. As strange and unlikely as this series' premise of murderous novitiates exacting vengeance sounds, it is most definitely worth your time if you're any sort of fantasy fan. I recommended this series to both my refined, literature-loving mom and my wild, pink-haired artist friend and they both gave rave reviews. Here are the publisher's rundowns:

Grave Mercy

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny.

Dark Triumph
Sybella's duty as Death's assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. 

Mortal Heart 

Annith's worst fears are realized when she discovers that, despite her lifelong training to be an assassin, she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever shut up in the convent of Saint Mortain. 

For more Newport Library staff favorites, click here!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The secret garden within

Imagine a sickly, foul-tempered little girl who loves no one and whom no one loves. She lives in India with her parents, who abandon her to the care of servants. When a cholera outbreak ravages her household, the orphaned Mary Lennox is sent to England to live in Misselthwaite Manor with her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven.

Thus begins The Secret Garden, a 1993 film based on the 1910 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary’s life turns around when she learns of a secret garden on the estate, which belonged to the late Mistress Craven. She also discovers a young cousin, Colin, hidden away in a wing of the manor, and confined to a wheelchair. As the children work to restore the garden, the garden returns the favor, nurturing the latent hope and love in their hearts.

The Secret Garden will be shown at the library on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. All ages are welcome, and popcorn will be served.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Murder in the Arctic

If you enjoy the national parks mysteries of Nevada Barr, the Native American mysteries of Tony Hillerman, or the Alaskan mysteries of Dana Stabenow, here’s a new series for you—MJ McGrath’s mysteries featuring half-Inuit hunting guide Edie Kiglatuk, starting with White Heat.

Kiglatuk lives in the northern Arctic, where the world is all ice and rock. The geography, history, and culture of the region and of the Inuit people are an integral part of the book. I picked it up because of the murder mystery, but like many people, I really enjoy learning about distant lands through fiction, and the northern Arctic is a new one for me.

White Heat opens when one of Kiglatuk's clients is shot during a hunting trip, and the local council blackmails her into agreeing it was a suicide. She’s drawn into a long affair that spans countries, unveils corruption, and unmasks evil close to home. When one of her family is killed and those in power want that brushed under the rug, too, Kiglatuk is forced to face her fears that her client’s death was a sign of a greater conspiracy. She is the only one motivated and tenacious enough to seek justice at any cost.

White Heat is the first book in this series, and promises lots of action, lots of seal-blood soup and walrus meat, and a greater understanding of life in a harsh land of ice where night lasts an entire season. It is also available as an audiobook through Library2Go.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cutting edge speculative fiction: Southern Reach

The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer is comprised of Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance.

The settings:
  • Area X, where a large and possibly growing strangeness has impinged on a coastal community
    • the lighthouse
    • the topographical anomaly, sunk deep into the ground but perceived by the consciousness as a tower
    • the swamp
  • Southern Reach, the bureaucratic governmental response to Area X, in the form of a collection of brick buildings, a border crossing, watchtowers, and the people who staff them

 A few major characters:
  • The biologist: the main character and only point-of-view character of Annhilation. She’s a member of the latest expedition to venture into Area X under the guidance of Southern Reach. Stripped of her name, conditioned by drugs, hypnosis and other forms of mind control to withstand some of the previously observed effects of Area X, she may be destined to be the only survivor, depending on how you define survival.\
  • John Rodriguez/Control: The incoming director of Southern Reach, and the main character of Authority. A man whose determination to succeed is met and undermined by the horrific, extensive, and mysterious effects of Area X on his staff and himself.
  • Gloria/Cynthia: The previous director of Southern Reach, whose secret past ties her to the nascence of Area X.  Most present in Acceptance

This series is unusual, even bizarre. It may be classified as science fiction or even horror, but it’s narrated so intimately that it feels more like an in-depth study of human nature and what a truly alien influence or presence or attempt to communicate or attack might look like. After years of humanoid TV aliens, whose cultures are just instructive fun-house versions of human culture, it’s kind of wonderful to force your mind to contend with the truly alien, and how limited and limiting is our human perspective in the context of the universe.

Science fiction books definitely do this better than television—CJ Cherryh comes to mind, and Sherri S. Tepper, but Vandermeer has snuck up on it from a different direction. If this intrigues you, please give it a read. For me, the first book was fascinating and the last one a bit of a let down (I tend to enjoy the inexplicable more than the explication, no matter how vague) but I expect this series is bizarre enough and amorphous enough that many different interpretations will exist.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Empty Chair

The Newport Public Library will host a screening by filmmaker Greg Chaney of his film, The Empty Chair, on Saturday, November 29 at 2:00 p.m. The Empty Chair is a documentary about how Japanese Americans from Juneau, Alaska were sent to prison camps during WWII and how the small Alaskan community stood in quiet defiance against the internment of American citizens.

The Tanaka Family
Japanese immigrants came to Alaska in the early 1900's and settled there to raise families. Several Japanese Americans from Juneau, Alaska were sent to prison camps by the US government from 1942-1945 because all people of Japanese heritage were considered national security risks.

John Tanaka's graduation ceremony
Among them was John Tanaka, who was born and raised in Juneau. In 1942 John was going to be the Valedictorian of his high school graduating class but was interned before the graduation ceremony. In response, the school board voted to hold a special early graduation ceremony for him before John was sent to a relocation camp for Japanese Americans. When the official graduation ceremony was held for the class of '42 they set aside an empty chair on the platform to acknowledge his absence.

The Empty Chair Memorial in Juneau, Alaska
John Tanaka volunteered to join the US Army to fight the Axis powers during WWII while his family was confined in the Minidoka Idaho relocation camp. He was a member of the 442nd regimental combat team. This Japanese American unit was the most decorated Army unit for its length of service.

The Empty Chair documentary is composed of interviews of survivors from that period, rare historical photos, never before seen archival footage, US Government documentaries and historical accounts. All of these sources are woven together to draw the viewer back into this little know chapter of American history.

Chaney, the son of Newport resident Patsy Brookshire, was born in Oregon but has lived in Juneau, Alaska since 1982. Greg describes his filmmaking as "an out of control hobby." He is keeping his day job as Juneau's Lands and Resources Manager, but continues to work on diverse movie projects after hours. His projects have been as diverse as short comedies, music videos extending up to feature length documentaries. His films have been selected for dozens of film festivals and have been shown on every continent except Antarctica. Over time he has collected a handful of awards, his favorites being "Best of Fest" at the Anchorage International Film Festival and a "Special Jury Award" from the Banff Mountain Film Festival for his documentary Journey on the Wild Coast.

This program is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Murderess on a Mission

The chilling opening paragraph of this gothic novel let me know instantly that it is my kind of book; suspenseful, historical, gritty and well-written. I won’t paraphrase that first paragraph but will use it to whet your appetite for this page turner of a read:

“When Pemberton returned to the North Carolina mountains after three months in Boston settling his father’s estate, among those waiting on the train platform was a young woman pregnant with Pemberton’s child. She was accompanied by her father, who carried beneath his shabby frock coat a bowie knife sharpened with great attentiveness earlier that morning so it would plunge as deep as possible into Pemberton’s heart.”

Rash introduces the reader to the title character, Serena, a woman not of her times but certainly of her place, when she responds to the introduction of Rachel, mother of her husband’s child and the daughter of the man with a bowie knife that her husband just killed, by handing her the killing knife and advising her to sell it, “That money will help when the child is born,” Serena says coolly. “It’s all you’ll ever get from my husband and me.”

Rash bring to life the times of the timber barons’ last stand in the Smoky Mountains. The story is set in 1929 with mention of the Wall Street crash as something far away from the mountain fastness but its effects are felt as desperate men appear, looking for jobs. Life is cheap in Pemberton’s lumber camp and replacements for those killed by the work are quickly found.

It’s not just the trees that kill. Serena will let nothing stand in the way of the Pembertons’ desire to cut every tree on their 34,000 acres as soon as possible, then move on to Brazil with its hundreds of miles of hardwood forests. When Galloway, the foreman, matter-of-factly loses his arm to an ax, his work turns to killing anyone who stands in the way of the Pemberton ambition. That list gets long as the story progresses through the seasons of destroying an ecosystem as quickly as possible before the land is “grabbed” by the government for inclusion in the soon to be Smokey Mountains National Park.

Rash uses a Greek chorus of loggers to comment on the action and the characters. I enjoyed this Shakespearean ploy and found their dialogue informative as well as fun. I read some of it aloud to taste the pleasures of the language. The author is as adept at bringing the setting to the life as he is with plot, character and dialogue, allowing the reader to see the Smokey Mountains in all their glory and in their devastation.

The last flawless chapter captivated me with a perfectly creepy shock that still has me wondering how he did it. Now I must go find his other books, including the short story collection, Chemistry and Other Stories (2007),that contains the first notes of the book that became Serena The movie will be released in February 2015.  I will be watching to see if Jennifer Lawrence can bring Serena's deeply evil character to life.  Brrrrrrr!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When I grow up, I want to be...

Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, and many of us change careers once or twice in our life. Are you exploring career options? Do you think you might want to go into a health care profession, become a teacher, or perhaps a firefighter or police officer?

You can learn about different careers, take practice entrance tests, and prepare for an occupational exam using LearningExpress Library’s Career Center, available for free with your Newport Library card.

When you select an option, the careers that are covered show up in the left column.  For example, if you are curious about the nursing profession, you can download an eBook, “Becoming a Nurse.”

A variety of practice tests are available for the teaching profession:

After you finish a test, you can review your answers and retake the test if you want to.

Civil Service, Cosmetology, Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Technician, Firefighter, Postal Worker, Plumbing, and ASVAB, are some of the other exams available.

If you need help setting up your LearningExpress Library account, come in to the library or give us a call at 541-265-2153.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Children's Magazine Titles

Newport Library has added three new titles to our children’s magazine collection.

Appleseeds: An award-winning social studies monthly for grades 3-5, with a uniquely entertaining perspective on culture and history. Puzzles, games, maps, photos and a student submission section make learning fun!

Ask en Espanol: Arts and sciences en Espanol for the curious reader, grades 2-4. Winner of the 2012 Parent’s Choice Golden Award.

Ladybug en Espanol: Designed expressly for the very young reader, ages 2-6. Filled with read-along stories, poems and colorful illustrations. Also a great way for older native English speakers to improve their Spanish!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Such stuff as dreams are made on

We'll be screening the 2010 version of The Tempest on Wednesday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Helen Mirren stars in the principal role of Prospera, the duchess of Milan, who is usurped by her brother, Antonio (Chris Cooper), and cast off on a raft to die with her three-year-old daughter, Miranda (Felicity Jones). Twelve years later, Prospera has her opportunity for revenge; she conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure her usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island.
Ben Whishaw plays Ariel, a spirit who aids Prospera; Djimon Hounsou is Caliban, Prospera’s slave; David Strathairn is Alonso, the King of Naples; and Reeve Carney is Ferdinand, Alonso’s son, who falls in love with Miranda.

Egg and Spoon: A Russian Folktale Feast

I have to admit that I am guilty of judging books by their covers. Sometimes. My initial reaction to Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire happened to be one of those times. The cover looked awesome, so I took the book home and devoured it like a too-large chocolate babka.

Maguire is best known for his popular novel Wicked, which was later made into a hit play that has toured the country. I imagine his status as a successful writer limited his editors' attempts at trimming this big boy down, bringing to mind the example of J.K. Rowling's bloated fifth Harry Potter book. Like the Harry Potter book, however, it is enjoyable despite its too-muchness.

Egg and Spoon tells the story of an an imprisoned monk who tells the tale of two girls from radically different circumstances in 1905 czarist Russia. Starving peasant Elena Rudina is struggling to care for her dying widowed mother when a train carrying Ekaterina, a wealthy aristocrat traveling to Saint Petersberg, is forced to stop near Elena's village for repairs. As luck would have it, Ekaterina jumps off the train to rescue the Faberge egg she has been showing to Elena (who is aboard) just as the train is fixed and pulls away. The stage is set! What follows is a mishmash of fairytale, magic, humor, and ethical quandary that is essentially the book version of an amply proportioned matryoshka, a Russian nesting doll. While not for everybody, Egg and Spoon has a lot going for it. So give it a try. Or not. As the witch Baba Yaga (a major character full of vim and anachronistic witticisms) says, "There's the road, there's your life. I'm done with sharing."

Interested in other new titles from our library system?  Just click on the New Items link on the library's main page to browse and place holds on the new goodies. Приятного чтения (Happy reading!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Secret Place by Tana French

It’s no secret that I love Tana French, who wrote some of my favorite mysteries like Broken Harbor and In the Woods. In her new mystery, The Secret Place, she really outdoes herself with a multi-layered exploration of a death at an elite girls’ school in Dublin.

Detective Stephen Moran has been languishing in Cold Cases after the events of The Likeness, looking out for his chance at promotion. When Holly Mackey, another detective’s daughter, brings him a lead in an unsolved case, he’s bound to turn the lead over to the Murder Squad. However, he recognizes his moment of opportunity and talks himself into a temporary partnership with the lead detective, prickly and unlikable Conway.

What follows for Moran and Conway is one very tense and intense day and night of investigation. What follows for the novel is chapters of the present, interspersed with chapters of the past, when the deep friendship of Holly Mackey and her three roommates dominoes into a series of events that culminates in the murder of a teenage boy. The chapters from the girls’ point of view are exquisitely written, in a complementary but distinctive style from the detectives’ chapters, and the story unfolding within the story of the investigation is paced perfectly, so that clues from each allow you to start hypothesizing about what really happened, long before you can anticipate that final twist.

Love it! Read it in three days, all 452 pages of it! Tana French fans, fans of foreign mysteries, fans of boarding school stories and coming of age stories and lovely writing—this one’s for you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Worms Play Pinochle

Halloween is upon us, followed by the Hispanic celebration of El Dia de los Muertos. In the spirit of this season, when we symbolically test the thin veil that separates us from the departed, the library is hosting “Grave Matters: Cultural Diversity on Life and Death,” a conversation led by Dr. Courtney Campbell on Sunday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m.  This program is sponsored by Oregon Humanities.

Contemporary American culture is commonly portrayed as death-denying or death-defying. However, other cultural traditions understand our mortality as a teacher about living a purposeful life. Can acknowledging our mortality bring greater meaning to life?

Campbell is the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture and a professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University. He has been on the faculty at OSU since 1990 and has received numerous awards for teaching and scholarship. Campbell serves on the board of directors for Benton Hospice and the ethics committee for Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, and coordinates the program in medical humanities at OSU.

Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state's future. For more information about this free community discussion, please contact the Newport Public Library at 541-265-2153 or go to

Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shattered Dreams: the story of a historic I.C.E. raid

Virginia Gibbs, professor emerita of Spanish, will present a reading and discussion of her new book, Shattered Dreams: The Story of a Historic I.C.E. Raid in the Words of the Detainees, at the library on Monday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Published in March, the book gives the testimonials of ten workers whose lives were devastated by the largest immigration raid in U.S. history when, in 2008, local and federal authorities entered the Agriprocessor meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, and arrested approximately 25% of the town's inhabitants.

With special emphasis on women and children, the stories share the lives of each person, beginning in childhood and ending after the raid and subsequent jail sentences. The narrations give voice to the immigrants who were detained and imprisoned for identity theft, though the U.S. Supreme Court has since declared that action unconstitutional. For the first time, the detained workers tell their own stories of how and why they came to the U.S., working conditions in the meat packing industry, the violent raid itself, and families torn apart.

Gibbs has said that "since I first met and heard these immigrants' stories, I was struck by how much they wanted to tell people who they were and what had happened to them." She and co-author Luz María Hernández decided they had to give these men, women and children that opportunity. These true stories vividly portray the fear, violence and harassment suffered by the undocumented, but also show their strength in the face of poverty and inhumane working conditions.

U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez has said that "Postville is . . . still an image that haunts and inspires me. It is a story that must be told and remembered." Professor Erik Camayd affirms that the "long-silenced voices of the humble migrants victimized by the federal raid at Postville, Iowa, are recovered at last in this volume."

Gibbs moved to the Oregon coast two years ago and has been a volunteer with Centro de Ayuda and the Immigration Information Response Team.  For more information, check the library's website,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

History of the Future

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future is the newest release from award-winning young adult writer A.S. King. King is known for her strong and unique voice, which carries throughout in this novel about Glory, a bright but confused teen graduating from high school with nothing ahead of her but a question mark. All her peers are going off to college and starting their lives, but she’s stuck in place, still struggling with her mother’s suicide, her father’s grief, and her own inability to feel like she belongs in the world.

Enter the bat.

When Glory and her maybe-friend Ellie find a petrified bat clinging to the eaves of Ellie’s porch, it becomes a sudden strange catalyst for change. The wall surrounding Glory disappears, and she suddenly senses the future and the past of all the people around her. The circumstances surrounding her mother’s mysterious suicide à la Sylvia Plath start to come to light, but that's only half of what Glory needs. The other half is feeling like a necessary part of the future. A vivid premonition of the world gone badly astray helps take care of that.

While the overall book is a realistic coming-of-age story, the dip into magical realism is weirdly fascinating and metaphorical, a necessary dose of a broader perspective that shocks Glory out of her numbness and self-pity-- and makes the book an adventure to read.  Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is another YA offering where the quality of writing, plot structure, and sheer fun, tops many books written for an adult audience.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Kills, by Richard House

War is hell. And worse, war is a dirty, corrupt hell.

As the U.S. and its allies prepare to abandon post-war Iraq to its fate, civilian defense contractors hire down-on-their-luck Americans to burn toxic waste in remote desert pits. These men return home sick, dying or dead. All the while, mid and upper level managers of these multi-national corporations skim off whatever they can, padding expenses or stealing construction funds outright. Naturally, there’s got to be a fall guy. And his name is Sutler. Or is it?

In a windowless basement beneath a Naples tenement, a room is discovered lined in blood-spattered plastic. No body is ever found and no one reported missing. Moreover, the entire crime scene eerily resembles one described in an international best-selling crime novel, now being made into a major motion picture. Has a crime actually been committed? Is Sutler dead?

On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the sister-in-law of a German diplomat is hired by a mysterious Norwegian to teach him English. Why, she wonders, does he need to learn English when he already speaks it flawlessly? Is she being used to access information on the illusive Mr. Sutler, who may have been found wandering half-dead in the desert?

How these seemingly disparate story lines weave together (or not), is the literary conceit of Richard House’s ambitious and exasperating novel, The Kills. Longlisted for the prestigious UK Man Booker Prize in 2013, The Kills takes 1002 pages to tell us what exactly? That we only think we know what the truth is? That life is a series of overlapping but ultimately unconnected threads? That a writer can sadistically toy with a reader’s time and emotional involvement in a book and its characters only to leave her scratching her head in the end?

I bitched and moaned continually as I read The Kills. But you know what? I read every word. Minor spoiler alert: In the end, the disparate threads that make up this tapestry of a novel never really come together. And maybe that’s the point: we can never know the whole story. I have no idea.

Take the murky plunge, read The Kills, and let me know what you think. Maybe I missed a thread somewhere. 

You can reserve Richard House’s The Kills here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

National Book Award Finalists

The National Book Award Shortlist was just announced and the library can give you access to everything on the list! Take a look at the publishers' descriptions and click on the titles to go to our catalog to place a hold.

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Redeployment by Phil Klay 
Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe  roams the wasteland of what remains, this novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people.

Lila by Marilynne Robinson 

Abandoning her homeless existence to become a minister's wife, Lila reflects on her hardscrabble life on the run with a canny young drifter and her efforts to reconcile her painful past with her husband's gentle Christian worldview. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Adult Magazine Titles

Newport Library has added seven new titles to its adult magazine and newspaper collection.

Grit: The rural lifestyle and DIY magazine with over 130 years of publishing history. Grit magazine is filled with ideas on gardening, cooking, canning and preserving the harvest, as well as practical reader advice.

Guardian Weekly: A roundup of the week’s international news from one of the U.K.’s most respected daily newspapers.

Lucky Peach: A quarterly journal of food. Each issue focuses on one particular theme with lively writing, artwork and, of course, recipes!

Mental Floss: an entertaining way to get smart, improve your vocabulary and brush up on what’s interesting, fun, and fantastic about the world around us. Truly a unique magazine.

New Scientist: This internationally-circulated weekly gives readers access to the most comprehensive round-up of news, ideas and latest discoveries in science and technology.

Oregon Business: “News and analysis on Oregon business, agriculture, transportation, tourism, real estate and small business statewide.”

Saveur: A magazine for the foodie in us. Saveur is “the definitive culinary and culinary travel magazine of its generation.” It’s been honored with four American Society of Magazine Editors awards and seventeen James Beard journalism awards

Stop in and check out our collection of over 200 adult, young adult and children’s magazine titles. As always, back issues (located under the current issue in blue plastic boxes) can be checked out. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Boo! Get Your Fear Fix Here

It's getting spooky here at the library! Katie, one of our fabulous new staff members, has put together an awesome scary book display for your perusing pleasure! You can also reserve creepy books and movies on the frighteningly thorough list below:

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
Wastelands:  Stories of the Apocalypse, edited by John Joseph Adams
Blaze by Richard Bachman
Galilee by Clive Barker
The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher
Cryonic by Travis Bradberry
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman
Dawn by Octavia Butler

The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell
London Under Midnight by Simon Clark
Moon Underfoot by Bobby Cole
Vacation by Matthew Costello
House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam
Jinn by Mathew Delaney
Under the Skin by Michael Faber
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Snowblind by Christopher Golden
Parasite by Mira Grant
Furnace by Muriel Gray
Pandemonium by Darryl Gregory
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Nightbringer by James Byron Huggins
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Drowning Girl by Caitlyn Kiernan
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The Uncanny by Andrew Klavan
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Year Zero by Jeff Long
The Shimmer by David Morrell
Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice
Waiting by Frank M. Robinson

House of Reckoning by John Saul
The Zombie Autopsies by Steven Schlozman
Last Things by David Searcy
The Terror by Dan Simmons
The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
The Ruins by Scott Smith
In the Night Room by Peter Straub
Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Frostbite: A Werewolf Tale by David Wellington
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson
Bedbugs by Ben Winters

Altered States
The Bay
The Birds
Dawn of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Don’t Look Now

The Exorcism of Emily Rose 
Fright Night

The House on Haunted Hill
The Innocents
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Invisible Man
Island of Lost Souls
The Last Winter

Mark of the Vampire
The Mummy
Resident Evil
The Ring
Rosemary’s Baby
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
There Will Be Blood
Twenty Eight Days Later
The Yellow Wallpaper

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“The Great Gatsby” will play at the Newport Public Library

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow take us back to the excesses of the “Roaring Twenties” in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The film will screen on Tuesday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s McEntee Meeting Room.

Redford stars as Jay Gatsby, who had a romance with Daisy (Mia Farrow) before World War I. She promised to wait for him, but instead married Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern), a wealthy Long Islander who came from “old money.” Tom is an arrogant, hypocritical bully, who has no moral qualms about his affair with Myrtle Wilson (Karen Black).

After the war, Gatsby became a self-made millionaire through criminal dealings. Still in love with Daisy, he uses his vast fortune to buy his way into Long Island society, and throws lavish parties in an attempt to woo her back. Calmly observing the passing parade is Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston), Gatsby's best friend, who narrates the film.

Admission is free, and open to the public.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Makeover Update!

Well! The library makeover is in full swing! As we said earlier, we're moving the collection around and adding new furniture to better meet the needs of our community--which is YOU! 

We've shifted bookshelves, collapsed the children's reference desk area, and moved and revamped the teen area! Come see for yourself how the library is evolving!
New teen area downstairs! (The teens do use it, we promise. They were in school at the time of this photo!)

Former teen area upstairs now holds more seating

Simplified Children's Room entrance

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Janie Jenkins was imprisoned at 17 for the murder of her socialite mother, but now she’s been freed on a technicality. In a whirlwind of bad press, hounded by a vengeful blogger who offers a reward for information about her location, Jenkins slips under the radar and goes sleuthing in disguise.  Is she searching for the real killer? Or for herself?

She no longer remembers exactly what happened that night. She only knows that she and her cold, manipulative mother never got along, and that her memories begin in a pool of blood. Not knowing is worse than anything, and she can’t let go of the past until she finds out for sure. Who was her mother? Where did she come from? And what got her killed?

Dear Daughter is a fast-moving thriller with a kick-ass potty-mouthed jailbird heroine, and a few good twists that will keep you asking questions up to the end. Poor little rich girl gone bad? Or gone good? Wouldn’t you like to know?