Friday, March 30, 2012

World Autism Day is April 2nd

April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Day!
Just yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest report that estimates 1 in every 88 U.S. children has autism. With prevalence so high, it is likely we all interact, on many levels, with individuals diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I’m spreading the word and offering a lovely way to gain insight into the world of autism. There are many great books---both nonfiction and fiction—that offer information and experiences to enlighten.  (My suggestions include books addressing Asperger’s Syndrome as well as autism. This list is not comprehensive so please explore our library.)  Read a book or share a book ...



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Titles similar to Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James has been very popular.  The story takes Jane Austen's beloved couple from Pride and Prejudice, Darcy and Elizabeth, and involves them in murder and mayhem.  If you haven't gotten your hands on a copy or you already finished it and want more here are a few other titles you may enjoy. 

Carrie Bebris has written several books featuring a mystery solving Darcy and Elizabeth.  Later in the series some other Austen characters also make appearances, as you might guess from reading some of the clever titles like The Intrigue at Highbury or Matters at Mansfield.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Stories and information about the Titanic will be popular this year, with the 100th anniversary of the iceberg tragedy occurring on April 14. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott is one of those stories.

Tessa Collins is a talented seamstress who has been working as a housemaid as the novel opens. She seizes an opportunity to leave employment, and is very lucky to obtain new employment as a lady's maid to famed designer Lucile Duff Gordon who is sailing with her husband on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Lucile begins to teach Tessa things about design as the ship travels to America, but also blows hot and cold; Lucile can seem quite friendly, then distances herself. Tessa also meets two very different men, Jack Bremerton who is a self-made man on his second divorce, and Jim Bonny who is a sailor on this voyage.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hunger Games Excitement

Excitement has been building for the first movie adaptation of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  In fact, we are so excited that several branches are holding Hunger Games parties.  We plan to play trivia games, practice our capitol style or camouflague make-up, have survival training, and hold best costume competitions.  May the odds ever be in your favor, because you could win some cool prizes. 

Of course, a book started it all.  Here are some of our staff favorites that are similar to the Hunger Games. 

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Divergent by Veronica Roth

More great dystopias.

Monday, March 12, 2012

As Good As Gold

Did you spend the entire weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books? Two days of authors and entertainment - all free and all to promote literacy! I don't know about you, but I had a hard time planning my schedule because there were so many great presentations and workshops. How can you choose between Alice Hoffman, John Sandford and Luis Alberto Urrea? Each of them perfect, but all of them at 10 am on Saturday! One panel  I knew I didn't want to miss was "Going to Extremes" with Amy Snyder, Naomi Benaron and Kathryn Bertine. I just recently finished As Good as Gold, a chronicle of Bertine's quest to make the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008. Just when she hits new lows in her professional and personal life, ESPN offers to support Bertine's efforts to make the Olympic team. The problem is she hasn't quite decided which sport will offer her the best shot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

One Amazing Thing

When I looked in the library catalog for more information about One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, I was surprised to see that the critics characterized this novel as a psychological suspense. To me, this novel is a look at the power of story to sustain and feed us, it's a glimpse into the lives of strangers and the importance of place to a person's history.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time, Still Wrinkling, 50 Years Later

Quick, identify this first line: "It was a dark and stormy night."

Several of you probably said, "Oh! Snoopy's never-finished novel!" Some of you really brainy types might have said, "Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford!" But if you were a book lover growing up anytime in the past fifty years, you thought of Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time.

Your mind immediately went to a prickly and bad-tempered thirteen-year-old girl with glasses and braces, and to all that lies ahead of her. She's about to leave her attic bedroom and go downstairs to sit with her genius little brother, Charles Wallace. She's about to meet Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, three mysterious old ladies who are far more than old ladies. She's about to discover a new side to classmate Calvin O'Keefe. She's about to undertake a harrowing journey across the universe and into her own heart to find her long-lost father.

And if that's not what you thought of, well, brace yourself. You're about to meet Meg Murray.

- Maureen K.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fortune Is Flea-Ting

Author Maureen Stanton met Curt Avery in college. Fast forward twenty years to the bottle that brought them together again in Killer Stuff and Tons of Money:  Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market. With $4000 in his pocket, Avery had came out to Ohio where Maureen was attending graduate school to stare intensely at an old bottle, examining it from all sides, holding it up to the light, looked carefully at the few others alongside it and pondered the all important question - to buy or not to buy?