Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Library Love - The Dust Bowl in photographs and then some

Most everyone has seen this photo taken by Dorothea Lange in the thirties. 

For those of you who haven't heard me gush about our new library, well...it's just the best thing ever.  The selection is like a bookstore and I wander the shelves finding the most interesting things.
This past week, I checked out "The Dust Bowl through the lens: how photography revealed and helped remedy a national disaster," by Martin Sandler.  Lots of Dorothea Lange photographs are included as she was part of the WPA work at the time.  The book is a wonderful combination of visual history with a text that is just as interesting and readable.  Yes, I knew about the hard times.  Yes, I knew it had an incredible impact on those who survived.  But this book put such an amazing light on it and showed the power of the photo in terms of making others aware of the issues.  Issues from ploughing up all the grass, leaving nothing but dust, to families having to make the decision to pull out of their homesteads or try to stick it out when they'd just sold the tires off of their car for food.

I know things are tough right now for so many people and we are calling this The Great Recession.  But look at the photos in this book.  It will put it all in perspective, I think.
And for some lighter reading, I just turned the last page on Rhys Bowen's first book of "Her Royal Spyness" series.  What fun!  It's 1932 and Lady Georgiana is about 28th or so in line to inherit the thrown but also penniless.  She finds a dead body in her bathtub and sleuths to find the murderer before he murders her as well.  If you like historical cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy this one. 
Finally, I'm starting a Kate Morton book, "The Distant Hours".  Here's the blurb:

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoonwith the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.  Evacuated from London as a thirteen year old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, andtaken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family: Juniper, her twin sisters and their father, Raymond,author of the 1918 children’s classic The True History of the Mud Man. 

It was a holiday weekend with MLK day yesterday, and the extra day was just enough for me to pore over my books.  But tomorrow it's back to work and just maybe I'll be able to steal a moment to read a chapter each night.  I'm not hopeful but we'll see!

If you're reading something wonderful that I need to know about, please chime in.  And if you're reading something dreadful and would like to warn me, by all means...chime in-:)


Margaret said...

I've read Rhys Bowen and need to get back to her again. (I've read her other two series though) That last book sounds very interesting, but I have little time to read these days. :(

Isabel said...

The Dust Bowl has some amazing stories in picture and word, but it's SO sad. Haven't looked at it in awhile. These days, I'm much more inclined to settle in with Her Royal Spyness!

Arlene said...

Margaret, you should get the Rhys Bowen book. While you don't have a lot of time to read, given all that is going on with Mr. Stargazer, it would be a fun book to read and one you could put down when you needed to. I read her Molly Murphy series and loved it.

Isabel, I know what you mean about ditching Dust Bowl reading. SOOOO depressing but I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Go get Her Royal Spyness!