Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Hello, I’m Sherrill Sherwood from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
Labour Day and “back to school” all happen for us in September. This month’s theme is “Teachers” as it combines both a profession and going back to school. All four books selected this month have the word “teacher” in their title. There is a book of nonfiction, two works of literary fiction, and a self published romance complete with typos and word repetitions.
Today on Library Moments Bessie Sullivan and I will each talk about a novel featured in our online book club.
Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: For this month’s online book club, I read The Teacher’s Billionaire, a self-published romance. I generally like romances and in this book I felt both the characters and the plot line were decent. What was jarring and completely undermined my enjoyment of the book was that it hadn’t been edited. There were grammar and spelling errors, typos and annoying word repetitions. I learned a lot from this experience. While I might not be reading a romance novel for the artistry of the writing, I do want it to be at least error free. One of the most infuriating errors in the book was spelling the queen of the artful romance’s last name wrong. Don’t refer to Jane Austen if you can’t be bothered to ensure proper spelling of her name. There must have been some complaints about this lack of editing as I noticed that a new edited e-book version had been supplied on Amazon’s website. We all read different books for different reasons, but reading for pleasure means we are doing it for the enjoyment of it. When a book is produced purely because it will make the author money, that enjoyment is compromised. That said, I read the book through to the end because I cared enough about the characters to find out what happened to them.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Teacher Man is Frank McCourt’s final memoir in the trilogy that started with Angela’s Ashes and continued in ‘Tis. Teacher Man focuses almost exclusively on McCourt’s 30-year teaching career in New York City’s public high schools, which began at McKee Vocational and Technical in 1958. His first day in class, a fight broke out and a sandwich was hurled in anger. McCourt immediately picked it up and ate it. On the second day of class, McCourt’s response about the Irish and their sheep brought the wrath of the principal down on him. All McCourt wanted to do was teach, which wasn’t easy in the jumbled bureaucracy of the New York City school system. Pretty soon he realized the system wasn’t run by teachers but by sterile officials. McCourt says “I was uncomfortable with the bureaucrats, the higher-ups, who had escaped classrooms only to turn and bother the occupants of those classrooms, teachers and students. I never wanted to fill out their forms, follow their guidelines, administer their examinations, tolerate their snooping, adjust myself to their programs and courses of study.” As McCourt matured in his job, he found ingenious ways to motivate the kids like having them write “excuse notes” from Adam and Eve to God, using parts of a pen to define parts of a sentence and using cookbook recipes to get the students to think creatively. McCourt throws down the gauntlet on education, asserting that teaching is more than achieving high test scores. It’s about educating, about forming intellects, about getting people to think. I personally love the quote “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see”.
Anyone can participate in Haliburton County Public Library’s Online Book Club by choosing to read one or more of four books selected each month. You don’t even have to read from a particular month’s selection you can just go online and make comments about books and reading in general. October’s theme will be Spooky Titles.
To join the online book club, look for the Social Media links on our homepage at www.haliburtonlibrary.ca. Click on the “g” for Goodreads and it’ll take you right to the Online Book Club page. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, September 23-29, 2016.