Library Column–November 3, 2005

October was a very busy month at the Warren Public Library. Thanks to everyone who came in and borrowed books, used the computer, asked questions or just hung out and socialized. A library without patrons would be a truly pointless undertaking.

I’m continuing to read my way through the new books, one by one. In the last couple of weeks I enjoyed 3 non-fiction titles and 2 novels.

The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles to Timbuktu by Kira Salak. Her account of a very strange adventure—kayaking down the Niger river to Timbuktu—following the path of a Scottish adventurer/explorer, Mungo Park. The most interesting aspect, to me, was the variety of encounters with the people who live along the river. Some were warm, friendly and generous, some hostile, some demanding, the people in one village offered her rotten fish for dinner. Definitely not my idea of a fun trip, but nevertheless a good read. Highly recommended for adventure fans.

Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy and Other Misadventures by Lindsay Moran. Lindsay provides an intensely personal account of joining the CIA, describing her training and her brief career as an agent in Macedonia. Entertaining on one level and very depressing on another, it does provide a view behind the curtain. Spying is definitely not a glamorous or thrilling career: slimy is the word that turned up in my mind after reading this book. Good for fans of unusual careers and also of interest for current events aficionados.

Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: The Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POWby Alexander Jefferson. A lovely story about a nice young man who wanted to fly airplanes and ended up flying fighters in WW II. Unfortunately he was captured by the Germans and spent several months as a POW. Even more unfortunately, the first thing he heard as he got off the boat coming back to the U.S. was: "Whites to the right, niggers to the left." He had to go to the left. Wonderfully illustrated with his original pencil sketches drawn at the time and many photos. Note: We also have a DVD about the Tuskegee Airmen.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith. The second installment in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, featuring Isabel Dalhousie wandering around Edinburgh and sticking her nose into things that might be none of her business. I enjoyed the philosophical speculations and excellent characterizations more than the plot, which seemed a bit thin.

Heartbreak Hotel by Jill Marie Landis. Hey, it is definitely a romance, with a sexy hero, a single mom, a ghost and a fun cast of supporting characters.

If you still haven’t joined the Friends of the Warren Public Library, please do so. You can pick up a membership form at the library. Thanks for the support, Friends, we couldn’t do it without you!

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