Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

For Those Who Served
Our nation, our state, and our community today observed Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember and honor the men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.

To learn more about the history and meaning of Memorial Day, click here to visit the Library of Congress and consult a wealth of information included in the LOC's American Memory Collection.

We also offer a tune, For Freedom, recorded by the military quartet, 4Troops; each of all four in the quartet served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
If you caught today's New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians game, you heard the quartet sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Reading & Nutmeg Books

Add Nutmeg Spice to Summer Reading
Yes, it's true; your friendly neighborhood teachers, school media specialists, and public librarians are ever-ready to encourage you to read during summer vacation. Also true is we like playing matchmaker and by this we mean pointing you to books you might find interesting and enjoyable.

If you’re feeling an eye roll coming on, resist for a moment and peruse 2011's list of Nutmeg Teen Nominees. These books are good (really) and readers like you helped nominate the books for your consideration. So read 'em this summer (take some mental notes or better yet, jot them down); then vote next January on which of 10 books was your hands-down favorite. Your opinions absolutely do -- make no mistake -- very much count.

Read plot descriptions here then click on a title to place your reserves. Books target readers in grades 7 and 8.

All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall
Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
The Last Dragon by Silvana de Mari
The London Eye by Siobhan Dowd
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Surf's Up
For all about Nutmeg Books --prose, process and prize-- click here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spring Sizzlers

The Latest from Popular Authors
We've not yet reached the days of lawn chairs, flip flops, and plenty 'o time to read but we're close. In the mean time, tune up for summer days with any of the following books, most from perennial faves.

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver : The author's ninth Lincoln Rhyme novel (after The Broken Window) includes Rhyme's partner Amelia Sachs and the Watchmaker, the creepy assassin introduced in Cold Moon (2006).

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson : The final book in the late author's Millennium Trilogy. Not to worry, Lisbeth Salander lives to hack another day and on the something to look forward to front, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (book one) is due out on DVD July 6.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Objective by Eric Van Lustbader : The fifth Van Lustbader take (after Bourne Deception) on the once nuanced, now action hero character, Jason Bourne.

Pre-pub internet reviews of Laurel K. Hamilton's Bullet (the zillionth in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series) are mixed. Fans of earlier books in this 'bloody popular' series think Ms. Blake has changed; fans of spicy paranormal fiction are loving it. Everyone's a critic...

Steve Martini's The Rule of Nine (after Guardian of Lies) brings back San Diego lawyer Paul Mandriani who is chasing a terrorist and being chased by an assassin. Yikes!

The Spy by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott : The third in a series (after The Chase and The Wrecker), again features Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Airborne Jugglers and Summer Reading

Spinning Plates, Flying Scarves, and Box Switcheroos!
The Airborne Jugglers will perform their comedy and juggling act on Saturday, June 12, beginning at 2 p.m. in the library community room. Jugglers Joe Murray and Susan Kirby will help the library kick off 2010's summer reading program, “Be A Star @ your library®”.

To give you an idea of what the Airborne Jugglers do, enjoy a representative sample, sneak peek video.

If you enjoyed the sneak peek, join us for a live performance that promises to be both energetic and hilarious. Kids of all ages and their families are welcome. After the show, the audience will be invited to take part in a juggling workshop to learn some of the exciting tricks that Murray and Kirby have mastered over the years.

This program is free but registration is required. Phone the library at 860.267.6621 if you have questions or click here to register.

About the Airborne Jugglers
The Airborne Jugglers have been entertaining for almost 20 years and have taken their show on the road around the world. Some of their overseas performances have taken place in Japan, the Caribbean, and Europe. The duo has performed for famous non-profit organizations such as Girl Scouts and the Special Olympics World Games, as well as large corporations like Carnival Cruise Line and IBM. Susan also worked with Girl Scouts to create a juggling patch.
Post by Kathleen Sands
Artwork by Phil Carr

Monday, May 24, 2010

Presidents and Generals: For the History Buff in You

Lincoln vs. McClellan/ Truman vs. MacArthur
Lincoln and McClellan: The Troubled Partnership Between a President and his General by John C. Waugh highlights the differences between the Commander in Chief and his selected second in command of the Army of the Potomac. The title neatly summarizes the content of this highly readable, yet well researched historical treatment of the early years of the Civil War.

Compare and contrast this pair of Civil War personalities with the controversy that occurred years later with President Truman's and his general, Douglas MacArthur's disagreements over policy.

MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero by Stanley Weintraub relates how despite MacArthur's WW II successes, Korea changed the image of his career. Writing with insight (the author is a Korean War veteran), Weintraub describes the well publicized controversy that existed between General MacArthur and his boss, the Commander in Chief of all the military forces in Korea.

Readers who enjoy making historical comparisons will find both of these books worthy reads. Also great for fans of military history, biographies, and well written non-fiction.

Post by Bev Simmons

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team...

Baseball Stories
If you're a fan of America's favorite pastime, grab a good book during the pre-game warm up, during the seventh inning stretch, or between games in a double header. We recommend here a few great selections; fiction, non-fiction, and biography.

The Baseball Codes : Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-clearing Brawls : the Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime by Jason Turbow with Michael Duca takes you on a tour of baseball's 'unofficial' rules, both deeply honored and hotly debated.

King of the macabre, Stephen King, weighs in Blockade Billy, a fictional 1950's baseball player with some very creepy tendencies that somehow seem plausible?

John Moody's Kiss it Good-bye : the Mystery, the Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates tells the story of Cy Young award winning pitcher Vernon Law. Pair this one with Jim Reisler's book, The Best Game Ever and BTW : Pittsburgh beat New York and Pirates fans use the name Bill Mazeroski same as Yankee fans use the name Bill Buckner.

Willie Mays : The Life, The Legend by James S. Hirsch walks us through Mays' life, an array of legendary anecdotes, and how Mays' power and speed helped transform baseball, against the backdrop of the civil rights era.

If you're a middle grade reader who loves the game, add Center Field by local favorite Robert Lipsyte to your reading list. Also try books by Mike Lupica.

Other Great Reads
Clemente by David Maraniss
Big Papi : My Story of Big Dreams & Big Hits by David Ortiz with Tony Massarotti

Friday, May 14, 2010

Handicraft Delights

Ready, Thread Your Needles, Go!
Handicraft books never go out of style. These new additions to the library's collection are sure to please crafters and browsers alike.

Candie Cooper's Felted Jewelry: 20 Stylish Designs starts with a flat piece of felt and end up as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and pins. Fun to make, fun to wear, this jewelry ranges from the sophisticated to the simple. Lovely color photos enhance the easy to make instructions. This book contains a wealth of ideas guaranteed to make the reader want to head to store for supplies. If you like jewelry and enjoy handicrafts, this book is one you won't want to miss.

Wool Toys and Friends: Step-by-step Instructions for Needle-Felting Fun by Laurie Sharp offers an adorable array of animals and bean bags. Among the outstanding choices are an elephant pull toy, a mouse in a pumpkin, a pop-up prairie dog puppet, pixie dolls, a lion hand puppet, and a hedgehog pin cushion. Also, what collection would be complete without a teddy bear? Easy to follow directions are enhanced by the beautiful color photos of the finished products. This book could have put the word "cute" in the dictionary.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts tries to cover a little bit of everything. Cottons, silks, linens, wools, and specialty fabrics used with a variety of interesting projects are just what you would expect from Ms. Martha franchise. Basic techniques and 150 ideas make a great match!
Post by Bev Simmons

Friday, May 07, 2010

Rescue Tails

Man's Best Friend
If you enjoy remarkable stories about man's best friend(s), the following titles are great choices you might like to add to your must-read list.

Rescue Ink: How 10 Guys Saved Countless Dogs & Cats, 12 Horses, 5 Pigs, 1 Duck, & a Few Turtles written by Rescue Ink with Denise Flaim, is the story of Rescue, Inc., a volunteer group of bikers dedicated to rescuing abused and stolen animals. Their exploits make for inspired reading. Also, choose to learn about the rescue guys online or on National Geographic's cable channel.

Susannah Charleson's Scent of the Missing: Love & Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog tells the story of a Golden Retriever named Puzzle who's charged with the unimaginable: helping rescue or recover victims of crime, misadventure, or catastrophe. Animal lovers and mystery readers will find much of interest here.

The Adventures of a Lost Pet K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective Chronicles by Kat Albrecht, with Jana Murphy, tells of Kat's Weimeraner and bloodhound careers as a trackers of lost pets. How Albrecht's police training helped her and her dogs search and find make this a great and informative read.

Post by Bev Simmons

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What's Cooking?

Recipe Books : Always in Season
Here's a few of the latest titles you can use to add a little zing to your spring meal plans.

Eat Your Yard! Edible Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Herbs & Flowers for Your Landscape by Nan K. Chase doubles as a gardening book and a cookbook. Blossoms, seeds, plants, nuts, and fruit are covered, along with overviews on processing, canning, dehydrating, freezing, juicing, etc.

Clifford A. Wright's Bake Until Bubbly offers one dish cooking with vegetables, meat, cheese, and fish, with easy to follow instructions.

Good Housekeeping's Budget Dinners! 100 Recipes Your Family Will Love has color photos guaranteed to make selecting a nutritious mean at a reasonable price a treat.

Quick Fix Healthy Mix : 225 Healthy & Affordable Mix Recipes to Stock Your Kitchen by Casey Kellar covers alternatives to white flour and sugar. Advice on how to improve shopping for raw foods and how to lower your carbohydrates are also included.

Giada at Home : Family Recipes from Italy & California by Giada DeLaurentis provides yummy ideas for pasta, vegetables, meat, fish, appetizers and desserts.
Post by Bev Simmons