Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nothing but the truth...

Ken Jennings, best known as “Jeopardy” champion extraordinaire, has taken on an awesome task in his latest best-selling book Because I said so! : the truth behind the myths, tales and warnings every generation passes down to its kids. Remember all those old adages your parents referred to constantly when you were growing up? The ones like "What if your friends all jumped off a cliff?" and "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!" and more seriously, "Your face will freeze like that!" Well Ken has decided to test the waters and find what truth, if any, exists in these old sayings. The book is cleverly written, includes a truth scale and will definitely take you back to your childhood. Enjoy this de-bunking of age-old myths before you decide to pass any wisdom on to future generations. DB    

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I’m going to write about a film because I watched a DVD that was so unusual and so enjoyable that I just have to share.  You may not have noticed it but the Library has been purchasing more International films – award winning films from Cannes, the Toronto Film Festival, Academy Award nominees and more.  Amelie is an award winning French film starring Audrey Tautou, and by award winning I mean that it has been nominated for over 100 awards and won over 50!  It’s the story of a young, innocent girl who leads a sheltered and yet fantastical life.  Once she comes of age she sets off for the city and slowly becomes involved in changing other people’s lives.  The plot of the movie leads up to the question of whether she can change her own life as well. There are many funny scenes and Audrey Tautou does a fantastic job as the main character.  A bit of trivia – “In the opening credits, the girl playing Amélie as a child is shown doing various things. If you give a careful look at these activities, you'll find they illustrate the credits shown at the same time” (IMDB).  SG

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Curious Christmas

An off-beat newcomer and her strange shop threaten to upset the well-being of Parrish Springs just before the holidays. Matilda Honeycutt whirls into town, buys the old Barton Building on Main Street and opens what she claims is a Christmas shop, but appears to be filled with junk. The local merchants put up a fuss and aim to run her out of business, but the folks that enter her shop seem to leave transformed. They come away with items that are meaningful and remind them of the past. Things get more and more curious the closer it comes to Christmas. The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson is a short, inspirational read that will definitely warm your heart. Happy Holidays! DB

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gingerbread Goodies

One of the best parts of the holidays is the food, especially cookies—gingerbread ones! If you’ve got the time, The Gingerbread Book edited by Allen D. Bragdon has got the ideas. In addition to cookies, ornaments and all kinds of houses there are step-by-step instructions for game-boards, boxes and special centerpieces. You can play chess or checkers and snack on the pieces later. The book also includes a history of gingerbread and suggestions for springtime snacks. Happy Baking! DB   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time by Carissa Phelps is Carissa’s story and so much more.  By the time she was twelve she had run away from home, dropped out of school and found herself trapped in the brutal life on the streets.  After being in and out of juvenile hall the kindness of one of her teachers, as well as others, pushed her to transform herself into a graduate of UCLA with both a law and business degree.  Now she’s back on the streets helping other at-risk kids.  Her story is riveting not only because it shows you what happens to these battered and broken kids on the street but because it gives you hope that we can affect change for the better. SG

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fashion through the ages.

Fashion, the clothes we wear, affect everyone. Mark Twain said it best "naked people have little or no influence on society." Messages about status,class, age and type of work are all conveyed by the clothes we wear. A man in a suit appears very different than a man in blue jeans. A woman can wear a pencil skirt and heels and then appear very different in sweats and Uggs.
We have a new reference book in the library called Fashion : The Definitive History Of Costume And Style. Published by DK in cooperation with the Smithsonian this book is lavishly illustrated with drawings,paintings,art objects and photos.
Each chapter explores an era, from the first (Prehistory-600CE) to the last (1980 Onward) Interesting to me was how simple clothes were in the earliest eras, tunics and draped rectangles of cloth) to the splendor of the Renaissance and the comfort of our modern clothes. Also, for the sewing buff are many small details of costume that are explored with close up photos.  One minor criticism is this covers the western world and not Asia or Africa.  However, this is just a fabulous book, come in and spend an hour setting in one of our comfortable chairs and look to your hearts content! ML

Monday, December 10, 2012

For the Dogs

The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs is a compendium of essays, cartoons, and articles spanning the New Yorker's impressive back catalog.  From the good and the bad to the top dogs and the under dogs, works by James Thurber, John Updike, Roddy Doyle and E. B. White (to name but a few) explore our sometimes rocky but always entertaining relationship with man's best friend.  Includes a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.  HM

Fact or Fantasy?

In Graham Joyce's novel Some Kind of Fairy Tale,we are told a story from a few points of view. The beginning; Christmas day as an older couple sets down to a quiet and sumptuous meal. A knock on the door, it's their daughter Tara, disappeared for twenty years and presumed dead. Their shock turns to dismay and anger as she recounts her story. She was lured away by a man on a white horse to the land of fairy, and to her mind, gone six months. She does look amazingly young! Her brother who has mourned her passing,her boyfriend who was suspected of her murder and her parents try to cope with her insistence on the truth of her story. She is sent to a therapist who thinks she suffers from amnesia. Who is telling the truth? The writing is well done with multiple points of view. There is a twist of plot at the end that makes us wonder. I loved this combination of mystery and fantasy that seems realistic along with characters that are very well developed. I read this in one very late night! ML

Friday, December 7, 2012

With the holidays approaching we all see the commercials on television showing groups of people laughing and chit chatting with family and friends.  Over and over we're told that this is desirable, but if you're like me (an introvert) then you might actually look at that scene and say "umm, no thanks!"  Don't get me wrong - I love people, love talking to people and love going out.  But while an extrovert will get energized by an evening of chit chat and socializing it just leaves me exhausted.  The Introvert's Way: Living A Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling was highly enjoyable because it showed me that there's nothing wrong with being an introvert and that I'm not unsociable but "enjoy recharging through time alone."  Some of the described behaviors had me laughing out loud and whether you are an introvert or extrovert this book will be a fun read that will teach you much about human nature. SG

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Handmade for the Holidays

If you’re looking for some unique ideas for handmade gifts, or just want to wrap a present in a eye-catching way, check out Paper Made! 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper by Kate Terry. She discusses materials and techniques in the first two chapters and devotes the other four to cool projects for Home, Fashion, Office and Entertaining. There are lots of clever card and gift wrapping ideas. You could even get the kids working on something special for friends, teachers, or relatives. The best thing is--most of these things are already in your home! These suggestions are sure to get your own creative juices flowing. DB