by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
Our Friends of the Litchfield Library group is alive and reinvigorated. I held an informational session about the Friends group on Tuesday, November 13th. Six people attended and joined, and a seventh joined afterward. They made plans to start working on book sale prep in weeks to come.
If you missed the meeting, or you just want to join without having to go to a meeting, ask one of the library staff for a Friends of the Library brochure. You can fill out the application on the brochure and drop it off with your $5 dues (or $1 if you’re under 18). We actually did gain two child members. One was very excited to come to “library club”. The other really wanted the membership card, and she loves the library.
The next meeting of the Friends, an official member meeting, will be on the third Tuesday in January at 7 p.m. According to the current bylaws, meetings are to be held only three times per year: January, May, and September. It’s not a big commitment. I hope more of you will join us. It looks like a great group of people.
Our new adult book club is going swimmingly. We’ve had ten to twelve people per meeting this fall, with thoughtful, lively discussions. I’m trying a variety of types of books, both to make it interesting and to find out what members of the group like and dislike reading. We read a fantasy novel first, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Many in the group loved it, and a few hated it, but it certainly gave us a lot to talk about. I loved the lush descriptions of the magical circus, but I found that the complicated timeline made it too difficult to listen to as an audiobook, which is my usual method for finding time to read for book club; I switched to reading the print.
Our next title was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This classic collection of mystery stories is familiar to everyone in some general way, or at least the characters are, but most of us in the group had not actually read the original books. I’ve been enjoying the new BBC modern translation Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which is one of the flurry of recent Sherlock Holmes variations on screen. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories, which makes it very easy to read one or two of the intriguing cases at a sitting. Our book club found it remarkable that Doyle could create characters that are still fascinating to readers and viewers 125 years later.
For our November meeting we read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. This was a popular choice. The dog Enzo narrates the story of his master, race car driver Denny, who goes through some terrible times with his family. Enzo has a soul that’s ready to be human, and he looks forward to being reincarnated as a man like he learned about in a TV documentary on Mongolia. He has a very philosophical outlook, applying lessons learned from auto racing to life: “The car goes where the eyes go.”
Next month’s book is Bossypants by Tina Fey. If you want to read a funny memoir or, even better, listen to it on audio, and then come to book club to talk about it, stop in to pick up a copy. It was on every best-of-the-year list last year, which means I can get us enough copies to work with this year. Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 11, at noon.
If you’ve been thinking about joining the Litchfield Friends or the new lunchtime book club, but you’ve wondered, “Is anyone going?” the answer is yes. There are some neat new groups forming here that are worth coming to. Hope to see you at the next meeting!