Library Column – August 30, 2007

If you are wondering how I manage to read so many books…I dunno…I just keep reading and reading and reading. Even so, I only manage to get through a third of the books I buy for the library. Here is the latest batch of reviews from my mental kitchen–

A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America by Saul Cornell (Regional Library). Everything I thought I knew about the Second Amendment and the history of gun control in America was wrong. A startling examination of the origins and evolution of the right of gun ownership in the United States.

Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs (Audio CD or book). Augusten continues to wend his way through memories of a very odd life. More stories from his childhood, including the time he flooded his grandmother’s bedroom. Read, with considerable angst, by the author.

The Overlook by Michael Connelly.  Murder by terrorists? A terrorist theft of radioactive material? A beautiful woman threatened? A clever police procedural by a master of the genre.

Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in all Fifty States by Pete Jordan. The story of how Pete became a famous dishwasher, wanderer and author. Wacky. May make you reconsider eating out.

Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. Tales of knitting and sisterhood.

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. (Audio CD and Regional Library) A novel about William Blake in 1792 when he was living in Lambeth (London) and working on Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Blake is seen through the eyes of two children, Maggie, a Londoner and Jem, from Dorsetshire. To my surprise, Astley’s Circus wandered into the story, an odd historical intersection between mass culture and great art.

Sewing for the Home: Over50 Stylish Projects to Give Your Home a Fresh Look. Every once in a while I feel the overwhelming need to buy a replacement for an old book. This one is to replace a similar book published in 1977. The new version has clear instructions and photos. It covers windows, pillows, tables, bedrooms and bathrooms (literally), with projects for each area. Most important, the fabrics and designs fit into today’s décor.

Easy Home Organizer: 15-Minute Step-by-step Solutions by Vicki Payne.  There are a few too many assumptions in this book for my taste—the author assumes that you can afford to buy a lot of containers of various types, that you own your space and can hang things on the wall and install sliding drawers in your cabinets—but overall the suggestions are helpful. The best part of the book is her clear instructions for sorting out and organizing various parts of the house—quickly and without driving yourself insane.

Support the Friends of the Warren Public Library by giving generously to their annual fund-raiser. If you didn’t receive the mailer, pick up a brochure at the library. Thanks!


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