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APRIL 25, 2010
Red Fox

Megan's fine post about The Discovery Channel's Life series reminded me how much my country life has become citified over the years I've lived here. When I first moved to my country setting thirty some years ago, nature abounded. Deer, raccoons, squirrels, skunk, opossum and even an occasional bob cat used our five acres to either bed down for the night or as a passageway from one point to another. Owls, hawks and songbirds were regular visitors to our woodlands. Over the years new homes, increased population and a thirteen plot subdivision have clearly had an affect on my wildlife spotting.

Most of my neighborhood has forgotten how prevalent these animals once were. But these past few weeks we've been treated with the antics of a beautiful, lush coated, well-fed red fox. He or possibly she is the talk of the neighborhood. Thursday evening, he/she came trotting up our driveway like it owned the place. My husband and I watched for over a half hour as he/she rested, hunted and enjoyed an evening meal. We were surprised that the fox cached its' food supply much like a dog burying a bone. It had dug a hole near a small tree in our front yard and buried a squirrel. Quite smart the fox as when we later went down to see the hole we noticed it was dug very close to the trunk of the tree, insuring that other animals would have a difficult time uncovering its' stash. Watching the behavior of this fox makes me want to know more. My knowledge is limited to just a few facts. Usually more nocturnal, ours doesn't seem to be bothered with the human population it encounters. Territorial habits accounts for the repeated spotting by those in my immediate area. Time to read and learn more. A good place for me to start might be: 

Red foxes / by Doran and Jane Whitledge.

or many of the other books we own about mammals that can be found in the 599 section of the library. 

Years ago one of my favorite stories that my dad would tell was The Gingerbread Man with his cry of "You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man". Terrified but with childish delight I shivered as the sly old fox outsmarted the gingerbread man and ate him with a snap! There are so many variations of this folk tale that you shouldn't have any trouble finding one. This from our collection:

The gingerbread man / retold by Jim Aylesworth ; illustrated by Barbara McClintock. 

Another old favorite is the story of Chicken Little who has an acorn fall on his head and runs around yelling "The Sky is Falling .He tries to convince all his friends of impending doom...Henny Penny, Loosey Goosey, Lucky Ducky, and the one I liked best, Foxy Loxy! In my day the ending was far grimmer than most of the adaptations today. Try this one, a bit more wacky but sure to delight with its great illustrations and wonderful wide-eyed characters: 

Chicken Little / Ed Emberley and Rebecca Emberley.

 And last but not least I've been waiting for my name to come up for this dvd. Hear this movie based on the book by Roald Dahl is quite entertaining.

Fantastic Mr. Fox 


Add a comment  (3 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 23, 2010
Discover Life!
For the past 5 or so Sunday nights I have been sitting in front of the TV from 8:00 to 10:00 completely mesmerized. Now, I’m not a huge TV-watcher, but I did not want to miss a minute of the series Life. Life was a BBC co-production on the Discovery Channel by the same people who made the series Planet Earth. The series covers the amazing stories of living creatures big and small from all over the globe, with episodes entitled:
Challenges of Life
Reptiles and Amphibians
Creatures of the Deep
Hunters and Hunted
Making of Life
Life took over four years to make and featured many never before caught on film moments, including komodo dragons hunting a water buffalo (say what!?!), and cheetah brothers taking down an ostrich for supper. My personal favorite was the episode on primates, which featured a HUGE baboon battle, Japanese snow monkeys bathing in hot springs, and the *cutest* primate of all the spectral tarsiers of Indonesia.
Japanese snow monkeys:
Spectral tarsiers:

I forgot to mention these guys. Phayre leaf monkeys! That is a REAL baby monkey - not a stuffed animal!!
If you missed this series, don’t worry. If you visit the Life website it looks like they are running the episodes again on Animal Planet in June. The series will also be out in DVD on June 1st.  In the meantime, get your nature fix by checking out Planet Earth here at the library.
There is a bit of a controversy going on around the series that I should mention. When Life aired in Britain it was narrated by British naturalist David Attenborough, while in the U.S. it was narrated by Oprah Winfrey. I guess Oprah has some haters, because critics and viewers have been completely outraged by her narration. In fact, if you look up the Life DVD’s on Amazon right now, the British version has 5 stars while the American version has a measly 1 ½ stars! Oprah’s narration didn’t bother me a bit, but I guess I’d have to watch the British version to compare. If anyone has seen the British version, comment here and let us know what you thought!

Add a comment  (2 comments) posted by Megan Q.


APRIL 21, 2010
A little birdie will tell all
I recently learned that the Library of Congress is going to archive all public Tweets!  (Although I’m not sure this is possible, if you don’t know what a Tweet is, it’s the one line public comment that appears on the social networking site Twitter.)
First, this is staggering simply by the amount of data this includes, but second due to the amount of, well, drivel this will include.  Every public message… so every fan who writes “I love _____.”   Every sales pitch that says, “Special Sale…”  Every one who wants to share, “My favorite TV show is on tonight.”  “I love my new IPad.” … Everyone who wants to see their opinion in print…. including now the hoards of tweets which say: LC is going to archive this – cool!  What do you think about this? etc. etc. etc.
As I write this, I checked their web site.  Wednesday afternoon, top tweets only, all public (as I am not a member and can only see public information)  there are over 4,000 tweets and over 33,000 people following just these “popular” commentaries alone.
When I abandoned trying to think about the kinds of numbers this represented and where LC would keep this information, I thought: Why?  Fortunately the NPR reporter from which I heard this news had provided the answer.  They believe this data will be helpful in the future to track how information flows, how quickly news spreads and lots of interesting info about communication.
Hmph.  Maybe.  Or …. Some time 300 years from now, some one will look back and try to figure out why any of was so important to their ancestors and why the Jonas Brothers were so powerful.

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Su


APRIL 16, 2010
Romance & Bromance

Last week the library received a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by John Green and David Levithan, in what may become known as the best duo since Sonny and Cher (at least in the YA book world). Over the course of the past two years I have pretty much fallen in love with John Green, and I have really liked the stuff I have read from David Levithan. So, when we got Will Grayson in, of course I read it right away.
Here is a snippet from VOYA’s review:
“One Will Grayson wants nothing more than to shut up and not care; the other wants nothing more than to have someone to talk to and care about. But when Will Grayson meets Will Grayson, two worlds collide, and neither Will’s world will ever be the same. Both Will Graysons' lives are changed because of Tiny Cooper, "the world's largest person who is also really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large," who is in the process of producing an over-the-top musical about his life, trust, and true love…”
It is already an Amazon ‘Best Book of the Month,’ and has had starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Review, so I figured it was going to be really good. My two cents…. it definitely lives up to all the hype.
It’s a story about love and bromance (i.e.; a plutonic friendship between two guys), and coming of age, and finding yourself, and all that jazz that makes for great Young Adult reading. It’s hard to tell what author wrote what characters because the story flows so seamlessly. On top of that, Tiny Cooper is one of the most fabulous and unforgettable characters I can think of, and in true John Green fashion the book includes a smart and snarky indie chick, who is the crush of Will Grayson #1. The meeting of the two Will Graysons' comes about through a series of weird coincidences, in a completely unlikely but entirely possible way. Without spoiling it I will say that ending seemed (very) improbable, but it did not ruin the book for me at all. To sum it up, I want to see this book made into a movie (mostly for the aforementioned over-the-top musical numbers). And I want to listen to the audio book (again for the musical numbers). And that’s really saying something. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a hilarious, memorable, sweet read for teens and adults.
Oh, and for those who do read it, I have already purchased a Neutral Milk Hotel CD for the libraries music collection. Huzzah!


Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Megan Q.


APRIL 14, 2010
National Library Week April 11th-17th
Did you notice the banner hanging above our doors as you entered our library this week? This banner is in celebration of National Library Week, held April 11th-17th this year. The American Library Association theme is "Communities Thrive @ your library" and we think they do!

All of our staff want you, our patrons, to know how much we enjoy serving each and every one of you who visit our library. We are always happy to help you find just the right book, movie, or audio book for your pleasure. We greatly appreciate your continued patronage.

The resolution of the House of Representatives honoring National Library Week follows:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 13, the House of Representatives passed H.RES.1222, a resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Library Week. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (MI-3-R), the resolution outlines the many ways libraries of all kinds serve our country.
The opening text of the resolution states, “Whereas the Nation’s school, academic, public, and special  libraries make a difference in the lives of millions of people in the United States, today, more than ever; Whereas librarians are trained professionals, helping people of all ages and backgrounds find and interpret the information they need to live, learn, and work in a challenging economy; Whereas libraries are part of the American Dream, places for opportunity, education, self-help, and lifelong learning.”
Click here to read the Congressional Record account of the proceedings, including the full text of the resolution and floor speeches.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 12, 2010
Sign Assault
Ever feel assaulted by road signs? The following and more were all within a 5 mile ride on a Pennsylvania limited access highway. These  did not include bill boards, or the various universal warning, regulatory, speed and directional signs! Too, too much. Do you agree?

Emergency Stopping Only
   Brake Retards Prohibited
      Heavy Merge Alert
         Be Prepared to Stop
             Road Work Begins
                     Motor Vehicles Only
Watch for Stopped Vehicles
   Road Work Ends
      Targeted Enforcement Area
          Don’t Tailgate
                  Do Not Pass
                      You Can’t Afford It –DUI
Left Lane Must Turn Left
   Right Lane Must Turn Right
       Wait for Green
            Buckle Up It’s the Law
                Be Alert Heavy Tuck Traffic
                    School Bus Crossing
                        Pass With Care
Left Turns and Cross Traffic
   Maintain Safe Distance Between Vehicles
      Watch for Turns
          Fog Area
             Bridge May Be Icy
                  Right Lane Ends
                      Left Lane Merge
Slow Down Save A Life

And as always a few books for you to consider...

Route 66 : the mother road / Michael Wallis.

Traffic : why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us) / Tom

Signspotting III : lost and loster in translation / compiled by Doug Lansky.


Add a comment  (2 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 9, 2010
Wheat is Murder...

…Gluten-free in CT. That is the headline on this week’s issue of the Hartford Advocate. I came in to work earlier this week to find that someone at the library had left this issue on my desk. And with good reason, I can’t eat wheat or gluten. Neither can my sister, mother, aunt, and one of my cousins. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance has run rampant in my family!
I have posted the link to the article below:

I have been eating gluten-free (no wheat, rye, barley, oats) for about two years now. At first it was a struggle, both to change the way I cook at home, and finding things to eat on restaurant menus. However, now there are MANY options for someone on a gluten-free diet. The Advocate Article has a long list of restaurants and grocery stores in CT that offer gluten free products, and here are some of my favorites:
Dee’s One Smart Cookie
– This is a gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and peanut-free bakery in Glastonbury CT. The cookies, muffins and breads Dee makes are AMAZING, and on top of that she makes a variety of gluten free pizzas twice weekly.
BurtonsGrill – Located in South Windsor, Burtons offers a whole gluten-free menu, complete with gluten-free dinner rolls, beers, and desserts! Delicious!
Three Fellas Pizza & Market – Located in Marlborough, I found out about this place when our Director Su brought some in for a staff meeting. I never get to eat pizza anymore so that was a wonderful surprise – thanks Su!
Lastly I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods or Geissler’s Supermarket in South Windsor. I can’t live without my gluten-free waffles and gluten-free wraps!
The Advocate article says at about 15% othe population has some sort of gluten allergy or intolerance (although not everyone realizes that they do). Over the past two years I have noticed many library patrons looking for gluten-fee cookbooks. These are just a few in our collection:



Add a comment  (2 comments) posted by Megan Q.


APRIL 4, 2010
Books Good Enough to Eat
Our main book display this month features books with a cooking theme. Included in the mix you'll find a healthy sampling of culinary mysteries. Who dunnits peppered with recipes instead of bullets, they are a popular genre. But does anyone really make the cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, appetizers, entrees, etc. that grace these pages. You might be surprised to hear that the answer is yes.

Our library assistant Mercedes, swears by the cookie and other just desserts found in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series and staff can attest that the results are divine. She finds the stories good, clean fun, the recipes yummy, and easy to make, a winning combination all around.

click here for Mocha Nut Butterballs, a tasty sample of Joanne's Murdershebaked cookies!

Another good friend has been finding inspiration from culinary tales for years. She literally eats up these titles, the mysteries as well as main stream fiction with good food served up.

 How about you? Have you ever tried a recipe you found in one of our fiction titles? If not, get cooking with one of the following or a pick from our display. 

Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson Mysteries starting with
The Chocolate Chip Cooke Murder   

Diane Mott Davidson's Goldie Bear Catering Mysteries starting with
Catering to Nobody

Katharine Hall Page's Faith Fairchild Mysteries starting with
The Body in the Belfry 

Some other authors you can try

Claudia Bishop
Philip Craig
Tamar Myers



Add a comment  (3 comments) posted by CarolK


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