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Library

  • Contact: Reva Allen (985-750-8077)
    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Location: Inside the Office Building in the middle of the Community

  • Details:

    • The Library is open to all Sunshine Residents/Renters and their guests.

    • Feel free to borrow books whenever you please.

    • Please return the books in the 'book return containers' after you are finished with them.

    • A cash donation box has been placed in the library. It is attached to the book cart.

    • ENJOY

Library News

Newsletter 2024-03:

SEPO LIBRARY UPDATE & AUTHOR RECOMMENDATION

 

   This article will update you on developments in the SEPO library during the past year.  In addition, I give you a recommendation for an author with whom you might not be familiar but whose works you might enjoy reading.

 

   First, thanks very much to the Women’s Club, whose members provided reimbursement for some of the cost of adding purchased books to our collection.  In addition, they voted to have a cash donation box placed in the library and arranged for it to be attached to the book cart.  We have already received a donation, which has been used to help purchase rolls of tape to be used in the labeling machine. Speaking of the book cart, Vicky Leroy-Krueger, then the Women’s Club President, spearheaded the effort to donate most of our hymnals, which were no longer being used, to a church and move the cart the hymnals were on to the library.  John Chajec attached new wheels to the cart, and it’s now where we place books we return or donate to the library.  It is working out very well.

   OK … on to information about additions to the library.  I’ll start with general fiction authors, some of whom may have been unknown to you until now.  Among others, we have added books by:

  • Isabel Allende:we have 6 books by this award-winning Chilean-American author, who may be the world’s most widely-read Spanish-language author (our books are in English).She has won literary awards in 9 different countries, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • Jean M. Auel:we have at least 5 works by this best-selling author of the Earth’s Children series, which is set in prehistoric Europe and explores human activities during this time.

  • Jennifer Chiaverini:we have 14 of the 22 books in her Elm Creek Quilts series.Quilt-lovers: these books are for you!

  • Jan Karon:we have 9 of her 14 Mitford Years books.

  • Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins:we have 14 of the 16 books in their Left Behind series.

  • Liane Moriarty:we have 6 of her 12 novels, including .

  • Lisa See & Amy Tan:both of these women write primarily about Chinese and Chinese-American characters and culture.We have 3 See books and 6 books by Tan, including .

 

   We have added quite a few mystery and suspense books.  Among the authors who I did not mention in last year’s update are:

  • David Baldacci:we have at least 28 of his 46 suspense & legal thrillers.

  • Steve Berry:we now have 9 of his books, which are action-packed and link real historical events/places (such as WWI/Hitler and the tomb of China’s First Emperor) with modern-day crises.

  • Sophie Hannah:we have 5 of her 12 Zailer & Waterhouse psychological crime fiction novels and 2 of her 5 new Hercule Poirot mysteries.She has been authorized by the Agatha Christie family & estate to continue the Poirot series.

  • Camilla Lackberg:we have 4 books by this award-winning Swedish crime writer, who has been described as “the rock star of Nordic noir.”

  • Stieg Larsson:we have the first three of this Swedish writer’s Millennium books.You may have heard of these books, whose titles start with “The Girl With’ or ‘The Girl Who.”

  • Anne Perry: we have 15 books by this writer of historical detective fiction.

  • We also have added books by, among others:Harlan Coben (have 11 books), Michael Connelly (over 2 dozen books), Clive Cussler (over 2 dozen), Elizabeth George (10/21 Inspector Lynley books), Stephen King (5 books), P. D. James (all the Adam Dalghiesh mysteries), Jack Higgins (13 books), Jonathan Kellerman, Robert Ludlum, Steve Martini, and Perri O’Shaughnessy.

 

   For Western fans: We have recently received two anthologies of Western stories:  A Century of Great Western Stories (edited by J. Jakes) and Boot Hill (edited by R. Randisi).  All of the stories in the latter book are related to Dodge City, and all for one were written for this book.  We have 4 of Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire books.  I have purchased several books that are included in online lists of best Western novels:  Little Big Man (Thomas Berger), The Virginian (Owen Wister), Riders of the Purple Sage (Zane Grey), and True Grit (Charles Portis).  We also have added a Western published in 1903: The Log of a Cowboy by Andy Adams. 

   OK, romance lovers, we have not left you out.

  • Lorraine Heath:we have 4 of the 5 books in her Scoundrels of St. James series.

  • Sarah MacLean:we have all of the books in her Scandel & Scoundrels and The Rules of Scoundrels series and most of the books in her Bareknuckle Bastards and Love by Numbers series.

  • Karen Kingsbury:this Christian-centered fiction writer includes romance in her novels.We have all of the books in her Firstborn and Redemption series, 3 of 4 in the Bailey Flanigan series, 2/4 in her Sunrise series, and 3/10 of her Baxter Family series.

  • Beverly Lewis:we have about 8 of her Christian-centered books, which are set in Amish communities.

  • We have added to our collections of books by, among others, Danielle Steel, Norah Roberts/J. D. Robb, Rae Anne Thayne, Kat Martin, and Linda Lael Miller.

 

   SEPO residents have added several science fiction and fantasy books this past year.

  • Robert A. Heinlein:we have 5 of his science fiction books.

  • Isaac Asimov:we have 3 books by this biochemistry professor who is one of the best-known 20th-century science fiction writers.

  • Stephanie Meyer:we have 3 of the 5 books in the Twilight series and one of her standalone novels.

  • K. E. Mills:we have all of his Rogue Agent fantasy books.

  • Neal Shusterman:we have 4 of his 6 Unwind Dystology books.

 

   We have purchased several used books about World War II and Vietnam that have been listed on “best books” lists:  Dereliction of Duty (H.R. McMaster), We Were Soldiers Once … and Young (G. Moore & J.L. Galloway), When Heaven and Earth Changed Places (L.L. Hayship), Countdown 1945 (M. Weiss), Band of Brothers and D-Day (S.E.Ambrose), Ghost Soldiers (H. Sides), and The Monuments Men (R.M. Edsel). 

 

   We have added several books about golfers and strategies for improving your golf game.  We have increased our holdings of poetry books from 2 to over 10.

   We have made some minor organizational changes in the library.  We have added two bins of anthologies (mysteries and romances), which are located in the area with authors whose last names start with L.  The poetry books are in magazine holders that have been moved to the shelf above the King/Kingsbury books).

Author Recommendation:

Alexander McCall Smith

 

   If you are looking for an author who writes gentle, thoughtful, compassionate, philosophical, literate, wryly humorous, sometimes whimsical books with a strong sense of place, I recommend Alexander McCall Smith.  This African-born Scottish writer (and attorney) “… sees his characters and their world, fully and tenderly.  And that makes for a book that is as comforting to sink into as a well-worn armchair” (M. Moss, NY Journal of Books).  R. Strauss of publishersweekly.com writes of Smith’s work:  ” The drama may be slight, but what pulls the reader in is the good natures of (almost) all the characters and McCall Smith’s uncanny ability to see their world as they do, and to render their worries, pleasures, and musings with charm, grace, and geniality.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

   We have 63 of Smith’s books!  He has written several series of adult books, as well as standalone novels and many children’s books.  I’ll describe three of my favorite of his series.

  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:this is his best-known book series.The stories take place in Botswana, where Precious Ramotswa starts the first Botswanan detective agency owned and operated by a woman.She addresses everyday-life problems rather than violent crimes such as murder.If you want to try out this series, the first book has the same name as the series.

  • Isabel Dalhousie series:there stories take place in Edinburgh, Scotland.The lead character edits a philosophy journal and applies her deductive gifts and ethical framework to resolving issues brought to her by others or that she stumbles upon herself.There’s also an interesting and engaging love story.The first book in this series is entitled .

  • 44 Scotland Street series:these books follow the increasingly intertwined lives of several residents of an Edinburgh neighborhood.The first book in the series has the same name as the series.

 

   In closing, I hope this update encourages you to explore new acquisitions by authors you have read before and to try out authors who are new to you.  Thank you very much for continuing to contribute books to the library, allowing us to refresh our holdings every week.  Happy reading to you all!!

- Reva Allen

Newsletter 2023-03:

SEPO LIBRARY UPDATE

  I am Reva Allen, retired social worker and assistant SEPO librarian.  I appreciate Marsha Santow’s allowing me to nurture my compulsive streak by assuming the primary librarian responsibilities for the past 9 months.  This article will provide an update about modifications made in the library over the past year.

 

  By last May, we had accumulated so many books in the library that books were standing 2-3 deep on some shelves.  We decided to eliminate hidden rows of books.  Over the summer, I removed an estimated 800 books from the library, donating them to the public library, Books ‘n Things, and thrift stores.  I purchased over 300 used books, adding to our holdings of selected authors.

 

  The following lists summarize some of the additions to the library.  For mystery lovers (like me), we now have:

  • all of Sue Grafton’s Kimsey Milhone mystery novels (A through Y).

  • all 29 of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries and many of her Fox & O’Hare books.

  • an additional shelf of James Patterson mysteries, including almost all of the Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club books.

  • almost 2 dozen of Lilian Braun’s Cat Who mysteries.

  • about 4 dozen mysteries each by J. A Jance and Iris Johansen.

  • about 2 dozen mysteries each by Sandra Brown, Catherine Coulter, and Joanne Fluke.

  • additional mysteries by Tony Hillerman, Agatha Christie, P. D. James, Hannah Dennison, Dean Koontz, Sara Paretsky, John Grisham, Stuart Woods, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, Brad Thor, Dorothy Sayers, and others.

 

  For Western fans, we have added books by Louis L’Amour, Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, William W. Johnstone, A. B. Guthrie Jr, Zane Grey, Alan LeMay, Richard Dillon, Ron Hansen, Charles Portis, Oakley Hall, and Paulette Jiles.

 

  We have added golf-related fiction titles by Steven Pressfield and Pete Dexter, as well as a few non-fiction books aimed at helping golfers improve their skills.

  We have beefed up our collection of classics, including books by Arthur Conan Doyle (complete Sherlock Holmes series), Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain.  We also have added some modern fantasy and science fiction books, several versions of the Bible, and a hymnal. 

 

  We have done a little reorganization in the library area, as well.  The former History section is now the Non-Fiction section.  We have added to the many history books titles dealing with topics such as self-help and mental health, physical health, and golf instruction.  We have moved the DVDs to the magazine cabinet.  We have small plastic bins holding mystery anthologies and small devotional books and plastic magazine holders for Spanish language instructional books and poetry books (just one so far … more to come). 

 

  We can tell by the full book-return containers that many of you make use of the library, and we are glad you do so.  We encourage those of you who have not perused our shelves filled with thousands of books to drop by and see if there are books there that you might enjoy.  And feel free to let Marsha and me know what you like about the changes we have made and any suggestions you have for future additions to the stacks.

- Reva Allen

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