Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
As a teen I was enthralled with horror stories. I grew up reading HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and more. I left the horror story stage behind and haven’t really read the genre for years. Well, it seems this is a good year to revisit it. I recently spent a Saturday reading this tale from beginning to end – everything else was put on hold.
Mexican Gothic is full of mystery and intrigue surrounded by the supernatural and unknown – a classic gothic novel. It’s more psychological horror than gore. In 1950s Mexico, Noemi Taboada is a glamorous debutante more interested in her own independence than being settled. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging someone to save her, Noemi travels to rescue her cousin Catalina, with the promise from her father that she can attend the university of her choice if she will only do this one thing.
Arriving at the husband’s remote old family mansion in the mountains, Noemi has a true mystery to unravel. Catalina is kept secreted in her bedroom and Noemi roams the mansion and grounds trying to deduce what’s really going on. Noemi is a tough cookie; she’s not afraid of her cousin’s new husband who is both intimidating and alluring or the husband’s forbidding father or sister. She uses the husband’s young nephew to escape to the nearby town to send letters back to her family and to seek advice from both the town doctor and local wise woman. The family seemingly has a strange hold over the town and the mountain full of some dark ancient knowledge.
With plenty of menace, this tale evokes the atmosphere of the horror movies from the 1930s and 40s, where violin music would play in the background of the foggy craggy scenery. The story starts a little slow, but builds to a surprising crescendo. I thought I had it all figured out only to discover a truly unexpected ending. I couldn’t put it down.
Tina Hubert, Executive Director Six Mile Regional Library District
Mexican Gothic is available from the Six Mile Regional Library District in hardback, as an e-book and an e-audiobook. For more information, visit elibrary.smrld.org or call 618-452-6238 ext. 730.
Ever wonder what your SMRLD librarians are reading? Well now you can follow along at smrld.org/librarianreads with some of their recommendations.
As many of you know, the doors to the Six Mile Regional Library District closed on March 17. We hope you also know that while the doors are closed, we are still here providing remote services and increasing our virtual capabilities.
What you might not know is how much we miss you!
We miss seeing your smiles when we recommend a good book, helping with a homework question, or finding just the information you were looking for. We miss hearing what’s happening in your lives and your recommendations for us.
Everyday we are asked when we’ll reopen again.
We don’t have an exact date, but rest assured we are working hard to do just that.
We will phase our reopening. Soon, we hope to offer curbside service at our Johnson Road location so that you can order and pick up materials. The book drops will open in just a few weeks so you can return the materials you have at home. We are rearranging furniture, books, CDs, and DVDs so that you will be able to visit us in-person at our Delmar Avenue library to use the computers, apply for passports, purchase your license plate renewal stickers, register to vote, get items notarized, pick up fishing and hunting licenses, and much more.
Yes, things will look and be different. We won’t have in-person events for a while and there won’t be any seating (other than for computer use) while we have to limit the number of people and comply with social distancing guidelines in the building. However, know that every day we are one step closer to providing you the full service you deserve, expect, and are used to getting from us. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Books on Buses Program in Granite City
Granite City – Tuesday, July 30, 2019
With the 2019-2020 school year, students in Granite City will be able to find a good book to read while traveling between home and school on select school buses. This pilot program is a partnership between Granite City Community Unit School District #9, North America Central School Bus, and Six Mile Regional Library District.
During the Spring of 2019, SMRLD Executive Director Tina Hubert contacted Don Harris, Director of Student Services for the Granite City School District, after reading an article about how a bucket of books was added to an Arkansas school bus to encourage students to read. Tina then met with Mr. Harris; Paula Hubbard, GCSD#9 Director of Special Education and Region 1; Pat Coleman, Granite City Contract Manager North America Central School Bus; and Erica Hanke-Young, SMRLD Youth Services Manager to discuss a new partnership and the logistics of bringing this pilot program to GCSD#9 students. It was decided to begin with a few select buses, in order to iron out any wrinkles in the program before it goes district-wide.
The Books on Buses program is similar to the Little Free Library concept where folks are invited to Take a Book, Share a Book. Six Mile Regional Library District is supplying the books for ages 5-15, and North America Central School Bus is providing safe containers to hold the books on the buses. Books are entirely free and do not have due dates – students can read the books on the buses, take books home, return the books to the buses to share with others and to choose new titles to read, or even keep favorite books. While every student in the Granite City School District is encouraged to get their free SMRLD library card, a library card is not needed for the Books on Buses program.
The enthusiasm for this new partnership was automatic. It’s a win-win for everyone. The books give the kids something to do while on the bus and promotes literacy at the same time. GCSD Superintendent Jim Greenwald states, “Books on Buses is another outstanding example of the many services offered by the Six Mile Regional Library District. They have many programs to make reading fun for the students, and what a novel way to continue the learning process to and from school.”
All three organizations share the same service boundaries. Many people who grew up in Granite City fondly remember the Library’s Bookmobile. While a full-fledge bookmobile is beyond either the School District or Library District budgets, this new Books on Buses program is a way to reach out in a somewhat similar fashion to students throughout the area.
GCSD Mission: Our district is committed to providing a safe learning environment, which enables all students to develop intellectually, physically, morally, and emotionally to the very best of their abilities.
NACSB Mission: To provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation services that enrich the lives of the communities we serve.
SMRLD Mission: The Library makes a significant difference in the everyday lives of the people, institutions, and communities of Granite City, Mitchell, and Pontoon Beach.
For more information, call (618) 452-6238.
Contacts: Erica Hanke-Young, Youth Services Manager (618) 452-6238 ext. 787
Tina Hubert, Executive Director (618) 452-6238 ext. 781