Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This week is National Library Week and this year’s theme is Libraries Lead. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
Libraries have had a huge impact on my life starting with when I was very young. Every Saturday, my mum took me to the library. They had activities for children, including story-time. I met Babar the Elephant, Curious George and Madeleine for the first time at the library and they are still my all-time favorite children books.
When I was in grade school, I owe a lot to the school librarians. They pointed me in the direction of such classics as Roald Dahl, Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, Laura Ingalls Wilder as well as From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. These keymasters, as I like to think of them, opened the universe to me and my overactive imagination. When life was less than stellar, they pulled me aside and showed me the latest arrivals to come into the library. I’d meet with them after school and they’d hand me a stack to bring home.
When I was in high school, to avoid being laughed at in gym class or steering clear of the bullies, I hid among the stacks in the library. There was a youngish librarian with black hair (forgive me for forgetting her name) who I became friends with. She just graduated from university and loved books. She and I would spend hours talking about books. She taught me the importance of biographies (especially from old Hollywood stars) and historical fiction. She introduced me to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Jane M. Auel.
Without these librarians being the caretakers of the stacks in libraries, I never would’ve developed a love for reading and books. Without libraries, I never would’ve had the courage to write anything at all, let alone become a full-time writer. Without libraries, I wouldn’t have a book obsession that I enjoy today. Without libraries, I never would’ve met and married MR N.
Here are five books that have changed my perspective on life which were all recommended to me by librarians:
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.
This beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family begins in 1871 in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, but it is also exciting as they celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night Laura and her family are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle to send them off to sleep.
The nine Little House books are inspired by Laura’s own childhood and have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier history and as heartwarming, unforgettable stories.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Winner of the Newbery Medal, this remarkably moving novel has impressed the hearts and minds of millions of readers.
Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.
* "[A] vivid story.... Entirely through its own internal development, the novel shows the rich inner rewards of black pride, love, and independence."—Booklist, starred review
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur's kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds' and old and new religions' claims its most famous victim.
Agatha Christie: The Art of Her Crimes by Julian Symons
I’m sure it’s out of print now but this biography introduced me to Agatha Christie and her exciting life.
The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
A Classic Love Story of a Fearless Lord and the Woman Who Tamed Him
Darkly handsome and rich beyond imagining, the bold English conqueror was called “the Black Lyon” for his lion-like ferocity. He had no match among enemies, or women . . . until he met Lyonene, the green-eyed beauty whose fiery spirit equaled his own.
Through a whirlwind romance and stormy marriage, she endured every peril to be by his side, until vicious lies and jealousy drove her into danger. Now only the fierce Black Lyon can save her—for he alone has the courage to destroy the ruthless plot threatening to shatter the bond of love the Lyon and his lady vowed would never be broken . . .
How have libraries changed your life? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to share using the buttons below. See you next week!
MRS N, Book Addict