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