Good morning, constant readers! I regret to inform you that my caretaker, known to you in her professional capacity as a reference librarian, is unable to blog today. She is, you see, quite swept up in reading good books, and has commissioned me to write on her behalf so that she can finish the novel with which she is currently besotted whilst still discharging her other professional obligations.
As you can imagine I was somewhat reluctant to take on this duty, as it betrays a shocking negligence on my lady’s part. However, she has won me over with a bag of most excellent treats, as well as a promise that I may sleep in the clean clothes basket undisturbed for as long as I like this next fortnight should I do her this teensy-weensy favor just this one time.
I can assure you that you are in good hands with me as your guide, for though I am but three years of age, I have already acquired a taste for fiction, having chewed on more than ten thousand novels. In addition, I take great pains to sleep on books whenever I can, and have in such fashion absorbed much of the world’s wisdom through my fur.
Therefore, gentle blog readers, allow me to recommend some library materials to instruct and delight you in this, the merry month of May!
Babylon’s Burning, Clinton Heylin. Immerse yourself in a period of music history that throbbed underground, then burst into the public consciousness like swine flu, only causing considerably more alarm. To the extent that one can communicate the essence of punk in book format, Heylin’s done it.
A Vision of Light, Judith Merkle Riley. Margaret of Ashbury hears voices, and receives commands she believes come from the divine. These voices lead her to those who can teach her herbalism and midwifery, but–as was frequent in 14th-century England–they also opened her to charges of possession and witchcraft. Sumptuous with period detail, this novel of history and mysticism is the first in a series.
The Divorce Party, Laura Dave. The end of one marriage and the beginning of another intersect in poignant ways during Gwyn and Thomas’s divorce ritual. The party, designed to help one family come to terms with its complicated interrelationships, becomes the scene of conflicts and revelations that could lead to healing…or to disaster.
Druids, Morgan Llywelyn. What little we know of actual Druids comes solely from the writings of their conquerors, the Romans, and does not paint them in a flattering light. Llywelyn offers here a fictional portrait of a different possibility: a wise, passionate people, in touch with the earth and each other, struggling against invaders who offer a “civilized” world they cannot swallow.
The Kings of New York, Michael Weinreb. Competitive high school chess: the final frontier. Weinreb, whose essays have appeared in the Best American Sports Writing series, takes the reader behind the scenes with a Brooklyn high school’s quest for a national chess championship. The likeable misfits who make up the team are delightfully quirky, smarter than you, and unapologetic about it to boot. Readers who enjoy the “year in the life” subgenre will enjoy their travels with Weinreb and this band of driven misfits.
And with that, dear readers, I take my leave. There are, after all, vermin to vanquish!
The Right Honorable Steve “Smoky” McQueen (Bart.)
for his caretaker, Leigh Anne