Another last

Tonight was the last time Jeanette and I will go see Stewart O’Nan speak before I leave for Africa. Tonight just reminded  all over again about how much I like Stewart.  He is a humble man.  I asked him to sign one book with just his name because I was going to give it to a new friend in Ghana. “What a way to make a friend” he said “give them this long boring book!”

Tonight he talked about the circus fire in Hartford in 1944. He is very genuine.  When he spoke of the people who died and the survivors it was with respect and caring. The one book committee had created a booklet of local survivors stories. Stewart had a copy of the book and as some of the interviewees came to ask him to sign he also asked them to sign.  He talked to every person who wanted to talk to him. He was engaged and charming with each one.

He is funny. When Jeanette told him she was my keeper (we were talking about my uberfandom) He looked dubiously at her and said “That’s a pretty long leash!”

So I will leave for Africa with the read poster of him that I created signed by him. An advanced copy of one of my favorite O’Nans, from his personal collection and signed and his best wishes and hopes.

For librarians who’s rock stars ARE authors that’s pretty heavy stuff!

-vc

Zinzin Road by Fletcher Knebel pt.II

Did not like this book one little bit.  The writing was mediocre. The characters were one dimensional. The beauty of Africa never really came through.I really didn’t get feel for living in another culture.  What i did find interesting was the question of where do you draw the line between following your beliefs and not meddling in the local politics. I think this group went way over that line many times.

I am still looking for the Peace Corps book that will do for me what Chinua Achebe’s book did. His book transported me to another culture. I want to read a book that will take me into the lives of the people in the community where the volunteer is serving.

So on to Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera.

-vc

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe

This man is a beautiful writer. His prose is elegant. Achebe took me to Africa and snuggled me down right in the middle of a tribe.  After reading this book I felt that I had visited africa and met the people. Although many of the thoughts and values were different from my own Achebe presented his characters with such sympathy that I did relate to them.

I also read Things Fall Apart last year because it was recommended on the website of my favorite author – Stewart O’Nan.

On the basis of reading these two books I would recommend anything by Chinua Achebe.

vc

Meme of 4 ok 5

5 books to take for two years in the Peace Corps

Bible
Newest O’Nan
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Spirit of Place: The art of the traveling photographer by Bob Krist
Poems of Robert Frost

Bible for a new understanding of it’s truth

Newest O’Nan for the shear pleasure of the written word.

Shakespeare because he contains all of human nature

Spirit of Place because no one else illuminates capturing a place as well as Krist

Robert Frost to remind me of my New England roots.