Monday, August 31, 2009

September : Getting to the Heart of the Matter

National Cholesterol Awareness Month
In recognition of this, why not do something healthy for your heart? These among many other heart-healthy titles are available for checkout:

Love in the Time of Cholesterol: A Memoir with Recipes by Cecily Ross

Healthy Heart : Lifestyle Guide & Cookbook by Bonnie Sanders Polin, Ph.D. & Frances Towner Giedt

Olive Oil Baking by Lisa A. Sheldon

Eat Well Live Well with High Cholesterol : Low-Cholesterol Recipes and Tips ; introductory text by Karen Kingham

Strong Women Strong Hearts by Miriam E. Nelson Ph.D. & Alice H. Lichtenstein

WomenHeart's All Heart Family Cookbook : Featuring the 40 Foods Proven to Promote Heart Health by Kathy Kastan, Suzanne Banfield, with Wendy Leonard

Surf's Up

Post by Bev Simmons

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's a Wrap : Reading Rainbow

What's Up With Literacy on TV?
With the demise of Reading Rainbow (RR) after 26 on-air years, we’re wondering. One of the great things about RR is it wasn’t designed to teach kids to read; it was designed to encourage kids to read for pleasure. RR offered an open invitation to kids to read books as a means to enjoy and explain their world; no homework, tests or prizes required. RR was also more about the “Why I like to” than the “Why I’m supposed to” read and any kid will tell you there’s a big difference between the two...



Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath
Dave Eggers, who authored the deeply personal and 2001 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, returns with an equally compelling and thoughtful title, Zeitoun.

This non-fiction work tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a New Orleans resident whose heroic post-Katrina efforts were, to say the least, misinterpreted. Zeitoun, a Syrian-American, was first suspected of looting; later suspected of being a terrorist. He was jailed for several weeks and released after all charges were dropped.

Zeitoun is available in print and in audio CD format. You can also listen to an interview with Zeitoun and Eggers courtesy of NPR's All Things Considered.

New and Notable

Just In Time for the Labor Day Holiday
Here's a quick selection of fiction and non-fiction books due for release this week. Many are by your favorite authors; others have received plenty of pre-publication buzz...

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Sequel to the Hunger Games)
Katniss and Peeta have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. (Young Adult title)

The Spire by Richard North Patterson
When a mentor who enabled his education and career entreats him to accept a college presidency amid an embezzlement scandal, trial lawyer Mark Darrow remembers his discovery of a murdered girl sixteen years earlier that resulted in a classmate's questionable conviction.

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
When 14-year-old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade, she overcomes her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film. (Young Adult title)

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
A coming of age story about Tassie Keljin, a small town girl adjusting to college, a potential job as a part-time nanny, first love, and politics in the shadow of 9/11.

The Death of Conservatism by Sam Tanenhaus
Sure to be a matter of great debate, this compact book summarizes the highs and lows of American conservatism over the decades. Pair this one with any of a number of bestselling books that state otherwise.

Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler
Another adrenaline-charged, high-stakes adventure from the Cussler franchise.

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain
Police detective Archie Sheridan again faces down serial killer Gretchen Lowell, or so it seems. If you like a blend of crime, horror, and dark comedy, this one may be for you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Homer’s Odyssey : A Cat-Lover's Version

Love at First Sight...
Vicki Myron's story about a small-town library's orphan rescue cat, Dewey, touched millions of hearts. Enter Homer...

Gwen Cooper, author of Homer's Odyssey : a Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder tells how she came to adopt a blind cat. Even though Cooper had problems of her own, including a broken heart, a low-paying job, and two other cats to feed; she opened her heart and home to Homer.

As Cooper's story unfolds, you'll learn about this special kitty's extraordinary life skills; his survival instincts after 9/11, and his encounter with a nighttime intruder bent on doing harm. If you loved Dewey, you'll also love Homer.

Further Reading
Can We Have One? : A Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids with Cats & Dogs by Lynn F. Buzhardt offers practical advice to pet owners.

Cats: How to Choose & Care for a Cat by Laura S. Jeffrey is written for children and highlights the important issues involving cat ownership.

Surf's Up
Valuable resources for locating a perfect pet:
Connecticut Humane Society
Protectors of Animals

Post by Bev Simmons

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fruits and Veggies Rule!

More Matters, Especially in September!
Celebrate Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month by reading... and eating! We have books on how to prepare fruits and vegetables that will taste delicious, as well as special interest titles for both vegetarians and vegans. We also have books to help children learn healthy eating habits and here, we point you to information on where to pick your own fruits and vegetables or find a farmers market located in Connecticut.

Books and Reading: Check Out These, Among Other Great Books!
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann
The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond by Steve Charney
Vegetables by Emily Green
Food For Thought by Saxton Freymann
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
The Organic Home Garden by Patrick Lima
The All in One Garden by Graham Rice

Surf's Up!
Visit the CDC website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for nutrition guidance, recipe, and wallet-friendly budget tips.

The USDA's Farmer's Market search engine (U.S. Department of Agriculture) may also be helpful.

Post by Kathleen Sands

The Power of Reading : Focus on Children's Series Books

“The Power of Books” - creative photo series by Mladen Penev,
a graphic designer from Bulgaria.

Check out the display table in the Children's Services area to find the latest series books as well as selections from your favorite classic series.

Just arrived is the fairly new series Schooling Around by Andy Griffiths as well as the Winter edition of Mouse Guard by David Petersen. Don't forget old favorites like Ricky Ricotta, Katie Kazoo, Dripping Fang, Gregor the Overlander, Babymouse, 39 Clues, Dear America, Amelia Bedelia, Berenstain Bears, Naruto, Bone, and more!

Don't forget to check the new book shelf (under the purple and green flag) to see what new series and stand alone books we have just received. If you can't find what you are looking for, please don't hesitate to ask us!

Post by Kathleen Sands

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Puzzled by Math?

By the Numbers...
John D. Barrow’s One Hundred Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know : Math Explains Your World asks one hundred different questions. The answers humorously explain the math we see in our everyday lives. Filled with interesting factoids about the math behind everything from uncooked spaghetti to winning the lottery; from Google hits to how to calculate the number of guards needed to man an art museum, Barrow's book is very entertaining.

If you read it, you may be surprised and pleased to learn
just how much you know about math.

Post by Bev Simmons

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For Your Information : Q & A Sessions Scheduled

Informational Workshops
Learn more about the topic of a special town meeting scheduled for Wednesday September 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Check the Town's web site for further information and the Town Clerk's page or local newspaper for town meeting notice(s).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fly to the Moon, Play Among the Stars

Moon Walking
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first people to land on the moon. As two members of a larger Apollo 11 mission team, they spent a day exploring the moon's surface. An estimated 500 million people watched the TV broadcast of the moon landing (famous clip and quote here), though please take time to watch more historical footage courtesy of NASA and review the Apollo 11 clips and interviews, courtesy of NPR .

Books and Reading:
Magnificent Desolation : the Long Journey Home from the Moon by Buzz Aldrin with Ken Abraham

Reaching for the Moon
by Buzz Aldrin ; paintings by Wendell Minor

First Man : the Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen

Rocket Men : the Triumph and Tragedy of the First Americans on the Moon
by Craig Nelson

In the Shadow of the Moon : a Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 by Francis French and Colin Burgess ; with a foreword by Walter Cunningham

In the Shadow of the Moon [DVD] ; directed by David Sington (
overview of the Apollo Space program and voyages 8-17).

Saturday, August 22, 2009


America's Pastime
For oh so many people, baseball, books, and summer go together. Here are but a few interesting titles for those who share this belief... and just so you know, East Hampton does...

Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero by Peter Morris traces the history and development of the catcher’s position. In the 19th century, catchers wore no protective gear; played without padding, masks, or even gloves and these conditions made baseball a very different game than it is today.

As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of the Umpires by Bruce Weber examines the game from the umpire’s perspective. Rather than focus on specific players, this book presents a unique view from those who've worked behind the plate.

Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Knew About the Game is Wrong, edited by experts at Baseball Prospectus, this book utilizes mathematics and statistics to tell important baseball stories. For coaches and fans who enjoy strategies and analysis, this book is a continuous treat.

Fun for Fans
If you love baseball in all of its forms your family can enjoy an inexpensive evening out with any of the following professional baseball teams, affiliated and unaffiliated, with Major League Baseball™:
New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins)
Connecticut Defenders (San Francisco Giants)
Bridgeport Bluefish (Unaffiliated)

Post by Bev Simmons

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parents and Parenting

A Few of the Latest on the Topic
We regularly add books of interest to parents and we very much so pay attention to your varied perspectives and concerns. Here's a short list of recent books that may be of interest to you:

Wild Things : the Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen (Memoir)

The Must-have Mom Manual : Two Mothers, Two Perspectives, One Book that Tells You Everything You Need to Know by Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett

The Parents We Mean to Be : How Well-intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development by Richard Weissbourd

Shared Parenting : Raising Your Children Cooperatively After Separation by Jill Burrett and Michael Green

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering : a Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices by Sarah Buckley

The Complete IEP Guide : How to Advocate for Your Special ed Child by Lawrence M. Siegel

Raising a Left-brain Child in a Right-brain World : Strategies for Helping Bright, Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School by Katharine Beals

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins : a Step-by-step Program for Sleep-training Your Multiples by Marc Weissbluth

Raising a Sensory Smart Child : the Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske

101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorder by Tara Delaney

Free Range Kids : Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy

Potty Training Boys the Easy Way : Helping Your Son Learn Quickly - Even If He's a Late Starter by Caroline Fertleman and Simone Cave

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tangled Web...

Contemporary Weaves
If you are an iTunes, Napster, Amazon MP3, or Rhapsody user, you might enjoy Ripped : How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music by Greg Kot. The book offers an excellent history of the battlefield and the battles : music industry vs. consumers, music industry vs. musicians, musicians vs. consumers and in some cases; musicians who caught the wave.

Author Ben Mezrich (Bringing Down the House) has again hit it big with The Accidental Billionaires : the Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Mezrich's book has been widely criticized for suffering from "truthiness." For a different take, pair the book with Rolling Stone reportage : The Web's Hottest Site : by Dave Kushner and The Battle for Facebook by Claire Hoffman.

Also try Stealing MySpace : the Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America by Julia Angwin. The book outlines how MySpace became a media sensation and the pitfalls that came with it. There are many big names in this one, including Rupert Murdoch, Eliot Spitzer, Bill O'Reilly, and CT's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal. Though a business read at its core, the book will still be informative to parents.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, You Beautiful Doll!

On March 29, 1959, at the American International Toy Fair, Barbie, a new doll produced by Mattel, was introduced to the world. According to the Antique Trader, since that day, Barbie has been marketed in more than 150 countries for sales of over one billion dolls.

This year celebrates Barbie’s 50th birthday. Through the years she has taken on a personality all her own. She's palled around with little sister, Skipper; "dumped" her boyfriend, Ken, who's tried to win her back; and changed careers as often as her costumes.

The story of Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator, is examined in Robin Gerber’s Barbie & Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll & the Woman Who Created Her. This book, based largely on interviews and previously unexamined materials, focuses especially on Handler’s personal and business life. As a breast cancer survivor and a humanitarian, Handler’s story is fascinating.

Further Reading and Viewing
Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie Doll Collector’s Edition (2008) : The photos in this book can help to identify your doll and as a browsing book, it's great fun.

The July 8, 2009 issue of Antique Trader : America’s Antiques & Collectibles Marketplace features the cover story, “You go, girl! At 50, Barbie Still Shines Brightest.”

Barbie Nation : an Unauthorized Tour (DVD documentary) examines the Barbie obsession from the perspective of both fans and foes. The DVD contains adult content and is not recommended for kids or Barbie purists.

Post by Bev Simmons

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cool Off with Hot Content

Beach Reads and Beyond
For your reading pleasure, here's a selection of hot August titles. Select titles by your favorite popular authors; read/re-read a great book re-popularized by a big-screen film; or check out a timely non-fiction read. Mix and match!

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Read the book ; see the big-screen film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. If you are brave in the kitchen, try one of Julia Child's recipes found in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite
Cronkite, who died in July 2009, is one the most respected journalists of our time. Read about his 60-year-long career and gain insight into a reporter often called the most trusted man in America.

39 Clues : The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Fifth in this popular series for children, the hunt for the 39 Clues leads Amy and Dan to their most treacherous destination yet...

South of Broad by Pat Conroy
The latest from this great southern fiction writer, arguably most famous for The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini.

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs (Release Date : August 25)
The latest from author and producer of the Fox television hit about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

Even Money by Dick Francis (Release Date : August 25)
Horse racing, bookmaking, murder? Yes, it’s a Francis franchise mystery thriller, co-authored by Dick's son, Felix.

The Curse of the Good Girl : Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons
If you are a parenting a middle-school daughter, this title may be for you. From the author of Odd Girl Out.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Picked for discussion by many a book club, this fantastical romantic drama is now a big-screen film starring Rachel McAdams as the art student and Eric Bana as the hip(!) librarian. The film premieres today in many nearby theaters.

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson (Release Date : August 24)
This novel, co-authored by Richard Dillalo, is reported to be different than the usual Alex Cross novel. Guess we'll all have to wait and see...

Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks (Release Date : August 18)
Fans of Brooks's Landover books will welcome this title; it's the first new book in the series since Witches' Brew.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
This sleeper hit has reached bestseller status on children's book lists and deservedly so. Here find an elegant and tricky story that honors Madeleine L'Engle's classic, A Wrinkle in Time. Read both books; they are superb kiddo reads and can make for great family discussion.

Daniel X : Watch the Skies by James Patterson
If you are a middle-school reader who enjoys action-adventure titles, the Daniel X series is pretty good. Give 'em a try.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chanteuse Patrol

Music Icons and Pioneers
If you love music and also enjoy biographies, here are the stories of some unforgettable and influential women who made a difference and left their indelible mark on the music world.

Stormy Weather : The Life of Lena Horne
by James Gavin. You'll hear Horne's voice on a number of available CD music titles.

With Billie by Julia Blackburn
. Couple this title with other Billie Holiday titles: book, music CD, and DVD. You can also support the arts by seeing Yesterdays : an Evening with Billie Holiday, now playing at the Hartford Stage through August 22. Ticket prices are affordable; on the low end, $21.

Ella Fitzgerald: a Biography of the First Lady of Jazz by Stuart Nicholson. Also try Ella on music CD.

And don’t forget… your library’s collections include many books, plus backup music CDs and videos, that tell the stories of influential musicians throughout the ages, all types of music.

Post by Bev Simmons

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Go Fish!

Fish Stories of the Practical Variety
Fishing is a popular pastime. Books provide many tips and suggestions for improving your fishing experience. Good equipment and good locations can make all the difference. A variety of fishing topics are covered in these, among the many other 'fish story' titles you'll find @ your library:

The Orvis Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing : 101 Tips for the Absolute Beginner
by Tom Rosenbauer

Game Fishing : a Step-by-step Handbook by Peter Gathercole

So Many Fish, So Little Time: 1,001 of the World’s Greatest Back Country Honeyholes, Trout Rivers, Blue Ribbon Waters, Bass Lakes, & Saltwater Hot Spots
by Mark Williams

Tying Terrestrials for Super Fishing: Tools, Tips, & Tricks for Tying Everything from Grasshoppers to Inch Worms by C. Boyd Pfeiffer

Gone Fishin' : the 75 Best Waters in Connecticut by Manny Luftglass

A License to Fish

Avid fisher men and women already know the deal; you need a license to fish. Since many of you are now exploring the option to ‘go fish’ as a new family pastime, visit the East Hampton Town Clerk’s Office to obtain your license.

Post by Bev Simmons

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pet Therapy at Its Best

Say Hello to Baxter...
Pet therapy is not a new concept in healing or in volunteer circles. Melissa Joseph’s new book Moments with Baxter: Comfort & Love from the World’s Best Therapy Dog is a good example; the book features a half Golden Retriever and part Chow, who volunteers as a hospice visitor. Baxter is an older dog with health issues of his own but who brings much love and comfort to the people he visits.

Surf's Up
If you would like to learn more about pet therapy, or how to volunteer your and your pet's time to the effort, visit the following web sites:
Charity Guide : Pet Therapy : Volunteer with Your Pet
Therapy Dog Training Classes, CT-Based Group Tails of Joy

Books for Kids
Animals Helpers for the Disabled by Deborah Kent
Animals Helping People by Suzanne Venino
Animals Helping with Special Needs by Clare Oliver

Animals at Work by Liz Palika
Service Animals by Julie Murray

Post by Bev Simmons

Breaking News from "The Rodent's Gazette"

Rodent Editor, Raging Success
Increasingly popular series books about newspaper editor, Geronimo Stilton, have arrived at the library. Check out Geronimo Stilton Secret Agent, Geronimo's Valentine or The Race Across America and look for more Stilton titles to be added soon.

To read the daily news at The Rodent's Gazette and to play some fun games, visit the official Geronimo Stilton website.

Also try our other great mouse-friendly series books, DVDs, and favorite titles:
Angelina Ballerina (Book series plus DVD) ; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Classic) ; American Tail (DVD) ; Babymouse (Book series) ; The Rescuers (DVD) ; Mouse Guard (Books).

Post by Kathleen Sands

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Perilous Seas

Sea Stories You May Have Missed...
The following books are true "man against the sea" stories that highlight the personal valor of the participants, amidst tremendous odds of failure and risk of life.

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman's The Finest Hours : The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Rescue tells of the sea rescue of the men from two oil tankers that split open during a horrific nor’easter on February 18, 1952.

Also by Michael Tougias is Fatal Forecast: an Incredible True Tale of Disaster & Survival at Sea. On November 21, 1980 two small lobster fishing boats set out only to sail into rough waters and a fight for the lives of the crews.

Peter Maas’ The Terrible Hours: The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History recounts the story of the Squalus and Navy Officer Charles 'Swede' Momsen’s original rescue techniques that made all the difference between death and survival to the doomed sub crew.

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder relates the September 1857 story of the SS Central America and the hurricane off the Carolina coast that sent the ship to the bottom and resulted in the terrible loss of 400 lives.

Frank Delaney’s Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea is the story of the freighter, SS Flying Enterprise's December 1951 rescue at sea from the dreadful Force 12 winds.

When the Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster & Its Deadly Wake by Brian Hicks examines the sinking of a passenger liner in the summer of 1934, a tale that includes the story of the on board murder of its captain and the fire that followed.

Post by Bev Simmons

Monday, August 03, 2009

Quick & Easy Menus...

From the 'Minimalist'
Looking for some new ideas for summer menus? Pick and choose from suggestions made by Mark Bittman, author of the well-known New York column 'The Minimalist' and 'Bitten' blog. His recipes also offer tasty days ahead via the following books, available @ your library:

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

The Best Recipes in the World: More Than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook at Home

How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Recipes for Great Food

Post by Bev Simmons

Dark, Darker...

Scary, Scarier...
Gillian Flynn, a former television critic for Entertainment Weekly, writes novels that have been catching a fair share of attention from critics and readers alike since 2006. Her debut novel, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar® Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards.

Her second novel, Dark Places, is also receiving some critical praise. Click to read short takes from NPR and the New York Times or learn more about the author's viewpoint, courtesy of Powell's Books.

Both of Flynn's novels are dark, scary, voiced by female narrators with dark and scary instincts, and extraordinarily well-written. But they are not for everyone. If you are a fan of dark fiction (or true crime non-fiction) they may be for you.