PageTurners Read “The Ghost at the Table”

The Ghost at the Table
by Suzanne Berne

Rival sisters search for family truths over a Thanksgiving holiday. Frances Fiske longs for harmony and decides to host a blowout dinner to reunite her estranged family. Out of pity and a sense of obligation, Cynthia Fiske flies east from her sequestered life as a writer to join in her sister’s feast. But in her quest for unity, Frances packs the house with high-wattage conflict, for when three generations of the Fiske family gather, tempers flair and skeletons begin tumbling out of closets.

Five people attended the discussion of this book on Thursday, November 10 at 6 pm. The consensus was that the family dynamics were intriguing and realistic. The average rating was 3.43 out of 5; the lowest score was a 3 and the lowest was a 4.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.


The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over ten copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.


The Tree of Life (2011)

The content and opinions expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the Rice Lake Public Library.

Thanksgiving Films 2011

Home for the Holidays (1995) Rated PG-13

Claudia Larson is a divorced single mom who just lost her job and now has to fly home for the traditional family Thanksgiving in Baltimore. From the plane, she calls for reinforcements–and her brother Tommy makes it down from Boston with a little surprise: a handsome friend named Leo. Between dropping the turkey in their sister’s lap and a few fist fights on the front lawn, Claudia and Tommy recapture their childhood–and Claudia and Leo explore the sweet possibility of romance.

The Ice Storm (1997) Rated R

The story of two dysfunctional suburban families, set in the 1970s. When a self-centered husband’s relationships with his wife and mistress grow cold, it takes a wife-swapping “key party” and a freak ice storm to clear the air–and change their lives forever.

Mighty Joe Young (1998) Rated PG

A fifteen-foot-tall Central African gorilla is brought to America to save him from poachers. But his notoriety makes him a target for an enemy from his past.

Pieces of April (2003) Rated PG-13 

Family outcast April lives in a beat-up apartment in New York’s Lower East Side with her boyfriend, Bobby. In order to spend some time with her dying mother, April invites her conservative suburban family to her place for a Thanksgiving feast. While she frantically tries to complete the meal, the family drives in from Pennsylvania sharing less-than-pleasant opinions about April’s lifestyle. Her dad tries to think positively, while sister Beth flaunts her good-girl status and brother Timmy captures it all on film.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) Rated R

An uptight businessman faces disaster after disaster as he tries to get back home in time for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and along the way is joined by an insane traveling salesman that will not leave him alone.

Water for Elephants (2011)

Rated PG-13

Veterinary student Jacob Jankowski runs away and joins a circus during the depression. Along the way he falls for the married performer, Marlena.

Having not read the book, I will say, this film lived up to the hype of the book. It was wonderfully done. The cinematography is beautiful.  The costumes were amazing. Sure, the chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattison wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worse. The lack of chemistry sure didn’t take away from they’re acting and it helped heighten Christoph Waltz’s performance as a mad man. If you enjoyed the book, I wouldn’t shy away from the movie.

Via What to Watch 

The content and opinions expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the Rice Lake Public Library.

New Books of November 2011

The Boy in the Suitcase
Lene Kaaberbol
Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, who works helping illegal refugees, gets a call from an estranged friend begging her to pick up a package in one of the lockers at the main Copenhagen train station. The package turns out to be a suitcase with a drugged three-year-old boy inside. When the friend is murdered, Nina realizes she’s caught in the middle of a kidnapping case. Nina must use her connections in the refugee community to discover the identity and nationality of the child before she can find out who is behind his abduction.

Paper Angels
Billy Coffey
Andy Sommerville is guided by and angel named Old Man, but his angel fails to prevent something terrible that claims the life of a precious friend and leaves Andy badly burned. Regaining consciousness in the hospital, Andy feels abandoned by Old Man and also feels that nothing really matters any more until he opens up to a beautiful counselor named Elizabeth. He shares the secret of his angel and of 12 odd items the Old Man told him to store in a special box. Each of these apparently unrelated trinkets launches memories of choices and life lessons that combine to provide answers for Andy about his life’s purpose and why God allows suffering.

The Pilgrim
Hugh Nissenson
Coming of age as a New England Pilgrim was a tough, bloody and sexy business. Charles Wentworth always had doubts. Raised in the English town of Winterbourne, “a godly town,” as the son of a minister, the young man has all his needs cared for. But unlike his father, or even their illiterate servant Ben, his faith is shaky. Perhaps because of various heartaches and brutality not uncommon as the 17th century began, Charles cannot believe he will be among the elect, those he believes are predestined to be saved. When the opportunity to emigrate to New England comes, he grabs it. The freedom to worship, however, comes with starvation, sickness and the constant fear of Indian attacks. It also brings the promise of new love and–eventually–the promise of salvation.

The Time in Between
Maria Duenas
Sira Quiroga begins life as the bastard daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, but bad luck, fate, and the crooked path -toward true love all lead her to a life of adventure, and high-stakes espionage. When young Sira is abandoned by her lover in Morocco, she is forced to reinvent herself as a sophisticated dressmaker to the expatriate community while the Spanish civil war devastates her homeland. Her work brings her into contact with powerful men, compelling women, and a man she believes to be a journalist and perhaps the love of her life. When the British government asks her to return to Madrid to spy for them as World War II sweeps Europe, she reluctantly agrees, but in doing so becomes a heroine.

White Truffles in Winter
N.M. Kelby
Delphine Daffis is dying, and she wants her husband, French chef August Escoffier (famous for his restaurants, the Savoy and the Ritz), to create a dish named after her, as he has done for his lover, Sara Bernhardt, and countless others, even Queen Victoria. He had always refused, saying “one should never attempt to define the sublime” but Delphine didn’t believe him for a minute. Delphine hires Sabine, a local beauty stricken with polio as kitchen help to persuade her husband to create a dish named for her. Without one, Delphine fears the world won’t know that the great chef loved her.

What About Money?

How do you feel about money? Do you know about interest rates, insurance options, savings accounts, or retirement planning? Do you think that you are asking the right questions? or making the right decisions?

The non-profit organization Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy developed the quiz from which I used a question in the poll below. Their website offers a wealth of information about money and finances.

Highlight this next line to find out the answer!
The answer is D : Income tax may be charged on the interest if your income is high enough.

For more books on this topic, visit the Rice Lake Public Library!

Films on Adoption

November is National Adoption Awareness Month and in honor of that, here’ s some films with adoption theme.

Anne of Green Gables (1985) Rated NR

Follows the life drama of orphan Anne Shirley, from her struggles as an adolescent to her triumphs as a young woman.

Be sure to check the sequels out too: Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story

Losing Isaiah (1995) Rated R

A woman who has adopted an abandoned child to give it a new life has to fight for him when his birth mother shows up and wants him back.

My Own Private Idaho (1991) Rated R

Mike – a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him – and Scott – the rebellious son of a prominent family and the object of Mike’s desire – embark on a quest from the grungy streets of Portland to the open highways of the Pacific Northwest, in search of an elusive place called home.

Next of Kin  (1989) Rated R

A cop transplanted from the backwoods of Appalachia to the mean streets of Chicago is involved in a deadly clash that traps him between the mountain code of retribution and the badge he wears.

The Shipping News (2001) Rated R

An inksetter in New York, Quoyle returns to his family’s longtime home, a small fishing town in Newfoundland, with his young daughter, after a traumatizing experience with her mother, who sold her to an illegal adoption agency. Though Quoyle has had little success thus far in life, his shipping news column in the local newspaper finds an audience, and his experiences in the town begin to change his life.

Honorable Mentions: Annie, Bella, and The Blind Side.

Gilbert Cates (1934-2011)

Gilbert Cates was a renowned Producer and Director of films and tv shows. He was most notable as the producer of some of the Academy awards shows. He, also, was a professor at UCLA where he founded their department of Theater, Film and Television. He passed away a couple of days ago on October 31st. His death is under an investigation. Here is a list of  his  films that the library owns:

Death in the Family (2002) Rated NR

A television adaptation of James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the effect a freak accident has upon a little boy and his mother.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears  (1983) Rated UR

It’s hard to find porridge, a chair and a bed that’s “just right” nowadays, as a little girl is about to find out. Goldilocks, a little girl with a big imagination, has her life changed forever when she wanders into the home of some furry, but friendly, bears.

The Promise (1979) Rated PG

Two college students find their love changed forever when a dangerous accident forces them to choose between their love and their futures.

Rapunzel (1982) Rated NR

A childless witch steals a baby girl and whisks her away to a tall tower to raise as her own and calls her Rapunzel. Rapunzel turns into a lovely but lonely young woman with the longest golden hair in the land. When a handsome Prince sees her, it’s love at first sight. He begs her to let down her hair so he can use it as a ladder and come face to face with the woman of his dreams. Will it be curtains for Rapunzel when the Witch finds out about the Prince?

To All My Friends on Shore (1972) Rated NR

Bill Cosby stars as Blue, an inner-city father struggling to save enough money to buy a house for his family. His obsession with money causes him to neglect his family. When his son (Dennis Hines) is diagnosed with fatal sickle-cell anemia, Blue realizes his priorities need to change.