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Nancy's notes - August 6, 2009

"The Scarecrow" by Michael Connelly, "Paul Newman, a Life" by Shawn Levy, "Summer On Blossom Street" by Debbie Macomber.

We've stayed busy all summer with students using the computers and checking out movies and reading materials. The cool temperatures this week are a reminder that they will soon be back in school. That may free-up some reading time for many of our patrons.

If you are a suspense lover, you will enjoy Michael Connelly's "The Scarecrow".  Jack McEvoy, who was once a hotshot in the newsroom, is now on the list for thelatest set of layoffs at the "Los Angeles Times". He decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the murder story of his career.  Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a sixteen-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to the murder of a young woman.   Jack plans to write about how societal dysfunction and neglect created a teenage killer.  But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's confession is bogus and the kid might be innocent.  When Jack connects the L. A. murder with an earlier murder in Las Vegas, he is off and running on his biggest story in years.  What Jack doesn't know is that his investigation has inadvertently set off a digital trip wire.  The killer knows Jack is coming and he's ready.

Whether you are young or old, who hasn't enjoyed watching Paul Newman in the movies. Shawn Levy has written the biography "Paul Newman, a Life". The blue eyed charismatic renegade was an oddity in Hollywood.  He was known for the staying power of his marriage and as a celebrity philanthropist before it was cool.  The son of a successful entrepreneur, Newman grew up in a prosperous Cleveland suburb.  Despite fears that he would fail to live up to his father's expectations, Newman bypassed the family sporting goods business to pursue an acting career.  Part of the original Actors Studio generation, Newman demanded a high level of clarity from every project.  The artistic battles that nearly derailed his early movie career would pay off at the box office and earn him critical acclaim.  He used his celebrity to call attention to political causes dear to his heart.  Taking up auto racing in midlife, Newman became the oldest driver to ever win a major professional auto race.  A food enthusiast, he launched Newman's Own- a brand dedicated to fresh ingredients.  A portion of his profits, adding up to $250 million, were contributed to charity.

Debbie Macomber has added to her Bloom Street series with "Summer On Blossom Street". Knitting and life are both about beginnings and endings.  That's why Lydia Getz, owner of A Good Yarn on Seattle's Blossom Street offers a class called Knit to Quit.  It's for people who want to quit something or someone, and start a new phase of their lives.  First to join is Phoebe Rylander who recently ended her engagement to her unfaithful fiancé.  Bryan Hutchinson joins because he needs a way to deal with the stress of running his family's business.  Life can be as complicated as a knitting pattern.  But as Lydia knows, when life gets difficult and your stitches are snarled, your friends can always help.

Stop in and see us: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m. or Thursday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.