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Connections Summer Book Week 2016

Jun 13, 2016

Have you made your summer reading list yet? If not, Scott Fybush will have some suggestions for you during Connections Summer Book Week June 20-24, presented by Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport

Scott Fybush has put together a list of books that you can read and then discuss during the week-long special, which you can read after the jump.

Here's this year's Summer Book Week list, with links to purchase:

"Beatles Gear" by Andy Babiuk

We talk to author Andy Babiuk about his book, Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio.

The book is the first to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music. It details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers, and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career - from the formation of the Quarry Men skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

The book provides fascinating, fresh insight into the Beatles' history from an entirely new viewpoint. Along the way, many myths are exploded and dozens of stories are told for the first time.  

Andy Babiuk is a musician, author, consultant, and owner of Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear in Fairport, New York.  He is a founding member and bassist of the super-group, The Empty Hearts (est. 2014), featuring Elliot Easton of The Cars, Clem Burke of Blondie, and Wally Palmar of The Romantics. Babiuk was also a founding member of The Chesterfield Kings.

"Ladies Night at the Dreamland" by Sonja Livingston

At the Dreamland, women and girls flicker from the shadows to take their proper place in the spotlight. In this lyrical collection, Sonja Livingston weaves together strands of research and imagination to conjure figures from history, literature, legend, and personal memory. The result is a series of essays that highlight lives as varied, troubled, and spirited as America itself. Harnessing the power of language, Livingston breathes life into subjects who lived extraordinary lives— as rule-breakers, victims, or those whose differences made them cultural curiosities—bringing together those who slipped through the world largely unseen with those whose images were fleeting or faulty so that they, too, remained relatively obscure. Included are Alice Mitchell, a Memphis society girl who murdered her female lover in 1892; Maria Spelterini, who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1876; May Fielding, a “white slave girl” buried in a Victorian cemetery; Valaida Snow, a Harlem Renaissance trumpeter; a child exhibited as Darwin’s Missing Link; the sculptors’ model Audrey Munson; a Crow warrior; victims of a 1970s serial killer; the Fox Sisters; and many more.   

"Everybody's Fool" by Richard Russo

Richard Russo, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and the characters who made Nobody’s Fool (1993) a “confident, assured novel [that] sweeps the reader up,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle back then. “Simple as family love, yet nearly as complicated.” Or, as The Boston Globe put it, “a big, rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable human hopefulness.”  The irresistible Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is staring down a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he has only a year or two left, and it’s hard work trying to keep this news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years . . . the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren’t still best friends . . . Sully’s son and grandson, for whom he was mostly an absentee figure (and now a regretful one). We also enjoy the company of Doug Raymer, the chief of police who’s obsessing primarily over the identity of the man his wife might’ve been about to run off with, before dying in a freak accident . . . Bath’s mayor, the former academic Gus Moynihan, whose wife problems are, if anything, even more pressing . . . and then there’s Carl Roebuck, whose lifelong run of failing upward might now come to ruin. And finally, there’s Charice Bond—a light at the end of the tunnel that is Chief Raymer’s office—as well as her brother, Jerome, who might well be the train barreling into the station. 

"Snow Job" by Charles Benoit

Does who you are in high school brand you for life? Nick sure hopes not. It's senior year, and he has decided that his loser friends may be going nowhere fast, but he "isn't." Instead, Nick has created the perfect list of rules for remaking his life. But meeting dark-eyed Dawn and hanging out with teen thug Zod are nowhere on that list. And making illegal deliveries "definitely" isn't on it. So why is Nick caught up with these people and their dangerous schemes? Will Nick's list help him to be a hero or turn him into a fall guy?

Charles Benoit's teen novels include Cold Calls, Snow Job, Fall from Grace and You, an American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. A former high school teacher, Charles is also the Edgar-nominated author of three adult mysteries. He lives in Rochester, New York.      

"Forest of Wonders" by Linda Sue Park

From Newbery Medal winning author Linda Sue Park comes a captivating fantasy-adventure about a boy, a bat, and an amazing transformation. Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic. When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences. Raffa's experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him question whether exciting botanical inventions including his own might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect. The first book in an enchanting trilogy, Forest of Wonders richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home. Born in Illinois, Ms. Park has also lived in California, England, and Ireland. She and her husband, a journalist, now live in Rochester, New York, and have two grown children.  

"Yaks Yak" by Linda Sue Park

At once funny and informative, "Yaks Yak" presents animals acting out the verbs made from their names. Illustrations rich in comic details show hogs hogging, slugs slugging, and other spirited creatures demonstratinghomographs, words with different meanings that are spelled and pronounced the same. A chart listing the words, their meanings, and their history is included. Ideal for sharing, this book offers a sprightly and fanciful introduction to a fun form of wordplay.

"A Man of Genius" by Lynn Rosen

Samuel Grafton-Hall is a man of genius who demands reverence from all. A renowned architect, his point of view is not universally shared by students, critics, and colleagues – but this is of little consequence to Grafton-Hall, for he revels in his misanthropy. Immune to the barbs of the masses, Grafton-Hall also suffers no qualms about his personal peccadilloes and perversions. An unrepentant womanizer, Grafton-Hall leaves colleagues, friends, and lovers deeply scarred from having known him. And then there is the murder. The question of guilt is of less consequence than the question of whether the gift of genius makes one irreproachable. A rich novel that will sweep you into a life of glittering achievement and the core of hubris, A Man of Genius will forever alter your ideas about success and pride. Written in the haunting style of du Maurier’s Rebecca, this is a compelling story, told with intelligence and classic style.  

"Heirlooms: Stories" by Rachel Hall (Pre-order)

Written by SUNY Geneseo Professor and author Rachel Hall, Heirlooms begins in the French seaside city of Saint-Malo, in 1939, and ends in the American Midwest in 1989. In these linked stories, the war reverberates through four generations of a Jewish family. Inspired by the author's family stories as well as extensive research, Heirlooms explores assumptions about love, duty, memory and truth.