June 19th, 2018

Library Chat: Staff at library all have their favourite books

By Medicine Hat News on January 6, 2017.

At our monthly public library staff meetings we sometimes report on favourite books. This helps us all become more familiar with new authors and titles, and reminds us which staff members are best able to, without computer assistance, make recommendations in particular genres.

This morning Sarah mentioned “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. Two of us found it so compelling that on finishing it, we immediately reread it. It is a fairly long book, and includes difficult themes of self-harming and abuse, but the writing is very fine and the moments of grace and lightness, exquisite.

Marlene made light work of a long road trip by listening to “The Wrong Side of Goodbye” by Michael Connelly. This is the latest instalment in Detective, now Private Investigator, Harry Bosch’s adventures and although we have a number in circulation, in a variety of formats, you may need to place a hold.

Karla recommended a book of poetry and prose, “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur, an exploration of finding moments of grace while surviving hard things.

One of our two Keiths, I’ll let you pick which one, recently read “Suddenly Sixty and Other Shocks of Later Life” by Judith Viorst, author of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

I made a full confession of literary incompetence at the meeting. I very much enjoyed, and stayed up late to finish, “The Green Road” by Anne Enright. A bit like Maeve Binchy, with great storytelling about domestic things, although with a more modern frankness about the jiggly bits. Once finished, I wondered if she’d written anything else.

Flipping to the back cover blurb I discovered I’d missed the decade and a half during which Enright won a Man Booker Prize, a Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, Irish Novel of the Year, among others, and that she’s currently the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction.

I have two Nordic crime novels waiting on my bedside table, so please go ahead and beat me to Enright’s award- winning works, available in a variety of formats: “The Gathering” (2007), “The Forgotten Waltz” (2011), “Yesterday’s Weather” (2008) and “What Are You Like?” (2000).

Letting other readers wade through the thousands of books on offer to pick out their favourites is a good way to get straight to promising titles. If you ever find that your library has missed picking up an award-winning book, please let us know.

Shelley Ross is chief librarian at the Medicine Hat Public Library.

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