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Caro

Thumbs up for the library!

Two good news items re my local library in the past couple of days.  Yesterday I put out on the display shelf a copy of Homer's Odyssey, thinking it would sit there for weeks unloved, but no, this very day someone has taken it out.  

And in the council's satisfaction survey of its services the library has (again) topped the ratings with 97% satisfaction.  The council report said the residents gave the libraries in the area 'glowing  comments'.  Since I work (on occasions) in them I take this as a personal recommendation!

Cheers, Caro.
iwishiwas

And so you should Caro keep up the good work! Very Happy
TheRejectAmidHair

That's excellent! Homer's Odyssey is precisely the sort of book libraries should be proud to display, and I do think there is a readership for this kind of book. Which reminds me - I have Robert Fitzgerald's translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey on my shelves waiting to be read ... maybe after I've finished the Bible, I'll get on to them.
Joe Mac

I'll put in a word for the humble local library as well. Here in Podunkville, Alberta, we just re-opened in a new building, and business has nearly tripled in the first two months! Can architecture alone have such an effect?

On another note, I ordered the Delillo book I'm reading online through the inter-library loan system, assuming it would have to come from somewhere else, which usually takes a week or two. Lo and behold it was already on our own library's shelves. This could reveal more about my ignorance of the popularity of this author than anything, I suppose. Anyway, it's another book I never would have read were it not available through the library.
Caro

We have four Don Delillo's in our library but not, I think the one you are reading.  One of these is also in large print.  Our large print section is becoming much more attractive - it used to be composed of those Lilverpool sagas that older women seem to love, but now we have quite a range.

I put up a while ago on our display shelves Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman but it is still there.  I don't know anything about this book or author but it looked sort of classicky.  But so many books don't have very attractive covers and this certainly doesn't.  Even when I put the lovely Deaf Sentence there it didn't look great. But someone did take it out quite soon.  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter doesn't look much either and one of the other librarians took it off the display quite quickly.  

It's very interesting, Joe, that your patronage should have gone up so much with a change of building.  We are in the process of changing the interior of our workspace mostly, which will make some minor changes to the brwosing space, I suppose.  Our workspace is really quite dangerous with boxes of books and things in the way of where we walk.  We have to be so careful and it's hard to be careful holding a dozen books.  Our library is an Andrew Carnegie building, one of only two left in NZ still used as a library.

Cheers, Caro.
TheRejectAmidHair

Caro wrote:
I put up a while ago on our display shelves Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman but it is still there.  I don't know anything about this book or author but it looked sort of classicky.  


I've been singing the praises of this book where I can. Vasily Grossman was a journalist who was present at the siege of Stalingrad, and was the first journalist to report from the Nazi death camps after liberation. He embarked on this huge, epic novel in the late 50s. It is centred around teh terrible conflict in Stalingrad, but also takes in accounts of the Soviet Gulags, and of teh Nazi concentration camp. This makes it sound terribly worthy, but it's more than just worthy: it is a genuine work of art. His model is clearly Tolstoy, and it is saying something that he doesn't suffer from the comparison.

When Life and Fate was nearly finished, Grossman's flat was raided by the KGB, and they confiscated not merely the manuscript, but even the ribbons of Grossman's typewriter. He was told no-one would ever read his novel. Grossman died soon afterwards of cancer. In the early 70s, the manuscript was smuggled out on microfilm.

It really is a magnificent novel, and Grossman is, I think, one of the finest novelists of the last century. A collection of his wartime journalism has also been published under the editorship of Anthony Beevor, under the title A Writer at War.
Joe Mac

Quote:
A collection of his wartime journalism has also been published under the editorship of Anthony Beevor, under the title A Writer at War.


Which I read last year and posted something on somewhere around here. One of these days I'll get around to reading 'Life and Fate' as well, if the library can locate it for me.

As for the booming business in the new library, Caro, it really is a lovely space, roomy, airy, lots of natural light, high-ceilinged and with lots of comfortable chairs and even a (fake) fireplace! People like new things. Once we get the coffee machine installed there'll be no keeping people out of the place.
Castorboy

RN Singer wrote:
Quote:
A collection of his wartime journalism has also been published under the editorship of Anthony Beevor, under the title A Writer at War.

Which I read last year and posted something on somewhere around here. One of these days I'll get around to reading 'Life and Fate' as well, if the library can locate it for me.

I came across some posts in June so this may be what you were thinking of - http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/sutra9521.php
Evie

My library has a very poor selection of fiction, but I have come back with a good haul today.  A collection of the writings of James Thurber, Better to have Loafed and Lost; The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt (loved her novel What I Loved); and, perhaps most excitingly, Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, The Lacuna, in hardback.  She hasn't written a novel in years, so I have been looking forward to this, but was prepared to wait for the paperback.  Something to keep me going until I am reunited with New Grub Street, anyway!   Cool
blackberrycottage

Evie, I tried to renew The Lacuna at the library, but couldn't. That meant I had to read 507 pages in one and a half days. Thankfully it wasn't a slow read. I finished it whilst listening to Lenny Henry as Paul Robeson on Radio 3, which seemed strangely symbolic in a way.
Evie

I was a bit worried in my library today - the shelves seemed very sparsely stocked.  Maybe the good people of Kenilworth are borrowing books by the wheelbarrowload...I hope so.

I did find two things to borrow, though - the latest from Don DeLillo, Omega Point, and Robert Silverberg's Dying Inside, recommended aeons ago by mike js, so I am looking forward to those.
kitsumehime

Here in my small town in the USA,  the powers that be seem to be bent on closing the three branch libraries and cutting back on the days and hours for the main branch.  Some of the "little" people have been laid off, but the higher ups who draw what I consider to be obscenely high salaries are "union" and seem to be immune to sacrifice.  Surely there must be a better solution.  Parking is a nightmare for the main branch.  As a result, one of the branches has a much greater circulation than the main branch.  You just gotta wonder...
Chibiabos83

Love Over Scotland has just come in! Off to the library I go...
Evie

Yay!  :0)
mike js

I hope you enjoy Robert Silverberg's Dying Inside, Evie. I re-read it recently and while it is not quite as polished as I had remembered, I greatly enjoyed it again and do admire it. There is an intensity to the way the story is told, as if Silverberg himself had really experienced it. And again I found the ending moving. (It is not entirely sad, by the way!)
Evie

Hello mike - I read it a while ago (I think that is quite an old post of mine), and I thought it was excellent.
mike js

Hello Evie. Oops, forgot to look at the date of your earlier post! Anyway, glad you liked it.
county_lady

Unfortunately this is a thumbs down for the Worcestershire County Libraries. Inspired by Mrs Dalloway I searched the website for a copy of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and not one copy found! Sad
Chibiabos83

That's a shock, County Lady. I see they have other books of his, but you'd think The Hours would be the most obvious one to stock. Cambridgeshire Libraries are very good in that they have a book recommendation form on their website, and they have bought books I've recommended via that system in the past. I don't see a similar thing on the Worcestershire catalogue pages, but perhaps your local library will help. Still, they ought to have it.

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