"What Cha Reading, Hon?!"

In case you didn’t know “HonFest” in Hampden is right around the corner. 

By now, many people have scheduled their summer fun and are itching to start those extended weekends, or vacay days.  Outside activities along with some much-coveted R&R are bound to be on the agenda. Yours Truly is smiling at the very THOUGHT of things I’d love to do this summer.

Whatever’s on your plate, having a good book to cuddle up with is one of the best enjoyments there is. Whether lazing away at the beach, or kicking back at a local park for a few hours ---- ask yourself: on a free day at the park, who’s the best companion you can have? Dogs need walking. Cats? Divas! Ahhh, but a good book? All hail the joy of solitude and reading! 

Here at the Welch Library we wanted to share an assortment of summer reading that a few staff members are currently engaged with. David Bell who works in Serials, is caught up with “A Hole in Texas” by Herman Wouk (“The Caine Mutiny” and “Marjorie “Morningstar” being my book-turned-movie-Wouk-favorites, especially “Morningstar” with Gene Kelly playing the very tortured artist and Natalie Wood as his ingénue/muse---If you ask me Jose Ferrer and Fred MacMurray steal the show in “The Caine Mutiny”.

Also David’s pouring through “Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le LeGuin, which Wikipedia proclaims is “the most famous examination of sexual androgyny in science fiction.” How’s that for an eye-popping blurb.

Vivian McCall, one of my outspoken buddies at the Service Center Desk, is tackling “The Secret History” by Donna Tartts. A.O. Scott of the Times calls “The Secret History” a murder mystery in reverse, but I wouldn’t suggest reading the book backwards.  Finally, Welch Informationist Donna Hesson is probably having herself a great big hoot reading “What’s so Funny” by funnyman/comedian/actor Tim Conway. Take your pick of anything from his site and it’s golden.

As for myself, I’m soaking up some positivity from Phil Jackson’s “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success”. Phil is affectionately known as “the Zenmaster” of professional basketball, and though I’ve long heard about his motivational techniques, reading his “spiritual” approach to playing championship b-ball is quite inspirational.

Before we leave, I wanted to share a few words from Marsha Jolly who works in Cataloguing. Lately, Marsha has been reading many of the poems and stories of Maya Angelou (again, my fav is still “I know Why The Caged Bird Sings”), and it was in the spirit of Maya that she passed along a poem of her own that she wanted to share. Her words come from having heard or read about too many violent deaths in the city, too many young people struck down so early in life. In speaking with Marsha, she confessed that the spirit of Maya seemed to speak to her as she created her poem. Something tells me that Marsha won’t be the last person Maya will continue to touch. Here’s Marsha Jolly’s poem:

“Plant me a Tree"

Yes….I am gone….But plant me a tree…I don’t want a mylar balloon on a corner for me….just plant me a beautiful tree…..the balloon won’t last…..from the blow of the wind….so plant me a tree and see me move in the Wind….Rain don’t worry me, it only came to make me grow….and one day soon, I will be full grown….an oak, or a cherry, or a maple will be just fine…

You see, I’ll always be around….on those hot summer days, just grab a blanket and a book, or maybe a friend….I’ll have so much shade to keep you cool in the heat….and I know a bird or two will build a nest and soon there will be baby birds in that nest…so I can give life to so many if you just plant me a tree….yes, man I know that doesn’t sound cool so man don’t put that bottle or teddy on that pole for me….just do me a favor and tell the city to plant me a tree….”

Marsha says, “I wrote this because I was so hurt seeing old teddies, dirty silk flowers and bottles on a pole because someone else had died too young.”

So that’s a small sample of our literary eyeballing. Feel free to send along whatever you’re diving into this summer. When it comes to books, you never know when you’re opening a door to a new room.

Alonzo LaMont

 

alonzo@jhmi.edu

 

 


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