Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from yeshiva to attend Harvard, he has nothing but a senior thesis on Bugs Bunny to show for himself. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, Steinberg remains stuck at a crossroads, his “romantic” existence as a freelance obituary writer... show more
Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from yeshiva to attend Harvard, he has nothing but a senior thesis on Bugs Bunny to show for himself. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, Steinberg remains stuck at a crossroads, his “romantic” existence as a freelance obituary writer no longer cutting it. Seeking direction (and dental insurance) Steinberg takes a job running the library counter at a Boston prison. He is quickly drawn into the community of outcasts that forms among his bookshelves—an assortment of quirky regulars, including con men, pimps, minor prophets, even ghosts—all searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world. Steinberg recounts their daily dramas with heartbreak and humor in this one-of-a-kind memoir—a piercing exploration of prison culture and an entertaining tale of one young man’s earnest attempt to find his place in the world.
Publish date: October 4th 2011
Pages no: 416
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Books About Books
, Biography Memoir
, Library Science
wow, stunning. aside from a food encyclopedia, the first five-star book in the last fifty books read. (and the food encyclopedia gets its for thoroughness and length rather than absolute quality determination of prose). Avi Steinberg, a Harvard grad who decides to run a prison library in Boston, cre...
With a degree in English from Harvard and few career prospects, the author takes a job as a prison librarian and creative writing instructor at a Boston-area prison. Steinberg's stories range from funny to tragic, and the memoir is most interesting when he sticks to his prison experiences.
I love it. Steinberg has you laughing one minute and sobbing the next. The conflicts of being a prison librarian and knowing the inmates personally as people and not just names are portrayed beautifully. His words not only weave ideas into emotion and he explored questions about himself like anyone ...
This is a memoir of a former prison librarian. Not only it is very interesting as an insider's view of a prison and a place of books and written word in it, but it is also excellently written -- the author, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community but has now become secular(an interesting story i...