Friday, November 30, 2007
Often movies are based on books - what better place to get a screenplay idea? If you would like to read the book before you see the movie (or after), place a hold on one of the titles listed below. Two of America's best living authors - Cormac McCarthy and Philip Roth - are included.
Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) - Two lovers must wait 50 years in early 20th-century South America to be reunited.
Atonement (Ian McKewan)- Haunting novel that spans pre-World War II England to contemporary times that addresses guilt and redemption.
Beowulf - Epic poem in which the mighty warrior Beowulf must slay Grendel, a murderous monster, and then the beast's vengeful mother.
Elegy (Based on the novel The Dying Animal) by Philip Roth) A professor becomes obsessively attracted to one of his students.
The Mist (Stephen King) Townspeople come under siege by mysterious creatures after a bizarre storm.
Starting Out in the Evening (Brian Morton) A graduate student becomes attached to an elderly writer she once idolized.
No Country for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy) Dark tale of drugs and bloodshed in the wild present-day West.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Jean Dominque Bauby) Extraordinary memoir by a French magazine editor who had "locked in" syndrome after suffering a rare stroke to his brain stem.
Charlie Wilson's War (George Crile) A longtime Sixty Minutes producer investigates the expenditure of what eventually amounted to $1 billion a year to support Afghanistan's Mujahideen in their battle against the Soviets.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Amazon customer reviews for the same book frequently range between one star and five stars. Award winning books can be great or unreadable. Your best friend's recommendation sits on the night table racking up overdue fines because you just can't get past the first page. In other words, sometimes it's hard to find a good book to read or to give someone.
A new website called shelfari may help you find a book that you will enjoy. It's a social networking site for book lovers that functions like an online book club. Users can post titles they own and make lists of books they want. Each entry is then placed on a virtual bookshelf that is publicly viewable. Users categorize their books and and can join groups. Shelfari makes it easy to see what your friends are reading, what others with similar tastes have enjoyed, and even get and give book recommendations.
For more ideas, check out the Library's Good Reads. For current book titles, see Best Fiction by Year. My personal favorite website under Reader's Tools is Overbooked which includes annotated lists of nonfiction, fiction, science fiction, and mystery books which received starred reviews.
If you want to slog thought 137 titles that have been nominated by libraries around the world for the year's best novel, see the 2008 International Impac Dublin Literary Award list.
For fiction and nonfiction, see the New York times best 100 books of the year.
Last but definitely not least, the Library offers the database, Fiction Connection, where you can browse titles by topic, genre, setting, character, location, and timeframe and read short plot summaries.
Friday, November 23, 2007
If you need a little help choosing the best item for your money, Consumer Reports is available in the libraries and online through our Research Databases. Visit our E-journal Finder, type in Consumer Reports, and click Search. Click on Academic Search Complete (you will be asked to enter your library card number if you are access the database remotely). From here, you can either browse by clicking the year or click the Search within this publication link to do a keyword search. Enter your keywords on the second line. You can always Ask a Librarian if you have questions.
A few more consumer titles are listed below along with the history and psychology of shopping:
Shopping Online Safely
Savvy Online Shopping: Your Guide to Getting the Best Products--At the Best Prices--On Line!
The Bottom Line Bargain Book: How to Get the Best Deals on Anything and Everything
The Consumer Bible: 1001 Ways to Shop Smart
Going Shopping: Consumer Choices and Community Consequences
Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping
The Call of the Mall: A Walking Tour through the Crossroads of Our Shopping Culture
Why We Shop: Emotional Rewards and Retail Strategies
I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers
Carried Away: The Invention of Modern Shopping
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Two novels about Henry James have been published within the last few years - Author, Author by David Lodge and Master by Colin Toibin. I had always heard that Henry James attended dinner parties as often as possible, giving his hosts dazzling conversation in return for the hospitality. But these books tell a different story. James actually withdrew quite a bit into himself in order to write his novels. An anecdote from a new book titled The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes illustrates this contradiction.
"He would occasionally say he was a hermit, and speak as if he lived a life remote from the world. I once heard him say this during a brilliant party at Stafford House, where he was the guest of Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland."
Other recent fictional biographies you may enjoy:
Arthur and George (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Becoming Madame Mao
Casanova in Bohemia
Dancing in the Dark (Bert Williams, first really famous black entertainer)
Fanny: a Fiction (Fanny Wright - Scottish gentlewoman, abolitionist)
True History of the Kelly Gang (Ned Kelly, Australian outlaw)
Loving Frank (Frank LLoyd Wright)
Oscar Wilde Discovers America
Wintering: a Novel of Sylvia Plath
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know.
"The words we suggest," says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, "are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language." If you need to look up the definition or pronunciation of a word, please see the Library's Oxford English Dictionary database.
The following are a few dozen from the 100 word list.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
A list of finalists and corresponding interviews are available on the National Book Foundation’s website: http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2007.html
Check back for the results and head to the library to grab a winner or a finalist.
*Update: The 2007 National Book Award winners*
Fiction: Tree of Smoke (Denis Johnson)
Nonfiction: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Tim Weiner)
Monday, November 12, 2007
Although it is largely an American holiday, honoring and thanking veterans for their service, this holiday is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries. In America, Woodrow Wilson declared in 1919:
In 1954, the name of the holiday Wilson commemorated as Armistice Day, was officially changed to Veterans Day by President Eisenhower. You can read more about Veterans Day at the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Remember to thank a Veteran today!
Friday, November 09, 2007
If you are in the theater biz, and are looking for funding sources, check out the Foundation Directory database at any library location to find grant opportunities. We also have several books about acting and producing for the theater:
At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater
Career Opportunities in Theater and the Performing Arts
The Alchemy of Theatre: The Divine Science: Essays on Theatre & the Art of Collaboration
Stage Combat: Fisticuffs, Stunts, and Swordplay for Theater and Film
The Commercial Theater Institute Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals
Sculpting Space in the Theater: Conversations with the Top Set, Light and Costume Designers
Business and Legal Forms for Theater
How to Run a Theatre: A Witty, Practical and Fun Guide to Arts Management
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
When Nelson Mandela was released from
Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart
J.M. Coetzee Disgrace
Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions
Nadine Gordimer July’s People
Nuruddin Farrah Secrets
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Half of a Yellow Sun
Charles Larson (ed.) Under African Skies: Modern African Stories
Ben Okri The Famished Road
Ngugi wa Thiong’o Wizard of the Crow
Bessie Head A Question of Power
Monday, November 05, 2007
Source:Gale Virtual Reference Library
This weekend I needed to learn how to tie a bow tie. I quickly found lots of videos with step-by-step instructions on how to tie a bow tie. But sometimes, searching for videos, the hottest content on the Web right now, isn’t easy. I found my bow tie videos on Google's popular YouTube site, but Youtube is not the only place to look for videos. You won't find videos from other sites, especially copyrighted clips that YouTube doesn't offer or has removed from its site.
When looking for a clips from your favorite TV show or for a recent news story, try these video-search engines, especially Truveo. Truveo seems to offer the most relevant clips, and includes a large selection of popular and high demand video that cannot be found in any other search engine. It looks beyond metadata attached to the video file itself and explores the content on the website around the video - resulting in more data to index and better search results. For example, using Truveo, you can find Daily Show clips on the Comedy Central website instead of just looking for them on Youtube.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Michael Connelly – Overlook is his latest mystery about an LA detective, but my favorite is The Concrete Blonde.