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Check out our video birthday card

We're celebrating the library's 75th birthday in style all summer long! We created this video with the help of some great community members and library staff. If you'd like to view it at YouTube, just click here. Otherwise, press play below to enjoy.

Video: 

Frozen Horrors: Books to Chill Your Blood

One heat wave's behind us.  The weather forecasters predict that more scorching temperatures are on their way.  Walking around outside at noon feels a bit like vacationing on Mercury.  But hey, no sweat-- I have just the book for you! 

When your air conditoner is laboring and it's too hot to sleep, you can always rely on a good, gripping horror novel to freeze you to the marrow.  As a bonus, all the titles I've selected are set in icy climes: Antarctica, Scandinavia, Alaska, Russia, northern Canada-- even deep space!  Let the library help you beat your soaring electric bill this month with our own brand of chilling out.  (And if these don't work... don't forget that the library is air conditioned!)

New International Language

Tucked underneath a staircase lies one of the library’s special collections. Our international language section has always contained Spanish, Korean and Russian titles. Recently though a cart has made an appearance with our latest collection: Hindi! Fifty titles, mostly fiction with a few great non-fiction books, have been purchased and made available to all borrowers. Enjoy!

Love All-American

School's out and the holiday weekend is here; time to celebrate your independence!  If you're like me, you've probably got a lot of hard-core idling planned for this weekend.  It's easy to forget things amidst all those parades, picnics, and jockeying for the best fireworks-viewing position, so I'd like to remind you of your most important piece of holiday equipment: a good blanket read. 

Choosing a blanket read can be a serious business.  First, there's the space consideration.  Paperbacks are best; not only are they physically lighter to carry, but they fit easily in a large pocket and the fine is minimal should you lose one.  (Hey, if you're going to be indulging in a few of Dorothy Ng's cocktails, it could happen.)  Then, there's the question of content.  You need something light, quick, and engaging, but not SO engaging that you give yourself sunburn.  (On second thought... perhaps you should just wear a hat and remember your sunblock.) 

What's Cooking?: Cheers!

 

Cocktails, Sodas, Smoothies, Shakes, Juices, Teas, Coffees!  There is a whole host of drinks that will enliven our mundane tastes of the usual, especially for the heat filled summer.  These refreshing and tantalizing beverages will bring a whirlwind of activity among your guests to create various concoctions of their own.  When I ask some of my colleagues what their favorite cocktail is, such delight appears on their faces.  One favorite is “Cool as a Cucumber” with muddled cucumber, Absolut, St. Gemain, ginger beer, and a twist of lime from Morton’s in Chicago.  Another colleague loves her Bourbon Manhattan but she reminds me not to forget the best “lemonade” ever - a shot of Southern Comfort, a squeeze of a whole lemon and a tablespoon of sugar.  It makes a great whiskey sour!  Well, if they’re happy describing them to me, I could imagine how "high in spirit" they would be after consuming these drinks.

Popping the Word Balloon: Graphic Novels for Adults

For me, the season of summer reading brings with it an opportunity to try new things, to read out of my comfort zone.  Speculative fiction is already out of a lot of readers' comfort zones.  When I tell someone I read speculative fiction, the most common response I get (after "What's that?") is "I'm not really into those sorts of books."  (The most entertaining reaction by far was a horrified "But... you're a librarian!")  I'm used to taking flak for what I read (hey, I read romance, too), but it still bothers me.  Speculative fiction encompasses such a broad panoply of styles, themes, philosophies, and yes, talents, that it's utterly unfair to dismiss the entire genre out of hand.  But there's a whole medium of literature on our library shelves that carries an even deeper stigma: comic books.

Mating Season, Part Two

"Howard... I need that wedding.  I need some beauty and some music and some placecards before I die. It's like heroin." - Mrs. Brackett, "In & Out"

Many of you may have satisfied your veil-and-cake imperatives on a certain modest little British ceremony back in April.  For those who haven't, don't panic-- June is just over the holiday weekend horizon!  For some, June is the time to focus on dads and grads, but it's also the traditional month for another kind of happy ending: weddings.

Fine Memories

Almost every day a customer at the Circulation desk is remorseful for owing even the smallest fine.  Some of you worry jokingly if Mr. Bookman (a Seinfeld episode) will be ringing your doorbell.  We'll hear how as a child it was unheard of to return  library books late.  Fines, never!  Facing those austere people behind the desk was like being called to the principal's office.  While we hope our wonderful Circulation staff presents a friendlier atmosphere, this library ethic has stayed with many of you. 

Most libraries weigh in on the pro side for charging fines for material returned past the due date.  Returning books on time shows consideration for those waiting as well as browsers in the library.  We try to meet your requests in a timely manner, so on time returns keep library ordering down.  Those on the con side believe fines are punitive and serve to keep people from using the library.

Memoirs on Audio

I am fascinated with learning about other people’s life experiences.  It doesn’t matter to me whether or not they are famous, as long as they have an interesting story to tell.  Memoirs are very different than the typical biography.  They read much more like a story with an exciting plot than the dry retelling of facts.  Truthfully, they are the author’s memories, so at times they may be a bit embellished for the sake of continuity within the book.   They tend to be about just one aspect of a person’s life. Some memoirs are very funny like much of David Sedaris’ and Augustin Burroughs’ work.  Other memoirs tell of a specific period in that person’s life where they were going through a tumultuous experience.   At times, it could be that the author is living a grand life experiment.  Unusual family lives are often the focus of memoirs.  My absolute favorites are the ones who are caught up in a survival story.  One added bonus of listening to memoirs, rather than reading them, is that the reader and the author are often the same person! See the list below for the ones I have enjoyed:

Mystery Monday

Award season is here for mystery lovers.  The Agatha awards for best traditional mysteries were announced late last month and the winners in each category are (followed by the runners-up)
Best Novel
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
Drive Time by Hank  by Phillippi Ryan
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Best First Novel

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff

Edgar Awards honoring the best in mystery fiction were also announced in late April.  Here are the winners in each category, followed by the runners-up.
Best Novel
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Caught by Harlan Coben
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Faithful Place by Tana French
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan
I'd Know  You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

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