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Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Discussion: September 11th Reading

I thought I would spend today asking you all to share your suggestions for 9-11 reading.

Last week, as we approached the10th Anniversary of this terrible day, people were wary to request a book; however, I am beginning to see people who were moved by the commemoration seeking out books with a 9/11 theme.

In order to help patrons to identify fiction with a 9/11 theme, I thought I would provide a few links and ask for your help.

The most buzzed about book right now is The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman.  This novel tells a story about creating a 9/11 memorial.  Click here for a review from NPR. This book just came out and is a shoe-in for a nomination for all of the major fiction awards for 2011 (IMO).  But this also means there is probably a wait for this book at your library right now.

Over on the fiction list-serve, Fiction-L, librarians all over the country are putting together a list of 9/11 reading.  Anyone can click here to access the ongoing discussion with a great list of book suggestions.

I want to begin the discussion by reposting my 9/11 reading list from 2009.  Click here for the full post. And after reading my list, please contribute to today's Monday Discussion and leave me your 9/11 book in the comments.

Terrible events often trigger great art as artists contemplate their life in its aftermath. 9/11 is no different.
  1. In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman: Spiegelman watched the towers fall from the roof of his Brooklyn home and has been quoting as saying he went to his work table for the next few weeks, drawing and writing, while he waited for the world to end. Thankfully, the world kept going and Spiegelman shared his work with us.
  2. Falling Man by Don DeLillo: In this novel, DeLillo follows one man who worked in the towers and escaped as he tries to heal from the experience. The novel's disjointed construction adds to the feeling of unease which permeates the characters as they struggle to continue to live "normally" in the first few months after 9/11.
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. A young boy whose father dies in the towers on 9/11 finds a key and a cryptic note in his father's closet. The journey he takes is as much about finding the key's owner as it is about finding his place in a post 9/11 world without his father. And don't miss the last few pages, which are a flip book of a man falling from the towers. It goes backwards; he is falling up to safety. It is very powerful.
For the Monday Discussion archive, click here.


Kathy BPL RA said...

In 2005 Jim Dwyer released a non-fiction book called "102 Minutes." It detailed the time from the first plane hitting to the second tower falling. It is not long but has a lot of first hand information. I found it to be incredibly affecting and still think about it quite a bit. Very moving.

John BPL RA said...

In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman. It's a graphic novel by the same author who did Maus. Has a stark, heavily quality that really brings the point across.

Alissa W said...

My favorite remains "The Usual Rules" by Joyce Maynard. It's one of my favorite books of all time.

Mike said...


Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer
Prize winning book "The Loom-
ing Tower: Al-Qaeda And The
Road To 9/11, is one of my
favorite books on the subject.
Tracing the philosophy that
led to that terrible day as
far back as the 1940's and
detailing how Al-Qaeda carried
out the plot, Wright's book
is engrossing and enlighten-