Friday, March 30, 2012

The Friday Five: Children's Book Edition

Bringing you the top 5 quotes from some of our favorite books for children of all ages in this Friday edition!

"Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them."
— Cornelia Funke (

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."
— Antoine de Saint (
The Little Prince)

“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go- We'll eat you up- we love you so!”*
— Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
— A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way."
— Dr. Seuss (Oh, The Places You'll Go!)

*There's a great story from Maurice Sendak about this line: “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Nine Percenters

Recently I stumbled upon an absolutely astonishing fact: out of all the people that have devices to read eBooks, only about 9% access library eBooks. The rest are paying for titles, largely through online retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The 9% figure begs the question: are library customers just not aware that you can get free (yes, free!) eBooks from the library? Or is it the downloading of the eBooks that may seem daunting? Or something else?

We are here to help you use our digital collection. We have over 500 eBooks available to download to your Nook, iPad, or Kindle. If you need help getting started, please let us know and we will get you where you need to be.

Next Thursday on April 5th, we will be having an Introduction to eBooks class at the library. Bring your device and your laptop and we will show you to get library eBooks on your device.

Monday, March 26, 2012

While You're Waiting for The Hunger Games

In a future world where leaders care only about the chosen, everyone else merely struggles to survive. Try a Hunger Games read-alike for action-packed, intense stories of teens fighting for their lives and the survival of their communities.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Matched by Allyson Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate--until Ky Markham's face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Alternate chapters follow teenagers Todd and Viola, who become separated as the Mayor's oppressive new regime takes power in New Prentisstown, a space colony where residents can hear each other's thoughts.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Friday Five: Hunger Games Edition

In celebration of the movie, we'll bring you some of the best games from The Hunger Games series.

“Destroying things is much easier than making them.”

"What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

"Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there.”

“They're already taking my future! They can't have the things that mattered to me in the past!”

“That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I'm free to act as desperately as I wish.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lois Lowry!

Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader's Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine.

Information found at:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

In her debut, Pulitzer Prize–winning New Yorker staff writer Boo creates an intimate, unforgettable portrait of India's urban poor. Mumbai's sparkling new airport and surrounding luxury hotels welcome visitors to the globalized, privatized, competitive India. Across the highway, on top of tons of garbage and next to a vast pool of sewage, lies the slum of Annawadi, one of many such places that house the millions of poor of Mumbai. For more than three years, Boo lived among and learned from the residents, observing their struggles and quarrels, listening to their dreams and despair, recording it all. She came away with a detailed portrait of individuals daring to aspire but too often denied a chance--their lives viewed as an embarrassment to the modernized wealthy. The author poignantly details these many lives: Abdul, a quiet buyer of recyclable trash who wished for nothing more than what he had; Zehrunisa, Abdul's mother, a Muslim matriarch among hostile Hindu neighbors; Asha, the ambitious slum leader who used her connections and body in a vain attempt to escape from Annawadi; Manju, her beautiful, intelligent daughter whose hopes laid in the new India of opportunity; Sunil, the master scavenger, a little boy who would not grow; Meena, who drank rat poison rather than become a teenage bride in a remote village; Kalu, the charming garbage thief who was murdered and left by the side of the road. Boo brilliantly brings to life the residents of Annawadi, allowing the reader to know them and admire the fierce intelligence that allows them to survive in a world not made for them. The best book yet written on India in the throes of a brutal transition.

From Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2011

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Friday Five

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

Get busy living or get busy dying.”
― Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
― Maya Angelou

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”
― William Shakespeare

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Michael Caine!

English actor Michael Caine took his screen name from the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny. He has played a wide variety of roles over his six-decade career and been nominated for an Oscar in each of them from (1960s to 2000s). He is a perhaps best known for his role in 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters and 1999's The Cider House Rules. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2000 for his contribution to cinema.

Some of my favorite Michael Caine roles include The Weatherman, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The Man who Would be King. For a complete list of Michael Caine films available at the library, please click here. What's your favorite?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The (Imagined) Lives of Others: Biographical Fiction

The term "faction" could be applied to these novels depicting the lives and times of real people. Actual historic events and imagined dialogue combine to bring these entertaining tales to life.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

A vivid fictional portrait of the tumultuous early life of Queen Elizabeth I describes her perilous path to the throne of England and the scandal, political intrigues, and religious turmoil she confronted along the way, from the deaths of her parents, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, to the fanaticism of her sister, Mary I.

Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold

Recently widowed Dorothea Gibson examines her difficult life with a late, beloved, celebrity author during Queen Victoria's reign in this novel based on the real-life troubled marriage of Charles Dickens.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Hoping to honor his father and the family business with innovative glass designs, Louis Comfort Tiffany launches the iconic Tiffany lamp as designed by women's division head Clara Driscoll, who struggles with the mass production of her creations.

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

While the tensions rise between the royalty and the people, Madame Tussaud is requested to tutor the King's sister in wax sculpting and must find a way for her family to survive the coming revolution.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Friday Five

Each Friday, we'll be bringing you five memorable quotes from books and authors to brighten your weekend! Know of any good ones? Please share!

"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof."
— Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)

"Stuff your eyes with wonder… live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. "
-Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

"Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of."
— Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)

"That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet."
- Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)

“If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
- J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ann Packer

Author Biography

Ann Packer was born in Stanford, California, in 1959, and grew up near Stanford University, where her parents were professors. She attended Yale University and then, after five years working at a publishing company in New York, she went on to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, selling her first short story to The New Yorker a few weeks before receiving her degree. A fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing followed, and she spent two years living in Madison, Wisconsin, which would later become the setting of her first novel, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier.

While living in Wisconsin, Packer published short stories in literary magazines and had a story chosen for inclusion in the annual O. Henry Awards prize stories anthology. With support from the Michener-Copernicus Society of America, she completed her first book, Mendocino and Other Stories. The National Endowment for the Arts provided a fellowship, and she spent much of the next decade working on The Dive from Clausen’s Pier. A critical success that became a national bestseller and was translated into ten languages, Dive received a Great Lakes Book Award, an American Library Association Award, and the Kate Chopin Literary Award. Packer’s second novel, the bestselling Songs Without Words, was published in 2007.

What is her Writing Like?
The characters in Ann Packer's intimate, emotionally powerful, and unflinchingly candid stories are usually picking up the pieces after a devastating tragedy. Her leisurely paced, meditative tales contain meticulously detailed, psychologically nuanced, and in-depth portraits of ordinary parents, children, and friends as they cope with difficult questions, ambiguous emotions, and persistent guilt stemming from the deaths of loved ones. Her vivid, lyrical, and atmospheric writing captures familiar suburban life and how it can be tainted with angst, confusion, and sorrow after sudden tragedies. Start with: The Dive From Clausen's Pier.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Family Movie Night

Join us tomorrow night in the library at 6:30pm for a screening of Puss in Boots. Admission is always free and refreshments will be provided. Be there or be square!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Bad Medicine

Most medical suspense stories are set in hospitals or laboratories and feature medical personnel as main characters. While the protagonist is often asked to solve a crime, he or she is just as likely to be racing against time to find a cure for an epidemic.

The Cure by Robin Cook

New York City medical examiner Laurie Montgomery faces the case of her career involving the suspected poisoning murder of a CIA agent and possible links to a powerful pharmaceutical company and start-up stem-cell research labs.

Rules of Vengeance by Christopher Reich

Rendered a fugitive when he is wrongfully implicated in a terrorist attack that interrupted his secret rendezvous with his dishonored spy wife, physician Jonathan Ransom struggles to clear his name, only to discover that he may be a pawn in an international plot.

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer

Dr. Nick Garrity and psych nurse Gillian Coates determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller--the highly-paid master of the "non-kill." As doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Gillian and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead.

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

The carefully orchestrated life of Manhattan emergency room doctor and witness-protection program participant Peter Brown unravels in the course of a day that begins with a mugging and a new patient who knows him from his previous existence.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Top Five Quotes

Every Friday, we'll be brining you five of the best quotes we can scrounge up to brighten your Friday. Enjoy!

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."

— Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."

— Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!"

— A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

— Walt Disney

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Sad Goodbye to Jan Berenstain, Creator of Berenstain Bears

Jan Berenstain, who with her husband wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books, gentle best-sellers that enlightened preschoolers for half a century with simple lessons about kindness and tidiness, and reasons not to be afraid of the doctor, died on Friday in Solebury, Pa. She was 88.

Mrs. Berenstain, together with her husband Stan, wrote over 300 books, most of them offering moral lessons through the lives of a family of bears known simply as Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear. The Berenstains’ family most often confronted issues common to most families — the arrival of a new sibling, getting homesick at summer camp, the etiquette of trick-or-treating.

“Family values is what we’re all about,” Jan Berenstain told an interviewer last year.

The Berenstains credited their first editor at Random House, Theodor Geisel, who wrote books himself under the name “Dr. Seuss,” with helping them achieve their trademark simplicity in language and illustrations. That style made their books popular as reading primers, by helping toddlers see connections between stories and words on a page.

“He wanted very simple, schematic illustrations with nothing in the background,” Mr. Berenstain told The Chicago Tribune. “Because the purpose of the books was to help kids tie the pictures in with the words.”

Jan Grant was born in Philadelphia on July 26, 1923, the daughter of Alfred and Marian Grant. She met Stanley Berenstain on their first day of classes in 1941 at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. They were both 18.

During World War II, while her future husband served as a medical illustrator in an Army hospital, she worked as a draftswoman in the Army Corps of Engineers and as an aircraft riveter. The couple married in 1946.

Ms. Berenstain is survived by their two sons, Leo and Michael, an illustrator who became a collaborator in the family’s Berenstain Bears enterprise, and by four grandchildren.

From the NYT article published on February 27, 2012