My Librarian: Fritzi Newton
While I’ll read most anything, I’d have to say that women’s fiction is probably at the top of my list. Think Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, Anna Quindlen (no, your name doesn’t have to be a form of “Ann” to qualify as one of my faves), Barbara Kingsolver, and Sue Miller. But, I also love Tom Franklin—Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (about an outcast accused of a comely teen’s murder in the Deep South), and I just finished Station Eleven, an apocalyptic novel where 99% of the world’s population succumbs to a virulent flu.
And, then there’s my obsession with everything related to the Great Outdoors—Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw. Finally, stories—both fiction and non-fiction—about foodies set my heart racing. If you haven’t picked up Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, trust me, you’ll ADORE it!!
Working in libraries for over half of my life has given me MANY years of practice when it comes to matching each person with the perfect book choice. And, nothing gives me greater pleasure than having those same people return to gush enthusiastically about their custom-selected titles. I’m pretty certain I can find something for you that will complement your reading tastes and, hopefully, have you clamoring for MORE!
See what I'm reading | Check out all the My Librarians
Since moving to Fredericksburg, I’ve discovered the joys of NPR, and, in particular, Fresh Air, with Terry Gross. The combination of driving the area’s picturesque roads and listening to a variety of scintillating interviews never fails to brighten my day. Whether it’s mushroom hunters searching for the holy grail of fungi, a discussion about the after-death experience, or a conversation with today’s in-vogue actor, singer or writer, I’m hooked.
Recently on my way to work at the Headquarters branch, I tuned in to hear Terry interviewing Vendela Vida about her latest fiction work, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. The book’s unusual premise immediately grabbed me. And I was equally intrigued to learn that Vida is married to Dave Eggers, a prolific author of many titles, including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Christine has amnesia. Every day she wakes up not knowing where she is or who’s sleeping next to her. As the day unfolds, she learns that she was involved in a horrific car accident. And, although she has no recollection of him, the man in her bed turns out to be her husband Ben, who has patiently stuck with her throughout her lengthy ordeal. Thus begins Before I Go to Sleep, the debut novel by S. J. Watson.
Jenna's mother vanished ten years ago without a trace. In Jody Picoult's latest novel Leaving Time, the precocious 13-year-old is on a mission to crack the mystery and locate her missing parent. Her father Thomas, now committed to a mental institution, can barely recognize his daughter, let alone assist her in her quest. Instead, Jenna solicits the help of Virgil, a washed-up private investigator—one of two former cops who actually worked her mother’s case—and Serenity—a once famous psychic, now fallen from grace.