Monday, July 30, 2012

Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge Update

Still Spreading the Clean Energy Word
If you have not done so lately, check out the Neighbor to Neighbor CT Energy Challenge website and learn about how 14 Neighbor to Neighbor communities, ours included, are working to reduce home energy use by 20%.

Visit the Take Action or Resource Center pages and use them as gateways to info about home energy issues; home energy assessments (HES); lighting upgrades, and incentives and rebates. You can take the Challenge and earn points for our town through April 2013. Very cool...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Politics : Read All About It

Talking Heads
There are books a plenty about the upcoming election, its principals and primary season also-rans, written from all sides of the political spectrum. Here's a short list of recent titles. Pick and choose...

Selecting a President by Eleanor Clift & Matthew Spieler
The book explains the mechanics of the electoral system and includes historical anecdotes from past campaigns. Clift writes for Newsweek; Spieler for

How to Win an Election : an Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians by Quintus Tullius Cicero
Have some fun with this ancient Roman guide to winning an election, which reads like a 21st century political playbook. Quintus advises his brother Marcus on how to win the office of consul (he did) in 64 BC.

Where They Stand : the American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert W. Merry
A veteran political journalist examines how and why presidents succeed and fail. Merry also authored a regarded biography of our 11th President, James K. Polk.

The Candidate : What It Takes to Win -- and Hold -- the White House by Samuel L. Popkin
What does it take to win a campaign for president? The author, an academic and sometime Democratic campaign strategist, offers explanation.

The Real Romney by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman
Try this one or Governor Romney's own, No Apology : the Case for American Greatness

Barack Obama : the Story by David Maraniss

One of the latest and one of many in a pro-con collection.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Next and Last in Line...

The Last Guardian
The eighth and final book in Eoin Colfer's bestselling series, Artemis Fowl, hit the shelves on Tuesday, July 10.  Young adult readers new to the series -- not to mention now 20-somethings who grew up enjoying Arty-boy's adventures -- will be bidding a fond farewell to one of their favorite criminal masterminds.

Read 'Em (or Listen) in Order:
Artemis Fowl -- The Arctic Incident -- The Eternity Code -- The Opal Deception -- The Lost Colony -- The Time Paradox -- The Atlantis Complex -- The Last Guardian.

Click here for a listing of these titles in print or CD book format.
Surf's Up

Catch a cool "8 in 8" minutes book tour on the Artemis Fowl website. The author performs with audience volunteers during his whirlwind promotional tour.

Series and Standalone Read-Alikes
Underland Chronicles Series by Suzanne Collins (life in the underground)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan (a smart kid's 'odyssey')
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (young magician with some serious powers)
The Edge Chronicles Series by Paul Stewart (a magical realm on the 'edge')
Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott (14th century meets the 20th)

For Older Teen Readers
Tithe or Valiant by Holly Black (faerie-centered reads)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (galaxy hop & don't miss the follow-ups)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Resources for Book Groups

Great Places to Find Reading Group Suggestions
If you are member of local book group, there are oodles of resources that will help your group find the perfect selection for your next discussion.

Books About Books
1001 Book for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron
500 Essential Cult Books by Gina McKinnon & Steve Holland

Also try Book Lust & More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl of librarian action figure fame. Check out her official website for the dish on great books.

Surf's Up : Online Suggestions
Book Group Buzz
Book Movement

The library also offers a monthly newsletter which includes book club suggestions.  The newsletter is published on the 15th of each month.  Click on the cutie image for the current month's selections.

Library Services for Book Groups
If you're running a local book group, the library can help you obtain multiple copies of your club's selected reads, subject to availability. Phone the library for information on how to get started.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Reading and Flowchart Style

Summer Reading Flowchart from
Though the chart below went viral in June (in Internet dog years, twenty thousand years ago), it's well worth a July highlight here. The chart's target audience is teens but don't count yourself out if you are, ahem, a little older. Have fun with the chart which includes a great mix of classics and contemporary writing. Please do feel free to ask us for reading suggestions, too; we're always happy to connect you to your next favorite read.

Summer Reading Flowchart

Via and USC Rossier Online

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who Is Batman?

Our Favorite Caped Crusader...
The Dark Knight of Gotham City first appeared in Issue #27 of the Detective Comics of 1939. The bat guy has been everywhere in popular culture since then.

Leading up to the much anticipated big screen debut of The Dark Knight Rises, be sure to read or re-read the DC Comics core about this legendary superhero. These graphic novels are shelved in the YA section but adults who grew up enjoying Bruce Wayne's doings and deeds are sure to appreciate them, too.

Best Read With Your Cape or Utility Belt...
Batman : Year One
Batman : The Dark Knight Returns
Batman : Dark Victory
Batman : The Long Halloween
Batman : Knightfall 1
Batman : Knightfall 2

Surf's Up
Batman Through the Years Slideshow (
Evolution of the Caped Crusader (Oklahoma Daily)
The Id, The Ego, And The Superhero : What Makes Batman Tick? (NPR)
Radio Lovers : Free Old Time Radio Shows : Batman

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Gardens

Community Center Blooms thanks to
East Hampton Belltown Garden Club

and Paul & Sandy's, Too!
July's Beautiful Blooms
Gardeners of all stripes will find a variety of helpful print resources at the library, including titles annually recommended by members of the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club. We offer a few short lists of resources for July's enjoyment, including "surf's up" links.

Rain Gardens
The Essential Guide to Creating Rain Gardens by Cleo Wolelfle-Erskine
The Rain Garden Planner by Terry Wallace
Rain Gardens by Nigel Dunnett and Any Clayden

Latest Additions About Gardening and Sustainable Living
American Grown : the Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama
Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard by Sally Roth
Better Homes & Gardens Gardening Made Simple
Decoding Gardening Advice : the Science Behind the 100 Most Common Recommendations by Jeff Gillman & Meleah Maynard
Easy Growing : Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers for Small Spaces by Gayla Trail
Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway
Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caldwell and Daisy Siskin
Northeast Home Landscaping by Roger Holmes
Planting the Dry Shade Garden by Graham Rice

Surf's Up
Rainfall as a Resource : CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Rain Gardens in Connecticut : UCONN Cooperative Extension System
Gardening Tips for the Northeast : Old Farmer's Almanac
July Gardening Tips for the Northeast : Better Homes & Gardens
What to Do in the Garden in July : Gardening
PlantMaps : USDA Gardening and Plant Hardiness Zone Map for CT
Home & Garden Fact Sheets : UCONN Cooperative Extension System

Circulating Magazines
Better Homes and Gardens
Organic Gardening (OG)

Know Your Neighbors
The East Hampton Belltown Garden Club generally meets in the library's Community Room and also sponsors workshops and trips. To connect with local gardeners extraordinaire, contact Hollye Thomas at 860-992-5817 or Karen Galmon at 860-267-4169.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

For Your Little Museum Goer

Art and Artists for Kids
The library circulates passes to three area art museums: the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Florence Griswold Museum. Each provides discounted admission. If you have a little artist in your home, here's a short list of titles about art, artists, and museum going.

Picture Books and Easy Readers
Babar's Museum of Art by Laurent de Brunhoff
You Can't Take a Balloon to the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline P. Weitzman
Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni
Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld
Art & Max by David Wiesner
Artist Ted by Andrea Beaty
Maisy Goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins
The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer
Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O'Connor
Katie's Sunday Afternoon by James Mayhew
Art's Supplies by Chris Tougas
Fancy Nancy, Aspiring Artist by Jane O'Connor
Ready to Dream by Donna Jo Napoli and Elena Furrow
There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky by Teri Sloat

More About Artists
Franz Marc : The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
Ed Young : The House That Baba Built : an Artist's Childhood in China
Mark Chagall : A Picture for Marc by Eric A. Kimmel
Diego Rivera : Diego Rivera : His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Allen Say : Drawing From Memory
Claude Monet : Katy & the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew
Andy Warhol :  Fabulous : A Portrait of Andy Warhol by Bonnie Christensen
Piet Mondrian :  Coppernickel Goes Mondrian by Wouter van Reek
Leonardo : Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer by Robert Byrd
Pablo Picasso : Just Behave, Pablo Picasso by Jonah Winter
Modern Artists : Mousterpiece by Jane Breskin Zalben
Dadaism : Mimi's Dada Catifesto by Shelley Jackson
Artist's Childhoods : Before They Were Famous : How Seven Artists Got Their Start by Bob Raczka

Monday, July 09, 2012

Eye on the Summer Olympics

Games of the XXX Olympiad
The 2012 Summer Olympics are set in London from July 27 through August 12 and will feature 32 sports and 302 events. Catch the coverage locally on NBC. In between events, also read about past Olympics as well as enjoy great fiction books with an Olympic or competitive sports flavor. Short lists follow.

Olympics & Olympians
How to Watch the Olympics : the Essential Guide to the Rules, Statistics, Heroes, and Zeroes of Every Sport by David Goldblatt

Michael Phelps : the Untold Story of a Champion by Bob Schaller

Triumph : the Untold Story of Jesse Owens & Hitler's Olympics by Jeremy Schaap

Visitor's Guide to the Ancient Olympics by Neil Faulkner

Rome 1960 : the Olympics that Changed the World by David Maraniss

Native American Son : the Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford

Athens to Athens : the Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC, 1896-2004 by David Miller

The Amateurs by David Halberstam

The Complete Book of the Olympics by David Wallechinsky

Olympic Fiction
Soon to be and already bestsellers include Private Games from the prolific James Patterson and Gold, the latest from Little Bee author Chris Cleave.

If you read "off list" try:
Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
Flight from Berlin by David John
Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr.
The Games by Ted Kosmatka

For Kids
Gold Medal Summer by Donna Freitas
A Passion for Victory by Benson Bobrick
Geronimo Stilton Saves the Olympics by Geronimo Stilton
Top 25 Gymnastics Skills, Tips, and Tricks by Jeff Savage
Top 25 Soccer Skills, Tips and Tricks by Jeff Savage
Winning Team and Balancing Act by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson
Yes She Can! Women Sports Pioneers by Glenn Stout
G is for Gold Medal : an Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog
Decathlon, High Jump and Other Field Events by Jason Page
Great Moments in the Summer Olympics by Matt Christopher
Queen of the Track by Heather Lang

Friday, July 06, 2012

For "Mythology-Minded" Readers

Summer Reading with Rick Riordan
Seems as though East Hampton's tween-age readers are still enjoying the author's Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series.  You might also like to make some summer reading time for the Heroes of Olympus series which picks up where Percy left off. The only downside is you will have to wait until fall 2012 for the third in this five-book series.

In the mean time, you can check out Disney-Hyperion's Greeks vs. Romans web site where you will be asked to decide "Whose camp are you in?" Check back often because right now there's not much there... there. Also have fun on Riordan's author site.

Related Reads
Here are but a few graphic novels, non-fiction, and fiction selections for kids and tweens; try these others about mythology and adventure.

Mount Olympus Basketball by Kevin O'Mally [Graphic Novel]
Destiny's Call : the Legend of Perseus by Ryan Foley [Graphic Novel]
Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
Jason and the Argonauts by Dan Whitehead
The Fate of Achilles by Bimba Landmann
The Greeks by Michael Kerrigan
Greek Myths by Eric Kimmel
Greek Hero by Mick Manning
Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
Olympia : Warrior Athletes of Ancient Greece by David Kennett
Dusssie by Nancy Springer
Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming
Tales from the Odyssey

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Civil War Resources

From the National Park Service
Last April, the National Park Service (NPS) launched its Civil War website, mainly a tool to help visitors plan their trips to historic Civil War sites preserved and administered by the NPS.  However, Civil War buffs will find much more than a trip planner here.  Check out the People section (find an ancestor who served in the Union or Confederate Army) or subscribe to Civil War Reporter, a Twitter feed.

Surfers might also enjoy the National Archives' Discovering the Civil War and podcasts from CivilWar Traveler. You may also search this blog for previous posts about recommended Civil War resources available at the library or search our catalog.