Showing posts from February, 2013
Take a stroll to the library with 
The facade of the Kansas City Public Library parking garage is a testament to the imagination of this city.  Giant book spines, each approximately 25 feet by 9 feet, line an entire city block adjacent to the library. The twenty-two titles, suggested by local readers were constructed of signboard mylar, include Charlotte's Web and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Learn more about this unique structure at:

Books to consider:  China

In 1974,  a tiny baby girl, 7 months old, flew from the island of Taipei across the Pacific in the care of a Japan Airlines employee and was handed over to an anxious couple in Michigan who had been waiting months for her arrival. Mei-Ling Wang became Mei-Ling Hopgood, and a few years later this unique and loving American family was completed with two younger brothers adopted from Korea.  Growing up in a suburb of Detroit, Mei-Ling knew she was different from her friends but …

Life was especially hard in the Appalachian Mountains during the Great Depression of the 1930's.  One of the plans initiated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a unique book delivery system called the Kentucky Pack Horse Project. Although the WPA is better known for ambitious building and infrastructure projects, literacy was also a major concern of the Roosevelt administration, particularly in rural areas. Over 2000 volunteers, mostly women, were recruited under the guidance of county librarians to carry books on horseback and mule to over a half million people.  Read more at

New and Notable Fiction
Far from the poverty of the Appalachians,Amor Towles, in his first novel, Rules of Civility, explores 1930's Manhattan as seen through the eyes of  Katey Kontent, a young woman caught up in the fever of her independence and the endless possibilities of this grand city. Smart and savvy Brooklyn-born Ka…
Saddle up with TheBookJeanie

Check out this innovative way to spread the love of reading! The Biblioburro travels throughout the Magdelena River Valley in Columbia, delivering books to remote villages.  Luis Soriano, the creator of this unique bookmobile, travels every weekend with his burros, Alpha and Beta, to deliver books and help promote literacy in this rural region.  

Take a journey back to the early days of the National Parks
After watching Ken Burns' series The National Parks: America's Best Idea, this slim volume caught my eye at the local library book sale: Letters from Yellowstone, by Diane Smith.  Smith won the Pacific Booksellers Association Book Award for this beautifully composed novel that follows Alex Bartram,  a young medical student from Cornell, as she joins a scientific field study through Yellowstone, America's first national park.  The mission of the naturalists, headed by Dr. Howard Merriam of Montana State University, is to collect, record, and anal…
Ride Along with TheBookJeanie

This 1949 Bookmobile put in many miles bringing books to rural areas.  I am sure that children as well as adults waited excitedly for this big black book wagon to come lumbering down the lane.  Compare that to the latest innovation in libraries:  the Texas library with no books.

ABC News reported last week that San Antonio's newest library will be the home to the country's first book-less library.  Opening in the fall of 2013, Bibliotech will initially house 50 computer stations, 25 tablets, and will circulate 100 e-readers.  Technology is a wonderful addition to the resources that libraries offer but I am afraid that this vision of future libraries   seems rather bleak.  Storytime cuddled next to a silver monitor?  No more comfy reading chairs in a corner near the window?  No browsing in the stacks?  Let us know your thoughts. . .  

Around the Fiction Corner

Charlotte Rogan's compelling novel, The Lifeboat, opens in the year 1917 as the Austro-Hu…