Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reading the Movies

Oscar Recap
Oscar's favorite films were by majority based on books.  More than a few of the books-to-film were bestsellers.  Others found an audience by way of a big screen adaptation.  Catch up on your post-Oscar reading and viewing or in advance of the latest DVD releases.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Whoa! So much consistent demand for this one (in all formats) and we don't wonder why.  Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Albert Nobbs by George Moore
Irish writer George Moore's novella was first published in 1927, was out of print for years, but found it's way to film last year. Glenn Close was nominated for a Best Actress award for her portrayal of Albert, a woman passing as man in 19th century Dublin.  The DVD is slated for release in May 2012.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Selznick's Caldecott Award-winning novel garnered five Oscars.  The book is extraordinary and so is the film.  Loved the Best Picture winner but still...

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
George Clooney plays the confused but well-meaning dad in a film that won the gold for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).  The book was Hemmings' debut novel.  The DVD is slated for release on March 13.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Based on a great historical fiction book and nominated for six awards including Best Picture, the DVD is set for release on April 3.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis
We've mentioned this one before. With six nominations, the film offered an insightful take on a great book.

My Week With Marilyn by Colin Clark
Michele Williams channels Marilyn Monroe in her Oscar-nominated role.  DVD on March 13.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Foer's heartbreaking 9/11 novel goes small screen on March 27.

Don't forget Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyJohn Le Carr√©'s masterful novel.  On March 20, we'll be holding the book's second translation-to-screen incarnation.  Who'll be your favorite George Smiley : Gary Oldman or Alec Guinness?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Isn't It Romantic?

Nature lover alert! If you are all in for a little relaxation and inspiration from the natural world, however virtual, check out the Decorah Eagles Live Website.  A webcam has been capturing this raptor pair's every move; the camera's run by The Raptor Resource Project.

Surf's Up
A few cool websites about America's bird :
Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)

Further Reading
Lovely books to share with your child :
Soaring with the Wind by Gail Gibbons
Bald Eagles by Doug Wechsler
Bald Eagle by Gordon Morrison
My Little Book of Bald Eagles by Hope Irvin Marston

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Titanic Tales

100th Anniversary :
RMS Titanic 1912-2012
We all know the story. On April 10, 1912, the Titanic sailed from Southhampton with 2,200 passengers and crew on board.  Four days later, the ship hit an iceberg.  Here's a quick list of latest reads on this infamous event, as lead in to the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking.

The Band that Played On : The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic by Steve Turner
The Titanic sank as the ship's band played tunes to calm passengers.  Turner explores the lives and legacies of the musicians who stayed.

Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg
This YA book presents the true story of the building and launching of the Titanic, offers a "you are there" feeling, and details the recollections of actual survivors and their experiences in the lifeboats.

The Watch that Ends the Night : Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf
This YA novel recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others including the iceberg itself.

Iceberg Right Ahead! The Tragedy of the Titanic by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
This well-written and researched title for kids includes stellar chapters about explorations of the sunken ship, as well as information about the Titanic in art, literature, and film.

We last blogged about the Titanic in 2009. Click here for still useful links.

Online Services
Use your East Hampton Public Library Card to access Encyclopedia Britannica.  What you'll  find is reputable information about the Titanic as well as links to reputable/related websites, media, and primary sources to supplement your readings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life Stories

Memorable Reads
If you are looking for a memorable read, try any of the following memoirs.  Something for everyone in this short list of books about people deeply affected by war, family or personal challenges, and the long road to overcoming.  As is the case with any list, expect at least one guilty read.

What It's Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
The author describes his experience as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corp during the Vietnam War and takes time to advocate for ensuring there are strong support systems available to our country's returning veterans.  Pair this memoir with Marlantes' acclaimed novel, Matterhorn.

Karp lost her job and took up residence in her RV, which she parked in a California Walmart lot. The author busts the easy stereotypes about the 'whys' of homelessness in this candid memoir.

The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown
The author's explores the meaning of life and love by way of his son, Walker, one of only 300 people affected by a rare genetic disorder.  The memoir made the NYT's list of top 10 books of 2011.

Missing by Lindsay Harrison
Harrison's memoir details the 40 days between the disappearance of her mother, Michelle, and learning Michelle had committed suicide.  A deeply personal story of grief and healing.

The Dirty Life : a Memoir of Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball
After interviewing a young farmer, the author gave up her urban lifestyle to begin a farm with her interviewee near Lake Champlain in northern New York.

Full Service by Scotty Bowers
In this believe-it-or-not memoir, the author, now age 88, dishes on his lurid escapades as a go-to guy in post WWII Hollywood. TMI?  You decide.

Breaking the Code : A Daughter's Journey into Her Father's Secret War by Karen Fisher Alaniz
When the author's father Murray turned 81 years old, he gave her the letters he'd written home during WWII. What follows is a father-daughter discussion of Murray's role as a code-breaker and his life-long struggle with the aftermath of his WWII experiences.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
What does it take, both personally and professionally, to work as sniper for the Navy SEALS?  Find out here in Kyle's open account.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friends of the Library Book Shop Re-Opening Soon

A Little Bit Smaller But Just as Mighty!
It's official!  The Friends of the East Hampton Public Library's Book Shop will re-open for business on Monday, February 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Saturday hours will resume March 3 with open hours set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What's Featured?  Secondhand Prose
Though a little bit smaller, the Friends Book Shop will still feature a mighty variety of gently used books offered at very affordable prices.  Most hardcover books will sell for no more than $2 and most mass market paperbacks for 25 cents a piece.  "Special books" will be priced to sell though at a modestly higher cost.  Book lovers and bargain hunters are sure to find great deals here.

When the Book Shop Is Closed
You may also visit the library's lobby to select from a similarly great collection of secondhand prose, donated or withdrawn from the East Hampton Public Library's collections.

Like Books?  Want to Serve Your Community? Volunteer at the Book Shop!
If you have a few hours to offer to the Book Shop, please consider volunteering your time on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's a great way to meet neighbors, fellow-readers, and to help the Friends help the library.  For example, proceeds from the Book Shop have fully funded our Museum Pass Program for well more than a decade!  This program passes on significant savings to East Hampton families every year.

If you would like to volunteer, visit the library or phone us at (860) 267-6621 to sign up.

What About Donations?  Still Groovy But Changing
Our very hard-working, all-volunteer Friends continue to organize the new Book Shop so both the Friends and the library staff will ask for your assistance.  Owing to a smaller but still mighty space, donations are very much welcomed but can only be accepted in smaller quantities.  Call or phone the library for information and for Friends contact information.  We'll work with you with many thanks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

You Know It's a Thriller...

Clancy and Then Some
Unfairly described as books for men, novels about the covert world of spies, deadly assassins, and black-ops agents attract their fair share of female readers.  No matter which gender's reader is turning the pages, here's a short list of recent titles by the usual suspects and by authors you may have missed along the way.

Clancy's latest is Locked On, a Jack Ryan thriller.  Pay close attention to the cover and title page, as in with Mark Greaney.

Mark Greaney's latest is Ballistic, the third in Gray Man series.  Main character, Courtland Gentry, is the spy burned in the first book and who 'adjusts' his attitudes in the second and third.  Have fun with this trio.

Barry Eisler's The Detachment is next in the series about John Rain, now a semi-retired assassin.

Full Black is the latest thriller in Brad Thor's Scot Harvath (counter-terrorism operative) series.

If you loved Jo Nesbo's The Snowman, try The Leopard.  Inspector Harry Hole, one of Oslo's finest, investigates a serial killer.

Invincible super-agent Mitch Rapp is back in Vince Flynn's second prequel novel, Kill Shot (after American Assassin), about Rapp's early days with the CIA.

Post 9/11 novel Secret Soldier is Alex Berenson's fifth thriller featuring CIS operative John Wells (after The Midnight House).

Ben Coes' Coup d'Etat (after Power Down) follows series hero Dewey Andreas, a former Delta Force officer, to Pakistan.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Winning Books for Kids

Caldecott and Newbery Medal Awards, 2012 Edition
In late January, the American Library Association announced its Annual Youth Media Awards.  The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.  The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

If you have not yet had the pleasure, enjoy the winning and honor book titles.

Caldecott Medal Winner
A Ball for Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
A wordless book about a spunky dog and his well-loved red ball.

Honor Books
Blackout, written and illustrated by John Rocco
Grandpa Green, written and illustrated by Lane Smith
Me... Jane, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Newbery Medal Winner
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Honor Books
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

Monday, February 06, 2012

Hugs and Smooches

Happy Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day brings to mind hearts and flowers but also reminds us of the importance of family and friendship.  Here's a short list of titles sure to inspire cuddle or conversation time with the kiddos.  The list includes new and classic titles, many with a useful lesson or two, followed by a short video reminder of why we all love February 14th.

Picture Books
All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri
Big Hugs, Little Hugs by Felicia Bond
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid
I Love the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Mr. Prickles : A Quill-Fated Love Story by Kara Lareau
My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
Snowy Valentine by David Peterson
You : A Story of Love and Friendship by Stephen Michael King

For Older Readers
Babymouse no. 5 : Heartbreaker by Jennifer L. Holm
Geronimo’s Valentine by Gironimo Stilon
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Raymond and Graham, Dancing Dudes by Mike Knudson

Holiday Books
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
It's Valentine's Day by Jack Prelutsky
Mouse’s First Valentine by Lauren Thompson
Roses Are Pink and Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Archaeology Matters

The Terra Cotta Army
Terra-cotta army. Photograph. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Library Edition.
Our community includes many local residents who travel widely for different reasons.  Late last year, one such resident traveled to China and visited the Qin Tomb, an ancient archaeological site well more than 2000 years old. The site contains an army of over 8,000 life-size terra-cotta soldiers; digging and restoration of the site continues to this day.

Next time you visit the library, scan the display shelves behind our circulation desk and play I Spy.  Between the fun figures, children's book character favorites, and pop-culture icons, find a well-done replica of a terra-cotta general, a gift to library by our world-travelling patron. Thank you, Pam!

To Learn More

The Qin Dynasty Terra-Cotta Army of Dreams by Lin Zhang
The Emperor's Silent Army : Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O'Connor
The Terra Cotta Army : China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation by John Man
China's Terracotta Warriors, PBS Home Video

Also learn more about the Qin Tomb by using Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Online Library Edition with your East Hampton Public Library card; find a variety of multi-media material in your search.

On Display : Beginning Next Week
Watch for the roll-out of our bulletin board display (left), all about the terra-cotta warriors with artwork by library staff member, Phil Carr