“By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.” – Kurt Vonnegut
In honor of Halloween, an excerpt from a very creepy classic, “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe:
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.'”
Want to read the rest? Here’s the link. We wish everyone a very spooky and safe Halloween!
I’ve been watching Alfred Hitchock movies since I was a little girl. I loved everything about them: his split second cameos, his glamorous leading ladies, and the fact that they were just creepy enough to make me scared but not too scared. His films are iconic, filled with scenes that have stayed with me as I grew older – who can forget Grace Kelly in, well, any of the Hitchcock movies in which she starred? (My favorite is “To Catch a Thief.” I want her entire wardrobe). The one we’re showing on Halloween doesn’t have Grace Kelly in it, but it’s still such a classic. Join us for a very special screening of “The Birds” in the Library Community Room at 2:00 p.m this Friday, October 31. The movie is PG-13, so the little kiddos may not find it as pleasing as the adults. We’ll have popcorn and lots of comfy seats!
It’s that time again, folks! Here’s another quotation to get you through the rest of your day and into the weekend:
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” – William Styron
Do you know what’s bad about reading a book this good? You know the next few books you read couldn’t possibly move you in the same way. Few books have haunted me like this one has. I found myself reading it compulsively, in my car at red lights, and while ignoring the oven timer. Emily St. John Mandel has woven this lovely, strange story about a group of traveling musicians and actors who are survivors in a world where civilization has ended due to a virus called the Georgia Flu. There is a lot of back-and-forth through time, and she follows one man, a famous actor, and the people he loved and hurt throughout his life, and how they fare when the virus hits.
My favorite parts came when the author talked about the things missing from the world post-flu. And it’s such a cliche, but it’s everything we take for granted today. Like opening a refrigerator and having a light turn on and cold seep out; the beauty of a plane taking off down a runway; the ability to live in New York and talk to someone in Israel by pressing buttons on a phone. Mandel captures the entire gamut of emotions humans would seemingly face during the end of the world: disbelief, insanity, despair, but then she gives us hope. There is hope that human beings would be able to pick up the pieces and construct a new life – that kids could be taught in a school again, that a neighborhood could generate electricity, and that people would continue to fall in love and marry and bring children into the world.
I have a feeling that this book won’t soon leave me. I already want to reread it. I’m grateful for Mandel’s imagination, which is unlike any I’ve read before. I’m grateful for the characters and the world that she so lovingly and carefully created. This is one that I can’t wait to share with everyone that I know who loves to read. And I’m definitely choosing it for book club!
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor
October is perhaps my favorite time of the year. And it’s because I pass by pumpkin patches on my way to the post office and I find Honeycrisp apples at the supermarket and I get to eat candy corn after a year of missing it. I’ve recently, though, found a wonderful new reason to love October – it’s National Reading Group Month! And as a librarian who runs two book clubs and attends another, I can’t help but get behind this cause.
If you enjoy reading at all, you should consider joining a book club. The act of reading is a very personal, private one. The way you experience a book is unique from how anyone else in the world will experience the same book. Reading is typically something we do alone, apart from our friends and family. Which is why I think reading groups are essential. We understand books so much better when we can discuss them aloud. Book clubs allow you to share your intimate, one-of-a-kind experience with a book with others, which in turn helps them gain new perspectives and insight they may not have otherwise enjoyed. Discussing a book allows us to see things we may have missed. I cannot tell you how many times I have prepared for a book club, believing myself to have been incredibly thorough, and then heard myself say several times during the discussion, “I hadn’t thought of that.” It also helps that our library’s book clubs happen to have some of the very best readers in the world. They are passionate about what they read and sensitive to the smallest details.
Plus, we happen to have a lot of fun! I feel like everyone who attends our two book clubs has become a friend of mine. If you’ve not joined us, I hope that you will. If you’re shy or worried for any reason about speaking up, I guarantee that will go away within the first few meetings. You probably won’t be able to keep from speaking up at some point in our discussion. And if you don’t have time to finish that month’s selection, that’s okay, come anyway!
Our two clubs each meet once a month. Non Fiction Addiction takes place on the first Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. For November 6th, we’ll be discussing “Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard. Main Street Book Club is held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. So next week, on the 21st, we’ll be discussing Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior.” I can’t wait to see all of you there!