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Forty Martyrs

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Forty Martyrs  By Philip F. Deaver Burrow Press, March 29, 2016 – 231 pages Genre: Short story collection Collier County Library: No Deaver is a new-to-me author and a pleasant discovery. He is on the English faculty at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. His previous publications have received acclaim and awards. This collection of nine stories centers around the small town of Tuscola in east central Illinois. Most of the protagonists are linked in some way to the college as well as to the local Catholic parish, Forty Martyrs. But believe me, these are ... Read More »

Try Not To Breathe

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Try Not To Breathe By Holly Seddon Ballantine Books, February 2016 – 369 pages Genre: Mystery/Thriller   Anyone who enjoyed “The Girl On The Train” might like this book very much. I didn’t care for the Hawkins book, but I found this one intriguing. The protagonist, Alex Dale, is a self-destructive barely functional alcoholic with an enlarged liver whose life revolves around her wine consumption and urinary incontinence. When we meet her in 2010, she has drunk her way through college, marriage to police officer Matt, a miscarriage, and a steady job as a ... Read More »

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air
By Paul Kalanithi
Random House 2016 – 258 pages
Genre: Memoir
Collier County Public Library: Yes

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “When there’s no place for a scalpel, words are the surgeon’s only tool.” – Paul Kalanithi At age 36, in the last year of his neurosurgery residency, Paul Kalanithi discovered he had stage IV lung cancer. For the next 22 months, he and his wife Lucy, an internal medicine physician, awoke each day focused on living, not “living until…” “When Breath Becomes Air” was written largely because Dr. Kalanithi had the soul of a poet and turning to words to express any experience in life was as instinctive to him as breathing itself. His intent was ... Read More »

Marco Players Theater Presents Beauty & the Beasts

John McKerrow, Mary Anne McAvoy  McKerrow and Michael McAvoy will be performing in “Taste of Broadway – Beauty and the Beasts.” SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted On February 20, 2016, Marco Players Theater will present “Taste of Broadway – Beauty and the Beasts.” Performing some favorite Broadway show tunes that evening will be John McKerrow, Mary Anne McAvoy McKerrow and Michael McAvoy. Songs will include solos, duets and trios from shows such as, “Man of La Mancha,” “On the Town” and “Beauty and the Beast,” to name a few. John and Mary Anne have performed similar shows for the Players Club, the New York Athletic Club, and many other fine venues in New York and Naples. They are so excited to perform once again with ... Read More »

Musical Spoof Saga of Roaring Gulch Returns

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Submitted The box office is open and tickets are currently on sale for the Island Theater Company’s upcoming production of “Saga of Roaring Gulch,” written by Jack L. Canon and sponsored by Clausen Properties. The Island Theater Company (ITC) is delighted to bring back this musical spoof of the old Wild West, originally performed to sold-out Marco audiences twenty years ago. The “Saga Of Roaring Gulch” will run over three four-day weekends in February, March and April. This 20th year anniversary of the world premiere performance is dedicated to the late Mr. Canon. ITC is honored and grateful to Mary ... Read More »

Gulfshore Opera Brings Opera to SW Florida Gala to feature Samuel Ramey and Michael Fabiano

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By Randall Kenneth Jones Steffanie Pearce’s true passion goes on display when discussing the joy of the human voice: “Opera expresses the human condition in a visceral, emotional way. It moves and inspires people.” And opera certainly inspired Pearce. In an attempt to bring the art form to a larger local audience, Pearce launched Gulfshore Opera in 2014. It’s not difficult to see why. Chat with Pearce about her love of opera and you hear it in her voice; you see it in her eyes. Yes, her heart sings. With Gulfshore Opera, Pearce immediately set out to reach as many ... Read More »

February Events at Rose Auditorium

Presidential Re-enactors: Front - Adams, Jefferson; Back - Grant, Eisenhower. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted This month, the Marco Island Historical Society is bringing to Rose Auditorium first-class entertainment that islanders will not want to miss. February 8, 2 PM & 7 PM: Presidential Re-enactors, “Mr. President” For the past several years, Marco Island Historical Re-enactors, in cooperation with the Historical Society, has produced a series of remarkable productions, all centered on First Ladies of the United States. This year, the men trade places with the women and take on the roles of former Presidents of the United States in two showings of “Mr. President.” This year’s Presidential lineup includes two Founding Fathers of ... Read More »

The Last Anniversary

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Liane Moriarty Harper Collins 2006, 388 pages Genre: Domestic Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Warning: Do not read this book in the vicinity of sleeping babies or people with a nervous disposition. Your frequent spontaneous peals of laughter may startle them. “The Last Anniversary” is not a new book, but it is presently on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It was originally published in Australia in 2005. Apparently interest in it ... Read More »

My Name Is Lucy Barton

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Elizabeth Strout Random House, January 2016, 193 pages Genre: Domestic fiction This book is not for everyone, but if you liked “Olive Kitteridge,” by this same author (which won her a Pulitzer), or “Someone,” by Alice McDermott, chances are that you will enjoy this book immensely. It is a masterpiece, a book that you know you will re-read and notice nuances that you missed on your first visit with these people. I read it in one sitting, too engrossed to put the book down. Plus, it is less than 200 pages. Lucy Barton is a ... Read More »

Goldeneye Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Matthew Parker Penguin Books 2015, 387 pages Genre: Biography Collier County Public Library: Yes   “My contribution to the art of thriller-writing has been to attempt the total stimulation of the reader all the way through, even to his taste buds.” ~ Ian Fleming   The James Bond movie franchise is 53 years old yet it is the third highest grossing movie franchise in the world, right behind those whippersnappers “Harry Potter” and “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, wrote 14 Bond books plus a collection of short stories and “Chitty Chitty Bang ... Read More »

Marco Players Present Same Time, Next Year

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Submitted Same Time, Next Year a romantic comedy by Bernard Slade ran four years on Broadway, winning a Tony Award. Directed by Richard Joyce, a 50-year theater veteran, Same Time, Next Year plays out the saucy romance and hilarious habits of two people who have an affair each year for 24 years while married to other people! Director Richard Joyce says, “What makes this show both entertaining and nostalgic, is that George and Doris are both married to someone else, and a one-night stand grows into a lifetime of one-night stands. Even though it’s “naughty,” you’ll enjoy watching their relationship ... Read More »

Lunch Box Series

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Submitted The Lunch Box Series is a wonderful lunchtime treat that includes lunch, a show and conversation with the cast after the show, all for $28 each! On January 9, 2016 “The Black Queen,” Catherine de Medici, will be performed by Janina Birtolo. “The Black Queen” tells the intriguing story of the Renaissance woman who never expected to be a queen, yet who went on to be the power behind the throne through the reigns of three of her sons. During her early years in her new country, Catherine was despised and discounted as “the Italian woman.” When she became Queen Regent, ... Read More »

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea..” In this nifty new book, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger tell the exciting story of how the U.S. Marines earned bragging rights to include the shores of Tripoli in their hymn. Even before the Constitution was ratified and the United States of America came to official existence, the Barbary pirates were menacing our vessels. In summer 1785, the American minister to France, Thomas Jefferson, received a letter from Richard O’Brien, captain of the Dauphin, ... Read More »

“The Crossing”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Michael Connelly Little, Brown and Company, November 2015 400 pages Genre: Suspense/Mystery Collier County Public Library: Yes   In his 20th Harry Bosch novel, Michael Connelly reunites Harry with his half-brother Mickey Haller, the defense attorney from “Lincoln Lawyer.” Connelly first matched them up in “The Brass Verdict” (2008). But make no mistake, this is Harry Bosch’s story. Maddie, Harry’s daughter, is now 18 years old, within days of high school graduation and already has plans to attend Chapman College, the same school that Mickey’s daughter will be attending. The girls will room together. If ... Read More »

“The Tears of Dark Water”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Corban Addison Thomas Nelson 2015, 439 pages Genre: Domestic Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi   In “The Tears of Dark Water,” his third novel, Corban Addison proves himself to be one of the prominent authors of his generation. He has a beautiful writing style that is both intelligent and gripping, moving the story along at an almost-perfect pace while deepening the layers of the characters’ personalities with each page. It is November 2011, and Daniel Parker and his 18-year-old son ... Read More »

MIHS Hosts World-Class Entertainment

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Submitted By popular demand, the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) is once again bringing world-class entertainment to Marco Island. The first of several musical/variety shows begin this holiday season, with more to come next year. The performances will be held live onstage at the Rose History Auditorium (RHA) on Marco. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience these popular events. Later this month, on Saturday, November 28, Duo Romantico, the husband and wife team of Atilio and Christy Marinelli, will perform a Tribute to Andrea Bocelli. This classically trained tenor and soprano bring unforgettable chemistry to the RHA stage. As cousins ... Read More »

Performers Look Forward to 50th Anniversary Concert

The Nowhere Band’s guitar collection spans the period of the Beatles’ career. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Don Manley Modern Marco Island’s half century of existence will be commemorated with music at the 50th Anniversary Concert in the Park, set for November 21 at Veterans Community Park. The genre-spanning lineup will include Marco resident Jim Long, Little Eddie and the Fat Fingers, the Marco Island Charter Middle School Jazz Band and featured guest, Beatles tribute artists The Nowhere Band, whose repertoire spans the entirety of the Fab Four’s illustrious career. Based in Southwest Florida, The Nowhere Band brings the Beatles’ material to life for audiences by blending authentic period costumes and vintage instruments, with modern lighting ... Read More »

“Did You Ever Have A Family?”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Bill Clegg Simon & Schuster 2015, 253 pages Genre: Family Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.” ~ Thornton Wilder   Lolly Reid and Will Landis are getting married in the garden of her mother June’s spacious home in small town Connecticut. Her home has never been so full. Her ex-husband Adam is staying over, Lolly and Will of course, and June’s much younger boyfriend Luke Morey. Things had wound down, everyone retired to their rooms for the evening except ... Read More »

Center for the Arts… Presents Musical Interludes Series

The Gulfshore Tenors to perform at the  Marco Island Center for the Arts. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted The Marco Island Center for the Arts announced today the first intimate concert in its Musical Interludes Series to be held at the Center on November 5, 2015 at 5:30 PM. The evening will feature the Gulfshore Tenors, consisting of Luciano Marsalli, Bruno Guererro and Teddy Collins. The Gulfshore Tenors is a new group in the style of such famous “3 Tenors” as Carreras, Domingo and Pavorotti. The talented Gulfshore Tenors will be joined by soprano, Natalia Salazar. These artists have been performing together for several years, but only this year formed the grouping to appear at Marco Island ... Read More »

Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Lee Child Random House, September 2015, 402 pages. Genre: Suspense Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Admit nothing, even on your death bed. You might suddenly get better.” ~ Jack Reacher Jack is back in this 20th installment of this billion-dollar Lee Child enterprise. Be forewarned that Jack journeys to a very dark place in this adventure. If you are looking for chuckles or warm fuzzies, this is not the story for you. If you have previously read a Reacher novel or two you know that Jack started out as a kind of modern-day Lone ... Read More »