In the High Peaks

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Riches: A New Library (to Me) and a Must-Have Book for Literature Lovers

We've a bit of a snowstorm moving in for Friday and Saturday, but nothing like the blizzard that will strike New England. Our frigid temperatures have held on tight. I keep reminding complainers that this cold is a good thing--it's especially deadly to some of the destructive invasive insects that have moved north into our area due to the warming climate.

I'm so thrilled that I can post pictures again, thanks to Blogger fixing the problem.

My literary achievement of the week was the discovery that I can borrow up to 10 books at a time from the Lucy Scribner Library at Skidmore College. Who would've thunk? The Scribner Library is a treasure trove, an outstanding academic library that has been building a strong, solid collection since the 1800s. It's beautiful as well, with hundreds of comfortable upholstered chairs and luxurious places to study with natural light and views of the verdant campus out floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Sigh. And it's so much closer and more convenient than the State University of New York's University at Albany libraries. It's also just a ten-minute drive from where I'm teaching this semester. Not since we lived in Boston have I had such a stellar library to visit. They've been enormously helpful with research for my book project.

Calling all fiction lovers, writers, and teachers: My most cherished book find of the week was from my college library, from the "new book shelf." I can't wait to purchase a copy for my personal library because it will be indispensable to me as a reader, teacher of literature, and a wannabe novelist. (I have numerous novels and short stories locked up in my file cabinet, where they should stay aside from the times I gaze fondly upon them.) Shelly Lowenkopf's The Fiction Writer's Handbook:The Definitive Guide to McGuffins, Red Herrings, Shaggy Dogs, and Other Literary Revelations by a Master is a deceptive title. First of all, it is not a guide, as other books about writing are guides. It is an exhaustive, alphabetically organized work that lists, defines, and explains, in writerly terms, the multitudes of literary elements that are in common use today. It is published by WhiteWhiskerBooks (2011). It is available for the Nook and Kindle for just 99 cents, but I want a hardbound copy. I'd like to add a bit more, but Ken is telling me it's time to leave.


  1. Judith, I just saw this today.
    Did you know this?
    How very sad.

  2. The book sounds great Judith although I doubt I'll be able to but it for the equivalent on 99 cents in the UK