Is it possible to do a good deed while also feeling just a bit smug and self-satisfied about it?

Yep. Just did it.

Someone whose tastes have steered me in the past toward some good books I might not have read — “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving, “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith and a book of Native American writings called “Touch the Earth” come to mind — loves the novels of Michael Crichton. A few months ago, I delved into, and liked, a few of his books, including one I really liked titled “Prey” and a few others, including “Congo,” and two I’d read before, “The Andromeda Strain” and “Jurassic Park.”

Anyway, because my attention had been drawn to Crichton and his writing, I was aware that he died a few years ago. And, because of that,  I was able to point just now to the local librarian that a poster hanging in the front entrance was creepily out-of-date. It had a photo of  smiling Michael Crichton and it said  “I’m a proud member of the American Library Association!”

Crichton, of course, might have woven that macabre plot twist into one of his novels.

But the poster was taken down right away. And that’s good, because, honestly, I was motivated mostly by educational concerns. I found myself thinking that people seeing the poster might think Crichton was still alive.

Anyway, now the library folks can replace it with something more current, perhaps featuring Christopher Hitchens or Ray Bradbury or Maurice Sendak…


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