........

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.

Broadening Your Horizons

When you think of Fantasy, what elements immediately spring to mind?  Perhaps a vaguely medieval, pre-industrial setting, for starters-- thatched cottages, castles, a feudal system, and so on.  A young, questing hero, or maybe a team of adventurers wielding longswords and magic.  An evil witch or wizard.  For variety, let's toss in a few noble Fae folk, a stolid dwarf, and a troublesome halfling or two.  And it's not a proper fantasy without some fabulous beasts, right?  How about a fire-breathing dragon?  Classic... why is that, though?

Now, before you get too upset at me for reducing all fantasy fiction to a stereotype, I do have a point.  Potentially, the fantasy genre has a near-limitless scope-- it's not bounded by science or reality, only by the author's imagination.  Despite that latitude, what fan hasn't read a dozen books containing most of the elements I listed above?  My concern is that the American fantasy landscape today is suffering from a sad lack of diversity.

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.

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