A retired librarian with the Patrick County School division recently debuted her book “Library Lin’s Curated Collection of Superlative Nonfiction.”
Linda “Lin” Maxie said she felt she needed to do something different after her retirement from the Patrick County High School’s library in 2018, and so she wrote a book.
“My favorite part of the job as a librarian was matching people up with books that they liked, and I love nonfiction,” she said.
Maxie said she thought it would be interesting to comb through 65 best book lists, going back a 100 years or so, to see which books won prizes or were on recommended book lists.
She then arranged the books the way they would be in a library with the Dewey Decimal system.
“The result is a portable library of nonfiction books that anybody could find something they were interested in reading,” she said.
Maxie’s book was released on May 5, but it is the culmination of three years of research and work.
Maxie said her book is 10 chapters, one chapter for every division of the Dewey Decimal system.
“Every chapter has got the titles under each subdivision that it should be under, and I have a summary of each book. It’s more of a reference book, so you can dive in where you want,” she said.
Maxie said each of the more than 2,000 books included in her lists were recommended from major newspapers, book reviewers, associations like the American Library Association or the American Psychological Association, and the top professionals in certain fields.
“They designate what they thought were the top books of the year, and those were the ones I used. I didn’t use all the books in those lists, but I tried to pick a balance of books,” she said.
She added the books she chose “were not the most popular books, but were the ones that were recommended.”
Maxie said she strived for balance in cases that a certain topic has different sides.
“If there’s two sides to an issue where there were two books available – one on each side, then I picked one from each side,” she said.
Maxie also ensured that she covered every period of American history in her book.
Maxie said her favorite chapter is the first: General Knowledge and Computer Science. While the computer science does not really matter much to her, Maxie said she likes the general knowledge section because it is “books about libraries and books about books.”
Maxie believes her book would be a fantastic gift for a book lover.
“If you’ve got a book lover in your life this would be an ideal gift for them because there are thousands of books on every topic” covered in the book. “If there was a book on it, then I’ve got something in there about it,” she said.
She sees people using her book to find interesting topics to read about and it serving as a springboard for them to explore topics by other authors and other works by authors they find interesting.
“I really care about reading, I care about people reading, and books. I just love to see people learn more about things they’re interested in,” she said.
While she does not plan to create another list of nonfiction or fiction books, Maxie said she has plans for other nonfiction books involving biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs.
Maxie will be donating copies of her book to the Patrick County branch of the Blue Ridge Regional Library system.
Maxie’s book is available on Amazon as an e-book and as a paperback. She plans to also market her book to libraries and bookstores.