Saturday, January 15, 2011

(5)Running the Books by Avi Steinberg

For some completely random reason I am fascinated by prison life. I think it started when I was young, impressionable, and stumbled upon the HBO series, Oz. It was a hardcore show about prison life. Certainly not for the weak.

Avi Steinberg is a Harvard graduate and writing obits for a Boston paper. While his classmates go out into the world and make a name for themselves, Avi finds himself in a library. A prison library. He was completely unprepared for how his life would change as a prison librarian.

As expected, Avi encounters all kinds of convicts from pimps, prostitutes, con-men and thieves. What Avi doesn't expect is that Avi starts to genuinely like some of them. He helps them research, he helps them plan their futures and he helps them dream. But in prison, just like life, things don't always go as expected.

I enjoyed Running The Books. It was well written and the author did a good job of being fair, yet realistic to the prisoners and their reasons for being in prison. Avi is a genuinely likable guy, albeit a bit naive. His experiences at the prison seem to wisen him beyond his years. His story is part humorous, part heartbreaking, and totally engaging. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it satisfied my morbid prison curiosity.

2 comments:

Vi said...

Hm... interesting. I've never heard of this book. Maybe I will check it out. I too am fascinated by prison life. I really like the show "Locked up Abroad".

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

What channel is that show on? I am always looking for a good prison show.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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