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Glaciers

A Novel
Smith, Alexis M. (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Glaciers
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"Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. 'Glaciers' follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska."--P. [2] of cover.
Authors: Smith, Alexis M.
Title: Glaciers
a novel
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Tin House Books ; Berkeley, Calif. : Distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: 174 p. ;,19 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Alexis M. Smith
Summary: "Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. 'Glaciers' follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska."--P. [2] of cover.
ISBN: 9781935639206
193563920X
Branch Call Number: FICTION SMITH 2012
Subject Headings: Portland (Or.) Fiction Alaska Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Authors, American
LCCN: 2011041838
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"Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. 'Glaciers' follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes h... Read More »

Join us for the discussion on January 21, 2014.

This is really a novella, and a lovely one. A Portland librarian has a crush on her coworker. She finds the perfect dress for a party. That's all. But the writing is lovely.

Glaciers follows Isabel, a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move ... Read More »

The reader follows Isabel over the course of a day as she muses on her life while working at the library, nursing a crush on a coworker and coveting a vintage dress on display at a local store.


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May 12, 2014
  • Cdnbookworm rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This novel captured me right away. Did it help that the main character is a librarian? Maybe.
Isabel was born in Seattle, but her parents moved back to Alaska shortly after she was born to live in the homestead of her father's grandmother, in the country near Soldotna. This is where she spent her early years and learned about being alone, about making do with what you have, and about the meaning of treasure.
Following her parents divorce, her father moved to Portland with her and her older sister, where she soon realized she was several years behind when it came to fashion. This, perhaps, led to her love of vintage clothes.
All of Isabel's background sets the scene for this novel, a single day in her life. Planning for a party she is going to in the evening. Working as a preservation and conservation librarian, in the lower level of the library, with other subspecialists. The reader gets brought into her life, her friendships, her coworker relationships, as she moves through her day. In many ways, this is an ordinary day, but it is also an extraordinary day, for many reasons.
I loved Isabel, her thoughtfulness, her depth of feeling, her appreciation for small things, her imagining of others' lives. And I loved the cover of the book, how it just feels right for it. I love her love of postcards, one I share.

Mar 26, 2013
  • seattleerin rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel is set in Portland, OR & is just lovely.

Jul 11, 2012
  • hollyheartsYA rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The setting is Pacific Northwest and anything set locally almost guarantees I'll at least give it a try. I love being able to say, "I've been there!" or for the text to evoke a similar feeling for the character and myself. The sweet little vignettes of chapters actually grew on me throughout the novel as well as the sparse writing style. There's no quotation marks on the dialogue so that it flowed quite smoothly. Isabel works in a library cataloging damaged books, crushes on her ex-soldier co-worker and frequents vintage shops and vegetarian asian eateries. I wish the book had been longer, but actually the little bits that we get of the characters strike just the right chord in your heart that you are left smiling nostalgically at the bittersweet ending. I highly recommend it (and since it's so short it's perfect for one morning, afternoon or evening when you have a bit of downtime and can read it in one sitting)

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