Hurricane Irma

September 7, 2017

I live in Palm Beach County, Florida and as you can see on this map, we are expecting to be hit by Hurricane Irma. This storm is not only fast – either hitting us as a 4 or 5 on the Saffir Simpson scale, but also enormous, I’ve never seen anything like it. According to the National Hurricane Center, it is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded. It is twice the width of Florida! With any luck, the projections that it has moved slightly to the east is a good sign, the western side of a hurricane is the “better side.” Whatever that means. Oh, and right behind this bitch is Hurricane Jose – we are hoping he dies at sea.

cat 4

I’ve lived through more hurricanes than I care to think about, starting with David in 1979, Andrew in 1992, Wilma in 2005 and many more in between all those. We took a direct hit from Wilma twelve years ago. Lost our roof, which landed on our cars – lots of damage, and the landscape of the community was forever changed. Lost our electricity for over a week. But we were safe.

Because of Hurricane Harvey, people here are in full blown panic mode. The store shelves have been emptied, the gas stations depleted. People who live in evacuation areas (flood zones) should be evacuating to shelters. Emergency operations officials are telling everyone else to shelter at home so people don’t get stranded on the road.

Palm Beach County has been under a Hurricane Watch since this morning, yet the library stayed open (although closed early today, at 3:00 pm.) Many of the library staff were ordered to “volunteer” at shelters so there was a skeleton crew left behind. Due to various health and family issues, I am not helping at a shelter, although I will be making phone calls after the storm and anything else that I can do as needed.

My husband has been working on making us safe for days. He’s putting up the hurricane shutters, clearing the yard furniture, etc. We have enough water and chemically laden food to last at least a week, and some comforting snacks, too. I have another load or two of laundry left and I need to dig out the French press so we can have coffee even if we lose power.

We are as ready as we can be. We are hoping for the best and that everyone stays safe.

Tables of Contents: a culinary reading series

September 5, 2017

Signature Views Mini-Doc – The restaurant Egg in Brooklyn holds a monthly event called Tables of Contents where authors give readings, and dishes based on passages from their books are served. Chef Evan Hanczor gives an inside look at the dinner series, featuring authors Adam Gopnik, Victor LaValle, and Sarah Gerard.

It’s a Solar Eclipse of the Heart!

August 21, 2017

Not really, just a play on the Bonnie Tyler song. You can stream it through your library and Freegal!

Today is the Solar Eclipse and the librarian in me wants to share some information. While this is a very exciting event, if you don’t have the proper solar eclipse glasses, don’t look at it. That’s it, plain and simple.

So what happens if you just take a peek? According to scientists and ophthalmologists, all it takes is thirty seconds (30!) to cause permanent damage to the eye. Apparently, you may not feel it right away, but a day or two later you could have a permanent blind spot in one or both eyes or other permanent visual problems.

There is a story going around on Facebook and via email, etc. about a man who damaged his eyesight during the 1962 eclipse. This is not just a rumor, you can see it here:

To be safe, you can watch it outside with the correct glasses. The American Astronomical Society has a list of approved vendors and what to look for here. It is rather surprising that the manufacturers of these products did not produce enough supply to meet demand. I don’t understand how these companies missed the boat on this. They were making a product that had a guaranteed, short shelf life and they easily could have sold tons more, just based on the number of phone calls and requests that I have had at my library.

The safest way to watch it, and for me in south Florida, the only way to see the full eclipse, is to watch it on TV or stream it online.

NASA.GOV will stream 10 live webcasts, each with a different angle. See the eclipse from the International Space Station. Watch ground footage from the point of greatest eclipse outside Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Catch the view from 11 international spacecraft. Or watch the eclipse from near-space: NASA Space Grant Consortium volunteers are launching 57 high-altitude balloons across the nation, each with its own Raspberry Pi camera.

NASA expects 100-500 million site hits, so as a backup, you can also catch the balloon webcast here:


200 million Americans live within a day’s drive of totality, so the Great American Eclipse will be all over Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The official hashtag is #eclipse2017.

As soon as the event is over, Eclipse Megamovie will compile everyone’s smartphone footage into a continuous video showing the solar eclipse from start to finish. Watch their replay here:


See what the eclipse looks like on the ground from Denver, Colorado.


Hope this helps and please stay safe!


Sarah Jessica Parker | What I’m Reading

July 23, 2017

I’m a long time fan of Andy Cohen, and through reading his books learned that SJP, as she is affectionately known, is a big reader. So I was not surprised when the American Library Association launched “Book Club Central with Sarah Jessica Parker.”

Here Sarah Jessica Parker recommends four books she’s recently read – enjoy!

ThrillerFest XII

July 20, 2017

I couldn’t be there but hope to go next year! Here are the winners of the 2017 Thriller Awards!

Click to purchase

Noah Hawley — BEFORE THE FALL (Grand Central Publishing)
The stories of 10 wealthy victims of a boat sinking intertwine with those of a down-on-his-luck painter and a 4-year-old boy, the tragedy’s only survivors. By the Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Peabody Award-winning writer of Fargo.



Click to purchase

Nicholas Petrie — THE DRIFTER (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Forcing himself to manage his PTSD when a fellow Marine commits suicide, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Peter Ash helps his friend’s widow and discovers a cache of money and explosives that place him at the center of a wide-scale plot with ties to the world he tried to leave behind.


Click to purchase

Anne Frasier — THE BODY READER (Thomas & Mercer)
For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead.


Click to purchase

A.J. Hartley — STEEPLEJACK (TOR Teen)
Repairing roof fixtures in her ethnically diverse industrial city in an alternate world resembling Victorian South Africa, 17-year-old Anglet Sutonga investigates the death of a young apprentice while caring for her sister’s baby against a backdrop of racial tensions, political secrets and a stolen historical icon.


Click to purchase Kindle ebook

James Scott Bell — ROMEO’S WAY (Compendium Press)
Mike Romeo, the former cage fighter living low in L.A., doesn’t look for trouble. He doesn’t have to. It comes after him. So when he’s hired by a California senatorial campaign to do undercover work, Romeo doesn’t have any illusions. If there’s one thing Romeo wants, it’s justice. And he’s going to get it––his way.


Joyce Carol Oates — “Big Momma” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)

Also receiving special recognition during the ThrillerFest XII Awards Banquet:

Lee Child, ThrillerMaster
In recognition of his legendary career and outstanding contributions to the thriller genre.

Lisa Gardner, Literary Silver Bullet Award
Tom Doherty, Thriller Legend Award

The case for book-to-film adaptations

June 23, 2017

IMHO, there are some movies that were at least as good as the book; most of the Harry Potter films, The Lord of the Rings films, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather (1 & 2, don’t even mention 3 to me!) There is at least one film that was much better than the book – The Devil Wears Prada. I’m sure there are some more. But even so, these are infinitesimal is the world of films based on books. I’d love to hear some comments on this!

Signature Views Mini-Doc – If the book is always better than the movie, why bother adapting a book? Consider some of these reasons. 

Summer Reads | Six Picks

June 21, 2017

It’s the first day of summer – Read It Forward editors Abbe and Emma give six recommendations for summer reads!

Full panel videos from BookCon!

June 14, 2017

I couldn’t go and in case you missed it too, here are some of the panel discussions including the fabulous Margaret Atwood, “proud to be a geek” Mayim Bialik, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Krysten Ritter,  and lots more. Enjoy!

RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Part 3

June 12, 2017

This is really interesting, especially for aspiring romance writers!

Spotlight on Berkley Publishing Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Join members of Berkley Publishing’s editorial and publicity teams to learn the secret sauce of Berkley’s romance program. Berkley publishes many bestselling print authors as well as bestselling e-book authors under its InterMix imprint. Learn what individual editors are interested in acquiring and how the company promotes its print and digital titles.

Jeffrey Tambor: Landing my role on Arrested Development

June 3, 2017

Jeffrey Tambor discusses how he landed the role of George Bluth, Sr. on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, and what he remembers from the show.