Library: A new year brings new books

Published 9:45 am Monday, January 9, 2017

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Winter — Time to hunker down in your favorite chair with that garish afghan blanket Aunt Bernice crocheted you and do some big time reading between naps.

To that end, I’ll highlight some of the keen new books the library received around the holidays.

Remember, a lay-about demurs over pressing chores, but an intellect dodges work by explaining, “I’m reading.”

To keep this column as high-minded as possible, let’s start with Nobel Prize literature like “Bob Dylan: The Lyrics 1961-2012” (call # 782.42164 Dyla). I get giddy with joy knowing “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” is a Nobel Prize-winning poem.

“Well, you look so pretty in it

Honey, can I jump on it sometime?

Yes, I just want to see

If it’s really that expensive kind

You know it balances on your head

Just like a mattress balances

On a bottle of wine

Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat”

Now that’s lyrical poetry, and at more than 600 pages, this collection of Dylan’s lyrics is like the “Maximus Poems” of American sensibility over the past half century. They will conjure up remarkable dreams and memories.

Another dreamy volume is Laura Miller’s “Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created” (call # 809.933 Lite). This book catalogs and explains the background and creation of nearly 100 literary fantasy realms from “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (call # 892.1 Mitch) to Salman Rushdie’s 2015 novel, “Two Years Eight Month and Twenty-eight Nights” (call # F Rush).

The book is beautifully illustrated with pictures of authors, scenes from stories and in many instances, maps of fantasy lands. It is the perfect book for armchair traveling when the day is brumous (the word to look up this week).

Finally, if you want for the sine qua non of winter naptime story collections, pick up “The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm,” translated and edited by Jack Zipes and illustrated by Andrea Dezso (call # 398.20943 Grim).

While the outlines of standards like Rumpelstiltskin and Cinderella are well known (though the originals’ details are quite different), there are hundreds of other tales from the Grimms’ first edition that are unknown. Like the “The Strange Feast,” which begins: “A blood sausage and a liver sausage had been friends for some time, and the blood sausage invited the liver sausage for a meal at her home.”

There are wonders galore here, and they are perfectly complimented by Andrea Dezso’s scherenschnitte illustrations.

Not a fan of the fabulous? The most wonderful thing about a library is that there is something there for anyone’s taste. Ask a friendly librarian to be your guide.

Programs this week?

— At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Internet 1. Learn basic internet searching. If you got a new laptop for the holidays, bring it along.

— At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Novels at Night Book Group discusses “Dig Too Deep,” by Amy Allgeyer. When a nearby mountaintop removal mine is suspected of contaminating the water and sickening the residents of a small Kentucky town, 16-year-old Liberty Briscoe searches for answers.

— At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Kentucky Picture Show presents a 1951 classic. Disturbed Blanche DuBois lives with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her. Get away from those people, Blanche!

— At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Trivia night at the Engine House Deli + Pub. Which team will triumph?

— At 10 a.m. Friday, Write Local. It’s Hoo-Doo Day, come write a whopper.

— From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the Outside the Lines Coloring Group meets to begin another dazzling year.

May your year be dazzling, too.