Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

In December 2008, twentysomething Jill Grunenwald graduated with her master?s degree in library science, ready to start living her dream of becoming a librarian. But the economy had a different idea. As the Great Recession reared its ugly head, jobs were scarce. After some searching, however, Jill was lucky enough to snag one of the few librarian gigs left in her home stat In December 2008, twentysomething Jill Grunenwald graduated with her master?s degree in library science, ready to sta...

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Title:Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian
Author:Jill Grunenwald
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian
ISBN
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:360 pages pages

Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian Reviews

  • Eileen
    Aug 16, 2019
    *** I enjoyed this book. A good memoir about libraries, prison and prison libraries, as well as working your first job out of college. The writing style is definitely casual and easy to read. It was a good choice for my insomnia reading. *** I enjoyed this book. A good memoir abou...
  • Audra
    Aug 03, 2019
    Amazing This book was amazing. I love listening to Jill on the Professional Book nerd ms podcast. So when reading this I could totally hear her voice. The picture she presented is so clear. As 8 read her story I felt as if I was right next to her in the Prison (so glad I wasn?t )....
  • Danielle
    Jul 14, 2019
    When Jill Grunenwald graduated from library school in 2008 library jobs were in scarce supply, so she wound up working in a minimum security men's prison. She shares her stories of working the prison for just under 2 years. There were some interesting stories, but the book definitely f...
  • Kimberly  Tilly
    Aug 07, 2019
    Read this book. Jill, met you at the CLE marathon expo and bought your book about running. Am hooked on you as an author and love your perspective and humor. The way that you intertwine authors and books shows you care about your craft. It?s a pleasure to share your love for read...
  • Cari
    Apr 29, 2019
    Absolutely loved this book. Review to come in Booklist. ...
  • Megan Palasik
    Jul 08, 2019
    I read this book in 3 days, which is quite the feat for me! It was hard to put down. Jill writes an easy to read narrative of her adventures as a newly minted librarian working in a prison. Her style is conversational, as if you are sitting over coffee and updating a friend on your l...
  • Alexandra Robbins
    May 14, 2019
    There is not enough literature representing librarians ? the guardians of books ? or the incarcerated, who are under constant guard. Grunenwald amiably gives voice to both in an important, interesting memoir that celebrates the liberating power of literature and the right to the fr...
  • Elizabeth
    Aug 12, 2019
    Kept my interest and I learned a bit about prisons. A little too much profanity out of the librarian?s mouth. Could have done without that and it certainly wasn?t necessary at getting the point across. Proof reading was lax throughout, but to a small extent. I thought it was fun...
  • Brandi
    Sep 05, 2019
    What a fantastic read. Jill?s a great writer, and her personality really shines through in her story. It was super interesting to learn about the ins and outs of working in a prison. It was good timing for me to read this, too, since I just finished Orange Is the New Black and wa...
  • Evelyn Cronin
    Jul 22, 2019
    Another homerun book! I have waited to get my hands on this book because I love Ms. Grunenwald's perspective on her life and the world around her. I'm not sure I was aware that prisons had libraries until reading Ms. G's bio and I love that this memoir gives those on the outside an ...
  • Emmy
    May 06, 2019
    What a fascinating book! When I first picked this up, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I've read books about prison experiences before, including Behind the Gates of Gomorrah and The Maximum Security Book Club, but I think this was my favorite. Perhaps it was because the story ta...
  • Kelly K
    Aug 30, 2019
    As a public librarian, I found this surprisingly tame. We've had all of these characters in and more on a daily basis without a panic button or correctional officer at our beck and call. When I worked at our main branch directly down the road from the police station, it would still tak...
  • Lynn
    Jun 14, 2019
    A compelling look inside a prison library, with a nod to Avi Steinberg's *Running the Books*, this time narrated by a young woman, which gives a whole new perspective to a whole new set of situations. I read this EARC courtesy of Skyhorse Publications and Edelweiss. pub date 07/02/1...
  • Neelam Babul
    Aug 13, 2019
    I love reading and every time I see the words book, library, book club, reading I have to read that book. Jill writes an impressive narrative of her role as a librarian working in a prison. At the beginning of each chapter, the reader is given an example of a prison rule in place f...
  • Kim
    Aug 13, 2019
    An honest, unflinching and sometimes humorous look at the work of a library who serves a prison population. Although the author worked in a minimum security prison, she was still on guard for some of her time there. She even developed a kind of friendly relationship with some of the me...
  • Allison Carmola
    May 14, 2019
    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this advance copy. I enjoyed this book. Full disclosure, I am a librarian so I like reading about librarians, but I do think this book has a wider appeal. It starts a little slow, and especially near the beginning there were things about the...
  • Julianne2girls
    Jul 15, 2019
    I wasn't sure what to think going into this book, but it intrigued me. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Other than one or two small typos and one grammar error, this book was a very quick read and hard to put down. I started Wednesday morning before work and was done by Sunday ...
  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    Jul 10, 2019
    ?? Review math: . 5 ? for the prison library topic 3 ? for the actual writing 2 ? for the voice . Overall = 3.3333 ? and worth reading if you are a MAJOR library nerd like me and want any library memoir you can get your hands on. If you only ever want to read ONE book...
  • Katrina Shawver
    Aug 17, 2019
    I just finished Reading Behind Bars by Jill Grunenwald. What a fascinating memoir by a librarian who worked in a men's minimum-security prison, as the only job she could get with a freshly-minted MLS degree. Reading geeks, and of course librarians will love this - but it is also an eas...
  • Sheri S.
    Aug 29, 2019
    Grunenwald didn't set out to be a prison librarian but this was the job she found after completing her master's degree. The prison library is without an electronic catalog, the books are overall dated and she has a huge stack of donations to process that the previous librarian never co...
  • Carol Brite
    Aug 17, 2019
    I was looking at my library's new book list and this was book caught my interest. I also have a library degree and actually considered working in a prison library at one point. Although I did not end up in a prison library, this book gave a look at what I might have experienced. I thou...
  • Lesley
    Jul 14, 2019
    Hard to finish, to be honest. The content was fine, but the writing style was irritating in that it definitely felt written from the perspective of someone who hadn't had a friend/loved one incarcerated or done enough anti-oppression self-work to effectively build a class/race narrativ...
  • Joscelyn
    Aug 18, 2019
    I love libraries and have thought when I grow up (aka retire) I want to be a librarian. Therefore I was curious to read about an aspiring librarian who's first job is within a prison. To be honest I didn't realize prisons had libraries. Grunewald, or Ms G provides insight into what it ...
  • Melinda
    Apr 12, 2019
    The author describes the ins and outs of life in prison from an unlikely place- the prison library. For these inmates, the library is more than a place with books, it?s a haven. This book is an easy read that?s both enjoyable and thought provoking, and one fact is very clear throug...
  • Chrissy
    Aug 02, 2019
    4.5 stars! I loved hearing Jill's experiences at the library and related to her love of both books and organization sooo much. This book made me want to change my major to library science! The reason it isn't five stars is because I had a hard time sometimes when reading about her pers...
  • Jennifer Myers
    Aug 11, 2019
    Insightful- I love libraries and it makes me feel good knowing that even if people are incarcerated, they have an opportunity to expand their knowledge and education. Easy read and "Ms. G" has a witty writing style. ...
  • Jenna
    Jun 10, 2019
    I found this to be an incredibly enthralling read. I read almost all of it over the course of a weekend. I simply couldn?t put it down. I'm a big library nerd. I've always been pretty active in my own libraries. One of the first steps I take when moving to a new town is getting my...
  • Marie
    Sep 11, 2019
    No one inside could watch time marching on. Keep your shit at the gate. At least momentarily, this can make the rest of the shit in my life not matter. Work smarter, not harder. All about those tradeoffs. ...
  • Heather
    Aug 25, 2019
    When I read the synopsis of the book trying to determine if it was worth checking out at the library (irony), I had thought it would be more about a real human experience with these inmates. Instead, I felt like I was just reading about someone's job, like, literally, anyone could writ...
  • L G
    Jul 31, 2019
    I enjoyed this book very much. There are sentences and passages which faintly convey restraint, of the author holding herself to a familiar script. I wanted to hear more about what happened to the dog which was curled up asleep at her feet. Of the man who discouraged his friends from g...