What’s Happening at the Library: Two icons to visit this week

Published 3:08 pm Saturday, January 12, 2019

By John Maruskin

Jan. 6 marked  the birthday of Sherlock Holmes, who at 165 years of age is still remarkably able, capable and, for his millions of fans, more alive than you and me.

Our fictional heroes are often much more alive to us than our friends and relatives.

That’s one of the real beauties of literature.

In lieu of Sherlock’s birthday, I thought I’d let Winchester’s Baker Street regulars know about some of the swell Holmes volumes the Clark County Public Library has, while hoping to entice new readers to the canon.

I purposely use the word “canon” because, for real Holmes fans, the stories are sacred — not fictions, but actual representations of adventures by the greatest detection duo the world has ever known.

If you doubt Holmes’ actual existence, well there are legions of fans and scholars who would take exception, and you can see examples of their beliefs in the notes to “The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes” (call No. Mystery F Doyl) or in “About Sixty: Why Every Sherlock Holmes Story is the Best,” edited by Christopher Redmond (call No. 823.91 Sher).

In 2017, Mysterious Press printed an omnibus volume “From Sherlock to Holmes” by Mattias Bostrom (call No. 823.8 Bost) about thousands of actors, writers, filmmakers, parody and pastiche creators, and plain old copyright thieves who added to the Holmes legend. For the Holmes fan, it is an A-1 ripping read.

Now, if you are intrigued by all that bosh about Holmes being created by some failed doctor named Arthur Conan Doyle, you can investigate those claims by looking at books like “Creating Sherlock Holmes: The Remarkable Story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” by Charlotte Montague (call No. Biography, B Doyl), a coffee table confab of biography, bibliography, homage and lots of great photographs and illustrations.

Finally, for readers so smitten by the great detective they want to be just like him, there’s “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes” by Maria Konnikova (call No. 153.4 Konn). Konnikova, a doctor of psychology,  has written a book that will teach you how to practice Holmes’ extraordinary powers of deduction.

Think of the flabbergasting power parents, employers, spouses or associates could have over others if they knew everything that other person had done simply by looking at them.

That could be downright uncomfortable. But then, there’s no one like Holmes.

Finally, Tim Janes will lead the first of four discussions about the first of the four Sherlock Holmes novels “A Study in Scarlet” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the library.

Other programs next week?

— At 11 a.m. Monday, Pageturner’s Book Group will discuss “The Reckoning” by John Grisham.

The best-selling author of “The Firm” returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to trace the unthinkable mid-20th-Century murder of a reverend by a young war hero who refuses to defend his actions during a bizarre trial. Books are available at the circulation desk.

— At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Kentucky Picture Show presents a movie starring the man who is to music what Holmes is to mystery … rumored living and immortal … Elvis, The King, born Jan. 8, 1935.

In this one, Elvis plays the heir to an oil fortune who trades places with a water-ski instructor at a Florida hotel to see if girls will like him for himself, rather than his father’s money. (Not to mention his ability to make a slammin’ fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.)

— At 7 p..m. Wednesday, Jeff Gurnee baffles pizzeria patrons during Trivia night at the Engine House.

— At 10 a.m. Friday, Write Local. Write for the fun of it.

Who knows, you might create the next Sherlock Holmes. Or Elvis!

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.