Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adventures and Adventurers

To Boldly Go...
Books about explorers and adventurers are certainly about discoveries but most include sub-plots featuring intrigue, lessons on leadership, or unimaginable hardship.  Here's a few recommended reads for history and travel enthusiasts.

Henry Hudson's final expedition in the winter of 1610 ended with mutiny, resulting in Hudson, his son, and other crew members being forced off the boat and set adrift in the frigid Hudson Bay.

You have no doubt heard of the British Captain Cook; perhaps not the French Captain, Jean de Surville.  In 1769, both captains set out in search of a missing continent.  Pair this one with Joan Druett's book about Cook's Polynesian navigator, Tupaia.

The Man Who Ate His Boots by Anthony Brandt
Recounts the 19th century British Navy's many futile attempts to find the fabled Northwest Passage.

The Zen brothers explored parts of the New World a century before Columbus and centuries later, ended up at the center of a fraud controversy. The book is due for release in May.

A major bestseller in 2010, Grann's book takes on the story of what happened to British explorer Percy Fawcett in his 1925 quest to find an ancient civilization known as El Dorado.  Reads like a thriller.

Champlain's Dream by David Hackett Fischer
If you have vacationed along the lake in Vermont, New York, or Quebec, you know his name.  But who, exactly, was Champlain?  A soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist and all around influential man...

Norway's Roald Amundsen and England's Robert Scott made simultaneous attempts to be the first to reach the South Pole between 1910 and 1912.  You may know their stories but MacPhee's book, complete with diary reproductions and a wealth of photographic detail, adds dimension to their place in history.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Owner-Managed Businesses

Start-Up Guides
The library holds a number of guidebooks useful to people exploring the idea of channelling their talents into starting a business.  Here's a few of the most recently requested titles, by topic.

For general information on starting a small business, try the latest edition of the Small Business Start-up Kit, published by Nolo Press.  As always, if you are looking for a guide book on how to start a business of another type, please do pass on your recommendations for purchase. 

Last Call : Composter and Rain Barrel Campaign Ends April 30th

Easy Ways to "Go Green"
The East Hampton Public Library is collaborating with East Hampton Public Works and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) to make Earth Machine backyard compost bins available to the public at an affordable price. In this year's campaign, you can also purchase an affordably priced systern rain barrel. (Today's Hartford Courant features an informative article about rain barrels.)

Click here to read about the products and their respective features and functions. Click here to download an order form. Price include cost of the composter or rain barrel plus CT state sales tax.

After taxes, the library will 'make' about $2 for every unit sold. Of note, 2010's compost bin campaign netted the library $108 which we used to buy books about eco-friendly topics. We'll do the same this year.

Orders must be received by the library by April 30, 2011.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Add a Sheen to Your Homestead
Spring cleaning may not be a favorite job but who doesn't enjoy the outcome?  Here's a few new titles that may help guide your efforts, each with a different viewpoint.

Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender and Alexandra Zissu
This one walks the reader through the how-to's of cleaning room-to-room and offers easy 'recipes' for making your own cleaning products. Hollender's the founder of eco-friendly household cleaner and personal care company Seventh Generation.

Just Clean Enough by I.B. Caruso and Jenny Schroedel
Just because you're busy doesn't mean you have to lower your standards.  In 5-20 minutes a day, the authors suggest you can cut the clutter, clean and freshen your space, and give yourself permission to be ever so slightly imperfect.

One in a series of eco-friendly titles from Atlantic Publishing Group.

House of Havoc by Marni Jameson
Another fun and reasonable take on keeping it clean by the author of 2009's The House Always Wins.

Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
A book about offbeat ways to use brand-name products to solve problems the products were not designed to solve?  Couldn't help but think of the old SNL routine (floor wax AND a dessert topping!")  Have fun. 

Upcoming Events
Look ahead to June 9th when the library will be offering a free workshop about how to make your own eco-friendly, low-impact cleaning solutions.  Click here for info.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cute Pooches

Fun Dog Stories
For kids who like dogs, and who are learning to enjoy beginning chapter books, say hello to Lucy, a beagle puppy, and Bobby, his shy 8 year-old owner.  This series, written by Ilene Cooper, includes the following titles :

Absolutely Lucy -- Lucy on the Loose -- Look at Lucy -- Lucy on the Ball.

For the picture book crowd, try any of the following; the list includes recent and classic titles :

Dogs by Emily Gravett
Bulldog's Big Day by Kate McMullan
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
Sally's Great Balloon Adventure by Stephen Huneck
Widget books by Lyn Rossiter McFarland
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Nobody's Diggier than a Dog by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

... and let's not forget the Clifford books by Norman Bridwell.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Inspiration...

Here's a short list of new books that tell inspirational stories from different perspectives.  A few recommended titles with complementary themes are included.

Also try :
The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Kevin & Alex Malarkey
Soul Survivor by Bruce & Andrea Leininger

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Also try :
Strong at the Broken Places by Richard M. Cohen
Still Alice or Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (Fiction)

The Seven by Glenn Beck & Keith Ablow
Also try :
When Fears Fall Away by Jan Frazier
God Never Blinks by Regina Brett

Bottom of the 33rd by Dan Barry
Also try :
Branch Rickey by Jimmy Breslin
The House that Ruth Built by Robert Weintraub
Kiss It Good-bye by John Moody

Also try :
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (sound recording)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Field Guides

From Backyard to the Sea
If you don't always know the difference between one tree or another; which tweet is serenading you from a backyard nest; or what creature called your latest beachcombed shell home, you may enjoy any of the following generously illustrated field guides.

The Book of Leaves by Allen J. Coombes
This five pound wonder includes actual size photos of 600 leaves from around the world. New England's trees are not short-shrifted.

The Books of Shells by M. G. Harasewych & Fabio Moretzsohn
You'll find another 600 entries here, most about familiar mollusks and the geographical regions in which they live.  Among others, DK's Shell, a kid's title by Alex Arthur, may serve as useful companion.

A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes by Valerie A. Kells & Kent Carpenter
If you fish marine waters, this guide may be for you.  The guide will also appeal to rod and reel lovers who are looking to plan a fishing vacation trip to an east or gulf coast locale.

The Book of Fungi by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans
Due out next week, this guide showcases both the beauty and role of fungi in the natural world. Location maps show each species’ known global distribution.

Birds of North America [American Museum of Natural History]
Any novice or avid birder is likely to enjoy this armchair reference book.  Also try the Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America or Bird Songs Bible.

Field Guides and Your Family
Field guides can offer a useful way to plan and forward exploratory outings with your kids.  Pair any of the above guides with how-to books by Richard Louv, who also hosts a website about keeping not just city kids in touch with the natural world.

The library also offers money saving passes to CT's state parks, as part of the statewide No Child Left Inside initiative.

Friday, April 08, 2011

State Reports Anyone?

Our online service portfolio includes AtoZ on our country's states; great for students and/or domestic vacation planners or business travelers looking for credible info.

The AtoZtheUSA database features resources on every state in the union plus coverage on five U.S. territories. It includes not only the standard inventory of facts about each state but also information ranging from interesting to obscure; e.g., brief bios of past governors, tourist attractions, images of baseball cards and license plates, state crossword puzzles and more.

Whether you are researching a state for a school project, upcoming vacation or business trip, this site is worth a visit. The site is regularly populated with historical and latest credibly-sourced information.

How to Access the Service
Take hold of your East Hampton Public Library Card then click here to access the service. Type your local barcode number in the box labeled Library Card, no spaces between digits.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Itching to learn more about dinosaurs and other animals that lived in their time period?  The library has plenty of the books, DVD's, and information about dinosaur events and destinations.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Books and Reading
Dinosaurs in Your Backyard by Hugh Brewster
Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age by Caroline Arnold
Dizzy Dinosaurs : Silly Dinosaur Poems
How Do Dinosaurs.....? series by Jane Yolen
Dinosaur Cove Series by Rex Stone
Window into the Jurassic World : Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Dinosaurs : the Most Complete, Up-to-date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages by Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

Also try sports-friendly, tongue-twisting, but still easy-reading titles by Lisa Wheeler : we've got basketball and hockey, plus the soccer title is on its way.

Dinosaurs Alive
National Geographic Society: Dinosaurs and Other Creature Features
Ice Age
Sesame Street Dinosaurs
Land Before Time Series

Places to Go, Things to Do
Sea Rex, a 3-D film about marine life alive during the age of the dinosaur, is now playing at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. Click here to learn more about the film or read a review of the film courtesy of the Smithsonian.  Keep in mind that the library offers coupons worth 20% off the price of general admission to the Science Center for up to four (4) people.

Also consider a day trip to Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut and see real fossilized dinosaur footprints as well as participate in a variety of interactive exhibits.  Borrow a library pass and save some money!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

As the Saying Goes...

Gardener Support
Next time you stop by the library, check out the center island in our main reading room and browse a collection of gardening books recommended by the members of the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club.  The display includes a range of titles about preparing your garden, designing your garden, choosing plants, organic and eco-friendly approaches, landscaping, and more.

Gardening Books On the Way
The American Woodland Garden : Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest by Rick Darke

The Artful Garden : Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design by James Van Sweden

Gaia's Garden : a Guide to Home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway

Great Flowering Landscape Shrubs by Vincent A. Simeone

Inside Out : the Art and Craft of Home Landscaping by Jeff Hutton

The Nonstop Garden : Easy Designs and Smart Plant Choices for Four-season Landscapes by Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner

The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer by Stephanie Cohen and Nancy J. Ondra

More on Gardening Book Choices
Click here for a previous post on club and community recommended books, many of them about growing your own food.

About the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club
If you are interested in meeting with other local gardeners, the Belltown Garden Club generally meets in the library community room at 7 p.m. on the 4th Monday of each month.  You can also pick up a club flyer at the library, which includes email and phone contact information.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Connecticut Commemorates the American Civil War

Sesquicentennial Commemoration
April 12, 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Organizations and institutions around our state will be offering forums, events, and programs to help remind us of the toll the war took on our nation and our state, as brother was pitted against brother.

Click here to visit our state's Civil War Commemoration site for information about statewide events.  Locally, the library will host several events with a Civil War theme; click here to visit our online events calendar.

Recommended Reading
Following is a short list of Civil War titles recently added to our collection; we've included several classic and related titles that may also be of interest.

Lincoln on War, edited and with an introduction by Harold Holzer

Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills

Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles, edited and with an introduction by Walton Rawls

Guns of the Civil War by David Adler

Civil War Films
The Civil War Series by Ken Burns (documentary)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Food, Conversation, Comfort

In the Kitchen
Though many of us probably spend most of our time in our living rooms, a kitchen that's designed for easy food preparation is probably high on our hit parade, too.  If you are looking for remodeling ideas to keep your kitchen cozy, comfortable, and easy to use, browse any of the following recent titles.

Small Kitchen Solutions (Better Homes and Gardens)
DIYers will enjoy this book about making the best use of small kitchen space while adding a tasteful dash of style.

This one comes with ideas from professional designers and easy to use design software that runs on a PC or Mac.

Redo or new?  Find out how to make useful decisions on the size of the project you would like to undertake.  Four projects are featured; mix and match their components depending on your objectives and budget. 

Barbecues and Outdoor Kitchens by Bridget Biscotti Bradley
The outdoor entertaining season will soon be here.  The nice mix of extravagant and more practical plans are fun to browse; followed up with DIY information and advice on how to work with contractors.

Professional furniture maker Jonathan Benson and his wife offer tips on modifying and installing cabinetry.

Less about remodeling than how to clutter-bust and get the most out of the space you have in the kitchen, as well as other rooms in your home.   

Locavore Delights

Eat Local
Here's four "for the beginner" books by Ashley English; English is a member of Slow Food USA and writes a regular column for the blog Design*Sponge.

For companion titles to the above works try fair poultry, cooking (dairy products), bee culture, or canning & preserving.

Surf's Up
Informational and point of view web resources for foodies, foragers, and backyard farmers include :
Local Harvest -- Sustainable Table -- Pick Your Own (CT DOAG) -- Farmers' Markets (CT DOAG) --  Simple Steps (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Books In Bloom

Spring Reads
Here's a quick list of our hot picks for early April.  Most of the above are due for release next Tuesday.  Happy reading!

Bossypants by Tina Fey
One of America's favorite funny people reveals all.

We All Fall Down by Nic Sheff
Sheff offers his not always pretty follow-up memoir to 2007's Tweak.  The related title is Beautiful Boy : a Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction (2006) by Nic's father, David.

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell
Probably the final in the thriller series featuring Swedish cop, Kurt Wallander.

The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon
High school sweethearts meet 30 years after their relationship ended in betrayal. Miranda and Adam find they still much to say to each other...

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
Lutz (The Spellman Files series) writes the odd-numbered chapters and her coauthor and ex-boyfriend, poet Hayward, writes the even-numbered chapters in an oddly structured tale about a brother and sister running a pot business.

Bent Road by Lori Roy
A debut novel about dark secrets hidden in mid-1960's rural Kansas.

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly
The author's fourth legal thriller featuring Mickey Haller (after Reversal).

The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
What happens when contemporary characters are mysteriously changed by Lysistrata, Aristophanes's biting anti-war comedy?