Friday, June 30, 2006

Preview Shelf -- Adult Summer Reading

Coast to Coast is the name of the Crawfordsville District Public Library's
summer reading contest program for registered patrons 16-years old and up. It begins July 1st and ends September 1st, and it's a dilly. Each of us can pick one of four routes across the U.S. and read a library book either about or set in each state along the route, finally reading one book about Indiana. Patrons may use 5 books on cassette or CD, and the rest in print, of which at least 3 must be nonfiction. A notebook at the circulation desk contains a suggested reading list. There will be weekly drawings, and 20 chances at an additional grab bag drawing for for those who've crossed the Mississippi by August 14th. The Grand Prize is a night for two in a Turkey Run cabin along with dinner and breakfast! Carol Bennett and Katie Myers have worked hard to make this summer an adventurous experience. On your mark, get set, start your engines. Motor over to the circulation desk for your map.

As you know, the library is open seven days a week; but July 4 it will be closed for the national commemoration of Independence Day. A new book by Leo Damrosch (labeled National Book Award Finalist) is a novel-like biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Restless Genius integrating his extraordinary writings with his tumultuous life experience as the late-18th century literary genius who so greatly influenced his readers. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America by Allen Guelzo is a powerful narrative of the Civil War's greatest moment, documented by unpublished letters and documents, and little-known accounts from newspapers, Congressional memoirs, and correspondence. Kabul in Winter by Ann Jones, authority on women and violence, reveals Afghanistan's complicated history of disastrous struggles. The Arts of Asia by Meher McArthur has chapters on jade, silk, porcelain, lacquer, ivory, bamboo, paper, bold, wood and stone. David Campbell's A Land of Ghosts studies the people and forests of the western Amazon region, called the last frontier, as wild a west as Earth has ever known. Taylor Branch's Pillar of Fire about America in the Martin Luther King, jr. era (1963-65) is part biography, part history, and part elegy. Courage After Fire by Keith Armstrong et al, is their blueprint of problem-solving techniques for veterans returning home, and it would be useful for anyone recovering from trauma. Author and journalist Oriana Fallaci's The Force of Reason uses historical punishments to make her points and she has become the symbol of Resistance to Islamo-fascism, a warrior in the cause of human freedom. Three new books champion poetry. John Crowley's The Translator is a novel about an exiled Russian poet and his American translator during the Cuban missile crisis. Summer Lake comments about daily living as David Huddle forms paragraph-like segments of humor and commonness that read like small but special happenings. The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen holds what are considered the finest poems about war in English literature, (according to C. Day Lewis). The reading is made all the more entertaining by annotations about his various drafts of composition. Vita (Victoria) Sackville-West portrays fashionable society in The Edwardians (first published in 1930) as she shows the elements that lead to its downfall. City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin is a novel of historical suspense set in Germany during the decadent and turbulent years of the 1920s and 1930s.

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