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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2972


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Thumbs up for the library!  Reply with quote

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.


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iwishiwas



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 352


Location: NE England

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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



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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Joe Mac
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2972


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Joe Mac
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


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blackberrycottage



Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Posts: 240


Location: Barnsley Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.



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