Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Just Couldn’t Wait

Fans of the Simon Serrallier series by Susan Hill and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson will know just what we mean. They were so good we could not wait for the next installments to be published next summer in the US, so we ordered them from the UK where they were scheduled to be released this past fall and winter. Turns out the economic downturn is good for one thing, it helps with the exchange rate! So, why wait? Read them now. You can find The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson and the next two in the Serrailler series, The Risk of Darkness and The Vows of Silence in our catalog now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Youth Literacy Awards Announced

These 2009 literary award winners were announced today in Denver at the American Library Association Conference-Youth Media Awards.

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
The Newbery Medal winner for 2009 is:

Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book.

The honor books in this category are:
Savvy by Ingrid Law
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle (on order)
Underneath by Kathi Appelt .

The Caldecott Medal
is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The Caldecott Medal winner for 2009 is:

Beth Krommes, illustrator of The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson.

The honor books in this category are:
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever written and illustrated by Marie Frazee
How I Learned Geography written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (on order)

The Michael L. Printz Award
is an award given for a book that exemplifies excellence in young adult literature.
The Printz award for 2009 goes to:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

The honor books in this category are:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Vol II: The Kingdom of the Waves by M.T. Anderson
Nation by Terry Prachett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

Happy Australia Day!

Today is the day that Australians celebrate their country, much like our Independence Day. January 26 marks the day that the First fleet arrived in Sydney beginning the British colonization of Australia. Why not celebrate by enjoying some fascinating books and a memorable DVD exploring Australia's history.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville
William Thornhill was raised as a waterman in London. He spent his days ferrying wealthy people across the Thames. He falls in love with his employer’s saucy young daughter, Sal, and life is good until her parents die . Creditors come after the family’s belongings, and take the boat William uses to earn a living. When William resorts to thievery to support his wife and child, he is caught and sent to Australia. Sal and her son are allowed to go with him. While Sal constantly yearns after Home, her idealized memory of London, William comes to love the harsh land of Australia. At first life is a daily struggle against an alien environment but soon William finds that it is possible to better yourself quickly in this new country. He earns his pardon through hard work, Sal makes money easily by running a tiny pub. Sydney becomes their happy home until William falls for a lush stretch of river on his shipping runs. He convinces Sal to try homesteading there, they will make their fortune within five years and return to London and live a comfortable life. Sal agrees ; they settle in on the isolated stretch of land. While they assume the land is theirs for the taking, the aborigines that have used the land for eons are dismayed by the clearing of the land that destroys all their native food sources. Hostilities grow between the natives and the ever encroaching settlers. The English army is mustered and tries the same tactics that didn’t work well with American colonials. Sal and William must decide; do they run to safety, or fight for the land they have come to love.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Another extremely enjoyable travel adventure from Bryson. This time he ventures off to Australia, covering large areas of the huge island continent. He has a talent for spotting the bizarre, as well as uncovering the true character of a nation. He comments on among other things; A-bombs that go off unnoticed, aggressive seashells, giant earthworms, and of course Australia’s truly wonderful place names. Delightful and humorous, this tape will make you nostalgic if you have ever visited Australia.

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. The Rabbit Proof Fence is 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.

Want more? Come in and pick up our "If You Like Books About Australia"bookmark.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tropical Depression

I think the cold temperatures are finally starting to get to the Library patrons. Many travel guides to warm places are being checked out. Yesterday someone took out a stack of Hawaiian music and Jimmy Buffet CDs. I am longing for the day when all the gardening books start flying off the shelves, a sign of spring's immanent approach.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I recently finished the young adult novel Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This is a fantasy novel featuring Katsa, who has one green eye and the other blue, which marks her as "graced." Those who are graced have a special skill, and Katsa's is survival. This of course makes her a "tough chick" to say the least (see Saturdays post). I loved the novel and was completely caught up in Ms. Cashore's fantasy world, and I am eagerly awaiting the prequel and the sequel which are both in the works. Now after reading an article on Kristin Cashore I believe that she is "graced". Graceling was the first novel that Ms. Cashore attempted to get published. A friend knew of an agent, but her website clearly stated "no fantasy". Ms. Cashore contacted her anyhow and was allowed to send 50 pages of her manuscript (by the way, this was the only agent that she contacted!). That is all it took for the agent to be on board, and within a few weeks they had an offer from a publisher. The book was published and has already gone back to press twice, rights have been sold in 12 languages--you get the picture. I believe her "grace" is that people can't say no to her or maybe only good things are allowed to happen to her. Not a bad problem to have. I suppose she could just be a very talented writer. No matter give the book a read--it is definitely worth it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What The Librarians Are Talking About

One of the Library volunteers is raving about Blaize Clement's Cat Sitter series, describing it as fast and fun. The Library's mystery maven has been recommending Jeffrey Deaver's Bodies Left Behind to anyone who will listen. She says this story about a resourceful woman deputy really wowed her with its many unexpected twists and turns. And I am feeling downright gleeful that Suzanne Arruda is back with another Jade del Cameron mystery; it offers high adventure in 1920's Africa, not to be missed!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tough Chicks

The Library Office Manager is a connoisseur of mysteries. If you are looking for the author who writes a particular character, or in a certain setting, she can steer you to the right books. She has been reading a string of mysteries featuring strong women characters and really enjoying them. We are sharing her terrific finds in the "Tough Chicks" bookmark. You can pick one up at the Library across from the Circulation Desk. Here are a few of her favorites:

Robert Eversz - Nina Zero series
Robert Fate - Baby Shark series
Thomas Perry - Jane Whitefield novels
Barbara Seranella - Munch Mancini series

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Sisterhood Grows

We have just received Ann Brashares new book 3 Willows: the Sisterhood Grows. Ann Brashares fame came from her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series for teens (teen girls really), and the series has led to two movies. The new book is not part of the Traveling Pants series but has some tie-ins. From Ann Brashares blog: "The main characters are new, but the book takes place in the same world as the Sisterhood. In fact, there are certain secondary characters you will recognize. (Effie!)"

According to Ann's blog she is planning to write another one in the Traveling Pants series because she has been thinking about the characters a lot lately. That is something I find fascinating about writers--they spend so much time with their characters that the characters can live on after a book or series is finished. I would think it would be hard to let them go. Anyhow, I have not yet read 3 Willows but so far reviews have been very positive.

****Interesting side note: Ann Brashares grew up in Washington DC, and attended the Sidwell Friends School. Sidwell has been in the news of late because the President-elects daughters are currently enrolled. Other notable alumni include Bill Nye (yeah the Science Guy) and Charlie Gibson.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Now Hear This

I am feeling very fortunate these days as I have had 2 superb audio books to listen to back to back. First I listened to The Nineteenth Wife by David Ebershoff. This novel consists of two interwoven tales. One story is told from the perspective of one of Mormon prophet Brigham Young's many wives. Ann Eliza ends up crusading against polygamy. The other is a contemporary story told by a young man who was exiled from a polygamous cult similar to the one that made national news this year. Both stories are intriguing. You will be immersed in very different ways of living and thinking. I couldn't wait to get back into the car to listen to more.

I am currently listening to Stephen King's Just After Sunset, a collection of short stories. King has some beautifully written pieces such as "The Things They Left Behind" about a man haunted by the possessions of his co-workers that perished during the September 11 attacks. This touching story deserves a much wider audience than just Stephen King fans.

Happy listening!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eternal Winter

When I woke up this morning and saw that it was snowing yet again, this is what came to mind.

"She isn't a real queen at all," answered Lucy; "she's a horrible witch, the White Witch. Everyone--all the wood people--hate her. She has made an enchantment over the whole country so that it is always winter here and never Christmas."
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis.

I just wish Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan could come and put an end to our eternal winter.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Escape to Fiji!

Join us at 7pm at on Tuesday evening, January 20, 2009 for a wonderful slide show featuring Underwater Photography from the Fiji Islands. Our presenter is Ralph "Larry" Oberlander a Dover resident whose familiarity with the marine environment was nurtured off the NH coast.

Mr. Oberlander is an award-winning photographer specializing in marine images and his native New England. His work has been recognized at numerous national and international competitions and his photos have appeared in such magazines as Skin Diver, Rodale's Scuba Diving, Underwater USA, and Islands, as well as many books and national ads.

First certified to dive in 1969 - the same year he went to Woodstock with his brother and friends - Ralph Oberlander took up underwater photography in the 70's. Those first efforts with a Nikonos camera provided the leverage that would drive him to become an accomplished underwater photographer. He has since traveled throughout the Caribbean, Red Sea, Hawaii, Fiji, Philippines, New England and Atlantic Canada in search of those places of his youthful imagination. He has discovered and photographed many of them. When not diving with the seals off the Isles of Shoals or with the tiger sharks in the Bahamas, Ralph lives in Dover NH with his wife Millie and their three children.
This library program is free to all and is sponsored by the Friends of the Dover Public Library!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Which Magazine Will Go Next?

Banks, brokerages, and car manufacturers are not the only ones suffering in the economic slow down. A number of magazines that the Library receives have ceased publication this year. PC Magazine is going digital only. The Christian Science Monitor will go from being a daily paper to a weekly paper in April. Cottage Living, Home and Blueprint magazine all went out of business this year. The Want Advertiser stopped publication after fifty years in the business. There are reports of more magazines in trouble.

Have any of your favorite magazines gone out of business?

New Art Display

Make sure to visit the Reference Room and see the beautiful paintings, drawings, and mixed media created by students at the Creative Spirit Art Studio.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness @ Your Library

This weekend a mix CD was discovered at the Library. That is not so unusual, people often return their own CD's here by mistake. What was unusual about this CD was the hand written note on the cover, which read: Hello Stranger! If you have found this , I don't know you but I have made you a CD because music helps us all feel less alone, and there are some songs I think you should hear. The backlist is inside. If you don't like the music, then pass this on to someone you know, or hide it somewhere where someone else will find it.

The music ranged from The Dave Matthews Band, The Indigo girls, and Simon and Garfunkel, to a group called the Weepies. I wonder if the Library was the first recipient of this sweet gesture, or has it been passed on many times. It's a very cool idea.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Win a Fine-Free 2009 at the Library!

Every year, the library sponsors an early January contest and the first ten winners receive a Fine-Free Year. This year our contest is a mini-scavenger hunt! You must come into the library and scour our bookstacks for either a RED or GREEN bookend. You'll find that most of them are black and a few are tan, but the RED and GREEN ones are extremely rare. When you discover one, bring it to the Main Circulation Desk to see if you've won. The contest starts January 2, 2009 so come in ASAP! Happy New Year!