Editor’s note: The first part of the Vermont Librarians rapid reviews ran in the June 7 Ovation. You can find it and this one at reformer.com.
I’ve said this before: one of my favorite annual library events is the rapid reviews session at the annual Vermont library conference. And, I missed the conference this year, so I won’t be able to see this event until 2013. However, I do have the list of annotated reviews, which I will in brief, print below.
There are five librarians who, in rapid-fire, in front of a packed house, go through some 50 of their favorite books published in the past year in about 1.5 hours. Below under their names are two of titles selected from each of their lists. These are random selections by me, and in no way might it be their selections for this newsletter. You may find these titles in the Brooks Memorial Library. Mr. Money’s titles are on order, so holds may be placed on them.
-- Jerry Carbone, Brooks Memorial Library director
Vermont Department of Libraries
* Daniels, Leslie. "Cleaning Nabokov’s House." Touchstone, 2011. Dumped woman opens a cathouse to make enough money to get her kids back.
* Henderson, Elaine. "Ten Thousand Saints." Ecco, 2011. Set in Burlington, a clueless teenage boy falls into the NYC band life of Straight Edge.
* Speller, Elizabeth. "The Return of Captain John Emmett." Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. Two officers do some quiet detection after the first World War. Beautiful writing, poignant time.
Vermont Historical Society
* Goodwin, Neil. "We Go as Captives: The Royalton Raid and the Shadow War on the Revolutionary Frontier." Vermont Historical Society, 2010. The story of the abduction of Zadock Steele retold through modern eyes.
* Houghton, George, edited by Don Wickman. "A Very Fine Appearance: The Vermont Civil War Photographs of George Houghton." Vermont Historical Society, 2010. Vermont’s Mathew Brady; photographs of Vermont boys in Virginia paired with diary entries.
* Hand, Samuel B., Anthony Marro, and Stephen C. Terr., "Philip Hoff: How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountain State." Castleton State College, 2011. Important period in Vermont history finally gets some attention.
* Daley, Yvonne. "A Mighty Storm: Stories of Resilience after Irene." Shires Press, 2011. Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus cover the storm.
* Goodman, David, editor. "When the River Rose: Stories of a Vermont Town’s Flood, Recovery, and Rebirth." Children’s Literacy Foundation, 2012. Contributions from Waterbury residents in a thematic presentation; excellent photographs.
University of Vermont
* Levine, Sara. "Treasure Island!!!" Europa, 2011. A young woman re-reads Robert Lewis Stevenson’s "Treasure Island" and takes the author’s celebration of independence a little too literally. Actually, she takes it way too literally and mayhem ensues. Not only does she lose her job at the Pet Library, but her obsession with "Treasure Island" nearly costs her everything -- including her sanity. The book took a toll on my mind as well.
* Martin, Steve. "An Object of Beauty." Grand Central Publishing 2010. Which is more attractive: an ineffable painting or woman? Turns out that they both could be a bust.
* Wilson, Kevin. "The Family Fang." Ecco, 2011. What is art? What is family? What if your family is art? You’re totally screwed.
Ernie Drown, Church of Christ
at Dartmouth College
* Frank, Thomas. "Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right." Metropolitan, 2012. A writer with attitude who hits the bulls-eye.
* Hartman, Kent. "The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret." St. Martin’s, 2002. Tells the story of the anonymous musicians who recorded all those hit singles for the big stars.
* LaPlante, Alice. "Turn of Mind." Atlantic, 2011. A murder mystery told by the principal suspect, who has dementia. A tour-de-force page-turner.
* Steingraber, Sandra. "Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis." DaCapo, 2011. Lovely writing, important topic, and of interest to many parents.
Peter Money, Harbor Mountain Press
* Huntington, Cynthia. "Heavenly Bodies." Southern Illinois University Press, 2012. Vermont is lucky to have Huntington as a resident. Whether by geographic and mental isolation, or physical and emotional condition, her work is among the most powerful -- and maybe the most dreamy -- poetry out there. Recommended for libraries with serious poetry sections and all libraries with edgy and literary fiction. Try it.
* Reeve, F.D. "The Toy Soldier and Other Poems." Bayeux Arts, 2006. Vermonter F.D. Reeve deserves to be more widely known. His work is imagistic, realist and surreal.
* Olds, Sharon. "Eve and Her Apple: A Poetic Chronicle of Pioneer Women." Harbor Mountain Press, 2011. AWP Award-winning author and Temple University professor Sharon Olds is a part-time Vermonter. The Vermont geographic cover illustration is by North Hartland artist Greg Albright.
* Williams, William Carlos. "Collected Poems or Selected Poems." A number of editions. The single most essential American poet of the past 100 years. No library serving teens and adults would be complete without one of Williams’ collections of poems. "The Collected Poems of George Oppen" is also essential, but out of print.
Amy Howlett is a library development consultant with the Vermont Department of Libraries; Paul Carnahan, a Brattleboro native, has been the library director at the Vermont Historical Society for 22 years. He compiles the "New in Vermont History" listing that appears at the back of the journal Vermont History twice a year; Nancy Bercaw is a program specialist for the UVM Libraries, with emphasis on internal communications. She is a frequent contributor to Seven Days; Ernie Drown is the music director at the UCC church in Hanover, and former director of the Aldrich Library in Barre; and Peter Money is a poet, librarian, college instructor, and lover of literature.
For Love of Books is a column written by readers of notable books which may be found in local libraries and bookstores. "Guidelines for Reviewers" may be requested from Brooks Memorial Library at 802-254-5290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect to the library’s web catalog to search for books and other materials, at www.brooks.lib.vt.us.