Fall is definitely here. The leaves are turning beautiful colours, and I’m fairly certain there was frost on the ground this week. While memories of summer weather begin to fade, it’s nonetheless a wonderful time of year. We just had Thanksgiving, and Halloween is coming up very quick. There is a lot going on at WPL, so it is a fun time for us. With a massive book sale coming and lots of spooky events, we’re very busy. Still, when we do have some down time and are at home we do love to read. Especially as the weather gets colder, there’s nothing like sitting down with a hot drink and a good book. Here is what the people at your library read this month:
If you (like me) are eagerly awaiting the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones) then you will want to read this book. Rather than being set in the same time period of the series as you know it, this book contains several short stories about characters and events that take place approximately 100 years before the events in the popular books and television series.
Following the tales of Sir Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg (a Targaryen), Martin uses these short stories to delve further into the universe he created. You can certainly understand his series without reading these short stories, but going back 100 years provides additional context and allows the reader to know a bit more about events that shaped the elements of the story as we know them. While I commonly hear people wishing that he had released the next in his series rather than some short stories which don’t move things forward, I must say that this was a very entertaining read. The is George R.R. Martin doing what he does best – telling great fantasy tales with all the elements of great story. Filled with horrific twists and great action, A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This month I read Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event this month. It has been a very popular book at WPL so I had a slight wait, but it moved really quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, as it instantly brought me back to being an 11 year old girl reading Just As Long As We’re Together. It’s classic Judy Blume, focusing on the perspective of a young teenage girl who has witnessed 3 airplanes go down in and around her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey from 1951-52. Because of the time frame, it’s also somewhat of a historical fiction novel, in that while the plane crashes did actually happen, the relationships in the novel are fictionalized. Blume did live in Elizabeth at this time (she was in grade 8). The novel explores the different reactions of the people in the town to the plane crash, whether they thought it was a Commie plot to overthrow the United States (remember, it was the 50s), to an alien invasion, or the more practical danger of having an airport (Newark) so near to a residential area. More importantly, it explores how tragedies affect our relationships with other people in that classic way that only Judy Blume can. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever read and enjoyed Blume’s work.
Mae: For nonfiction readers, a triplet that collectively consider charity work: the psychology of do-gooders and philanthropists, and whether their actions are effective.
Porter casts a critical eye on the philosophy and philanthropic foundations of one of the world’s wealthiest men. She seeks to learn whether Soros’ version of “compassionate capitalism” has achieved his goal of more open and democratic societies.
Written from the view point of and primarily to an audience of evangelical Christians, but the author’s thoughts can be more widely applied. Lupton asserts that we cannot serve people out of poverty, and many of our current charitable missions have the undesirable side effects of creating dependency while undermining the dignity of the recipients. Instead he advocates compassionate capitalism: the way out of poverty is the creation of sustainable good paying local jobs.
Strangers Drowning: grappling with impossible idealism, drastic choices, and the overpowering urge to help by Larissa MacFarquhar.
Through case studies and philosophical arguments, MacFarquhar considers what compels those with an extreme drive to alleviate pain and suffering, and the reactions of others to do-good acts.
Collectively the three gave me lots to think about, and may change the way I respond to all the appeals that arrive in my mailbox as we head towards the year’s end.
That’s what we read this month. As always, thanks for reading!