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Get 'Em While They're Fresh: New Books for April

by Geoff Pettys 4/26/2013 1:24:00 PM

I’ll admit, I don’t always read the books that I spotlight in these blog posts. Oftentimes I just pick books that seem interesting to me in hopes that someone will check them out and find them enjoyable. I am currently reading this book, however, and I cannot express how much I love it. At 925 pages, 1Q84 is definitely long, but it’s a quick and wonderful read. It has everything I look for in fiction: dystopian futures, warriors of “good” fighting against oppressive forces of power, and just a touch of the surreal (not enough to make it Harry Potter, mind you, but it’s got more magic than, say, Wuthering Heights).  1Q84 is a difficult book to summarize, but if you’re looking for a world with two moons to escape into, this book is for you. Check it out for yourself at the Richardson Library, 895.635 M9723Q

In the 17th century, nostalgia was considered a sickness; a physical malady that plagued humankind. If this were still the case, I would have been diagnosed with a serious case years ago. I’m nostalgic for everything that once ever was – regardless of whether or not I actually experienced it. So when I read the description of Roberts Ehrgott’s new book, Mr. Wrigley's Ball Club: Chicago & the Cubs During the Jazz Age, I was immediately intrigued. Chicago in the Roaring Twenties, with gangsters and flappers? Yes, please. The pre-curse Cubs, during a time when they actually won pennants? I’m in. The book sounds fantastic! I would love to escape into the magical world of yesterday when life was so much easier, and had a much cooler soundtrack (at least as far as I can recall). As I write this, the Cubs are solidly in last place with an (embarrassing) record of 6 wins and 14 losses, and  they don’t even play jazz on NPR anymore. It may still be too early to say “next year’s our year,” but at least with this book, I’ll be able to “remember” the good ol’ days… Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club is available at the Richardson Library, 796.35764097 E335m2013

While we’re on the subject of “borrowed” nostalgia, why don’t we also explore what could be termed “imagined” nostalgia. I know very little about “steampunk,” other than I think it looks cool, but the more I explore this phenomenon, the more compelling it becomes. This seemingly incongruent amalgamation of fantasy/history and modern technology/ the Victorian Era has been embraced by a passionate fan base, with meticulous attention to the accuracy of the fantastical renderings. Obviously I’m confused, yet still intrigued, which is why I am grateful that I stumbled across Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey Through Steampunk into the Future of Technology. If you’re already into Steampunk, or just want to learn more, check out Vintage Tomorrows, available at the Richardson Library, 303.483 C3198v2013.

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