Rockport Public Library
One Limerock Street, PO Box 8, Rockport, Maine 04856-0008

March ‘07

BookLovers’ Café
Recommendations from March

This month the BookLovers enjoyed some old favorite goodies: orange-chocolate scones and apricot oatmeal muffins. We had a lively discussion about a whole lot of great books and authors. This month there was a real sense of dialogue between attendees; some of the regulars are getting to know one another, but new faces are always welcomed! April is Poetry Month at the Rockport Library, and in honor of that, we’ll take a few moments at the BookLovers’ Café to share a favorite poem: mark your calendars for Saturday, April 21st from 10:30-11:30. In typical style we will welcome any favorite poets from Shel Silverstein to Chaucer! Don’t worry, we’ll still spend lots of time exchanging great titles and authors of all sorts of genres and nibbling tasty baked goods!  Please join us!

FICTION:

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2006): “A fairy tale for adults” was how this title was described, with excellent characters and a story that drew the reader in. The protagonist is making the transition into adulthood, and as he does he encounters characters that have come alive from the Grimm’s fairy tales. (Rockport Library Owns, NEW section: Fiction CON)

Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie (2007): A classic British mystery in a contemporary setting, including some interesting tidbits about the English canal system. This author was described as a “great plotter” with an ending that was not easily anticipated. (Rockport Library Owns, NEW section: Fiction CRO)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate diCamillo (2006): This is a children’s book with a story that is appealing to many ages. The main character is Edward, a china rabbit toy, who is lost by his child-owner and begins a journey through time to meet other children and adults along the way. His inner journey of transformation is a parable that many of us can relate to. (Rockport Library Owns: JFiction DIC)

The Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde: The reader started right out by saying that these books are “almost impossible to describe” and might sound strange or uninteresting, but are excellent!  Protagonist Thursday Next works for a literary squad in charge of going into books to be sure nothing is changed, and the book characters come alive with their own personalities. The first title in the series is The Eyre Affair. (Rockport Library Owns: Fiction FFO)

Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (2004): A cast of characters that are each a little broken by circumstance or upbringing, and working to piece themselves back together. The writing was beautiful and worth savoring. There was humor and poignancy, and the recommender has been missing the characters ever since she turned the last page! (Rockport Library Owns: Fiction KAL)

NONFICTION:

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson (2007): Bryson has done it again with his most recent work: made the recommender chortle out loud! This work gives a window into Bryson’s childhood in the 1950s, with evocative descriptions of the minutiae of “kid world” and the world that the grown-ups were dealing with. He tells a reader right up front that this is not a memoir in which a lot happens, but invites us to keep reading if we want. It was well worth it. (Rockport Library Owns, in NEW section: 928 Bryson)

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill (1995): A great book to revisit during the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the recommender said that she found the information on the Irish contributions to history and scholarship quite fascinating. The author linked the character of the modern Irish people to the pre-Christian personality types. (Rockport Library Owns: 941.5 CAH)

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything in Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006): After an unsettling divorce, the author takes a year for travel and reflection. She ultimately takes control of her own contentment and empowers herself to embrace a meaningful life. (Rockport Library Owns: 910.4 GIL)

A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization by Jonathan Kirsch (2006): This discussion of the Book of Revelations was written by a lawyer, who puts this Book in the context of other apocalyptic writings and touches on the themes that are common to this type of writing. The recommender cautioned that it was a bit heavy at times, but very interesting. (MINERVA owns)

Population: 485/ Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry (2002): This memoir by an emergency medical technician living in Wisconsin gives a humorous and quite recognizable portrait of a small, rural community. Full of memorable characters (a one-eyed butcher with one kidney), this book is “the story of a guy who claims to be the only member of the volunteer fire department who had to miss a meeting because of a poetry reading.” (MINERVA owns)

Climate Change Begins at Home: Life on the Two-Way Street of Global Warming by David Reay (2005): This slim volume is a very readable account of the issue of climate change, and is actually funny! The author profiles the fictional Carbone (ha ha) family and introduces us to them by giving us each individual’s carbon footprint. The scientific concepts that are presented are then applied to this family: from the activities and lifestyle choices they make to the ways that small changes could make a positive impact on the climate. (INFONET owns)

The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods and Sacred Sites in the Andes by Johan Reinhard (2005): This book profiles the recent uncovering of untouched Inca cities in Peru, that sheds new light on the Incan culture and civilization. (MINERVA owns)

The Quest for the True Cross by Carsten Peter Thiede and Matthew D’Ancona (2002): This title revisits the history of the Titulus Crucis, the inscribed headboard of Christ’s Cross, currently displayed in Helena’s palace in Rome. The work makes the case for authenticating this holy relic and gives a window into the history and context of the relic’s discovery. (MINERVA owns)

Thomas Hardy by Claire Tomalin (2007): This recommendation was made by someone who said he was “not usually a biography reader,” but has been thoroughly enjoying this book. The author was very thorough in her research but this book “doesn’t feel academic” in its rendering of the life of this acclaimed writer. Many of the themes of Hardy’s writing find their roots in his own experience as a member of the working class who married “above his station.” (Rockport Library Owns, NEW section: B Hardy)

Please Join us for the Next Café:
Saturday, April 21st, from 10:30-11:30

(Please note this is a change from the published date in the newsletter.)