Library Column for August 16, 2017

@ Your Library

Summer Reading Picnic is tomorrow! Thursday, August 17th at 6:00 pm. Join us at Smokey Bear Park for hot dogs, sloppy joes, pickles, potato chips, kool-aid and ice cream. All are welcome. Youth summer readers can pick up their summer reading t-shirts.

Summer programming is winding down. Tuesday, August 22 will be the last Tech Club of the summer with kids in grade 3 and below meeting at 1:30 pm and youth in grades 4 and above meeting at 2:30 pm.

Adults interested in poetry and the counter-cultural life of Walt Whitman will enjoy “Leaves of Grass” with actor Patrick Scully portraying the life of Walt Whitman on Thursday, August 24th at 3:00 pm. This program, sponsored by the Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The lazy days of reading by the lake or on a boat are numbered. Before we know it school will be starting and the fall schedules will kick into high gear with everyone going in ten different directions. Now is the time to establish the habit of daily reading. Reading is an excellent way to relax, wind down and prepare oneself for a good night’s sleep. Put aside the technology and open up a magazine or book and give yourself fifteen or twenty minutes to slow down before trying to go to sleep.

Bedtime can be a good time to read books that aren’t necessarily linear in their presentation. Books that are easy to put down at the completion of a chapter or section. Two recent non-fiction titles that fit that bill include Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times edited by Carolina De Roberts. The book is a collection of letters which all stand alone, making it possible to read one each night. A different approach is The Saints’ Little Book of Wisdom: The Essential Teachings compiled by Andrea Kirk Assaf. Each page is a separate quote, making it very easy to stop after just a few minutes of reading to ponder and consider as one drifts off to sleep.

Sometimes reading deep, thought provoking books can be good at bedtime as your mind is distracted from the worries and cares of the day. Here are two possibilities for that sort of bedtime reading. Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, is ‘an optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations.’ Or explore a Nobel Prize winning theory of the mind that altered the authors’ perception of reality in The Undoing Project: a friendship that changed our minds by Michael Lewis.

I’ll end today’s column with three novels that I think would make good bedtime reading. On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman is a ‘delicious romantic comedy’ that keeps one turning the pages while smiling. James Runcie’s new Grantchester Mystery Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love. And Elizabeth Gunn has a new Sarah Burke police procedural in Denny’s Law.