The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

I knew I wanted to order this book from the moment I read Neil Gaiman’s assessment of The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, “[it] is probably the best book in the world.” (p.7)

I was not disappointed.  This story is a beautiful journey into the dark forest where childhood terrors find life but are exposed and slayed by a disguised prince.  The Golux resonates strongly with me, because although he is one of a kind he is forgetful and imperfect and sometimes whispers advice to me (I think).

 

“Half the places I have been to, never were.  I make things up.  Half the things I say are there cannot be found.  When I was young I told a tale of buried gold, and men from leagues around dug in the woods.  I dug myself.”

“But why?”

“I thought the tale of treasure might be true.”

“You said you made it up.”

But I, like the Golux, always believe the tale of treasure might be true.  I expect that I will continue digging to find out the truth of my stories.  I hope you do too.

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Wow! I’m reading an adult book! The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer prize for fiction and was recommended to me by one of my patrons.
The reader finds herself stumbling along through Theo’s life in shock and sadness throughout as one tragic act sets his life spinning this way and that like a pinball bouncing around with only a few anchors, to keep him from spiraling totally off the map.
This reader fears Theo will continue making poor choices and I fear to continue reading but at the same time I am compelled to finish and see how it plays out.
The language is rich and the human condition is expressed as W. Somerset Maugham did so well in his writing.  In the end, however, I feel like the author was more heavy handed in delivering her ‘life message’ than Maugham and I feel like the reader may be missing the chance to bring his/her own experience in order to glean something personally important from the story.  I am glad to have read this book and would enjoy a discussion about it.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

Boris’ take on homosexuality, “Boris shrugged. ‘Who cares?  If he is good to you?  None of us ever find enough kindness in the world, do we?'”  (p.282)

Theo’s comment on the Goldfinch painting, “Only occasionally did I notice the chain on the finch’s ankle, or think what a cruel life for a little living creature-fluttering briefly, forced always to land in the same hopeless place.” (p.306)

There are a few others (but they are scribbled down at home on a random scrap of paper).

 

Summer Reading Rocks!

We have so much programming happening at the Berthoud Community Library, it is keeping me super-busy.  Tomorrow the teens and I will be sending projectiles at stacks of Tupperware and other (hopefully) unbreakable stuff during our Building Catapults program.  Wednesday we will be hosting educators (both two and four legged) from the Denver zoo at 2 pm at the community center in Berthoud!  It will be open to all ages and I hope to see you there!

Thursday at 10:30 am I’ll be presenting a big kids storytime on plants and flowers with a fun guessing game afterwards.

Friday is family storytime, so come on out at 10:30 am.

Summer Reading has begun!

Saturday we celebrated the kick-off of our summer reading program with over 500 patrons throughout the day! Wow! With food and a jump castle we were the most popular kid on the block!

You can imagine I have not had much time to read…however I started Hidden like Anne Frank By Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis and the first story gave me something to think deeply about; the author’s mother is the focus of the first story in which she is hidden in plain sight with a Protestant family. She is six when she goes into hiding and feels a deep grief when she has to leave her “war family” and return to her parents. It is hard to imagine anything but relief and joy for a family reunion after a war separation and this story illustrates a more complex experience.

This Song Will Save Your Life: a novel by Leila Sales

As far as first chapters go, this book has the double pronged hook to grab readers and drag them into the life of self-deprecating teen, Elise (like the Cure song). These first chapters have been full of humor, dismay, embarrassment, depression, sweetness and the overwhelming desire to belong (even when we like our very uncool Unicorn boots).  I think that I connect strongly to this character because I found my crowd surrounding music and clubs like Rock Island,  Ground Zero , even a suburban club called Club L.A. all of which have come and gone (and come and gone again in some cases).  If you are searching for your group or feel like an outsider, this would be a wonderful read for you!

Here is the quote that explains why I’ve spent so much of my time at clubs, “I needed excruciatingly loud music, I needed strangers, I needed darkness.” (p. 76)

Sure this might have referred to weapons for some, but it goes for books in my case.

Sure this might have referred to weapons for some, but it goes for books in my case.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

This true story is also an historical thriller! Sheinkin uses primary historical documents like letters, journal entries and captured verbal opinions to sew this story together. This is a story about nature and nurture and how we shape our lives by the way we live and how the circumstances we live through shape us.

 

I’m also reading a few other books:
The Crimson Crown
Hidden like Anne Frank
Brilliant Blunders
and at my wishful moments; The flat belly diet

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Although I am only on chapter six, this story is drawing me in. Told by a seventeen year old boy with portmanteaus like, “sweartogod” and “Absofuckinglutely”, Richard Casey – aka the Incredible Dying Boy. This kid has lived with cancer from the time he was eleven years old and is used to being in and out of hospitals but the ward he occupies now is hospice, for the terminal, no exit (just like that play he had to read in English class).

He is surrounded by the elderly and the comatose not the ideal place for a horny seventeen year old boy to meet the girl of his dreams but there is a dreamy girl down the hall that is sharing his nightmare in the hospice wing.

If you want to know what happens…you’ll have to read it yourself (I hope to be finished with it before I blog next Monday).  :)