Library Column – July 27, 2006

I’ve been reading a lot lately! Do stop in and check out some of our new books and new and not so new audio-books. The other reason to stop in is, of course, our air-conditioner. It is working just fine, thank you.

Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles. Are libraries a safe haven for books or a convenient target for book burners? Do librarians save books by storing hundreds of thousands of them in one location, or help them to vanish into the mists of history when the funding for library maintenance runs out? This book provides some disturbing answers in a wide-ranging history of the role of libraries in the preservation and distribution of books.

Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton. A funny, sad, oddball book about an old lady who is longing for grandchildren, a juvenile delinquent who is longing for a grandmother and a whole bunch of people who do not understand.

Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America (or at least the Republican Party) by Rod Dreher. An entertaining and challenging book for people anywhere on the political spectrum. I found myself in strong agreement on some things he says and equally strong disagreement on others. Recommended for anyone interested in the current political scene.

Predator by Patricia Cornwell. Lots of nifty technological stuff for examining dead bodies, but the main characters are all grumpy in this sequel to a long-running series.

Orbit by John J. Nance. An ordinary man wins a chance to ride into space in 2009. Something goes wrong and he is stranded. Good entertainment, not serious or deep.

Nail Biter by Sarah Graves (audio cassettes). A mystery set in a small coastal town in
Maine. The plot includes drugs, a missing teenager, a visiting coven of witches and some home repair hints. A moderately entertaining listen.

Chariot: From Chariot to Tank, The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World’s First War Machine by Arthur Cotterell. This book would have benefited from some tough editing. Bits of fascinating material are buried in endless discussions of ancient tactics, buried in huge stretches of long-forgotten names, dates and events. Worthy of a skim, but only a military history fanatic would read it all the way through. (Regional Library)

Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide by Maureen Dowd (audio CD). Maureen is at her best when talking about politics and sex, and much weaker when simply discussing male/female conflicts and relations. Luckily, she finds a lot of ways to bring politics into the discussion.

See you at the library and don’t forget that we are open until 8 on Wednesdays.

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