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What We’re Reading

Government Documents Librarian Scott Schaffer shares some of his recent favorites from the Bailey/Howe book collection.

True Believers book cover

True believers : the tragic inner life of sports fans by Joe Queenan
Why do we root for incredibly inept teams? Why do we pass up the finer things in life to witness our favorite squad fall to yet another ignominious defeat? Joe Queenan attempts to answer these questions in this hilarious work. Queenan grew up in Philadelphia home to some of the most wretched franchises in the history of sports. He documents his unfailing loyalty to the Phillies, Eagles, Seventy-Sixers, and Flyers. Front runners, miscreants, true believers, and other bizarre manifestations of the sports fan are considered and analyzed. Queenan even discusses his attempt at psychotherapy to “cure” himself of his awful condition. This a great book for anyone with a modicum of interest in sports.

A Long Way Down book cover

A long way down by Nick Hornby
A TV talk show host’s life is ruined by his affair with a teenager. A 51 year old mother spends all her time caring for her disable son. A musician upset over the breakup of his band and a smart mouthed young woman with a host of issues. They all attempt to end their lives. This probably sounds dark and depressing. But it’s not in the world of Nick Hornby. The story of these four disconsolate and mismatched London characters unfolds with humor and unexpected twists and turns. I highly recommend this tale of a suicidal group of individuals who realize that in some odd sense they need each other.

A Sunburned Country book cover

In a sunburned country by Bill Bryson
Do you want to go to Australia but you don’t have the money and/or time? Reading this book by Bill Bryson is the next best thing. Bryson, a self-professed Australophile, tells us all about the country’s wonderful cities, the Great Barrier reef, and Ayer’s Rock. In often hilarious fashion he imparts us with stories of the many deadly Aussie animals and the harsh climate and landscape covering the majority of the continent. He also provides incredible historical tidbits. Underlying the entire text is the sense of how little most of us know about this extraordinary and eccentric place.


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