Our wonderful new Library named in loving memory of Leisa Crane Dedicated July 20, 2017
LIBRARY NEWS Now that the construction is complete, the Library is OPEN again on Thursday mornings from 10 – 12. This schedule will continue until toward the end of June when hours will hopefully increase allowing for open hours Monday through Friday. This schedule is dependent on the availability of volunteers.
If you might be interested in becoming a library volunteer, please contact Sue Mac- calous at info posted below. This is an enjoyable way to participate in a community service at Biddeford Pool. The work is not complicated, the environment a pleasure to be in especially if you love being surrounded by books as well as the opportunity to meet others who live and or vacation in the community.
STORY HOUR Summer 2019 For many years people haveenjoyed bringing their children to the Monday evening Story Hour program. Michelle Foster has graciously again volunteered to head up this effort as she has done for the past several years. As we know nothing stays the same forever. That said, Michelle has indicated that this will be her final year to offer her time to this program.
I encourage anyone who may have an interest in learning about this volunteer oppor- tunity beginning in the summer of 2020 to speak with either Michelle or me during these next several months. The program will not continue in the community if there is no interest from a volunteer( s). On the same subject, Sarah Beanland who has headed up the crafting portion of Story Hour for many years has decided to step away from the program. She has done a great job and will be missed each Monday.
So yes, we need someone or a few someone’s to consider volunteering for this portion of the program. The projects sometimes relate to the stories of the evening or are simply a fun craft to do. We definitely need help to have this portion of Story Hour to remain.
Please contact Sue Maccalous for more info or to volunteer.
Contact info for Sue Maccalous: email email@example.com or 207-283-1743 leave message
LIBRARY PLEASE DO’s and PLEASE DONT’s
- DO visit your library often for a great read.
- DO return books as soon as finished. We still have many, many UNRETURNED books. DON’T forget to look around for what belongs to BPCC.
- DO make suggestions for new titles.
- DO offer donations of books. They are gratefully received by contacting Sue Maccalous first. DON’T simply drop them off as we cannot always keep everything that may be offered due to space or duplication.
Thank you all so much for making the Library an important part of our community.
Modern Classics in the Biddeford Pool Library
BOOK REVIEW: Tom Bancroft’s piece this month speaks to Modern Classics.
What is it that constitutes a literary classic? Mark Twain, in one of his more cynical moments defined a classic as “A book which people praise and don’t read.” (Think of ULYSSES by James Joyce). A better definition, to me, is one that embraces and amplifies universal themes -love, loss, married life with all its stressors and infidelities, and death. This coupled with peerless prose. There are timeless classics- from authors such as Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Dante. Then there are “modern” classics, like most of Faulkner, a lot of Hemingway, and some of Roth and Updike. So, if we say that PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT by Roth, and RABBIT,RUN by Updike, both written 55 years ago, are classics that meet all of the above criteria (and they do) is it possible to further update the “classics”? I think we can. The time period for acceptance into the canon seems to be fifty years. Put another way, the book in question has been in continuous print, and is still in demand.
Let’s up the ante. Let us say that a modern classic is one that has been read for two generations. Now, what if we try to anticipate those books, while only a generation (or less) old, that will be read twenty years hence?
- A classic expresses artistic quality
- A classic has a universalappeal.
- A classic may influence the reader’s understanding of life, or shift their views.
- Finally, a classic must possess lasting value.
It will only be #4 that we will disregard in our quest. A personal test for the newer “classic” might be would you reread it? Forth- with, my selections, from many that we may consider:
POSSESSION, A.S.Byatt, 1990; If imitation is an indication of merit, then Possession is very influential. The first in what has come to be a long line of literary quests, two young scholars, (intelligent, witty, good-looking-one senses a sub-plot) independently research a pair of Victorian poets, and discover new and startling facts, about them and themselves.
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, Tim O’Brien, 1990; This novel has already stood the test of time, as it is generally regarded as the fin- est testament to the Vietnam experience. This is a series of stories, which may be read independently, but have recurring charac- ters throughout, that link it together. This classic is much more than a war story, in that O’Brien guides us into the souls of the sol- diers, weighed down from carrying loss, grief, and guilt.
PLAINSONG, Kent Haruf, 1999; Summarizing this simple masterpiece does not do it justice: two elderly brothers, both bachelors, work their farm, reliant on only each other, and take in a pregnant teenager. What ensues is the essence of literature; dependen- cy, the stirrings of love, and lives changed forever. Not to mention beautiful, clean writing.
ATONEMENT, Ian McEwan, 2001, This, chosen from many in this English artist’s oeuvres of lasting value, including the Booker-Prize winning AMSTERDAM, This classic may be, next to
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, the ultimate revenge novel. The payback, in this case a lie, is perpetrated by a thirteen year old, and will forever change the lives of the protagonists at the center of the novel. Does atonement ensue?
Thus, my few picks. I would invite readers to choose their favorites for our future Hall of Fame.
Bear in mind the admonition of one of my favorite critics, “Popularity is as different from importance as enjoyment is from joy”. News Flash!
Our first nominations from our readership into our pantheon are from Nancy Bancroft, to wit:
A YELLOW RAFT
IN BLUE WATER, Michael Dorriss,1987;
THE RED TENT, Anita Diamant1997; THE
POISONWOOD BIBLE, Barbara Kingsolver,1998
Adult Book’s Acquired 2016-2018
BPCC Adult Book List 20180729
list updated 7/29/18
Adult Book List Printable