ASSOCIATES (2013, July, v. 20, no. 1)


I’m Reading…

Whilst in my local public library the other day, I picked up a copy of a book called, ‘The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism’, by Keli Thorsteinsson and Margret Ericsdottir, which was displayed on the new arrival shelf as I walked in the door. The front cover features Kate Winslet and a boy named Keli, a young teenager with nonverbal autism. Kate Winslet came up with the idea of a book of self portraits of film stars wearing a black hat alongside Keli’s writings and his mother Margarte’s story of giving a voice to the voiceless. A ton of movie stars such as Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Leo DiCaprio … the list goes on, agreed to be a part of the book to raise awareness about autism. It’s touching, moving, deeply heartbreaking and inspiring.

Elsa Dunn
Byron Bay, NSW

I am currently reading ‘Civil War Wives’ by Carol Berkin.

In these moving stories of Angelina Grimké Weld, wife of abolitionist Theodore Weld, Varina Howell Davis, wife of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, and Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, Berkin reveals how women understood the cataclysmic events of their day. Their stories, taken together, help reconstruct the era of the Civil War with a greater depth and complexity by adding women’s experiences and voices to their male counterparts.

Terri Foy
Hiram College Library

I just finished reading two books (paperback format):

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ by Alan Dean Foster
The next chapter in the saga of the crew of the Starship USS Enterprise as their adventures continue in the alternate timeline. Starfleet faces its toughest challenge as the crew of the ‘Enterprise’ faces death, destruction, deceit, and their destiny.

‘The Things They Cannot Say: stories soldiers won’t tell you about what they’ve seen, done or failed to do in war’ by Kevin Sites
War correspondent, Kevin Sites, discusses what it is like for the soldiers who have experienced combat through a series of interviews and explores the psychological impact these experiences have on the combat soldier.

Michael Brooks

I’m currently reading –

‘All My Friends Are Superheros’ by Andrew Kaufman (a superhero love story)

‘Flight’ – Volume 2 edited by Kazu Kibuishi, (a collection of graphic novel ‘shorts’ that continue on in subsequent volumes)


I am reading:

‘Let them be eaten by bears : a fearless guide to taking our kids into the great outdoors’ / Peter Brown Hoffmeister. It’s encouraging, practical and funny.

Erica Mayhew

I am reading (in old fashioned book form) ‘The Art Spirit’ by Robert Henri (1923)

Henri was an American painter, teacher, and philisopher. This book is a collection of his letters, essays, and talks to students about art and creativity, compiled by one of his students, Margery Ryerson.

“There is weakness in pretending to know more than you know or in stating less than you know.”
“There are mighty few people who think what they think they think.”
“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual- become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.”

Judith Andrew
Ithaca College Library

I am reading:

‘Sing: poetry from the indigenous Americas’/ Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Editor – poetry

‘A Scattering of Jades: stories, poems, and prayers of the Aztecs’/T.J. Knab, Editor

Terry Rittenberger
IUP Libraries
Indiana, PA

I am reading

‘Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin
After seeing the movie Lincoln, and hearing it was based on the book, I wanted to learn more about this time in American politics. The book covers much more than the movie.

Hilary J. Lane
History of Medicine Library

‘Mistaken identity: two families, one survivor, unwavering hope’/ Van Ryn, Don, et al.
The book begins with a phone call to a family that the daughter they thought had died in an accident may actually be alive at the hospital. The book weaves the stories of the two families whose daughters were mistaken for the other one. This is a true story.
I’m actually reading this for a second time. I was recommending it to someone else, and realized I was a little fuzzy about some of it.

Verna Froese
University of Kansas

Sometimes I think it would be easier to list what I am NOT reading because I’m one of those people who have many books in progress at the same time, but here are three that are either at the top of my stack of in-process books or frequently accessed on my Kindle right now:

‘Scatter, Adapt and Remember: how humans will survive a mass extinction’ / Annalee Newitz (print)
‘Wild: a journey from lost to found’ / Cheryl Strayed (print)
‘Red Moon’ /Benjamin Percy (Kindle)

Jeanne Tanamachi
Library Technician, Allina Health

Although I own a Kindle my wife and daughter are its primary users. Generally, I read books in hard copy format.

I’m currently reading Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’, as well as Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84’. After that, I plan on reading Jack Sargeant’s ‘Cinema Contra Cinema’, a collection of essays and interviews pertaining to underground cinema. Since I’m a huge fan of the New German Cinema of the 1970’s, I will also try to make time for ‘Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of Heart of Glass’.

Brandon Hackbarth

Currently reading ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown
Consistently suggesting, ‘Driving Mr. Yogi’ by Harvey Araton, because it was such a good story about the relationship between Yogi Berra and Ron Guidry.

Linda Scaia
WashingtonCenterville Public Library

Here’s what I’ve read recently:

‘Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls’ by David Sedaris. Hysterical collection of narratives on his interactions with friends, family and folks he meets out and about. Want a good chuckle, read any of his books.

‘Kill Anything That Moves, the Real American War in Vietnam’. A disturbing collection of facts about US involvement in Vietnam focusing on policy of getting high kill counts at any cost.

Ed Gillen
Mid County Regional Library

‘While we were watching Downton Abbey’ by Wendy Wax – A group of Atlanta women drawn together by a Brit into a weekly viewing of Downton Abbey.

Christy Wooddy
Dinwiddie Library

‘The Last Runaway’ / Tracy Chevalier – Historical – Quakers, Slavery, Underground Railroad (book on cd)

‘Summerland’ / Elin Hilderbrand – Nantucket, Graduation night tragedy and fallout (book on cd)

‘Cinder’ / Marissa Meyer – YA science fiction – Cinder, a cyborg (2nd class citizen), is blamed her stepsister’s illness by her stepmother. Is she the key to stopping the plague? (book)

Lori Salotto
Middleboro Public Library

I’m currently reading ‘The Fall of Berlin 1945’ / Antony Bevor. This is a very well documented and very detailed book on the Soviet battle for Berlin, their clashes with the German armed forces, and the atrocities on both sides. Includes several plates of photos as well as maps. Descriptions of many things were taken from servicemen’s and reporters’ diaries.

Barbara Edwards
ENMU-Ruidoso Library
Ruidoso, NM

At present I am reading ‘The Daughters of Mars’ by Tom Keneally (pbook) – fictional story of sisters Sally and Naomi, Australian nurses in WWI. Keneally entices me to keep reading to see how the shocking incident at the start affects them. Engrossing read.

Lyn Heier

Currently I am reading –

‘Everything is illuminated’ by Jonathan Safran Foer
A young man searches for a woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Guided through the Ukraine by Alex (great character) accompanied by Alex’s grandfather and his dog, Jonathan imagines the history of his grandfather’s village culminating in a heart-stopping revelation.

‘Indelible ink’ by Fiona McGregor – on Kindle
Contemporary life is explored through the eyes of a impoverished socialite Marie, coming towards the end of middle age. On a whim Marie gets a tattoo leading to a friendship with the tattoo artist and opening up an whole new perspective on life.

Eilagh Rurenga
Oberon, NSW

‘Buy Ology’ by Martin Lindstrom 2008: MRI research on buying, brand recognition and sales.

Just started, ‘Marketing Accountability How to measure marketing effectiveness’ by Malcolm McDonald & Peter Mouncey: Very academic business modeled, not sure if it will work for a non profit.

Teresa Churchel

‘SASHENKA’ by Simon Montefiore.
A novel about Russia from the last days of the Tsars to today’s age of oligarchs. Winter 1916: St. Petersburg, Russia, is on the brink of revolution… Outside the Smolny Institute for Noble Girls, an English governess is waiting for her young charge to be released from school. But so are the Tsar’s secret police… This is a gripping tale.

Helena Rutkowski
Richmond, BC

Right now I am reading, ‘Morning Star’ by Judith Plazton.

Donna Sheppard

I am reading ‘The Game of Thrones’ and I am finally on book five, but already anxious for book 6. It is captivating. I am reading them on a Kindle.

The first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes ‘A Clash of Kings’ and ‘A Storm of Swords’. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

My 28 year old son got me to read it, and I like to be able to talk about books with him.

Nancy Davis

I am currently on the second book in Alan Bradley’s, Flavia De Luce mystery series (‘The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag’) – I can definitely identify with the precocious preteen Flavia, and love the setting of 1950s Britain. A co-worker recommended the series to me, and I’m already hooked!

Winona Petterson
Lisle Library District
Lisle, IL

I’m reading:

‘Why Iceland?: How one of the world’s smallest countries became the meltdown’s biggest casualty ‘ by Asgeir Jonsson. Chronicles the 2008 economic implosion of Iceland.

Jason Boak
Middleton Public Library
Middleton, WI

‘The Council of Dads: Family, Fatherhood, and Life Lessons to Leave My Daughters’ / Feiler, Bruce S.
Bruce Feiler, bestselling author and award-winning journalist, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. On learning this, he decided to approach six friends who could each provide advice and support to his young twin daughters through their lives should he die. This book is the inspiring story of what happened next.

‘The Complete Call the Midwife Stories: True Stories of the East End in the 1950s’ [Kindle Edition] / Jennifer Worth (Author)
London’s East End in the 1950s was a tough place: the struggles of post-war life – bombsites, overcrowded tenements, crime, brothels – bred a culture of tight-knit family communities, larger-than-life characters and a lively social scene. It was into this world that Jennifer Worth entered as a trainee midwife. But docklands life was tough, and babies were often born in slum conditions. In funny, disturbing and heartbreaking stories, Jennifer Worth recounts her time among nuns, prostitutes, abortionists, bigamists, gangsters and expectant mothers, portraying East Enders’ amazing resilience – and their warmth and humour in the face of hardship. Written with affection and nostalgia, her midwife stories chronicle the lives, traditions and tales of a bygone era.

Maria Bennett
Canterbury Primary School

I just finished reading, ‘Limping Through Life’ by Jerold Apps.

Jerry is a retired professor from UW-Madison, and I was fortunate enough to take a few of his classes. He writes like he teaches, like he talks, like he is. Reading one of his books gives one an insight into various periods of rural Wisconsin history told in story form. It was in one of his books I learned that Wisconsin became the dairy state because wheat became so difficult – and almost didn’t because farmers (men!) considered milking cows “women’s work”, and beneath them.

‘Limping through Life’ is an autobiographical telling of Jerry’s early life on a Wisconsin farm, his coming down with polio at the age of 12 in 1947, and what happened then to the farm kid who could no longer do farm work. It’s a gentle you-are-there personal history lesson given with humor and wisdom.

Jeanette L. Skwor
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
Green Bay, WI

‘Incognito: the secret lives of the brain’ by David Eagleman. This was reviewed on TV show “Book Club” hosted by Debra Byrne.

‘101 French idioms’ by Jean Marie Cassagne
This is general interest to learn French

Kerry Borg

Since I just got my new Animal Crossing 3DS XL, my reading time has lessened, BUT- I am still reading.
This is what I’ve recently read and enjoyed:

1. ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ / Rachel Joyce (A 600-mile walking odyssey by a retired man thru England. He inspires hope and healing. Beautifully written debut novel.)
2. ‘The Light Between Oceans’ / M. L. Stedman (Married, but childless, couple become lighthouse keepers in Australia. Deceit, justice, loss, happiness and pain conflict in their isolated existence. Another beautifully written first novel.)
3. ‘Sweet Tooth’ / Ian McEwan (New, young, female MI5 recruit in the early 70’s after the Cold War. Politics. Betrayal. Love. Spies.)
4. ‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore’ / Sloan, Robin (New employee working the night shift of a seldom-visited bookstore in current day San Francisco. Adventure, love, lots of technology, fantasy. FUN, fun read! I only wish I could walk into such a store and touch the shelves.)
5. ‘An Arab, a Jew, and a truck’ / Soliman, Moustafa M (Two college students from different, but not so different, cultures try get along. Comedy! But, there is a political statement here too.)
6. ‘Unintended Consequences’ (Stone Barrington, Book 26 / Woods, Stuart (Stone wakes up in Paris, but doesn’t know how he got there. A look inside the billionaires’ world. Dino and Holly help save the day too.)
7. ‘The Baker Street Translation: A Mystery’ / Robertson, Michael (3rd book about 2 brothers who currently live and work as attorneys at 221B Baker Street. Shadows of Sherlock Holmes stories weave thru the adventures of the two brothers. Fun, quick reading. *Read the 3 books in this series in order of publication.)
8. ‘The Golem and the Jinni’ / Wecker, Helene (1899 New York City. Two mythical creatures “find” each other. Yiddish and Syrian magic, violence, and history. Debut novel. It is a fabulous fable.)

I just picked this one from my public library, but haven’t started it yet: The Last Camellia / Sarah Jio

Andrea McElhenny

‘The Monkey Wrench Gang’ / Edward Abbey – fictional environmental activism written in the mid ’70s (book).

Margaret Holt

I am currently reading, ‘MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH’, by Ariana Franklin. This is the first of four and so far it is pretty good. It is about a woman doctor from the Medical School of Salerno who has been called to Cambridge England to clear the Jewish community there of a crime. Set in King Henry II’s time it is a historical mystery. I’ve got the second one waiting in the wings to read.

Lynn Schneiderman
Reinert-Alumni Library
Creighton University, Omaha

I am reading ‘Keeping Faith’ by Jodi Picoult in print. It was given to me by my massage therapist. When I finish it, I will pass it on to my daughter-in-law.

Diann Cullen
Boulder, CO

What I’m reading now is ‘Big Brother’ by Lionel Shriver. It is about a woman who hasn’t seen her brother in several years, and when she picks him up at the airport for a visit, he has gained so much weight that she does not recognize him. His morbid obesity causes a number of problems once he comes to stay with her and her family, forcing her to choose between her brother and her husband and children.

I am also deeply engrossed in the Walt Longmire series of books by Craig Johnson. Longmire is the sheriff of a sprawling, sparsely populated county in Wyoming. There is a cast of entertaining characters, including a wise and colorful American Indian named Henry Standing Bear, solving mysteries and tracking down the bad guys (and gals). Craig Johnson’s writing makes you feel like you’re right there with Longmire in the mountains and on the plains of Wyoming.

Jill Baker
University of Michigan Law Library

‘The Rook’ by Daniel O’Malley.
An English secret agency of people with special powers who protect the planet from supernatural events.
A delightfully well written book with wonderful twists and turns.
Winner of the 2013 Australian Aurealis Award for best Science Fiction Novel. I’m reading it on my smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Julanna Hennessy

‘A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain: a social history of Queen Victoria’s reign’ / Michael Paterson – family history.
‘The Whitest Flower’ / Brendan Graham – again family history but this time it is the great Famine in Ireland in 1840s.

Kevin Dudeney

‘Torchwood: Exodus Code’ by John and Carole E. Barrowman

I am reading this on my Kindle.

Jim Clark
University of California, Riverside

I’ve just finished reading one of ‘the’ books of the moment, ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. Prior to that I’d read her first two books, “Sharp Objects” and “Dark Places”. All three have been gripping although I identify better with her ‘educated’ characters rather than her yee-ha country folk or her drug and drunk ones. All three books have been good at keeping you guessing until the end. Highly recommended, unless you don’t like a bit of creepiness.

In total contrast, I’m currently reading ‘Beneath a Waning Moon, Diaries 1985-1987’ One in a series covering 1944-1997, by James Lees-Milne. He was a leading light in the early days of the (English) National Trust, mixing with the great and the good in their magnificent homes. A bit of vicarious living for the reader.

Both of the above are paperbacks.

Earlier this year I read ‘My Journal of the [Second Vatican] Council’ by Yves Congar. I bought the hardback (a 1,100+ page hardback brick – I like to “own” books) and the Kindle version to be able to carry it about. When reading on Kindle I followed the extensive footnotes on the Kindle app on my phone!

Margaret Callinan
Austin Health – Austin Hospital
Heidelberg Vic