SAXTON B. LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
Friends of the Library
Keeping you up-to-date on what's happening at your library. We invite you to join in the conversation!
NOVEMBER 29, 2010
PURRfectly Good Reading!
A few weeks ago my blog post featured books for dog lovers. Some feline fans want equal time so I'm happy to oblige with this list of the cat's meow in newer cat tales!
Cleo : the cat who mended a family by Helen Brown
A family experiencing heartbreak is helped by a very special cat named Cleo in this heartwarming story compared to the Marley & Me in its testament to the power of animal love.
Dewey's nine lives : the legacy of the small-town library cat who inspired millions by Vicki Myron, with Bret Witter.
If you've read Dewey, this sequel featuring more stories by Librarian Myron about Dewey and other cats should right up your alley.
Making rounds with Oscar : the extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat by David Dosa.
Oscar only spends time with the nursing home residents who are about to pass. Respectful to end of life issues, this is a story of profound insight into life and dying.
Homer's odyssey [large print] : a fearless feline tale, or how I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat / Gwen Cooper.
Another heartwarming story about Homer, a blind cat, sees the author through some trying times.
A curious collection of cats by Betsy Franco ; illustrations by Michael Wertz.
A visual poetry selection of the fickle world of felines. Love those cats!
Top 10 cats for kids by Dana Meachen Rau.
and certainly keep in mind the mystery series featuring cat detectives
Sneaky Pie Brown Series by Rita Mae Brown
Koko and Yum-Yum, the Siamese cats by Lilian Jackosn Braun
Various feline investigators of Marion Babson
Midnight Louie by Carole Nelson Douglas
Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Sweetums by Mary Daheim
Bastet, a sometimes character in the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters
and don't miss this one...
Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat that thinks he is a Chihuahua dog, a mucho fun children's series!
This is just a handful of our cat stories...search our CATalog by the keywords Cat, Kitten, or Cats and you'll be certain to find many more Purrfect Cat Tails!
NOVEMBER 26, 2010
I’m not going to lie – it was really hard to come into work this morning. I’m still really full from my Thanksgiving feast. I’m sore from running the Manchester Road Race, and I’m tired. The gray and rainy stay-in-bed-all-day weather outside isn’t helping one bit. Sooo, instead of writing a serious blog post, a post that would require any amount of concentration, I decided to play.
Last week I stumbled across WimpYourself.com, a link on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid site that allows you to build your own Jeff Kinney style wimpy kid avatar. I know there are a ton of wimpy kid fans out there (including myself), and creating a wimpy self-portrait was really fun. So fun that I wimpified myself, Su, and Carol – you’re welcome ladies! Check it out:
Me Su Carol
Note: Su does not actually wear a witch hat to work (most of the time), but she likes Halloween, so I took some artistic liberty here and I believe it is appropriate.
Now you try it! How do you look wimpified??
NOVEMBER 24, 2010
The library will close Wednesday, at 3PM
NOVEMBER 21, 2010
The Amish in Fiction
I'm not quite certain why, but fiction about the Plain Folk, the Amish, has always been popular in our library. Perhaps we are looking for a simpler life, one where computers, cell phones, cars, and other stuff do not intrude. No facebook accounts, no tv, no hustling our kids from one activity to another; one where family and community are the main importance.
It seems odd that we are so voyeuristic of a a lifestyle that tries to remain private and also that so many of the Amish fiction published today is in the romance or mystery genre. Murder and sex seem so contrary to my notion of this group but somehow authors have managed to write stories that are gentle enough to stay true to their nature and that are read not only by us but some in the Amish community.
If you search our catalog by the word Amish you'll find almost 80 items Many of these are written by Beverly Lewis, and Wanda E. Brunstetter, both popular Christian authors with fiction taking place in the Pennsylvania Amish region.
As hot as Amish fiction is, I recently came across a series that has been languishing on our shelves and one that fans of the genre might have missed. There are six books in the series which are being republished starting this past Septembe by Plume. The Ohio Amish Mysteries by Paul L. Gaus, begins with Blood of the Prodigal. The publisher describes it as such "An Amish man exiled from his community in Ohio for fast living, returns to kidnap his son from his grandparents. Sleuth and professor Michael Branden is hired to find the boy, only to learn that the father has been murdered and the boy is missing."
Gaus has lived in Wooster, Ohio, in with his wife, Madonna, for the past thirty plus years. He has studied Amish culture in Holmes Country for most of those years. He credits Tony Hillerman as his inspiration to write a mystery series about the people he loves and knows. His books provide keen insight to the lives of the Amish. You can read a great interview with the author at the Christian Science Monitor entitled Paul Gaus: Tony Hillerman of the Amish. Here he answers questions regarding the books, why he believes Amish fiction is popular, and more. Gaus's own blog also provides a wealth of information about his research and current book signing tour.
NOVEMBER 19, 2010
At the Library tomorrow (Saturday November 20, 2010) we will be commemorating 25 years in the same building. We will have tours, displays, around 3:45 pm we’ll have a few short speeches, then cake! At 5:15 pm will be delighted by a professional storyteller! If you are in our neighborhood, do stop in!
Libraries are usually built with the intent that their building will last 20 years. Today, we are hoping to do a much needed renovation project. So I have spent more time thinking about 20 years in the future than the past.
For me, it’s hard to imagine 25 years in one space. I’ve seen the pictures and I have tried to walk through the Library seeing in my mind’s eye what it might have been like twenty five years ago. I can see the brightness of the rug, space and feel the feeling of promise. At the same time, I wonder what will people think in 2035, 25 years from now.
NOVEMBER 15, 2010
Must Love Dogs
Somewhere this past week, don't remember where, I saw an article called Must Love Dogs. This immediately brought to mind the incredible number of books about dogs that have been published these past few years. The height of man's best friend frenzy seemed to begin with the popularity of Marley & me : life and love with the world's worst dog / John Grogan. Can you believe that book was published in 2005? According to one website I visited 72 million (2007) people in the US own dogs. That's a lot of tail wagging and may account for dog stories being in so in vogue.
Don't the covers alone make you want to read these?
Scent of the missing : love and partnership with a search and rescue dog / Susannah Charleson.
Nubs : the true story of a mutt, a Marine & a miracle / Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, Mary Nether
The lost dogs : Michael Vick's pit bulls and their tale of rescue and redemption / Jim Gorant
A big little life : a memoir of a joyful dog / Dean Koontz.
Oogy : the dog only a family could love / Larry Levin.
Huck : the remarkable true story of what one lost puppy taught a family-- and a whole town-- about hope and happy endings / Janet Elder.
Nose down, eyes up : a novel / Merrill Markoe
Dog tags / David Rosenfelt.
The fashion hound murders / Elaine Viets.
The art of racing in the rain : a novel / Garth Stein
and lastly, one book in the kid's section with a title and cover I just can't resist...
Smells like dog / by Suzanne Selfors.
Got a favorite dog story of your own? Let us know!
NOVEMBER 12, 2010
Over the past few weeks I kept stumbling upon rave reviews for Joann Sfar’s new graphic novel adaptation of The Little Prince, originally written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It had starred reviews in Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, with critics describing it as, ‘a tribute that is worthy of its own share of applause,’ with drawings ‘that are profound in their meaning and striking in their simplicity.’ So, when it finally arrived I decided to take it home and see what all the fuss was about.
The verdict: This graphic novel version does do justice to the original. It sticks to the story while bringing new life to it with its bold and colorful illustrations. But, despite all the rave reviews I thought there was something eerie about the pictures. Maybe it was the Little Prince’s eyes. Whatever it was, this is not supposed to be a scary story but something about the pictures just gave me the chills. I mean, in this picture the Little Prince looks like Chuckie:
I was also curious about The Night Bookmobile, the new graphic novel by Audrey Niffenegger, who you probably know as the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. This book was also creating a buzz, and like The Little Prince, it also earned a starred review in Booklist.
The verdict: When I brought this book back I passed it around to all the library staff to see what they thought. Truth be told it left most of us kind of scratching our heads. Many of the reviews called it a ‘tribute to the power of books,’ but I thought it was more of a sad but thought provoking story about a lonely, obsessed woman. It’s an odd little book, and the end of the story definitely caught me off guard. Without giving any spoilers, I will say that Su came up with an alternate ending that we all agreed we would have liked better. Niffenegger also got a lot of praise for her illustrations, but I thought the pictures were clunky, childish, and very creepy:
I should note that I don’t read graphic novels all that often, so my opinion might be different if I had more ‘experience’ reading and critiquing them. I would love to hear other opinions about these books, so if you have a chance to read one please leave us a comment!
NOVEMBER 10, 2010
Almost Veteran’s Day
Tomorrow is Veteran’s day and as I thought about blogging on this topic I realized how little I knew about this holiday and how sad that was. My dad’s a veteran. I’ve some close friends who are veterans. Regardless of my views on wars or ‘armed conflicts’ and the politics which surround such things, I am very appreciative of and sympathetic to the men and women who have and continue to work in and with the military.
So, curious, I started to investigate. Veteran’s day began as Armistice day, proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. November 11th being the anniversary of the singing of the Armistice that ended WWI. WWI formerly ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But it wasn’t until a Kansas shoe store owner’s influence and campaign in 1953 that the holiday was expanded to all veterans.
Interestingly also, I learned that in 1971, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veteran’s day was moved to the fourth Monday of October, but in 1978 it was moved back to its original day. I’m glad of this, it makes it more noticeable.
So, to all the Veteran’s out there, thank you!
And for anyone who would like to know more about Veteran’s or Veteran’s day, check out these materials at the library!
After the war zone : a practical guide for returning troops and their families / Laurie B. Slone and Matthew J. Friedman.
Beyond valor : World War II's Rangers and Airborne veterans reveal the heart of combat / Patrick K. O'Donnell.
Alive day memories [DVD] : home from Iraq / Attaboy Films ; HBO Documentary Films ; produced by Ellen Goosenburg Kent ; directed by Jon Alpert, Ellen Goosenburg Kent ; produced and photographed by Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill.
Coming home [DVD] / United Artists ; produced by Jerome Hellman ; directed by Hal Ashby ; screenplay, Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones ; story, Nancy Dowd.
Day / by A.L. Kennedy
613 West Jefferson / D.S. Lliteras
NOVEMBER 7, 2010
A Royal FLush
A royal flush in poker is a straight , ranking from Ace high. In this case though, that's not the kind of flush I'm talking about. You could call this blog Get the scoop on p__p but hey, this is a family website and some might object.
What could be easier than buying a toilet? We consider ourselves experienced toilet buyers as we've bought two in the past couple of years. We've narrowed them down to comfort height (at least 16"), elongated bowl, biscuit color, a complete kit, in stock and on the shelf, and under $250. Simple, you'd think. Aw, but there's many new choices and less water in the mix since the last ones we bought.
Our last toilets had flush ratings of 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush) but most today sport a green 1.28 gpf. When you consider prior to 1960 most toilets used a whopping 7 gallons, we've come along way in water conservation. In 1994, the federal government in their infinite wisdom, passed a law banning anything above 1.6 gpf (Toilet History).Toilet manufacturers took this to heart and have been lowering the water level ever since. This sounds good until you flush. We have yet to find the perfect toilet, one that completely removes all evidence of your business and a leaves a clean bowl too. Not only has the gpf been changed but they keep fiddling with the tank flap apparatus too. The swirl in the bowl is gone but the waste remains.
I've checked Consumer Reports (August 2009 toilet ratings issue), Consumer Search, Epinions, and most company websites. I'm so confused. What's the difference between a 4 star or 5 star flush, or a metered clock rating of 8 or 10? Is a 2" or 3" flush value better, a 2 1/8 or a 3" trap, or a class 5 or 6 brand the best? Who determines whether a brand rates a water saving seal of approval? What store stocks what brand, and what color is not a special order driving the price sky high?
I spent more time watching video clips of flushing toilets on Youtube than I'd care to admit. These were fun to watch but left me more confused. The companies boast that you can flush 8 hot dogs in one, 2.5 lbs. of chicken mcnuggets in another and 3 banana peels in yet another. American Standard's Champion 4 and Cadet 3's can flush at least 20 golf balls. Other companies make similar or crazier claims. Regular toilet users have posted their own toilet flushing tests too, with some funny results but these were probably the most helpful. You've got to appreciate these adventurous souls who have experimented with blue dye, kitty litter, socks and such with varying degrees of success.
After all. it's not like you can try before you buy or even open the box to see what kind of flapper mechanism it has.
We're off to buy a new toilet this afternoon. I'm voting for the Champ!but it's anyone's guess what the end product will be. Hopefully one that produces a royal flush!
the magazine databases @ www.iconn.org
Fine Homebuilding, Family Handyman or other magazines in our collection
Bed & bath : decorating ideas & projects / [edited by Linda Hallam]. ;
And try these just for fun:
DVD The Pope's Toilet
Ivy + Bean and the ghost that had to go / written by Annie Barrows ; illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
NOVEMBER 5, 2010
I come from a family of cooks. My parents are both excellent cooks. My sister is constantly cooking. Every time I see her she’s pushing new creations onto me – crab cakes, chorizo chili, homemade pizza, and more – not that I’m complaining! She also works at a gluten free bakery (shout out to Dee’s One Smart Cookie) and is always dropping by with extra breads, cookies, and cupcakes – to die for. I also live with my boyfriend who cooks, and cooks well, as he is regularly judged by the hungry firemen he works with. So, as you can probably tell, I have had little need or motivation to learn how to cook. I mean, I can do the basics and I have a few stand by recipes that I am comfortable whipping up, but that’s about it.
Recently I decided that I should try to teach myself how to cook one new thing a week. So far I have only succeeded in meeting this goal twice. One weekend I made a roasted vegetable meatloaf (Dad’s recipe) and twice baked potatoes with blue cheese and bacon (they were awesome!). Then I made a batch of baked potato soup, which also came out pretty good. Now I am on the lookout for more recipes to try…. like maybe something outside the potato family. Lucky for me the Saxton B. has a HUGE collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines.
Here are a few I have looked through recently:
We also have subscriptions to great foodie magazines like:
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
High Society & Hollywood
A red carpet at the library? Why not?
Monday, the New York Public Library held its annual Library Lions Gala. Celebrities such as John McEnroe and Lorne Michaels graced the audience while others such as Steve Martin, Ethan Hawke, Malcom Gladwell and Zadie Smith received awards. More than 600 guests attended (and raised 2.8 million dollars.)
Next year, the NYPL will be 100 years old. I’m sure it will truly be a star.
Want to see stars? Come check out our more than 7,000 DVDs!