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Mystery Monday

Everyone knows about  and maybe occasionally overindulges on "comfort food", but what about "comfort books"?  You know, the literary equivalent of macaroni and cheese.  Comfort books, like comfort food, soothe us with their familiarity, distracting us from our troubles with a happy visit to old friends.  People can find escape from their cares by drinking, drug taking,or over-eating, but a much more benign way is to pick up a proven favorite book and get lost in the pages.  Mystery Scene's Holiday 2010 issue asked mystery writers for their own comfort reads and traditional mysteries seem to be the overwhelming choice.  Who wouldn't find solace in a well-loved mystery with a favorite sleuth?  And who ever remembers whodunnit it anyway?  So, in these hectic December days, in between shopping, cookie baking, present wrapping and bill paying, take a brief respite with a book.  Curl up with an old favorite or choose one of the other suggested authors from below. Happy holidays to you all!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Reading Break

Traffic is terrible.  An imminent influx of relatives is wracking your last nerve.  You have a to-do list with far too little crossed off of it.  The forecaster gleefully informs you how few shopping days are left even as she predicts a massive winter storm.  And now some shipful of aliens called the Vogons wants to bulldoze our planet to make way for a hyperspatial express route?!  (Although... the destruction of Earth would take care of your other sources of stress....)  In the words of noted sci-fi humorist Douglas Adams, DON'T PANIC.  The library's Speculative Fiction collection is here to help, with entire realms and galaxies ready for you to escape into! 

What's Cooking?: A Season of Giving

With all the amazing dishes, mouth-watering baked goods and dazzling decorations that inspire our creative senses, one of the best things I love about this holiday season is the time of giving.  I appreciate the thought and care people take in choosing their gifts.  Homemade culinary gifts offer a more personal and satisfying touch to gift giving.   Friends and family who are food lovers like me value the effort.  The expression of delight and joy when they take a bite of something that is scrumptious makes all the difference.

Budget Passed

The New City and West Nyack budgets passed Thursday, December 9 with a wide margin. Voter turnout was large showing  670 yes and 295 no. The staff and Board of Trustees would like to thank the voters for their support.  Happy Holidays and New Year to all.

Be Part of the Library Picture

The West Nyack and New City Library budget referendum is up for a vote on Thursday December 9, 2010.  It is hoped that you will turn out to vote on this important budget at this important time in our history.

West Nyack and the New City Library circulated over 800,000 items last year.  As the below chart shows there has been a steady increase in circulation for the past three years.   In fact it is a 17% increase and in just the current year-to-date there is a 14.7% increase over last year.  

Library Circulaton

You Said It!

  Along with a receipt the self checkouts generated the following remarks from our customers:                                           

   "Cool!"  -  the comment heard most often

   "That was easy."  -  Everyone over 55

   "Just like Home Depot"  -  not exactly

   "Are you going to lose your job?"  - NO!

   "Nothing happened"  -  the publisher's barcode was scanned instead of the library's barcode

   "Let me see if I remember how."  - sometimes yes, sometimes no

   "I don't need the receipt.”  -   press the button anyway to close your account

   “I’ll do it”  -  every child under 5

   Best moments:  the smiles on the little one’s faces when they hear the dinging – makes my day every time.

Sweets to the Sweet

I wrote about sensuality in Romance back in September, covering the "hot" end of the scale ("Burning Books").  This month, I promised to take a look at the other end of the sensuality spectrum-- the "sweets."  Sweets are romances that do not contain explicit sexual content, focusing instead on the social, emotional, and mental aspects of the romantic relationship.  You're likely to see kisses and some cuddling, but any further physical involvement (if there is any) will happen behind doors that are closed to the reader.  As romance author MaryJanice Davidson puts it, "There will be no forced seduction in these books.  Tons of respect, of soul-searching, of angst.  But no booty."  It's not that sweets are anti-sex; they just treat it as a profound step in a romantic relationship, not something to be undertaken lightly or casually.  If bodice-rippers make you blush and all you want is some good, clean romance, these are the books for you!

So Many Ways to Listen

This past month, we have added MP3 compatible CDs to our audio book collection.  These disks will play in any MP3 disk player and in any late model car disk player.  One major advantage is that most books will just have one disk and the lengthy books will usually have just two disks.  No more fumbling with changing disks in the middle of a book.  For those of you who listen in the car, no more temptation to change disks at that stop light on New Hempstead and look up to find the light has turned green and everyone is honking at you.  Some of our new titles include:

       1) The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell                                       

Mystery Monday

In 1936, S.S. Van Dine (author of the Philo Vance mysteries) published an article titled "Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories." Some of these rules, for example, 3 and 9 seem rather curious today.  Fans of police procedurals know it takes teamwork to find the guilty party.  Jack Reacher fans know he is too often irresistible to women who are not looking for a long-term commitment. As for some of the other rules, have they stood the test of time?  You be the judge.

1) The reader should have the same opportunity as the detective to solve the crime.

2) No tricks can be played to mislead the reader unless it is also done to the detective by the criminal.

3) The detective should not have a love interest.

4) Neither the detective nor one of the official investigators can turn out to be the criminal.

5) The villain must be found by logical deduction, not luck, accident, or un-motivated confessions.

6) The story must have a detective who also solves the crime (by detection).

7) It must be a murder mystery ("the deader the corpse the better").

Custer, Sherman papers

Historians, genealogists, and researchers have a window of opportunity to view more than 115,000 U.S. Military Academy application documents dating to West Point's early years. Beginning with Veterans Day and running through Sunday, November 14, there will be no charge when viewing these images on Ancestry.com, a genealogy website. Thereafter, when searching from home, a person would need a subscription. However, the New City Library offers this database in the library as an ongoing  free database. Documents such as the papers of Lt. Col. George Custer and Gen William Tecumseh Sherman are there for the viewing.

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