Friday, July 29, 2011

New Fiction for August

Here are a few titles coming out in August:

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The citizens of Mapleton have lost many of their loved ones to an event called The Sudden Departure. How do they go on? Tom Perrotta's latest is a thought-provoking portrayal of relationships, connections, and loss.

Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum

The latest installment in the Inspector Sejer series. Konrad Sejer must figure out why the bodies of troubled young men keep turning up in local lakes.

The Cut by George Pelecanos

Spero Lucas is George Pelecanos' latest creation. Since returning home from Iraq, Spero has carved out a niche for himself finding doing finding stolen property for a local defense attorney. Then Spero comes into contact with a local crime boss.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If Borders Dies, Does Book Culture Follow?

I don't typically read the weekday Boston Globe, so thanks to my colleague Peggy for pointing out James Carroll's Op Ed piece on Borders Books closing. Take a moment to read it, and come back . . . .

Finished? Okay, here's my two cents:

Do we need to own books in order to have a book culture? I myself used to be a book hoarder; I loved going to my hometown Borders store as well as the many used book sellers and amassed a library that spilled over the five book cases I owned. Then I became a librarian. Did I need to own a copy of Dan Simmon's Drood because I enjoyed it so much? Heck no, I could borrow it from the library saving myself the money, clutter, and the hassle of lugging the books with me the next time I moved.

Do we need book stores in order to browse books? I don't know about you guys, but when I buy a book I head on over to Can you browse books there? Hardly! And when everything moves digital, how easy does that become to browse? Libraries, on the other hand, are a browser's paradise and you can bet that we'll have browsing better figured out than any online retailer when the big switch to digital comes.

Are for-profit institutions really what we need protecting our book culture? No way! What happens to all of those niche titles and genres that don't get picked up by the mainstream culture--and don't even get me started on privacy or equal access concerns.

What do you say? Can Borders or Barnes and Noble do book culture better than libraries? Would the world really be worse off without big box book stores? Who will fill the void left by Borders? I can certainly say that libraries are happy to have the opportunity.


image courtesy of freidmanlynn via Creative Commons

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Next to Greatness

As a librarian I have daily access to hundreds of thousands of Books, DVDs, Audiobooks, CD's, Playaways, and Ebooks. So what book series could be compelling enough to make me drive on 128 at rush hour to stand in a line of 1500 people and purchase a book? George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire did.

The latest book in the series is "A Dance with Dragons", and has been greeted with rave reviews. Lev Grossman ("the Magicians") in his review for Time magazine calls George R. R. Martin the American Tolkien. However, Martin does not just rehash Tolkien. Published in 1954, many ideas and values in "Lord of the Rings" have been over done or changed.
According to Grossman: Martin has produced — is producing, since the series isn't over — the great fantasy epic of our era. It's an epic for a more profane, more jaded, more ambivalent age than the one Tolkien lived in. For those who have difficulty suspending belief let me say that magic is kept to a minimum. This series is built on characterization and Machiavellian intrigue. Start with A Game of Thrones.

Photo by Mike Wick


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Excitement Mounts for The Help--The Movie

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is to adults what Harry Potter is to the younger set. Although it was originally published on February 10, 2011, it still maintains a place on the Bestseller lists. It's theme involving black maids and an aspiring journalist in 1960s Mississippi have lead individuals and book clubs alike into great discussions. Everyone who read it spread the word on to others that it was a must read.

If you haven't had a chance to enjoy it yet, borrow it from the library today before The Help--the movie arrives on August 10. On that date you will be able to watch well-known actresses bring the characters to life: Emma Stone as Skeeter (the young journalist) Viola Davis as Abilene (Maid #1) Octavia Spenser as Minnie Academy award winning actresses are Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson, and Mary Steenburgen also play a part.

You have been warned. Get ready for The Help--The Movie
mania! SH

July Online Resource of the Month--Books and Authors

With summer in full swing, reading a good book rises to the top of the to-do list. While you're on vacation, zoom in on that perfect title with the aid of Books & Authors, our July Online Resource of the Month.

Search or browse authors, titles, read-alike lists, recommended reading lists, bestseller and forthcoming titles. Then make your own list and save it to your Personal Reading Room.

highly informative resource that's easy to use-- try it today! SH

Friday, July 15, 2011

Audiobooks in MP3 format

Our audiobook collection in MP3 format is growing quickly. Many popular titles, both fiction and nonfiction, are available for your listening pleasure without the hassle of changing discs. Unabridged titles are usually recorded on 1 or 2 discs. Most newer cars (2008 and beyond) have the players built in. The collection is currently shelved on your left as you enter the Media Room on the first floor of the library. If you don't see the title you are looking for, feel free to see a Reference Librarian who may be able to reserve it for you. Some of our newest titles in this format include : Bloodmoney by David Ignatius, Children and Fire by Ursula Hegi, and To End all Wars by Adam Hochschild.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strategizing at the Hills Branch

Are you interested in games of strategy rather than luck? Tired of enduring boredom when you lose a game early and are forced to sit there, watching everyone else have fun? Want to try a new flavor of gaming? Then stop by the Hills Branch after work for a fun night of cards, games, and new friends on Thursday, July Thirteenth from 6.30-9pm. We'll have a couple European-style board games (Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan), a card game (Fluxx), and other games of skill & collaboration (Blokus and Forbidden Island). Feel welcome to bring along a game of your own that you want to share, as well as whatever food and/or drink you'll need to get through the intense gameplay. We've joined up with Mass Fun & Games, a group, so feel free to register at their site or just drop in!