Kiddosphere: Return to Reading

Posted by Aaron on

In the months prior to my September 29th wedding, my regular reading crawled to a stop. No matter what book I had been eagerly waiting for, my attention span was nil for paying attention to anything other than a chapter book or two. I reasoned that once life settled down a bit (after moving to a new house, getting married, and going on our honeymoon), I would find interest in reading again. Yes–thankfully–I have–and just in time for some amazing fall titles.

I am reading/planning to read a bunch of history/biography/memoir/historical fiction books for an upcoming project, and had read great reviews of All You Can Ever Know. This is an open, honest, loving, and occasionally heartbreaking story of trans-racial adoption (Chung is Korean-American, was adopted by Caucasian parents, and grew up in a community in which she was usually the only Asian-American around; this was also during the time in which teaching a child about his/her cultural heritage as an adoptee was not a common thing).

I took Crazy Rich Asians for my airport/airplane read. Now, some people will not allow themselves to see a movie before reading the book upon which it was based; I am not one of those people (I also don’t believe that “the book is always better”–I can think of several instances¬† in which I prefer the movie–exhibit #1 here, as well as Forrest Gump–and movies that, although quite different from the book, bring a unique perspective to the story, such as The Wizard of Oz and the A Little Princess adaptation in the late 90s).¬† Confession: I liked the movie much more than the book, although I was thoroughly entertained by the story (I really enjoyed the many footnotes provided by the author), and am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

Although there have been a number of books written about the opiod crisis, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America caught my interest because 1) it’s written by one of the best nonfiction authors currently writing and 2) the focus is on the crisis as experienced in Virginia. This is not an easy read, although it’s deeply engrossing and intimate; it’s shocking, infuriating, and tragic, but definitely one to read if you want to understand the epidemic a bit further.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

OK, so I’m just a little over 100 pages into The Library Book, but I’m telling you that this is a must read. I’ve been waiting for this book ever since it was announced shortly after the publication of Rin Tin Tin in 2011, so this has been a project long in the making. If you’re familiar with Susan Orlean’s work, you know that she immerses herself in the subject at hand: although the basis of this is the unsolved 1986 Central Library fire in Los Angeles, it’s about much more than that: memory, what happens when it’s gone (her mother’s dementia figures into the story), the ever-changing world of libraries and librarianship, the history of book burning and destruction of libraries, and so much more. A new book by Orlean is a big deal, and this almost never came to pass. Above all, it’s a deeply felt love letter to libraries, librarians, and the work that they do, the difficulties they face, and the importance of libraries as community centers and keepers of their community’s culture.

Jennifer Schultz Angoli, Collection Services Development Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library 


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