By Joydeep Roy Bhattacharya
The Barnes and Noble website calls The Watch a "heartbreaking and haunting novel" and I could find no better adjectives to convey the quiet, and then not so quiet, intensity of the story. It takes place at a lonely and isolated base in Kandahar. After a battle, a woman with no feet shows up, pushing herself along in a cart by her hands and stops outside the base demanding the body of her brother so she can bury him. She ultimately becomes a pivotal force as the soldiers and those in charge become annoyed, then confused, then angered by her presence and her persistence. First they think she is a spy; or maybe she is what she says she is; or maybe she is hiding a bomb. The inmates of this base, for they are imprisoned in their fort, end up stymied by what to do and not just because her brother's body is being held to be shipped out and displayed on television. The voices of the different soldiers as they confront this anomaly, as their nerves and consciences get more provoked, offer a disturbing slice of the need to become less humane in order to survive as a soldier.
For the younger set, we have Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.
This fantasy, aimed at the tween age group, written by one of the actors on the television show Glee, was really enjoyable. Twins Alex and Conner Bailey are struggling with big changes in their lives; their father died unexpectedly and while their mother struggles to make ends meet, they are coping with their grief. Additionally, Conner is a good student and Alex is not- and the contrast, in the beginning of the story is a perfect set up for how they both grow in new ways further on in the plot. In a kick off familiar to most, the children "fall into" fairy land through the pages of a story book of fairy tales. It was a book handed down from their grandmother to their father, who used to read it to Alex and Conner.
The children travel through the world of fairy tales and meet all the classic characters. But their lives in Fairyland are very different than the stories we all know; and Alex and Conner are faced with the seemingly impossible task of getting back home. They have to go on a quest to various parts of Fairy Land to acquire the tokens they need to escape.
Their adventures help them work as a team, despite having different strengths-and the conclusion of the story will be surprising for the youthful audience.
Also for younger readers, we have an excellent series Outdoor Adventures which contains seven books about various outdoor sports such as canoeing, hiking, hunting and fishing. Well written and containing chapters on necessary skills, safety, environmental concerns and joy of the sport, these fill a much needed gap on our sports bookshelf.
For young adults, we have a selection of interesting and informative non-fiction: Budgeting Smarts , Electric Cars, Manga, and a biography of Lady Gaga. On the fiction shelves, find The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough.
Search for you ancestors at the library. They'll be waiting for you on Thursday, January 3rd at 7:00 pm during our Genealogy Club.
The Friends of the Worthington Library will again team up with the Worthington Historical Society for a winter Writers Read. This one will be held on Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 at the Blackburn Inn. Don't miss it: these are fantastic!
This month's Book Club is reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. We will be discussing it on Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm.
Remember that the library will be closed on January 1, 2013. We'll see you on Thursday! Have safe and happy new year!