the objects of her affectionHow far would you be willing to go to keep your family together? To get your dream house? To provide a life for your children that you never had? Would you hunt for your dream job? Would you steal? Would you jeopardize your own future to make sure your children have whatever they want? All of these are questions that Sophie Potter has to deal with in Sonya Cobb’s new novel, The Objects of Her Affection.

In The Objects of Her Affection, Sophie finds herself home alone with two young children, wanting to give them the house and the childhood that she never had growing up. She bounced from apartment to apartment as a child, moving when her mother found new work. After her father figure died, her mother skipped town, leaving Sophie to fend for herself.

With her husband ensconced and buried within his work as a museum curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and with her own career at a standstill after the birth of their two children, Sophie finds herself floundering for support and yet in charge of all the bills and the family’s well-being. After she finds her dream house and convinces her husband of its potential worth, he leaves her in charge of figuring out the whole mortgage and loan business. After signing up for what she believes to be the best offer, Sophie soon realizes that that deal was too good to be true after notices and bills keep showing up at her door, she actually can’t afford the mortgage payment each month, and the business can’t track down who actually owns her loan.

Frustrated, she visits her husband at work to tell him about the mess she’s in and accidentally slips a piece of museum property in her purse. Not wanting to get him into trouble, she decides to sell the piece. Shocked at the amount of money she gets, Sophie sees that she can afford to keep up on all of the bills using that money without having to tell her husband about the mess she has put them in. Sneaking more objects out of her husband’s office gives her a thrill and a sense of satisfaction that she has been missing since the birth of her children, but once the museum realizes pieces are missing and the FBI comes to interview everyone, Sophie is forced to make a choice between telling the truth and keeping her dream afloat by stealing yet another museum piece. The Objects of Her Affection gives readers an up-close look at the lengths people will go through to keep their families together, just how dangerous keeping secrets can be, and how giving up is never an option.

making of the mobIn The Making of the Mob: New York, AMC has created an eight-part docu-drama series that begins in 1905 and traces the rise of the American Mafia for over fifty years. This series examines the lives of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Frank Costello, Vito Genovese, and several other notorious gangsters as they all struggle for power when the mafia starts becoming more organized. The amount of attention to detail that went into the establishment of the five major heads of the family, also known as the Commission, and Murder, Inc., the group of Jewish hitmen who killed around 1,000 people in ten years, shows that the new mobsters rising up in the ranks were definitely looking to run the mafia as more of a business with set consequences and an elected representative board.

This docu-drama looks into the five main families of the American Mafia and goes into great detail showing how organized crime came to exist and flourish in America. What I found to be the most intriguing part of this series was that it included interviews from former politicians, mobsters, actors, and other influential people, as well as actual archival footage  and sound recordings of the actual mobsters alongside the actors’ dramatic interpretations of what was happening. The inclusion of actual footage and interviews really drew me into this docu-drama and had me fully invested in the lives of the mobsters, the shady deals they were doing, and the specific individuals and governmental organizations who were working to bring down the American mafia.

Spend-A-Little Sspend a littleave-A-Lot Home Improvements by Brad Staggs walks homeowners through a list of preventative and money-saving improvements that can be done for little amounts of money throughout the home. The tips and tricks he offers throughout the book range from fixing a sticky door to checking and replacing air filters to wrapping a water heater.

Staggs recognizes that being a homeowner can turn costly quickly especially when the cost of hiring a repairman or even the cost of buying the materials and doing the home repairs by yourself keeps rising. Doing the preventative maintenance that he outlines will help you in the long run and will make your home more energy efficient and sufficient. Staggs provides step-by-step instructions paired with pictures highlighting each to help you do the repair yourself.

Check out this book to learn many money-saving and energy-efficient ways to help you get the most of the home you already enjoy.

follow the moneyWhat do you do if you want to really understand a country, to understand its people and feel its heartbeat? You can follow the rest of the tourists, or you can take the advice of Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s source, ‘Deep Throat’, and ‘follow the money.’

Starting out in Lebanon, Kansas – the geographical center of America –  journalist Steve Boggan did just that in Follow the Money by setting free a ten-dollar-bill and accompanying it on an epic journey for thirty days and thirty nights through six states, across 3,000 miles armed only with a sense of humor and a small, and increasingly grubby, set of clothes. As he cuts crops with farmers in Kansas, pursues a repo-woman from Colorado, gets wasted with a blues band in Arkansas and hangs out at a quarterback’s mansion in St Louis, Boggan enters the lives of ordinary people as they receive – and pass on – the bill. What emerges is a chaotic, affectionate and funny portrait of the real modern-day America. (description from publisher)

The Quad Cities is celebrating Money Smart Week  April 18-25th.  Besides the multitude of informational programs being offered throughout the week, you can also get more in-depth suggestions from current materials at the library.

s In this struggling economy, the Penny Pincher’s Almanac by Reader’s Digest may be just the ticket for many of us.  Presented in the typically quick and clever digest style, it’s full of easily accessible ideas.

greenback

Who isn’t interested in money?  In Greenback: the Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America by Jason Goodwin, the author explains how “money has always been at the heart of the American experience. ”

girl-get-your-credit

For practical points on getting out of debt, try Girl, Get Your Credit Straight! by Glinda Bridgforth.  The book is organized to encourage readers to get their priorities straight and to plan their spending.  It also has ideas on ways to increase one’s income.

Be sure to check out all the events sponsered by the Davenport Library this week including supermarket shopping and budgeting tips as well as a Community Shred Day at the Fairmount Library on Saturday, April 25.