Friday Reads: Codex 632


The Staff Picks collection is an eclectic mix of books, audiobooks, music CDs and DVDs that library staff members have enjoyed.   Sometimes when staff write their comments they’ll point out that while the work they are recommending might have a weakness, it really is worth your time despite it.  To me, this is one of the great aspects of Staff Picks – you know ahead of time that you might encounter a rough patch, but the overall journey is a rewarding one.  With that in mind, I’d like to share a Staff Pick card written by our library director, Leslie Morrissey about the novel Codex 632: the Secret Identity of Christopher Columbus by José Rodrigues Dos Santos:

“I have to give this book a mixed review.  The historical information in the book is absolutely fascinating, but the story itself seems to be simply a vehicle which provides the opportunity to support the history found in 15th century documents.

The story starts out with Thomas Noronha, a professor of history and  expert cryptographer who is hired to continue the investigative work of  scholar who is found dead in his hotel room.  The narrative takes the reader around the world, from Lisbon, to New York and Rio in search of the true identity of Christopher Columbus, a puzzle no historian has been able to solve.

What makes the book worth reading is the depth of information the reader is exposed to in terms of writings, personal letters and government documents, all of which reinterprets what most of us have been lead to believe is true.

The book has been translated from the Portuguese.  I found the facts to be infinitely interesting.  I’m glad I stayed with it despite the weak story line.  The last sentence creates and AHA! Moment for the reader.

This book may be for you but it’s not for everyone.”

Look for this and other Staff Picks on the black shelf near the new books.

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