Monday, September 29, 2008

Martial Arts and Mind Games

The 'Five Ancestors' Series
350 years ago, five young warrior monks were raised as brothers in 17th century China. They survive the destruction of their temple; endure the loss of their Grand Master... but are separated in mayhem. Each was well-trained in a different style of "animal" kung fu. These are their stories...

This 'quest' series (first three in the series shown above) promises to be winner with young adults who love adventure books with vivid action. Recommended for ages 11 and up.

View an interview with author Jeff Stone on YouTube or visit the Five Ancestors site sponsored by the series publisher, Random House.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Translator

Light Book on a Heavy Subject
In The Translator, Daoud Hari offers a first-person account of the ongoing genocide against non-Arabs in the Darfur region of Sudan.

After escaping his own village and fleeing to neighboring Chad, native Darfuri, Hari, worked as a translator for aid agencies, U.S. and BBC reporters, and United Nations officials. In 204 pages (light book) Hari conveys the story of a society torn apart by racism, corrupt politicians, greed and unfathomable hatred in simple and unadorned prose.

We highly recommend The Translator, a book about horror, compassion, frustration, anger... and hope.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Poet of the Month

September's Featured Poet
Lorna Dee Cervantes (1954-) was born in San Francisco, California, the year the word ‘Chicano’ first gained currency to designate Americans of Mexican descent. Educated at San José City College and San José State University, she published in 1981 Emplumada, her first collection of poems, which won the 1982 American Book Award. In them she has given voice to the Chicana (American women of Mexican heritage). ‘Emplumada’ in Spanish means feathered, in plumage (after molting). It also means ‘pen’. Here is the book’s well-chosen title poem:


When summer ended
the leaves of snapdragons withered
taking their shrill‑colored mouths with them.
They were still, so quiet. They were
violet where umber now is. She hated
and she hated to see
them go. Flowers

born when the weather was good — this
she thinks of, watching the branch of peaches
daring their ways above the fence, and further,
two hummingbirds, hovering, stuck to each other,
arcing their bodies in grim determination
to find what is good, what is
given them to find. These are warriors

distancing themselves from history.
They find peace
in the way they contain the wind
and are gone.

Further Reading: Emplumada, poems by Lorna Dee Cervantes, 1981; From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger, 1991 by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Also visit the poet's blog.

Coming in October: Kay Ryan, new U.S. Poet Laureate, 2008-2009

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Well Worth the Wait
Marilynne Robinson's novel, Gilead, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The novel tells the story of Rev. John Ames, who begins a letter to his young son as an account of his life and the lives of his father and grandfather...

Robinson returns this month with a companion piece to Gilead, simply yet powerfully titled -- Home. Rev. Robert Boughton, a close friend of the Gilead's John Ames, is a lead character.

Home is likely to be a bestseller and award winner, just as Gilead was several years ago. Both of Robinson's extraordinary novels are available for checkout or reserve in both print and audio CD format.

We also recommend Robinson's 1981 debut and equally stunning novel, Housekeeping.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hot Non-Fiction Picks

Lectures of a Different Kind
The Last Lecture, The Secret, Stori Telling and Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, gracefully stepped down a few rungs on the national bestseller ladder this week. Who stepped up?

Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded landed at the top of many national bestseller lists, with a call to improve America's green energy technology.

Bob Woodward offers The War Within, the fourth book in which this long-time Washington reporter analyzes the Bush Administration.

Conservative historian and former military officer Andrew J. Bacevich chimes in with The Limits of Power, a search through history and for common ground among people who disagree.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oprah Loves Edgar

The Latest in Annointed Fiction
Oprah Winfrey today gave The Story of Edgar Sawtelle the nod as her latest Book Club pick. We're feeling mighty fine for being ahead of the curve on this must read novel.

Meet author David Wroblewski on Oprah's web site and print Oprah's "exclusive book mark" to use while your read.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Electronics Recycling

Recycling Your Oldies, Once Goodies
The Town of Glastonbury will be hosting an Electronics Recycling Collection Event on Saturday, September 20th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at our Highway Garage, 2340 New London Turnpike.

This program will be run by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA). Residents from any CRRA Town are eligible to attend; East Hampton is a CRRA town. Only electronics from residents will be accepted. There are no fees. Acceptable are: Computers, Monitors, Printers, Fax Machines, Copiers, TVs, Radios, Cell Phones.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend "Staycations"

If Fall Goes Well
There is still time to enjoy the many attractions our state has to offer before fall becomes winter. If you're up for a weekend day trip, let any of these very handy and informative books be your guide:

Best fishing trips in Connecticut from ponds to pounding surf / text and photographs by Bob Sampson

Great day trips in the Connecticut Valley of the dinosaurs by Brendan Hanrahan

Great day trips to Connecticut's critical habitats / text and photographs by Robert Craig ; paintings by Barbara Lussier

Our travel section also includes a variety of up-to-date guides about day tripping in Connecticut and other New England states.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Smartest Card in Your Wallet

September is Library Card Sign-up Month
A library card is easy to obtain and it's free! Stop by the library to obtain a card or to renew your old one. The registration process is quick and painless. If you're new to town, or have never had a library card, please be sure to bring some ID that shows you live in East Hampton. We issue cards to anyone of kindergarten age and up; a parent presents ID on their child's behalf. For teens, photo IDs (drivers licence or school ID) are great!

It's smooth sailing from here and you'll have free access to a wealth of local and statewide information services plus materials sure to inform, educate and entertain.

A "smart card" and a library "where smart growth begins"? Sounds like deal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wife Parade

Floats Not Included
Wives are a popular fiction topic and with late summer comes a new round of books about them. Here's a few quick read suggestions accompanied by quick plot notes:

Novel about My Wife by Emily Perkins (expatriate wife descends into madness)... American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (wife of U.S. president thrust into the spotlight as in Laura Bush?)... The Professors' Wives' Club by Joanne Rendell (proper wives, each with a scandalous secret).

Add these to your list of older fiction reads about a kitchen god's wife, a pilot's wife, a zookeeper's wife, Ahab's wife, a senator's wife and we'll have a parade!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Places We'd Like to Visit

Fantasy great Terry Brooks recently delivered the third and final novel in the Genesis of Shannara trilogy. As expected the third book, The Gypsy Morph, is on more than one national best seller list.

What is special about all of Brooks’ Shannara books is he never “phones it in” and always expects us to remember what came before. Shannara fans will again find Brooks respects his readers and by doing so, we're treated to a stunning conclusion to a great series.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Our Crystal Ball Says...

We Have a Winner!
Hannah Tinti's debut novel, The Good Thief, promises to be one of fall's most sought after reads. The novel is original, smartly-plotted, darkly comic, and has much to say about the age-old battle between good and evil.

The Story in Brief
Twelve year-old Ren does not understand why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren’s long-lost brother; Ren is released into Benjamin's care. Adventures set in New England unfold from here with questions galore about Benjamin, Ren's past, and both of their futures.

The Good Thief is a thrilling read and a real-deal adventure novel for adults and teens alike.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Meggie's World

The Wait Will Soon Be Over
The highly anticipated release of Inkdeath, the conclusion to Cornelia Funke's engrossing Inkheart trilogy, is scheduled for October 7th. The first two books, Inkheart and Inkspell were filled with twists and turns and larger than life characters, set in a thrilling fantasy world.

Will Dustfinger be brought back to life? Will Meggie and Farid stay together? What will be the outcome of Resa's personal story? Will Orpheus and Violante become major players in the continuing saga? The author has been very tight-lipped about this long-awaited sequel. Guess we'll find the answers to these and other questions very, very soon...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Green Matters

Money and You
Financial planning titles indicate there are no hard and fast rules for implementing a financial plan. Each of these recent books on the subject, different in scope and perspective, demonstrate as much.

However, if there is a common recommendation in these and other similar titles available for checkout, it would be this: start planning and do it now.

Title covers shown:
The Busy Family's Guide to Money
Debt Cures
Expecting Money
Let's Get Real About Money
Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ
Killing Sacred Cows

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

"O, woe is me, To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!" -- Hamlet
Mute from birth, Edgar Sawtelle grows up on a Wisconsin farm where his parents raise and train a fictional breed of what can only be described as mind-reading dogs.

Fast forward... Edgar's father unexpectedly dies; Edgar suspects his uncle was involved; Edgar sets out into the woods with three "Sawtelle" pups. Edgar's fate, and the fate of the Sawtelle dogs, is decided from here.

David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a glorious novel and an excellent choice for shared parent/teen reading and discussion. The 500+ page count should be no obstacle; you've together tackled Harry Potter and Stephenie Meyer's books with nary a whimper. Edgar's story may also invite your interest in the parallel story told in Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.