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Monthly Archives: October 2012

For Those Who Love Books

I thought I loved books, but Liesel Meminger really loves books.  In fact, she risks her safety, even her life, to steal them.  The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, tells the story of Liesel and her family, eking out a meager existence in Germany during WWII.  The only bright spots in Liesel’s world, besides her loving foster father, and close friend Rudy, are the books she is able to get her hands on.  When the bombs start falling and people flee to their basements, it is Liesel who calms people down by reading to them.  When her father decides to take in a Jewish refugee, Max, Liesel bonds with him over their shared love of reading. 

This is a heartbreaking story, of course, as any book about Germany in WWII is sure to be.  It’s also filled with moments of great tenderness, bravery, and beauty.  I love what The New York Times had to say about it:  “It’s the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, The Book Thief offers us a believable hard-won hope…The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults.”

The Main Street Book Club will be discussing The Book Thief on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room.  We’re also having a potluck, so you won’t want to miss this one!

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Enigmatic Jack Reacher

I love finding a new series.  Do you know how you read a really excellent book and immerse yourself in that world for a bit and then it ends and you’re left feeling totally bereft?  Well, that’s why I love starting a new series.  I usually make myself space out my reading, so I don’t inhale them all at once.  That hasn’t worked quite as well this time, though.  See, I’ve recently discovered the brilliance of Lee Child.  Our children’s librarian, Nancy, is also a fan.  On her recommendation, I randomly picked up one of his books and started reading.  And quickly became hooked.  His series features Jack Reacher, a brilliant, no-nonsense ex-military policeman.  He has no house, buys new clothes every few days, and hitches rides across the U.S., always finding himself in some new dangerous situation.  And he is adept at handling them all, be it international terrorism, human trafficking, or murder.

One of the things I enjoy most about the series is that Child makes the reader intimately aware of the inner workings of Reacher’s mind.  The action scenes remind me of the new Sherlock Holmes movies – his mind works incredibly fast, anticipating his opponent’s every move.  And the reader can be assured that Reacher will dominate, not only physically but mentally, as well.  He is brilliant at strategizing and determining probability.  His mind is a steel trap, never letting go of even the smallest piece of information.

I’m not the only one who has discovered Child – Hollywood has, too, which means you’ll be seeing Jack Reacher in a theater near you come Christmastime.  (Though I’m not sure they’ve read the books, because if you have, you would know that in no universe is it possible that Tom Cruise could reasonably be expected to resemble the 6’5″, 250 pound, built-like-a-pro-linebacker Reacher).  But I digress.

If you’re new to the series, too, don’t worry about jumping in and reading his newest one first.  While it’s great to go through the series chronologically, and you might be short on one or two details (for instance, there’s a reason he wants to get to Virginia, which other books make clear), you won’t really be lost.  As soon as I do get my hands on the first one in the series, though, I plan to enjoy them one at a time.  As with any good writer, Child’s characters evolve over time, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in that evolution.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dessert for Breakfast

I love to bake.  Have I mentioned that before?  It’s true.  And I prefer baking over cooking any day.  There’s just something so homey and comforting about freshly baked goodies.  Your house invariably ends up smelling yummy, and in the history of the universe, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a baked good at the grocery store that was better than something that could be done at home (with real ingredients, not to mention no weird food dyes).  Plus, I can actually control the fat and sugar content.

This might be why I prefer to make quick breads from scratch, too.  What’s Cookin’ will be giving you the recipes and tricks to outshine muffins from a box everytime.  How do Nutella stuffed muffins rolled in butter, cinnamon, and sugar sound?  Completely decadent?  Yes.  Unnecessary?  No way!  I’ll admit to being unable to justify eating most of these goodies for breakfast, but we will be giving you some healthy recipes, too, I promise.

So, don’t miss this month’s What’s Cookin’ on Monday, October 8th at 4:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Live Dangerously

American Library Association

I know librarians have a reputation for being mild-mannered.  You might not think of us as people who generally rock the boat.  But we’re doing just that this week!  From September 30th to October 6th, we’ll be celebrating Banned Books Week at the library.  Come check out our display of books that have been challenged or banned in the United States over the past several decades.  We have bookmarks and pins for you to take, too.

You might be surprised at some of titles that have been banned – To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Captain Underpants, and The Kite Runner, just to name a few.  Check out the American Library Association’s website of the most banned books from 2000 to 2009 for a complete list.  I’ve not read every book on this list, but I appreciate and expect the right to read any of them that I choose.  So, if you feel like living dangerously this week, check out a banned book!

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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