What We’re Reading: Joanna Church
A blog post by Director of Collections and Exhibits Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.
A few people I know are having difficulty settling in to read anything these last few weeks (months, now), finding it hard to focus long enough to get into a book. I’m not having that trouble, thankfully, but I’m not diving into the high-tone literary novels I panic-borrowed before the brick-and-mortar library closed; nor am I taking this as an opportunity to work through the non-fiction books that have been waiting patiently in my TBR pile. While I’ve enjoyed a few e-book mysteries and such from the library, I’ve mostly been rereading old favorites from my shelves at home. Even if something bad happens in these stories – and sometimes it’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten that something bad happens – I already know that the ending will come out right, and I don’t have to think too hard or invest too much of my scattered energy on a convoluted plot or tormented characters.
This holiday weekend I reread The Inn at Lake Devine, by Elinor Lipman. This was the first book by Lipman that I read, on the recommendation of a former coworker, and it’s one of my favorites. The plot covers a lot of ground, but it hinges on a young woman whose Jewish family was refused admittance at the titular inn in the 1960s, and her attempts to convince the owners of the error of their ways. I hadn’t read it since coming to work at the JMM and it was fun to dive into Natalie Marx’s adventures now that I know so much more about Jewish American history; I also got a lot more of the Yiddish than I did 15 years ago. It was an excellent re-read choice.