@ Your Library 4.17.18

Rachel Kadish

@ Your Library

By Beverly Ewart



Books about books, words about words…  

Years ago, in a dream I will never forget, I was decorating a tree with manuscripts written by famous authors.  I was on a ladder, and someone was handing me scrolls written by Madeleine L’Engle, Leo Tolstoy, Annie Dillard, Dorothy Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien, and several other authors of that caliber. As I placed each scroll on the tree, the scroll lit up.  The tree itself was made of light, lending its glow to the manuscripts without them catching fire.  But they caught my mind on fire.

Are you one of those people who love words so much that you dream about them? A word in the mind of the author takes form and substance on paper and works its magic in a totally unique way upon the totally unique reader; a kind of alchemy.  This week I want to highlight books about books and words about words; ideas that pass hands, transcend time, and direct the course of history.

Yesterday I began reading The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.  Because I am a word-lover, the title alone was intriguing enough to make me take a peek, even though I had already begun Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan. Spellbound, I will have to continue where I left off in the (excellent!) Callanan novel; right now I can’t get The Weight of Ink out of my head!

"An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt's Possession and Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book. Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph." Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind"--Provided by publisher.

  • The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures From the Nazis by David E. Fishman.  A true WWII story of the heroic effort to save thousands of Vilna’s rare Jewish books and manuscripts from the Nazis and - after the war - the Soviets.  A desperate and intrepid group of poets and scholars - ghetto inmates selected by the Nazis for slave labor - hid books and manuscripts on their bodies, buried them in bunkers, and smuggled them across borders , becoming known as “The Paper Brigade.”
  • People of the book: a novel by Geraldine Brooks.  In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator, is called to analyze the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless six-hundred-year-old Jewish prayer book that has been salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. When Hanna discovers a series of artifacts, she unwittingly exposes an international cover up.
  • Lost in a good book by Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next, a Special Operative in literary detection in a time-altered Great Britain in which messing with the classics is a punishable offense, sets out to find out who drowned her husband of a month thirty-eight years ago while interacting with classic literature. Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter's The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.
  • Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan. When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife, Leah, their daughters, and, hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris.  Hoping to uncover clues - and her husband - Leah sets off for France with her daughters.  Upon their arrival, she discovers an unfinished manuscript Robert had been writing without her knowledge… and that he had set it in Paris.  Mother and daughters follow the path of the manuscript to a small, floundering English-language bookstore whose weary proprietor is eager to sell…. - from the Publisher

Library Programs:

Baby Storytime happens on Tuesdays from 10-10:45am. Children ages 0-18 months and their caregivers are invited to experience books and participate in bounce rhymes, songs, finger plays, and social/play time. There is no registration necessary for this program.

Toddler Story Time (18-35 months) meets Monday mornings 10:30am-11am and runs in 4-week sessions. Registration is required, so please be sure to contact Valerie White at 315 386-3712 ext. 4.  There are still openings in the Toddler Story Time sessions in April  and May, for which children ages 18-35 months may be registered.

Preschool Storytime meets Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:15 am. This popular program features books, flannel board stories, songs, finger plays, movement, and crafts. Preschool Storytime is designed for 3-5 year olds and their caregivers. No registration is needed.

The Junior Writers’ Group at the Canton Free Library meets from 3:30-4:50 pm the second and last Thursday of every month. This creative and lively group is for children ages 8-12 who like to have fun with words. Children should bring paper and a writing instrument. Questions? Contact Linda Batt 344-6592 or linda.batt06@gmail.com

Teen Programs:

Anime Club is on hold during our job search for a new Young Adult Services Specialist.

Casuals Wielding Dice will continue to meet each Wednesday from 3pm-5pm at Canton Free Library. Join Game Master David Crowell for imaginative adventures involving critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and creativity!  

There is still time to enter the Mother’s Day Quilt Raffle to support Canton Free Library!  Purchase tickets at our front desk or at North Country Savings Bank at 127 Main St., Canton, until April 19. Drawing is May 3rd. Sponsored by the Friends of the Canton Free Library.

Hours: Canton Free Library is open Monday 9:30am - 8pm, Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm, Wednesday 9:30am - 8pm, Thursday 9:30am -5pm, Friday 9:30am -5pm, and Saturdays from 10am -3pm. Please note that the book drop remains open 24/7 for returns. Rensselaer Falls Branch Library is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3pm -6pm. Morley Branch Library is open Tuesday and Thursday 1pm -6pm.

For more CFL news, “like” the library page on Facebook.  Find new additions to our collection on our website: cantonfreelibrary.org. To renew your current checkouts, login to ncls.org; you may also renew via email at canlib@ncls.org, or by calling (315) 386-3712.

Experience the power of words @ your library.