This week at the Gilpin Library
by Larry Grieco
Some books can best be described as “genre-bending,” mixing together several types of popular fiction that attract readers with differing interests. One such book is Dangerous Refuge, written by Elizabeth Lowell, which combines the romance, suspense and crime genres to produce a book that is a love story, a suspenseful page-turner, and a murder mystery all in one. When the head of the Davis family ranch suffers a suspicious death, his nephew, Tanner, a big-city homicide cop comes to the ranch to settle his uncle’s estate. He meets local woman Shaye Townsend who is working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches. Shaye wants to preserve the Davis family homestead. Tanner and Shaye hardly can find anything they agree on, except this: they have got to discover the circumstances of Tanner’s uncle’s death. Shaye’s familiarity with the territory, local connections, and knowledge of the political atmosphere, and Tanner’s skills and experience as a police detective make them an effective team in the pursuit of justice. But they find working closely together produces sparks that neither had seen coming. Inevitably Shaye becomes the killer’s next target, and Tanner realizes he would give his life to protect her. Elizabeth Lowell has over 30 million books in print and loyal readers all over the world. Booklist: “Lowell brilliantly mingles danger, deception, and desire to create a captivating story that is edgy, sexy, and completely satisfying….Romantic suspense at its best.”
One of my most recent literary pleasures has been tackling the precious autobiography of “the grandmother of punk,” Patti Smith. Smith’s life and career has mixed a number of art forms, including poetry, song writing, singing in a rock band, painting and sculpture, performance art, and even playwriting. She has written several books, and is even been rumored to be writing a mystery novel. In Just Kids, which won the National Book Award in 2010, she shares intimate moments from early childhood to the present in a narrative that is mesmerizing and delightful. She can’t not be a poet, no matter what art form she is working in. As a writer of prose, there is a rawness to her style that delivers not only truth, but beauty on every page. The book describes her long-time, and sometimes intimate, friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. More than anything, though, we see her evolve as an artist, seemingly without any limitations or borders. Another character in the book is a living, breathing New York City in the late sixties and seventies and “its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions.” In 2005, Smith was awarded the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, the highest honor awarded to an artist by the French Republic. Back in America, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Thanks to all who came out for the Friends of the Library Book and Bake Sale. The numbers are not all in, but it was definitely a big success. Likewise, thanks to the loyal regulars who come to our film series – the last movie, Wonder Boys, was attended by 35 people. We’ll be coming back in the spring with another great film series.
Remember you can sign up to receive The Third Place, the library’s brand new electronic newsletter, which is published frequently but irregularly. All you have to do to get on the list is send me an email, email@example.com, with “Add me” in the subject line.
Coming in November, we’ll be signing up people to participate in the Muslim Journeys: Literary Reflections reading and discussion series. The five-part series will run from mid-January to early March and will be facilitated by Prof. Nancy Ciccone, head of the English Department at the University of Colorado, Denver. This series will be limited to fifty people (the official capacity of the library’s meeting room), so you’ll want to be sure to get on the list when the time comes. Watch the library column in this newspaper or stop by the library for updated information.