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Just Books.

Just Books.

November 29, 2021

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

As you know, I have been highlighting recent graduates–one more left to come this season, and I hope to get it out to you before Christmas.  For now, I want to share some of the books I have been reading.

As some of you know, when I was on chemo I spent a lot of time reading about elephants, but I have not read another elephant book until recently. Alexandra Fuller’s book of growing up in the wilds of Africa pulled me back.  The following is a previous WinkWorld, in which I write about her books. From running free as a child in Africa, she now lives in a yurt in Wyoming.

Books Which I Am Reading Now

Lawrence Anthony

If you are not really a reader, it is only that you have not yet bumped into the right book.  This could just be the book which captures you.

Francoise Malby-Anthony

Ranchers often have baby calves in their kitchen in the cold spring storms, but I have never had an elephant in my kitchen.














Thula Thula

If you want to watch more about these two authors, just Google  Thula Thula, their home in Africa.   Start with, but you will find many links on the web.

Cindy Moss

This book captues the research of Cindy Moss.  Each chapter begins with a compelling story, which is then followed by the theory behind the story.

Camino de Santiago

From the elephant books, I dove right into books about The Camino de Santiago. I remember hearing of this in 1961 from my first Spanish teacher, Mrs. Johnson at Mobridge High School.  Today, I am not sure if I really want to walk 500 miles. One of my favorite books on this topic is posted below.








Historical Novels about Libraries

From Camino I went into historical novels which are grounded in a true story of one person (or a group) and one library. Oh, how I love this New York City Public Library; I have been lucky enough to visit it twice.
















In this page-turning novel of two women (one 1913 and the other 1993), we learn some of the secrets of this famed NYC library, as we see the power of love of literature and of family.  The link below is a previous WinkWorld, in which I wrote about the NYC Public Library.

The Power of Story Chapter Seven

Next, I found myself reading histories of the Spanish Civil War, WW1, and WW2.  In these historical novels, I met people (and often one solitary woman) fighting to save books. 

For example, The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar is a true story of a woman fighting the Nazis to save the library in this northern coastal town in France. I had no idea of this little town which is eventually overrun and burned.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray is a true story of Bella da Costa Greene, who was born Belle Marion Greener, to a Black family in the late 1800’s.  In order to succeed, she lived her life as a White.  And, succeed, she did!  She became the personal librarian to JP Morgan, and created his treasury of early printing press (1500’s) books and works of art.  I had no idea about his private library, which she eventually succeeded in opening to the public.  In the late 1800’s, Blacks had hope in the promise of freedom and peace, but by the early 1900’s their hope began to fade.  A very compelling history.

Next, I was ready for a new genre, and I read The Christmas Pig, by JK Rowling. I have never been captured by fantasies, but I can pretend like I love these stories if I am reading to young people, but I usually do not get it.  However, this new JK Rowling is pure magic.  Even for me.  If you ever had a soft, cuddly stuffed animal or much-loved blankie, who completely understood you, this is the book for you.  I even shed a tear at the end.
















From the fantasy of JK Rowling, I was ready for a good mystery novel.  I started this new novel last night, and I need to finish this WinkWorld now so I get back to this book, which totally grabbed me from the beginning.


  • Carlos Velez-Ibañez

    Thank you Joan for your elephant reading suggestions. We met in Tucson chatting about the border. I will send something more recent. cvi

  • Michelle Hawkins

    Love the calf in the kitchen!
    Miss you.

  • Kathy K. Grow

    Loved the reference to Mrs. Johnson. :>)

  • Sharon Biegen

    Thanks for suggestions of more books about libraries! Without specifically planning it, I have read a surprising number of books about libraries and their power to change and save lives in the past couple of years:
    –The Paris Library (Nazi occupation)
    –The Library Book (Fire in the LA Library)
    –The Book of Form and Emptiness (Japanese-American boy saved partly by a library and it’s inhabitants)
    –Cloud Cuckoo Land (importance of books and literacy in three time periods)
    –The Giver of Stars (librarians on horseback in Appalachia)
    –The Midnight Library (a mythical library–really about life choices)
    We visit NYC regularly to see my family, and the NYC Library and Morgan Library are among our all-time favorite places! Those books are on my Wish List now!

    • Joan Wink

      WOW!! We have read almost all of the SAME books. I am trying to get all of my library historical novels in ONE place, but I keep sharing them. Cloud Cuckoo Land is NEW for me, Midnight Library: I did not enjoy that one. Maybe some of these books will be waiting for you in Fe3bruary…..if I can collect them all. Incidentally, you will find MORE Little Free Libraries in our area of Tucson.

  • Joan Wink

    Janine, I am glad you are enjoying reading this post.

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