“Poppleton took library day very seriously.” –Cynthia Rylant
Yes, I do reads. Very muches. But I’ll be very honest: I’m better at writing about what I eat or cook than writing about what I’ve read. I’m not a reviewer. I can give you title and author, brief plot, and my thumbs up or thumbs down, but not much more than that. I break out in hives when I have to help my kids with book reports and reading responses…
Oh but I love a library. There are two around here that I frequent: the Bedford Hills Library, which is old and small and quaint, and whose children’s room is everything a children’s room should be. It’s close to Pandagirl’s dance school and open late on Tuesdays so I often drop her off and go get lost there for an hour. Their stacks aren’t much but their “New Books” are always full of treasure. And the Somers Library, which is more modern and slick and bustling with activities and events and always full of Heritage Hillfolk. Their “New Books” section stinks, frankly, but they have great stacks.
And I am a stack girl at heart. If I had to be held hostage anywhere, it would be in a library.
So I was at Somers today, and I stopped first at “New Books” to see if there was anything interesting. And I picked these two:
Pegasus by Robin McKinley. I think it’s technically Young Adult fiction but it captured my interest: a society where children of royalty are ceremonially bonded with a Pegasus on their 12th birthdays. However humans and Pegasi cannot communicate directly and so rely on specially trained magicians. Until one princess is bonded and finds she can telepathically communicate with her Pegasus and so shakes the very foundations of the “Alliance.” Sounded a bit like the human-daemon relationship in Philip Pullmans’ His Dark Materials which I totally totally loved.
The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace. Concerning a romantic triangle between a contessa who is going blind, her husband, and a local handyman who in his love for her and desire to help, invents the typewriter so the contessa can write messages.
(OK, see, already putting up the thumbnails and the links and the very brief descriptions, I’m sweating. Whoo. Breathe. We’re having fun here.)
So I wandered back in the stacks. What, you mean why do I need more than two books? Silly you, I never leave the library with less than an armful. It’s free.
I had no gameplan for browsing, but then I thought I would symbolically go to the “E” section because this was the flagship Reads post for EatsReadsThinks. I know, I could’ve done “R” too, I’ll do that next time. Here are my E picks:
The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff. I’ve never read anything by him before, this was way down on the bottom shelf where the E’s began. Here’s a bit from the inside cover: “‘Do me a small favor?’ Greta called from the bedroom that first afternoon. ‘Just help me with something for a little bit.’
“It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a husband by his wife…..Her portrait model has canceled, and would he mind slipping into women’s shoes and stockings for a few moments so that she can finish the painting on time? ‘Of course,’ he answers, ‘Anything at all.’ With that, one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the twentieth century begins.”
OK, I’m in. Tuck that one under my elbow. Then right next to Ebershoff was Fernanda Eberstadt, another author I’ve never heard of, but there were 3 or 4 books by her on the shelf, all looked equally good, but I chose Rat for no other reason than it’s set in the South of France and I like that setting.
Up and over the E’s, skimming….skimming….looking at inside covers….nah…..boring….been there, read that….Oh look, Amy Ephron, sister of my darling Nora. I know I read her book A Cup of Tea, but next to it is One Sunday Morning. Have I read this? I don’t think so. Then again, who hasn’t been a victim of déja lu at one time or another. You know, déja lu: when you’re halfway through a book and you suddenly get the feeling you’ve read it before?
And then that’s it for the E section at Somers library. Across the border into the Fs I see Michael Faber. I read his The Crimson Petal and the White many many years ago but nothing else of his. So I took The Courage Consort, a collection of 3 novellas.
So there’s my stack from the stacks, stacked up on my dresser. And I….guess I’ll get back to you.