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Running the Books: The Adventures of an…
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Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (original 2010; udgave 2011)

af Avi Steinberg

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7975120,828 (3.63)74
In this captivating memoir, Steinberg, a Harvard grad and struggling obituary writer, spends two years as a librarian and writing instructor at a Boston prison, attracting con men, minor prophets, ghosts, and an assortment of quirky regulars searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world.… (mere)
Medlem:exlibrisbitsy
Titel:Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Forfattere:Avi Steinberg
Info:Anchor (2011), Paperback, 416 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian af Avi Steinberg (2010)

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» Se også 74 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 51 (næste | vis alle)
Adult nonfiction; prison librarianship. This wasn't badly written or anything, it just wasn't that interesting, and I've still got a TON of other stuff I'm trying to read through. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I enjoyed this book, it was good. Interesting look at the life of a prison librarian. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
How often is it that you get an insider perspective on a state prison? Hopefully, never. Steinberg has a fascinating story to tell about prison culture and he tells it well. [full review] ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 13, 2020 |
An alternately laugh-out-loud and then heartbreaking look at prison life from an outsider. I felt the tone was a little uneven, but I loved the descriptions of the various inmates, the revelations from a prison writing class, and the interweaving of Steinberg's Jewish traditions with his efforts to make sense of the stories of the people he meets. He did a good job of capturing the complexity of the people he interacted with, and I felt his alternating emotions of hope and loss as the inmates leave and meet their respective fates. Looking forward to reading more of his writing. ( )
  Skatuva | Feb 2, 2020 |
Completely trumps the last librarian-memoir I read, which relied on ridiculing and complaining about library clients and co-workers. Running the Books is well written and compelling. Not just about working in a library, but complexity of serving prison inmates. ( )
  alyssajp | Jul 29, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 51 (næste | vis alle)
Avi Steinberg’s memoir, “Running the Books,” about his job as a prison librarian at “the Bay” — the Suffolk County House of Correction in South Bay near Boston — gets off to an obnoxious start.

Mr. Steinberg is a self-described “asthmatic Jewish kid,” a young Harvard graduate and a stalled novelist. He applied for the prison library job when he saw it posted on Craigslist. He needed the health insurance. Probably he needed a book idea too.

The early bits of “Running the Books” are as hopped-up as a spaniel with a new rubber ball. The tone is, more or less, “Augusten Burroughs Goes to the Clink.” Here’s a not atypical passage: “It was official. I was now on the side of angels. The Po-Po. The Fuzz. The Heat. The Big Blue Machine.”

But a funny thing happens to “Running the Books” as it inches forward. Mr. Steinberg’s sentences start to pop out at you, at first because they’re funny and then because they’re acidly funny. The book slows down. It blossoms. Mr. Steinberg proves to be a keen observer, and a morally serious one. His memoir is wriggling and alive — as involving, and as layered, as a good coming-of-age novel.

The humor bubbles up organically. When a homophobic prisoner learns about a book called “Queer Theory: An Introduction,” he bellows in agony: “They got theories now?” Mr. Steinberg gets this advice from a prison staff member on how to comport himself: “Don’t smile. This isn’t the Gap.” He listens bemusedly to one inmate’s intricate disquisition on why pimping, he relates, is “the great male art form, the art form to which all others aspired.”

Explaining his relatively pampered Orthodox Jewish background, Mr. Steinberg reports: “My yeshiva high school’s basketball team was named not the Tigers or the Hawks, but the MCATS. As in, the Medical College Admission Test.” . . .
tilføjet af PLReader | RedigerNY Times, Dwight Garner (Oct 19, 2010)
 
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Pimps make the best librarians. Psycho killers, the worst.
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What in Flannery O'Connor's countenance met with Solitary's approval?
"I dunno," she said. "She looks kind of busted up, y'know? She ain't too pretty. I trust her."
She also informed me, in praise of her friend, that "hoes make the best librarians." Why? "Because they know how to be sweet but they will bust yo' ass if you get out of line."
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In this captivating memoir, Steinberg, a Harvard grad and struggling obituary writer, spends two years as a librarian and writing instructor at a Boston prison, attracting con men, minor prophets, ghosts, and an assortment of quirky regulars searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world.

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