Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Year End Book List

Most of these were published in the last year or so. A couple are older but were new to me. These are not in any order nor did I limit it to a certain number of books. I went over my list of books I read in 2008 and these were the ones that stood out. If I finish it before 2009 I would also add my current read: "American Lion" by Jon Meacham. It's the story of Andrew Jackson's years in the White House.

The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick: the second novel by Swanwick set in his world of Faery. A modern version of the faery world where characters speak like modern Americans and fairy tale characters at the same time. I don't know how he does it but it's amazing to read it.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin: A fantastically written account of how the current Supreme Court lineup came to come together with some nice history of the court thrown in. I'm probably naive for being surprised by how much politics is involved in this institution.

Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker: One of the more eye-opening books about World War II I have have ever read. It's what we need occasionally, a reminder that history is not preordained.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow: A young adult SF novel in the vein of the classic YA stuff by Heinlein and Asimov. Good science, good story and instructions on how to be an individual.

City of Thieves by David Benioff: An adventure novel set during the siege of Leningrad during World War II. The writing is so good that I was awed by his talent several times.

Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe: An older piece of SF that I learned about from Michal Swanwick's blog. It's set in the far future where super-science and a medieval society combine to make a fascinating world that is a pleasure to get lost in.

One Minute to Midnight by Michael Dobbs: The story of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's scary and fascinating. It's a miracle we are all here right now. What impressed me the most was that the professionalism of the Soviet officers is a big reason this did not explode into World War III.

Driftless by David Rhodes: Another shockingly well written piece of fiction. It's about a small farming community in the midwest. That is all. It's enough. It's funny, deep and will break your heart. I can't recommend it enough.

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides: Another older book. The story of a POW rescue operation in the Philipines during World War II. If you are looking for a great WWII adventure story and you haven't read this yet you are in for a treat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poetry Competition

I just recieved a flyer in the interoffice mail about a poetry competiton sponsored by the Lanier Library of Tryon, NC. It's called the Sidney Lanier Poetry Award. You can view information on it here. They even have a category for high school students.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Upcoming Events

Since I haven't posted anything here in a while how about a quick list of what fun stuff we have coming up here at the branch?

Tomorrow, Saturday December 13th from 2pm until 5 pm we will be hosting a "Gift Wrapping Party." Bring your presents and a roll of wrapping paper to get a jump on the holiday season. There will be a gift tag station and other fun ideas to make you presents special. Cookies and hot apple cider included.

On December 16th at 7pm the "New Book Club" will be discussing Julia Glass' I See You Everywhere. They are always looking for new members.

On December 22nd at 6pm the Teen Writers Group will meet here. If you have a teen that enjoys writing and would like to meet other writers and participate in sharing and writing exercises bring 'em on by. Our group has been meeting for over two years and we have a great core of kids that are very supportive of each other.