Library Column – August 24, 2006

Gorgeous weather is nice for everyone except librarians: circulation goes down because everyone is swimming, hiking, biking, kayaking or just enjoying the fresh air AND we have to stay inside and keep the library open besides. Plenty of good books on the shelves, so come on in (if you can stand to leave the fresh air) and pick up a couple of beach reads. Some of what I’ve been reading would be perfect on the beach or deck, others are more serious. Enjoy!

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky. (regional library) An incredibly entertaining true story of books saved from oblivion by an enthusiastic crew of young folks who loved Yiddish literature enough to shlep 1.5 million volumes of it.

The Playboy of the Western World by J.M.Synge (audio cassette). A wonderful performance of the 1907 comic masterpiece.

Saving the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust by Robert B. Rosen. A well-written, thoroughly documented reply to criticisms of FDR for failing to rescue the Jews from Hitler before and during World War II. Although it looks like a large book, it is a fast but depressing read. I was shocked at the depth and width of anti-Semitism common in the U.S. during the 20s and 30s of the last century.

Kafka in Bronteland and other Stories by Tamar Yellin. Lovely short stories by an excellent writer. For some reason, short stories are almost always sad, complete with lonely characters, misunderstandings, and death. These stories fill the genre mold perfectly.

Tight as a Tick by Toni L. P. Kelner (audio cassette). A mystery set in the south, involving a murder at a flea market. Fun, light, listen told with a southern accent (literally), but the sound quality is poor.

Sour Puss by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown. A mystery set in Virginia and centering around grape-growers and wine producers. The two cats and a dog do most of the detecting. I didn’t like it as much as some of her other mysteries, but it is still a fun, light read.

Death Dance by Linda Fairstein. Who killed a ballerina at the Met? And why? A mystery tour of great
New York City theatrical properties with a side story of drugs and rape and videotape.

It Must be Love by Rachel Gibson. Audio cassettes.  An encounter between a new age woman and a cop eventually leads to true love, but there are a lot of problems between point A and point B. Set in
Boise, Idaho.

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