Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What We're Reading: Jan

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher

This title is a further exploration of the tumultuous life of Carrie Fisher -previously recounted in her best-selling show and book Wishful Drinking. She writes in her raw, laugh-out-loud style about her Hollywood upbringing, being the daughter of two larger-than-life Hollywood stars, Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. She is incredulous about her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars and the fame and money she acquired from it. She tenderly relates stories about her friend Michael Jackson, feeling a connection to him as another kid surrounded by show business. Many other surprising but true memories are revealed by Fisher in her appealing and provocative reveal. Yet the title Shockaholic and the second chapter set the tone of this memoir. They describe Fisher’s decision to undergo electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – commonly known as“shock therapy” - to deal with the “pain squared, pain cubed, pain to the nth power” of her life. Because, despite all the wit and genius with language, Carrie Fisher is still hurting. She can quip about her early life: being sadly funny about her father’s absence for many years and then his death, the hopeless comparison between Princess Leia and the real Carrie, and her shame and guilt at impacting her own daughter’s life by being a source of worry to her. Years of drug use could not ease the pain. Her writing seems to have given her a way to help sort things out and ECT has calmed her, even while taking some of her memory. The book is a roller-coaster ride of laughter and sadness and, in some instances, heartbreak. After reading it, one feels like Carrie Fisher needs a big hug – for living through everything she has and continuing to look for strength.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What We're Reading: Edward

Carte Blanche

by Jeffery Deaver

If you liked the new sensitive Daniel Craig version of James Bond, you will enjoy Carte Blanche. In this novel, sanctioned by the estate of Ian Fleming, James Bond has all the accouterments that made him a 1960s icon. But James is definitely a modern man. James is investigating a threat to the Realm. Whispers about an attack that will have casualties in the thousands and affect British interests are overheard. The focus is on Afghanistan as the site for the attack. But James follows a lead outside London that sends him to Dubai and then on to South Africa. He is following Severan Hydt, the head of a multinational recycling empire. Hydt is perverse in his taking pleasure in decaying things. What does he plan for the decaying British Empire? Hydt employs Niall Dunne to plan and carry out his desires. Niall is just as dangerous as James. Who will survive their meeting? Will James again save the Realm?

May Deever have carte blanche to write the next James Bond thriller!

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Board Books

If you have babies or toddlers, you might like to know about a large order of new board books we've just received. These beautiful, sturdy books are perfect for little ones. We have three new series with dozens of titles, all found in the Board Book section of the Youth Services room.

Baby's Very First, including The Little Book of Little Kittens.

That's Not My
..., fun "touchy-feely" books like That's Not My Teddy.

And Usborne Very First, including Nursery Rhymes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's National Game and Puzzle Week

November 20 - 26 is National Game and Puzzle Week, and the library has lots of resources to help you celebrate!

For the Wii, check out Hasbro Family Game Night, which includes 11 different games. Call number: Game Wii Family.

To find a fun, active game to play outdoors, take a look at 100 Games for Fall, located at J790.1 Allue.

For a fantastical adventure story about a magical board game, try Jumanji or Zathura, by Chris Van Allsburg, both found at JFIC Van Allsburg.

And to learn more about how games help us learn and grow, read Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning Through Modern Board Games, at CHILD.LIT. J025.2896 Mayer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What We're Reading: Edward

"Stealing the Mona Lisa: a mystery"

by Carson Morton

In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. "Stealing the Mona Lisa" is an account of the crime by Marquis Eduardo de Valfierno. A dying Eduardo tells his story to a newspaperman. He begins his story with the fleecing of a rich American in South America. The death of his friend and art forger has Eduardo looking for another place to run his confidence game. Eduardo returns to Paris and gathers a new group to help him with his latest confidence game. After stealing the Mona Lisa, he plans to sell six copies of the Mona Lisa to rich collectors in the United States. Each will think that they have purchased the real painting. Eduardo's plan runs into some problems but the Mona Lisa is removed from the Louvre. Is Eduardo's story the truth or just another con?

Monday, November 14, 2011

What We're Reading: Tracy

Looking for a Moose, by Phyllis Root.

"Have you ever seen a moose ----
a long-leggy moose ----
a branchy antler,

"No! We've never, ever, ever,
ever, ever seen a moose.
And we really, really,
really, really want
to see a moose."

So opens Looking for a Moose, a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud in the tradition of the classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Children will enjoy sharing in the story, making the requisite sounds and motions while their favorite adult reader directs the action:

"We'll look on the hillside for a bulgy-nose moose! We take off our hats. We tighten up our packs...We scramble up the hillside ---- TRIP TROP! TRIP TROP! ---- the rocky-blocky, lumpy-bumpy, fuzzy-muzzy hillside."

Glimpses of a moose hidden in the illustrations reward careful looking. Take a peek and see if you can find him. Be sure to tighten up your pack first, and watch out for the rocky hillside.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What We're Reading: Cathy

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I hate circuses. This book however is lovely.

The Cirque des Reves (Circus of Dreams) arrives without warning. One morning you wake up and the empty field outside of town is filled with black and white tents.The circus is not one of clowns and elephants but of a real magic of the senses: sight, touch, smell. The author manages to create a world that touches ours but remains largely outside it. It takes place around the turn of the last century. Two magicians, Celia and Marco, have been trained from their childhoods to participate in a contest against each other (although neither knows at first who their opponent is and that the contest is to be to the death). The circus is created both for them and by them to be the setting for the contest. One tent is a world of ice, in another, the smells can transport you the Arabian desert, in the next you can watch "illusions" where birds appear out of nowhere and the performer disappears before your eyes. Yet another tent contains a vertical maze of clouds. A hitch in the contest plans appears after a while though. Celia and Marco fall in love. They must decide how to save the circus and its performers while putting an end to the contest.

You may want to become one of the Reveurs, put on your red scarf and follow this circus.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What We're Reading: Tracy

Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale, by Sibylle von Olfers, translated by Jack Zipes & illustrated by Sieglinde Schoen Smith.

Mother Earth and Her Children was first published in 1906, written and illustrated by a German art teacher and nun named Sibylle von Olfers. Often referred to as "the story of the root children," it depicts the cycle of nature through the perspective of Mother Earth and her young helpers, who waken with the spring, bringing color and life to the world before heading back to their underground beds to sleep through the fall and winter.

The gentle story, beautiful illustrations, and natural theme made the book a perennial favorite with Waldorf-leaning parents and educators. This edition features a fresh translation by German fairy tale and folklore scholar Jack Zipes, professor of German literature at the University of Minnesota, and gorgeous quilted renditions of the original illustrations by award winning German artist Sieglinde Schoen Smith. The result is a truly beautiful book to share with children any time of the year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What We're Reading: Edward

"Twice a Spy: a novel"

by Keith Thomson

Keith Thomson's "Once a Spy" has an unique slant on the usual spy novel. In it Charlie Clark learned that his mother was still alive and was a spy. His father, Drummond, is also a spy. He pretended to be a washing machine salesman. The washing machines that he sold were really fake nuclear bombs. He was selling them to terrorists to uncover them before they could do real damage. Drummond is suffering from Alzheimer's. His old CIA group, the Calvary, tries to terminate him before he can give up any secrets. In this sequel, Drummond is being treated for his Alzheimer's at a Swiss clinic. Charlie and his NSA girlfriend are protecting Drummond. But the Calvary needs Drummond to find a missing washing machine in the Caribbean. Charlie and Drummond again manage to outmaneuver the Calvary. But after locating the machine, they lose it. They have a hard time telling the good guys from the bad guys. Will they be able to figure out the target of the bomb? Once they do find it again , they must save the world! Charlie manages some of his own moves in this book, but it is Drummond who often saves the day.