If you have visited the library’s curbside service, you have probably noticed the carts of free books and music CDs.  You may be wondering, “What’s happening?”  The answer is:  we are improving our collection.  We are always “weeding” items and purchasing new ones.

The music CDs were not a high-demand item, many were in poor condition, and we needed the space for audiobook CDs, which are very popular.

I have been going through the library’s fiction collection, pulling items that haven’t circulated in four or more years or are in poor condition.  In addition, I have been discarding duplicate copies of popular authors like David Baldacci, John Grisham, Elin Hilderbrand, Carl Hiaasen, and Jonathan Kellerman. We don’t need to keep more than one copy of those authors’ older books, as there are plenty in the Minerva system.  And we need to make room for new books!  It is all part of managing a collection and making it the best that it can be.  We want our collection to reflect the needs and interests of our community.  So, in keeping with that philosophy, here are just a few of the new copies I have purchased recently:

Spoonhandle (1946) by Ruth Moore.  Moore was born on Gott’s Island and wrote fiction set in Maine.  Her books continue to resonate today.  In Spoonhandle, the residents of a small Maine fishing village are divided when people “from away” threaten their way of life.

Arundel  (1929) by Kenneth Roberts. This is the classic novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning Maine novelist Kenneth Roberts, featuring characters from the town of Arundel. This novel follows a young man as he joins Benedict Arnold in his march to Quebec during the American Revolution.

Kindred (1979) by Octavia E. Butler.  A classic work, often categorized as science fiction or fantasy. The book is the first-person account of a young African-American woman writer, Dana, who finds herself being shunted in time between her Los Angeles, California home in 1976 and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation.

The Power of One (1989) by Bryce Courtenay. In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. This book is frequently assigned reading for Brunswick high school students.

There will also be fresh copies of books by Maine authors Elisabeth Ogilvie and Mary Ellen Chase, science fiction classics Dune by Frank Herbert and Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I have also ordered new editions of popular books like The World According to Garp by John Irving, Case Histories by Kate Atkinson and At Home in Mitford, the first in the beloved Mitford series by Jan Karon.  It is always gratifying to replace a book that has circulated 85 times!

As I go through our collection, I have discovered some wonderful “hidden gems” – here are a few of my discoveries:

Books set in Maine:  Cranberry Cove Stories (1915) by Mrs. Chetwood Smith. This is a book of heartwarming stories, set in a small Maine fishing village.

A Summer’s Tale (1949) by Gerald Warner Brace. This is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Tempest¸ set on a Maine island.

Some other gems:

High Sierra (1940) by W. R. Burnett. In California’s High Sierra Mountains, a bank robber on the lam with his mother, his associates and the loot, meet a crippled, beautiful young woman. He must take a terrible choice. Humphrey Bogart starred in the famous movie.

My Uncle Silas (1939) by H. E. Bates.  Light-hearted stories set in the English Midlands, with illustrations by Edward Ardizzone.

When you come back to the library, we hope you will have fun browsing in the collection!  In the meantime, please contact us for any requests or recommendations. 725-5242.