Homage to the Bookmobile

Note: This review was originally posted at my old blog in November, 2011.

The Night Bookmobile

I haven’t given much thought to graphic novels. I tried, I really, really TRIED to read Persepolis, but couldn’t stay the course. The graphics got in the way. They were not merely distracting, but actually annoying. It was that way with any graphic novel I picked up. Then I stumbled up The Night Bookmobile. The graphics made sense. They weren’t jarring. The added a special “something” to a great story.

As you know I’m a librarian, but aside from a few months here and there I’ve never worked in a public library. If I didn’t have to drive it, I would LOVE to work in a mobile library–a bookmobile. I could spend days telling you all why this is, but I’ll stick to reviewing this marvelous little book for now.

The Night Bookmobile, tells the story of an avid reader who, in at a bad moment in her life, stumbles upon the Night Bookmobile and it’s fabulous collection. The librarian is inspiring, too! (I love a good strong hero!) But, here’s where this leaves the realm of picture books and flings itself head-first into the darker world of graphic novels for grown-up: her wish to work in Harry Potter-ish Night Bookmobile requires a sinister step…….Too tell more would spoil it for you all! And, I KNOW, you will go out and read this incredible little story.

A classic tale of love, independence, dependence, loss and gain.

The Night Bookmobile, by Audrey Niffenegger


Her Maj Reads

Note: This post was originally posted at my old blog in November 2010.

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl,
but she doesn’t have a lot to say
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
but she changes from day to dayI want to tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a belly full of wine
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
Someday I’m going to make her mine, oh yeah,
Someday I’m going to make her mine.
(“Her Majesty” Lennon/McCartney)

As a long-time royal watcher I’ve long wondered HOW they do it–how do they stand the tedium and boredom of their official lives? How many times can you pretend to be interested in how far someone has come to see “One”??? How much inane small talk can you make before you just plain SCREAM?? I understand the fondness for deer-stalking, polo, competitive carriage driving, 3-day eventing, etc, much better when you think about the sheer mind-numbing boredom of the royal round. Yes, they ARE well housed and well paid, by good-grief, would you be able to stand it–having your life mapped out to the minute years in advance?? I couldn’t. Neither, it seems, could author Alan Bennet who hands us a delightful little story of Queen Elizabeth, in her eighties, becoming a reader and learning that there is, in fact, another dimension to life than finding out just how far someone has traveled to attend today’s royal “do.”

This intriguing little story tells us of Her Majesty’s accidental encounter with a library Bookmobile and the “havoc” it soon wrecks in the well-timed life her Equerries, Private Secretaries and other flunkies have planned for her. Even her ever-grumpy hubby Philip is affected by it. Best of all we see the rise of Norman, a pot-washer from the Buck House kitchen that her Majesty meets in the Bookmobile. The wonderful thoughts that come to H.M. from her reading make this book such a gem on their own, but the wicked humor she uses to twit the tragically named “Sir Kevin” makes me laugh out loud.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

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