In Search of a Library Book

Because I can never have enough excuses to read books, I’m joining my sister in the Wichita Public Library reading challenge this year.

The idea is to read one book from each of the challenge’s 12 categories, so participants are committing to the equivalent of a book a month. I’ve been participating in the Goodreads challenge the last few years and set my number at 48 this year, so I think I’ll be able to manage 12 just fine. Hitting all the categories for the Wichita challenge should be interesting, though.

I’m already six weeks behind, because I found out about the challenge in mid-January and because it took me a couple weeks to finish Ron Chernow’s Grant. It was fantastic, but oh my, was it long.

One of the categories is called, cleverly, “Library Books,” and I’m supposed to read a book that involves a library or librarian.

I’ve decided to tackle this category first.

The Wichita library offers a whole list of suggestions: The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Eyre AffairThe Name of the Rose, (already read those three), a Miss Marple I’m pretty sure I read in Junior High… Well, I’m striking out with the fiction.

There’s a memoir of a prison librarian. Hmmm. Maybe? A book about Dewey the library cat? I’ve already read a book about Baker and Taylor the library cats. I love libraries; I love cats; I love library cats. But one book was plenty.

When I need a themed book, I often turn to Nancy Pearl, and sure enough, More Book Lust comes through with a section on Libraries and Librarians. And, wouldn’t you know it, I’ve already read a couple of her promising suggestions: Elizabeth’s McCracken’s The Giant’s House and Main Street, by Sinclair Lewis. (And when did I go through this book checking off things I’d read? I don’t remember doing that!)

She has a few other titles that I need to research:

The Grand Complication, by Allen Kurzweil; The Librarian, by Larry Beinhart; Housewrights, by Art Corriveau and Winner of the National Book Award, by Jincy Willett. Did I read that? I think I did. (But it’s not checked…)

Anyone have a favorite book about a library or librarian to recommend? I’m already a month behind!

Except, wait! I’m not! I just realized that one of the categories is “A detective or true crime novel.” And wouldn’t you know it, after I finished Grant, I tore through The Man in the Crooked Hat, the latest from Harry Dolan.

Whew! Not so far behind after all. But I still need a library book.




2 thoughts on “In Search of a Library Book

  1. Kee Malesky

    This is a great project, and I hope you’ll enjoy yourself, especially with the Library Book. Here are a few library-related non-fiction books that I thought were pretty good reads:
    Borchert, Don: Free For All; Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library (2007)
    Douglas, Scott: Quiet, Please; Dispatches frm a Public Librarian (2008)
    Hanagarne, Josh: The World’s Strongest Librarian; a Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family (2013)
    Polastron, Lucien X.: Books on Fire; the Destruction of Libraries throughout History (2007)

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