Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Monday, June 28, 2004

Chocoholics unite

Candyfreak....That's what I am. When I could still eat candy, I have been known to eat a whole Whitman sampler on my own. Steve Almond must be my long lost brother.

His book is an interesting trip. The big three - Hershey, Mar and one I forget corner the market. They can afford the stocking fees. That's right candy producers have to pay to be put on the rack. Stores aren't content with the sale. Anyway I digress.

What about the little guys? All the little regional candies that are struggling to stay in the game. Almond roams the US and samples - Valomars, GooGoos, Idaho Spuds, Necco wafers, Five Star Bars and many more. It's all there, every gooey delcious bite. The crazy machines and the characters who run them.

Read this and you will never settle for something as plebeian as a Hersey bar again. :) So be a Candyfreak. To share your own candyfreak obsessions check out his page Steve

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Summer Magic

Elizabeth Enright wrote several children's series. One of my favourites growing up was Gone Away Lake. Portia and her brother go out to spend the summer in the country with their aunt, uncle and cousin. Portia and her cousin Julian are best friends.

While rambling in the woods early in the summer, they get lost. Sometimes it isn't getting lost that is important. It is what you find. What they find is Gone Away - a resort town of the early 1900s, which disappeared when the dam dried up the lake. A brother and sister returned to the current swamp when money dried up just like the lake and are spending their old age there. Portia and Julian adopt Uncle Pin (Pindar) and Aunt Min and try to keep this cool place and people a secret. The past and present blend into a wonderful summer adventure.

Enright wrote a second book set there - Return to Gone Away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


James Dodson told his son stories about travel as a small boy. One summer when Jack was about ten, they decide to go around the world or as far as time and money will get them. So unwinds this true adventure on The Road to Somewhere.

Things begin to go awry on the flight to England. Jack has watch a documentary on airplane crashes and even though a frequent flier, he does not do well on the flight. Much of the trip doesn't go as planned. Places they wanted to visit become hot spots not travel spots, but it become unimportant.

Father and son are learning about themselves and each other. Dodson realizes that this was his last chance to spend this kind of time with his son. Soon it will be uncool to spend so much time with your dad. The Road to Somewhere reminds us that the journey can be as important as the destination. Dodson has a web page dedicated to the book.

Friday, June 11, 2004

A good yarn

Debbie Macomber's recent book is The Shop on Blossom Street. The story revolves around the lives of four dissimilar women, who are brought together by a knitting class at the shop. Each is at a turningpoint in their lives and their lives are changed by the friendships that develop. Macomber is a long time romance writer, who has made the transition from paperbacks to hardcover bestsellerdom. This is a quiet book that would appeal to fans of Jan Karon and Joan Medlicott. A quick and enjoyable read.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Potter Fans - imagine!!!!

Muggles inspired by the new movie can write and post their own Potter fan fiction at Sugar Quill.

As they say at the site - "...and really excellent sugar quills, which you can suck in class and just look like you're thinking what to write next..." Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Not inspired just yet, read some of the other fan's stories

Sugar Quills

Thursday, June 03, 2004

An eastern vibe

Sarah MacDonald was a successful journalist in Australia, who set aside her career to join her boyfriend who was working in India. In Holy Cow Sarah talks about her culture shock at the poverty, the role of women, etc. She comes to a conclusion that she needs to learn from India and learn to find her center.

Sarah writes of her friends, her romance and a spiritual journey as she looks for that center in her life.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Ireland - the long way

Kevin O'Hara's family came from Ireland and it calls to him. It especially called to him after he served in Vietnam. While there he decided to walk around the outer edges of Ireland. He would have time to think and to meet an Ireland that was disappearing in the 1970s.

The Last of the Donkey Pilgrim is the story of Kevin and his donkey, Missie. It is an interesting look at the old farms of Ireland, the bachelor brothers, the fighting of the north, taking a donkey places she didn't want to go and the kindnesses that met him on his wandering circle. Kevin finds out that he has more strength than he thought.

I really enjoyed this book. Please give it a try.