heads in bedsHave you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of hotels? What the front desk attendant, concierge, bellman, or housekeeping person is thinking as they check you in, follow you around, or clean up your room? Having spent a fair number of my summer vacations in hotel rooms, I was curious as a child what these people actually did at work and what they thought of everyone they came in contact with on a daily basis. Lucky for me, I found just the book to ease my curiosity: Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality.

Heads in Beds is written by Jacob Tomsky, a pseudonym the author adopted to keep his anonymity since he was, and is still, a member of the hotel industry at the time this book was released. Every hotel he worked for, as well as every person he worked with and each hotel guest, has a pseudonym, allowing Tomsky to go into great detail about everything that happens behind the scenes of hotels.

This book is a hilarious ride through Tomsky’s journey from a valet to manager to front desk attendant. Want to know how to get an upgrade? Tomsky tells you. How to get a late check out? Tomsky again. What about those pesky mini-bars and in-room movie fees? Tomsky knows all about those. He is full of tips and tricks about how to make the most out of whatever hotel stay you’re experiencing. Check out this book for glimpses into the inner workings of the hospitality business, what valets really do in your car, what goes on in empty rooms, and even why you should never turn down a bellman’s help.


This book is also available in the following formats:

soup for syriaAcclaimed chefs and cookbook authors the world over have come together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees in Soup for Syria. Each has contributed a recipe to this beautifully illustrated cookbook of delicious soups from around the world. Contributors include: Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Claudia Roden, Chef Greg Malouf, Chef Alexis Coquelet, Chef Chris Borunda, Chef Alexandra Stratou, Necibe Dogru, Aglaia Kremenzi, and many others.

– Celebrity chefs contribute favorite recipes to help feed Syrian refugees

– Fabulous soups from around the world-from hearty winter warmers to chilled summer soups

– Easy-to-follow instructions with stunning color photos throughout

– Recipes made with no-fuss ingredients found in your local supermarket

All profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through various nonprofit organizations. Most Syrians hope that one day they will be able to return to their country and rebuild their lives. (description from publisher)

basson king2The Basson King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn Wilson

If you watched the television show, The Office, (the American version) you will remember Dwight Schrute.  Dwight was the nerdy coworker that irritated his coworkers with comptetiveness and his lack of social skills.  His coworkers Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly could not resist from pulling pranks on Dwight which delighted the rest of the staff.  Dwight also owned the family beet farm and he later turned the farmhouse into a bed and breakfast.

Now, the actor portraying Dwight Schrute has published a memoir of his life.  Wilson describes his geeky childhood, or in his own words, “bone-numbingly nerdy before there was even a modicum of cool attached to the word.” Rainn talks about his life as a drama geek or as he describes it, “the highest rung on the vast, pimply ladder of high school losers”. Wilson talks about his life as a struggling actor in New York, his episodes of debauchery (but he was not that bad), and how he came to have the sense of humor that we know and love him for today. His fans will be delighted with his tales  and insights from working on The Office.

The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy is available in print and on audiobook.  Rainn Wilson narrates the audiobook and the forward is by Dwight Schrute so I would recommend listening to the audiobook.

 

 

 

 

eligible2Eligible is Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate Curtis Sittenfeld’s fifth novel.  It is a hilarious modern version of the classic story Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

In Eligible, we find that the Bennet family lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.  All five of the Bennet women are currently living at their parent’s home after their father’s recent heart attack.  Jane and Elizabeth have both been living in New York City.  Jane is a yoga instructor and lives on the Upper East Side.  Lizzie has been writing for feminist fashion magazine and lives in Brooklyn.  Mary has never left home and is working on her third online master’s degree.  Kitty and Lydia also live at home and spend most of their time at CrossFit workouts.  Mrs. Bennet is consumed with her ladies’ clubs and galas.

Of course, as in the original novel, Mrs. Bennet is very concerned with her daughters being married. The Bennet family goes to a Fourth of July picnic, where they meet Chip Bingley.  Mr. Bingley was recently the star on the television show, Eligible which is a dating show where 25 women try to convince the star to marry her.  Also at the picnic, is Fitzwilliam Darcy whom Lizzie does not find charming.  But first impressions can be wrong.

An updated and hilarious version of the classic Pride and Prejudice.  You will find yourself laughing out loud while reading this book.  Available in print, large print and audiobook.

 

If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, you might also like these other adaptations:

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road mangler

Phil Kaufman is an American record producer, tour manager and author.  He began his career as an actor and had small parts in Spartacus, Pork Chop Hill and Riot in Juvenile Prison.  His acting career ended when he was arrested for marijuana smuggling.  While he was in jail, he met the infamous Charles Manson.  After Kaufman was released from prison, he got a job driving for Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull.  At the time, Jagger was living in Los Angeles mixing the album Beggars Banquet.  This was the beginning of Phil’s career in music.  Mick Jagger referred to Kaufman as his “executive nanny”.

In Legend of the Road Mangler, Kaufman (who narrates the audiobook) talks about his adventures while he was on the road with the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart, Nanci Griffith, and others.  Phil Kaufman is well known for stealing the body of Gram Parsons and burning it in Joshua Tree National Monument.  Phil tells the story as only he can tell it.  Included are the voices of the artists that know him best.

This audiobook is four hours long and it is great for a road trip!  Music fans will love the stories about what goes on behind the scenes with their favorite bands and artists.

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the school year is over, many people are going on vacation.  If you are going on a roadtrip soon, you might want to consider listening to an audiobook.  The miles can fly by while you enjoy listening to a fantastic book.  And if your family cannot agree on listening to one book, try Playaways.  Playaways are MP3 devices that have books loaded on them.  All you need to do is plug in your headphones and push play!  We even provide the batteries for them.

Need some ideas on an audiobook to check out?  Below are some suggestions or ask one of our friendly librarians for help.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
harry potter stone

Jim Dale narrates all seven of the Harry Potter books and he is THE BEST voice actor!  Somehow, Jim Dale is able to create a different voice for each and every character in the Harry Potter series which makes it so entertaining and easy to listen to in the car (and it is hard to shutoff the car when you reach your destination because the story is so good).  The Harry Potter series is full of fantasy, mystery and life lessons.  It will please everyone in the family.

 

bad beginningThe Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events Series) by Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket’s series of books about the forever unlucky Baudelaire children is deliciously narrated by Tim Curry, who does the readings for all 13 of the books in this series. The misadventures for the children start in this book when their parents die, and throughout the first novel “the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.” A great elementary school listen.

 

lion, witch, wardrobeThe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

Originally published in 1955, this classic story has delighted children for decades.  During a game of hide and seek, four children go through a wardrobe and find themselves in the magical realm of Narnia.  Only the Good King Aslan can defeat the dark magic of the White Witch.  An adventure story full of danger and thrills.

 

charlie chocolate factoryCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

If you are a parent of young children, there is a good chance that you read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when you were a child.  Introduce your children to Roald Dahl’s factory that is full of whimsy and full of perils to those children that are naughty.  Remember the Oompa Loompas?  The river of chocolate?  And who could forget the flying glass elevator? People of all ages love this story.

 

lightning thiefThe Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan

I love the Percy Jackson books and you will understand why they are so popular.  Percy Jackson discovers that he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon, which makes him a demigod.  He learns that he is not the only one that has a Greek god or goddess for a parent when he goes to Camp Half-Blood.  But a prophecy foretold that a child of Zeus, Poseidon, or Hades would decide the fate of Olympus.  And now somehow has stolen Zeus’ lightning bolt and everyone suspects Percy.  A great series full of adventure that is interesting for the whole family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

audie awardsThe Audie Awards recognizes distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). 2016 is the 21st year of annual Audies Awards. The awards were announced in May 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.

The following audiobooks are available at the Rivershare libraries for checkout.

 

 

Audiobook of the Year: Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Best Male Narrator:  The English Spy by Daniel Silva

Fiction: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Humor: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Inspirational: To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

Literary Fiction & Classics: Little Big Man by Thomas Berger

Multi-Voice Performance: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Mystery: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Narration by Author: Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

Nonfiction: Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

Original Work: The Starling Project by Jeffrey Deaver

Romance: The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

Thriller/Suspense: The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

 

 

lucybartonIf you have not read a book by Elizabeth Strout, you need to change that right now. Her latest novel, My Name is Lucy Barton will be sure to please. Strout’s writing is honest and beautiful as she writes about a mother and her daughter.

We find Lucy Barton in a hospital room in New York City recovering from complications after her surgery. Lucy’s husband does not like hospitals, and he knows that she is lonely in the hospital, so he asks her mother to come and visit. Lucy’s mother lives in a small rural town in Illinois, about an hour south of Rock Island. Lucy and her mother have not seen each other for quite a few years since Lucy moved to New York. But mother and daughter are happy to be reunited. Her mother refuses to leave her daughter alone and she sits in the chair in the hospital room during her entire visit. The reader learns more about Lucy through the women’s conversations. For a time, their family was so poor that they lived in a relative’s garage. We learn of Lucy’s struggle to become a writer. The women discuss their family and people from home. Throughout theses conversations, it is often what is not said that speaks volumes about the women’s relationship. Pieces of a story are not revealed and the reader is often left wondering what really happened.

I enjoy listening to audiobooks and My Name is Lucy Barton was a superb audiobook. The narrator, Kimberly Farr, has such a pleasant voice to listen to that I did not want to shut off my car stereo. What made My Name is Lucy Barton such a memorable book was the way that the story made you feel. It is difficult to describe what My Name is Lucy Barton is about. It is not a murder mystery and it is not a romantic love story. And yet, this books feels more real than most because it is an honest portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship. It is about two women that love each other even though they do not always have an easy relationship.

My Name is Lucy Barton is the fifth novel by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Strout.

Winter is over and the weather is warming! It’s time to get started on the list of projects piling up around the house. Turning disorder into order is at the top of my list for a fun Friday night. But for most people, decluttering the home can be a daunting task. However the truth of  the matter is that a messy house causes stress. According to an online survey conducted by Huffington Post, eighty-seven percent of Americans are worried that their home isn’t clean or organized enough. If this sounds like you, the library has just the right materials to get you started!

Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels: A 31 day love your home challenge . Declutter, organize and decorate. Melissa also has a popular blog: The Inspired Room.

Secrets of an Organized Mom by Barbara Reich: In this book, you will find four easy steps to tackling any organizational project. From cluttered closets to over booked personal obligations, this method can be applied to it all.

Organize for a Fresh Start by Susan Fay West: As life changes, so does your home. Learn how to make your home reflect your current interests while honoring your past too.

Simple Matters by Erin Boyle: This book is all about simplifying your home. A great book for those interested in making do with less. Also beneficial for  those living in small spaces.

The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss: This book focuses on the the most important room in the house, your kitchen! Maximize your time, energy, and effort with this guide to modern homemaking.

The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley: Purge, sort, and store items to attractively organize your home.

 

Want to Read in eBook?

the life changing magic

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kodo: This NY Times best selling guide to decluttering your home is available in eBook or eAudio Book through Rivershare Overdrive. Kondo boasts that once you organize your home, you will never have to do it again. The KonMari Method takes a room by room or little by little approach to organizing your home.

 

 

girlwithgunThe year is 1914 and three sisters find themselves involved in an accident.  The sisters were driving in their buggy when a motor vehicle plowed into them.  Men came to the women’s aid and lifted the damaged buggy off of them.  The oldest woman, Constance Kopp, is outraged.  The driver, Henry Kaufman, is disrespectful but Constance informs him that she will be sending him a bill.  Miss Kopp makes Mr. Kaufman look quite ridiculous.  She is six feet tall and towers over this petty little man.  Her sister Norma warns Constance to drop the matter but she will do no such thing.  To Constance, it is the principle of the matter.  And so, she sends Henry Kaufman a bill.

After receiving no response, Constance decides to go down to Mr. Kaufman’s silk dying factory.  Once she is there, she meets with Mr. Kaufman’s sister who is not at all surprised by the story.  Constance and Henry have another meeting.  At this time, he threatens the youngest sister, Fleurette.  Without thinking, Constance goes into a blind rage and finds herself smashing Henry Kaufman’s head against the wall.  Unfortunately, she did this in front of his low life friends.

Constance realizes that she has made an enemy.  Bricks with threatening notes attached break through windows.  Cars drive past the farm house with men yelling for Fleurette.  Norma is upset with Constance for pursuing the matter.  Constance ends up confiding in the sheriff.  He posts deputies at her house and gives each woman a gun and teaches them how to shoot.  The sheriff instructs them on what to do in order to collect evidence.  Eventually Henry Kaufman slips up and the sheriff is able to arrest him.

But there is more to the story.  Throughout the book, the reader is given clues to Constance’s past.  We learn why these women moved from Brooklyn, New York to live on a farm in New Jersey.  And there is the case of the missing baby that Constance solves.  Girl Waits With Gun is the story of a unique woman that stood up to a bully and protected her sisters.  And, Miss Constance Kopp was one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs.  This book is based off of true events.  You can find it in print and audiobook.

To learn more about Constance Kopp, visit the author’s website.