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The President’s Hat

Can a hat belonging to a powerful political figure have magical properties?  Can merely wearing such a  hat change a person’s life? This is the premise, on a lighthearted level, of The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain.

When France’s President, Francois Mitterrand, leaves his chapeau behind in a brasserie, it is picked up by admirer, accountant Daniel Mercier.   Donning the hat, Mercier immediately feels more confident and ready to take on the world.  Well, at least in his small corner of it.  Then Mercier loses the hat.

Its next temporary owner, a young woman with aspirations of becoming a great writer, also feels the power of the hat.  Is it the hat that inspires her to make a life-changing decision, or just a coincidence?  The she too loses the hat.

The novel follows the hat as it travels from person to person, altering lives along the way.  I read The President’s Hat in one sitting on a quiet weekend.  I thoroughly enjoyed its charm and gentle wit.  Although the ending was perfect, I was certainly sorry to see the story come to a close.

P.S. I’d also highly recommend The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

– – Sandi H.

Glen Campbell

campbellI felt so many things watching this DVD which follows singer Glen Campbell in concert after he publicly announced he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

I felt sadness at the sometimes lost, befuddled look in his eyes, great respect for his bravery to go public with the news, and a real sense of joy and celebration in hearing his music again. (As I write this I have a couple of his songs running through my head, specifically “Galveston” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”) Oh, and I laughed a lot too. The pop/country singer and his family display a wonderful sense of humour as they struggle to cope with the disease.

Glen Campbell initially planned a farewell tour of 5 weeks. But such was it’s success, it was extended to 150 concerts over 1 1/2 years. Somehow, because music was so deeply a part of him, he remained highly functioning on stage, even as he struggled with day to day life. But by his last performance, the Alzheimer’s was becoming painfully obvious. The film is made up of concert footage, life on the road, interviews with his family and friends, and snippets of his home life. I would really recommend I’ll be Me.

I got this DVD title from a great list of newer documentaries that WPL staff put together awhile back and was posted in this blog here. I consult the list from time to time when I am looking for something interesting to watch. You should check out the list too.

And also, should the mood strike you, the library has a number of Glen Campbell CD’s.

– – Penny D.