100, 100, 101…
Special to the Sun
Authors (or could it be their publishers?) seem to have a love affair with the number 100. There are nearly 400 books in the Nevada County Library system with the number 100 in the title. It’s round, authoritative and perhaps, even definitive. Ten times the perfect 10. Three 100-type books on the shelves of the Truckee Library have caught my eye recently. “100 Best Books for Children,” probably because I’m a children’s librarian, “The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived,” because that’s just so darn intriguing, and “100 One-Night Reads,” perhaps because it sounds infinitely better for you than a one-night stand.
“100 Best Books for Children” is written by veteran children’s book publisher Anita Silvey, who estimates that she has read more than 125,000 children’s books in her lifetime. What better person to develop the authoritative 100? She divides the world of children’s literature into six categories: Board books (birth to age 2), picture books (ages 2-8), books for beginning readers (ages 5-7), books for young readers (ages 7-9), books for middle readers (ages 8-11) and books for older readers (ages 11-12). Silvey explains the importance of giving children their literary heritage, because the books we hear or read when we are children stay with us all our lives. Not only does she provide the age range and plot of each book, Silvey also relates the fascinating, often hilarious story behind the story. I’m happy to report that can find each and every title she lists on the shelves of the Truckee Library!
“The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived” lists and tells how characters of fiction, myth, legends, television and movies have shaped our society, changed our behavior and set the course of history. In framing the argument of the influence of fictional characters on real events, the authors pose questions such as would Alexander the Great have tried to conquer the world without having heard the stories of the Trojan War? Would Napoleon have thought of invading Russia without the example of Alexander? Suppose Harriet Beecher Stowe had written Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1885 and triggered the Civil War when Grover Cleveland was president, instead of during the time of Lincoln? The guns and artillery would have been deadlier, and a larger portion of the population would have been killed. Would enough of the United States have survived to enter World War I and help defeat Germany? Intriguing questions, to say the least. While the first page of the book lists the 101 in rank order, the personalities are then arranged according to categories, such as literature, propaganda, movies, television, legends, monsters, stereotypes, crime, Americana, etc. Believe it or not, the top spot was awarded to an entity in the rather esoteric category of commerce: The Marlboro Man!
Finally, in these times of budgetary woe in the library system, it’s not a bad idea to consult a list of classic works to re-visit or read for the very first time. “100 One-Night Reads: A Book Lover’s Guide” is just such a book. The authors did not attempt to define “the hundred greatest books of all time,” but rather provide an annotated list of really good books to read for pleasure. The authors challenge the reader to ponder the idea that the difference between a well-educated person and one who is not is about 1,000 well-chosen books. Get thee to the library!
– Teri Andrews Rinne is the Children’s Services Librarian at the Truckee Library
Library hours (starting April 5, 2010)
Monday 10:30 a.m-6 p.m.
Tuesday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wednesday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday Toddler Time at 10:30 a.m. (2 to 3 year olds)
Babes in Bookland Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (6 months to 2 years)
Storytelling with Mrs. Fix on Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (3 years and up)
Pajama Time, First Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. (all ages) Note: Date change to April 15 for month of April
Bookshelf’s Dry Camp Book Club at the Library
Meets monthly at the Library. Participants at the book group meeting will receive a coupon for 15 percent off a one-time book purchase at the Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks. Everyone is welcome.
Now on display at the library
Portraits by Truckee artist Raphael Jolly
Above the Fireplace: Sand Harbor in oils by Linda D’Toole