Reading Room Blog

05/13/2009 - 8:53am

Following are some suggestions of books set in India. Some are
historical novels and some are contemporary, but all deal with domestic
situations. Only the first two are long.

"The Far Pavilions" by M. M. Kaye
"By the Green of the Spring" by John Masters
"The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri
"A Passage to India" by E. M. Forster
"The Guru of Love" Samrat Upadhyay
"The Jewel in the Crown" by Paul Scott
"The Raj Quartet" by Paul Scott

05/12/2009 - 1:09pm

I've listed below a few titles of action/adventure books, spanning from espionage to
bio-thriller, that you may wish to try. If none of these sound like
your kind of book, let us know a little more about what you may be
looking for!

Trojan Odyssey, by Clive Cussler
This 17th Dirk Pitt extravaganza finds Cussler (literally, as he makes a
cameo at book's end) and his entourage of paint-by-number characters in
fine fettle, foiling a dastardly plot by outlandish villains to launch a

05/11/2009 - 4:23pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Judy Loest lives in Knoxville and, like many fine Appalachian writers, her poems have a welcoming conversational style, rooted in that region's storytelling tradition. How gracefully she sweeps us into the landscape and the scene!

Faith

Leaves drift from the cemetery oaks onto late grass,
Sun-singed, smelling like straw, the insides of old barns.
The stone angel's prayer is uninterrupted by the sleeping
Vagrant at her feet, the lone squirrel, furtive amid the litter.

05/07/2009 - 3:25pm
After Hours Storytimes

Most library programs for preschoolers take place on weekday mornings.  But if you or your spouse is at work then, how can you bring your child to storytimes?

03/04/2010 - 5:25pm

CRRL web content librarian, Virginia Johnson, has received the highest award for a nonfiction book in the Virginia Press Women’s 2009 Communications Contest.

05/13/2009 - 1:08pm

          Poetry books are well represented on library shelves and eagerly checked out by readers raised on Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Fans of their humor and wordplay will love Adam Rex’s two monstrous poetry collections, “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich” and the brand-new ”Frankenstein Takes the Cake.” Each book features poems about famous monsters – Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, Bigfoot – and their trials and tribulations. 

05/04/2009 - 3:32pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

To commemorate Mother's Day, here's a lovely poem by David Wojahn of Virginia, remembering his mother after forty years.

Walking to School, 1964

Blurring the window, the snowflakes' numb white lanterns.
She's brewed her coffee, in the bathroom sprays cologne
And sets her lipstick upright on the sink.
The door ajar, I glimpse the yellow slip,

The rose-colored birthmark on her shoulder.
Then she's dressed—the pillbox hat and ersatz fur,

04/27/2009 - 11:57am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Sometimes I wonder at my wife's forbearance. She's heard me tell the same stories dozens of times, and she still politely laughs when she should. Here's a poem by Susan Browne, of California, that treats an oft-told story with great tenderness.

On Our Eleventh Anniversary

You're telling that story again about your childhood,
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle

from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night
and snowing by the time you arrived,

04/22/2009 - 11:26am

American Life in Poetry: Column 213

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Bill Holm, one of the most intelligent and engaging writers of our northern plains, died on February 25th. He will be greatly missed. He and I were of the same generation and we shared the same sense of wonder, amusement, and skepticism about the course of technology. I don't yet own an Earbud, but I won't need to, now that we have Bill's poem.

Earbud

06/16/2009 - 12:17pm

If you liked the "Harry Potter" series for the believable way the magic elements are handled, for the glorious escapism, and for their appeal to girls, you may enjoy these titles:

"Olivia Kidney" by Ellen Potter
12-year old Olivia gets locked out of her apartment and spends the evening searching for her father, the building's superintendent. Her encounters with the strange occupants of the building help her to resolve the problems in her life.

"The Trolls" by Polly Horvath