Sunday, November 4, 2012

Librarian Skills required!

A little chaos is a good thing but when it comes to bookclub we like things to be organised. This month the books were a mess because it seems that last month we forgot to record who had what and adopted a lottery system. I now fully understand the important role that librarians play in the world of books and also why SILENCE is necessary among those neat shelves and why books are catalogued and not arranged by the colour of the cover! I suspect that much of our chaos this month was because of all the chatting last month and not paying ATTENTION. 
Library Science is a mysterious qualification and I have wondered just what there is to study about being a librarian that would take two or three years - YAWN!  I am sure there is lots about being a librarian that we do not know!
As a child I loved my local library where books took me to a world outside of  our small village and where I discovered the size and scale of just how big that world is. Aged 6 or 7, the furthest I had been was Blackpool, and when I read that it was in the same county as St Helens, I almost fell of my library chair with surprise when I realised just how big the immense country of England must be .......the size of the world was just too big for me to even contemplate! Laughable when we consider the world now a Global Village.
I visited the library every week - sometimes twice and often couldn't wait to get home before I starting reading the books I had borrowed, stopping to sit on a garden wall to enjoy or the bus stop bench. On a recent visit back to the UK and returning my Auntie Gladys's books, I was thrilled to see that libraries there are still busy and well used spaces where people go to read the papers and check the community notice boards. I never visit the library here in SA - apart from the university one - the municipal ones are too depressing! If you want to find some interesting libraries click here.
Back to bookclub! Our new books this month are:-
Sweet tooth by Ian McEwan:
Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere. Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a 'secret mission' which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage - trust no one. McEwan's mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self.

The Seamstress by Maria Duenas
Spain, 1936 and the brink of civil war.Young, poor Sira Quiroga is swept up in a whirlwind romance with her wily love Ramiro. Fleeing Madrid together for Morocco, her love blinds her to his real failings. Soon abandoned, left penniless and in debt to the authorities, she has to rely on the one skill she still possesses: sewing.Taken under the wing of the bullish but caring housekeeper Candelaria, Sira is able to sew for the glamorous foreign English and German women in Tetouan. Privy to their unbridled gossip, Sira becomes invaluable to the British secret service, a position that is filled with untold risk. A story of danger, espionage, romance and war, The Seamstress is a WWII tale like no other.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Brown University, 1982. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English student and incurable romantic, is writing her thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot – authors of the great marriage plots. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different men, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, brilliant scientist and charismatic loner, attracts Madeleine with an intensity that she seems powerless to resist. Meanwhile her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus, a theology student searching for some kind of truth in life, is certain of at least one thing – that he and Madeleine are destined to be together.
But as all three leave college, they will have to figure out how they want their own marriage plot to end.

The forth title remains a mystery because I didn't study library science and nor can I read my own writing! Oh Dear!!!