January 30, 2008

The Book for March

national book award winner

  Wednesday March 19th, 7:30
  Community Center
  Friends of the Library Book Discussion, open to everyone

The book for March is William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow. This is a very short book and you have almost two months to read it.

The story centers around a 1920 murder on an Illinois farm and is a Bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story. It was first serialized in the New Yorker in 1979, edited by Roger Angell. Subsequently published in hardcover in 1980, and as a paperback in 1982, it won a National Book Award.

Maxwell worked as a long time fiction editor at the New Yorker, where he edited works by Cheever, Salinger, McCarthy, O’Hara, Updike, Nabokov and Welty.

This is a partly autobiographical work. Both the protagonist of this novella and Maxwell himself were born in Lincoln Ill, their mothers died in influenza epidemic of 1918 and fathers remarried, and both the fictional and real families moved to Chicago.

Summaries from:
The Tompkins County Public Library
The Washington Post
And a teachers' guide. These can be very interesting, even if you are not in high school.

Posted by library at 03:34 PM

January 11, 2008


kneeling to read

Friends of the Library Book Group
January 15th, 2008
7:30 PM in the Community Center
Everyone is invited to discuss Doris Lessing's The Diaries of Jane Somers

This book pairs two stories originally published separately, The Diary of A Good Neighbour and its sequel, If the Old Could.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2007, giving a touching acceptance speech about the dangers to literature in a blog-besotted world. Please read the speech.

Esme Vos disagrees with Lessing, and argues that the Internet and blogs have been a boon to serious readers.

But perhaps for more casual readers the effects have not been so salutary. Just a month before Lessing's December speech, the National Endowment for the Arts documented a decline of pleasure reading in the United States: To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence. (PDF, sorry)

And check Rosemary Mirsky's essay on how public libraries struggle with these issues.

Some quotes from Lessing's speech:

We are in a fragmenting culture, where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women who have had years of education, to know nothing about the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers.
Older people, talking to young ones, must understand just how much of an education it was, reading, because the young ones know so much less. And if children cannot read, it is because they have not read.
In order to write, in order to make literature, there must be a close connection with libraries, books, the Tradition.
The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise ... but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill. It is our stories, the storyteller, that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, what we are at our best, when we are our most creative.

Posted by library at 09:57 AM
Recent Entries
The Book for March
Other Web Logs
Children's Room
Teen Book Buzz
August 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
April 2014
February 2014
January 2014
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
May 2013
March 2013
January 2013
November 2012
October 2012
August 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
February 2011
January 2011
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
April 2009
March 2009
December 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
July 2004
June 2004
April 2004
Call the desk at 301-891-7259
Contact the director by e-mail