The Peggy Helmerich Library will be closed temporarily for light renovation. We anticipate the closure to last several weeks. During the closure, any items you have placed on hold will be sent to Hardesty Library.
How great was Maeve Binchy?
Nearly 20 years ago, I took a road trip with friends and left my copy of Binchy’s Circle of Friends in their car. When I called looking for it a few days later, Shane – an avid baseball fan who never, and I mean NEVER, missed a game with his beloved St. Louis Cardinals – had not only found it… but read it instead of watching a crucial Cardinals game. He said he just couldn’t put Binchy’s book down; he had to know how Benny and her friends fared. This perfectly captures Binchy’s signature talent. As a storyteller who made readers care intensely about her characters, she was second to none.
How great was Gore Vidal?
Recently, I was straightening the fiction collection at the Central Library, with particular attention to the V-W-X-Y-Z shelves, which had gotten a bit jumbled. When I got to the V’s, a customer asked me for help finding a Gore Vidal novel. Now, I have in mind a (stereotypical) Gore Vidal reader: a typical intellectual effete, as Vidal was, dressed perhaps in a three-piece suit and a monocle, spouting Oscar Wilde witticisms. But this customer, a young man in his 20s, was dressed in worn denim, a t-shirt, and a ballcap. He told me how his sister, a U.S. history teacher, gave him a Gore Vidal novel and it made history alive for him.
Two writers, two very different styles and subjects, but they both shared a singular ability to connect with readers with their stories.