What the librarians are reading

This article is from the fall 2022 issue of Hearsay, the semi-annual newsletter of the Wheat Law Library.

Melissa DoebeleI am currently reading Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations by Craig Ferguson. Ferguson hosted “The Late Late Show” from 2005 to 2014. Since it was on at 11:30 at night, I really didn’t see much of it until I was able to watch episodes through the magic of YouTube. I love his very left field, oddball sense of humor. I listened to Ferguson read the audiobook of his first memoir American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. While the first book dealt with his childhood, career exploits, and reasons the native Scotsman decided to become an American citizen, Riding the Elephant covers broad topics like religion, politics, love and parenthood through the lens of personal essays and humorous anecdotes.

Blake Wilson is currently reading The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. While he has read Good Omens authored by Pratchett and The Sandman author Neil Gaiman, this is the first stand-alone work by Pratchett that Blake has read. With so many of his friends talking about the Discworld series, of which The Color of Magic is the first book, Blake decided to see what all the fuss was about. He remarked how it reminds him of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, which Blake enjoyed in his younger years. His advice for anyone looking for their next book adventure: “If you are at a loss for things to read, try finding a series to dive into. This way you know that there’s a book waiting for you.”

Laura Maloney is currently reading two books. The first is The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Laura chose it because it combines two of her favorite things–murder mysteries and ghost stories. The book jumps back and forth between the 1980s and the present. Calling it a “fun and easy read,” Laura commented that “It’s hard to go wrong with a murder mystery set in a haunted old motel.” She hopes to read more by the author in the future. The other book Laura is perusing is Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park by Lee H. Whittlesey. While not normally a non-fiction reader, this book was a recommendation from a podcast Laura enjoys called “National Park After Dark,” which covers crimes and other unusual happenings in national parks both in America as well as around the world. The book made Laura realize that national parks are dangerous places that deserve respect. She also mentioned that the best advice she’s read in the book so far is, “Don’t literally set your child on top of a wild buffalo for a photo opportunity.”

Pam Crawford is currently reading The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken. Though a work of fiction, the plot centers around real Ukrainian historical events, past and present. Pam commented that she is enjoying the connections made between modern-day families and their ancestors, going on to say, “Their traditions are strong and family ties cross the decades.” The author could not have anticipated that her debut work would be published while a war was happening in the country about which she was writing. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the book are going to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Chris Steadham is currently reading Academic Law Libraries within the Changing Landscape of Legal Education: A Primer for Deans and Provosts edited by Michelle M. Wu, Scott B. Pagel, and Joan S. Howland. Chris had read articles by some of the chapter authors in this book and his admiration for their work is one of the reasons he chose this volume. He also mentioned that the subject matter is relevant to what he does every day at the library. While Chris considers this book “mandatory reading” for law library directors, he has enjoyed the insights this text provides and is making notes for future reference regarding challenges he believes the library and its staff will encounter in the months and years ahead. Even though this book has proven very useful for his library work, Chris hopes to read something different next time. “A healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction, on a wide variety of topics, is necessary for everyone – especially law librarians.”


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