I love my local library. A few weeks ago I went there to return a big pile of DVDs and children’s books. As I was leaving, I noticed these large, brown bags lined on the main counter. They looked like big, wonderful presents waiting to be picked. They all looked the same, except for a sticker on the top with the description of what may be inside: Novels, Non-Fiction, Gardening, Cooking & Crafts, Science Fiction. It’s Grab & Go!, titles picked by the library staff and put together in mystery bags for lazy readers like me. What a wonderful idea! And I’m their perfect audience: I’ve been relying in the last several months on the library recommendations, the new arrivals section and the odd recommendation by a friend or family member. I just don’t have much time to read anything at all, and that includes book releases and reviews.
Having books picked for me is great, but it’s the mystery of the bag that is the most appealing to me. Will I discover any new authors? Will I be inclined to read any of the suggestions? Would I had picked any of these books on my own? Now that I have gone through the contents, I have to say, yes, yes, and probably. In fact, I just finished reading the most astonishing novel, one by an author I have never heard before and probably one that I would have picked on my own (based on the cover, of course!).
So what was inside? Here is the list of titles:
The Bathing Women, by Tie Ning.
Apocalypse for Beginners, by Nicolas Dickner.
God on the Rocks, by Jane Gardam.
Big Girl Small, by Rachel DeWoskin.
The Better Mother, by Jen Sookfong Lee.
The Virgin Cure, by Ami McKay.
I have to admit I did not know half the authors on this list but I’m thankful I will get to know them now. My first pick on the list was The Bathing Women by Tie Ning. It took me a while to finish it but I’m glad I did. She is a respected and very well known author in China but this novel it’s her first to be translated into English. I think that novel deserves its own post, so I’ll just conclude by saying, great job Terry Fox Library, for really trying innovative ways of getting people into the library and excited about what they might find there. The next mystery is, will I be dedicated enough to read all six titles? I hope I am; I will try anyway.
Have you read any of these books? Do you know any of these authors? Leave a comment if you have!