It’s BANNED BOOKS WEEK, Y’all!!

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017

As the attacks on the right to read escalate, a celebration of reading is needed now more than ever. Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support the community of readers, including students, educators, libraries, and booksellers, in the United States and abroad. Please join us during Banned Books Week, September 23 – 29, 2018!

What are YOU reading this week?

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall

The Book of Polly 

Summary:
Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly’s life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?

My take: 3 looks

This was a good summer book. Light, funny, and not a lot of reading effort required.  With seven books to her credit, several of which are on my TBR, Hepinstall is a solid member of the fiction world.

To write about a young girl (Willow) so preoccupied with the death of her aging mother (Polly) was a little bit of a stretch for me. After all, I was a young girl once, and I know that an obsession about death is pretty far from the typical preteen’s mind.

On the other hand, I like the treatment she gave to Willow’s older brother and sister. They were introduced on the periphery and the reader gets to know them both as they weave in and out of Polly and Willow’s every day lives. It was the perfect way to see quirks, likes, imperfections, and finally, the love they both have for the matriarch of the family. Digging a bit into the personal lives of each, but only as deep as you would as an outsider looking in, there really was a nice balance to their characters.

Add a variety of colorful neighbors, a brother’s childhood friend who returns to their lives, and a dog who can smell cancer in people, and you have a pretty good ride. It’s not high literary fare, but it will hit the spot.

Recommended.

2018 National Library Week: Today’s Libraries

Image result for inside of an old public library
This is what many of us middle-agers think of when anyone mentions the public libraries of yesteryear. However, libraries have come a long way in the last decade.

With the advent and proliferation of electronic devices and e-readers, the printed book has taken a back seat. Because of this, libraries have had to make changes, adjust attitudes, and open a whole new bag of tricks to keep patrons interested and engaged.

Image result for state of the art libraryTrendsetting libraries are moving from a storage facility for books and periodicals to interactive community centers. Games like PokemonGO gave many stagnant libraries the perfect incentive to shake off a dusty coat and engage mentally and physically with a new generation.

Libraries are not just about reading, but bring information in many forms, provide safe spaces to engage in conversations, debates, and roundtable discussions. Robust genealogy collections help generations get in touch with their past, while hands-on science and art rooms help young ones dream of the future.

Libraries are converting vacant box stores (like WalMart buildings) into beautiful, warm, comfortable, and exciting libraries. But it takes money and time. And money, lots of it. Support your library and encourage its growth and direction by being an active patron.

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Image result for nutshell ianSummary:

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse but John’s not here. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month old resident of Trudy’s womb. 

My take: 3 looks

Brilliant premise: the story is narrated by an unborn child. He can hear what goes on around him, as well as feeling his mother’s feelings, and noting her heart rhythm and adrenaline surges. He is also very aware of her alcohol consumption and none-too-happy with the high activity level of her sex life.

Writing: I found the wiring to be a touch verbose, overly descriptive. However, at less than 200 pages, the editor of this one was probably hesitant to cut too much.

Overall: It was a fast and easy read, albeit unexceptional. I recommend it if you need a quick “palate cleanser” to assist in getting over a book hangover. Otherwise, look past this one.