BCL Staff Picks for 2009

Francesca Denton, Reference Manager, Bluffton Branch

Weight of Heaven coverFrank and Ellie are two attractive people who have basically led charmed lives. Frank's absent father notwithstanding, they each grew up in fairly secure surroundings and attended college and professional school, meeting and marrying and living in bliss. Suddenly, the world spins out of control when their seven-year-old son dies from meningitis. Soon afterward, they have an opportunity to make a work-related move to a seaside town in India, providing the panacea that will help them heal from their loss. As educated, liberal, progressive Americans, they cannot anticipate how they will react as they become part of the class struggle within Indian society; nor can they know how attached they will become to the son of their servants. Although it may be risky to latch on to bright young Ramesh, they convince themselves that they are helping the boy by providing him with things that his parents could never afford. Self-deception runs rampant, and Frank is eventually overcome by emotional turmoil, which leads him to make a fatal error in judgment. Umrigar (First Darling of the Morning ) finely plumbs the depths of the human heart, from the heights of joy and passion to the very deepest despair.  (Library Journal, vol 134, issue 2, p68)


Lanetta Sova, Circulation - Youth Services, Beaufort Branch

When You Reach Me coverI almost did not read this book; the cover was so dull and made the book look uninteresting. I am so glad I read the summary and than the book; which just goes to show “never judge a book by its cover”. Once you get past the cover you just can’t put the book down, I was spellbound to the last page.

The main character’s only friend was a boy who she has known since birth, until that boy got punched by another boy. The main character is then forced to find new friends, one of which ends up being the boy who punched her ex-friend. Throughout the book she finds notes with warnings and directions that are meant to save her ex-friend. This book contains game shows, time travel, a crazy old man who may not be so crazy, new friends, car wrecks, relationships, mystery…. I never saw the ending coming. Usually I can predict what is going to happen, but this one had such a pleasant twist.


Ginny Marshall, Branch Manager, St. Helena Branch

Year of Living Biblically coverIn The Year of Living Biblically A.J. Jacobs documents his adventure in keeping the better-known moral laws (being honest, tithing to charity) and the obscure ones: not mixing wool with linen in his clothing; calling the days of the week by their ordinal numbers to avoid voicing the names of pagan gods; trying his hand at a 10-string harp; growing a beard; eating crickets; and paying the babysitter in cash at the end of each work day. He manages splendidly to keep things light, be understanding and not judgmental, and find the sacredness in everyday life.

220 JAC