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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's Banned Books Week! Part 2

Yesterday we looked at the top ten challenged books for the year 2014. It seems that most challenged books these days are those deemed inappropriate, by their challengers, for young readers. Today, we're going to look at the "Top 10 Banned Books Of The 20th Century" as compiled by Read the Smiths: American Lifestyle Magazine. These books are all novels that were written for adults. How many have you read?

  1. 1984, by George Orwell. [F ORW, AB/CD ORW, also ebook]

  2. Ulysses, by James Joyce. [F JOY]

  3. The Naked Lunch, by William Burroughs. [ebook]

  4. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller. [ebook]

  5. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. [F SAL]

  6. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. [SF BRA, AB/CD SF BRA, also ebook]

  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. [F LEE, AB/CD LEE, also ebook)

  8. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [F VON, AB/CD VON, also ebook]

  9. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D. H. Lawrence. [F LAW]

  10. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. [AB/CD STE, also ebook]

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Banned Books Week!

It's "Banned Books Week," which is an annual celebration of libraries, publishers, booksellers, and individuals of our right to read whatever we want to read! Think of it as an extension of our right to free speech.

Few books are actually "banned," but quite a number are challenged each year in an attempt to ban them. Here's the American Library Association's list of the "Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2014." How many have you read?

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. [YA ALE, YA AB/CD ALE, also ebook]

  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. [YA CX SAT]

  3. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. [JP RIC]

  4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. [F MOR, also ebook]

  5. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris. [J 613.9 HAR]

  6. Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

  7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. [F HOS, AB/CD HOS, also ebook

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. [YA CHB]

  9. A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Dugard. [B DUG, also AB/CD B DUG]

  10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier. [YA CX TEL]

To learn more about the ALA's lists of challenged books, click here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Confucius!

On the 27th day of the 10th moon in the 22nd year of Kuke Hsiang of Lu the teacher-philosopher, Confucius was born. That would be September 28, 551 BCE.

When I was a child, fortune cookies often came with one of Confucius's sayings. An example is, "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others," which is a variation on the "golden rule." Another is, "Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity."

Confucianism is a semi-religious group of those who follow the teachings of Confucius, but do not worship him as a god. To learn more, read Confucianism by Louise Chipley Slavicek [181 SLA].

To find out more about the life of Confucius we have two books in our children's section, Confucius: The Golden Rule by Russell Freedman [J B CON] and Confucius by Russell Roberts [J B CON].

Monday, September 21, 2015

KK Has Left the Building!

Taking a short break and will be back to posting next Monday, September 28.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Grackles"

One of my favorite poetry books in our collection is devoted to birds. It's titled, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds [821 BRI]. The poems have been collected by Billy Collins and the color illustrations are by David Allen Sibley (of The Sibley Guide to Birds, and Sibley's Birding Basics, both 598 SIB). This is from Collins' "Introduction":
Clearly, there are a lot of bird poems flying around out there, and many of them can be found perched on the branches of anthologies. But this assemblage offers a fresh approach. By matching a rich set of poems about birds with illustrations by the illustrious David Allen Sibley, we have provided the reader in one volume with pleasures that are literary, pictorial, and scientific.

I've selected a poem by Lisa Williams, about a bird, the grackle, that I've seen less and less over the past few years. (The one we see in our area is the Common Grackle, and, yes, New Hampshire Fish and Game does show a slight decrease in their population.)

They were not one body. Yet they seemed
held together by some order, their thick necks
flickering with a blue-black iridescence,
their yellow-circled pupils bright and cold.

In a wave of differences that passed
low over the surface of my yard,
they picked it clean of morning's fritillaries
and other summer gestures fall discards

then settled on the hill behind the fence
for several teeming minutes to remark
its tapestry, each razored beak, each tail
parting Sunday's gray air like a spear.

I could tell you how they gathered up
the darkness of my winter thought that day
in mid-September, bundled it, black-ribboned,
into sleek coats and lifted it from me

just as you have imagined. But this
would be a lie. I watched them comb the fields
with interest, and, when their beaks' clicks had died,
turned back to what I was.

Michelle is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Today's Little Ditty.

Science With Tom

Last week, a new science video series began--"Science With Tom." Here's the first of the video, which has to do with the question, "What is life?"

We have a number of items that answer science questions for adults and kids including these:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall's Coming

Next week is the official start of Fall and with it comes cooler weather. And when I think of cool weather, there's nothing I like better than a good bowl of soup.

Borrow one of our gazillion soup cookbooks now to plan out the next three month's worth of tummy-warming meals! You'll find them in the 641.813 section.

If you have a child, read a heart-warming or tummy-tickling soup story such as these:

Arnold, Tedd. There's a Fly Guy in My Soup. [E ARN]

Fleming, Candace. Gator Gumbo: A Spicy-Hot Tale. [JP FLE]

Rattigan, Jama Kim. Dumpling Soup. [JP RAT]

Rylant, Cynthis. Mr. Putter & Tabby Stir the Soup. [E RYL]

Segal, John. Carrot Soup. [JP SEG]

Urbanovic, Jackie. Duck Soup. [JP URB]

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Movies

For those of you who are movie fans, here are some of the films we added to our adult collection the months of June through August. The titles reflect films just released on DVD, classics, or those we have had to replace due to loss or damage. If there is a film you think we should have in our collection, please let us know by filling out a "Request for Purchase" form online or at the library.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Let's Have Our Own Cute-Off!

Biologists and other natural scientists recently held a "cute-off" on Twitter where they posted photos of cute animals and tagged them with #CuteOff. Interested? Go to Twitter and put in the #CuteOff hashtag, or, read at it here. If you don't have time to go through them all, here's a nice collection of contenders.

Babies of all kinds are cute, and we can have our own cute-off right here at the library with these baby animal books:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Poetry Reading"

In case you're interested, the New Hampshire Poetry Festival is being held next Saturday, the 19th, at NH Institute of Art in Manchester. Be sure to sign up before it's too late!

There will be plenty of poetry readings at the festival--from notables such as Charles Simic, to locally published poets, to unknowns at the open mic session in the evening.

For today, I have a poem found in A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry edited by Czelsaw Milosz [808.81 BOO]. By Polish poet, Anna Swir, the poem is titled, "Poetry Reading" and is translated by Czeslaw Milosc and Leonard Nathan.

I'm curled into a ball
like a dog
that is cold.

Who will tell me
why I was born,
why this monstrosity
called life.

The telephone rings. I have to give
a poetry reading.

I enter.
A hundred people, a hundred pairs of eyes.
They look, they wait.
I know for what.

I am supposed to tell them
why they were born,
why there is
this monstrosity called life.

With fame comes the expectations of those who are not famous. Expectations that the famed person may not be ready to meet!

Head down to South Carolina where Robyn is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Without Color

Although Bob Ross passed away 20 years ago, many people fondly remember his show on public television, The Joy of Painting. Ross had a soft, rather hypnotic voice. His belief that anyone can paint was contagious.

Within the past week, an old Joy of Painting segment, "Shades of Grey," has resurfaced on Facebook, and is now available on YouTube. The amazing thing about this video is that it shows that color blindness need not hold one back. Watch!

The world is beautiful in black and white, too. Try sketching it in charcoal or pencil. Need some guidance? Look for one of these books:

De Reyna, Rudy. How to Draw What You See. [741.2 DER]

Goldman, Ken. Charcoal Drawing. [741.22 GOL]

Hamilton, John. The Complete Sketching Book. [741.2 HAM]

Sparkes, W. E. Lessons on Shading. [ebook]

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Better Make Sure You Can Swim

This is going to be a short post today. The video says more than enough, I think.

Compare the video to the interactive map published by National Geographic in 2013.

If you want to read up more on the subject, look for High Tide: The Truth about Our Climate Crisis by Mark Lynas [363.738 LYN] or The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology by Bruce Johansen [577.276 JOH].

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Fairy Houses

In our collection we have a number of picture books by New Hampshire author, Tracy Kane, all JP KAN: Fairy Boat, Fairy Flights, Fairy Houses, Fairy Houses--Everywhere!, and The Magic of Color. Another book, Fairy Houses--Unbelievable! is found in the adult section [745.584 KAN], for adults to use as inspiration for building their own fairy houses.

A "winning" fairy house from 2014, courtesy Fairy Houses.

The last weekend of the month, September 26-27, there is a "Tour of Fairy Houses in Portsmouth, NH 2015." This is the 11th year the tour is taking place. Mark it on your calendar now--it's sure to be a big hit with the children in your life. To learn more, click here.

To recreate the fairy house experience in your own home or yard, also look for the Fairy Garden Handbook by Liza Gardner Walsh [635.083 WAL, also ebook] or Fairy Gardening: Creating Your Own Magical Miniature Garden by Julie Bawden-Davis [ebook]. We also a book for kids, Super Simple Fairy Gardens: A Kid's Guide to Gardening on order--look for it to arrive soon!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day today, and the Library is closed. We will reopen tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

We honor all work today, and express our appreciation for the workers who keep our community, and our world, running.

To help a young child understand the importance and value of work and workers, here are a few titles to look for:

Liwska, Renata. Red Wagon. [JP LIW]

Maynard, Christopher. Jobs People Do. [J 331.7 MAY]

Morris, Ann. Work. [JP MOR]

Ronno. People in Our Neighborhood [Songs about Community Helpers and Workers]. [CD CHILDREN RON]

Rottner, Shelley. Everybody Works. [JP ROT]

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Poetry Friday--Emailing Trees

In Melbourne, Australia, the city assigned ID numbers to trees in its public parks. The trees were also given email addresses so that citizens could report tree damage.

The result is that the city began to receive messages of appreciation for the trees--essentially love letters.
It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren't just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too.

The above quote is from an article found in July on The Atlantic magazine website.

Of course, when thinking of love letters to trees, it's hard not to think of Joyce Kilmer's poem, "Trees," which had been around for a hundred and two years, having first appeared in Poetry Magazine in August 1913.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

In our children's room, we have two books that are devoted to poems about trees, Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George [J 811 GEO] and Poetrees by Douglas Florian [J 811.54 FLO].

Many other tree poems are found within poetry collections, including this joyous haiku by Issa found in Today and Today (Poems by Issa, illustrated by G. Brian Karas) [895.6 KOB]:
Just being alive!
--miraculous to be in
cherry blossom shadows!

Start the Labor Day weekend right by stopping by Teacher Dance for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, and then go out and love some trees!

And the Best Celebration...

for the month of September is "Happy Cat Month!" Yes, it's happy cat month and if you have a cat, you can make your cat happy by starting with these six tips:
1. Leaving it alone and letting it sit where it needs to sit! (Borrow Feng Shui For You and Your Cat by Alison Daniels [133.3 DAN].)

2. Making GOOD treats instead of that crappy stuff you've been bringing home. Yes, your cat may have loved it yesterday, but, duh, it's a new day! Why aren't you psychic? (My advice, open a can of real-people tuna, and let your cat have one teensy-tinesy piece. However, it's not particularly healthy. If you're looking for "healthy" borrow Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat by Marion Nestle [636.7084 NES])

3. Turning off the air conditioner and opening the window wide for the best view of birds. (You may want to identify them, if so, we have a number of field guides in 598, but your cat just wants to eat them! Which is a possible solution to the crappy snack problem.)

4. Never, ever, ever, putting deely boppers or fake antlers or a bow on the cat! (You have no common sense--sorry, no book is going to help you with that!)

5. No kissing, unless cat indicates it's okay. (How are you supposed to know? See #2 and borrow The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Psychic by Lynn A. Robinson [133.8 ROB].)

6. Give up any hope of training the cat! (DON'T borrow this book: Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want by Wendy Christensen [636.8 CHR].)

Got a feeling that nothing you will do will make your cat happy? Psycho Kitty?: Understanding Your Cat's "Crazy" Behavior by Pam Johnson-Bennett [636.8 JOH] may help you to adjust your cat-owner-attitude!

One more piece of advice. If you can't make your cat happy, you can at least make yourself happy. If the spirit moves you, give your cat a kiss.

I also recommend The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons [741.5 NEW], or, spending the afternoon watching cat videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

September Is Also...

"National Rice Month" sponsored by USA Rice Federation, which is a "global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses." This year is the 25th anniversary of the rice month celebration.

ThinkRice.com provides nutrition information and recipes, if you need a reason to eat rice. The Library has two books in its cookbook collection devoted to rice recipes: The Top One Hundred Italian Rice Dishes: Including Over 50 Risotto Recipes by Diane Seed [641.5945 SEE] and Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook by Jeffrey Alford [641.6318 ALF].

According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations),
Rice is a major food crop for the people of the world in general and Asians in particular; nearly 90% of the world's rice is produced and consumed in this region. Furthermore, rice is a staple food for nearly 2.4 billion people in Asia, and except for Pakistan and some parts of India and China, rice provides two thirds of the calories for most Asians with rice-based diets.

Rice Is Life by Rita Goldman Gelman [JP GEL] explains to kids how people in Bali subsist on a diet that is almost exclusively rice. Not like the typical American diet!

Rice is universally cooked and served around the world, and Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley [JP DOO] explains how it is done and who does it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

September Is...

Celebrate the end of summer in more ways than by shopping for school! September is "National Chicken Month"! Have you noticed an increase in the number of people in town who are raising chickens in their back yard? At the Library we've noticed it through the number of book requests we've received for books on chicken care.

If you've been tossing around the idea I invite you to look for one of these before you invest your money and time:

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals. [636 BAC]

Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cows. [636 BAR]

Damerow, Gail. Hatching & brooding your own chicks : chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl. [636.5 DAM]

Damerow, Gail. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: Care, Feeding, Facilities. [636.5 DAM]

Markham, Brett L. Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a 1/4 Acre. [ebook]

Pangman, Judy. Chicken Coop : 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock. [636.5 PAN]

Enjoy "National Chicken Month" and maybe next year at this time, you'll be bringing us a dozen eggs!