Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Dewey Decimal System of Love

This book by Josephine Carr is a quirky, quick light-hearted read. It is dedicated to the extraordinary literary heritage found in our free library system and the librarians who help us discover its enduring wealth [so of course that caught my attention]. The picture on the front of a card from the old card catalog perfectly sets us up for chapters that are introduced by a little snippet telling us exactly where to find certain topics in the dewey decimal system on our non-fiction shelves. These chapter snippets and the descriptions of her everyday life in the library were my favorite parts of the book. The main character in the book, Alison Sheffield, is a reference librarian who makes you forget all those old stereotypes about librarians. She has been celibate for fifteen years but lives far from a monastic life. She loves to tool around in her convertible, listens to classical music, and is partial to ice-cold martinis. When she falls in love and falls hard, for once in her life she can't obtain the answers to her condition in a book-- she just has to experience it. And what a wild ride it is. It is romantic comedy that confronts celibacy with a touch of the absurd and a big dose of laughter.

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