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Archive for the ‘The Man Who Loved Books Too Much’ Category

The New York City Medical Examiner’s Toxicology Office, on the left, and on the right Alexander Gettler (pouring liquid) & Charles Norris

Alexander Gettler was Chief Medical Examiner Charles Norris’ top forensic chemist, and strongly believed that wood alcohol was going to become the most dangerous poison once Prohibition took effect.

There is not a lot of information directly on Alexander Gettler on the web; although he is named in Charles Norris’ Wikipedia page.   Author Deborah Blum does cover his life and work more in the book, “The Poisoner’s Handbook”. One of the things he worked extensively on was the poisonous effects of wood alcohol; and there is a wikipedia page on methanol here , as well as the National Library of Medicine’s page on methanol poisoning here.

As discussed in the second chapter of the book, Gettler and Norris were both worried that the consumption of wood alcohol and its poisonous effects would both rise when prohibition took effect in 1920. Of course there is an extensive article on prohibition on Wikipedia, here, and award-winning documentary film maker Ken Burns created a series for PBS on prohibition last year, and the Lisle Library has this series in our collection!

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Today Booked For The Day met to discuss The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett. No one particularly loved the book, but it also was not disliked; most people agreed it fell into that place of “It was good, but not great”.

The group made note that the author had said the book started out as an article; and we all agreed that it was probably a really great article; but that much of the book felt like filler. The main character, the books, the side characters, the author’s personal observations; were all interesting; but not enough to really tie the story into something that held everyone’s attention.  It was our first non-fiction read; but we felt it did not entirely do the genre justice.

We did talk about different books that touched our lives; from Dr. Suess to Atlas Shrugged; and wondered how eBooks would effect a love of books in future generations of readers. Everyone felt that the main character of the book was not so much “The Man Who Loved BOOKS Too much” so much as “The Man Who Loved TO STEAL Too Much”!

Ballots were also passed out to vote on our 2012-2013 selections; the books we are choosing from are also listed on the “2012-2013 Books Suggestions” tab at the top of this page.

The group will be meeting next on Monday June 4th to discuss Jane Austen’s Persuasion; we are very excited to be reading “a classic”.

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Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil book and film

Author Allison Hoover Bartlett mentions another nonfiction classic author and book – John Berendt’s Mightnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (page 205, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much). Both the book and the film based on the story are available for check out at the Lisle Library.

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Author Allison Hoover Bartlett mentions "In Cold Blood," "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down," "The Professor and The Madman," and "The Orchid Thief" as some of her favorite works of narrative nonfiction she considers collecting.( "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" page 128)

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Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

Author Allison Hoover Bartlett says her “most important book-as-object” from her childhood is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (page 20). What’s your most important book-as-object?

 

 

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