Archive for July, 2012

Donald J. Sobol

July 26, 2012

Author of the series Encyclopedia Brown died July 11th at age 87. As a mystery reader, his books are probably the first taste I had of the genre. I read every one of them. 25 cents to solve a mystery! What a bargain! At my school library, the E. Brown books are seldom read. I hope that, perhaps, they are just more popular at a younger level?

Another icon bites the dust

July 26, 2012

I know I am dating myself but I was saddened to read that “Weekly Reader” will no longer be printed.  Scholastic, which purchased the school newspaper earlier this year, will be incorporating it into their Scholastic News.  Of the current 60 employees, who are based in White Plains, only 5 will remain.

“Weekly Reader” and its predecessor “My Weekly Reader” was first published in 1902.  At its peak, it was read by two-thirds of all children in grammar school.  For about the last twenty years readership has fallen.  Last February it was purchased from its owners, Reader’s Digest, by Scholastic.

I was one of those grammar school kids who read the “Weekly Reader” which was jammed full of information that was truly up-to-the week.  Before the Internet, it made available to kids the latest maps of a then geographically changing world.  Perhaps it outlived its usefulness, but still it is sad to see it go.

An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi

July 25, 2012

Clare is the American wife of a British diplomat living in Paris and planning a dinner party for high ranking officials. In the course of one day, the reader follows Clare throughout Paris as she plans the party, deals with her teenage son’s trouble at boarding school and flashbacks to her own teenage years when she had a brief relationship with an Irish man and helped “the cause” by illegally bringing money over to Ireland. Now Clare’s husband might be transferred to Ireland and she is afraid her past might be catching up to her- as well as the young man she had a fling with and who might not be dead all these years as she thought.  The book is a little slow-moving and never really digs deep into her son’s troubles. her husband is kind and forgiving- almost beyond credulity. But a decent read.

Jack Gantos and….

July 25, 2012

In a very short interview with Jack Gantos in last Sunday’s NYT, he answered several questions about personal tastes– what he was listening to, reading, and watching.  He said that his memoir “Hole in My Life” was recently optioned to be made into a movie.  He has been listening to music of the late sixties and early seventies constructing an imaginary soundtrack for this, yet to be made, film.

In the category of what he has been following, he mentioned a Web site called “Neglected Books.”  The creators of the site have included “neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste” books.  I browsed the site and skimmed the book lists.  I tried to identify books that I had at least a passing knowledge.  Didn’t score very well.  I guess that is why they are on this site.  Besides lists of books, you can read excerpts, reviews, some authors’ favorites, overlooked gems, etc.  It even featured the covers of two books and gave a brief history of how the covers had evolved through various editions.

Finding books by plot lines

July 24, 2012

I read an article in the RCLS Weekly Memo on finding fiction titles by their plot lines, courtesy of the NYPL. It lists many resources, including listservs, services that require fees, as well as links to Library Thing, Shelfari, & Goodreads. I never really use the last three, but they seemed to have tons of info about titles and authors, so I will try to use them more often.

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