by John Steinbeck
Read by Gary Sinise
Listened to late Oct/early Nov 2016
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis (via GoodReads): Of Mice and Men was John Steinbeck’s first masterpiece. Originally published in 1937, it’s the timeless story of George Milton and Lennie Small, ranch hands who drift from job to job, always one step ahead of the law and a few dollars from the poorhouse. George is small, wiry, sharp-tongued and quick-tempered; slow witted Lennie is his opposite—an immense man, brutishly strong but naturally docile, a giant with the mind of a child. Despite their difference, George and Lennie are bound together by a shared vision: their own small farm, where they’ll raise cows, pigs, chickens, and rabbits, where they’ll be their own bosses and live off the fat of the land.
This review is a follow-up to my previous post on challenged books for 2016 (click here to refresh your memory) . Of Mice and Men is my first Steinbeck. I must admit I’m impressed.
Continue reading “Book Review: Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck ~ 4.5 Stars”
Libraries around the country celebrate “Banned Book” week during the final week of September (or the first full week of Fall). My local library, the Lansing Community Library (LCL), decided to extend this celebration of reading freedom through the end of October, to give patrons a longer window of opportunity to explore this year’s top challenged books.
Interview with a Librarian
I asked Emily Stratton, one of LCL’s Youth Services Librarians, a few questions that I had about banned or challenged books and with her permission I’m sharing her answers here:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a librarian?
I’ve always been a reader. Growing up as a military brat, reading was always something fun to do when we hadn’t made new friends yet or had our house items delivered to our new home. Though I received my bachelor’s degree in photography, I never stopped enjoying reading. I applied for an opening at Lansing Community Library after graduating college and began working there as a Circulation Technician in January of 2015 and fell in love with the job. A year and a half later, I’m now the Youth Services Librarian and plan on starting my Masters in Library Science next year.
What are your hopes for the program?
With our display and Banned Books Week, we’re hoping to get others excited celebrate their freedom to read and access to information. So many are surprised to find that their favorite book or a classic novel they read in high school has been challenged to be removed from an educational environment. Hopefully the displays we’ll keep up will spark conversations about why these are challenged and whether or not they agree. Maybe it will even introduce some new books to someone!
How long will the display remain up at the library?
Continue reading “Banned Book Bonanza”
Last month, my local library, the Lansing Community Library, sponsored a new adult book club. About half a dozen people met initially to get to know each other, make book recommendations, decide on when to meet and what book to read first. Since “Banned Book Week” occurs annually at the end of September, at our request, Director, Teri Wojtalewicz, recited a list published by the ALA of the top 100 banned books. We determined that Sophie’s Choice by William Styron was a book that most of us had not read yet and thus became our first “Book of the Month” read.
On the second Thursday of October, we met again and gathered in a few new readers. We had a lively discussion, as can be expected from a book that is challenged frequently for some of its content. Those who had read it in their 20s and re-read it for the group felt like they were reading a different book from what they remembered. I’ve had that same experience many times when returning to books I read from much earlier in my life.
Other readers mentioned and appreciated the use of music for the emotional apexes and nadirs Sophie experienced. Another recurring comment involved the writing style of the author (or Stingo, whose life seemed to somewhat mirror the author’s protagonist), which involved the use of large unfamiliar words and incredibly long sentences. Since I was/am reading the ebook edition, I took occasional advantage of the built-in dictionary available at the touch of a finger.
Continue reading “Local Book Club Begins With Banned Book”
The Wizard of Oz? Really? I’m shocked … not. Some of the other ones listed are equally silly. I’ve read most of these and I turned out just fine. 😉
Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon