Blog Archives

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference DepartmentReadyPlayerOne RD 1 finals 2

Wade Watts is a normal teenager growing up in the Midwest on the future Earth in 2044, after the nation’s collapse.   He is an orphan, living with his aunt, and attending high school online. He plugs into the OASIS, a virtual galaxy of planets and worlds. The creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, died not long past and left no heirs. Instead, he set up an Easter Egg (a hidden message with clues) in the OASIS, with the instructions that the one who finds this egg is his heir. Heir to the OASIS, heir to his programming technology and heir to his millions.

Of course, this sets off a massive stampede of all ages to find the egg. There is even a nickname for these tireless searchers – egg hunters, which was shortened to “gunter” over time. All serious gunters knew that Halliday loved everything about the 1980s. They all studied as much as they could to learn everything about that particular decade—playing all the games, watching all the movies, reading all the books. Even though Wade is in high school, the OASIS is infinitely more fun and exciting that real life and he is a dedicated gunter.

When he is the first to find the first clue, the story really heats up. There are villains, allies, unexpected friends, danger, excitement, escapes and more to be found in the OASIS. This book was such a quick read. You will want to know what happens and keep reading. Wade (Parzival in the OASIS) leads the reader on a chase through the 1980s to solve three three-step riddles and save the OASIS from the evil Innovative Online Industries, which wants control of OASIS. If you like audio books, I suggest you download the e-audio book from READS; Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crutcher in Star Trek: Next Generation) reads the story and it is very well done.

The film rights to Ready Player One were purchased by Warner Brothers the same day the book was signed to be published. It will directed by Stephen Spielberg!

 


Ready Player One is a science fiction and dystopian novel by Ernest Cline. The book was published by Random House on August 16, 2011.[1] The audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton. In 2012, the book received an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association[2] and won the 2012 Prometheus Award.[3] 

Info above from wikipedia…

Advertisements

April is Poetry Month – Why?

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Departmentbigpos04

After Black History Month and Women’s History Month were created and were successful in gaining notice, the Academy of American Poets proposed the creation of National Poetry Month.   They actually asked publishers, librarians, poets, teachers and all literary organizations to send representatives to meet and discuss instituting a poetry month.

And so, in 1995, the first National Poetry Month was established. In 2001, the Academy members voted on a poet for a postage stamp. Langston Hughes was the winner; he was the most popular with over 10,000 votes. Later, in 2006, the Academy started Poem in Your Pocket; they posted a new poem everyday on their website for a month. That was so successful; they now post a poem every day. They also will email a poem a day to those who sign up for it.

So why are people so passionate about poetry? Why did they want a whole month to talk about and promote poetry?

How else can you create an image in your mind with words? Image trying to write a paragraph about these poems and the pictures they convey. Sometimes poems say more in images that a paragraph can say.

The fog comes in on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
by Carl Sandburg

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

 glazed with rain
water

 beside the white
chickens

by William Carolos Williams

I broke your heart.
Now barefoot
I tread on shards.
by Vera Pavlova

Shake and shake
The catsup bottle.
First a little–
And then a lott’l.
by Richard Armour

the moon so pure
a wandering monk carries it
across the sand

by Basho (Japanese Haiku master)

Poems make you see pictures or feel something; they can also help you get your feelings out. Not all poems have to rhyme. They don’t have to go on and on. If you like structure, try a haiku. Haiku should be seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven and five. It is traditionally written about nature. Google haiku and get inspired.

This year, during April 2015, we hope you pay attention to what you see and feel and just perhaps you might try to find a poem that matches you r feelings. Or perhaps write one just for yourself. It’s easier than you think. Think about subscribing to poem-a-day from http://www.poets.org.

You could participate in Put a Poem in Your Pocket, on Thursday, April 30. All you need to do is find a poem you like and share it with others: you could add it to your email footer for one day or you could send to school with your child or teen. You could post it at work, on the bulletin board or on email or tweet about a favorite poet, or poem.

Just one day. Surely we can all handle that!


Sources:

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarianows_139898376043329

Billie Breslin came from California to work in New York at the magazine Delicious! She loved food and had a nose for identifying herbs and spices. This was her dream job, writing articles about food(s) and places. And she didn’t have to cook! She became like family to an artisanal cheese store,, working on the weekends to augment her meager salary. She was also in charge of the Delicious Guarantee, where she contacted readers who had trouble with recipes. She made friends with these (mostly) women and loved her job.

Then the unbelievable happened. The owners of the magazine decided to stop production! She was able to stay on to continue the Delicious Guarantee. She was the only employee left in the ramshackle old house and she explored by herself, and then a few other former employees joined her—surreptitiously. She found a secret room, with letters from someone named Lulu. Who was Lulu? Can she get all the letters copied and safe before the house is renovated? Can she keep the secret room hidden?

This was the first book I’d ever read by Reichl. She is well-known for her non-fiction books about food and restaurants. She was edition of the New York Times restaurant section, and worked at Gourmet magazine until its untimely demise, similar to what happened in the book. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The characters are warm and individual and the back stories are fun.

Things You Never Knew About St. Patrick’s Day

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Department

  • St. Patrick indeed lived in Ireland, but he was born Scottish; he was captured and sent to Ireland to be a slave
  • He went back to his home after fleeing his servitude and answered God’s call, and went back to Ireland to convert the heathen
  • He may have used the shamrock to teach the pagan Gaels about the trinity—triunes were very popular in Irish Gaelic/Celtic belief (and gods)Irish_clover
  • For this holiday, the ban on drinking and eating rich foods was lifted by the church, which made it a most riotous holiday
  • Even though the tradition is for everyone to wear green, it really is supposed to be the Catholics who wear green. The Protestants are supposed to wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day in the United States marched on March 17, 1762 by Irish soldiers serving in the English army, before the American Revolution!
  • The shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in County Cork – it is only 100 yards, stretching from one pub to the other
  • The holiday has been celebrated in space! In 2011, Catherine Coleman, who is Irish-American, played a flute and a pipe lent to her by members of The Chieftains
  • Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional meal for St. Patrick’s Day
  • Most people may be familiar with Dublin, Ohio, but there are several towns named for St. Patrick and Ireland in the United States:
    • St. Patrick, Missouri
    • Ireland, West Virginia
    • Clover, South Carolina
    • Shamrock, Texas
    • Limerick, Maine

Sources:

The Storied Life of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

9781616203214_custom-1248f47d7cb47c8f90ffeacbcdc3bf065de3f59b-s6-c30By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

A J Fikry is a curmudgeon who owns the only book store on an island off the Eastern seaboard.  He has definite likes and dislikes when it comes to purchasing books for his store. He growled and grouched at the new book representative, who had replaced the only real friend he had. He hadn’t even known the man had died. His wife died a few years ago, and he is still grieving; he drinks himself to sleep almost every night. He lives above the store in a modest apartment. He has gotten into the habit of leaving his bookstore unlocked; he figures there is nothing really worth stealing. It is safe to say the book store is not as popular as it was while his wife was still alive.

One night he took out his retirement nest egg –a book entitled Tammerlane, a very rare Poe work. He drank to excess , as usual, and passed out; when he woke up the book was gone. In a panic, he ran out to try to find it and then called the police. He searched high and low and when he came back, just as he was getting ready to drink again that night, he heard a noise. Someone had left a baby in his store while he was out. There was a note from the mother stating that she thought a bookstore would be a good place to leave Maya since she loved books so much. She also said she just couldn’t take care of her as Maya needed.   The local police officer said he called Child Services, but it wouldn’t be until Monday that they would be able to get to the island.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened with A J and the baby.

I really enjoyed this book, which is destined to become a book club classic. It’s great for anyone who likes books and reading.   I thought I knew what would happen, but I was surprised by several developments. Ms. Zevin has written other adult novels and is well known for her Teen novels as well.

Carol O’Connell’s Mallory novels

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

OConnellC-KM-Group01UK_thumb[3]Have you read all three of The Girl Who books? Looking for a new Salander? Perhaps you should try the books by Carol O’Connell featuring Mallory. Kathy Mallory was an eleven year old foundling living on the streets when she was rescued by New York police detective Markowitz. As she grew up, she continued to lack many social skills, including empathy, conversation and humor. She is considered by some a sociopath. One review stated that Mallory is the original Salander. The novels are all full of twists and turns and interesting characters.

The books, in order are Mallory’s Oracle (1994), The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (1995), Killing Critics (1996), Stone Angel (1997), Shell Game (1999), Crime School (2002), The Jury Must Die (2003), Winter House (2004), Find Me (2006) and the most recent book The Chalk Girl (2011). Our library has the entire series.

kathy-mallory

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

91Aw6BgBpKLBy Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

In this imaginative steam-punk fantasy, the god Kos, protector of Alt Coulumb, has died and must be revived before the city falls apart. Kos the Everburning literally keeps the city going—holding up the city’s infrastructure, as well as answering the prayers of his church and clergy. Tara Abernathy, a new intern, and her boss, Mrs. Kevarian (from the investigative firm Kelethras, Albrecht and Ao) have come to Alt Coulumb to find out how Kos died and revive him. Tara and Mrs. Kevarian are magical investigators who solve problems. They have run into a big one. Kos was murdered—who would be able to murder a god? Any why?

One reviewer suggested that if the authors Roger Zelazny, Neil Gaiman and John Grisham had collaborated on a book, something like Three Parts Dead would be the result. I’d like to add Jim Butcher and possibly Terry Pratchett to this list as well.

Will Tara, with the help of the priest Abelard and Justice Cat(herine) and the despised gargoyles, find out what happened to Kos and bring him back? Will the city survive if they can’t? Why did someone wipe the vampire privateer’s mind? Is Justice truly blind? And most importantly, when will the sequel come out?! Remarkable that this is Gladstone’s first novel.

Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini

InheritanceCycleCoversBy Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

Christopher Paolini had an idea for a book in high school. Lucky for us all he started writing a fantasy novel featuring a young boy named Eragon who finds one of the world’s last dragons. Eragon and the dragon Saphira learn how to work together throughout the series, which enables them to fight the evil king Galbatorix. He has several setbacks, saves his village and his brother who becomes a warrior in his own right. Those of us who finished all four books (originally there were supposed to be only three) were happy to find out that Paolini will revisit Alagaesia again. If you are looking for something to read after Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter, I suggest you revisit The Inheritance Cycle featuring Eragon and Saphira. The first volume is titled Eragon. Volumes two Eldest and three Brisingr followed not quickly enough for most of us waiting impatiently. The final volume Inheritance came out last fall.

Fun Facts about Our Christmas Traditions

Part 2 of 2

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference LibrarianArtificial-Christmas-Tree

Christmas Carols – These are songs specifically written and sung to celebrated the events of the Nativity. Carols have been around since the 300s. St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscans put poems to music and popularized the carols. During the reformation and in Puritan America, they were frowned upon and often illegal.

Christmas trees – No one really knows when this tradition started, but it is generally considered to have begun in Germany. Having Christmas trees spread slowly through Europe, and came to England with the German Hanoverian kings. Trees were truly popularized during Queen Victoria’s reign, with the influence of her husband, Prince Albert.

Christmas Wrapping – Originally, unwrapped presents were put out during Christmas Eve, after the tree was decorated. Nowadays, trees are put up so much earlier and gifts come from other family members. It is generally understood that any unwrapped gifts came from Santa Claus.

Christmas cards – Christmas cards started out as decorative note paper that people used to write to their relative on holidays. They became even more popular after Valentine’s Day cards spread throughout England in the 1830s.

Eggnog – This popular milk or cream based drink gets its name from an old term for ale, which was called nog. The drink was a French tradition, which we Americans promptly added ale (or liquor) to.

2256785187_179f1c297e_zNativity Scene or Crèche – The earliest known Nativity Scene dates back to Rome in the 300s; it was part of the Christ’s Mass, and was said to have come from Bethlehem. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with popularizing it when he placed real animals and people in the scene.

The Nutcracker – This story was written in 1816 by German author E T A Hoffman and was rather a dark grim tale. Alexandre Dumas adapted it in 1845 and made it less scary. In 1891, Tchaikovsky wrote the music for the ballet which opened in St. Petersburg in 1892, and has remained popular ever since.

The Twelve Days of Christmas – This time period starts on December 26 and continues through Epiphany (also known as Three Kings Day.) which is January 6th.  In 567, at the Council of Tours, it was decided that these twelve days would be set aside to honor and observe the birth of Christ.

Wassail – Wassail comes from the Old English words waes hael, which means “be well,” “be hale,” or “good health.” Originally it was a strong, hot drink (usually a mixture of ale, honey, and spices), but over the centuries some non-alcoholic versions of wassail evolved.

How to write Merry Christmas in other languages

Afrikaans Geseënde Kersfees
Czech Velike Vanoce
Danish Glaedelig Jul!
French Joyeux Noël
German Froeliche Weinachten
Italian Bono Natale
Japanese Meri Kurisumasu
Polish Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Spanish Feliz Navidad
Swedish God Jul
Welsh Nadolig Llawen


Sources:

The History of Christmas

Part 1 of 2

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference  Librarian732px-Jonathan_G_Meath_portrays_Santa_Claus

Most church historians have said that although December 25 is the official birth date for Jesus, most believe he was born in March. So why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?

Because of Mithras. Mithraism spread across Asia Minor from Persia and became very popular with the Roman army. The Roman army was made up of conquered peoples, many of whom worshiped Mithras. He was a sun god; one of his main celebration dates was December 25, to ensure that the sun would be reborn to bring warmth to the world again in the spring and summer.   When Christianity was just starting, Mithraism was one of its main rivals. So the church changed the date of the celebration of Jesus’ birth to December 25.

The other main rival for Christmas was the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. This farming festival included feasting, giving gifts to family and sharing food with the poor lasted a whole week, ending on December 25. The Romans drank to excess and ate to excess, which is what many do today. The early Church considered these celebrations unseemly, so they made giving gifts and food to the poor part of the Christmas festival.

Christmas was a solemn and reflective holy day (holiday) for several centuries for Christians – Christmas was originally Christ’s Mass, a special service.   But the pagan celebrations persisted for so long that the Church adopted them, hoping that the pagans would become Christian.

The way we celebrate Christmas now generally originated in the Middle Ages, mostly from England. The decorations, carols, food, cards and gift giving were brought to the United States from England, Holland and Germany. Santa Claus was originally Saint Nicolas, which in Dutch became Sinter Claus, which became Santa Claus. In Holland, Belgium and Italy, children are left presents in their shoes on December 6, which is St. Nicholas’ Day. The Santa Claus we all know and are used to was created by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly, and first appeared in 1863!

Did you know Christmas was outlawed in the Puritan community of Plymouth. The Puritans associated all the celebrating and carousing with paganism. By the 1870s, Christmas gradually began to become more like what we know now. In the Jamestown Colony, in Virginia, Christmas was celebrated riotously, almost like it was in England.

Fun facts about our Christmas traditions coming in Part II!!


Sources:

%d bloggers like this: