Bookmark This! #8

With the start of spring, the eighth edition of Bookmark This! brings you a new set of reading recommendations to consider as you sit outside on a park bench, lunch at a sidewalk café, or dawdle in the break room of your office.  In this issue, our contributors take us through an interactive children’s book, the life of E. B. White, an illustrated life in Harlem during the 1950s, a humorous look at the apocalypse, and tragic relationships before World War I.


Our first recommendation comes from Christine Romero, Director of Retail Services for the Library Foundation, who grew up on a farm in Oregon where she raised goats and pigs.  Now in her spare time, she loves to knit, sew and bake with her four year old daughter.

Christine recommends Press Here by Herve Tullet.

“This very creative and interactive book is a fun read!  It was recommended by one of the children’s librarians and as I read it to my daughter, Greta, I instantly knew why. It all starts with the first page’s simple command to ‘Press here and then before you know it, you are turning the book on its side, tilting it to the left, then to the right, shaking it really hard and even blowing on the pages at one point. No matter how many times you are asked to read this book to your kids, you will have fun.”


Patricia Olson has been a supporter of the Library Foundation since 2005.  A graduate of Adelphi University in New York, she had a long career in advertising as a copywriter/commercial film producer.  In 1972, she moved to California and became an instrument-rated pilot, earned a black belt in judo, worked in travel and then at ICM in the Film Production Department.  She is now retired, happily married and spends her spare time writing poetry and children’s stories.

Patricia recommends The Story of Charlotte’s Web by Michael Sims.

“This book is not a fairytale for children, but rather a vivid, often humorous biography of E. B. White, the highly regarded writer and author of children’s books. Michael Sims follows E. B. White from his childhood days growing up on a farm in Mount Vernon, New York to his maturity as a prominent writer for The New Yorker under the auspices of Harold Ross. He was a shy boy who had always related to animals better than to people. White clings to his farm background, his relationship with animals and uses his writing skills to create one of the most loved children’s tales, Charlotte’s Web. With copies of White’s actual sketches and quotations from his letters, Sims allows us to follow White’s creation of Charlotte, the spider, Wilbur the pig, and all the creatures in that wonderful barn. Michael Sims is E. B. White’s voice, his conscience and his admirer. The Story of Charlotte’s Web is a delightful read.”


Sarah Charleton is the Cultural Programs Coordinator for the Library Foundation.  She collects scarves of all kinds and hopes to join the Peace Corps in the next few years.

Sarah recommends The Sweet Flypaper of Life by Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes.

“I came across Roy DeCarava’s photography by complete accident in college, and loved that his photos seemed so casual but also very intimate at the same time. I learned that Langston Hughes wrote the story for this book around DeCarava’s Black and White photos of life in Harlem during the 1950’s. The book is out of print and hard to find, so I was very excited when I finally found it at the Central Library. The story is tremendously sweet and simple – a woman tells you all about her family in a way that feels like you’re having a casual conversation with a friend. Her kids and grandchildren are her whole world. The title refers to one of the last lines in the book, which has stuck with me for years, ‘I done got my feet suck in the sweet flypaper of life—and I’ll be dogged if I want to get loose.’”


Ruth Simon is a long-time stalwart member of the Library Foundation and the Bibliophiles, a donor society that recognizes the generosity of individuals who, during their lifetimes, include the Library Foundation in their estate plans.  An avid reader and book collector, she reserves a very special place in her heart for libraries.

Ruth recommends The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford.

The Good Soldier is one of the finest novels of the 20th century, considered by the author to be his best. Some of you may eventually see the BBC miniseries adaptation of Parade’s End, a tetralogy written by Ford. Not only is this book more than four times shorter, it is quite different in subject matter and style.  Set in the early years of the 20th century, it is a spare, elegant novel, with only five important characters. It is a tale of seduction, betrayal and deep loyalty. The book has a fascinating formal structure whose layers peel like an onion. As you read, those layers are revealed by an amazingly unreliable narrator.  While he tells much one may consider foolish or naïve, at the end the story is a tragedy.  The book is short; perhaps you, like me, will want to start over again as soon as you finish reading.”


Lindsey Vaniman loves working on The Library Store on Wheels.  When not selling books and gifts, she is a costume designer.  She also loves to experiment with baking recipes, making test subjects of her co-workers.

Lindsey recommends Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

“I never thought I would enjoy a book about the apocalypse so much, but Good Omens keeps me laughing at every page. It begins with the birth of the Antichrist, in some strange circumstances (of course), where the child becomes lost to his ‘keepers’. An earthbound angel and demon team up in an unlikely friendship to find the child and conspire against heaven and hell to save the earth they have come to love since the beginning of time itself. Meanwhile strange things begin to happen as the Antichrist begins to discover his powers and the childhood dreams of a gifted boy become reality. Hilarity ensues. This book is half fantasy and half tour guide as the reader explores the neighborhoods and burrows of England. If the world ever does come to an end, I hope that it goes in a manner similar to this story, because at least we’d go out laughing.”


These books – and more than six million others in print, audio and digital formats – are available through the Central Library, 72 branches and

If you would like to provide a reading recommendation for an upcoming issue of Bookmark This!, contact Erin Sapinoso at [email protected], and let us know what you think about these or other books by posting your comments below.

Happy reading, and stay tuned for the next issue!

–        Posted by Erin Sapinoso

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