Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Name That Banned Book!

How much do you know about books that have been banned or challenged around the country? In honor of Banned Books Week, take our quiz and find out.

Carrie went to see Tommy the day before the prom. She was waiting outside one of his classes and he said she looked really wretched, as if she thought he'd yell at her to stop hanging around and bugging him.

She said she had to be in by eleven-thirty at the latest, or her momma would be worried. She said she wasn't going to spoil his time or anything, but it wouldn't be fair to worry her momma.

Tommy suggested they stop at the Kelly Fruit after and grab a root beer and a burger. All the other kids would be going to Westover or Lewiston, and they would have the place to themselves. Carrie's face lit up, he said. She told him that would be fine. Just fine.

This is the girl they keep calling a monster. I want you to keep that firmly in mind. The girl who could be satisfied with a hamburger and a dime root beer after her only school dance so her momma wouldn't be worried...

Click on comments for the answer....

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Timely Biography

Alice Schroeder has just published a biography of Warren Buffett titled Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Though I find Warren Buffett to be a fascinating man, a new biography of him would not have normally been picked up on my book radar--yes I have book radar. However since he has been in the news as of late, discussing the state of our sagging economy, my interest has been peaked. Can you imagine being so powerful that world leaders consult you about the state of the economy? Can you imagine being so rich that you can boost an investment bank with a $5 billion dollar "cash infusion"? If you are of a certain age you may remember the commercials for E.F. Hutton with the slogan "when E. F. Hutton talks, people listen." That is what I think of when I hear the name Warren Buffett. The library has the biography on order and so you can place a hold on it now. You may be thinking that it would be a dry and boring read the reviews are making it sound very entertaining. And if you are curious about the title, snowball refers to "Mr. Buffet’s way of making things get bigger and bigger". You can read a read a review of the book in the New York Times Book Review.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Name That Banned Book!

How much do you know about books that have been banned or challenged around the country? In honor of Banned Books Week we will be posting a paragraph or two from a challenged book each day. Can you name this book?

There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows, there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbert balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were "Special Effects" sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splintery Toothflossing String-mints, tiny black Pepper Imps ("Breathe fire for your Friends!"), Ice Mice ("Hear your teeth chatter and squeak!"), peppermint creams shaped like toads ("Hop realistically in the stomach!"), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons.

Scroll down for the answer....

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. The entire Harry Potter series leads the list of most challenged books of the 21st century.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh Waiter!

Fans of Anthony Bourdain will enjoy Waiter Rant by Steve Dubanica. It has that same cynical, sardonic, just tell-it-as-it-is style, only this time its from the waiter's perspective. Dubanica offers some tips on how to be a valued customer, and also advises about some things that really annoy waiters, and how they get their revenge. Spitting in your food is the least of it. Restaurants keep much more information stored on their computers than you think; they keep records on troublesome customers as well as the ones who warrant special treatment. Don't even think of claiming you are a friend of the owner! The book details power struggles over prime shifts and tables, the paranoia of restaurant owners, and how a waiter can tell within seconds of seating you what kind of tipper you will be, amongst other interesting tidbits. This is an interesting eye opener for foodies, spiced with amusing anecdotes like what happened when Russell Crowe came to the restaurant.

"The front-of-the-house version of Kitchen Confidential; a painfully funny, excruciatingly true-life account of the waiter's life. As useful as it is entertaining." Anthony Bourdain

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where Did the Audio Books on Tape Go?

No need to panic, we still have our collection of audio books on tape. There is still a loyal base of fans that prefer tapes over books on CD and they have been very concerned when they can't find them in the Browse Room. Sad to say it is a dying medium. Very few titles are now offered on tape, and most of our patrons have moved on to books on CD or downloadable audio books since cars don't even come with cassette players any more. As the collection of books on CD grew larger, and the audio books on tape dwindled we had to give the growing collection the premier spot in the Browse Room. Fear not, the audio books on tape have simply moved to the back of the book stacks on the right side. You may even find them easier to browse now that they are on tall shelves.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I Had the Time

So many books so little time. I came across two non-fiction titles recently that I would love to read, but the stack on my nightstand is too big and my one year old is too energetic so they will be added to "the list". However, if you have the time you might want to check them out and let me know how they were.

  • The End of Food by Paul Roberts who wrote The End of Oil. "Roberts lays out the stark economic realities behind modern food and shows how our system of making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve."
  • A Year With-Out "Made in China" : One Family's True Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni. "On January 1, 2005, Sara Bongiorni's family embarked on a yearlong boycott of Chinese Products. They wanted to see for themselves what it would take, in will power and creativity, to live without the world's fastest growing economy--and whether it could be done at all."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hot Off the Press!

Chris Paolini's lastest book in the Inheritance series is finally here! Hardcore fans lined up at bookstores on Friday for the midnight release of Brisingr. Paolini was just 15 when he started writing the first book, Eragon, and is now a whopping 24. Brisingr will have a first press run of 2.5 million books, the largest ever for Random House's children's division--pretty impressive. Put all 784 pages on hold today at the Dover Public Library.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oprah Has Spoken

Oprah announced her latest book club pick today--The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. You can visit Oprah's web site to find out more about her book club and her latest pick. Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

Epic in scope, evoking the ancient kinship between people and dogs, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is an unforgettable debut novel set against the majestic backdrop of the northern Wisconsin wilderness.Born mute, speaking in a sign language of his own invention, Edgar Sawtelle has led an idyllic childhood on his parents' remote farm, where, for generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dogs whose thoughtful presence is exemplified by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong companion. During the summer of his 14th year, Edgar seems poised to excel in his family's work. He has a way with the dogs, and he has just been given his first litter of pups to raise. But that summer brings two unexpected visitors: a stray dog who refuses to come in from the wild, and Claude, Edgar's uncle, who cannot seem to tame his own ferocious nature. In this masterful novel, Wroblewski brilliantly examines the limits of language and the elemental forces of love, loss and revenge. At once a riveting adventure and a multilayered family saga, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a bold, ambitious novel that will captivate readers from its mysterious opening to its breathtaking finale.

Shiver Me Timbers!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!If you board their web site, you can learn to talk like a pirate, generate your own pirate name, and even pick up some knitting patterns for pirates. In the spirit of the day, I would like to share some great pirate novels with you. I heartily recommend Pirates! The True and Remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kingston, Female Pirates by Celia Rees. Its the swashbuckling tale of a wealthy merchant's daughter and her slave who find freedom by escaping to the high seas. Arrr!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anatomy of Deception

I don’t read a lot of mysteries. Those that I do read must bring something extra to the plate. I enjoy the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters for its humor and Egyptian atmosphere. I like the Jade Del Cameron series by Suzanne Arruda for its exotic African surroundings, and I love the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood for its 1920s feel and feisty heroine. Recently a co-worker who enjoys the same historical fiction I do urged me to read The Anatomy of Deception. It is a mystery by Lawrence Goldstone but has the intriguing background of a 1889 Philadelphia medical school. It is billed as forensic thriller. Things were very different then, doctors operated in street clothes with bare hands, anesthesia was still an uncertain, dangerous science, the theory of antisepsis was just being explored, and autopsies had just been legalized. Young doctor Ephraim Carroll is studying under the brilliant William Osler when he stumbles into the mystery of the beautiful girl’s corpse that disappears from the Dead Room, a.k.a., the morgue. His search for the truth will lead him into impoverished, dangerous neighborhoods, and the equally dangerous drawing rooms of the rich and powerful. True life characters like Osler, and artist Thomas Eakins add flavor and depth, as do details like Bayer patenting and marketing Heroin as a non prescription pain reliever, even as a cough remedy for children. If you enjoyed The Alienist by Caleb Carr and The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld, you will like this novel too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can you guess this Saturday's Matinee?

As I stated in an earlier blog post, due to our movie licensing agreements we are not allowed to announce the titles of the movies that we are showing, but we can describe them. So here is the description of the movie we are showing this Saturday, September 20 at 2:00pm in the Library Lecture Hall.

This is a live action adaptation of a 1960's Japanese cartoon/anime series of the same name. Emile Hirsch is starring as the title character, who incidently likes to drive fast, and Christina Ricci will portray his girlfriend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

Favorite comment overheard in the library today:
"There’s tons of cool stuff here.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do You Collect Books?

We have a small collection of special books that we will be selling off a few pieces at a time. These books range in price from $5 to over $100 because of their “antiquity” and/or value to collectors. Although we are still not asking full market price, prices are more than we ask for in our annual Fall book sale which begins October 25. These books have been in our basement collection for quite a number of years, and are being displayed a few at a time in the glass case near the adult circulation desk. So check back every week to see more!

All the Excitement is in the Library Parking Lot Today

Barack Obama is speaking at the McConnell Center adjacent to the Library today at noon. The excitement has been building all day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ever Heard a Didgeridoo?

The Friends of the Library will be hosting a lecture and concert with Joseph Carringer on Tues., Sept. 16th at 7:00pm in the library lecture hall, and yes he will be playing the didgeridoo. Joseph Carringer has been playing an Australian Aboriginal-made didgeridoo since 1997. Probably the world's oldest wind instrument, the didgeridoo originates in Northern Australia. Cave paintings by ancient aborigines suggest its age at 1500 years. Come and see how they are constructed, used in ritual and communication. Learn how it resonates and how its vibrations affect the human form. Check out its links to modern wind instruments and why many Celtic music groups are incorporating it into their arrangements. The lecture & concert is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Still Writing at 88!

I assumed when The Lighthouse was published in 2005 that it would be the last mystery novel by P.D. James. After all she was 85 at that time, and so I figured PD might want to retire. Well The Private Patient is scheduled to be released on November 18, and PD is now 88. This is her fourteenth mystery featuring Commander Adam Dagliesh, the first being published in 1962. I am not going to make any further guesses about PD James retiring, but poor Adam has put in some long years for the New Scotland Yard. If you are a fan of PD's you can put your name on the list for the Private Patient now, and if you are not you might want to give them a try--they are quite fun.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Misleading Book Jackets

Do you know a book lover with a sense of humor? Or perhaps your child is sad about returning to school and dragging around a textbook covered with dreary brown paper. They might enjoy a creative book cover like How to Get Your Brother Kicked Out of the House, or Yes Dear and You’re Right- A Husband’s Guide to Marriage. Personally, I think I will buy How To Murder a Complete Stranger and Get Away With It before my next plane flight.

This is not a product endorsement, it just made me laugh!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Which Came First the Chicken or the Egg

Rick Riordan, author of the popular kids series Percy Jackson & the Olympians, is authoring the first in a new series titled 39 Clues. This new series, by Scholastic, is scheduled to release a book every 2 to 3 months. The books contain clues which are linked to an online game and to a set of 350 playing cards. Maybe I am just a stick in the mud (or old-fashioned because I just used the term stick in the mud), but I don't really like this cross-marketing. We spend a lot of time as librarians trying to get kids into the habit of reading, and hoping it will replace some of their online time. Also, it is yet another thing for parents to spend money on. Now I know there are plenty of games, web sites, and merchandise connected to other books, Harry Potter, for example, but the books came first. All of the "stuff" came as a result of the popularity of the series. Just my opinion--I'd like to know what you think. If you would like to read more about the series there is an article about it in the New York Times book section.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saturday Matinee

The DPL will be resuming Saturday afternoon matinees beginning this Saturday, September 6 at 2pm in the Library Lecture Hall. Due to our movie licensing agreements we are not allowed to announce the titles of the movies, but we can describe them. So here is a description of the Sept. 6 movie: Singing performance by a wildly popular young actor/singer whose father, Billy Ray, had an "achy breaky heart". Also you can't shake a stick these days without seeing something about the young star's television show, concerts, controversial Vanity Fair photographs.... After all of my wonderful hints if you still don't know what it is, or if you want to know what future movies will be shown gives us a call at 516-6050. All movies are free and open to the public.