Thursday, July 31, 2008
No disrespect to Robert McCammon but his latest book keeps putting me to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually quite interesting. The Queen of Bedlam takes place in 17th century New York. Matthew Corbett, struggling to make it as a magistrate’s clerk, witnesses a murder by a serial killer known as the Masker. He is drawn into solving the mystery, and finds his life threatened, not by the Masker, but by the villainous Professor Fell, an adversary worthy of Sherlock Holmes. The book is peppered with atmospheric details of city life of that time; ramshackle buildings, food served at meals (sweetbreads in mustard sauce or grilled lamb with pickles anyone?) and characters as intriguing as their names: Hudson, Greathouse, a madam called Polly Blossom, and Marmaduke Grigsby. So with all the unique characters and plot turns why do I keep falling asleep? I don’t understand it but I can only read for 45 minutes before my eyes start drooping, even when I read in the middle of the day! So what do you have to lose? Even if it doesn’t help you sleep, you still have a terrific book to read.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Watch Jamie Lee Curtis read from her new book Big Words for Little People at the American Library Association Conference . Afterwards, she explains how she found the idea for her first book, and then speculates on why celebrities are often compelled to write children's books.
Ø Along the Roaring River: my wild ride from Mao to the Met. Hao Jiang Tian.
Ø Beijing and Shanghai. Eyewitness Travel guide.
Ø Beijing: from imperial capital to Olympic city. Lillian M. Li.
Ø The Bitter Sea: coming of age in a China before Mao. Charles N. Li.
Ø Charm Offensive: how China’s soft power is transforming the world. Joshua Kurlantzick.
Ø China Road: a journey into the future of a rising power. Rob Gifford.
Ø The Elephant and the Dragon: the rise of India and China and what it means for all of us. Robyn Meredith.
Ø Frommer’s Beijing 2008.
Ø Frommer’s Chinese Phrasefinder and Dictionary. Wendy Abraham, ed.
Ø Last Days of Old Beijing: life in the backstreets of a city transformed. Michael Meyer.
Ø Lost on Planet China: the strange and true story of one man’s attempt to understand the world’s most mystifying nation, or how he became comfortable eating live squid. J. Maarten Troost.
Ø The Man Who Loved China: the fantastic story of the eccentric scientist who unlocked the mysteries of the Middle Kingdom. Simon Winchester.
Ø Olympic Dreams: China and sports, 1895—2008. Xu Guoqi.
Ø Oracle Bones: a journey between China’s past and present. Peter Hessler.
Ø Out of Mao’s shadow: the struggle for the soul of a new China. Philip P. Pan.
Ø Serve the People: a stir-fried journey through China. Jen Lin-Liu.
Ø Snow Falling in Spring: coming of age in China during the cultural revolution. Moying Li. (YA fiction)
Ø Why the Dalai Lama Matters: his act of truth as the solution for China, Tibet and the world. Robert Thurman.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Officer Kennedy explained what type of dog makes a good "detective", how they are trained, who they live with (he is responsible for Ace), and the proceedures the officer and the dog follow in order to locate drugs in a building or a vehicle.
The highlight of the program was not only watching Ace at work (he found the hidden drugs in 2 seconds flat) but also being allowed to pet him!
During a road trip to
Anyway, it reminded me of an amusing web site you might enjoy; Kiss This Guy; the Archive of misheard lyrics. It gets its name from a misunderstood Jimi Hendrix lyric in “Purple Haze”. It’s happened to us all. Before this incident, I thought Eric Clapton was singing “Croquet”.
Bonus points to those of you who know which band sang “Whose Cadillac Is That”!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
This past week we had a group of paranormal researchers ask if they could investigate the Library. We do have a ghost here so we were curious as to what they would discover.
Elizabeth Anne Leach served as librarian at the Dover Public Library from 1945 to 1959. During a trustees meeting she complained of not feeling well but refused to desert her post. She lay down on the ancient leather "fainting couch" and never woke again.
There are often mysterious noises in the library, particularly at closing, when the rooms are dark and silent. When we hear the unexplained noises, the sound of leather shoes on wooden floors that are now covered by carpet, or the gentle creak of a door opening, we wish Miss Leach a good night and leave her to her library.
Since the Ghost Quest group visited, we librarians began sharing our stories. I have worked here 23 years and have only heard the ghost once. Around 8pm, my co-worker and I heard loud and distinct footsteps moving briskly in the Historical Room. Then we heard the glass cabinets begin to bang loudly. We both thought we had a misbehaving patron on our hands. My co-worker went upstairs to settle things down and reported that no one was upstairs. It was quiet for about five minutes when the racket began again. I went up and thoroughly explored the whole upper floor, including closets, bathrooms, any little nooks where someone could hide. There was absolutely no one there. Fortunately we closed for the evening shortly after.
One of the part time librarians said when her brother used to work here he heard running footsteps upstairs. He thought kids were fooling around so he went up to investigate. Again, there was no one there.
The last incident concerned a patron who needed to book a room for a tutoring session. When she was offered the Trustees room, she refused in a very matter of fact manner, stating that the room was haunted. I would love to talk to her. I wonder what she has experienced there to lead her to that conclusion.
If any of you Dear Readers have experienced ghostly manifestations here, I would love to hear about it.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Advertising and marketing have changed drastically in the last 20 years with the genesis of the Internet, corporate sponsorship, You Tube videos, Second Life--all ways new ways of increasing brand recognition. Walker "demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities." Hmm...maybe I will having to find the time.
As a huge fan of historical novels, particularly England in the 19th century, this book really peaked my interest. This is the story of the English governess, "marooned within the confines of other people's lives, neither servants nor family members, governesses occupied an uncomfortable social limbo." Who can forget the fate of Ms. Testvalley in Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers--uncomfortable social limbo indeed!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Fans of Lost, the ABC television series, should have noticed that books play an important role in the show, often acting as clues. There are literary allusions to over forty books from Slaughterhouse Five to
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
For more information about the reading program and related summer activities for children, visit "DPL's Detective Agency" (a.k.a. "The Children's Room") or click here.
I can't wait to get my hands on these books:
Walking Ollie by Stephen Foster. This book is being touted as
Friday, July 11, 2008
- Chocolate and Zucchini: daily adventures in a Parisian kitchen. Clotilde Dusolier. (cookbook avec commentary)
- Discovery of France: a geographical history from the Revolution to the First World War. Graham Robb. (as explored on his bicycle!)
- Extremely Pale Rosé: a very French adventure. Jamie Ivey. (wine journey through southern France)
- French by Heart: an American family’s adventures in La Belle France. Rebecca S. Ramsey. (Mom, Dad and 3 kids relocate to Michelin-land)
- The French Century: an illustrated history of modern France. Brian Moynahan. (from 1900 to the present)
- The Girl With No Shadow. Joanne Harris. (sequel to the novel Chocolat)
- I’ll Drink to That: Beaujolais and the French peasant who made it the world’s most popular wine. Rudolph Chelminski. (stylish history of wine-making)
- La Vie en Rosé: a very French adventure continues. Jamie Ivey. (full-bodied romp through southern France)
- Mediterranean Summer: a season on France’s Cote d’Azur and Italy’s Costa Bella. David Shalleck. (American chef cooks on board a luxury yacht)
- Metro Stop Paris: an underground history of the City of Light. Gregor Dallas. (told through 12 subway stops)
- My French Life. Vicki Archer. (beautifully photographed life in Provence)
- Narrow Dog to Carcassonne. Terry Darlington. (down French canals in an English narrowboat)
- Nobody Does It Better: why French home cooking is still the best in the world. Trish Deseine. (irreverent guide by best-selling French cookbook author)
- Pardon My French: unleash your inner Gaul. Charles Timoney. (insider’s language tips for dining, shopping and slang)
- Petite Anglaise: a true story. Catherine Sanderson. (digital age Paris blogging fairytale!)
- A Piano in the Pyrenees: the ups and downs of an Englishman in the French mountains. Tony Hawks. (how not to buy a house abroad---hilarious!)
- Pork & Sons. Stephane Reynaud. (homage to the pig from slaughterhouse to table, plus 150 recipes)
- Talk to the Snail: ten commandments for understanding the French. Stephen Clarke. (customs, romance---it’s all here!)
- A Town Like Paris: falling in love in the City of Light. Bruce Corbett. (searching for a new love in Le Marais)
- We’ve Always Had Paris---and Provence: a scrapbook of our life in France. Patricia and Walter Wells. (one couple’s 25-year foray into going native)
- Words in a French Life: lessons in love and language from the south of France. Kristin Espinasse. (short chapters, each inspired by a French word)
Apprecier et avez-un verre de vin pour moi!
The Gift of Stones by Jim Crace
People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear
Mother Earth, Father Sky by Sue Harrison
Pillar of the Sky by Cecelia Holland
Circles of Stone by Joan Dahr Lambert
The Horse Goddess by Morgan Llywelyn
The White Mare’s Daughter by Judith Tarr
Reindeer Moon by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Daughter of the
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
- 82% of parents wish their child engaged in more pleasure reading
- 80% of 5-8 year olds believe reading is "extremely important
- 56% of 15-17 year olds feel reading is "extremely important"
- After age 8, children are more likely to go online daily than to read for fun daily
- After age 15, children are more likely to have read a magazine than a book in last 7 days
- After age 11, friends surpass mothers as the top source of ideas about books to read for fun
- 62% of children prefer books printed on paper rather than digitally on handheld devices
- "Trouble finding books they like" is the key reason kids say they don't read more
- Parents who read are 6 times more likely to have kids that read frequently for fun
- More than 6 in 10 kids age 9 and older have read Harry Potter
- 29% of children who are "high frequency" Internet users are also "high frequency" pleasure readers.
To read the full report go to: www.scholastic.com/aboutscholastic/news/readingreport.htm
As of today, July 9, we have over 450 children and teens registered for our summer reading programs: kids who read for fun (and well, yes, for prizes too!). Although 450 is a fabulous number, I do sometimes think of all the kids in Dover who don't sign up, who aren't frequent readers and who, perhaps, won't do as well in school come September. There's still time to sign up...and we have plenty of wonderful reading suggestions for all ages. We promise we'll find you a book you'll absolutely love!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
- From Publisher's Weekly: "Jennings tells of his upbringing in the hardscrabble hollers of New Hampshire."
- From the Washington Post's Book World: "Jennings was born in rural New Hampshire and grew up in Kingston, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents. The local accent was Yankee cracker, but it was cracker all the same..."
- From the book: In his "particular chicken-scratched swatch of New Hampshire, postwar prosperity was a rumor."
Monday, July 07, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
- Barenaked Ladies new children's music CD called Snacktime!
- Quebecois folk music by the group Le Vent du Nord called Dans Les Airs
- George Fisher's new travel book, Unforgettable Canada: 100 destinations
- the new Frommer's 2008 travel guide to Canada
- Kathy Reichs' new Temperance Brennan mystery novel, Devil Bones, debuts in August (Reichs isn't Canadian but Tempe is a forensic pathologist in Montreal)
So take a listen or do some reading, eh?