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Here Lies the Librarian: 07/27/10

cover art

Last summer when I was newly laid off I needed some easy to read books to lose myself in. Richard Peck fit the bill perfectly. I chose Here Lies the Librarian because I loved both the cover and the title.

Peewee and Jake are siblings who run an auto repair shop. It's 1914 so auto repair is still a relatively rare skill to have. The town has been without a library since the old librarian was found dead amongst her beloved books. Now that's all going to change after Peewee is befriended by a carload of library students.

Here Lies the Librarian is one of those rare books that hit me with a confluence of elements seemingly at odds with each other but completely coherent with my own life. That connection took me from liking the book to loving the book.

Now I'm no mechanic but I grew up amongst classic cars including some the same vintage as in this book. I can remember my father fixing them, talking about them with other aficionados and attending car shows with him. So I could feel, smell, taste and hear Peewee's obsession with cars.

Secondly just before losing my job I had decided to apply to the MLIS program at San Jose State. I've loved books most of my life and back in 1997 I half considered going for the MLIS then but I was feeling burned out and needed a break from higher education. While I had been working on my masters in Critical Studies (that's UCLA speak for film theory) I had been working at one of UCLA's libraries and loved my job. After ten years of being a web designer I'm feeling the need for a career change. Library science has changed and a lot of my skills will carry over but I  need to the MLIS to follow this new calling.

Anyway, the point is, Here Lies the Librarian has a strange mixture of old cars and library science. It's just so me, I couldn't help but fall in love with the book.

Comments (10)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, July, 28, 2010 at 02:54:29


You were laid off? So were we in 2004. More than anything, I wanted to be a librarian. And that book sounds like something I would read. I'm gonna have to get a longer piece of paper to keep up with my TBR list...thanks for info!

Comment #2: Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:04:25


I was laid off at the end of July 2009. I've been working freelance and odd jobs on and off since then but there just aren't enough tech jobs right now in California. That's why I'm going back to school for an MLIS. There are library tech jobs but they require the extra degree.

Comment #3: Wednesday, July, 28, 2010 at 03:17:40


Ooooo. This one sounds intriguing. I just now placed a hold request for it.

Comment #4: Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:19:31


I hope you enjoy it! Happy reading.

Comment #5: Wednesday, July, 28, 2010 at 04:32:57

Sassy Brit

Sounds like an ideal match your you, as someone who grew up amongst classical cars and working as a librarian!

Thanks for sharing.

Sorry to hear you lost your job though.

Comment #6: Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:21:43


The big job loss was exactly a year ago. The census work is by its nature temporary. I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did.

Comment #7: Wednesday, July, 28, 2010 at 07:49:56


What a curious, fun-sounding book! I'd never think to juxtapose mechanic work with librarianship in a book.

Comment #8: Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:33:47


Well it made sense to me given my childhood and current situation. Regardless of that sort of connection, it's still a well written and delightful book.

Comment #9: Wednesday, July, 28, 2010 at 10:43:56

Or So I Read

Definitely going to check this book out. Thanks for posting.

Very nice to meet you. Great blog!
Thanks for stopping by mine.

:) Melissa

Comment #10: Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:36:04


You're welcome. Happy reading.

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