Washington Evening Journal

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At the Library

Weeding the Garden
By Don Ruffenach | Feb 11, 2013

We have recently been doing a lot of weeding at the library. Weeding is when we remove books from the collection that are not being checked out. In this case we have been looking at books that have not circulated in the past five years.

Since I oversee the juvenile collection I have been weeding the fiction chapter books for kids. Weeding is always difficult for library staff because we enjoy books so much. But I have been surprised at how personal some of these decisions can become. I have found myself taking many of my memories off the shelf. Most of the classics (like Dickens and Mark Twain) remain as do many of the books which have won awards over the years. The difficult choices are the books that are classics for me because I read and reread them so often as a child, books by Beverly Cleary, Mary Norton, Lloyd Alexander and others.

Weeding, however, is an important process in the life of the library. Even with the expanded space of our beautiful new building, the shelves continue to fill with new books ready to make memories for new generations. Without weeding we could not add these quality titles. Weeding also forces us to acknowledge that some books just do not age well which is perhaps more relevant for books in the juvenile section.

Besides, it is the weeded books which provide the resources for our annual book sale. This year’s sale should prove quite the cornucopia for our loyal patrons.

The following new materials are available:

Gifts & Memorials

Hit Me by Lawrence Block, The Third Bullet (large print) by Stephen Hunter, and Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman given in memory of T. J. Berdo by his family and friends

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter, The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble, Rosa's Land by Gilbert Morris, Summer Breeze (large print) by Nancy Thayer, The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson given in memory of Carolyn Graber by her Washington County Public Health co-workers

Adult Fiction

The Power Trip by Jackie Collins, Bodily Harm by Robert Dugoni, Something Wicked by Lisa Jackson, Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway

Adult Biography

The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton, Hitmaker by Tommy Mottola

Adult Nonfiction

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges, What a Way to Go by Adele Q. Brown, Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck, Obsessivie-Compulsive Disorder for Dummies by Charles H. Elliott, The Beauty Experiment by Phoebe Baker Hyde, Style Me Pretty Weddings by Abby Larson, Mightier Than the Sword by David S. Reynolds, Betty Goes Vegan by Annie & Dan Shannon, The Aftershock Investor by David Wiedemer, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Audio CDs

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan, Choosing Happiness by Stephanie Dovick, Rogue Star by Michael Flynn, Prince Charming by Julie Garwood, Night Sins by Tami Hoag, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Lincoln Letter by William Martin, Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monniger, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling



Comments (2)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Feb 23, 2013 05:25


Assistant Professor of English Grinnell College

M.F.A., University of Wisconsin
B.A., University of Michigan

Dean Bakopoulos was born and raised in metro Detroit, which is the setting of his first novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon (Harcourt), a New York Times Notable Book. He has lectured at Michigan, Cornell, UW-Madison, and other universities about the economic and environmental problems facing the post-industrial Rust Belt, and has published related essays and criticism in The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The Progressive, The Believer, and Real Simple. His one-act plays "Phonies" and "Wayside" have been produced at Alley Stage in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

The winner of a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2006 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Dean is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University. He is the former director of both the Wisconsin Book Festival and the Wisconsin Humanities Council. He received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and his B.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is currently at work on a book of nonfiction, as well as a television series based on his first novel. His second novel, My American Unhappiness, was published in June 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Feb 20, 2013 23:10

Spring semester programming for Writers@Grinnell will feature readings by Randa Jarrar, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Natasha Trethewey, Katha Pollitt, Andrew Sean Greer and Madeleine Thien. All events will take place on Thursdays in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center with roundtable discussions in Room 209 at 4:15 p.m. and readings at 8 p.m. in Room 101, unless otherwise noted.

"We're very excited to host such a diverse group of writers as we kick off a very busy spring of readings," said Dean Bakopoulos, assistant professor of English and director of the Writers@Grinnell program. "These writers are imaginative, witty, and sometimes fiercely provocative, and all of them share a keen interest in the issues of the day such as environmental sustainability and social justice. These artists demonstrate the importance of forceful, creative voices in pressing global conversations."

The spring series will begin Thursday, Feb. 28, with a reading and roundtable discussion led by author Randa Jarrar. Jarrar, author of the critically acclaimed novel A Map of Home, will lead an informal roundtable discussion about the craft of writing, the writing process, and her path to literary success. That same evening Jarrar will read from her work and take questions from the audience. A Map of Home was published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes & Noble Review. Jarrar has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Hedgebrook, Caravansarai, and Eastern Frontier, and was chosen to take part in Beirut39, which celebrates the 39 most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40.

Iowa-raised author, Guggenheim fellow, and New York Times editorial board member Verlyn Klinkenborg will return to Iowa for a reading and roundtable discussion on Thursday, March 7. Klinkenborg regularly contributes well-loved essays on rural life to The New York Times. He will discuss his newest book, Several Short Sentences About Writing, a provocative and innovative approach to learning, and unlearning, the craft of writing. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies.

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, the daughter of a professor-poet and a social worker, will participate in a roundtable discussion and reading from her own work on Thursday, April 4. The recipient of a Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, Trethewey was named the 2008 Georgia Woman of the Year. In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. At Grinnell, she will read from her poetry, including selections from her latest book, Thrall.

On Wednesday, April 10, Katha Pollitt, writer of the award-winning column "Subject to Debate" for The Nation, will lead the Scholars' Convocation in Room 101 of the JRC at noon. She will also meet Grinnell students for a reception and book signing after her talk. She is the author of two books of poetry and several collections of essays. This event is co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights.

On Thursday, April 18, Andrew Sean Greer will read from his much-anticipated new novel, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, a rapturously romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the "other lives" she might have lived. Greer is the author of the bestseller The Story of a Marriage, which The New York Times has called an "inspired, lyrical novel." A member of the faculty of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop, Greer is teaching a short course at Grinnell this semester.

Madeleine Thien, a Canadian short story writer and novelist, will join Greer to lead a roundtable discussion on April 18. Thien will also read from her work, including her newest novel, Dogs at the Perimeter, which has been published in dozens of countries. This reading will be held at the college's Faulconer Gallery at 8 p.m. In 2010, Thien received the Ovid Festival Prize, awarded each year to an international writer of promise.

Students of the Grinnell Review will round off the spring semester readings on Thursday, May 9, with readings from the campus's literary journal, which is edited and designed entirely by Grinnell students.

The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center is located at 1115 8th Avenue on the Grinnell College campus. Faulconer Gallery is located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at 1108 Park Street, also on the college's campus. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar@grinnell.edu.

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