Library column for February 3, 2023

@ Your Library

One month of 2023 is already history. I hope your January was filled with great books and wonderful time reading. The gray days sure got to me in January, and I wanted to read to escape. I escaped into other worlds and other times. I read the second book in N.K. Jemisin’s urban fantasy series about cities that are alive and their human representatives. The World We Make is fascinating, dark and thrilling. I have no desire to live in a very large city, but I really enjoy visiting them and would love to visit the cities of Tokyo, New York and Sao Paolo to name just a few.

I also really enjoyed Gail Carson Levine’s newest historical fantasy Sparrows in the Wind which is a retelling of the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan war. It is full of meddling gods, Amazonian women and of course the fabled horse.

The Great Troll War by Jasper Fforde is book four in the Last Dragonslayer novels and the world he has imagined includes familiar landmarks and life but add in dragons, trolls and magic. A great deal of hilarity ensues and the language play is delightful and fun. I am really looking forward to reading  In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare. Willa Marconi lives in 1891 and is a student at the University of Bologna when her mentor dies unexpectedly. While testing her prototype radio equipment she detects a mysterious signal and when she pursues it, finds herself in 2034 after a cataclysmic event has rendered earth uninhabitable.

I’ve already shared many of the historical fiction I’ve read in the past month and only want to add one more. The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin takes place in World War II. Ava was a librarian at the Library of Congress until she is recruited by the military to gather intelligence in Lisbon posing as a librarian.

I will almost always read a local history title and Hard Work and a Good Deal by Barbara W. Sommer provides a fairly brief history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota. I learned that over 77,000 Minnesotans were given jobs through the CCC and worked throughout the state planting trees, fighting fires, building state parks and so much more.

I am a homebody. I love my home and spending time in it. Several books have been written about the value of a place to call home and how not having a home affects humans. Frances Mayes, author of the bestselling Under the Tuscan Sun has written a new book A Place in the World : finding the meaning of home that explores the idea of home, her search for home and place of being most at peace and comfortable in herself. It is a beautiful book full of lovely words, phrases, and ideas. Then explore Awe by Dacher Keltner that covers ‘the new science of everyday wonder and how it can transform your life.”

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