Summer Reading Suggestions, by Susan O’Neil

susanI like to read everything before I suggest it, but that’s not always possible with adult books.  I belong to a book club and to a service organization.  When PEO asked me to do a short program on Summer Reading Suggestions, I tapped my book clubbers for suggestions.  Here are a few:

A Girl Named Zippy:  Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana, by Haven Kimmel.

     Tracy:  While it is an easy read, it isn’t simple.  And it will stick with you.

A Man Called Ove:  A Novel, by Fredrick Backman.

Marie:  The one I keep falling back on.  Just a nice story.

Still Life:  A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, by Louise Penny

Marie:  For fun mysteries – these are set in Quebec with a fun set of characters and great descriptions of the area.

One Dog Happy, by Molly McNett

Meredith and Susan:  Enjoying, loved, short stories that stick with you.  One reviewer called these heartbreaking and another called them neat and chipper.  You choose.  This is our May bookclub selection, and Molly will be doing a reading at the Byron Public Library on 6:30 on Tuesday, May 10th.

The Assistants, by Camille Perri

 Dawn:  This book is “The Devil Wears Prada” meets Robin Hood.  Should be a               quick but interesting read for summer.

Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult

Lisa:  I loved the facts about the elephants, the interesting, quirky characters, and the plot twist.

Then again, I have read some outstanding books that are worthy of recommendation.  I present this short list, the first four of which were read by our book club:

Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman.  This is a Young Adult Novel, but powerful.  Left all of us      amazed and deeply thinking.

Ordinary Grace, by Wm. Kent Krueger.  A stand-alone mystery by a Minnesota author   who keeps getting better with every book.  Iron Mountain is the first book in his Cork O’Connor series.  Some of our book clubbers have read every one of his books.

Being Mortal:  Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande.  Nonfiction  on a serious topic, but reads easily, like a novel.  Our book club read it and my entire family read it, including my father.  A life-changer.

Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, first in the Maisie Dobbs series.  Another author who just keeps getting better.  Mysteries during the WWI and WWI time period.

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, by Jon Krakauer, paired with  Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott.  The first was originally an expose of organized   religion, but after you’ve had the wind knocked out of you, Lamott’s essays on her      personal return to organized religion will restore your faith.

And, lastly, here are some newer books that I want to read this summer:
Reread Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, then read Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, by Mona Awad. About young women’s body image.    Supposedly as caustically funny as it is heartbreaking.

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah.  WWII, the women’s world.

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes.  A heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

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The God’s Eye View, reviewed by Barb Clubb

barbavatarI just finished reading The God’s Eye View by Barry Eisler, and I have to say it was a scary read.  Not scary in the sense of ghosts and goblins, but scary as in this could really happen.

The premise of the book:  National Security Administration employee Evie Gallager runs the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program.  She is good at her job, so good that she becomes suspicious of some things she has seen. She takes her suspicions to the director, he listens to her, and assures her that all is fine.  Evie is still suspicious.

Evie starts to question the deaths of an NSA agent and a journalist, and how those seemingly random deaths may, in fact, be tied to the director of the NSA. The director is certain that what he is doing is necessary to protect the average citizen from terrorism.  He thinks he alone has the big picture, the God’s Eye View, but Evie keeps piecing together seemingly random events, until her own life is at stake!

This book has all the elements of a good read- a political thriller, some romance, lots of suspense, whistle blowing, danger and excitement.  Mr. Eisler also includes an extensive listing of his research at the end of the book.

This book made me think a whole lot about government surveillance, Big Brother, and our individual privacy. A very compelling read.

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A New Trustee

The Board of Trustees would like to welcome our newest member, Jill Grennan.  Jill will be taking over the board position vacated by Amy Schupach, who recently resigned. (Thanks, Amy, for your work on the board!!)

The entire Board is looking forward to working with Jill.

Welcome to the Board, Jill!!

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Happy 100th Birthday to the Byron Library!

richavatarPosted by Rich Pleniewicz

I have the honor of serving on the Board of Trustees. My family and I have used the Library at the cultural Center, Franklin Street and the current location. The buildings have changed and improved. The technology has evolved.

Through these changes, the service provided has remained excellent. A solid foundation was laid by the previous Trustees, Librarians/Directors and staff.

Maybe, you can join me in thanking our Founders and Predecessors:

Current Board of Trustees of the Byron Public Library:
Lavonne Berkeley, Elaine Breck, Barbara Clubb, David Conley, Susan O’Neil, Richard Pleniewicz, and Amy Schupbach

Former Trustees:
Tracy Heilman, Daniel Leonard, Donald Drake, Margaret, Doyle, Peter Verdun, Chris Remhof, Mark Wild, Chet Kobel, Boyd Stueland, Susan Dangerfield, Kenneth Frankenberry, Fern Calvert, James Nauman, Doris Ferb, Iris O’Hare,
Gail Barton, Nicholas Johnson, Bradley Townsend, Mary Hoernecke, Madeline Osadjan, Anita Liggitt, Blaine Auker, Wanda Cacciatore, Martha Cupp, Gene R. McNames, Mary Champion, Cleo P. Boger, Earl Pierson, Ardis Sherman,
Peg Walker, Ruth Hulsebus, Gladys Allen, Lucille Moser, Lavern Lundgren
Directors: Emily Porter, Penny O’Rourke, Virginia Jones, Mrs. Duncan, Buelah Featherston and Blanche Haye


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My New Year’s Resolution

barbavatarPosted by Barb Clubb

Every new year people make all kinds of resolutions:  lose weight, eat healthier, exercise, exercise more.  This year, I have a resolution:  to read books outside of my “comfort zone”.

I love to read and I read a lot of fiction.  Usually, I scour the romances, but will also look at historical fiction, mysteries, and even dabble a  little in sci-fi.  I will typically have a romance or two awaiting my attention, but also have some favorite authors of mystery and historical fiction that I read.  One thing I don’t really enjoy reading is non-fiction, and so that leads me to my New Year’s Resolution.

This year, 2016, I resolve to read non-fiction books.  In fact, I resolve to read 12 non-fiction books this year (one for each month).  I can do this, right?

Luckily, I know just the place to find non-fiction books, and that is the Byron Public Library.  There is a round display table that is devoted to new non-fiction books.  Walk in the front door and go straight ahead, and you will run into the table.  The librarians make it easy to find the non-fiction books.  (I wonder if this is a hint for me?)

Last year, I did read some non-fiction.  I enjoyed A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson, Wild , by Cheryl Strayed, and From the Ground Up, by Jeanne Nolan.  I also read some non-fiction that I had to return after trying to get through the first 25 pages.  Well, at least I tried!!

I resolve to keep this New Year’s Resolution. All I need to do is check out that first book, right?  Luckily, I know just the place!



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Thank you!

richavatarPosted by Rich Pleniewicz

Thank you to the Byron Library for all the wonderful programs that my grandson and granddaughters have attended. It is a bright spot for them when they are in Byron. It is so nice to have a positive, fun, and educational experience available.

The last time my grandson was here, he made a friend and played with the dinosaurs and trucks for an additional two hours. My daughters had wonderful experiences and support from the library when they were growing up. Great to see that the traditions continue.

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I am an analogue man in a digital world.

richavatarPosted by Rich Pleniewicz

Thanks to the Byron Public Library for breaking me into the 20th century. It is amazing how they have used their knowledge and library resources to answer questions and help me use those resources on my own.

I can even dowload audio books from OMNI to my smart phone. Holy, Dick Tracy, next thing we will be wearing wrist phones!  Seriously, Byron Public Library has kept up with the tech changes for the benefit of all age groups in the community.

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