I mentioned a little over a week ago that I was beginning a new series on libraries of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and I am this is the second entry in that series. My piece will feature the beautiful Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
Linderman Library is the humanities library, and it is my favorite place on campus. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature at Lehigh University, and this extraordinary abode of books is a comforting and inspiring place to work. I have spent many hours doing research and writing in this safe haven for book people.
Linderman Library has many places to work, including a long reading room, which feels like something out of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books, many nooks with desks, and one of the best features of the library–the rotunda. Several levels of books fill the outside circle, and a winding metal staircase goes from the first to the third floor.
One of the most beautiful features that is often missed is the dome that caps the rotunda. It is one of striking beauty, and made of stained glass. If you have the opportunity to visit Lehigh University, you should go to Linderman Library, visit the rotunda, and look up at the dome!
I am fortunate to live in an area with so many libraries, and I was doubly fortunate to attend a University with a humanities library that is not only filled with thousands of volumes of books and journals, but also it is beautiful. The very nature of its architecture encourages students to study in its comfortable environment.
I will continue this series on libraries and bookstores in the Lehigh Valley, PA soon.
I will also shortly begin a series on bookstores in the Lehigh Valley, PA.
I simply wanted to offer a thank you to all the writers and creative people out there for your work! Your creations speak to the hopes, dreams, fears, lives, experiences, and imagination of humanity. You make the world a much better place, and I, for one, appreciate what you do.
I began this series several years ago, but I must have forgotten about it. Now, however, I intend to continue and share the wonderful libraries that exist with this section of Eastern Pennsylvania.
The Easton Public Library, located in the small city of Easton, PA, is a place that I loved as a youngster. I have been an avid reader since I was a small child, and this wonderful place gave me much solace and pleasure. When I was very small, we went to a branch library on South Side, Easton, and when I hit young teen years, I would walk the couple of miles to go to the library. It was worth every step.
Easton has about 25,000-27,000 people and is located on the banks of both the Delaware and the Lehigh Rivers, and it is the smallest of the cities that make up the majority of the Lehigh Valley, PA. It is in this small urban area that the Easton Public Library sits and serves a wide group of readers.
After many years, I recently visited this library with a friend who was doing research, and I was filled with both nostalgia and joy upon entering. It was hard to believe that I had not been into this place, where I had visited almost weekly for several years. I loved the visit, and while I do not know if You Can’t Go Home Again as suggested in the book by Thomas Wolfe, but I do know that you can return to libraries that you have loved!
I want to thank Sharon Gothard, a wonderful librarian, for her help with these images of the library, including pictures from both the present and the past.
Thank you for joining me in this journey to a place that was deeply important to me as a young person. I will continue the series soon with another library from this area.
I thought it would be interesting to do a book promotion party by giving not only the name of your book and what it is about but also a quotation from your book, from anywhere in the text.
I offer the following from Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1 by Charles F. French, which is as much a love story as it is a horror novel:
“As he did every morning, Roosevelt woke up and reached for Sarah, only to be dismayed when he realized she wasn’t there, that she was, indeed, gone, and he would have to make it through another day without her. That was the worst part of every day, having to face another waking period without Sarah” (18).
So, if you would like to join the party and promote your book, please offer a quotation!
Have fun, promote your book, and please share this post.
I have several Christmas movies that carry great meaning to me and that I have loved over many years. I have written about them before in this blog, and I will continue to do so. Now, however, I want to make a new entry into my list of favorite Christmas movies.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is an extraordinary film that was released several years ago. It is a wonderful movie that explores the creative process of Charles Dickens as he wrote the classic novel, A Christmas Carol. The director is Bharat Nalluri, and this work is marvelous! We get a direct entrance into Dickens’ mind as he struggles with his writing. His characters appear and talk to him, which is an excellent touch.
The film is based on the book by Les Standiford, and the stars are Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, and Jonathan Pryce. The entire cast, without exception, give extraordinary performances. Christopher Plummer as Scrooge is especially brilliant. Dan Stevens should be recognized as one of the finest actors today.
This film delivers the message of Dickens’ masterpiece, that humanity should be the business of everyone, that money should not be the focus of our lives, and that we should all try to help each other. It will capture your heart and soul, and it is a film I recommend completely! On a system of 5 stars, I give it five!
Please, do yourself a favor, and watch this movie!
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
Jorge Luis Borges
“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
“Books are the food and drink for the human soul.”
“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”(62)
“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” (108)
“There are some upon this earth of yours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.” (92)
“‘God bless us every one!’ said Tiny Tim, the last of all.” (97)
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens: The Christmas Books Volume I.
I was thinking recently of a variety of aspects of books that I love, including plot, theme, and character. As I was considering these elements, I realized that some books have extraordinary sentences. These lines might not encapsulate the entirety of those books, but they are beautiful and powerful.
I will offer two such quotations:
The first is the closing sentence from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, one of the most important novels ever written:
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known” (307).
The second offering is from A Soldier Of The Great War by Mark Helprin. This novel is, in my not too modest opinion, one of the absolute best novels ever written. With this book, Helprin takes his place among the pantheon of literary giants such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Cervantes, and Tolstoy.
“As a way to arrive at the truth, exactitude and methodology are, in the end, far inferior to vision and apotheosis” (30)
So, now I ask everyone who reads this: what are some of the most beautiful and important sentences you have read in books?
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Wordworth Classics. 1993.
Helprin, Mark. A Soldier Of The Great War. Perennial. 2001.
November is coming to an end, and some of you have been doing NaNoWriMo, and others have continued with a somewhat less frenzied pace.
I am one of the people who tries to write on a regular basis and avoids binge writing. I recently finished a first draft of my latest horror novel, so I have begun a first draft of another book–I never run out of ideas! Soon, I will also work on revising a previous draft of a historical fiction/romance novel.
By the way, if you are wondering how I manage to do this, check out my book Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft — how’s that for a bit of shameless self-promotion?!