Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thrills and Spills

Down-List Bestsellers, Too
The 19th Wife blends character-driven fiction (BeckyLyn and Jordan Scott) with the history of Ann Eliza Young, the real-life 19th wife of Mormon leader Brigham Young. The book is an outstanding read --filled with well-drawn characters and a murder-suspense plot; both made great by David Ebershoff's tight writing.

Eric Van Lustbader's First Daughter is a good choice for fans of political thrillers. In short, ATF agent Jack McClure leads the search for the president elect's kidnapped daughter. The plot does skip the tracks in a few places but leaves little doubt as to why Lustbader has successfully taken over the late Robert Ludlum's "Bourne" franchise.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

How We Make Them and Why
Malcolm Gladwell's 2005-2006 bestseller, Blink, examined how we make snap judgements. In Freakonomics, a bestseller well into 2007, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner suggested if the economic incentives are good, we're highly likely to make questionable (a.k.a. dishonest, illegal or plain old bad) decisions.

Latest books on the topic include Ori and Rom Braffman's Sway and Rick Shenkman's Just How Stupid Are We? Sway examines how we're driven to make decisions when the factual evidence suggests we shouldn't. Shenkman's book makes its case on the dumbing down of American politics and how easily voters are misled by spin.

We recommend all of these genuinely thoughtful books to non-fiction readers but darn -- if you do read 'em all -- you may start dropping bread crumbs to find your way home...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rules of the Road

Traffic Stories
Let's face it. Driving -- to work, to run daily errands, or to play -- can often be a tough nut to crack. We'd bet you all have stories to share about jams and inconveniences and what you do to compensate for the on-road behavior of others...

In Traffic, author Tom Vanderbilt examines why we drive the way we do and what it says about us as wheel commanders. The book is a rich and surprisingly enough, entertaining info-mix of social sciences, history, and road engineering.

If the book has any one important thing to say, it'd be this: we'd get further down the road, faster -- and we'd save fuel -- if we followed the signs and played/drove well with others.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Poet of the Month

August's Featured Poet
Richard Wilbur (1921-), born in New York City, sees poetry “as a means of organizing oneself and the world” which he took up as a result of the horrors of WWII. He uses meter and rhyme because in “complicating the writing-process” its “limitation makes for power: the strength of the genie comes of his being confined in a bottle.” He finds a kinship in French poets, whose work he has widely translated. He has won numerous awards for his translations and original work. He is a past poet Laureate of the U.S.

A Barred Owl

The warping night‑air having brought the boom
Of an owl's voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
"Who cooks for you?" and then "Who cooks for you?"

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

Further Reading: Collected poems, 1943‑2004 / Richard Wilbur, 2004. The disappearing alphabet / Richard Wilbur ; illustrated by David Diaz, 1998. Things of this world : poems / Wilbur, Richard, [1956].

Coming in September: Lorna Dee Cervantes

Content developed by East Hampton resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Sunday, August 24, 2008

2009 Nutmeg Book Award Intermediate Nominees

Decisions, Decisions: All of Them Yours!
The time to begin voting for your favorite 2009 Nutmeg Book in the Intermediate Category (grades 4-6) is already here. Though rumor has it there are strong local favorites among the crop of 10 nominees; there's still time to read and review nominees you might have missed.

Explore plot descriptions to help you choose yet another stellar Nutmeg nominee; check our online catalog for availability -- then Spice It Up a Notch on the Nutmeg's wicked "wiki" cool web page. Here you'll find easy online ways to say what you mean/mean what you say about which Nutmeg books mattered most to you...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Through Thin and Thinner

What Is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is a free community service administered by the United Way of Connecticut. It is supported by the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways. You can call 2-1-1 to obtain information, or to seek help in a crisis. The service is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Simply dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-203-1234 any time of day or night.

Call 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 web page to learn about state/local resources available to you and your family. Local Human Services contacts are East Hampton Social Services and East Hampton Youth & Family Services.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Read Your Way to Olympic Gold Recap

Olympics Winding Down...
Your library's summer reading program, Read Your Way to Olympic Gold, is winding down and ends on Saturday, August 30th. Needless to say there is still time to pursue a BINGO and collect your summer reading incentive prize. What a great summer and thank you for sharing your time at the library!

Thanks to East Hampton Winding Up!
What deserves great mention is how our community's businesses and organizations so strongly support our annual efforts to promote reading as an everyday summer choice for the children in town. Support is nothing short of amazing so please be sure to thank our Summer 2008 reading program sponsors and partners any time, all the time:

American Distilling -- Angelico's Lake House Restaurant -- Belltown Learning Center -- Century 21 Realty -- Dunkin' Donuts -- East Hampton Lanes -- East Hampton Parks & Recreation -- East Hampton Public School District -- 80 Licks Ice Cream Cafe -- Friends of the East Hampton Public Library -- Kids of Chatham Organization -- Island Coffee Traders -- Main Street Pizza -- McDonalds -- Nichols Bus Service -- Subway -- Rossini's Italian Restaurant.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Secrets Told...

Questions Answered...
If you were inspired by The Secret you might also decide to continue refining your approach to The Answer that best works for you.

Inspiration is good! So is the success all of us have to work at achieving. What may be missing from both of these books is mention of actual work...

What do you think?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish, Red State, Blue State

Books Either Way
“Political” books are all over the place these days and with fall elections not that far away, it seems as though everyone has something to say. In the recent crop of polemics...

Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?) offers up his new book, The Wrecking Crew. Matt Taibbi is a Contributing Editor to Rolling Stone Magazine and regularly reports on American politics. Atlantic Monthly writers Douthat and Salam speak to a conservative domestic agenda.

Add in books by John Harwood, David Boren, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Scott McClellan... there sure is much to think about...

Click here for other more recent books about American politics and its history.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Secret Agents

Liz Carlyle's Wild Ride
To those of you who enjoy vintage John le Carré or Vince Flynn's novels about invincible secret agent, Mitch Rapp, we highly recommend the latest in the Liz Carlyle series by Stella Rimington.

In Illegal Action, British operative Liz Carlyle uncovers a plot to assassinate fictional character Nikita Brunovsky, a vocal opponent of real-life Vladimir Putin. As is the case with all great espionage thrillers, Liz battles against the clock to figure out who’s who, so as to avoid a full-scale international incident.

Stella Rimington’s writing is solid and as a 30-year veteran of MI5, she’s able to offer insight on Cold War spying vs. spying in the age of anti-terrorism. The novel’s short chapters also make this book a good choice for busy readers who still want the benefit of a thrilling, roller-coaster read.

Friday, August 15, 2008

They Write... We Read...

Celebrity biographies/autobiographies, tell-alls, exposés, and reverent or irreverent retrospectives show up every spring (so we will read them over the summer) and every holiday season (so we will give them as gifts). Some are enlightening, informative, or fun; others dish up the dirt. Either way, books in this genre move on and off the best seller lists and on and off our shelves. Here's a few titles that have seen a great deal of action over the course of our spring-into-summer library season.

Summer's not yet over... there is still time to dish...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off the Beaten Track Surprises

Where to Eat During Your "Staycations"
We can't help but notice that many of you are "staycationing" this summer. Our museum passes, funded by the Friends of Library, are getting a very rigorous workout. Not to mention the CT State Park Pass, which is yet another great "freebie".

In the few weeks left before school starts, match your next staycation trip to a list of "colorful and inexpensive" CT restaurants, courtesy of the team at

Monday, August 11, 2008


We Can Help
With gas prices rising, telecommuting may seem like an attractive alternative. Even one day off the highway will save you some money and lower the stress of your next fill-up at the pumps.

If you are telecommuting, or trying it out to see if it works for you and your employer, the library can offer you comfortable facilities and wireless Internet access for your laptop (B or G wireless card required). If you need to teleconference, no problem! You may use your cell in either of our closed-door conference rooms, subject to availability.

The best news is when your much needed break rolls around, there sure is plenty to read and enjoy at the library -- not to mention some great food and shopping options -- all on Main Street!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Budget Hero Game

Here's Your Chance to Play What You Mean
What if you could decide how our federal tax dollars were spent? You can, if only in an imaginary way, by playing the interactive game, Budget Hero, recently launched by American Public Media.

The game allows you to set a federal budget based on your values. Play issue-related budget "cards" to levy or ease taxes. The game will deliver results -- as in how your choices might affect a budget 10 years from now.

With November election season not that far away, Budget Hero offers an interactive way to explore your take on national issues and to generate useful discussion.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Vampire Fiction

Tongue in Cheek... With Fangs
Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, Christine Feehan, and Charlaine Harris are among the more famous vampire fiction storytellers. Darren Shan and Stephenie Meyer have recently dominated the vampire fiction market aimed at teens. Let's not leave out Dracula, the infamous 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, which has brought us more than a century's worth of the "Count" in books and on film.

Enter the fiction book Vampyres of Hollywood, a fictional story with one fundamental contention: everything we think we know about vampire myth, legend, and folklore was created in a Hollywood film studio!

The novel is very witty in places (who doesn't like a joke at Hollywood egos' expense?) but is also very gruesome in others. Certainly not for everyone but a sometimes entertaining addition to latest crop of vampire chic fiction.