Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category.

Running Books

In Quest of GoldJim Ryun is coming to speak at the library on May 20th!  Sign up to come see him, then lace up your running shoes and hit the trails. Afterward, you can recover and relax with a good running book.

Long before “Couch to 5K” and other training programs became popular, there was Jeff Galloway.  He ran in the 1984 Olympics, but has spent his post-competitive career promoting running and training for the rest of us mere mortals.  Books like Galloway’s 5K and 10K Running and his website both provide quality training programs and advice.

Lopez Lomong was a “lost boy of Sudan” before emigrating to the United States, running at an up-state NY high school, and eventually representing the US in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.  In Running for my Life Lopez tells his own inspiring story with both insight and humor.

once a runnerCurrently, the most successful distance coach in the world is Alberto Salazar.  His incredible life story is chronicled in 14 Minutes, another terrific running read.

Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong and Kara Goucher’s Running for Women both offer training strategies, stories, and motivational ideas.

And finally, we move to fiction.  John Parker’s cult classic Once a Runner is the greatest running novel ever written.  Period.


American Classics

hair bobSometimes we forget that American literary classics are popular for a reason: they’re usually really good.  Maybe we don’t like them because we HAD to read them in school and never recovered.  Below are a few of my favorites, mostly from the 20th Century.  Yes, I did make students read these when I was teaching high school English, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great reads.

A new movie version of The Great Gatsby [trailer] comes out in theatres this Friday, May 10th.  Fitzgerald wrote several good novels, but he also wrote many excellent short stories.  Two of his earliest and best were “Berniece Bobs Her Hair” and “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.”

Hemingway, also famous for his novels, wrote tremendous short stories too.  I like “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” which you can find in The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.

A number of southern women carved out a niche in the canon during the early part of the 20th Century, including Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Conner, Katherine Anne Porter, and Zora Neale Hurston.  You can find story collections or novels by all of them in our library’s collection.

Finally, don’t forget possibly the two greatest American novels ever written: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.  I know you read them in school, but the themes of both books still resonate today, and the writing is still fantastic.  Hemingway once wrote, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”  And To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few novels where the movie is as good as the book – both classics.  Check them out at the library today!

Baseball Books

Stan Musial cover“Pitchers and catchers report.”  My favorite words of spring!  The ground is covered with snow and the temperature is hovering in the teens while our favorite baseball teams head to spring training in Florida or Arizona.  Despite the cold, it’s always fun to read a few baseball books and dream about warm summer nights, cold glasses of lemonade, and listening to ball games on the radio.

George Vecsey wrote Stan Musial: An American Life about one of baseball’s greatest players, who just passed away a few weeks ago.  Another excellent biography is The Last Hero: The Life of Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant.

Baseball has often been called the intellectual game; George Will and Doug Glanville both provide fascinating insight.  Glanville played for the Cubs, Phillies, and Rangers, and earned his degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  He offers an inside look at baseball in his book The Game from Where I Stand.  Will, long-time columnist for Newsweek, details baseball strategy in his classic Men at Work: the Craft of Baseball. Continue reading ‘Baseball Books’ »

Best Books of the Year!

Yes, it is that time of year again when everyone (and I do mean everyone!) starts coming out with their “Best Books” lists. I’ve looked at a bunch of these, and of course agreed or disagreed with many of the selections, but one list I liked and wanted to share with you was Entertainment Weekly’s. I think they did a great job of picking a wide range of books so that everyone can find something they’d like to read. AND they included two graphic novels, which I appreciated! The fiction list is here, and the nonfiction list is here. What do you guys think?

One book I did love this year, that has appeared on a lot of lists (including being named Time Magazine’s Novel of the Year!) is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is a young adult book (for teenagers), by a noted YA author- so a lot of people were surprised it got so much attention from adult readers. It really is one of the best books I read this year.  Have you guys read any of the books on these lists? What did you think?

Also, I wanted to let you know to keep an eye out for our new winter reading program for adults—we changed it all around this year, so it should be a lot of fun- and you can win some really great prizes! There will be more information up in the new year. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library
475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065
phone: 518.371.8622   fax: 518.371.3799