Saturday, September 13, 2014

Links from the Staff - Week of September 7 - 13, 2014

Your co-workers out in the district often post links to interesting articles or information about events and programs on our internal listserv. I thought it might be fun to share those through the blog as well ... 
  • For all PBS viewers, Melanie Foster (KL Reference) posted the following (9/12/2014): "Barring any last-minute pledge drives , here's what's coming up on PBS, beginning tonight ..."

Friday, September 12, 2014

LibraryReads October 2014 Top Ten Announced!!

And the winner is ... A Sudden Light: a Novel by Garth Stein (Published by Simon & Schuster)

From the LibraryReads announcement:

"Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses."
Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
The full list of October 2014 Top Ten titles can be found at:  LibraryReads 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

RA Branch Visit

Monday, Sept 8th, I spent all day at our Kisker Road Branch having been invited by Diana T, the branch Manager, to attend the monthly staff meetings at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. In advance of my visit, Diana had encouraged her staff to sign up for individual 30-minute NoveList training sessions to be held throughout the day.

For the staff meeting, I had 15 minutes to talk about readers' advisory, what it is, how staff can work together to assist customers, and suggest ways to prepare in advance for future RA inquiries. The NoveList training sessions were great fun! The  Kisker staff challenged me with their queries on how to use the database and I came away learning as much as they did from those 30-minute sessions.

I would love to do similar readers' advisory training at all the branches in the district and plan to spend a day at other locations in the coming months. If you wish to arrange for an RA branch visit, have your branch Manager contact me at General Administration.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

SCCCLD Book Challenge

Are you interested in posting to the SCCCLD Book Challenge blog but never know exactly what to say about the title you've read? 

The guys from UNSHELVED (an online, subscription e-comic about life in a public library...) use an interesting format for their Friday postings. Click on the following link to see the format they use to review books for the weekly 

From the examples in the link above, your annotation / review format might consist of the following elements:

----------     ----------

Subject line format (recommended for SCCCLD Book Challenge blog):
Title / Author / Page # / (Challenge/Bonus - if applicable)

Plot description (2-3 sentences; could also include a cover graphic - if available)

Why I picked it up:

Why I finished it:

It's perfect for: (Telling who you might suggest the title to and why you think they would enjoy it.)

Readalikes: (Optional - but useful if you have one or more titles to suggest and why they could be appropriate readalikes)
@bookblrb:  (Optional - a 110-120 character plot summary; great to use as a tweet!)

----------     ----------

Another format you could use is the PRES technique mentioned in the October 29, 2013 post and explained on this blog under the Resources tab.

If you're interested in participating in the staff reading challenge blog, contact Laura Pirondi at Spencer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION - Discussion Questions & Book Talk Titles

The staff genre study book discussion for the Science Fiction benchmark will be held Wednesday morning, August 27, starting at 9:00 AM in Room 112 at General Administration.

A complete set of discussion questions for Fortune's Pawn have been posted under the Book Discussions tab.

In addition, a suggested list of alternate Science Fiction titles to consider for the next meeting in September, has been posted under the Book Talk Titles tab.

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 6

Now let's talk about appeal ...

Will this appeal to female readers? Devi is female, but acts typically male. Will this turn off male readers? How will you entice various readers to try this series?

Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link at the bottom of the post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 5

And what about the story ...

Is there too much action and not enough explanation/world building? Does it really require so much shooting and blasting to make it a good story?

Please use the COMMENTS: link below to enter your response.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 4

What about the other characters in the story ...

The Glorious Fool's crew is mixed with several alien characters. Are they relatable? Do they add to the story or are they just there for color?

Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 3

What about characterization ...

Is Devi a believable main character? Do her actions match her motivations to become tops in her field?

If participating in the online discussion of Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach, please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 2

Let's look at another aspect of the novel ...

Can a romance be successfully mixed into space opera without alienating science fiction readers? How would you suggest this title to romance readers?

Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

Friday, August 22, 2014

SCIENCE FICTION Book Discussion - Question # 1

The online book discussion for our Science Fiction benchmark, Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach, starts today! 

I will be posting a question-a-day through Tuesday, August 26th so any and all staff can participate in this section of the Genre Study Program. 

There will also be an in-person book discussion on Wednesday, August 27th in GA Room 112 starting at 9:00 AM for any staff who can and wish to attend.

Now, the first question ...

With a female main character who is in a typically male role (mercenary), does it change the way readers view her aggressive/masculine actions and speech?

So everyone can follow the discussion, please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link at the bottom of the post.

A complete list of the discussion questions for this title will be posted Tuesday evening, August 26 under the Book Discussions tab

[My thanks to Jessica Moyer, Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for generously supplying the discussion questions!]

Scroll down for additional information about Fortune's Pawn, the SCCCLD staff Readers Advisory Training (RATraining) program, and our current Genre Study.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


The 2014 Hugo Awards were announced this weekend in London during Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention

FYI ... This year's Hugo winner for best novel, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, is also this year's winner of the Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Genre Study Program - SCIENCE FICTION

Just in time for the 2014 Hugo Award Winners to be announce, the Readers' Advisory Training Genre Study program is beginning it's sessions on Science Fiction!

The benchmark for the SF book discussion is FORTUNE'S PAWN by Rachel Bach. It is a fast-paced, military sci-fi, adventure story featuring a "tough, sexy, armor-clad space chick ..." (Kirkus Reviews)

NoveList description: "When professional mercenary Deviana Morris took the security guard job aboard the Glorious Fool, all she wanted was a fast route into the Devastators --- the elite league of armored fighters entrusted with the most important duty on her home planet of Paradox."

The science fiction book discussion will take place on Wednesday, August 27 starting at 9:00 AM in Room 112 at General Administration. Any SCCCLD staff who are interested in reading Fortune's Pawn, copies are available for checkout on the district catalog (book or CD spoken) or by contacting Lucy, the RAT Queen at:

For more information about Fortune's Pawn look under the Benchmarks tab.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crystal Gardens / Amanda Quick/ Audio Book 9 discs/ Romance

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick is not your typical historical romance as the main characters are plagued with paranormal gifts that prevent them from leading a normal societal life.

Our protagonist is Evangeline Ames, a female author and private investigator who has left London for the calm life of a country village after an attempt on her life. Her employers have forced her to take time out to recover her wits, enabling her to work on her novel.  However, trouble seems to follow wherever she goes, and when we first meet her she is fleeing out of her window from a man who wishes to murder her. This second attempt on her life sees her escaping from her cottage onto the grounds of Crystal Gardens, the country house owned by the mysterious Lucas Sebastian.  Whilst our heroine is investigating who could be behind the attempts on her life, Lucas is trying to discover who murdered his uncle, the previous owner of Crystal Gardens.  It becomes clear that their investigations could be linked, making Lucas and Evangeline work together to decipher the truth.

Crystal Gardens is for readers who enjoy their historical romance with strong paranormal elements. This was my first experience with the paranormal-romance genre and I found I enjoyed listening to this book on audio. The narrator had a very dramatic way of reading it, though sometimes her voice sounded a little odd (especially when she narrated the male characters).  Her British accent was authentic and each character sounded distinctive.  Quick's books seem to lend themselves well to audio books. Her style is very focused on the mystery components, but the romance seemed to take a bit of a back seat at times.  That is not to say that the romance wasn't good. It was. I just expected more. I do feel that she emphasized the paranormal elements a bit too much, using the term 'psychical' excessively. Readers get the point about the paranormal energies and she could have added depth by building up the story in other ways. Descriptively, Quick excelled in her portrayal of the Crystal Gardens and its otherworldly atmosphere, truly transporting the reader there.

This title is the first in the Ladies of Lantern Street Series.

Similar Titles:  Touch of a Thief  by Mia Marlowe, Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster, Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Any Duchess Will Do / Tessa Dare / 375 pages / Romance

Tessa Dare has crafted one of the most pleasurable books I've read. If you’re looking for a fun, sexy Historical Romance, then you’ll not want to miss this! I thought it perfect escapism.
Oozing humor, it’s filled with witty dialogue and the banter is ever flowing. It also has very sensual love scenes and offers a story that flows faultlessly from beginning to end. There’s no wading in; from the get-go it grabs you and will have you laughing out loud and anxious for more. This talented author touches on one of the most devastating losses anyone could experience, and yet the tone and mood is perfectly balanced carrying the reader forward. I loved it all!

The story begins:  Thirty four year old Griffin Eliot York, eighth Duke of Halford, better known as Griff to his friends and family, is determined to stop his interfering mother’s plans to see him wed. In her latest scheme of kidnapping and spiriting him away to Spindle Cove, he finds the perfect solution. When told to choose any of the ladies with a promise issued that she’ll have them shaped into “Duchess” material within a few weeks, He turns the table. Instead of a proper lady visiting this quaint sea side town, he chooses instead a local; twenty-two year old Pauline Simms. She’s the daughter of a farmer, serves as barmaid at the tavern and her first impression left much to be desired. It doesn’t take long before Griff and his mother learn there’s much more to Pauline Simms than her untidy first impression. This is a very lovable heroine. It’s rare to find a hero and heroine that add equally to the enjoyment of a romance. When that happens, it’s like finding gold. She’s smart, gutsy, feisty, determined and has a dream for better. Life hasn't been easy for Pauline and with the secret deal Griff offers, she finally can envision a future of brightness for not only herself, but her special and much loved younger sister.

Part of the Spinster Cove Series:  1-A Night To Surrender   2-A Week To Be Wicked  3-A Lady By Midnight   4 - Any Duchess Will Do

Similar titles:  The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn,  The Cynster Novels by Stephanie Laurens,  The Survivors' Club Septet by Mary Balogh

Monday, July 28, 2014

Audio Readers' Advisory Workshop

A Readers' Advisory Training workshop with special guest presenter Kelly Fann

Listening to a book is a different kind of experience 
from reading a book and advising customers in 
finding that next good audiobook requires different 
techniques. The St. Charles City-County Library 
District Reader's Advisory Training program is hosting 
an audio readers' advisory workshop for all library staff. 

The workshop will be presented by special guest speaker Kelly Fann from Tanganoxie Public Library, Kansas. Kelly will give advising tips and tricks, discuss appeal factors and trends, provide external resources, and review marketing and packaging techniques. Hot titles, mid-list titles, and key narrators will also be explored.

Presenter: Kelly Fann is the Director of the Tonganoxie Public Library in Tonganoxie, Kansas. She is a regular workshop presenter on readers' advisory practices, trends, and topics--her specialty being the horror genre and the incorporation of digital mediums for enhancing and invigorating library readers' advisory services. Kelly is also a reviewer for AudioFile magazine. Glued to the Internet, her iPhone, video games and audio books she is constantly seeking out new avenues and methods for finding the ultimate readers' services guides.

The Listening Advisory workshop will be held at the Spencer Road Branch in the Community Commons, Room 240. There will be two presentations of the workshop in order to try and accommodate as many attendees as possible. 

The dates and times to choose between are:

Tuesday afternoon, July 29 - from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
- OR -
Wednesday morning, July 30 - from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

St. Charles City-County Library District
Spencer Road Branch  - Community Commons, Room 240
427 Spencer Road
St. Peters, MO  63376

You can enter the Community Commons from the Boone Hills entrance on the North side of the library.

There will be handouts, light snacks, and possibly even some door prizes.  :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Black Hawk / Joanna Bourne / 304 pages / Romance

     Romance isn't my usual stomping ground. I am extremely picky when it comes to things like plots and believability. The Black Hawk is fourth in a series following spies for France and England during those countries' wars and disputes. Adrian Hawkhurst was a boy with no family or name and was taken in by the King of Thieves in London. Eventually he was caught and the government turned him into a spy and a very good one at that. He rose to become the Head of the British Intelligence Service. Justine DeCabrillac was a French count's daughter and saw her family destroyed by the French Revolution. After serving time in prison, she was taken under the wing of a famous Madam who actually was a spy. Both Adrian and Justine had come across each other during their various missions. Sometimes they worked in concert and others against each other.
     Our book begins after Napoleon has been utterly defeated and Justine has retired to England to be an ordinary shopkeeper. But her instincts warn that something is happening - various people around the city of London have been stabbed. Justine decides she must tell Adrian and when she leaves her shop in a downpour, she is viciously stabbed and left for dead. She makes it to Adrian's headquarters and the mystery starts from there. The narrative switches between the present day and the past. The plot is tightly drawn often referring to earlier missions from the earlier books but that isn't a problem. Of course the murderer is figured out and stopped. And our spies fall in love. A tightly woven plot with not a lot of graphic words. Some scenes that will make chaste readers uncomfortable but the majority will be satisfied.

Six degrees of reading: The Escape by Mary Balogh, The Captive by Grace Burrowes, The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Romance Book Talks

The Readers' Advisory Training program will hold a Romance book talks session on Wednesday, June 25th. The meeting, which is open to all staff, will be held at the Kisker Road Branch and begins at 9:00 AM.

Book talks are a great (and quick) way to learn about titles in any genre. Come on over to Kisker, share tips and/or insights into this VERY popular genre, and listen to your co-workers talk about the Romance titles they recently read!  

A list of some of the titles which may be book talked is available under the Book Talk Titles tab. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Genre Study Program - ROMANCE

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the Readers' Advisory Training program will begin its study of the Romance genre. The benchmark title is DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts and participants will be listening to the  audiobook version read by Katherine Kellgren.

Dark Witch is the first in the author's 'Cousin's O'Dwyer' trilogy and centers on the youngest cousin from America. Iona Sheehan has come to Ireland in search of Irish ancestors and hopes to learn more about some mysterious and uncontrolled powers she seems to have inherited from the O'Dwyer's. Little does Iona know that there is an ancient family curse and romance waiting for her as well. 

For more about Dark Witch check under the Benchmarks tab and scroll down to the section on ROMANCE.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Strong West Wind / Gail Caldwell / 226 pages / Biography - Autobiography

Front CoverA Strong West Wind is a memoir of culture and history - of fathers and daughters, of two world wars and the passionate rebellions of the sixties.  It is a memoir written for each of us who longed to move away from our hometowns, knowing that something better just had to be around the corner.  Caldwell, who grew up in the Texas panhandle, artfully uses the metaphor of the wind to steer us through the passages of her life.   Hooked by her first line "How do we become who we are?",  hers is a story of growing up with more questions than answers, that you could be sad and half crazy and still have a life that meant something, that sometimes these definitions are concealed or shrouded in a brighter truth--what looked like an off-road ditch might be another, better path.

Caldwell artfully weaves disparate themes of literature, war, growing up in the 1960's, and her special relationship with her father into a colorful tapestry. As an avid reader, I particularly enjoyed how she cited lines and characters from favorite books to correspond with scenes in her life. Caldwell is at ease discussing a broad spectrum of authors from classics like Shakespeare and Tolstoy to more modern writers, Faulkner and McCarthy. It is clear how important reading is to her life from her first visits to her hometown library "a generous old Georgian mansion with two sets of stone steps up to its wide verandas." Caldwell aptly describes herself as a child "bored beyond measure without a book in my hand."

From girlhood to middle-age, the wind carries us through these spaces in Caldwell's life--a life like so many of our own.

Similar Read-alike suggestions:  The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan,  All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg, The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) / Jenny Lawson - The Bloggress / 315 pages / Biography-Autobiography

Front Cover
Her readers obviously don't care whether her book is fact or fiction.  The memoir debuted at the top of the Washington Post and new York Times nonfiction bestseller lists, and in her introduction, Lawson writes, "This book is totally true, except for the parts that aren't".  Lawson relishes revealing plenty about her life, except just how much she may exaggerate about it.  She is hugely popular online where she's detailed her life on the Web for years.
The book skims through a series of comic essays, akin to Sedaris if he were an anxiety-stricken Texas mother with a fascination for taxidermy and the zombie apocalypse.  Her writing may be an acquired taste for some, especially with the high animal body count, the constant cursing and the occasionally disjointed manner.  But for her many fans, the randomness will only add to the charm.  The tale is meandering, though never boring and she finds her footing in the world of blogging, where quirkiness is queen.

Similar suggested titles:  Any books written by David Sedaris;  Sippy cups are not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor;  My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston, or Chelsea  Chelsea Bang-Bang by Chelsea Handler . 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Am Malala - The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban / Malala Yousafzai / 321 pages / Biography-Autobiography

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.  On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. When she was shot in the head at point blank range while riding the bus home from school, few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in Northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, and of Malala's parents' fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

It will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. 

Similar Suggested Read-alikes:  Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof,  Blasphemy by Asia Bibi, First Darling of the Morning by Thrity N. Umrigar.

Monday, March 10, 2014

RA Training Session / Wednesday, March 5, 2014 / Six Degrees Technique

A number of great Six Degrees lists were presented and discussed during our meeting last week. Scroll down to find those lists already posted on the blog. 

More fun came at the end of the meeting with everyone participating in a 'Group Think' six degrees brainstorming session! Titles were thrown out, connections were made, and the result was a great on-the-spot Six Degrees list ... :-)

Impromptu ‘Group Think’ Six Degrees Exercise

1. How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman – a woman wakes up not trusting her husband.

2. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson - the main character wakes up every day and 
doesn't remember anything then gradually begins to wonder if things are being hidden from her.

3. ‘50 First Dates’ feature film - due to a car accident, a young woman can’t remember anything from day to day. Her family tries to keep her from being traumatized (again) by pretending each day is the same until a young man becomes romantically interested.

4. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings – a story of family trauma dealing with a wife and mother on life support after an accident and the husband’s discovery of her involvement in secret affair.

5. A Perfect Murder - feature film with Michael Douglas, Viggo Mortensen and Gwyneth Paltrow; a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder, where the husband learns of his wife’s secret affair and hires someone to kill her.

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – when his wife disappears on their 5th anniversary, the husband is assumed to have killed her especially when her friends tell the police she was afraid of him and had been keeping secrets.

Titles and connections courtesy of:
Lisa K (KR), Sheri K (DE), Sue D (MK), and Lucy L (the RAT Queen)

Six Degrees of Reading / Creating a List

Looking for ways to remember connections between titles so you can help customers with readers' advisory questions? How about creating your own Six Degrees list ...

Creating your very own Six Degrees of Reading list!

Start with a title you have read or know well and write a brief description; at least one sentence but no more than two. Include in the description an aspect of that title which appealed to you.

Although it can be, the connection does not have to be the genre, author, or main character. The aspect can be anything: a secondary character’s occupation, a location mentioned in the title, etc. Be creative! Go crazy and see where it can take your list! J

Connect that title to a second title using the same appeal aspect from the first. Then take an aspect from the second title, something different than the one you used for the first title and connect it to a third title.

Connect the third title to a fourth title using a different aspect for each title to connect to the following title. Continue on until you get to the sixth and final title, for an annotated list of six titles.

Then, and this is the hard part, figure out how the sixth title can link back to the first title on your list!  J

HINT: Choose the 1st and 6th titles FIRST and make sure they connect to each other! Some might call this cheating but I like to think of it as PLANNING AHEAD!  J

My Six Degrees of Reading List







Free Bird (Song) / Lynyrd Skynyrd / Six Degrees of Music

While I was working on my own Six Degrees lists to bring to the next RA Training session, my husband asked me what I was doing. Once I explained the idea, he couldn't resist and came up with his own 'twist' to the Six Degrees technique ...  :-)


1.  Free Bird – Allen Collins and Ronnie van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

2.  Smoke on the Water – Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillian, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice (Deep Purple)

3.  Do You Feel Like We Do – Peter Frampton

4.  Life’s Been Good – Joe Walsh

5.  Layla – Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon (Derek and the Dominos)

6.  Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Jimi Hendrix and Ronnie Van Zant both died before the age of 30. (Allen Collins was seriously injured in the plane crash which killed Van Zant.)

List courtesy of Richard L, husband of The RAT Queen

Born to Run / Christopher McDougall / Six Degrees of Mixed Media

Wondering how far you could take mixing books with films, I had lots of fun creating a Six Degrees list inspired by a RAT Nonfiction benchmark title from Round 4 ...  :-)


In Born to Run: a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall investigates ultra-marathon athletes, the science of running, and the reclusive Tarahumara Indians, the fastest runners in the world.

The Tarahumara tribe live in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, which brought to mind Humphrey Bogart and the film Treasure of the Sierra Madre, from a book by B. Traven.

Hepburn’s book reminded me of ... White Hunter, Black Heart, a Clint Eastwood film based on Peter Viertel’s book, inspired by events which took place while director John Huston and others were on safari during the filming of ‘The African Queen.’

Thinking about trips to Africa lead to ... Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible about a harsh evangelical Baptist missionary, Nathan Price, who takes his wife and his four daughters on a mission to the Belgian Congo...

Missionaries brought to mind the movie ‘Chariots of Fire about Eric Liddell, Scottish missionary, and Harold Abrahams, Cambridge student, who compete in the 1924 Olympics as runners for Great Britain (based on William J. Weatherby’s book).

The film ‘Chariots of Fire’ is ultimately about the joy and science of running which leads back to McDougall’s Born to Run ...

List courtesy of The RAT Queen

A Moveable Feast / Ernest Hemingway / Six Degrees of Reading


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – contains stories about his life as a young man in Paris in the 1920’s.

The movie, Midnight in Paris, is a fantasy about the main character’s dreams of living in Paris in the 1920’s. In this movie, the main character meets Scott Fitzgerald.

Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, a novel about the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanon, in which there are several descriptions of lavish parties on Long Island.

Fictional characters, Gatsby and Buchanon, appear as neighbors to the main characters in Christopher Bohjalian’s The Double Bind which also takes place in Long Island.

A recipe for a drink named Long Island Tea is in the nonfiction book, See, Mix, Drink by Brian Murphy along with many other recipes for alcoholic beverages including those containing whiskey.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is written from Ernest Hemingway’s first wife’s point of view and references Mr. Hemingway’s habit of consuming large amounts of whiskey. The book takes place during the 1920’s in Paris.

List courtesy of Sheri K (DE)

French Kiss (Movie) / Meg Ryan (Actress) / Six Degrees of Film


French Kiss - A woman flies to France to confront her straying fiancé, but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling a stolen necklace.

A Fish Called Wanda - In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, hide their true identities and then try to double-cross each other for the loot.

True Lies - Harry Tasker is a secret agent for the United States Government. For years, he has kept his job from his wife and leads a double life, but is forced to reveal his identity when his wife is swept into the world of espionage.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith - A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

RED (Retired and Extremely Dangerous) - When his peaceful life and new budding romance is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants while pursuing the “woman of his dreams”.

Kate & Leopold -   A modern day scientist finds a rip in the fabric of time near the Brooklyn Bridge.  Leopold --a man living in the 1870s-- follows the scientist back through the time gap to present day and meets the “woman of his dreams”.  Time proves to be an obstacle.  

*Which links back to French Kiss through common themes of mismatched couples brought together against all odds/fate and actress Meg Ryan.

List courtesy of Lisa K (KR)