Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Custodian of Paradise

Deb from Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City recommended this book to me and I must say, it is a page turner! Not in the murder mystery, who done it fashion, but rather in a deeply moving story of the life of a woman in Newfoundland at the turn of the last century. I am only about half way through it and my chores are being neglected because all I really want to do is burrow my way through this book!

Next on my list is Eavesdropping by Steven Kuusisto, who is a blind professor at the U of I. We hope to have him come and speak at the library about his story. I also have Bad Monkeys sitting on my shelf and several other mysteries that have been recommended to me by the folks at HarperCollins--but first, I just HAVE to finish the "Custodian"! More later.


I was lucky enough to get an early copy of Chris Crutcher's newest young adult book, DEADLINE. It's the story of a high school senior who finds out that he has a terminal disease and that he will most likely not live to graduate. Wow! What a wonderful storyteller Crutcher is and although the story line is a bit farfetched as to the main character's ability to play a season football, the emotions and reactions of his friends, family, and teachers make for a great read.

Crutcher has a way of inspiring a reader to look inside oneself to examine one's beliefs. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone--just encourage you to read it. Then come to the library on Wednesday, October 10 at 6:30 PM to meet the author himself.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little Heathens

I just finished reading Mildred Kalish's book about growing up in Iowa during the depression called Little Heathens. Although I am not of that generation, the book did remind me of so many things from my own childhood. I can certainly relate to Mildred's experiences of butchering chickens! As the youngest kid in the family, my job was cleaning the gravel out of the chickens' gizzards. Actually, it could be sort of a game scattering all those little rocks, if you didn't think about the reality of what you were doing!

Mildred has captured the essence of farm life--from her descriptions to watching kittens play, to the hard work that everyone expected from all members of the family, and the "old folks" reaction to the kids' antics. In my family, rather than little heathens, we kids were often referred to (non-politically correct today) as acting like a bunch of "wild Indidans!'

If you have any connection to Iowa, farm life, or just wish to understand the heroism of the folks that lived through the depression, take time to read Mildred's book. I am thrilled to report that Mildred has agreed to visit Des Moines as part of our 2009 AViD Author Series on April 8!