Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scary Stories for Halloween...

Don't Read Them in the Dark!
The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall has arrived in time for Halloween. This story, by May Downing Hahn, follows young Florence as she leaves her orphanage to go live with her great uncle in his mansion outside of London. However, when she arrives she meets the ghost of Sophia, an evil and spoiled child while among the living. Sophia wants Florence to help her as she cooks up grand schemes, despite her cold and sickly ghost status.

Hahn paints a descriptive picture of the old, haunted mansion and wait staff who would have helped run the household in historic England. To make sure you feel a little spooked, she makes sure the ghost has a keen interest in all costs.

Check out these other spooky tales to get you in the Halloween "spirit":
All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
Scary Stories
by Alvin Schwartz
The Battlefield Ghost by Margery Cuyler
Christina's Ghost by Betty Ren Wright
The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret

For older, middle grade readers looking for a seasonal tale or two, try:

Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong
The Empty Mirror by James Lincoln Collier
Ghost Girl by Tonya Hurley
The Light by D.J. MacHale, author of the Pendragon Series
Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Series by Heather Brewer
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

As always, we encourage parents to participate in their child's reading choices.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Good Life in High Water

Surf's Up
Susan Casey's new book The Wave is a fast and enjoyable read especially if your fantasy dreams include living on a tropical isle under a surfboard and watching waves until you are completely stoked. Although the book purports to be about oceans on the rise and environmentally altered waves of enormous proportions (a mountain top could become beachfront), it's really about Laird Hamilton and his worldwide surfing adventures.

Pair this book with fluffy films about surfing, including Lords of Dogtown (surfboards to skateboards), Blue Crush (teen surfer girl) and for kids, Surf's Up (surfing penguins).

And if, by chance, you don't know who Laird Hamilton is, give a look...

Post by Phil Carr

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spreading the Clean Energy Word

'Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge'
East Hampton, along with 13 other Connecticut towns and nine partners, was chosen to participate in the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge. The Challenge is funded by a $4.1M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and will help our town build off/forward our participation in the Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program.

For a detailed description of Neighbor to Neighbor, click here. Click here to retrieve a volunteer member list for East Hampton's Clean Energy Task Force. Click here to read an in-the-news article published by HTNP.

Student Conservation Association
Partners to the Challenge include interns from the Student Conservation Association. Locally, you will have the pleasure of meeting the following youth interns, who will be looking to you to help them navigate and meet our community as a way to spread the clean energy word far and wide...

Pictured Left to Right : David Mayer, Kayla DeCarr, Jenna Zelenetz, Katelyn Hope

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conventional and Complementary Care

Choose Your Resource, Check It Twice
Books and online resources about conventional, complementary and alternative therapies abound. We here provide a very short list of consumer health titles that may be of interest, among other library-owned titles about the topics.

We recommend that you evaluate safety information, source credibility, and scientific documentation included in any medical title and address questions regarding your own health to your physician.

Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers common sense information about everyday health issues. Also try the Clinic's complementary primers about alternative medicine and diet.

Finding the Right Treatment: Modern and Alternative Medicine is a handbook that provides analysis and description of conventional and alternative medicine, the effectiveness of their treatments and therapies, and their strengths and weaknesses.

The Best Alternative Medicine is authored by Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, a clinical professor of medicine and senior research scholar at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.

Maximum Healing is authored by Dr. H. Robert Silverstein, cardiologist and Medical Director of Hartford Hospital's Preventive Medicine Center. His book discusses combining conventional and holistic medical approaches to improve our immune systems.

The most current edition of PDR for Herbal Medicines offers information on over 600 common botanicals.

Surf's Up
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Ask Dr. Weil (Contains some commercial content)
Health & Wellness Resource Center (click "...and much more")
Office of Dietary Supplements

Photo above by Honou, via Flickr, under the Creative Commons License

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Kids & Family Reading Report™

Reading in a Digital Age
Scholastic Corporation is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books; also a leader in educational technology and children’s media. On September 19, Scholastic released results of its 2010 Kids & Family Reading Report™ conducted by the Harrison Group and Scholastic.

The latest study, preceded by biennial studies published in 2008 and 2006, shares parents' and kids' latest views on a wide range of topics regarding reading in the 21st Century. In short form, the results are unsurprising mixed depending on who you talk to: parent or kid, boy or girl, reared on print and/or attracted to e-format.

Though we all can learn much from study outcomes, on one matter we all agree: Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gangsters, Guerillas, Soldiers, Spies... And Then Some

Mix and Match Your Thrilling Reads
We here recommend some adult fiction reads by local favorites and by authors you may have missed along the way.

The Mullah's Storm by Thomas W. Young
Young's debut novel opens with a transport plane carrying a Taliban prisoner and a radical mullah being forced down in Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. The book's ending definitely spells sequel.

American Assassin by Vince Flynn
Flynn delivers a prequel to his Mitch Rapp novels and (finally!) explains in depth why Rapp became a CIA operative. Recurring characters galore for fans of the author's Rapp-Kennedy-Stansfield novels.

The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville
Irish writer Neville's thriller debut tells the story of a former IRA operative haunted by the ghosts of the people he's killed. Complex characters and back-story; expect a sequel.

Warlord by Ted Bell
This sixth in the series of well-written and plotted Alex Hawke thrillers.

Our Kind of Traitor
by John le Carre
A Russian mafia/spy thriller from the much admired author who gave us George Smiley.

The Templar Salvation by Raymond Khoury
This fast-paced sequel to The Last Templar will interest fans of religious thrillers by Dan Brown, Steve Berry, Katherine Neville and Umberto Eco, among others.

Zero History by William Gibson
If you're thinking denim can't possibly be the focus of a semi-spy, semi-sci-fi thriller, think again. Gibson, who is known as the "patron saint of cyberpunk lit," again speculates about technology's effects much as he did in his once futuristic now classic novel, Neuromancer.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Follett's known for spy thrillers and more recently, historical fiction. This first book in the author's Century Trilogy is historical and follows five families from the outbreak of WWI to the early 1920s. Pair this one with the author's similarly structured books, Pillars of the Earth and it's sequel, World Without End.

Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay
Who knew we could root for a serial killer? Next in the series after Dexter by Design. Dexter's on cable if you are a Showtime subscriber.

Don't Blink by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
It's difficult to keep up with a guy who seems to release a new book every couple of months but most local buzz says this one (murder and the mob) is more like the Patterson books of yore.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Celiac disease, a complex condition, is called an allergy by some and an autoimmune disorder by others. What is certain is that when people with Celiac disease eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats, rye and barley, events in the small intestine cause damage to the lining of this organ. In many cases, it is an inherited disease and therefore runs in families.

One way to deal with the condition is to adhere to a strict gluten free diet. The prospect of this for some is overwhelming, especially in the beginning. However, Celiac disease awareness has grown considerably in the last decade or so and that has thankfully lead to many a cookbook, website, and restaurant offering delicious and healthy options for those living with the disease.

Here's a short list of library-owned cookbooks about gluten-free eating:

Cooking with Coconut Flour
by Bruce Fife
The G-free Diet by Elisabeth HasselbeckCooking Well: Wheat Allergies by Maire-Annick Courtier
BabyCakes : Vegan, Gluten-free, and (Mostly) Sugar-free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-about Bakery by Erin McKenna
The Gluten-free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam
Cooking Free: 200 Flavorful Recipes for People with Food Allergies and Multiple Food Sensitivities by Carol Fenster
Make it Fast, Cook It Slow : the Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking by Stephanie O'Dea

Surf's Up

Celiac Sprue Association
Celiac Disease Foundation
National Institute of Health

Post by Kathleen Sands

Monday, October 11, 2010

Similar But Not the Same

No Holds Barred Fiction
If you're a fan of Lisbeth Salender and have read your way through Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, you may want to try John Burdett's Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep novels. The two series share many of the same components: murder and mystery, criminal and spiritual journeys, sex, tattoos, men who hate women, conspiracies, international setting.

You will find red-light Bangkok hotter than Stockholm, though with a little sideways humor for breathing room. Author Burdett was a long-time resident of Bangkok, the city about which he writes.

Read and listen to more about series courtesy of NPR.

Post by Phil Carr

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Coffee Table Books Strike Back

"The Making of Star Wars"
Fans of the always popular films will find much to love about two indispensable books that celebrate the Star Wars film franchise.

Pair The Making of Star Wars (2007) with new release The Making of Star Wars : The Empire Strikes Back (2010). Both books feature information from the Lucasfilm Archives, including never-before-seen photos taken during production, concept artwork, character data, plus glorious inside information about the challenges of shooting each film's most memorable scenes.

Check out the publisher's trailer for the second book, due for release on October 12. The book celebrates the 30th anniversary of what is arguably the best of the Star Wars film series.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Facebook Goes Big Screen

"The Social Network"
If you plan on buying a ticket to see the above titled film, you might want to check out a couple of books that relate to this big screen tale about how Mark Zuckerberg started an empire in his Harvard dorm room.

Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaries is said to have provided a pinch of inspiration for the film, written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and directed by David Fincher (Fight Club). Watch for Rooney Mara's performance as Zuckerberg's girlfriend. You'll be seeing her again as Lisbeth Salander in Fincher's upcoming remake of the Swedish original, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

David Kirkpatrick, a former senior editor for Fortune Magazine, offers up The Facebook Effect. No gossipy overlay here; just an interesting and useful business book about Facebook's role in the lives of over 500 million active users.

Friday, October 01, 2010

What's Cooking?

Standout Selections
Whether you love to cook or more simply, cook to eat, here's a sample of latest cookbooks from our shelves to your kitchen. Most of the books are lavishly illustrated (one comically) and forward two themes: keep it simple and eat healthy. More than one selection may be useful to cooks interested in the sustainable food movement.

In The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book, the experts at Better Homes Gardens share easy, creative ideas for main courses, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, breakfast, and hot beverages.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken is a treat. Much has changed since 1960 but Bracken's wit remains. Read a review of the cookbook, courtesy of the New York Times.

Michalene Busico, former New York and Los Angeles Times food editor, offers up Knack Gourmet Cooking on a Budget. Eat well at a lower cost without sacrificing taste.

Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman shows how consumers can make selections which not only taste good, but in addition, help the planet. In 1984, Goodman and her husband started Earthbound Farm, now the largest producer of organic food in the United States.

Susan Hermann Loomis' Nuts in the Kitchen provides more than 100 diverse recipes for everyday or special occasions. Great book for vegetarians or vegans but don't rule it out if you love your burgers.

Cookbook author Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything) adds The Food Matters Cookbook, a companion to his 2008 title of roughly the same name. You may want to pair Bittman's books with similarly themed titles by Michael Pollan.

Robin Robertson's Party Vegan delivers fun recipes for festive occasions plus tips on how to plan and shop for that special party.

Post by Bev Simmons