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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Remembering the Titanic

In a little more than two weeks, we will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The ocean liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southhampton to New York City on April 15, 1912. Almost 70 percent of the 2,224 passengers onboard lost their lives in what is considered one of history’s worst peacetime maritime disasters. If you want to know more, USA Today recently offered some recommended reading ("Read All About It! Books Mark Titanic Anniversary") and our staff has gathered a large collection of books on the event. Here are a few suggestions.

Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport Hines

The Band Played On by Steve Turner

A Night to Remember by Robert Lord

Titanic’s Last Secrets by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beyond March Madness

The brackets are selected, the games in full swing, and the next few weeks will see the crowning of 2012 NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball champions. It’s an exciting season for those passionate about the game. After the final buzzer sounds, if you still need a b-ball fix, here is some reading recommended by Marilyn Dahl, book review editor for Shelf Awareness and Justin Young in 10@10:National Hoops Report.

Can I Keep my Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond by Paul Shirley

The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division I College Basketball by John Feinstein

My Losing Season by Pat Conroy

Brave Dragons: A Chinese Basketball Team, an American Coach, and Two Cultures Clashing by Jim Yardley

Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shamrock Reading

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, you may want to sample some good Irish writing. Kim Forrester, an ex-pat Australian living in London, offered some suggestions in her “About Reading Matters” blog way back in January 2011. She was anticipating some soon-to-be published literary and crime fiction that feature the Emerald Isle ("Top Tens: Irish Reading to Look Forward to in 2011," Jan. 31, 2011). Here are some of her picks now available at FCPL:

A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright

The Matchmaker of Kenmare by Frank Delaney

Limitless by Alan Glynn

On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

Saints and Sinners: Stories by Edna O’Brien

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Food for Thought

A recent editorial in Shelf Awareness posed some interesting questions (“How We Read: Snacks,” Feb. 24, 2012). When a reviewer asked readers about non-messy snacks while reading, there was a flurry of responses. One suggested popcorn with grated cheese and a napkin on the lap. Another suggested wiping your hands on the cat. Others complained of chocolate stains on romances and Cheetos/Doritos dust on mysteries borrowed from the local library. This raised an obvious question, “Do certain snacks go with certain genres. Bourbon with Elmore Leonard?” And of course, tea with Jane Austen.

Another reader, bookseller, Rene Kirkpatrick took a different approach "A Memory in Every Book," March 6, 2012). Here’s what she wrote: “I've never been a clean reader. . . I love re-opening a book and finding red splotches skipping across a page (spaghetti), rippled pages (walking and reading in the rain), brown thumbprints on the edges (mud) . . . Each of those stains has a specific memory attached to it so when I re-open the book, I am immediately thrust back to the time and the place where it was read.”

Do you snack while you read? Do certain genres require certain snacks? What memories do those stains recall?

For those who find nostalgia in the stained pages of favorite books, don’t miss People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. A rare book expert deciphers the history of an ancient Jewish text through the bits and pieces scattered on its pages.