Reading behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian by Jill Grunenwald: I finished this more out of curiosity than actual enjoyment. She really needed at least one more technical edit on this book as well as a content edit before it got published. There are mistakes galore, which really rub me the wrong way since she's a librarian. On top of that, the anecdotes, while mildly illuminating for someone who knows very little about penal systems and their libraries, never really go anywhere. She often sets it up for something that seems like it will be important, but then isn't. It just fizzles. Plus, this librarian is an idiot. There's an early incident she describes that I think she tells for us to gain empathy regarding how out of her depth she feels. In it, an inmate who was volunteering repairing books says that he could get a lot more done if he could do it in his cell when the library wasn't open. The problem is, however, he doesn't have the supplies (safety scissors and tape). He tells her that the previous librarian let him do it. And this idiot takes him at his word! Not only that, when he says he needs a note approving him having it, she writes it out, all the while knowing that it's contraband and ILLEGAL. So no, I didn't feel any empathy. I thought she should've been fired for showing poor judgment. And that she's an idiot. That opinion didn't change by the end of the book, either.
WHAT I'M READING
1. Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul: Still enjoying this. Still fascinated.
2. The Wild Girl: I'm enjoying this more than I thought I initially would, but because of its time period, some of the characterizations are borderline offensive. It's nothing really overt, and I like the narrator (even if he doesn't sound like a 17 y/o boy), so I'm going to stick with it a little bit longer to see if softens a bit.