Janet G's blog

OH SNAP!!

Because of a bone-chilling arctic cold front that will reach us Thursday, the National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning for the Houston area.  Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the day to a low of 28 degrees, and meteorologists predict it will remain very cold through 9 a.m. Sunday.  It's been over 20 years since temperatures have been this low, for this long.  Are you ready for the cold snap?  Have you prepared your car, wrapped exposed pipes, and protected fragile plants?   

THE HEART OF ROMANCE

This past weekend I had the most unusual experience of enjoying a backstage pass to the Toyota Center, and while I was in Catering, Gene Simmons appeared and sat down at the next table.   If you've listened to NPR's Terry Gross interview Simmons, from the rock band Kiss, you're probably aware of the fact that this egocentric (and enormously successful) entertainer is not exactly the romantic type.  He might even be the antithesis of romance

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.  

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