Today was something of a change of pace for me as it was staff training day at Central, and it was so great too see so many old coworkers from Mission, I realized how much I miss them all. They were so supportive during the trickiest period of my life. And as fond as I am of my coworkers as Tallyn’s, I have known coworkers from Mission for almost 20 years! The training events started with a talk about technology in libraries from a man who couldn’t work Powerpoint or get his microphone to activate, then there was a zumba session and I joined in, there was much laughing and stumbling around. Then went to this session called Book Bingo, which was really interesting and during the talk on upcoming new books I ticked many on the list provided – The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott comes out in February 2012. It’s about a woman travelling on the Titanic to a new job as a dressmaker, but then ehr life is overtaken by the tragedy and its aftermath. I ticked some others but can’t remember why in every case – Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin sounded promising, as did A Man of Parts : A novel of HG Wells by David Lodge, Keeping Time by STacy McGlynn is set in England and is about an older woman who travels to America to find a lost love – but it sounded ve humorous and the comment that if you liked The Literary Potato Peel Society you mgiht like this induced me to tick this one. Hmm, several others – new one by STephen King is about people travelling back in time to try and prevent the JFK assasination which doesn’t sound terribly original, the Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka is about a group of Japanese mail order brides, If Jack’s in Love by Stephen Wetta sounds very quirky and interesting.
So lots to add to my TBR list. I won a book during this session but when I opened it to my disappointment it was a medieval romance so I gave it to the woman sitting next to me, she insisted on giving me ehr book instead which was a contemporary romance and it was dire so I left it on the paperback exchange. This was slightly disappointing because I could see other people had won quite chunky trade paperbacks that looked evry intriguing. The next session was about genealogy and frankly I started to lose my will to live.
Bookwise, after the medieval romance disappointment, I did have something of a triumph. I was looking in A+ thrift store for jeans for Boy 2 and strolled over to the books and there was a huge fat Penny Vincenzi novel called Wicked Pleasures. I haven’t seen this one in libraries here and it’s quite old, it just had the price in pounds on the back so is maybe the UK edition. She writes books that are really easy to read, pure indulgence really. I tend to listen to my women’s fiction more than reading it these days and have just finished listening to Sing Me Home by Jodi Picoult. I don’t generally find her novels or characters particularly appealling and it’s hard to say why, for some reasons the characters just don’t spring to life enough for me to care about them. Sing Me Home (which was punctuated every few chapters by awful sentimental songs I had to fast forward through) was about a divorced couple. The husband Max, becomes a born again christian afetr the divorce, Zoe, the wife falls in love with a woman and marries ehr. The trouble starts when Zoe wants to start a family with her wife and asks Max for permission to defrost the embryos – Max decides he wants his very religious brother and sister-in-law to have the embryos. Sounds like a gripping situation and most of the novel consisted of the court case and it did keep me awake on my endless drives, but all the religious people in this novel were such cliches and even though I am not religious myself, this bothered me, I think novels need to challenge accepted thinking and assumptions. I knew exactly how the novel would end. Am now listening to Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy, first disc was rather painful, and I don’t expect anything too exciting from this writer, just some cosy entertainment.