28 January 2008

I wish I had time to read...

These books look like they would be good reads, but I haven't had time to read them yet:

March by Geraldine Brooks. Fiction. The previously untold Civil War story of Mr. March, the father of the girls in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

Prince of the Clouds by Gianni Riotta. A shy scholar and his wife go to Sicily after WWII. Romance.

Disturbances in the Field by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Amazon.com and many other websites give this five out of five stars. Chamber musician Lydia Rowe's confidence and harmonious life are shattered by the accidental deaths of her two youngest children and she enters, inconsolable, a space where no one can reach her. Maybe I will recommend this to my MOPS book discussion group, but even though it has good reviews, it does not seem to be widely held.

Saul and Patsy by Charles Baxter.
From Publishers WeeklyDespite its title, this searching, reflective novel is less concerned with couplehood than it is with the fretful inner life of one half of the eponymous married pair. Saul Bernstein, a literary descendant of Bellow's Herzog, is a transplanted Baltimore Jew, observing his newfound hometown-the "dusty, luckless" fictional city of Five Oaks, Mich.-with an ill-at-ease hyperawareness. Young-marrieds Saul and Patsy move to Five Oaks from Evanston, Ill., when Saul is hired to teach at the local high school. They rent a farmhouse, where they make love in every room and even in the backyard, settling into the rhythms of domestic life. Patsy, a former modern dancer who finds work as a bank teller, gives birth to a daughter, and with infinite patience tolerates her "professional worrier" of a husband. The narrative is dense with quotidian detail, precisely charted shifts of consciousness and pitch-perfect moments of emotional truth, but Baxter (The Feast of Love; Believers, etc.) doesn't have full control of the novel's architecture. The narrative crests occasionally on signs and wonders (early on, Saul has a spiritual epiphany after sighting an albino deer), but turns on the inexplicable suicide of Saul's illiterate, inarticulate student, Gordy Himmelman. Blamed by some for the boy's death, Saul must struggle against real community hostility instead of imagined anti-Semitism. Resolutely, he refuses to give up on his adopted Midwestern hometown, bringing this luminously prosaic if sometimes meandering novel to a quietly triumphant conclusion.Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc as presented on amazon.com

Recommended books on the Books-a-Million 2008 book lover's calendar. This calendar is becoming a problem - too many good, overlooked, books are listed!

03 January 2008

Google Docs

Google docs are a fairly good way of sharing files between a librarian and volunteers, but there are limitations to the spreadsheet usage. I find that I am importing the spreadsheets into M.S. Excel to work with them, then adding them back to Google docs to share. In an ideal world, I could just use the Google docs as is, but the freezing column headings and other features aren't working right in Google.
Thank you, dedicated library volunteers! You make our jobs easier and enhance the library experience for everyone.