Sunset Park – It’s What We’re Reading

October 2011

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

Sunset Park

Paul Auster
Paul Auster’s “Sunset Park” is a heartfelt and human look at what it’s like to get by and maintain relationships in our current economic times. The story is set during the 2008 economic crisis, and is told from many different points of view, but centers around a young man named Miles Heller. Miles “trashes out” foreclosed homes in Florida and spends most of the rest of his time with his girlfriend, Pilar. But when sudden and dramatically difficult circumstances force him to temporarily leave Pilar and return home to New York City, he must confront decades-old demons that both shaped and darkened his life ever since he was a teenager. Miles moves into an abandoned house in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park where he squats with an old friend and two other roommates, all struggling to get by. He must decide whether to make amends with his estranged parents and re-enter the life he left in New York so long ago, or whether it’s better to deny his past. “Sunset Park” is a tale of love, loss, and identity, beautifully told.

This novel can be found in the Popular Reading collection on the first floor of the Library.

Banned Books Week Display 9/24-10/1

Banned Books Week September 24-October 1, 2011

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., in Texas v. Johnson .

Every year, for one week in September, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates the freedom to read by highlighting the past year’s challenged and banned books. During Banned Books Week, ALA hopes to bring attention to the importance of intellectual freedom and the First Amendment. For the month of September, the Francis A. Drexel Library will showcase some of the banned and challenged books on ALA’s lists.

A challenged book is described as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group” while a banned book is the removal of such materials from a collection or curriculum. (About Banned & Challenged Books) Books are most often challenged because their contents are considered sexually explicit, have offensive language, or unsuited to any age group. While the challenges may be well-meaning, demanding libraries to censor constitutionally protected speech is a violation of the First Amendment.

Please take a look at the display and feel free to check out a banned book!

For more information, please see American Library Association’s website on banned and challenged books.

Rules of Civility – It’s What We’re Reading

September 2011

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

Amor Towles
Centered around Katey Kontent, a transplant from small town to midtown, this atmospheric novel details life among the upper echelons of Manhattan society in the 1930’s.  Towles’ crisp prose captures that unique time between the Great Depression and World War II in one of the world’s most vibrant cities and has been called reminiscent of Fitzgerald and Capote but with a pitch all its own.  Combining history, social commentary, a doomed love story and a complicated gal pal relationship, Rules of Civility is engaging from beginning to end.