Monday, September 21, 2009

What is the Library Staff Reading Now?

Although there is much more to being a librarian than reading books, many of the library staff do enjoy reading and spend some of their spare time devoted to this very pleasant pastime. In case you were curious, here is a brief description of what some of the library staff is reading now.

Deborah J., our secretary, says, “I’m currently listening to a playaway – Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm by John Katz, a public radio talk show host who decided to buy and work a farm in upstate New York. Great story for animal lovers and those who want to embrace their inner farm girl/boy.”

Mary B., Bookmobile Librarian, is reading House of Cards by William Cohan, a minute-by-minute look at the last hours of Bear Stearns. “We just ‘celebrated’ the one year anniversary of the Wall Street meltdown, and you don’t have to be an investor to read and cringe at what is described in Cohan’s book.” Mary is also reading Renegade by Richard Wolfe – a description of Wolfe’s 2-year journey with Barack Obama on the campaign trail.

The Children’s Department staff is busy reading, too. Cathy A. just finished Lost by Jacqueline Davies. This young adult novel set in New York in 1911 is a fictional account of the tragic Triangle Factory fire that killed hundreds of factory workers. What makes this book interesting is its inclusion of another real-life event, the disappearance of New York heiress Dorothy Arnold.

Because Diane G. (also of the Children’s Department) enjoyed reading The Last Dickens, she decided to give Matthew Perl’s other novel, The Poe Shadow, a try. Both books are inspired by real-life authors and have a “sense of the literary.” She is also juggling Golfing with God by Roland Merullo (author of Breakfast with Buddha) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Ruth D. just finished Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains about the life of Burudian refugee, Deo, and his struggle as a non-English speaking immigrant in New York City. “The horror of the Rwandan and Burudian genocides are painstakingly illustrated, but this one lucky and gifted man managed to survive and ultimately return to Burundi to help his homeland.”

One of our Young Adult librarians, Becky F. is seriously into the Stephanie Meyer’s vampire series. Becky just finished Breaking Dawn (book #4) and feels that the books are more romantic than they are scary. Which is a good thing, because as a child, the thought of vampires terrified her! She is also in the middle of reading Deadline by Chris Crutcher. This is the story of Ben, given one year to live, who decides to live out his remaining time to the fullest – and not tell anyone he is sick.

Gail S. from the Reference Dept. is reading Walking People by Mary Beth Keane. She says this is a well written novel about a very poor Irish family in 1940’s Ballyroan, Ireland. Other books on her book shelf include The Art of Civilized Conversation by Margaret Shepherd and Time and Tide by Frank Conroy.

As for me, I am busily reading the short of list titles for next year’s Reading Across Rhode Island program, and I succumbed to all the hype and am also reading Dan Brown’s latest, The Lost Symbol. I’ll let you know what I think once I finish. Meg



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