Janet G's blog

THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS

Birds are all around us in such amazing quantity and variety.  Right now there could be a Cedar Waxwing or Great Crested Flycatcher or a Northern Flicker right outside the window, but unless we take the time to look for them, we often fail to appreciate these beautiful wonders of nature that share our environment.  

CREAM OF THE CROP

I find it difficult to call any one author my favorite.  As soon as I limit myself to having one and only one preferred and beloved very special ANYTHING....writer, artist, song, season, ice cream flavor, cookie....invariably The Fates read my mind and with intentional irony and much mythological mirth cause me to be exposed to some brilliant new work or scene or taste sensation.  Nature is not particularly rooted in permanence, but now that I think about it, that isn't such a bad thing. 

COMING DISTRACTIONS

"On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field.  No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away." 

That is how Stephen King's new book, Under the Dome, is described on his web site. What would it be like to be so abruptly cut off from your country and culture?  How do people behave when they live in isolation from society?  And who or what is behind the creation of this supernatural prison? 

OUTLOOK: GHOULISH

At our branch this week there have been lots of Halloween activities for children, including special storytimes, crafts, and parties.  My favorite activity, though, is something I call "The Storytime Strut".  This is when the kids attending a storytime get together and march through the library wearing their Halloween costumes.  I really enjoy seeing the parade of tiny tots.  The little bumble bees, Yodas, and Dorothy Gales, complete with sparkling ruby slippers, enjoy themselves too.  But why should they have all the fun?

I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED TO READ

We all race around with our busy lives.  What makes it worthwhile to pull over for a pit stop at your local library?

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

What books are you and your friends talking about?  Are you looking for a book that's bound to ignite a spirited conversation?  In order to extol the pleasures of shared reading and encourage more people to get involved in reading groups, the Women's National Book Association has named October National Reading Group Month. 

A selection committee has chosen eight works of fiction as this year's Great Group Reads.  The books are: 

I'M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY

Attention all witches, wizards, and Muggles!  Have you heard about the Orlando theme park based on J. K. Rowling's best-selling books?  Progress on the 20 acre site has been a well kept secret, but recently Universal Studios launched a web site dedicated to promoting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  

BANNED BOOK WEEK

Since 1982, many libraries in the United States have dedicated the last week of this month to recognize how fortunate we are to have the freedom to read. The American Library Association observes Banned Book Week from September 26th through October 3rd, 2009, and encourages us never to take for granted our freedom to enjoy literature, information, and ideas. 

Many of the books we're used to seeing on library book shelves were at one time considered unsuitable.  They were "challenged" based on political, religious, or sexual objections.  Sometimes books are challenged or banned because the cultural standards accepted when the book was written no longer seem appropriate.  

I DON'T LIKE IKE

It's been a year since Hurricane Ike barreled through Texas, knocking out power to over 2 million people and causing billions of dollars worth of property damage in Harris County.  Except for the inconvenience of living without electricity for awhile, I and almost everyone I know were very fortunate, and made it through Ike relatively unscathed.  Spending the day before landfall immersed in utter dread turned out to be the worst part of my hurricane experience.  Why is it then, that I have absolutely no problem immersing myself in a book with disaster at its core, where doom is imminent? 

FICTION FIESTA

We are pleased celebrate the culture of people who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico,  and other Spanish-speaking nations during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th to October 15th.  If you wish to expand your knowledge of Hispanic culture, here are some books you may enjoy.

 In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

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