Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Pulitzers

Books of Distinction
The 2009 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded last Monday. Here's a list of winners and finalists in the Fiction, History, Biography, and general Nonfiction categories. Prize winners are listed first.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
All Souls by Christine Schutt

The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe by William I. Hitchcock

For more information about 2009 Pulitzer Prizes, click here.

Made in America

George Washington on Canvas
Hugh Howard's new book The Painter's Chair: George Washington & the Making of America Art reveals the relationship between our first President and the development of American art and specifically, portraiture.

In the days before digital photos became a storytelling standard, paintings were used to convey events and to make statements about politics, religion, and famous people. Portrait painting got a major boost during the Renaissance; with the birth of our new nation, portraiture became especially popular as artists looked for work and Americans looked for many ways to understand their new country and its founding fathers.

Among the 28 portraitists who painted George Washington (1732-1799), four very different artists stand out: Charles Wilson Peale, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart. Howard tells their stories and explains their relationships with our first President in an engaging way that will appeal to history and art history fans alike.

Post by Bev Simmons

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Roman Battle, Fictional Style

"Give Me Back My Legions!"
Above are the words Emperor Augustus Caesar kept shouting after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (A.D. 9). This sentence is also the title of Harry Turtledove’s new fictional account of the battle that changed the history of Germany and as a result, that of the Roman Empire.

Turtledove is famous for best-selling alternative history novels, as in “what if history was changed?” war stories -- with a sci-fi feel. Give Me Back My Legions is one of his best and comes with a tight narrative and fantastic Roman battle scenes. If you're a fan of larger than life fiction with historical twists, you'll be riveted to your arm chair to the very end.

To read more of Harry Turtledove's alternative history books, visit the library. We've got a bunch to talk about and recommend to you.

Post by Bev Simmons

Monday, April 27, 2009

Surf's Up

Free Online Reference
Here's a few web sites that
deliver topical
information in useful ways.
All may be helpful for
independent learning, personal enrichment, or fact finding for a variety of purposes.

With one exception these, among other sites, were recently recommended to a national library community via Library Journal. Sites listed tie to regularly expressed local interests.

Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project (Northern Illinois U.) (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
CareerOneStop (U.S. Department of Labor with links to CT sites)
Maplight or Open Secrets (connections between money and politics)
Earth Portal (governed by the Environmental Information Coalition)
Poetry Foundation (from the publisher of Poetry Magazine)
Economic Indicators (U.S. Census Bureau)
Economic News Releases (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

As always, we welcome your comments.

The Great American Car...

A Gearhead's Anthology
Political satirist P. J. O'Rourke offers up a tribute to America's love affair with the car in his latest -- now here's a hefty title for you --

Driving Like Crazy : Thirty Years of Vehicular Hellbending, Celebrating America the Way It's Supposed to Be-- With an Oil Well in Every Backyard, a Cadillac Escalade in every carport, and the... Federal Reserve Bank Mowing Our Lawn...

In his early career, O'Rourke contributed to National Lampoon; his later essays have appeared in a variety of publications including The American Spectator, Atlantic Monthly, Car and Driver, and Rolling Stone. O'Rourke's point of view blends conservative and libertarian ideas with buckets of irreverent humor. Very funny guy even if you tend to be more liberal.

For more P.J. O'Rourke, whose humor books have held up surprising well over time, click here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Universe

Less Cozy Than We Think
Well-known science historian, Marcia Bartusiak, has a wonderful and highly readable new book The Day We Found the Universe. Within the pages of Bartusiak's book, learn about an astounding number of astronomical discoveries and inventions from the past century.

Edwin Hubble receives major attention, given the credit he's received for changing the way scientists view the universe. Science luminaries who appear in this book also include Henrietta Leavitt, Vesto Slipher, Milton Humason, Harlow Shapeley, and Georges Lemaitre. Check out our science related collections for more information.

Readers may also remember or enjoy Bartusiak's edited work, Archives of the Universe: A Treasury of Astronomy’s Historic Works of Discovery, which is also available for checkout.

Post by Bev Simmons

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Open Road...

Isn't It Pretty?

Not so long after high noon today, something very exciting happened on Main Street. The concrete jersey barriers disappeared; guideline traffic cones appeared, and Main Street re-opened to no-detour traffic. Whoo boy, the open road road was the talk of town at the library this afternoon!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tom Robbins

Quirky as Ever...
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Villa Ingognito) delivers yet another irreverent tale, this one about beer.

Written as a fairy tale for adults though through the eyes of a child, B is for Beer introduces us to Gracie Perkel, a six-year-old who craves to spend time with her brewski-loving Uncle Moe. Forthwith comes factoids about beer culture, from ancient to modern, and loads of Robbins' sometimes subversive/farcical humor.

Whether you do or don't have beer in your fridge, B is for Beer offers an off-beat but valuable take on how to talk to your kids about a beverage that is heavily advertised in modern culture.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Take the Quiz, Read the Book, Vice Versa

"How Dysfunctional Is Your Reading?"
Two local patons -- on the same day no less -- recently sent us the link to a readers quiz posted by the UK's flagship newspaper, The Guardian. The quiz asks us to correctly identify quotes from or facts about a combination of works, thirteen in total.

You'll find a very twisted bunch of folks within the pages of the thirteen. Titles range from classics written by Tolstoy, Dickens, Bronte, and Sophocles to contemporary works by Arthur Miller, Jonathan Franzen, Augusten Burroughs, and Stephen King.

Take the quiz, read the book... or vice versa. Almost all of the titles featured in the quiz are available for checkout @ your library. None of them 'geeky'... all of them great...

Posted Developed by the EHPL's Adult Services Staff

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food Chain Views

Yum.. Yuk.. Yum.. Yuk Yum
Here's a couple of very popular books, both of which offer a point of view on what's yuk and what's yum...

In The Face on Your Plate, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson pretty much offers strong support to vegetarians and vegans. Michael Pollan, who also wrote 2007's bestseller The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006) follows up with In Defense of Food (2008) and suggests veggies in the main and meat as side dish.

Pick and choose according to your food chain, diet, or lifestyle views. Either way -- yuk or yum, yum or yuk -- our new/recent and standing book collections do feature a fair share of cookbooks and fiction-friendly titles for cooks. As always, we welcome new title suggestions.

Post developed by Bev Simmons

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Woman in Business

Beatrice Fox Auerbach
A Woman in Business: The Life of Beatrice Fox Auerbach by Virginia Hale presents the success story of Hartford’s famous CEO for G. Fox & Co.

Once Beatrice Fox Auerbach (1887-1968) took over as Chief Executive in 1938, the rest, as they say, is history. Not only did Ms. Auerbach make business history as an outstanding female executive in what was then a man’s career, but in today’s world she would still be considered a legend. Her track record included support for the advancement of women and blacks, as well as a highly visible backing of arts and education in Connecticut.

In the days when department stores were just that -- departments with a wide variety of merchandise available for sale under one roof -- the high quality of customer service offered in these market stalls where customers could find just about anything contributed greatly to the reputation of this retailing family.

With its sterling reputation, G. Fox & Co. was nationally known as the largest privately-owned department store in the United States. Ms. Auerbach’s business practices resulted in well-deserved praise, and honorary degrees. A great slice of Connecticut history, this book is a real treat.

Post by Bev Simmons

Bestseller Watch...

Mix and Match Usual and Unusally Great
Last week and this week, the NYT's Best Seller Lists (short and long) showed an interesting variety of books that you, our local audience, very apparently want to read. Here's a few books you may wish to add to your personal reading list. Mix and match fiction and memoir.

Next week, however, look for Baldacci and Woods, whose latest novels will be released on Tuesday, to cause a little shuffle in the top 16 books on the NYT hardcover fiction list. Maybe we’ll all need to shuffle our reading lists to make room or better yet, we’ll all just have to make a little more time to read.

First Family by David Baldacci
Loitering With Intent by Stuart Woods
The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick
Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl
Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner
The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips
Might as Well Laugh About It by Marie Osmond; with Marcia Wallace
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox
Cloris by Cloris Leachman
Growing Up Again by Mary Tyler Moore
Malice by Lisa Jackson
Rides a Dread Legion by Raymond E. Feist

Keeping Track?
If you're an online aficionado, the easiest way to keep track of NYT bestsellers added to our collection is to use our BookNews service. Give it a try...

April: National Poetry Month's Poet of the Week

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood (1939-), a perceptive and frank Canadian feminist with a sense of the absurd that will often make you laugh, is a poet and a novelist who has received wide acclaim in the U.S. and Europe as well as in Canada in both fields. She cryptically described the difference between writing the poem and the novel by saying, "With a lyric poem, you look, and meditate, and put the rock back. With fiction you poke things with a stick to see what will happen." Here is a good example of one of her lyric poems:

The Moment

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half‑acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

Further Reading: For a quick selection of Atwood's novels and poetry, click here.

Next Up: Dave Smith

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No Child Left Inside 2009

The Pass Is Back!
CT has 800 miles of hiking trails; 2,000 miles of rivers and streams; 1,300 campsites in 14 parks; 9 historic sites, and 237 lakes and ponds. Combine these recreational, educational, and natural features with 139 state parks and forests and you've got No Child Left Inside 2009, a free way to enjoy CT's great outdoors with your family.

State Park Pass @ your library
The Connecticut Library Consortium and the CT DEP have partnered to provide one CT state park day pass to public libraries across the state, yours included. Beginning April 18th, you may borrow the pass to obtain free parking at state parks where fees are charged and free admission to any museum located within a park. This summer, we'll be using donated funds to purchase a second pass to help meet local demand for free recreational opportunities.

Other Museum Passes
The Friends of the East Hampton Public Library, an all-volunteer organization, have been funding our museum pass program for more than a decade. Check out library pass offerings and please consider joining the Friends or patronizing the Friends Bookstore, which features gently used materials that you may purchase at very low cost.

Love Stories

Charming, Quirky, or Just Plain Fun
If you enjoy books that feature romance -- and are looking for more than the usual fare -- here's a few books frequently recommended by your fellow 'love story' fans.

Click on the title to check for availability, or to log in to place a reserve request, but also notice the left-hand pane. Here you'll find links to plot summaries, book reviews, author biographies and in some cases, excerpts from the books themselves. Great deal!

Nothing But a Smile by Steve Amick
Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn
Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton

Friday, April 17, 2009

Help Wanted?

Show Your Colors
Joe Lamacchia & Bridget Samburg’s new book Blue Collar & Proud of It is a great resource for people in search of a recession-proof, well-paying job that is not outsourceable and does not require a college diploma. It is recommended as a handbook for people looking to start a new career in a skilled trade.

For people looking for practical advice, information, and direction in choosing a career in the trade industry, this book is a great starting place. Carpentry, electrical, welding, roofing, and the developing green industries are just a few of the book’s offered options. Choices of schools, post secondary training programs and apprenticeships are included in this useful work.

Joe Lamacchia is the founder of

Further Reading
Blue Collar & Beyond : Resumes for Skilled Trades and Services by Yana Parker
Cover Letter Magic : Trade Secrets of Professional Resume Writers by Wendy S. Enelow and Louise M. Kursmark

Post by Bev Simmons

Electric Cars

Plug It In, Plug It In?
A car that needs very little or no gas may sound too good to be true but electric and hybrid cars are incrementally finding their place in a buyers' market looking for fuel-efficiency.

If you'd like to learn a little more about how electric cars work, check out this article from Associated Content. You can also take a peek at and review user ratings of a variety of electric/hybrid vehicles in a quiz developed by the folks at Planet Green. Follow up and review additional details on these same vehicles via Treehugger.

Of course, the library offers in-print and online versions of Consumer Reports which features sturdy, no viewpoint ratings and recommendations on hybrid cars and trucks, as well as a variety of other consumer products.

Further Reading and Viewing
Try the very fun read Greasy Rider by Greg Melville or the point-of-view documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car?

Content developed by Kathleen Sands

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Healthy Kids Day

April 18th and Every Day After...
Healthy Kids® Day is sponsored by the YMCA and is aimed at promoting creative and engaging ways for kids to form healthy living habits -- like exercising, eating well, and getting involved in their local communities. To find out what is going on at nearby YMCAs that are participating in National Healthy Kids Day, click here.

Every day after, also remember that we can round out each day by participating in kid-friendly programs offered by East Hampton Parks and Recreation and by Fit Trix, an East Hampton-based family exercise center.

Of course, and if you're a kid, try these and many more books to help you get motivated:
The Adventurous Book of Outdoor Games by Scott Strother
Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell
Exercising by Robin Nelson

Post by Kathleen Sands

Earth Day: April 22, 2009

Growing Green
As Earth Day approaches, the library offers you many ways to celebrate using crafts, stories, proactive activities, and fun science facts that can be learned through our growing 'green' collection for kids.

Check out Ecology Crafts for Kids or Nature Smart by Bobbe Needham to get creative with craft projects.
Try What Planet Are You From Clarice Bean? by Lauren Child for a great environmentally focused tale. Browse Ten Things I Can Do To Help My World by Melanie Walsh to find out how to help your home planet. Also find books about close-to-home topics such as wetlands and lakes, and general titles about the water cycle.

For a very quick list of other growing green titles for kids click here.

Post by Kathleen Sands

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Horror! The Horror!

Still Shining
Stephen King is one of America's contemporary masters when it comes to delivering horror fiction. His books have sold an estimated 300 million+ copies and his book sale clicker has been beating out a regular rhythm for more than 30 years.

In Lisa Rogak's new book, Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, we learn more about the man behind the pages turned so quickly over time.

Though die-hard King fans may not find anything new here, those who dabble in popular biographies may enjoy this read. Rogak’s book tells the story of a man who’s struggled personally; a writer who’s influenced American pop-culture, and who writes because he must.
Post by Bev Simmons

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Environment and You

National Environmental Education Week
April 12-19, 2009
Join us during school vacation week for three programs that focus on our environment, not as something that surrounds us but as something we are part of…

Connecticut Wildlife, Wednesday, April 15 @ 7 p.m.
East Hampton resident and Master Wildlife Conservationist Allen R. Petell will present a family program about Connecticut wildlife. Petell will overview the impact humans have had on Connecticut's wildlife habitats and subsequent attempts by the DEP to restore the habitats and extirpated species in the state. Native species discussed include the white-tail deer, black bear, moose, fisher cat, beaver, coyote, fox, bobcat, and wild turkey. Click here to register.

Rain Gardens, Thursday, April 16 @ 1 p.m.
Karen Filchak from the UCONN Cooperative Extension Service will present on the practical and environmentally helpful uses of residential rain gardens. Learn how rain gardens may be used as bio-retention areas that absorb storm water runoff from impervious surfaces such as roof tops, streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. The program is co-sponsored by East Hampton Parks and Recreation. Click here to register.

Fribrary Time, Friday, April 17 @ 3:30 p.m.
In this Fribrary Time Program, we’ll use a variety of recycled materials to craft a mosaic art piece and decorate the library in preparation for Earth Day 2009, April 22. Fribrary Time programs are open to 4th and 5th graders. Click here to register.

All programs are open to the public and are part of the Greening Our Valley initiative, funded by the Middlesex County Community Foundation in cooperation with the Connecticut Library Consortium.

Surf's Up: National EEWeek Home


Gearing Up for a 'Gem' of a Project
Making jewelry can be an easy way to put your innate creativity to use; it can also provide you with a fun way to show your unique fashion sense and spirit. Jewelry is also a great gift idea for family members and friends of any make and model and of any age.

The following books may help you select a gem of a project. Even if you do not consider yourself particularly ‘crafty’, these books are great for browsing and may inspire…

Perfect Match : Earring Designs for Every Occasion by Sara Schwittek
Jewelry Studio : Wire Wrapping by Linda Chandler & Christine Ritchey
Custom Cool Jewelry : Create 200+ Personalized Pendants, Charms, & Clasps by Melinda A. Barta
Bead Tempted : Over 100 Irresistible Ideas and Inspirations for Creative Jewelry Design by Vigdis Mo Johansen
The Illustrated Bead Bible : Terms, Tips & Techniques by Theresa Flores Geary
Art of Jewelry : Paper Jewelry : 35 Creative Projects by Marthe Le Van
Hip to Bead : 32 Contemporary Projects for Today's Beader by Katie Hacker
Impatient Beader Gets Inspired : a Crafty Chick's Guide to Fabulous Design by Margot Potter

The library also holds a handful of guides about collecting costume jewelry. Watch for latest updates in May 2009.

Post by Bev Simmons

A Day at the Museum

Oddly Enough, Choose Trash or Garbage...
If you are looking for something unusual to do with your favorite little people during spring vacation, give a visit to the Garbage Museum in Stratford or the Trash Museum in Hartford.

The Garbage Museum features a Trash-o-saurus, a one-ton dinosaur made from salvaged items (pictured above); a family Trash Bash!, and a worm tunnel that teaches composting techniqes. You can also see trash recycling in action as big-rig trucks drop off their loads.

The Trash Museum features multiple exhibits that begin in the facility's Temple of Trash. Watch the recycling process on closed-circuit and enjoy family oriented activities that teach the 3 R's : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Both museums are operated by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

What's a Keeper and What's Not?

Decisions... Decisions...
If you sometimes feel challenged or overwhelmed by your stuff – and we're sure all of us have been there at one time or another – here’s a short list of books about lightening your load in more ways than one.

Throw Out Fifty Things : Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life
by Gail Blanke
Organize Your Life by Ronni Eisenberg

Going to the Dogs!

Man's Best Friend
The idea of 'man's best friend' has been around for countless years but the outpouring of unique books about dogs has recently caught our attention. With growth in the self-publishing industry, we now find books about anything and everything dog...

One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food by Michael Schaffer gives an inside look at the 41 billion dollar pet industry. Our pets are big business. The social aspects of creating consumer love affairs with pet products are explored. Interesting anecdotes about our beloved dogs round out this witty and sometimes alarming read.

For families whose dogs are more than mere pets, here's a few fun titles to share with your pooch:
Dog Parties by Kimberley Schlegel Whitman with Courtney Dreslin
Dog Crafts
by Linda Hendry
Bow Wow! Fetching Costumes for Your Fabulous Dog by Cathie Filian
Top Dog Knits: 12 Quick Knit Fashions for Your Best Friend
by Jil Eaton

Post by Bev Simmons

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Susan Campbell
Susan Campbell is an award-winning journalist for the Hartford Courant; her column about the shootings at lottery headquarters in March 1998 was part of the Courant's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage in the breaking news reporting category.

In her new book, Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl, Campbell offers a personal and loving story of growing up as a fundamentalist while at the same time struggling with questions about where girls and women fit in...

Campbell's book is available for checkout or reserve at the library. Also catch the author's most recent interview on NPR.

All In the Family

The Other Bonapartes
Literally thousands of books have been written about Napoleon. By comparison, far fewer have been written about members of his family. Napoleon had seven brothers and sisters and two wives.

Marie Paulette (Pauline) Bonaparte (1780-1825), also known as the Princess and Duchess of Guastalla, was considered Napoleon's favorite sister. In later and worse times, Pauline traveled to Elba to see her brother in exile; the only member of his family who did.

A new biography by Flora Fraser, Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire, gives a detailed and fascinating account of the life of this superstar of the Napoleonic era. Pauline left her own mark on French society and made quite a bit of news on her own.

The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine by Andrea Stuart presents Josephine's life story. As a poorly educated Caribbean aristocrat from a Martinique sugar plantation, Josephine's first marriage to a French nobleman was famous in its day. Her second marriage to Napoleon became legendary.

For readers who enjoy popular biographies with well-researched historical background information, both books are great choices.

Post by Bev Simmons

On Guard! (With a Squeak!)

Of Mice... No Men...
Mouse Guard is on alert to ward off predators as they protect their fellow micefolk!

This graphic novel series by David Petersen is about brave swashbuckling mice and begins with a fearsome threesome who must investigate a missing traveling merchant and potential mole among the mice. Don't miss out on the action and suspense!

To learn more about real swords used throughout the ages, you might also enjoy perusing Swords: an Artist's Devotion by Ben Boos.

Post by Kathleen Sands, Children's Services Librarian

Monday, April 06, 2009

Changing a Life

April is Donate Life Month
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates that more than 98,000 Americans are in need of an organ transplant. The Department also estimates that "each day, about 77 people get the organ transplant that gives them a second chance, but 17 to 19 others die because they did not receive an organ transplant." The numbers are large and grow larger by the day.

This April, please consider using your power to change another person's life by becoming an organ or tissue donor. Visit Life Choice Donor Services for an overview of frequently asked questions and for information on how you may register as an organ donor in CT via the CT Department of Motor Vehicles.

Further Reading:

Sears Park Stickers

Now On Sale
Sears Park Stickers for vehicles and watercraft are now available for purchase. Town residents may purchase stickers at a number of locations, including the library. Stickers may be purchased during regular library hours: Monday-Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Cost of Stickers
$10.00 Vehicle
$5.00 Senior Citizen's or Veteran's vehicle
$50.00 Watercraft/Boat*
*50% of this revenue goes to the Sears Park Boat Launch Improvement Fund

Proof of Residency
Vehicle and watercraft registrations showing proof of residency must be presented when purchasing stickers. Please be sure to bring these documents with you.

For More Information
Visit the Parks & Recreation Department's web page.

Photo Credit: Gladys Yeager Griswold

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wooly Bully!

Feltmaking and felting are as old as the hills. For an enlightening overview on the topic, see Feltmaking - an Immemorial Art, originally published in the CIBA Review, a scholarly journal about the history of textiles.

Of course -- here's a short list of titles about needle felting and felted knitting we hope you'll enjoy. As always, we're open to your title suggestions...

Quick & Clever Felting by Ellen Kharade
Little Felted Animals by Marie-Noëlle Horvath
Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas

Post by Bev Simmons

Friday, April 03, 2009


Night to Light
Mad Desire to Dance, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel's latest, starts once again in a pre-WWII Polish Village under ethnic siege and carries us all the way up to yesterday. There is no barbed wire or six-tiered bunk beds here. No jack boots on the neck either but rather the more unusual story of a dybbuk's psychoanalysis.

In Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is a malicious spirit that enters a living person (in this case one Doriel Waldman) and proceeds to make his life miserable. Waldman is desperate enough to seek out the help of psychiatrist Thérèse Goldschmidt. The story she records in her notes, one we are privy to read, is of Waldman's resurrection as a man, albeit an old man. The twist at the end of the novel is not only interesting but quietly promising.

Mad Desire to Dance is not a walk in the park read but neither is Night, Wiesel's memoir and arguably most famous, most read book. Reading either or both books – about the difficulty of remembering or forgetting – is well worth your time.

Post by Phil Carr

April 8: National Start! Walking Day

For a Healthier You
The American Heart Association advises that taking just 10 minutes three times a day to walk will help you live longer. The Association also advises that you can support the fight against heart disease by participating in National Start! Walking Day on Wednesday, April 8.

To supplement your efforts, the library holds a variety of books and instructional DVDs focused on fitness walking. Here's a few you might like to try and of course, don't begin a new exercise regimen without advice from your physician:

Chi Walking by Danny Dreyer
Fast Walking by Ron Laird

If you are already fit, fitter or fittest, you might also plan to participate in the upcoming Belltown Spring Sprint (run or walk) scheduled for Sunday, April 26 and sponsored by East Hampton Parks and Recreation.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April: National Poetry Month's Poet of the Week

Gary Soto
Gary Soto (1952-) was born in Fresno, California. He began to publish in 1977 as one of the Chicano voices articulating the protest literature associated with César Estrada Chávez, co-founder of the labor movement which became the United Farm Workers. Soto’s poems express a journey from life in the ghettos of Fresno to back-breaking harvesting in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, and to Taxco, Mexico, in search of his roots. In the poem below, Ocampo is a Mexican town abandoned by its residents due to the desolation of persistent drought conditions:

The Drought
The clouds shouldered a path up the mountains
East of Ocampo, and then descended,
Scraping their bellies gray on the cracked shingles of slate.

They entered the valley, and passed the roads that went
Trackless, the houses blown open, their cellars creaking
And lined with the bottles that held their breath for years.

They passed the fields where the trees dried thin as hat racks
And the plow’s tooth bit the earth for what endured.
But what continued were the wind that plucked the birds spineless

And the young who left with a few seeds in each pocket,
Their belts tightened on the fifth notch of hunger—
Under the sky that deafened from listening for rain.

Further Reading:
Gary Soto writes for all ages, in both poetry and fiction forms. For poetry readers, try New and Selected Poems or youth-centric titles Party Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing and A Fire in My Hands: Poems. For a quick list of other titles authored or influenced by Gary Soto, click here.

Next Week:
Margaret Atwood

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson