Years ago, I enjoyed reading Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. It was funny and quirky and self-revealing, with some darn good writing suggestions along the way.  Her new novel, Imperfect Birds, is a work of fiction, and thankfully so, as it’s characters ring painfully true.

As the story opens, seventeen year-old Rosie Ferguson is ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school.  She’s smart –a straight-A student; she’s athletic – a former state-ranked doubles tennis champion;  she’s great with the kids at her volunteer job,  and she’s beautiful to boot!.   But Rosie also has a knack for driving her mother, Elizabeth, crazy.  She’s also quite adept at manipulating the truth and Mom seems more than willing to believe her lies. By the time school starts again in the fall, there are disturbing signs that is Rosie is not only abusing drugs, but that she is also making very dangerous choices, forcing her parents to finally confront the obvious.

As a parent myself (though thankfully no longer of teenagers) there were times when reading this  made me vaguely uncomfortable.  Had I, like Elizabeth, been too trusting when my son called to ask if he could spend the night at a friend’s?  Hmmmm.  Still, there’s a message here for both teens and adults, and the novel does end on a very hopeful note.  Readers will also note the familiarity of characters and themes from the author’s previous works, such as Rosie and A Crooked Little Heart.

The Davenport Library will be closed today, Monday July 5th in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Both of our locations will re-open tomorrow, Tuesday July 6th at their usual times – the Main Library will open at 9:30am and the Fairmount Street Branch will open at 12 noon.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

July 6

Single Man – Colin Firth, Julianne Moore

After the death of his longtime partner, a British college professor struggles to find meaning in his life. As he dwells in the past, he begins to contemplate suicide. A series of events and encounters will lead him to question if there really is a meaning to his life after all. Colin Firth was nominated for Actor in a Leading Role in 2009 Academy awards.

July 13

Bounty Hunter – Jennifer Anniston, Gerard Butler

Milo, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole. He thinks it’s an easy payday, until she gives him the slip to chase a lead on a murder cover-up. Milo soon realizes that nothing is ever simple with him and Nicole. As the two continue to one-up each other, they find themselves on the run for their lives. If they thought their promise to love, honor, and obey was tough, staying alive will be a lot tougher!

July 20

Cop Out! – Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan

Two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Jimmy is the veteran detective whose missing collectible is his only hope to pay for his daughter’s upcoming wedding, and Paul is his ‘partner against crime’ whose preoccupation with his wife’s alleged infidelity makes it hard for him to keep his eye on the ball.

 Twenty notable directors collaborated on a wonderful movie that gives a great sense of the French capital, Paris, Je T’Aime, which celebrates Paris and Parisian life in eighteen short films.  Each film is located in a different neighborhood of the city so it gives the viewer a sense of life and love in the “City of Lights.” The films are very similar in that they each contain the same theme of love and explore the cosmopolitan feel of Paris, its residents and the tourists who fill the city.  Each film ends where the other begins and that gives the entire film a sense of continuity. In the chance that you don’t like the current selection all you have to do is wait 5 minutes for the next film. 

Paris, Je T’Aime has an impressive lineup of stars including Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte and Juliette Binoche.  Directors of the short films include Wes Craven, the Coen Brothers and Gus Van Sant.  Ces’t Magnifique!