Sunday, July 08, 2007

Make Mine a Pulitzer

As a librarian, it is important to keep reading. Sounds silly to have to write that, but a lot of people in my profession do not keep reading. They settle into their professional magazines or read just their favorite authors and call it, ENOUGH.

But, what if said librarian is cornered by a patron that wants to discuss books? EGADs!

Did you know, in our area, librarians are hiring more managers than actual certified librarians. As a matter of fact, when I started working as a librarian I was hired with a BS in aerospace. I went back to school in the fall of 2002 to get that coveted Masters in Library and Information Science; otherwise, I would have been just another manager, too.

I have a little story that illustrates the need to keep reading. One of my librarian friends was forcibly removed from her beloved job. The old toss the fat money maker and replace with a cheaper younger version scenario, was this person's fate. Well, the younger version wasn't a reader, um, at all.

The local book club found out by asking two little questions. "Did you enjoy this month's book?"

"No ma'am. Sorry. I didn't have time to read it."

"Okay, tell us what was the last book you read."

She was fishing for types of books their new librarian might enjoy, when he replied, "Um, I haven't read anything lately, but I did listen to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil a couple of years ago."

How embarrassing for this young man, to lose all credibility and in front of key library users in the community.

I don't want to ever be that Yahoo! This is why I join challenges. Yes, I read the pro-mags and favorite authors, too, but challenges keep me reading different books. Books I know I will enjoy, but just haven't read yet, and isn't that the key-keep reading.

This is a list of Pulitzer Prize Winners I haven't read yet, but will be reading in the next 12 months for the Book Awards Reading Challenge.

2006 - March - Geraldine Brooks
2005 - Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
2004 - The Known World
- Edward P. Jones
2003 - Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
- Michael Chabon
1995 - The Stone Diaries
- Carol Shields
1990 - The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love - Oscar Hijuelos
1988 - Beloved - Toni Morrison
1987 - A Summons to Memphis
- Peter Taylor
1986 - Lonesome Dove
- Larry McMurtry
1983 - The Color Purple
- Alice Walker
1980 - The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1958 - A Death in the Family - James Agee
1952 - The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1947 - All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
1942 - In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
1939 - The Yearling - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1932 - The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
1928 - The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder
1925 - So Big - Edna Ferber