David Cherry's blog

Beyond 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Holiday Poetry for the Harried

Photo Credit: Blue Lights, Snowy Night by William KlosFor many adults Christmas has become a rote observance of traditions wholly estranged from their original meanings. For others it is a sort of annual moral mulligan, a time to shower attention, gifts and good cheer on those who rightly deserve those things year-round. For still others it is a time to take stock of their lives—to measure themselves against the pervasive messages of the season and to inevitably judge themselves lacking.

The message of every “very special” Christmas Special on TV is that Christmas is not at all about the gifts and tinselly excess, but the advertisements strewn liberally throughout make an utterly convincing counter-argument.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” Traveling Exhibit Visits Cy-Fair

Presiden Abraham Lincoln from Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes. Courtesy Flickr Commons and Library of CongressBeginning December 28, Cy-Fair College Branch Library will host a unique traveling exhibition focusing on President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the most turbulent era in the nation’s history.

Using period photographs, posters, historical documents and artifacts--including the Bible used during Lincoln’s first inauguration, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” explores how the president used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the war—the secession of Southern states, slavery, and wartime civil liberties.

World Wide Read: Post Your Pictures on our Facebook Wall

Photo Credit: Reading in Rome by snickclunk via Flickr Creative CommonsChances are good that some of you will be taking a well-deserved vacation over the holidays, and if you are reading this, chances are even better you will be taking a book or two along. We have a (fun) assignment for all of you globetrotters out there: we want a picture of you reading a book in whatever exotic locale you visit. Whether you’re on the ski slopes of Vail, a cruise ship in the Caribbean, a double-decker bus in London, even a La-z-boy in Peoria—we want you to post your photo on our Facebook wall.

HCPL: The Host of Christmas Present

Photo Credit: Untitled (Mr. and Mrs. Claus in Hawaii by Cliff1066It is probably safe to say that the “Winter Wonderland” of song is not forthcoming here in Harris County, Texas. Sad, maybe, but a fact of life in the subtropics, and truth be told a lot of folks moved down here for that very reason. They will tell you that behind the snowy Currier & Ives idyll is hours of shoveling and scraping in soggy socks.

While we may not be dashing through the snow anytime soon, it doesn’t mean Texans can’t whip up a whole lot of old-school, tinsel-strewn holiday cheer complete with chestnuts roasting and eleven pipers piping when we put our minds to it. HCPL is doing its part again this year with some special events guaranteed to keep your holidays merry and bright.

Poetry for Native American Heritage Month

Cover Art: The Winged Serpent: American Indian Prose and PoetryYou can see them in our landscape, in place names like Anahuac, Wichita Falls and Navasota. You can see them in our language, in the words shack, lagniappe and totem. They are in the food we eat—they were first to cultivate potatoes, corn, coffee, and chocolate. They had empires, architecture, science, mathematics and art to rival anything in their conquerors’ lands.

Off the Shelf and Into the Future: Free Technology Training at HCPL

140/365 Computer Magic by Sarah G. courtesy of the artist and Flickr Creative CommonsYou want the latest Janet Evanovich? You go to the library. You have a big report due?. You go to the library. Your grandma always said you have royal blood and you want confirmation? You go to the library. But what if you want to get your hands on an iPad before you sink your cash into one? What if you need to learn Microsoft Excel and get some help polishing your resumé? What if somebody said, “Just google me” and all you could do was blush?

2011 National Book Award Winners

Cover Art: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn WardThe National Book Awards were handed out on Wednesday night in New York City. As you might recall, the announcement of the NBA finalists received more attention than usual this year (though not the kind the organization would have wanted). Amid the customary, and probably justified, grousing about the nominees’ obscurity and the snubbing of well-received works by better-known (and better-selling) writers, was the mistaken nomination, and forced withdrawal, of Lauren Myracle’s Shine.

Florence Parry Heide (1919 - 2011)

Cover Art: The Shrinking of TreehornChildren’s author, Florence Parry Heide, passed away on October 24 at the age of 92. The author of over one hundred books for children and teens, she is perhaps best known for The Shrinking of Treehorn and its sequels, all illustrated by Edward Gorey.

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