Staff Recommendation: Letters to a Young Poet

This book was recommended to me through the podcast “Wonderful!” and I would recommend it to anyone feeling especially young, lost, and vulnerable throughout this summer’s post-graduation season. The book is a collection of letters sent from Rainer Maria Rilke to a young poet looking for advice and critiques of his work. It is a gentle but blunt series of writings on being young and finding your place, about getting to know yourself and your writing deeply and intimately, and about coming to terms with being alone in your growth in the world.

Rilke’s prose is beautiful and reassuring. He answers questions and doubts earnestly. It’s a wonderful guidebook to being a young, creative person in the world. What I have most taken from this book is one citation that says “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart…live in the question.” It’s all too tempting to want to know everything and have solved every problem right away. Rilke illustrates the many ways in which there is time to live in now, even and especially when you don’t have all the answers.

Find Letters to a Young Poet at Greenfield Library, call # PT2635 .I65 Z488 2011  

~ Recommended by Jo Dutilloy, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant 


Staff Recommendation: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

I love old movies. And I especially love old movies with Cary Grant in them. I could probably write a whole review about the various Cary Grant films available in our library, because I’m sure I’ve gone through most of them at this point.

Despite the fact that Cary Grant is in this film, full of gentlemanly sharp wit and amazing suits, it is Katherine Hepburn who truly steals the show and makes this her movie. A strong-willed, spoiled, and haughty aristocrat from the Main Line, Hepburn’s character finds herself in a series of awkward situations the day leading up to her wedding to an equally wealthy (yet completely dull) second husband. Grant plays her ex-husband, who invites himself to the wedding festivities, with a tabloid reporter (Jimmy Stewart) and photographer in tow disguised as friends of her brother. Hilarity ensues like most of these 1940s “screwball comedies,” including one of my favorite scenes of Hepburn and Stewart drunkenly dancing late into the night before the wedding day.

People sometimes pre-judge black-and-white films like The Philadelphia Story as being boring and stuffy, but this movie is actually really funny. Watch for a great scene right at the beginning of the film involving Hepburn breaking a golf club over her knee.

If you enjoyed this movie as much as I did (Greenfield Library GD2171), check out Bringing Up Baby, (also available in the Greenfield Library, GD1895) another award-winning film starring Grant and Hepburn as love interests, and equally ridiculous.

~ Recommended by Lillian Kinney, Cataloger/Archivist, Greenfield Library