Library Column – March 20, 2008

Downloadable audio is here! The Green Mountain Library Consortium has signed with a major distributor of downloadable books, Overdrive, and the Warren Public Library is all set to deliver the service. Stop in at the library and I’ll explain how it works and give you your extended library account number, required for checking out materials.

I’m an old-fashioned sort, still listening to books on CD and reading actual, physical books—how quaint! Try out some of these

Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon. (audio CD) An excellent novel from the author of the Commissario Brunetti series finds the excellent Commisario struggling with the mysterious death of an African street vendor. Why should the major powers of the Italian state interfere with the investigation of the murder of such a seemingly unimportant man?

The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History by Linda Colley. One of the 10 Best Books of 2007 as chosen by the New York Times Book Review. A tour-de-force of research, Ms. Colley manages to bring to life an impatient, intelligent, selfish woman who pushed the boundaries of her time and survived some wild adventures in the Mediterranean and India, including capture by the Sultan Sidi Muhammad of Morocco.

Don’t Throw it Out: Recycle, Renew, and Reuse to Make Things Last by Lori Baird and the Editors of Yankee Magazine. The plot is pathetic, but this book is great if you want to save money or reduce your carbon footprint. Easy to follow information on keeping your stuff from wearing out and recycling it when the time comes.

Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith. (audio CD and book) Mma Ramotswe and her stalwart assistant Mma Makutsi sort out blackmail, food embezzlement, an untrustworthy doctor and panic at the game preserve. Also addressed are feminism and why the little white van is leaning over towards the driver’s side.

Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood. More fun in 1920s Australia. This book takes Phryne Fisher to a college campus in Sydney and brings in magic, attempted murder, cricket, sex, prostitution, and safe-cracking. Entertaining, as always.

Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson. (Regional and Warren) Michael May lost his eyesight when he was three years old, but he continued to tear through life with vigor and enthusiasm, willing to try anything and succeeding at almost everything. Many years later he was offered an opportunity to see again. This book is the story of that adventure and the almost insuperable challenges he faced. Eyesight was easy but seeing turned out to be almost impossible. Highly recommended! Robert Kurson is the author of Shadow Divers.

See you at the library!

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