Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Land of Words

No Fancy Hazmat Suit Required
Maybe it's an occupational hazard but we library types love words. If you, too, love words these books (none of them dry, all of them spicy) may be for you.

Joshua Kendall's The Man Who Made Lists tells the life story of Peter Mark Roget (1770-1869) who penned the world famous Roget's Thesaurus. Roget's life, which reads like a modern-day thriller, is highlighted by family troubles, even troubles with the leading European personality of his time, Napoleon.

The Meaning of Everything and The Professor and the Madman, both by Simon Winchester, discuss the origins of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) 'the definitive record of the English language'. You'll be surprised by how the original OED effort came together and who contributed.

Jonathon Green's Chasing the Sun presents a history of lexicography from pre-Babylonian Sumeria to current times. Like the age old question, which came first, the chicken or the egg, this book asks the question which came first, the culture or the language?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hide Your Neurons, Folks!

Marketing 101, 102, 103...
Martin Lindstrom's Buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy examines how our brains respond to ads. The 'truth', according to the author, is not in what we say -- it's in our brain waves!

Business Week journalist Stephen Baker offers The Numerati. This book explores how online and credit card use -- even a phone call -- might end up in a geeky math formula that discloses something about our interests, habits, and preferences.

Both of these books are sure to be interesting reads for e-commerce or marketing professionals, general readers concerned about privacy, and frankly, anyone who enjoys scientific, mathematical or... dah, dah, dah... conspiracy theory.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Poet of the Month

November's Featured Poet
Marilyn Hacker (1942-) was born in NYC and attended the Bronx High School of Science, NY University, and the Art Student’s League. She has taught, sold antiquarian books, and worked as an editor of books and periodicals. She has several collections of poetry and has won numerous awards. She likes to write in form. The rondeau which follows has three stanzas. In the second and third, the closing line is an echo of the first stanza’s opening line. See what an interesting thing she does with it. She was 30-something when she wrote it:

Rondeau After a Transatlantic Telephone Call
Love, it was good to talk to you tonight.
You lather me like summer though. I light
up, sip smoke. Insistent through walls comes
the downstairs neighbor's double‑bass. It thrums
like toothache. I will shower away the sweat,

smoke, summer, sound. Slick, soapy, dripping wet,
I scrub the sharp edge off my appetite.
I want: crisp toast, cold wine prickling my gums,
love. It was good

imagining around your voice, you, late‑
awake there. (It isn't midnight yet
here.) This last glass washes down the crumbs.
I wish that I could lie down in your arms
and, turned toward sleep there (later), say, "Goodnight,
love. It was good."

Further Reading: Selected poems, 1965‑1990 / Marilyn Hacker,1994; Squares and courtyards / Marilyn Hacker, 2000; Winter numbers : poems / Marilyn Hacker, 1994.

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scaring Up a Good Read

Chilling Tales
Looking for a change of pace read? Do you like short-format stories but with a non-fiction twist? Let's not leave out the main question -- do you believe in ghosts? No, it's not Halloween but for the ghost-story fan in you, we recommend:

Ghost Hunters of New England, penned by Alan Brown, covers New England hauntings in a state by state format. Associations, societies, and teams of investigators showcase parapsychology at its best.

For those of you interested in reading outside our region, Edrick Thay's Haunted Houses covers haunted real estate all over the U.S.

Deborah Blum’s Ghost Hunters tells the story of leading intellectuals, who at the turn of the 20th Century risked their reputations to pursue – and debate -- psychic research.

Head's Up: Lorraine Warren to Speak in East Hampton
Leading psychic researcher, Lorraine Warren is a New England legend and has been called "America’s Top Ghost Hunter." With her late husband Ed, the duo investigated the Amityville Haunting & Southington Funeral Home Case.

Accompanied by Tony Spera, Mrs. Warren will speak about her investigations into the supernatural world on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Registration begins February 1st.

The Search Continues...

Where IS Waldo?
We know that many people have wondered where Waldo went. Wonder no more, because he is back in the library in six different titles that you can check out!! Enjoy the fun of searching for Waldo in so many different places.

For those of you who like I Spy books, you're sure to love Waldo's classic picture searching series as well. They are perfect for those cold weather days when kids are searching for a fun indoor activity!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In a Word...

Marc Chagall (1887-1985) is considered one of the great pioneers of Modern Art. His productive life spanned many decades; the work he produced continues to influence contemporary art in all forms. These colorful biographies clearly illustrate this talented artist 's contribution to our world or art and artful imagination:

Jackie Wullschlager's landmark biography, Chagall, gives exceptional coverage of this remarkable artist's life.

Chagall: The Art of Dreams, written by Daniel Marchesseau and published by the Harry N. Abrams Company, offers text and side-bar illustrations bound to intrigue and invite the reader to learn more.

Marc Chagall by Jonathan Wilson presents the life of this great Jewish artist amid the historical background of the times in which Chagall lived and worked.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Official

National Book Award Winners
The National Book Awards ceremony was held last Wednesday evening. Medal winners included What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (Young People's Literature) and The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed (Non-Fiction). Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country took top prize in the fiction category; Mark Doty's Fire to Fire won in the poetry category.

The awards, founded in 1950, are sponsored by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers numerous educational and literary programs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Make It Personal, Make It Strong

None of the above are international award winners or life-altering reads but darn; they're cool. If you are even a little bit crafty and looking to save money during the holidays, how about making your own greeting cards?

50 Nifty Beaded Cards by Chris Rankin; bright colors and beads join with nifty-thrifty ideas.

Cards That Pop Up, Flip and Slide by Michael Jacobs provides great suggestions on how to use simple cuts and folds.

Paper Pop-Up: 40 Dynamic Designs for Surprising Cards and Gifts by Dorothy Wood illustrates how cool 3D mechanisms can be. We recommend you couple Jacobs' and Wood's books with Robert Sabuda's online tips to mix it up and combine techniques.

Designing Handcrafted Cards: Step-by-Step Techniques for Crafting 60 Beautiful Cards by Claire Sun-ok Choi includes paper quilling in this mixed bag of personal card techniques.

If more experienced card-makers have best-book recommendations to offer, we'd welcome your suggestions. Everyone in our community benefits when we share.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Classic Novel?

In The Financier, Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) tells the story of fictional financial tycoon, Frank Cowperwood. Cowperwood's businesses thrive but not without slights of hand.

Published in 1912, The Financier is one of America’s finest historical novels; read and re-read for close to a century of years. Dreiser's tale about double-dealing, egotism, and greed is just as relevant today as it was then.

Bags 'O Goodies

One-Stop Fun from the Children's Services Area
Next time you visit the library, check out one of our theme bags. Each bag contains an assortment of materials related to the theme, such as books, videos, puzzles, games, and puppets.

Several of our most popular theme bags are titled Food, Dogs, Farm, Friends, Beach and of course, the famous "Potty" bag!

Enjoy a bag 'o goodies for two weeks and then bring it back to try another! There are 21 different bags to choose from; our theme bag program is sponsored by the Friends of the East Hampton Public Library.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sci-Fi Greats

Ender Wiggins Rides Again
We've been enjoying Orson Scott Card's 'Ender' books since Ender's Game, the first in the series, was published over 20 years ago. Card recently added the latest in series but with a retrospective touch. That is, Card shuffled the order of the series and moved Ender In Exile to second in line.

Though it may seem like blasphemy to suggest the 'Ender' books may be read out of order (they can, we often did), try this core order if you are new to or re-reading the series: Ender's Game, Ender in Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.

Click here for all books in this thoughtful series suitable for 'sci-fan' families with youth in their planetary sphere.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cool Month

Hot Picks
Upcoming new fiction releases include Clive and Dirk Cussler's Arctic Drift. In this 20th Dirk Pitt adventure, saving the planet from global warming is on the agenda.

Kate Jacob's Knit Two is generating major buzz. The buzz may be due in equal parts to Jacobs' sleeper hit, The Friday Night Knitting Club and its upcoming film adaptation starring Julia Roberts as club leader, Georgia Walker.

Belva Plain's Crossroads is her first book in five years. Incidentally, Plain is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of one our favorite gentle reads, Evergreen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Daring Do

Climb Every Mountain
If you love adventure tales, outdoor stories, or mountaineering itself, you may enjoy the following reads, each with its own set of thrills.

Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver's book, Fallen Giants, illustrates the effect political and social changes have had on mountaineering in the Himalayas.

Touch the Top of the World is Erik Weihenmayer's story. Eric was the first blind person to summit McKinley; to scale the infamous 3000-foot rock wall of El Capitan and then Argentina's Aconcagua, the highest peak outside of Asia.

Jonathan Neale's Tigers of the Snow blends mountaineering history, German politics in the 1930s, and the legendary Sherpas into one tight read.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

True Crime

On TV and In-Print
While Saturday night channel surfing, we almost "twapped" our way past the Lifetime cable channel on our way to... well... anything other than Lifetime.

Alas, we were pulled in by Killing Mr. Kissel, the story of two multi-millionaire brothers, both murdered. The Kissel brothers’ fate made for tawdry headlines in both Hong Kong and the U.S.
True crime writer Joe McGinniss also told this train wreck of a story in his 2007 book Never Enough.

With a story this horrific, McGinniss did a better job describing the consequences.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Famous Last Words

"Please" and "Thank You"
Laura Claridge presents the first authoritative biography of Emily Post, the "mistress of American manners". Claridge recounts Post's personal trials and the enormous influence she exerted on 20th century ideas about manners and ethical behavior. Post's most famous work, Etiquette, was first published in 1922 and is now in its 17th edition.

P.M. Forni, founder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project (1997-2000), weighs in with The Civility Solution. Forni offers more than 70 modern day examples of rude behavior and describes their trigger points; e.g., anger, fear. The author also delivers solid advice on how we might all change our ways.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meet the Press?

Print Power
Once upon a time, Americans actively read news printed on (drum roll) paper! Centuries later, our news comes from myriad sources but one thing has not changed: we’re still arguing about how the media shapes public opinion.

Along these lines we recommend two good books on the not so early days of American print journalism. Both books have a contemporary feel.

Taking on the Trust by Steve Weinberg presents dual biographies of investigative reporter/muckraker Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil fame.

David Dary's Red Blood Black Ink relates tales of the days when frontier west newspaper editors ran the show.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


November Pleasures
The prolific James Patterson, who recently weighed in as a non-fiction writer, delivers his latest Alex Cross thriller next week. In this case, Alex traces a murderer across Africa.

Also next week, the mother-daughter team of Mary & Carol Higgins Clark offer up their mystery-light holiday book, Dashing Through the Snow.

Truth be told, we're mainly waiting for P.D. James's latest Inspector Adam Dalgliesh mystery, The Private Patient. Buzz has it this book will be the last in the Dalgliesh series; we're preparing to love the book and mourn the loss of one of our favorite Scotland Yard detectives.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Legends, Too
Few would argue Martin Scorsese's (1942-) or John Lennon's (1940-1980) unbreakable hold on the American imagination or their enduring influence on film and music, respectively.

Prominent film critic, Roger Ebert, analyzes Scorseses's films in an essay collection that is both reverent and thoughtfully critical. Philip Norman covers old and new terrain in his comprehensive biography of the late Beatle.

Fortunately for all of us, Scorsese is very much alive and regularly adds to his resume of stunning film accomplishments. Lennon's legacy is also alive and keeps on giving...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Americans: Resources for Families

Native American Heritage Month
As Thanksgiving nears, we must remember an important group of people who played a crucial role in that first holiday. You can learn more about First Americans through books and on the web. This month, use these and other resources to plan your family celebration of Thanksgiving and of Native American heritage.

Books to Share
American Indian Crafts Kids Can Do ** American Indian Games and Crafts ** Buffalo Days ** Celebrating America ** The Girl Who Married a Ghost and Other Tales from the Native American Indian ** Squanto ** Turkey, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn

Resources On the Web
Library of Congress ** Wild ** Native American Games (Scholastic) ** Native American Crafts (Enchanted Learning)

Monday, November 10, 2008


No Paramedics Required
At this time of year, many of you are looking for quick and easy meal ideas. We recommend two stylish and easy-format books to help you rescue your family from dinner boredom and save you time in the kitchen, too.

In The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, Liz Edmunds provides quick recipes and tips to help you organize prep work. Food themes for different days of the week are included and most recipes are suitable for novice cooks.

Recipes to the Rescue, illustrated by Lou Brooks, provides 80 recipes that may be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Betty Crocker meets Marvel Comics in this colorful book illustrated with popart cartoons. 'Rescue' recipes included here seem sure to make you a superhero.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We Get a Kick Out of You...

American History Books
As colder November weather approaches, the library invites you to light the fire, grab a comfy chair, and read a great book. The library can supply the great books but as for the fire and comfy chair? You're on your own...

For those of you who regularly dip or drench your toes into American history waters, we recommend:

Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson -- David S. Reynolds

Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War -- Edwin G. Burrows

The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise & Fall of Civilization --Brian Fagan

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Atlas of Stories...

All About Home
Editors Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey’s State by State features 50 essays written by 50 different authors, one for each state. As example, Rick Moody writes for Connecticut; Jhumpa Lahiri for Rhode Island; Ha Jin for Georgia; Jonathan Franzen for New York; Dave Eggers for Illinois; and Louise Erdrich for North Dakota.

This contemporary collection blends each writer's personal story with historical fact and was inspired by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s; part of F.D.R's New Deal.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Triple Header

Pick Your Story
Comedian/actor Denis Leary is known for his acid sense of humor and coughs up more than a few irreverent hairballs in his indelicately titled debut book.

Black Wave is the Silverwood’s story; a family of six who set out to sea in 2003 in a 55-foot catamaran. They hit a reef in the South Pacific and from here goes the story of survival and family bonds.

John Grogan of Marley and Me fame offers up The Longest Trip Home, the story of his human life, growing up in suburban Detroit.

Here We Go Loop de Loop

Get 'Hooked' This Winter!
With chilly days ahead, now may be the time to dust off your favorite indoor hobby or to find a new one. The yarn-loving hobbyists on our staff recommend the following books for those interested in crochet. Experts and novices alike will find both inspiration and solid instruction between these covers.

Wrapped in Crochet: Scarves, Wraps, & Shawls -- Kristin Omdahl
Chicks with Sticks' Guide to Crochet -- Nancy Queen & Mary Ellen O'Connell
Blueprint Crochet -- Robyn Chachula

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Extraordinary Stories

Medical Non-Fiction Picks
Against Medical Advice tells Cory Friedman's story: his long battle with Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and his medical advisors. James Patterson makes his first trip into non-fiction land and shows his skills as writer of a compelling story that isn't fictional.

We've been recommending Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight, since publication. Taylor suffered a stroke in 1996 at the age of 37; hers is a powerful story of recovery, change, gratitude, and family love.

We also highly recommend The Woman Who Can't Forget by Jill Price. If you have ever retraced your steps to find your car keys, know that Ms. Price lives with a greater burden. She remembers everything and we mean everything.


Double Woof! We hear the President-elect is shopping for a family dog. If you too are considering adding a new member to your family, your library has many books that offer solid advice on the subject. Here's a few of the latest.

Best-selling author Cesar Millan's Guide to a Lifetime of Fulfillment with Your Dog gives practical advice on how to live happily ever after with your new best friend.

Dr. Bruce Fogle’s New Dog: Choosing Wisely & Ensuring a Happy Ever describes how to make a good decision, whether you are adopting a puppy, an adult dog or a rescued dog.

Can We Have One? : a Parent's Guide to Raising Kids with Cats and Dogs is Lynn F. Buzhardt's one-stop book for parents considering pet ownership or pet owners considering parenthood.

Need help selecting the perfect name for the perfect pet? Gerd Ludwig & Sharon Vanderlip provide 1000 ideas.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

105 Main Is the Place to Be

National Gaming Day
On Saturday, November 15th the whole family is invited to come down to the library at 2pm to play all sorts of fun games (video games, board games, role playing games and childhood favorites like duck duck goose!)

Libraries all around the country are participating in this library milestone, so don't miss out on being a big part of the fun, East Hampton style!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lower Your Thermostat In Early November

Heat-Generating Fiction
A decade after his last novel, CT author Wally Lamb, also an Oprah favorite, offers The Hour I First Believed, a novel about faith and war.

Stephen King again plans to creep into our dreams with his short story collection, Just After Sunset. Jeffery Deaver does his thriller thing in The Bodies Left Behind; a mystery that doesn't feature Lincoln Rhyme.

For our need-to-be-cozy readers,
Alexander McCall Smith offers the fourth installment in his ever-warm 44 Scotland Street series, The World According to Bertie.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Look! Up in the Sky!

Or on Our Shelves...
For bird lovers, we recommend three absolutely stunning books.

Dominic Couzens' Extreme Birds walks the reader through four categories of birds from all around the world. A spectacular photo of each bird is accompanied by concise, one-page text. The format makes this book a great choice for families.

Bird: the Definitive Visual Guide, an Audubon offering, is also a good choice for families looking to learn more. Flight, anatomy, feeding, communication, breeding, habitat, migration and life cycles are discussed in detail; nearly 1500 species are identified.

For the bird watcher or conservationist in you, don't miss Out of the Woods by self-taught naturalist Ora E. Anderson (1911-2006). Anderson's expressive essays speak to the gentle pleasures of wandering the woods and connecting one's own spirit to the spirit of nature.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Books to Big Screen

Great! Oh No... Good!
As a staff -- we'll not leave out our extended posse of cub reporter movie scouts -- we've collectively passed more than a few dollars over the movie ticket counters in recent weeks. Why? We're always interested to see if the movie is as good as the book..

Check for or reserve library copies of The Secret Life of Bees
, Nights in Rodanthe, or The Duchess. For big screens showings, click Bees, Rodanthe, or Duchess. Guaranteed, one of these films is as great as its matching book...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"So, you've got my back and everything, right?"

Lessons from Napoleon I
Paul Stathern's Napoleon in Egypt recounts Napoleon I's disastrous invasion of Egypt in 1798. In Napoleon on Project Management, Jerry Manas translates Napoleon's leadership skills into advice for today's business managers.

Both books are engaging and entertaining reads. Strathern's book is page-turner history and has a déjà vu quality given current events. Manas offers sound advice on how to avoid managing a company called "Waterloo, Inc."

By the way, the opening quote is fiction movie icon Napoleon Dynamite's. No glibness intended. After reading both books, we suspect Napoleon posed more eloquent forms of this question to his followers more than once, when the stakes were high.