Monday, March 30, 2009

The Price of a Hobby

Collectors and Collecting
Any of four seasons is a perfect time to choose a new hobby or work on an old one. If your hobby is collecting collectibles, the library's non-fiction collection features a variety of guides that may be helpful to you.

Kovels' and Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guides provide good overviews and a good place to begin your review of what you have. Also find collector's identification guides for coins (Blackbook and Digest), for paper money, baseball cards, a range of glassware, pottery and dinnerware, plus more.

Though no collection can ever be complete, please know we update our collectibles collections every spring so now is the time to make suggestions for purchase.

In the mean time, please do review Caring for Your Treasures: Heritage Preservation and since we're Main Street residents and Main Street business fans, take more time to patronize Main Street's own local business, Antiques at 70 Main.

Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Can Tune a Piano But You Cannot Tuna Fish

One Fish, Two Fish
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, eating fish can help your heart. Here's a quick selection of fish history and cookery books sure to please fish lovers or tempt non-fish lovers into trying something new.

Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen & Roy Finamore

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Connecticut Patriot, Nathan Hale

"I regret that I have only one life to lose for my country." -- Nathan Hale (1755-1776)

M. William Phelps presents an updated and outstanding biography of Nathan Hale, CT son and famous American patriot. Using Hale's correspondence and other primary sources, Phelps delivers a sturdy portrait of an educated (Yale), idealistic, and religious young man most interested in public service -- which included spying against the British during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

For the younger crowd, try Nathan Hale: Patriot & Martyr of the American Revolution by L. J. Krizner & Lisa Sita for a good introduction to one of CT's most celebrated sons.

The Nathan Hale Homestead is located in nearby Coventry CT, within the larger Nathan Hale State Forest.
Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Books

For the Discriminating Teen Reader
The Indies Choice Book Award nominees, chosen by the owners and staff of all American Booksellers Association bookstores, include the following Young Adult titles. Sci-fi and fantasy books are heavy-hitters this year but all nominees provide more than a little something special to teen readers. Moreover, if you have seen these books just about everywhere (on must-read lists, online, in bookstores and in libraries) it's probably because they're buzz-worthy. Read for yourself...

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
Savvy by Ingrid Law

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March: National Nutrition Month

As with many other food topics, fats are discussed as both 'good' and 'bad'. Good fats (unsaturated) are those that are derived from plants, like olives (and olive oil not Olive OylTM) and flaxseed. Bad fats (trans fats) are altered through food processing (saturated) and are often derived from meats and cheeses.

For some quick tips on making choices about which fats to include in your diet, visit the Harvard's School of Public Health web site. To understand exactly what processes occur to create trans fats, visit the FDA's website.

For a look at an interesting experiment that goes well beyond just fats, watch Super Size Me, directed by Morgan Spurlock.

Post developed by EHPL Children's Librarian, Kathleen Sands

Love and War

Odd Couples
Lily Burana's I Love a Man in Uniform: a Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles seems sure to both surprise and inspire.

In short, Lily's an ex-stripper (with Playboy shoot photos in her portfolio) who marries a U.S. Army major. Shortly after the couple ties the knot, Major Mike is deployed to Iraq. Mike's return from war -- and Lilly's adjustment to life as a military wife -- are fraught with problems. Yet both Lilly and Mike survive
, as does their marriage.

Burana's is a gossipy memoir that is bitingly funny in places. It is more about successfully overcoming odd couple obstacles and finding better days ahead.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hello, Moms!

Fun and Serious Nonfiction and Fiction
Goodness knows it can be difficult to make 'me' time when you're doing the most important job on the planet. Nonetheless, here's a quick round-up of very good recent books for your recreational reading enjoyment. Some are laugh-at-yourself fun; some are more serious. Others provide a look-back by older moms or they have something to say about mothering from the many women in our children's lives.

All of these titles come highly recommended by local moms, both younger and (ahem...) more experienced. These and more mom-friendly titles -- written from many different points of view -- are available @ your library.

The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Kids for Fun and Profit
by Jill Connor Browne
It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather B. Armstrong
Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else that Really Matters by Anne Kreamer
The Mighty Queens of Freeville : a Mother, a Daughter, and the People Who Raised Them by Amy Dickinson

by Jill Kargman
The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross
Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill
The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

Ready or Not...

Change Happens
A decade ago, Spencer Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese? was a runaway bestseller. Still popular, the book tells the story of two mice and two humans who live in a maze until someone moves... their... cheese. Change ensues, at first none too happily, but is eventually embraced.

Dr. Johnson is back with another bestseller, Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You -- In Work and in Life. In this book, a young man who lives unhappily in a valley meets an old man who lives (you guessed it) happily on a peak. More about how to change than change itself, Johnson's latest may provide inspiration in these challenging times.

Both books are quick reads and represent pop-psychology at its best.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Indies Choice Book Award Nominees

Conversation Starters
The Indies Choice Book Awards (formerly known as the BookSense Book Awards) recently announced their finalists in 7 categories. Winners will be announced at Book Expo America this coming May. While you all await the outcome, you might plan to first start reading your way through the nominated book list in the Best Conversation Starter (nonfiction) category:

American Buffalo by Steven Rinella
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

More to come on Indies Choice nominees, chosen by the owners and staff of all American Booksellers Association bookstores.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Great Dog Story

Plus a Very Big Cat...
To name but a few, you've read about Marley (dog), Dewey (cat), Wesley (owl), Charlie (coyote), and Alex (parrot). You may also have read latest books about strange birds and smartest animals.

If you have loved any of the above, add to your must-read list Adventures With Ari by Kathryn Miles and A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke & John Rendall. Miles' book takes a very different look at raising and connecting a shelter dog to the great outdoors. The latter book was originally published in 1971 but has since gained traction owing to a number of videos hosted by YouTube. Here's one of many. We'll let you find the very touching 'reunion' video on your own...

My Little Red Book

Just For Girls... and Their Mothers, Too
New Haven's Rachel Kauder Nalebuff is the 18-year-old editor of My Little Red Book, a collection of stories written by women of all ages and backgrounds about the experience of their first menstrual period.

The book started out as a high school project; became much more, and this week, was featured in the Editor's Choice section of the New York Times Book Review. The book includes short essays by a diverse group of well-known writers including Meg Cabot, Gloria Steinem, Judy Blume, Erica Jong, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Joyce Maynard.

As a precursor to reading the book, check out the short video by the author.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kids and Money

"The Talk"
As we all struggle during these tough economic times, we may face having to explain lifestyle changes to young children. Books can help. The library has a small but varied collection of basic children's books about money and finance that may help spring-board family discussion and which may help children understand their family's changing decisions.

From Seashells to Smart Cards by Ernestine Giesecke
The Go Around Dollar by Barbara Adams
If You Made a Million by David Schwartz
A Kid's Guide to Managing Money by Joy Wilt
The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro
Ultimate Kid's Money Book by Neale Godfrey
The Everything Kid's Money Book by Brette McWhorter Sember
Show Me the Money by Alvin Hall
Budgeting Tips for Kids by Tamra Orr

If your children are older, you might also visit the PBS Kids GO! It's My Life web page entitled Managing Money: Expect Expenses.

Post by Kathleen Sands, EHPL Children's Librarian

Recession Gardening

Growing Your Own Vegetables
According to a recent Associated Press (AP) news article, the "National Gardening Association predicts a 19 percent increase in home gardening in 2009..." If you are getting ready to dig, here are but a few recent books that may be helpful:

Chef's Garden: Fresh Produce from Small Spaces by Terence Conran
Fresh Food from Small Spaces by R.J. Ruppenthal

If you are interested in attending gardener education workshop(s), visit the The Northeast Organic Farmer's Association of CT (NOFA) website. Classes are held in Manchester and Wallingford.

Also review CT Agricultural Experiment Station Fact Sheets on Planning Your Garden, Planting Your Garden and a variety of other fact sheets on home garden topics.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Get the Ball Rolling...

We Read! We Score!
East Hampton soccer season is in count-down mode. If you're coaching or thinking about coaching, here are but a few recent titles that may be helpful:

Coaching Girls' Soccer Successfully -- Coaching Kids' Soccer -- Coaching Youth Soccer --Soccer: Steps to Success.

Soccer-Friendly Reads for Kids
Emma Kate by Patricia Palocco -- Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown by Laura Elliott -- Double Fake by Rich Wallace -- Superstar by Philip Waechter -- Mac McGinn's Big Win by Coleen Paratore -- Soccer by Morgan Hughes -- Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn Fitzgerald.

Add in a couple of films -- Gracie and The Miracle Match -- to round out your soccer-loving family days.

I Spy...

A 'Tourist' in Disguise
Rumor has it George Clooney has picked up the film rights to Olen Steinhauer's latest novel, The Tourist. Also rumored is Clooney plans to play the book's main character, Milo Weaver, a jaded CIA black-ops agent (tourist) trying to balance family life with 3-D spy paranoia, lack of trust, and disillusionment.

Since Clooney has proven he knows a roller coaster film opportunity when he sees it (Michael Clayton comes to mind), it seems like a good idea to read the book and patiently await the film. Comparisons will be inevitable but Steinhauer's nuanced thriller should hold you over until it's time to buy your popcorn.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Niagara Falls

Beauty and Power
Environmental writer Ginger Strand's Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies tells the story of one of the world's most famous natural landmarks. All players find a place in Strand's popular history book: the Mohawk Tribe, honeymooners, thrill seekers, power and tourism industries.

This is one very readable book, chock full of surprises we'll not give away. The book does, however, ask you to form your own conclusions about our relationship with nature, commerce, and everything in between.

Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Home Makeovers: Inside and Out

A Whole New Look?
New from Sunset Books is a series of do-it-yourself guides; each includes a gallery of possible projects for indoor rooms and outdoor spaces. Each book features insight from experts (interior decorators, landscape architects) and comes complete with a bound-in DVD-ROM featuring 3D interactive design software. Find inspiration and ideas using these among many other similar titles available @ your library.

Kitchens -- Bathrooms -- Backyards -- Patio & Stone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dust Off Your Sneakers...

Exercise Matters...
Pick up any health magazine or browse e-articles focusing on health and you'll see a common theme: exercise equals better health and can make a difference in how we feel.

Jorg Blech's new book, Healing Through Exercise: Scientifically Proven Ways to Prevent & Overcome Illness & Lengthen Your Life, handles the topic as only a best-selling science writer can. The author's main thesis is simple: a half hour of moderate, daily walking can be helpful.

Bob Livingstone's latest holistist title, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain Through Exercise, suggests that moderate exercise (again, we're walking) can help lower emotional stress.

Also find @ your library a variety of exercise DVDs and soon to be replaced VHS titles for in-home use (general exercise or fitness, yoga, Pilates); check out East Hampton's very own exercise center Fit Trix, and of course, the East Hampton Parks & Recreation Department can always help you unlock the fun.

Needless to say, do not undertake any exercise program without best advice from your doctor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Than a Baker's Dozen

Adding an 'M' to Mmmm
Spring is just around the corner (oven use declines as temperatures rise) but who doesn't appreciate the comforting smell of fresh baked bread or baked goods straight from the oven? Here's a few book selections lauded by local bakers who bake all year round:

The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread: Cakes Cookies, & Pastries: More from New York City's Favorite Bakery by Amy Scherber & Toy Kim Dupree

Baking At Home with the Culinary Institute of America contains chapters on various types of baked goods. Tasty oven outcomes look appetizing and most recipes are easy to follow.

A Baker's Tour: Nick Malgieri's Favorite Baking Recipes from Around the World offers fun ways to introduce international flavors into your baked goods. Great browsing book illustrated with beautiful photographs of the finished products.

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook includes large-size photos that add interest to recipes from the simple to the sublime.

However, if breads and baked goods are not your thing, the library's cookbook collection is filled with many other yummy and something-for-everyone choices.
Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Light Bulbs and Beyond

Greening Your Home and Your Wallet
Saving money is on all of our minds these days and goodness knows we can save money by making our homes more energy efficient. Check out these, among other recent books on the subject:

Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 150 Smart Ways to Save Money and Make Your Home More Comfortable and Green by Bruce Harley

Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies by Rik Degunther

Homeowner's Handbook to Energy Efficiency: A Guide to Big and Small Improvements by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi

New Green Home Solutions: Renewable Household Energy and Sustainable Living by Dave Bonta and Stephen Snyder

Mark Your Calendars
Please make time to attend the Portland and East Hampton Clean Energy Expo on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Expo is sponsored by the non-profit Saint Clements Foundation and will take place at Saint Clements Castle.

Further Reading
Click here
for a quick list showing a variety of books on green and green-related topics available or soon to arrive @ your library.

March: National Nutrition Month

In the music world, 'Free Radicals' was the name of a late 1990's band. In the nutrition world, free radicals are molecules that can damage our cells and which may play a role in heart disease and cancer. Research also suggests that antioxidants seem to be the biggest enemy of free radicals.

Three major antioxidents include Vitamin E and C and Beta Carotene. Find these antioxidents in your food and try these ingredients in your recipes:
Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains, fortified cereals, and apricots
Vitamin C: citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries
Beta Carotene: liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains.

Click here for information about on antioxidents and their interaction with free radicals. Visit ICONN, Connecticut's research engine, to search for more information.

Post by Kathleen Sands, EHPL's Children's Librarian

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hurray for Spring!

Start Packing Away Your Woolies...
Chilly temperatures will soon be gone and this means spring excitement is just around the corner!

Get in the mood early with some springy titles, such as Hurray for Spring by Patricia Hubbell; the title offers vivid pictures of all the fun outdoor activities you will soon be able to enjoy.

Also check out these, among many other spring titles for children:

Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson
Wake Up It's Spring by Lisa Ernst
Spring Thaw by Steven Schnur
Spring is Here by Lois Lenski

Post by Kathleen Sands, EHPL's Children's Librarian

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How Lincoln Learned to Read

School Days
Daniel Wolff's new book, How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Americans & The Educations That Made Them is much more than an interesting study of twelve Americans' educational experiences; it is a look at the development of education in America and how twelve Americans learned what they needed to know.

From Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson to Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins (a Paiute Indian) to Henry Ford, W. E. B. DuBois, Hardenbergh's Belle (Sojourner Truth), Helen Keller, Rachel Carson, John F. Kennedy, and Elvis Presley -- Wolff describes how education, of many different types, led to hefty accomplishments.

The book comes equipped with inspiration and a lengthy, selected bibliography.

Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Digital Photography

Smile for the Camera
Whether you are an experienced photographer or are just learning how to take the perfect photo, the library holds a variety of how-to books about digital photography. Click here for a quick selection.

On the history of photography front, before the digital camera, we recommend several great overview books. Find these and more in our non-fiction stacks:

The Photograph by Graham Clarke
Against the Odds: Women Pioneers in the First 100 Years of Photography by Martin W. Sandler
Photography's Antiquarian Avant-garde by Lyle Rexer
Photography Book Series by Ansel Adams

Also know East Hampton is home to R.J. Phil, a local business that has been serving photographers, artists, and craftspeople in and around East Hampton for over 20 years. Visit R.J. Phil's website for an overview of services provided.

Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gone with the Wind... Revisited

Still Fascinated?
Molly Haskell's new book Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited presents a fresh look at an old favorite. In the main, the author describes how Margaret Mitchell's classic Civil War novel became one of the greatest movies of all time and how Scarlett O'Hara found her place on lists of literature's favorite female characters.

Haskell's book comes complete with insider stories about the great names who brought Mitchell's book to big-screen life and adds fresh views on the film's history. Martin Scorsese (great American director), Olivia De Havilland (GWTW Actress), and Philip Lopate (film reviewer), to name a few, have all given the book positive reviews.

To read more about a few of then-people involved in the making of GWTW, check out the following biographies:
Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell by Anne Edwards
Clark Gable by Warren G. Harris
Selznick: Memo From David O. Selznick, selected & edited by Rudy Behlmer

And of course, don't miss reading or re-reading Mitchell's book or viewing GWTW on DVD, over and over again.

Post by library staff member Bev Simmons

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

Small, Medium, Large
Since its release in 2006, Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea : One Man's Mission to Promote Peace-- One School at a Time has been a hardcover and paperback bestseller.

Little wonder. After a near fatal attempt to climb the Himalayan peak K2, Mortenson was sheltered and revived by villagers in a remote Pakistani village. He later returned to the village and built its first school. Owing to Mortenson's further efforts, 50 additional schools have since been built in Pakistan and Afghanistan with emphasis on providing educational opportunity to young girls.

This inspirational and humanitarian story is retold in three formats: one for children, one for youth, and the original work for adults and older teens. Enjoy them as a family...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Summer, New Sisterhood

The Lastest from Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares Traveling Pants series wrapped up in 2007 and waiting you have been for a new Sisterhood to appear.

Wait no more and meet Ama, Polly and Jo in Brashares latest, 3 Willows: the Sisterhood Grows. The book is written for a slightly younger audience but has much to say about the challenges of being -- and staying -- best friends forever.

If you somehow managed to miss the first Sisterhood series by Brashares, read them in order as follows: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, and Forever in Blue. The first two titles are also books-to-film, available for checkout on DVD.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Super Science Me!

Popular Science and Science History
Books about science topics are very popular locally, particularly if the books are well written and prove that thrillers can be found on more than the library's mystery book shelves.

Here's a few of the latest and greatest in science books, written from different angles:

Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World by Tom Zoellner
The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Born by Louisa Gilder
Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Mueller

Content developed by library staff member Bev Simmons

The Next 100 Years

In George Friedman's latest, The Next 100 Years, the author forecasts events he believes will change our world over the course of the remaining 991 years of the 21st century.

The end of the American-jihadist conflict; a new cold war with Russia; technology in space; China and Mexico's role switch as world powers; a golden age for America -- these and more receive thoughtful treatment in this intriguing and very readable book, available in print and audio format.

Mr. Friedman is the founder and CEO of Stratfor, a leading private intelligence and forecasting film.

March: National Nutrition Month

Naturally Sweet
There are differences between how refined sugar (white) and complex sugars (honey, molasses, maple syrup) affect our bodies. Refined sugar is absorbed quickly into our bloodstreams; complex sugars are absorbed more slowly and offer an even supply of energy over time. To learn more, try the following books:

Sugar Shock by Connie Bennett
The Sugar Solution by the Editors of Prevention Magazine
Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out Of Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman

For a point-of-view based look at corn agriculture, as well as its role in the sweeteners market, you might also watch King Corn, directed by Aaron Woolf.

Content developed by EHPL's Children's Librarian, Kathleen Sands

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Business Man, Money Man

Joseph P. Kennedy's 'Hollywood Years'
Stories about power and wealth tend to make for interesting reading. Cari Beauchamp's Joseph P. Kennedy Presents : His Hollywood Years falls into this category. The author focuses on the legendary Kennedy patriarch's lesser known involvement in the movie industry from 1926 to 1931 and highlights his role as a maker and/or breaker of careers.

Further Reading and Viewing
Kennedy's professional and personal relationship with actress Gloria Swanson receives some attention in Beauchamp's book. Please do try her autobiography, Swanson on Swanson and do not miss Swanson in the film, Sunset Boulevard. Of course, your library holds a long list of sturdy reads by and about Kennedy Family members, written from many different perspectives.

Stolen, Faked, Forged

Art and Antiquities
Three new books about the world of art and antiquities might as well be true crime thrillers. Page-turners all, these books explore the questions "Who owns art and antiquities?" and if we own either, "Is what we own authentic?"

In Loot : The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World, Sharon Waxman explores whether or not antiquities held by major museums, and acquired under less than ideal circumstances, should be returned to their countries of origin.

Nina Burleigh's Unholy Business: a True Tale of Faith, Greed & Forgery in the Holy Land follows the trail of antiquities fraud and describes the competing interests of scholars, religious believers, antiques dealers, millionaires and of course, the police.

In The Forger's Spell : A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Edward Dolnick tells the story of Han van Meegeren who made a fortune in German-occupied Holland by forging paintings of the Dutch painter Vermeer. Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe and Hitler's heir apparent, was one of the forger's clients. Needless to say, this was not one of van Meegeren's better choices...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Introducing... Global Road Warrior

For the Roving Globetrotter In You...
Grab your real or imaginary passports East Hampton! Your library today launched access to a new online service, Global Road Warrior.

Using the service, you may virtually visit 175 countries -- from A to Z -- and find extensive, up-to-date coverage on travel, communications, social and cultural issues. You will also find up-to-date information on climate and points of interest, security, business services, currency, sports, transportation, food, recipes and essential terms in the native language.

All you need to begin your Global Road Warrior tour of the world is your East Hampton Public Library card. Click here and be prepared to enter your library barcode shown on the back of your card (no spaces, please) in the field shown bottom left.

Fine Feathered Friends

Bird-Watching in Connecticut
In the March/April issue of Journeys Magazine, a AAA publication, you'll find a listing of popular birding sites located throughout New England. Included are some great ideas for outdoor adventures bird-loving families can enjoy together.

Owing to our economy and declining corporate sponsorships, CT's main annual event -- CT Audubon's Eagle Festival® -- was cancelled. However, there is still time to visit the Shepaug Dam Bald Eagle Observation Area in Southbury or if you can afford it, to take the Eagle Viewing Boat Tour. You may also visit the Audubon's Pomfret facility to learn about woodcock mating dances on Saturday, March 14; Thursday, March 19; Saturday, March 21; Thursday, March 26; Thursday, April 2.

Of course, there is always backyard bird-watching -- forever free. The library can provide you with a variety of children's books and handy guides about bird-watching as well as narrative books written by some of America's most famous bird-watchers. To supplement your readings, we highly recommend Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology website.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Backyard Growers

Small Fruit and Fruit Trees: Backyard to Table
On Thursday March 19 at 1 p.m. , the library will host a program about the basics of growing small and tree fruits for home enjoyment and consumption. Mary Inman from the CT Agricultural Experiment Station will present. Topics to be covered include selecting appropriate cultivars, cross pollination, fertilizing, pruning, watering, and disease control.

Click here to register for this free program, one of many offered throughout Middlesex County, as part of the Greening Our Valley Initiative.

Books and Reading
You may also enjoy the following titles between now and March 19; browsing may help you frame specific questions for the expert Ms. Inman.

How to Grow More Vegetables (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops)... by John Jeavons

The Berry Grower's Companion by Barbara L. Bowling

Gardening with heirloom seeds : tried-and-true flowers, fruits, and vegetables for a new generation by Lynn Coulter

Encyclopedia of hardy plants : annuals, bulbs, herbs, perennials, shrubs, trees, vegetables, fruits & nuts by Derek Fell

The organic home garden : how to grow fruits & vegetables naturally by Patrick Lima

Monday, March 02, 2009

March: National Nutrition Month

Good Bacteria to the Rescue!
Who knew? There are certain types of bacteria that are your friends! Probiotics, similiar to our good intestinal bacteria, may help our immune system stay strong and fight off disease. One of the most common sources of probiotics is yogurt but they seem to be popping up in breakfast cereals, too.

To learn more about the research findings about probiotics in relation to our health, as well as what diseases they may help prevent, visit the websites below:

An Introduction to Probiotics (National Institutes of Health)

Content developed by EHPL's Children's Librarian, Kathleen Sands

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Poet of the Month

Elizabeth Thomas
Elizabeth Thomas, whose most recent collection is From the Front of the Classroom, is founder of UpWords Poetry, a company promoting programs for young writers and educators. She was a leader of the CT National Youth Poetry Slam Team in 2008, as well as two others, including the U.S. team that traveled to Sweden in 1998. She has been poet in residence at schools in Windsor, New Haven, Torrington, Hartford, and Suffield, among others. The following poem is from her most recent collection:

for Kiana Rose Andle

The chair is as old as my son –
brown wood, still sturdy after all these years.
Gold painted basket of eggs and feathers
even now overflows.
And somewhere along the seat,
teeth marks notch the surface.
It was the nicest piece of furniture we owned
and we dragged it
from apartment to apartment,
state to state.
When I was pregnant
his future grandmother offered it, saying
“Might as well be comfortable
while we wait.”
And it became our special place
for songs and fairy tales.

The chair now gathers dust
in this old room.
I see my son
learning to pull himself up
and he is teething.
I wail when he uses the rocker for both.
“Time out! Time out!
Look what you’ve done to my chair!”
I have no appreciation
that all these years later
I would rock,
seek out the marks,
run my finger across them –
like someone blind

needing to remember.

Further Reading: Elizabeth Thomas, From the Front of the Classroom, in our library.

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson