At the Library 5/13/21

By Anna Venenga

As you may know from my past “At the Library” columns, I have been reading a lot of classical literature. The more that I read these books, the less daunting and more exciting they start to seem. So far, I have read the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, and I just recently started the Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.

As a young adult, I will admit that when I share the books that I have read with my friends, they often call me boring. When I ask them if they would like to read these books in the future, some have said that they seem too difficult. Their reactions are exactly what I thought when I started reading these. Once you put aside your fears or biases towards classical literature, you can strengthen your vocabulary, learn the history behind the authors and the time period they were written in, and learn valuable life lessons.

I now want to share about the Phantom of the Opera. I was introduced to the musical of this book in one of my classes at school. Before watching the musical, I had heard many good things about it, but I never gave it a try on my own time because I am not a huge fan of musicals. After watching it in class, I am glad that I did not give up on it. Once we finished the musical, I knew that I had to read the copy that we had at our library.

The Phantom of the Opera is a work of historical fiction and it has horror/thriller themes. It also has a little bit of a love story behind it. The book describes an opera house in France that is haunted by an “opera ghost,” whom they call the Phantom of the Opera. One of the ballet dancers, Christine Daae, hears the Phantom speaking to her, but she believes that he is the “angel of music,” sent from her father when he passed away. Christine got a big part in an opera because of the Phantom giving her singing lessons. This all sounds like a dream come true for Christine, until her childhood friend, Raoul comes to the opera house, wanting to court her. After reading this short summary, I think that you would be able to conclude that Raoul coming back would upset the Phantom.

Through reading this book, I have been able to take away many themes or lessons from it. One of the lessons that was repeated throughout the book was to not judge someone from their appearance. Another lesson was to not force someone to love you if they clearly do not feel the same way. Finally, I learned that only we can control how we live our lives. Everything we do can affect our life circumstances.

If you are interested in reading the Phantom of the Opera or any of our other books that are considered “classical literature,” you can browse our online catalog, or you can come in and browse! We are always willing to help you find the books you are interested in reading!


New Materials @ the Library

​​​​Adult Fiction

The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver
At Lighthouse Point
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
A Woman of Words
by Angela Hunt
The Devil May Dance
by Jake Tapper
That Summer
by Jennifer Weiner

Large Print Fiction

Sooley by John Grisham

Adult Biography

Good Days & Better Days by Stan Stoops

Adult Nonfiction

Rough Beauty by Karen Auvinen
The Calcium Connection by Brunde Broady
Anxiety at Work by Adiran Gostick
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Remote, Inc. by Robert C. Pozen