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Library Happenings – Results listed for best, worst books poll

By Angie Georgeff

The votes have been tabulated in our best book/worst book poll. We asked, “Which is the best book you ever read?” The book that garnered the most votes was J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” which turned out to be the only book named more than once. The most votes went to books like “The Hobbit” that we tend to read as children and teens and which we continue to love. Among the other nominees were Johann David Wyss’s “The Swiss Family Robinson,” Wilson Rawls’s “Where the Red Fern Grows” and Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

The other trend appeared to be novels that were written in series. Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” saga and J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series numbered among the favorites.

One vote that surprised me was “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. It is a 2,438-page, six-volume encyclopedic cookbook geared toward the professional chef, “curious home cook” and art lover. The photography is spectacular. The only thing that stops me from buying a copy is the price tag. It is too steep for me, our library or (it seems) any other library in the OWL consortium, since none of them have this resource in their collection!

On the flip side of the winning book is the losing author, Stephen King. There was no second for a specific title, but the vote for “anything by Stephen King” just tipped the scales when added to one vote for “The Shining.” Ironically, Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series received a vote for best book. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say horror is not Unicoi County’s favorite genre.

Generally speaking, neither horror nor science fiction fared very well. Judging from other votes, books that are “too long” or which have “sad endings” are not looked on with favor. The comment that I enjoyed most accompanied the thumbs down for James Fenimore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans”: “*Mark Twain hated it, too!”

Friday Family Fun Day

One of “Mr. Bond’s Science Guys” will be appearing at Erwin’s Town Hall at 3 p.m. this Friday for the second Friday Family Fun Day of Summer Reading 2019. The demonstrations and experiments will follow 2019’s space theme so kids and parents will learn about science as they enjoy the show. All ages are welcome at these events, so bring the entire family.

This week’s age-group programs at the library will feature “Constellations in the Stars.” Next week will be the moon! Be sure to pick up a schedule at the library or check our Unicoi County Kids and Teens Facebook page for details. We have “A Universe of Stories” to share!