Friday, February 29, 2008

Looking for Young Artists

Do you have a budding Rembrandt or Picasso in the family? March is Student Art Month and we would love to showcase art by Dover kids and teens on the Library blog. You can send a jpeg of your artwork to, or bring in your drawing or painting to be scanned (no larger than 8" by 12" please). Interested? Bring your art to the Reference Desk.

Dover High School students will also be displaying artwork in various mediums in the Library in March. Don't miss this exhibit; their artwork is always creative and eye-catching.

Flower by Sam Wood

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Veritable Beowulf Bonanza

Everywhere I look lately there is another retelling of the classic epic poem Beowulf. This Saturday, March 1st at 2:00pm we are showing the recent movie Beowulf, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Also, we just purchased a graphic novel version of Beowulf adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds. The children’s room just received a simplified and illustrated retelling of the epic poem: Beowulf, a hero’s tale retold by James Rumford. It is fascinating to me that we can still be retelling a story from so long ago. The only surviving manuscript for Beowulf, dates back to around 1000, and it is the earliest heroic poem in any modern language that still exists.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is He Alive or Is He Dead?

I was driving to work today with my husband when Joe Walsh came on the radio singing “Life’s Been Good”. This sparked that age old game of “is he alive or dead”? We get this question a lot at the Reference Desk. Not just about Joe Walsh, but all sorts of celebrities. Of course, I had to check to see who was right when I got to work. He took the stance that Joe was alive, I was sure he died last year. There is actually a web site called Who’s alive and Who’s Dead. Oh no, it looks like hubby was right. Just to be positive I checked the Library’s Biography Resource Center (a very useful database for students working on papers at home). Darn it, I was still wrong. It was Warren Zevon I was thinking of. Sorry Joe.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Library Patron Inspires Author

In August 2006, seven year old Noah Albion wrote his first fan letter to award winning children's author Mary Amato. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her first two books in the Riot Brothers trilogy, Snarf Attack and Drooling and Dangerous. Touched by his letter, Ms. Amato wrote back to Noah and his mom: "The letter and little photo of Noah came at a time when I was suffering from writer's block and was the key in helping me get over it. I put Noah's photo by my desk and decided to write 'for him'. It worked!".

The third book in the Riot Brothers trilogy, Stinky and Successful, was released in the fall of 2007. The dedication page reads: "Hey, Noah Albion, this one is for you and your mom!".

On Monday, March 3rd @ 7:00 p.m., Mary Amato will visit Dover Public Library thanks to Noah, his mom, Michele, and ZMJ Enterprizes, Inc.. Join us in the Lecture Hall for a fun, interactive presentation. Ms. Amato will read from her latest book in the Riot Brothers series. She will also let you in on some Riot Brothers secrets and teach you a Riot Brother game and song.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Fascination With Food, Part 2

As promised earlier, here is the full review of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn.

After being let go from a corporate job that she loathed, Kathleen Flinn decided to accomplish her life long dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She cashed in her life savings and left for France even though she was barely able to speak the language. While Kathleen learned techniques for preparing puff pastry and making stock, she made friends with culinary students from Brazil, Japan, and one from England who looks like Liz Hurley. She was tutored by the owner of her local wine shop as well as by a homeless man who advised her that her sauces needed more salt. Loads of interesting characters, particularly the chefs, spice up this fun memoir of one woman’s adventure of a lifetime. You may find yourself learning a few things too. The title refers to the fact that if your knife is dull when you cut you will bruise the onion more than you would with a sharp knife, causing the onion to release more alkaloids that will make your eyes tear up. There is a local tie in too; The Atlantic Culinary Academy at McIntosh College is part of Le Cordon Bleu™ culinary program.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Stolen Generations

The Australian government seized thousands of Aboriginal and mixed race children from their families from the 1880s through the 1960s. These children, known as the “stolen generations,” were forbidden to speak their native language or practice Aboriginal customs in a misguided effort to provide a better life through forced assimilation. Just last week, the Australian government released its long awaited apology to the Aborigine people for the wrongs perpetrated against them. The Rabbit Proof Fence is a brilliant film depicting this historical event. It tells of three little girls who were forcibly taken from their mothers to be trained as domestic servants. They escape from the “settlement school” and begin the 1,500 mile walk through the Australian Outback with only a fence designed to keep rabbits from overrunning the country to guide them home. It is based on a true story but feels like a novel; a daring escape, a torturous trek through brutal desert pursued by an unwavering enemy. This is one of the best films I have ever seen; it is unforgettable.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Transumerism--Try to Say That Three Times Fast

While browsing through Body + Soul Magazine yesterday I ran across a short piece about the transumerism movement. This term refers to “consumers in transit—people who forgo permanent ownership of possessions in favor of renting.” Transumerists don’t want the hassle of ownership and possessions. This trend has made the use of used goods cool which in turn has allowed web sites like Ebay, Craigslist, and Freecycle to flourish. In researching this trend further I came across a fascinating website that talked about the movement in depth. Did you know that you can rent handbags, jewelry, and dresses? I didn’t. Also there are companies that allow car sharing of all types of cars from the economical to the super luxury—Lamborghini or Ferrari anyone?

Though the term may be fairly new they gave examples of entities that have been doing this for awhile—and one of them was libraries. So get yourself down to your local library to borrow that latest bestseller, board books or picture books for the kids, magazines, books on CD, music CDs, DVDs—you never know what you will find. Don't want the hassle of owning your own computer? Use one of ours. Just thought you should know that we are on the cutting edge here at the DPL—we always knew it, now the rest of the world does too. Finally!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feeling Frumpy?

Watching too much "What Not to Wear"? Worried that it is only a matter of time before Stacy and Clinton nab you at the local mall? Never fear. Your local library has your style solutions. The other night while meandering across the Internet, I happened across the Stylenosh blog. The posting which caught my eye was entitled, "The Top Five Reasons Given for Looking Like Crap". Really, how much more blunt can you get? The top reason given was that people said they just didn't know how to dress or put together an outfit. Stylenosh has no pity for this excuse. She suggests visiting other style and fashion websites such as the Budget Fashionista and checking out fashion books and magazines. The books recommended were "The Lucky Shopping Manual", "Instyle's Instant Style", and "Dress Your Best". Magazines suggested were Marie Claire, Lucky, and Glamour. All of which can be found at the library. That is, as soon as I bring them back. What can I say? I love Stacy and Clinton. So no excuses now. Get out there and shop. It's good for the soul and good for the economy. Dover Public Library can not be held responsible for poor fiscal or fashion decisions.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Who Is Sam Peabody?

My walk early this morning brought thoughts of spring. The sky was a clear blue, there were birds chirping and singing, finally breaking the silence of winter. I was able to identify a Phoebe, a Cardinal, and a raucous Blue Jay. I decided that I better take home The Bird Song Ear Training Guide Book on CD again to sharpen up my identification skills before the real onslaught of spring birdsongs begins. Do you know which bird calls out “Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody?” My grandmother, who was from New Brunswick, always claimed he was really saying, “"O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada." If you don’t know who this mystery bird is, you may want to take the CD home. There is a special bonus for dog lovers; just wait to see the look on your dog’s face when he hears a Mourning Dove cooing from the stereo speakers. It’s priceless.

American Political Stew

A recipe:
Mix one Christian evangelical preacher, one moderate Senator who’s a former POW, a dirty-tricks political campaign strategist, a former African-American Secretary of State, and an influential right-wing television network CEO. Add the hot-buttons issues of stem-cell research, gay marriage, underlying racism, terror threats, and the place of religion in politics.

Sounds like the nightly news on CNN, right? It’s not! It’s the latest political thriller from one of my favorite writers, Richard North Patterson. “The Race” follows the primary campaign of fictional Ohio Senator Corey Grace in his quest for the Republican nomination for president.

“The Race” is an intriguing, gripping tale filled with drama, some romance, and a great deal to say about the Machiavellian inner workings of American politics today. The twists and turns in this novel come fast and furious but the rise of Corey Grace concludes in a particularly satisfying way.

I suggest reading all of Patterson’s stuff. (Don’t confuse him with the hyper-prolific James Patterson though.) Richard North Patterson’s legal and political novels are multi-layered, highly characterized, well-researched, and always enjoyable.

"Dover Counts" Counting Contest

As part of the festivities celebrating this year's "Dover Reads" book choice, Tuttle's Red Barn: the story of America's oldest family farm, a jar of "Dover Counts" popcorn kernels will be in the Children's Room from February 14 through March 10.

Stop by, check out the jar (and the book), and guess how many popcorn kernels there are. A prize will be awarded to the person making the closest guess!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Library Will Be Closed in Honor of Presidents' Day.

Monday, February 18, the Library will be closed in honor of Presidents' Day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Kinder, Gentler Library

While doing some historical research today, I ran across this poem in an 1884 issue of the Dover Enquirer newspaper. It was in a Letter to the Editor and the anonymous writer explains: "The dull prose of the usual Library Rules is so generally overlooked, or if looked over so generally disregarded, that the following rules in rhyme are sent to hopes that they may have influence with the frequenters of the New Public Library. Those who are musically inclined can sing them to the good old familiar tune of Greenville."

Gently, reader, gently moving,
Wipe your feet beside the door;
Hush your voice to whispers soothing,
Take your hat off, we implore.

Mark your number, plainly, rightly,
From the catalogue you see:
With the card projecting slightly,
Then your book bring unto me.

Quickly working,
Without shirking,
Soon another there will be.

If above two weeks you’ve left me,
Just two cents a day I’ll take,
And unless my mind’s bereft me,
Payment you must straightway make.

Treat your books as if to-morrow
Gabriel’s trump would surely sound,
And all scribbling, to your sorrow,
‘Gainst your credit would be found.

Therefore tear not,
Spot, and wear not,
All these books so neatly bound.

These few simple rules abiding,
We shall always on you smile;
There will be no room for chiding,
No one’s temper will you rile.

And when Heaven’s golden portals
For you, on their hinges turn,
With the books for all immortals,
There will be no rules to learn.

Therefore heed them
Often read them,
Lest your future weal you spurn.

In 1884,the City had just established its first public library and it seems that borrowers haven't changed much in those 124 years! Anyone know the melody for Greenville? Perhaps our librarians could learn it and we could sing our books back into the library!

Indulge Your Inner Child

I thought it fitting that we should report on the The Cybils since it is a "blogger-run, blogger-inspired award". The Cybils were the internet's first literary awards, and the acronym translates to Children 's & YA Bloggers' Literary Awards. This award was designed to recognize both a book's merit and its popularity. The founders felt that the Newbery Award was a bit too elitist for their tastes, and were looking for an alternative. Anyone with an email address can nominate their favorite children's book--very democratic. The Cybils are in their second year, and have picked some great books like Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale & Boy Toy by Barry Lyga--definitely worth taking a look.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Fascination with Food

It all started with Julie and Julia. Julie Powell set herself a goal of cooking all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. Her stories were amusing, interesting, and involving. Her description of the trauma of cooking a lobster was so hilarious I almost fell off the couch. Next up I read James Haller’s Vie de France: sharing food, friendship, and a kitchen in the Loire Valley. Haller was the critically acclaimed chef at the Blue Strawbery. Since I was fortunate enough to eat there, and have an interest in books about Americans living in France, this book was doubly fascinating to me. Haller and several of his friends rented a house in France for a month during the summer. Though he had sworn off cooking during his vacation, Haller was so inspired by the wonderful ingredients available in the local markets he could not help but make one gourmet meal after the other. I envy his friends. The next food book I devoured (sorry, terrible pun) was Service Included: four star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter by Phoebe Damrosch. This book was not so much about cooking; instead, it focuses on the intricate details of running a top New York City restaurant. It’s like Kitchen Confidential from a waiter’s perspective. I recommend listening to Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. You get the benefit of his sarcastic delivery as he tells you war stories from the restaurant business, as well as useful tips. Did you know Hollandaise sauce is like a petri dish for bacteria, untouched bread is often recycled to the next table, and you should never order fish on Monday? Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl is an entertaining look at the restaurant business from the viewpoint of a critic. Reichl wanted to experience a restaurant as a normal diner would, and not be given kid glove treatment as a critic, so she developed many disguises over the years to fool New York restaurants. She dined as Chloe the blonde divorcee and Brenda the red haired hippie. Donning these disguises taught her things about herself, as well as the restaurants she was reviewing. Next I read The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn, which I will review at length in a later post; stay tuned! The short version is an American loses her job and decides to fulfill her life dream of attending the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. I did tell you I like books about Americans in France. The foodie book I just finished was Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte: a food lover’s courtship, with recipes. This is almost chick lit for the gourmet set. Every now and then you need to read something light! Amanda details her romance with Mr. Latte, a man so ignorant about food that he ordered a latte after dinner! Amanda has her hands full educating his palate and winning his heart. Can she be happy with a man who invited her to a chain restaurant for their first date?

Do you have a favorite book about cooking or food? Let us know.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There is Life After Cirque du Freak

Yesterday I was in the Teen Corner of the library and overheard a conversation between a mother and son. He was looking for the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan and their conversation went something like this:

Mom: Haven’t you read these before?
Son: Yes, several times.
Mom: Why don’t you get something else?
Son: But I like these.
Mom: You might like some of these other books.
Son: Maybe, but I know I like these.
They left with several in the Cirque du Freak series and nothing else.

The Cirque du Freak series has been wildly popular here at the DPL, how could they not be with titles like Tunnels of Blood and Killers of the Dawn. I have lost count of how many times I have replaced lost or stolen copies, or ones that have just fallen apart—a sure sign of popularity. So for all the frustrated mothers I have put together a list of books that will hopefully appeal to the Cirque du Freak obsessed.

Dread Locks (or Red Rider’s Hood) by Neal Shusterman
Freaks by Annette Curtis Klause
Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales edited by Deborah Noyes
The Hand of the Devil by Dean Vincent Carter
Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos
Ostrich Eye by Beth Cooley
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Sorcerers of the Nightwing by Geoffrey Huntington
Thirsty by MT Anderson

Monday, February 11, 2008

Free Internet Safety Program: "Parents in Charge"

On Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm, come to the Lecture Hall to hear Melissa Royer, a trained forensic examiner and data recovery specialist, speak on the important topic of "Parents in Charge": how to keep your children safe from online pornography, predators, illegal downloads, and inappropriate correspondence on the family computer.

  • Learn the secrets of supervising your children on the Internet

  • Learn how to monitor and secure home-based computers from predators

  • Learn how to decipher text-messaging jargon
  • Learn how to use the built-in security features on your home computer
  • Learn how to monitor chat room activities and conversations

This valuable and informative program for parents is free and is sponsored by the Friends of the Dover Public Library.

Solve 2 Library Quizzes to win a Fine-Free Year!

It’s time once again for our annual library puzzle. The first ten DPL cardholders to correctly solve the conundrums below will earn a fine-free year at the Dover Public Library. Because 2008 is a Leap Year with an extra day in February, we’re requiring that you solve both the puzzles to win! They’re short but tough. Good luck!

Who’s Driving What?
There are four librarians’ cars parked in a row at the back of the library parking lot. They belong to Sara, Denise, Sandy and Nancy. One car is red, one is blue, one green and one white. From the following clues, figure out who drives which car:
Ø Nancy’s car is to the right of the blue car, which is to the right of Sara’s.
Ø Denise doesn’t like white or blue cars.
Ø Sandy’s car is not next to Denise’s car and is next to a red car.
Ø Denise and Sara are the only two who have letters in their name which are also in the colors of their car.

How Many Books?
Sally is a frequent borrower and always has many books checked out of the library. Strangely, among the books she has checked out now, their covers are either blue, white or brown!
Ø Some are paperbacks and some are hardcover.
Ø There are more brown books than any other color.
Ø She has an equal number of brown paperbacks and brown hardcovers.
Ø All but three are hardcover.
Ø There are twice as many brown paperbacks as white paperbacks.
Ø There are three times as many blue books as white ones.
How many books does Sally currently have checked out?

Please turn in your answers to both quizzes at the adult circulation desk or send an email to me at Inveterate puzzle-solvers are certainly eligible to solve the quizzes, but only cardholders will benefit from the prize of a fine-free year! Have fun!

New Magazines Have Started Coming In!

Next time you are at the Library make sure to take a look at these interesting new magazines:

Cooking With Paula Deen
Fit Yoga
Maximum Fitness
Small Business Opportunities
Whole Dog Journal

Friday, February 08, 2008

Best Selling Books of 2007

You can see the top 50 best selling titles of 2007 according to Publishers Weekly, as well as lists separating the top sellers in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books here.

How many of these books did you read? I have to admit I only read 2 ½. (I only skimmed You: on a diet, but it was very interesting).

1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling. 7,740,000 copies sold

2 The Secret Rhonda Byrne. 2,947,000

3 Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert. 2,015,000

4 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini. 1,377,000

5 The Dangerous Book for Boys Conn and Hal Iggulden. 963,000

6 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini. 960,000

7 Water for Elephants Sara Gruen. 913,000

8 The Memory Keeper's Daughter Kim Edwards. 866,000

9 The Road Cormac McCarthy. 736,000

10 You: On a Diet Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen 689,000

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What's in a Name? Part 2

I posted a pseudonym quiz last Thursday, and here are the answers:

Emily Bronte wrote as Ellis Bell
(and Anne Bronte wrote as Acton Bell)

Charles Dickens also wrote as Boz
Eric Arthur Blair is better known as George Orwell
James Alfred Wight is James Herriot
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is Lewis Carroll
Agatha Christie also wrote as Mary Westmacott
and my personal favorite is that Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O'Brian

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Can You Watch My Fish; and other questions at a full service library

I never know what sort of questions I will get each day; you expect that at the Reference Desk. However, the Circulation Librarians certainly won the prize for the most unusual question last week when one of our patrons said he couldn’t take his fish home with him and would we mind watching it for him? Sure enough, he had a small glass bowl with a very disgruntled looking fish in it. I found myself looking around for a hidden camera. Would the Cat in the Hat be walking in next? Having no policies in place to guide us in answering fish sitting queries we agreed. However when he came back the next day to ask for another day of fish sitting we had to politely decline. Who knows where this could lead? Would there be hamsters trundling through the gardening section, kittens frolicking past the knitting books, and a pony on the lawn? While we do pride ourselves in offering a vast array of services, sadly, pet sitting is no longer one of them.

I wonder what I will be asked tomorrow….

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jane-Stop This Crazy Thing!

No, I don't want to talk to you of the Jetsons episodes but something much more serious and insidious. Yes, it's Jane Austen. She is infiltrating society at an alarming pace. How many versions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility can we take? I was never so disappointed as when someone pointed out to me that the plot of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary was a remake of Pride and Prejudice. Way to ruin a good movie. And then there are the books that take off from there... Books mimicking Austen or about Austen lovers, The Jane Austen Book Club (movie soon to be shown at our fair library), Austenland, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, etc. Do you know that when you type Jane Austen in the library catalog as topic, you pull up 87 different items including I Have Found It, a movie described as an Indian version of Sense and Sensibility? On and on it goes. But it isn't really the books and movies that annoy me-it's the Janeites themselves. Every time a book or a movie comes up to the front desk to be checked out, it begins. "Oooh, P & P! Don't you just love Colin Firth as Darcy?"(Duhhh, who wouldn't like Colin Firth as Quasimodo?) " And what about Elizabeth's response to her father in Chapter 13, pg 108, paragraph 5, line 1-3? She's so witty. I wish I could think of things to say like that..." Well I hate to break it to you- she didn't say that. Jane Austen sat for hours with a cup of strong black tea thinking of the perfect thing to say. That's why it's intelligent and witty. I say enough is enough. There are tons of I love Jane sites on the Internet but I have yet to find an I hate Jane one. But I have hope. I have a cause. Jane haters unite! See you on the Internet. P.S. To those who looked up the aforementioned reference-gotcha!

Be an Informed Traveler

One of my favorite blogs to peruse is Arthur Frommer Online. If the names sounds familiar its because Arthur Frommer is a renowned travel expert and publishes Frommer’s travel guides. His blog is full of useful tips on travel bargains, helpful travel search engines, government regulations affecting travel, and new trends in travel. One of his latest tips is, “If you're renting a car in the U.S.A. and not using, you're paying too much. is a comparison service that searches the prices of up to 50 car rental companies (including purely local ones) and then tells you where you can get the best deal for the dates when you need wheels.” If you are planning a vacation, this blog is well worth checking out.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Dover Reads" Kick-Off Celebration

"Dover Reads" is a citywide reading project, sponsored by the Dover School District Community Involvement Committee, which encourages everyone to read the same book to promote a sense of community and the joy of reading. This year, Dover will be reading Tuttle’s Red Barn: the story of America’s oldest family farm written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Caldecott Award winner, Mary Azarian. (Yes, this is the story of Dover's very own Tuttle's Red Barn!)

All are welcome to join us for the sixth annual "Dover Reads" kick-off celebration on Thursday, February 14th in the Dover City Hall Auditorium @ 4:00pm. Special activities and events, such as the annual essay contest, the "Math Counts" contest, a vacation week craft at the "Make-it, Take-it" craft table in the library's Children's Room, and the final celebration and awards ceremony, will be announced.

Come See the Valentines from the Thom Hindle Photographica Collection

Thom Hindle is a nationally recognized collector of photographica and has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books. You can see his collection of valentines with a photographic theme in the Reference Room. All the valentines feature a photographer or camera; many are mechanical valentines; pull a tab and a figure or object moves.