Library Column – April 3, 2008

More snow? Yes, more snow. We also have more books for anyone who needs a bit of an escape from the weather. Several new books came in this week: The Appeal by John Grisham, 7th  Heaven by James Patterson, Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline, Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz, Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, Mafiya by Charlie Stella, Black Widow by Randy Wayne White, The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein, in the new fiction section. For non-fiction we have: Fidelity by Grace Paley, Manic by Terri Cheney (biographies), Buried Treasures: Tasty Tubers of the World from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and, best of all, Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys by Carol Ekarius.


Hidden Moon by James Church. A bank in Pyongyang, North Korea, is robbed and Inspector O finds himself in charge of investigating. But it seems as though the powers that be don’t really want the case solved, except perhaps they do want it solved. Could almost have been written by Kafka—except that Church isn’t a genius—and Inspector O has a sense of humor.


The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The author tells a magical story based on the Mahabarat and narrated by Panchaali the Indian princess who was married to all five Pandava brothers at one time. The end of the Third Age of Man culminates in the huge battle between the forces of the Pandavas and the forces of their opponents and close relatives the Kauravas. Panchaali plays an essential role in the disastrous and fated events which lead to the battle and its tragic aftermath. Richly imaginative and an exciting introduction to a classic of world literature.


Guest Review by Fran Plewak:

I’m Looking Through You is a memoir about being haunted, by Jennifer Finney Boylan.  The author grew up as James Boylan, in an old Victorian house in Philadelphia, where he was haunted by ghosts both real and imagined, and by the spirit of Jenny, the woman he would become. 


This is quite a story, written with irreverent wit, about the paranormal, ghostbusters, gender reassignment, a monkey named Jesus, and an outrageous collection of relatives and friends.  Boylan candidly recreates her teen years in the 70’s, and brings the reader to her present life as a parent, spouse and transgendered college professor.


To be honest, I read this book because my mother and Boylan’s mother grew up together, but I found it to be an incredibly engaging, funny, and tender read!

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