Library Column – May 29, 2008

Do you still listen to books on audio cassette? Warren Public Library has done an exchange with Ilsley Library in Middlebury. We have 30 sets of their books and they have 30 of ours. These audiobooks will be available until September 1st. I’m planning to continue doing exchanges with other libraries and I’ll be building a list of preferred authors and genres for the next exchange, so tell me what you like, thanks! Just came in—another 16 books on audio cassette—a gift from the Jeudevine library–I’ve added them to the paperback collection out in the hall. Like the rest of the paperback collection, they’ll have no due date.

 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume 2 (audio cassettes) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Performed by a delightful cast under the auspices of the BBC, complete with sound-effects. Recommended for fans of Sherlock Holmes and fans of old-fashioned radio drama.

 

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Someone ordered this book on interlibrary loan and I decided to read it. A great book, told from the point of view of a man who is totally helpless due to a massive stroke. So, the question is—should I buy a copy for the Warren Public Library?

 

Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde. A fluffy, entertaining romance between a woman, two men, a cottage and a rescued greyhound. The setting is a charming little English village where a listed cottage is being rebuilt by a  young woman who designs interiors (where to put the bathroom, not where to put the cushions). Should she fall for the charming professor or the not so charming building inspector? Stay tuned.

 

Homo Politicus: The Strange and Barbaric Tribes of the Beltway by Dana Milbank. A tongue in cheek anthropological survey of the behavior of the residents of Potomac Land complete with chapters on Status, Kinship, Hunting and Gathering, Mythology and Folklore, Norms And Deviancy, Shamanism, Aggression, Taboo, Festivals and Social Rituals, Human Sacrifice, Fertility Rites and Mating Behaviors (a very entertaining chapter) and finally, the Chorus (also known as the journalists). I learned a lot. Mr. Milbank is an equal opportunity critic, bashing both of the tribes with great enthusiasm.

 

Amazing Grace (DVD). This movie was donated to the library by a generous patron. It tells the remarkable story of William Wilberforce and his long and frustrating campaign to end the British trade in African slaves. The trade was extremely lucrative and vigorously defended by the ship-owners, the port cities that depended on the trade, the sugar industry and plantation owners. The movie focuses on the politics (Wilberforce was a Member of Parliament) and on the character of the protagonist. The title, of course, connects with the well-known hymn, which was written by John Newton, one of Wilberforce’s mentors. Serious, but with moments of humor, and beautifully filmed.

 

Wandering Ghost by Martin Limon.  Military police procedural, set in Korea in the early 70s. A woman MP has disappeared from a base up in the DMZ. Is she dead? Kidnapped? As the investigators dig into the case the local military hierarchy tries to block the investigation. Are they trying to cover up a murder? Black-market activities? Dark, sometimes funny mystery with a twisty plot.

 

See you at the library!

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