Larry Grieco, Librarian. Paris is the place for love, and who better to write a love story set in Paris than a young Parisian. Nicolas Barreau studied at the Sorbonne and then began writing novels. In 2012 he wrote One Evening in Paris, which has just been translated into English and published in the U.S.
The novel is about Alain Bonnard, the owner of a small art cinema, called the Cinema Paradis. The films that Alain shows in his cinema are carefully selected for quality and for their “dream content.” He likes the people who come to his cinema, and he wants them to revel in the magic of film. One regular is “the enchanting, shy woman in the red coat” who comes every Wednesday and sits in row seventeen. Alain is charmed by her and one evening he invites her to dinner.
Meanwhile, something incredible is about to happen. A famous American filmmaker is going to shoot a film in Paris, and his favorite actress, Solene Avril, who has known of Alain’s cinema since childhood, insists that the Cinema Paradis be the location of the film. The publicity suddenly makes Alain’s cinema a most popular and chic place to be seen, and the theater is filled every night. The woman in the red coat, however, vanishes. Alain searches high and low for her and “becomes part of a story more delightful than anything the cinema has to offer.”
Gala Magazine: “In every publishing season there is really only one love story that touches me deeply. [This book] is my absolute emotional highlight.”
While we’re on the subject of love, it might be appropriate to point out that there’s yet another book about Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe to come out, called Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love.
This is well-plowed territory, but C. David Heymann, author of a host of biographies, mostly about various members of the Kennedy family, has written an entertaining and thorough re-telling of the truly American love story of DiMaggio and Monroe, with a full cast of characters from Frank Sinatra to JFK, and from mobster Sam Giancana to RFK, with supporting roles played by most of the other men in Marilyn’s life, from playwright Arthur Miller to Lee Strasburg and Marlon Brando. Just to juggle all of them in the story as deftly as Marilyn juggled them in real life, is an impressive piece of writing.
Booklist: “A far cry from the glitzy, superficial star bios that litter bookstore shelves….Heymann knows how to make a biography read like an epic novel.”
And now to wacky detective stories. Spencer Quinn has a wonderful series going, starring a P.I. named Bernie Little and his faithful canine companion, Chet.
Bernie and Chet, after working on a case in Louisiana, decide to visit Bernie’s girlfriend, Suzie Sanchez, who is an up-and-coming journalist, now living in Washington, DC. Suzie is working on a big story involving a mysterious Brit with possible spy connections. Chet (the canine) makes friends with a DC operative who offers him some delicious snacks. It doesn’t take long for the whole trio—Bernie, Chet, and Suzie—to be pulled “into a shadowy international conspiracy, battling unfamiliar forces under the blinking red eyes of a strange bird that Chet notices from the get-go but seems to have slipped by everybody else.”
The book is called Paw and Order, which the Los Angeles Times calls “nothing short of masterful.”
Our next poetry reading is scheduled for Saturday evening, February 21, at 7:00 p.m. We are pleased to announce that Kathryn Bass will join us as featured guest. Kathryn’s poetry has appeared in dozens of journals, including American Tanka, The Amherst Review, The Formalist, The Prose Poem, and Quarter After Eight. She serves as the Director of the Online Poetry Project, teaches with Lighthouse Writers Workshops, and visits schools as a Young Audiences residency artist. Kathryn’s first book, Within/Without: A Conversation in Poetry and Painting, chronicles her year-long collaboration with painter Kimberly MacArthur Graham. Her chapbook, Bright Seeds, has been selected for the Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Series. She lives in Denver.
Some of our local poets will also be performing, and the “open mic” portion of the evening is reserved for anyone in the audience who wishes to read. We hope you will join us for an exciting and magical evening as we return to the Gilpin Library’s live poetry stage.