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Hot Minute for November 8

Press play below to hear this week's Hot Minute.


0:59 minutes (921.76 KB)

What's Cooking?: Autumn Harvest

pie

As I survey the colorful array of apples, pears, grapes, winter squash, persimmons, and pomegranates, they remind me of autumn jewels waiting for me to spirit them away to my kitchen.  For me, it is the season to open the ovens, and bake those pies and tarts!  I excitingly gloss over new recipes and retrieve the time-tested favorites.  The first apple pie of the season is sort of a celebration in our house.  With great anticipation, we can’t wait to have a flaky crust embrace these luscious slices in the hot oven.  The apple pie I make is filled with the combination of what I name as the “3Gs” - Granny, Gala, and Golden Delicious apples and then it is covered with a rich brown sugar crumb topping.  So good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on that crunchy topping!

Terror! Passion! Gothic Romance

A dark and stormy night.  A mysterious castle, rife with hidden passageways.  A wicked usurper.  A strange prophecy.  A beautiful heiress, innocent prey to his dark desires.  Frightening apparitions!  Family secrets!  Madness!  A really big helmet!  And the faithful love who will overcome all obstacles to save her....

In a nutshell, this is Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto, the very first Gothic romance.  It was published in 1764, the same year that Ann Radcliffe-- another famous Gothic writer-- was born.  Today, we might find his work a bit absurd and overwrought, but Walpole deserves credit for trying something completely new.

Holding Patterns

Don’t miss another book being held because of a business trip or vacation.  Did you know you can suspend the material on your request list, not lose your place in the queue and select the date you wish to reactivate the list?  This ability not only avoids missed requests but also allows you to have some control over when your requests arrive.  This might offset the ‘when it rains it pours’ lament.  I set my fiction titles a week or so apart, but that’s just me.

It’s really easy, and now that you’re on our website you’re halfway there.   Go up to ‘My Account,’ click on ‘Holds Requests’ then click in the little box to the left of the title(s) you want to suspend; if you’re going away select all the titles.  Then choose the date to reactivate, and click on Change Status.  Circulation staff can do it for you at the library or call (ext 124) and we’ll do it or walk you through the process.

No Sparkles Here: Old-School Vampires

It's that time of year again.  The air is getting colder; trees are shaking off their summer raiment to reveal the skeleton branches beneath.  With each passing day, we lose a few more minutes of precious daylight.  The burgeoning moon is cold comfort to those who already yearn for the vanishing sun.  As the shadows lengthen, the 31 titles of this month's speculative fiction list lie ready to remind you why we should fear the long night.

You won't find any pale-but-sexy, misunderstood immortals in this month's offerings.  No compelling, tall, dark strangers with an unfortunate dietary requirement.  No soulful soulless writhing in metaphysical melodrama, no Byronic brooding.  (Okay... maybe a little brooding.)  No vegetarians.  And most definitely, positively, and categorically: NO SPARKLES.

Rockland History Month

The county of Rockland abounds with so much history reflected in county activities this month.  Residents have been invited to an interpretive walk on Iona Island, an island with a varied history of activity, travel a postcard ride of New City, view a play of John Andre meeting Benedict Arnold. The list continues. Currently the library has on exhibit images and original contracts owned by the Concklin family of South Mountain Road.

Take a look around you. Check out the many places that are part of our proud past. Remember that Rockland County began in 1798, 212 years ago! “Oh the place you’ll go” when you walk the Hessian Trail out of Bear Mountain; walk past Rockland Lake into the hills to view the remnants of a past ice industry; or visit the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River in Stony Point.

I’m certain you will return home with a greater appreciation for this very unique county, smallest in the state outside of Manhattan and yet an integral part of our country's beginnings.

New Text Messaging Service for Holds

Now you can receive a text message when your item on hold is ready for pick up.  Stop by the Circulation Desk to sign up for this handy service today!

It's a Wrap!

In use since March, our remodeled Circulation Department still surprises many customers who use the library infrequently.  Now reserved material pick-up is self-service.  Items are wrapped for privacy and requests are shelved alphabetically by your last name.  We include the first three letters of your first name to differentiate those with the same last name.  There isn’t room to print your full first name and we won’t use any personal information relating to your account number.  You’ll quickly become familiar with the general area where your books are located.  Take it to one of our express self checkouts for fast service.  We are so pleased that many of you use the machines which then make it possible for staff to complete other circulation tasks or resolve customer concerns.

The self checkout might direct you to the Circulation Desk if you have overdue material, if your card needs to be updated (a yearly event), if fees are above allowed thresholds or if the hold is not in your name.   For questions about your account please speak to a staff member.

I'M WITH THE BANNED

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.  Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.  (Yes, the author, not her book.)  Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler.  Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson.  What do all of these have in common?  All were deemed objectionable, or unsuitable, or downright offensive.  All were challenged in a library or school in the United States in 2010-- all, in fact, within the past month.  Today kicks off Banned Books Week, when libraries nationwide will be focusing on the importance of our First Amendment rights.  In light of current events, could there be a better time to talk about the freedom to read?

BURNING BOOKS

Got your attention, didn't I?  No, I'm not advocating the destruction of library property-- quite the opposite.  Banned Books Week begins this Saturday, a time when libraries nationwide will be focusing on the importance of our First Amendment rights.  I know, it seems a little strange to think about romances and the First Amendment in the same sentence.  The more Puritan-minded of our Founding Fathers probably didn't even dream of authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Bertrice Small, or Lora Leigh when they protected our freedom to read.  Even so, fans of steamy romances should spare a moment this week to thank those sober gentlemen.  They found it necessary to a free society to protect all speech-- even the speech they disagreed with, even the speech they personally found frivolous, or immoral, or offensive.  To celebrate, I'm going to talk about books that some would consider to be all three: really HOT romances! 

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