This week’s issue roams rather far afield in time, location, and interest. From a distinctive bookmark to a distressingly excellent novel, and from a surprising encounter to a cultural prodigy our contributors explore the world around us. We hope you enjoy it.
Public libraries almost always play a large role in the lives of passionate readers. But if it hadn’t been for one man they might not have existed. A unique bookmark specially made to commemorate one library’s opening is the one of Lauren Roberts’s favorites and the focus in The Key to a Library.
As she digs into her past for this column, Gillian Polack explores the experience she had of meeting author Chaim Potok, who had been merely a favorite author when she met him but who, when they parted, had become much more in The Many Shades of Jewish Culture.
Fiction fulfills many roles, some forgettable, some memorable, a very few life-changing. For David Mitchell, his most recent novel proved to be one of those moments that provided “a roller coaster ride of gratuitous emotion” and left such a powerful impact it may well be his best book of the year as he shares in Hell is Murky.
What happens when a talented athlete comes of age too early and finds too much success? Pete Croatto explores that question in a biography that attempts to decipher and interpret the fame of LeBron James, but he isn’t actually sure if the book is “a genuine attempt to bond with the public or a savvy stroke in . . . [his attempt to be] an everyman” in Too Much Too Soon.
Getting rid of unwanted books is not hard. It can be done through donations to thrift stores and nonprofits’ book sales, through garage sales and online exchange sites, and more. Lauren Roberts has used them all, but has found one resource (aside from friends) that ensures books chosen homes in The Cycle of Books.