The Library Reopens

For the first time in months, I set foot into a public library yesterday. To be exact, three different branches, to make up for a regular activity I’d enjoyed before the Covid lockdown. Our library system is very modern, creative, and full of resources, a pleasure to visit. The New Central Library opened two years ago had become a tourist point-of-interest even.

Yesterday I didn’t head all the way downtown to the main attraction (picture above). A visit to a branch closer to my home welcomed me with numerous brand new paperbacks. As they’ve been closed for a few months, new books kept coming in and now they have the chance to display them. Piles and piles of them, all brand new. I couldn’t resist but drove to two other branches just to check out their new offerings.

The following is a list of books I got from my library escapade yesterday. Just in time for the summer staycation. All pristine, never-opened (that’s important in this Covid time) brand new paperbacks. Which ones have you read? What books are you reading this summer, this very extraordinary summer. I welcome your two pebbles thrown into the Pond and share some ripples with us.

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks –– I was thinking of reading this for ‘Paris in July’ all because of the title, but not sure now since it’s quite late in the month. I’ve always wanted to read a S. Faulks novel knowing his work had been turned into movies and TV series, e.g. Charlotte Gray and Birdsong.

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand –– I haven’t read any books by Elin Hilderbrand, hailed as the ‘Queen of Beach Reads’. Two of her books are in development now for a movie. I’m far from the beach, any beach, but hope this one can offer some sunny breaks at least during my staycation.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow –– The book cover is the main attraction plus this blurb on the front cover: “Unbrearably beautiful.” And some more on the back, like this one: “A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers, and the doors they lead us through. Absolutely enchanting.” How can I resist?

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie –– I knew about this book, actually have been debating if I should read it without having read Cervantes’ Don Quixote. I’d appreciated Rushdie’s writing, imaginative and original, but also not easily accessible. Will see.


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My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell –– I’ve seen this title everywhere, and know the general story idea, and all the controversies and ripples it has generated. I’d just like to sit down quietly without having to be influenced by the cacophony from all sides, and just read it.

Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf –– Subtitle: The Reading Brain in a Digital World. I’ve started reading it and find it quite interesting. I missed Wolf’s earlier book Proust and the Squid so here’s a catch-up and a welcome update. A scholar, educator and developmental researcher on reading and the brain, Wolf is an advocate for ‘deep reading.’ This is going to be a slow read.

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Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review.

16 thoughts on “The Library Reopens”

    1. I’ve a soft spot for brand new trade paperbacks in the public library, usually borrow more than I actually read. But you’re right, feeling them in my hands, checking the blurbs, turning the pages… gratifying already. 🙂

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    1. Definitely safer than bars, by far. All books returned are quarantined (the books, that is); staff wear masks (our city will have mandatory mask-wearing in all indoor space beginning August), hand sanitized at entrance, and we’re not to stay for over an hour.

      Re. the books, just thinking, you might be interested in the Maryanne Wolf title, an alchemy of neuroscience, literature, analogy, and common sense, written as letters from the author to the reader, intimate and personal in explaining some hard, scientific facts. Remember we were talking about ‘slow blogging’ some years ago? This is along that train of thought. 🙂

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  1. Oh, my, what a happy event!! Somewhat similar to my being able to go to the beach. I’m really glad I have so many books in my house, and that I can read a lot online, but I really have longed for the library with all its treasures that one can touch and leaf through!

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    1. Well, it’s that insatiable want of getting hold of brand new (and free) books despite the fact that there are piles of TBR in one’s own home. 🙂 But I’m sure the experience can’t compare with your beach events.

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  2. Such a varied and interesting stack of books! I’ve not read any of them, but have read other books by Faulks and Hilderbrand. My Dark Vanessa seems to be everywhere, so I’ll look forward to your thoughts.

    I seems to be reading more recently published this year… thanks to library ebook holds. Two favorites have been The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo and The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz.

    Enjoy your new books!

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    1. You’re the one who’d prompted me to enjoy audiobooks. In recent months I’ve ‘discovered’ Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs novels. And what a pleasure it is to listen to the fine narrators reading her works. Glad there are 15 titles in the series (so far) so I’ve a lot to catch up and enjoy.

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  3. Your library building is very impressive looking and must be lovely inside. Our libraries are closed here in Nashville. I only go there usually to donate books – have 200 western paperbacks from my husband ready to give away. I try not to borrow books since there are so many I have to clear out from our Atlanta house and have not read so far, or some from my late husband’s library. He had many on US Western history, Native Americans and the environment.
    The list of books you show looks quite interesting – not sure which one I would chose. Right now I am finishing Mary L. Trump’s book – it has been painful to read because that family sounds horrible (I am not sure how she survived it.) Conjointly I just started reading, in French, Quartier Perdu of Patrick Modiano – it happens in Paris, in July. I am also reading a vintage French Livre de Poche book by Jean Guéhenno “Journal des annés noires.” He was a professor in Paris during the Occupation and wrote almost daily in his journals – so it really gives you the terrible atmosphere of those days (later he was admitted in the Académie française.) Another book I am reading is by British author David Drake – Paris at War. I am trying to read these books because I need to write a note in French about my mother’s activities during WW2. The Shoah Museum in Paris has asked for writings about people who saved French Jews during the war.

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    1. VB,

      Yes, our new Central Library is a sight to behold. It opened in 2018 and was chosen one of the most anticipated projects by Architectural Digest that year. Do check this out.

      Paris in July is an annual blogging event where people share books and photos of Paris. Your views and experience would stand out among them all. I’d love to read your thoughts on the French books you’re reading. Will you post them on your blog, and your mother’s activities during WWII helping to save French Jews? What an impressive piece of family history! Maybe a book in development?

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  4. Arti,
    Love your share from the library. I’m gonna jump on “Reader Come Home“! Being a grandmother and once a reading teacher, I have mixed feelings about the passionate fervor of computer generated games (which take up so much of a child’s time and brain) versus reading a book. Making those visual pictures in ones brain from the printed word is an important skill, as is following a story from beginning to end and being emotionally invested.
    I”ll bet my mom had the same fears when television was the new rage and technology in my childhood (aging myself here:) I developed a passion for the Wild West which remains to this day.
    You have such great taste and deep and varied interests, in your books 📚 and movies 🎥 You’re a true renaissance woman.

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    1. Heather,

      I’d love to hear your response to this book, yourself being a former reading teacher. Times sure have changed very quickly… I’m afraid the Pandemic has drawn us closer to the screen even much faster, changing our habits and activities in many ways, shopping, banking especially. Don’t think we can be Luddites, but finding a balance and tapping the usefulness of digital advancements without discarding the rudimentary skills of reading, writing, and socializing is crucial. I’ve so many books waiting to be read, not sure when I’ll finish this one, but I’m eager to see what Wolf has to say.

      And Oh, thanks for your very kind words… it’s my pleasure exploring books and movies of various interests, all inherent curiosity I suppose. The hat you’ve given me is a bit too big for my head I’m afraid. 🙂

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