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Summer reading: Staff’s stellar selections secure certain satisfaction

Handling Sin (Little, Brown, 1986)

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System-and Themselves (Viking, 2009)

Planned poolside reading is a contradiction in terms; it should be picked up on a whim, based on a summer friend’s chit chat, what’s hanging around the “take a book, leave a book” shelf, or the appeal of a paperback cover. Based on all of the above, I started reading Michael Malone’s Handling Sin this Memorial Day.

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System-and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin is believed to be the best and most sweeping account to date of the underlying causes of the financial crisis, complemented by intimate details of the personalities and events as they unfolded. This book, one of Bartley Business Bestsellers is on my summer reading list, too! (Ask at the main desk for the Bartley Bestseller’s summer location.)

~Linda Hauck


Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (Avon, 1994)

An alternate history in which Bram Stoker’s novel was true and Count Dracula has taken over the British monarchy, this is the most well-known of film critic Kim Newman’s novels. Elaborately blending real history with literary characters famous and obscure, this account offers a satisfying game of “catch the references” to the detail-oriented reader while still providing good writing and strong characters to keep the story moving along on its own merits. It makes for a change of pace from more traditional vampire novels, and it’s a good entry point into Newman’s rich and interesting body of genre-bending fiction.

~Demian Katz


Whole Dog Journal (Belvoir)
Organic Gardening (Rodale)

I don’t get much time to read novels, but for those who share their lives with canines, the Whole Dog Journal is full of practical, helpful information about positive reinforcement training, types of foods to feed, agility competition, health topics, puppies, seniors and more. Available by subscription, it might also be available in public libraries.

I also enjoy Organic Gardening magazine. It’s full of environmentally friendly information about yard and garden care, and I’ve found many helpful tips.

~Donna Chadderton

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Patti Smith writes about her experiences in the 1960s art and music scene in New York City. Away from home for the first time and finding herself homeless, Patti meets a young artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, who shares her predicament. They survive solely on their love of art and the determination to make their talents work. I was fascinated to find that I had read at least half of this book before she makes any mention of her foray onto the music scene, but once this happens it’s interesting to see how Patti makes the transformation.

Love, Janis by Laura Joplin

Laura Joplin, Janis Joplin’s sister, gives us insight into Janis’s relationship with her family through letters Janis wrote home after going to San Francisco to pursue her musical career. I was a big Janis Joplin fan in the late 1960s and had certain ideas about her life as a musician, but this book introduced  me to Janis the daughter, sister and friend.

After reading Just Kids, I ran right out and bought Love, Janis. Both books have taken an edge off my craving to know more about the 1960’s art and music scene, but haven’t completely satisfied that desire. My next read: You Can’t Always Get What You Want by Sam Cutler, tour manager for the Rolling Stones.

– Laura Hutelmyer

If these titles are not available in Falvey, try E-ZBorrow or interlibrary loan.

Compiled by Gerald Dierkes


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Penny — July 12, 2011 @ 7:08 PM

    Glad to see an interest in Organic Gardening. Keenly interested in this subject and always good to see comments from fellow enthusiasts.

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Last Modified: June 10, 2010

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