Looking for a good read? Ursula K. Le Guin!

Lots of people assume that if you’re a librarian, or work in a library you must love to read. It’s a stereotype and in my case a true one. 🙂  I like to read and recommend stories, books, poems, plays and all sorts of things to others.

This post is the first in what I hope will be a series on good reads.

a black and white portrait of Ursula K. Le Guin. She is a middle aged to elderly caucasian/white woman in this photo. Her hair is mostly gone to white and is cut short to the ears and she wears a fringe (bangs).  She is posed sitting in chair, wearing a dark shirt and  light colored skirt. She is leaning forward with her arms resting on her knees: left arm clasping right elbow and right arm resting above the left elbow

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) was an American novelist, essayist, poet and short-story writer. She first became well-known for her Wizard of Earthsea fantasy series, aimed at the young, but enjoyed  by people of all ages.   Her main genre was science fiction, but she also  wrote fantasy, poetry, essays, and fiction set in the “real world” .   One of the things I like about her books is how they explore human relations and societies in what to the reader are very unusual situations.   To get a start with her work, let me recommend two nice ones that are short and easy entries into her writing.

The Lathe of Heaven ( PS3562.E42 L3 2003).  This short novel, first published in 1971 is set in a future Portland Oregon, beset by the problems of global warming and over-population. The main character, George Orr, has a problem: his dreams change reality in the waking world.   If I tell you more, I’ll be guilty of “spoiling”. But I can say that the situation is fascinating and the writing is simple, yet poetic.

Changing Planes  (PS 3562 .E42 C48 2003). This collection of short stories is framed as travel descriptions by someone who has learned how to  change planes (as in planes of existence) and visit other worlds when waiting to change flights in airports on earth.

If you want to see what else we have in the library by her, search her in the Catalog: Ursula K. Le Guin

Victoria Caplan
Head (Research & Learning Support)

Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Marian Wood Kolisch, Oregon State University, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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