Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Wild and Crazy Guy

I love reading fiction about art, artists--generally anything about the art world--I'm not sure why, it's just how it is. So I was very excited when I read the review of Steve Martin's new book, An Object of Beauty, which is set smack dab in the center of the New York art scene. I loved Mr. Martin's last two fiction novels, Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, so I had high hopes. I was thrilled when I got the book just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday--could things get any better? Yes, because I loved the book! I was immediately taken into the story and felt like an art world insider. The story is that of Lacey Yeager, a young woman fresh out of college, just getting her start at Sotheby's, the auction company. Even though Lacey is an awful person--conniving, dishonest, manipulative, amoral, I could go on and on--she is also fascinating. Steve Martin also fascinates me because I have a hard time picturing "that wild and crazy guy" as the writer of these wonderful novels. Anyhow, I strongly suggest you try one of his novels, or even better, listen to the book on CD which he narrates himself. Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Distant Hours

I have been waiting for The Distant Hours with great anticipation since I read a review of it last winter. Kate Morton writes the sort of books that I can’t wait to get back to. I dive into them and have to be dragged out, and I’m sad when I finish one.  The House at Riverton (1920s England) and The Forgotten Garden (Australia and Cornwall) were beautifully written; atmospheric with intriguing characters and involving plots, books you could lose yourself in. unfortunately The Distant Hours proved difficult to get into. People Magazine called it “nuanced”. That’s one way of describing a 500 plus page book that doesn’t begin to get interesting until 400 pages in. I found myself reluctant to return to the book, it became a chore rather than a pleasure. Things do pick up in the last 100 pages or so. You will have to decide for yourself whether the commitment is worth it. I only persisted so long because I am such a fan of Kate Morton’s early books.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Hours

The Library will be closed Thursday and Friday in honor of Thanksgiving. We will be open again on Saturday 9-5. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Award Winner or Not?

Fallen by Lauren Kate is a popular book with the teen crowd--it's a supernatural romance need I say more. There is a glowing blurb on the cover by P.C. Cast (another wildly popular author with teens) that reads "Sexy and fascinating and scary...I loved loved loved it!" Does it need any further recommendation? While straightening up in the teen section yesterday I noticed that Fallen had a silver sticker on it denoting it as an award winner--you know like the Caldecott and Newbury winners have? Anyhow, I didn't remember this book ever winning such an award, and when I looked closer at the sticker it read "The Stephen T. Colbert Award for the Literary Excellence". Of course I researched this award and found this description:

The Stephen T. Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence is the most prestigious award given for literature in the United States. To qualify for the award, there is only one requirement: you must be Stephen Colbert. The first recipient of the Stephen T. Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence was the book I Am America (And So Can You!), a work of such staggering genius that it was given the award before it was even published. Subsequently, several books have been honored retroactively with the award.

Too funny! I don't know if we have a reader who is putting these stickers on their favorite books, but it certainly did give me laugh.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Potter Mania Begins

I have posted before about Cake Wrecks, a really amusing blog about professionally made cakes, often created with hilarious errors. They have a post up of some extraordinary Harry Potter themed cakes, no errors on these beauties! The golden snitch and the sorting hat are spectacular. I wanna have a Harry Potter party!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Food for Fines

City of Dover employees' FOOD DRIVE is on! Bring a canned good or dry staple item to the Library and get $.50 deducted from your current fines for each item you donate to our collection box! Sorry, donations may not be used to pay for "lost" items or as credit towards future fines. Help us help the local food pantries! Donations accepted up until 4:00pm on Monday, December 13th.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter Tattoos

I was doing a Google image search looking for a picture of Harry Potter's marauder's map for a library project (more on that later) when I noticed loads of  Harry Potter themed tattoos. Apparently quite a few people are walking around with Potter quotes, Hedwig, Dumbledore, a house elf, and even the dark mark permanently etched onto their bodies. I like the series, but not enough to wear it forever. I also ran into another site that specializes in literary tattoos. There were some really striking images.What literary quote or image would you choose as a tattoo?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Patti Smith Rocks

The National Book Award winners were announced last night, and rock musician Patti Smith won for her nonfiction book Just Kids. In her acceptance speech Ms. Smith said “I dreamed of having a book of my own, of writing one that I could put on a shelf. Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” Well said Ms. Smith--we couldn't agree more!

Here is the full list of winners:
Fiction: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
Nonfiction: Just Kids by Patti Smith
Poetry: Lighthead by Terrance Hayes
Young People's Literature: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The View from the Library

This is the view of the skylights from my desk this morning.

 It brought to mind a certain song I'm sure you have heard before.

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stephen Abram has Killed the Romance

Recently I read a blog post by Stephen Abram titled "Are books smelly?" in which he outlined the components of book smell: Glue, dust, mould, ink and dryness. He expounded a bit on each of these, but dust is the one that has really stuck with me--the principle component of dust being sloughed off human skin. Ewww!!!! I always loved the scenes in books where the bibliophile would happen upon a library--usually in a large English castle--and take a favorite title off the shelf, open the book, and breath in the heady scent. Romantic? Not anymore--just dead skin of the previous Viscounts, Dukes, and Lords who had spent time in that library. Thanks Stephen for killing the romance.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Free Lecture on Loons Tuesday, November 16th

The Friends of the Library present Loons by John Rockwood, Tuesday Night at 7:00 in the Lecture Hall.
Have you ever heard that haunting and eerie sounding call of a loon on a lake? Doesn’t it send shivers down your spine? Want to know what loons are really communicating to each other and learn more fascinating behaviors about these elusive aquatic birds? Join us for a spectacular and very entertaining multi-media slide show, filled with stunning close up Loon photos by Professional Photographer, John Rockwood.

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2010

As much as I am loathe to bring up anything related to the upcoming holiday season I am going to do it--if this offends you please stop reading now and accept my apologies.

OK, for all others who have little ones to buy for, and are not completely done with your shopping (my own sister falls into this category--can you believe it?!? Most annoying.) the New York Times has announced their 2010 Holiday Gift Guide--The 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2010. Here is the line up:
  1. Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
  2. Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee.
  3. Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson and illustrated by R.G. Roth
  4. Children Make Terrible Pets written and illustrated by Peter Brown.
  5. Henry in Love written and illustrated Peter McCarty.
  6. Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Red Nose Studio.
  7. Seasons written and illustrated by Blexbolex.
  8. Shadow by Suzy Lee.
  9. Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
  10. Subway written and illustrated by Christoph Niemann.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Library Will Be Closed for Veterans Day

The Library will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, November 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

Free Saturday Matinees are Back

Saturday Matinees are back after a brief hiatus due to our Book Sale! We have some great family movies on tap for November:
  • Sat., Nov. 13--Toy Story, rated G.
  • Sat., Nov. 20--Oceans, rated G.
  • Sat., Nov. 27--Tinker Bell & the Great Fairy Rescue, rated G.
As always movies are FREE and open to the public. Follow this link to see a full listing of upcoming movies along with descriptions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Don't Look for Nora Ephron on Twitter!

Nora Ephron was on NPR's Morning Edition today plugging her new book, I Remember Nothing: and Other Relfections, which is a collection of essays. This was a great way to start my day because she is really such a hoot. In the interview Ms. Ephron talks about how as she gets older she doesn't feel the need to be up on the latest trends hence the title of my blog post. Here is Ms. Ephron's list of things she refuses to know anything about:
"The former Soviet Republics, the Kardashians, Twitter, all Housewives, Survivors, American Idols, and Bachelors. Karzai's brother, soccer, monkfish, Jay-Z, every drink invented since the Cosmopolitan, especially the drink made with crushed mint leaves. You know the one." I don't feel so bad now that I know very little about anything on that list, however when the mint is plentiful in the garden I do like an occasional Mojito.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mystery Author Rosemary Herbert here Nov. 15!

We're pleased to host a visit from award-winning mystery editor and new mystery novelist Rosemary Herbert on Monday evening, November 15 at 7pm in the Library’s Lecture Hall.
Herbert is an Edgar-nominated editor-in-chief of “The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing”, co-editor with the late Tony Hillerman of “A New Omnibus of Crime”, and also worked for ten years as the book reviewer for the Boston Herald. But from the age of nine, when she read Nancy Drew novels under the covers with a flashlight, Rosemary wanted to become a mystery writer. With the publication of “Front Page Teaser: A Liz Higgins Mystery” (Down East Books, 2010), she has finally made her dream come true.
Her experience in the newsroom as well as her career in academic and public libraries were used to great advantage to create Liz Higgins, a gutsy reporter for Boston’s scrappy tabloid newspaper, the Beantown Banner. Liz rails at being assigned only light and community news stories that, at best, receive front-page teasers leading to articles buried deep in the newspaper. When a devoted mom goes missing from Liz’s community news beat, the reporter vows to discover the truth about the disappearance and nail front-page news in the process.
In a reading and booktalk leavened with humor and entitled “From Nancy Drew to Dream-Come-True”, Rosemary will tell readers why her first novel is a love song to the news-reporting life, as well as a tribute to librarians. She will also reveal how Boston’s lively Irish music scene was useful to her as a mystery writer, and discuss the roles of romance and the holidays in mystery fiction. Rosemary is currently hard at work on the 2nd Liz Higgins Mystery.
Mystery readers will surely enjoy this “behind-the-scenes” explanation of how a mystery novel is researched, and how story lines are developed and connected. This program is free and all are welcome. For more information, call us at 516-6050.

Dover's Black Day

Did you see the story on WMUR this morning about Dover's flood in 1896, the Calamity on the Cocheco? The DPL librarians provided a great deal of the information to the news station. We are so excited to see it air!

Book Sale Bargains!

Get a bag or a box of books for $1.00. There are still tons of books available. Why not stock up in preparation for winter storms?

Friday, November 05, 2010

A New Library!

On my way home yesterday I heard a story on Public Radio International's The World that I just had to share with you. The small nation of Bhutan, located between China and India, with a population of 684,000, has just opened its second library in the village of Ura. The library was opened by the non-profit group Read Global. Though the villagers were somewhat skeptical at first, the library has been a rousing success. The librarians have been working extra hours because the kids are begging them to stay open just a little longer. Here is a short piece from the story: "On this Saturday, after the usual half day at school, fifty kids are crammed in here, reading, helping each other, and clambering to get onto one of six computers. Even though they can’t get on the Internet yet, they’re excited to be able to play with technology they don’t have at home." You can watch a short clip of the kids in the library from the PRI link above.

Isn't it nice to hear happy news once in awhile?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Reduced Prices at our Book Sale!

The Dover Public Library's Annual Book Sale is still going on and prices have been reduced! Here are the new prices that will be in effect through Saturday, Nov. 6:

Hardcover Books $1
Large-size Paperbacks $.75
All Media $.50
Paperbacks $.10
Children's Skinny Paperbacks $.10

How Would You Like Your Stieg Larsson?

Did you know that many of the popular best sellers are available at the Library in a multitude of formats? Take Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for example. You can read it as a hard cover book, listen to it as a CD, watch it as a DVD, download the audiobook to your MP3 player or PC, or download the eBook.

Would you prefer Bill Bryson's latest, At Home; A Short History of Private Life? You can read it as a hard cover book, a large print book, listen to it on CD, download the audiobook to your MP3 player or PC, or download the eBook.

Next time you look for a book, consider the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Never-Ending Book

I recently read an article on the CNN web site titled "Never-ending book heralds new chapter in e-publishing." You know when you are reading a really fabulous, engrossing book and you are dreading the moment when you read the final page because you will have to try and find something equally fantastic to read next? This article is arguing that with the advent of e-publishing the book doesn't have to end. Hmm...for my own part I have certainly read books that I don't want to end, but I still think they have to. Don't you? A reader comment made at the end of the article asked the question: wouldn't this be like a Soap Opera? I am not convinced this is a good thing--what do you think?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Vote Tomorrow!

In case the non-stop political ads, phone calls from pollsters and politicos, and signs decorating every strip of roadside grass haven't clued you in, elections are being held tomorrow. 
The Dover City Clerk says the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Polling places in the City of Dover will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Polling places are as follows:

Ward 1, St. Mary' Church Hall, Chestnut Street (Between Third and Fourth Streets);

Ward 2, First Parish Church Hall, Central Avenue (Between Church and Angle Streets);

Ward 3, Langdon Place, Middle Road (Between Hubbard Road and Augusta Way);

Ward 4, Maple Suites, Holiday Drive (Off Back River, between Durham and Mast);

Ward 5, St. John's Methodist Church, Cataract Avenue (Between Rutland Street and Sunset Drive);

Ward 6, Riverside Rest Home, County Farm Road (At the intersection with County Farm Cross Road).

For more information on the general election or to see sample ballots, visit the election section of the Dover City web page or call the City Clerk's office at 603-516-6020.