Library Column – March 1, 2007

Plenty of new books at the library, plus mountains of books out in the hall on the paperback shelves and the “sale” shelves. Come by and check out a couple!

Please be sure to vote at Town Meeting next Tuesday: the library is on the ballot.

Reading, listening and watching, plus sharing with my grandchildren—here are the reviews:

Ladybug and Babybug are children’s magazines that we’ve added to the collection. Both include illustrated easy reading stories plus material for parents to read: poetry and stories. My grandchildren gave the magazines positive reviews: the 7 year old loved Ladybug and had fun trying to read Babybug. The 3 year old mostly wanted to hear stuff from Babybug, but liked a few of the stories in Ladybug. Both magazines can be checked out for two weeks. Many thanks to the Friends of the Warren Public Library for providing all of our periodical subscriptions.

Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle. What is it like to be profoundly deaf? What is it like to be in love with someone who is deaf? What happens to a deaf person whose identity is stolen by a criminal?

The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner. The story of how the author went from homelessness (with a child, and a job), to great success as a stockbroker and a philanthropist. A gripping read—I zoomed through it in two days.

Being Julia (DVD). Feature movie about an actress who is bored with her roles, her life and her husband. The solution: a love affair with a younger man, which, of course, goes bad. The second solution: watch the movie to find out!

The End of Mr. Y  by Scarlett Thomas. An excellent genre crossing novel that combines science fiction, thriller, romance, adventure, mental trips and a serious exploration of the nature of reality. As I was reading it I wrote the following preliminary review: “A very strange book. I’m enjoying it.”

Echo Leahy Center Pass. What a deal! Take up to 5 people to the Echo Center for $2 per head (2 adults and 3 children). I went with my son-in-law and two grandchildren and we had an excellent time. The snapping turtle was very popular as was the model of the Champlain basin, complete with a rain shower that can be switched on and off with a faucet. Call us first to see if the pass is in.

Magic Time by Doug Marlette. Mississippi now and in 1964, in a novel that jumps back and forth in time and (a bit) in place. Topical because many of these old civil rights murders are being reopened in a last ditch attempt to find justice.

Gnosticism and other Vanished Christianities by Richard Valantasis. A basic, easy introduction to the complex early history of Christianity (from the Regional Library).

Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan (from the Regional Library, in our collection until May 9th.) So, what was it like to be in love with Byron, Shelley or Keats? Mostly painful, but sometimes amazing. Beautifully written, engrossing and one of the best researched historical novels I’ve ever read.

Benjamin Franklin (DVD or Video).  The entertaining story of Franklin’s life and times. Not exhaustive, but a good introduction to his interests, activities and relations. We also have several other books and one audio book on Ben.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. (Audio cassette) Two books in one. The first part tells the story of his life and how he became a writer. The second part is an excellent manual on how to learn to write fiction. As a librarian, I really appreciated his recommendation to budding writers: read a lot! Even if you don’t want to become a writer, his memoir is entertaining and the sections on how to write also tell a lot about how to read. 

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