Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ray Dale

New releases include one by author Tom Hanks

Literary Junction
Last week, we had a major event at the Big Horn County Library: The new books arrived. I understand this probably only is considered a big deal by library geeks like me, but we haven’t gotten new books in a while, so we really are excited. 
As I was going through the new titles and putting them in alphabetical order so I could get them on the turnstile, I came to one that was written by Tom Hanks. I immediately turned to the back cover – where there’s usually a short bio and picture of the author – and, to my surprise, it actually was Tom Hanks the actor. I had no idea he was an author, but according to the cover, not only is he an author, but his book is on the New York Times Best Seller list. Being a fan of his acting, I grabbed the book and started reading.
The book is entitled Uncommon Type: Some Stories. It is actually a rather eclectic collection of short stories in that the only common theme throughout is they were written by Hanks. It seems as if he simply sat down and began writing on whatever he was thinking about at the time. Hanks is a funny, comedic actor and one can see his sense of humor in some stories, such as Three Exhausting Weeks, the first story of the book. 
It is apparent, too, that Hanks has some causes or topics he is quite passionate about, as evidenced by the second story in the book, entitled Christmas Eve 1953. This particular story got me feeling nostalgic as I was reminded of my own family Christmases as a child. The story takes a rather unexpected turn halfway through, however, as we are taken to another time and place that, if you take a look at his career, you’ll know is very important to Tom Hanks. 
The story Welcome to Mars, in my mind, could easily be made into a made-for-TV movie on the Lifetime channel. It’s a rather heart-wrenching story that takes place during an early morning surfing trip by a father and son. It deals with family relationships, particularly the one between the father and son, but it also shows a good deal of surfing knowledge. I don’t know if Hanks is a surfer or if he simply did a good deal of research. Either way, I was rather impressed. 
There are 14 other stories in this book, but if you want to know about those you will have to come in and check out Uncommon Type: Some Stories. You will find it on the top floor in the “New Book” turnstile.
As you make your way to the library, please remember the condition of the streets as well as the cold weather, and take appropriate steps to make sure you arrive safe and warm.