Library Column, June 12, 2008

We are gearing up for summer. I’ll be ordering books soon, let me know if there is something you really want to read and I’ll find it for you.

 

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth. The first book in a new mystery series set in the late 1800s in England. Most of the characters are based on real people: Oscar Wilde, of course; Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame; Robert Sherard and others. Wilde was writing the The Picture of Dorian Gray at the time of the fictional events and Arthur Conan Doyle had only recently launched his career as the author of mysteries. Entertaining, complicated and especially appealing to lovers of British Lit.

 

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir. Ms. Weir has been writing historical non-fiction for many years. This is her second historical novel set in mid 16th century England. Superb writing combined with impeccable historical accuracy makes for a great reading experience.

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. (available as book or on CD) A tragic and triumphant story of two women surviving in Afghanistan through war, civil war, brutal oppression and despair. Intense and beautiful.

 

Louder than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism by Jenny McCarthy. A personal account of a mother and child dealing with the behavioral challenges of autism and the physical challenges of a boy with epilepsy and other chronic conditions. Intense.

 

In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story by Jerry Apps. A bittersweet novel set in 1955 in rural Wisconsin. Changes are sweeping through a tiny rural town—the local pickle factory is closing, the local cheese plant won’t take milk cans anymore, and the local school is going to close. Plus the local preacher is having an affair with the pickle factory bookkeeper…rural Wisconsin and rural Vermont have a lot in common…well, not the pickle factory!

 

Disappearances (DVD). Based on the book by Howard Frank Mosher. Beautifully filmed, with an amazing performance by Kris Kristofferson as the main character, Quebec Bill.

 

Have you ever noticed the table out in the hall on the way to the library? The one which is always piled high with free literature? There are some real goodie available on this table if you are willing to dig a little. For one thing, we discard the older copies of Cooking Light and Bon Appetit. Nab them and cut out some great recipes for your collection. Other items worth picking up include free magazines which turn up, unsolicited, at the library. Two examples of material which you can find there:

Nextbook Reader: A Semi-annual Sampler of Stories from Nextbook.org—some great reviews and commentary on Jewish literature.

Best of Burlington: Life and Culture in the Champlain Valley –good articles about Burlington and about life in Vermont.

 

See you at the library!

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