Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Playing With The Enemy

If you're thinking libraries are only for children -- THINK AGAIN.  Today's libraries are working overtime to be RELEVANT in your life.  In every state, in every town across America, the libraries are working hard to develop a full roster of interesting book/historical/musical events...AND THEY'RE DOING IT FOR YOU!!

Last month, I received an email from my library, telling me the author of this book was coming to town:
Playing With the Enemy, by Gary Moore
Because the event was sponsored by a Scott County Reads grant -- the library had some free copies of his book, so I picked up a copy.  I "planted it" in our home library (the bathroom), thinking John might read it. (this is how he meets most books in his life).

Here's what the book is about:

(From Publisher's Weekly:)  In 1940, at just 15 years old, small-town baseball star Gene Moore was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers, who saw in him the potential to become one of the great catchers of all time. Before that could happen, though, WWII intervened. Gene's story is told here by his son, a first-time author who exhibits the confidence and pacing of a pro. His gripping material certainly helps: after several years overseas in the Navy's touring baseball team, Gene was brought back to Louisiana and assigned to guard secret German POWs, whose U-boat was captured just days before the storming of Normandy. Gene teaches his German captives how to play baseball, with a number of unintended and life-altering consequences. When Gene's finally able to return home to Sesser, Ill., he's "on crutches, depressed and embarrassed," holing up in the local bar and prompting one bartender to lament, "he's become one of us, when we were hoping he would make us like him." Gene's journey from promise to despair and back again, set against a long war and an even longer post-war recovery, retains every bit of its vitality and relevance, a 20th-century epic that demonstrates how, sometimes, letting go of a dream is the only way to discover one's great fortune.

John finished reading the book before I did. He identified with the boy-loving-baseball story in the book, and he also enjoyed the WW II history lesson. But the story of the German sailors being held in a top secret POW camp really hit home with him. The Germans failed to scuttle their submarine -- so the Allies captured a working Enigma machine.

John and I attended Gary Moore's presentation at the LeClaire library.  The author did a wonderful job of telling his father's story -- I could have listened to that guy talk all night long...AND -- the book has so far, enjoyed 19 reprints!!   Next year, it will be made into a movie.

So -- what events might be happening at YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY this month??

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