A fun book to borrow from the library

By Nora Vasconcelos

Library
Some weeks ago, while I was on vacation, I got into a library and started wandering around. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I was just enjoying the fulfilling experience of being there.

Of course I looked at the book titles, and even though I was tempted to read many of them (some of which I had already at home) I resisted it and kept on looking, until… of course I took one.

The funniest thing that has happened to me in a library, as the title of this particular one was The burglar in the library!!! It was so hilarious finding this title right in a library!!! I had to read it!!!!

So I borrowed the book, of course, and I have to say that it was kind of funny when I stated the title on the library log. I even had that funny urgency of checking if someone was looking over my shoulder… And I think someone was…

Anyways, I borrowed the book from the library and started reading it right away. I had never read anything by Lawrence Block, and I felt somehow bad as I love mystery books a lot. But, it’s never late to start, right?

The first two chapters passed like time itself, fast. Then I couldn’t just leave the book there, sitting in my room and I started to take it everywere I went… then the fun continued as everytime I encountered someone I knew, they asked me “What are you reading”…

I’ll never forget the expression on their faces when they read the title, expression followed (everysingle time) by the inevitable question, “but you’re returning that book to the library, aren’t you?”.

Suddenly I felt that I had become an accomplice of Bernie Rhodenbarr, the main character of this book, who, happens to enter a British Cotagge style hotel in the oustkirts of New York city, just to get a unique copy of a valuable book written and autographed by a famous author some time ago.

It was even funnier because right below the title was pasted a huge stamp that noted “this book belongs to the library”.

So, feeling myself like a character created by Block, I just smiled at the situation, enjoyed every single page of the book, and journeyed along the guests of the British-like cottage created by Block, as they were followed, room by room, by mysterious events that made them fear, doubt and bond to each other during a strange weekend that went way beyond the walls of the library, and that finally made Bernie Rhodenbarr realize that getting this book for his personal benefit wouldn’t be that best of all ideas.

As for me, it’s needless to say that I returned the book to the library right on time.

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I'm part of Post A Week 2014

My year in books

Text by Nora Vasconcelos

2013 books
If I had to choose a title for my year in books, I would say that it should be 2013: Back to the Classics.

And this is because this year I spend a good deal of time getting amazed (one more time and from an adult perspective), by some of the most well recognized books such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelly; From the Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon, by Jules Verne; Dracula, by Bram Stocker, and of course, my always faithfull companion, the Sherlock Holmes stories, by Conan Doyle.

I also discovered -thanks to my friends-, the magic of old stories such as Superman, particularly the old radio shows from the 40’s and 50’s, which were based on the original comic version of the superheros or on old fiction works from the 30’s.

My love for mystery stories remain fresh thanks to some of the books of the series Murder, She Wrote, by Donald Bain. My favorite one so far is Murder in Minor Key, and I like this one because it’s placed in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in all the world.

Another suspense book for this year was Inferno, by Dan Brown, and what I liked the most of this story was that it’s placed in Florence, city which I also like a lot.

However, my very favorite mystery/suspense book of this year it the one I’m currently reading that it’s call The burglar in the library, by Lawrence Block. The story happens in an old English style cottage not far from New York city, and then it’s developed by the author in a delightful way, leading the reader from one room to the other in order to solve the mysterious events that are ruining everybody’s weekend.

Not related to this genre, I came back to the Steven Milhausser stories. I started last year with Eisenheim The Illusionist, and I continued this year with the collection of short stories under the title The Barnum Museum. What I love about Milhausser it his attention to the details and the precision of the descriptions of every single part of the rooms where the stories happen, making of the surrounding key elements to the story the same as the characters.

My Christmas book for this year, is one that I’ve just bought. It’s title is The Bridge, by Karen Kingsbury. It’s a sweet love story gone all wrong combined with a stressful situation related to a library that is about to go under. What will it happened? It’s still for me to find out, but by the speed I’m turning the pages, I’m sure I’ll get all the answers before 2014 comes here.

As for Non-fiction books, I’m taking great delight with The Big Bands by George T. Simon, as it tell the story of this music movement that started to be very popular in the States, back then in the 1940’s.

Cooking books, another fiction novels and short stories were also part of my 2013 reading list and for all of them, each one of them, I’m truly thankful.

What will I be reading in 2014? The list it long, the pile is high, and the thrill of going through my new acquisitions is immensely big.

Until then, Happy readings to you all!

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