Showing posts from 2024

The Personal Librarian Didn't Speak to Me

 I recently read The Personal Librarian for a book club. I had tried a year or so ago, and the narration didn't grab me, so I stopped after two chapters. However, I persevered for the book club. Persevere I did. I was not fond of this book, which  felt like an exercise in caution. The words of Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray words did not bring Belle to life for me. Instead, their words  told me what Belle may have felt.  Belle’s passion and excitement did not make it onto the page for me. I felt only constraint. Nearly every scene included Mama’s imagined or real admonishments, to the point of tedium. Intellectually, I recognized Belle’s personal and social constraints. I tried to appreciate and sympathize, but it's hard to sympathize with caricature.  The book showed me nothing. I was not transported to the back room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the ever-expanding Morgan Library, the taut drama of a woman outbidding men at high-stakes auctions when she

The Year in Reading, 2023 Edition

2023 was a busy reading year for me. I got into the triple digits, discovered some great cozy reads, and lured another unsuspecting person into the World of Books. My husband was a perfectly normal person who would read books when the mood struck. Then he discovered Andy Weir, began listening to audiobooks, joined a book club, and installed bookshelves in the living room for his growing collection. It's fun to hear him say, "You'd like this book I read." It wasn't an instantaneous transition, but it has stuck long enough to be a part of his personality now. But back to the topic at hand: I read 102 books. (Goodreads calculates the average book length at 264 pages.)  I indulged in  Escargot  and met  The Knight Owl;  encountered octopuses, an ogress, Christopher Marlowe, and an alien with a Scottish accent; and discovered Dark Academy.  I read popular books, including Demon Copperhead  and Lessons in Chemistry . I discovered Howl's Moving Castle and met Mel Br