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Jul 23

Beach Time is Reading Time

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM by Craig Jacobson

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Top.jpgSummer is finally here and it’s time for the beach. Now that you’re done swimming and playing your third game of volleyball how about soaking in the sun with a good read.  If you like mysteries, enjoy authors like Patterson and Evanovich, and you want to spend your time english american book cover.jpgat the beach with likable detectives, you might enjoy the following series -Stephanie Plum Novels, Alex Cross Novels, Goldy Culinary Mysteries, Odd Thomas Novels, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the Scarpetta Series, Kinsey Millhone Mysteries and the Lincoln Rhyme Novels.

Some of you may prefer a lighter, more romantic type of writing.  In that case you might enjoy The English American, The Guy Not Taken, The Devil Wears Prada, Queen of Babble, Savannah Breeze, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Anybody Out There.  For romance, you can never go wrong with anything written by Nora Roberts or Nicolas Sparks.

Thunderbolt kid.jpgIf you don’t like all that fluff, then you might enjoy books like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Beginner’s Greek, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Body Surfing, Water for Elephants, and Digging to America.  If you would rather read a real tear jerker then The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Happiness Sold Separately, and Testimony might be more to your liking.  Don’t forget the Kleenex.

Seeing as it is summer, you just might want a book that’s faster paced and shorter. Some of these YA books might just fit the bill, The Fault in Our Stars, The Hungry Games Trilogy, When You Reach Me, The Twilight Saga, Eleanor & Park, If I Stay, A Northern Light, and Rose Under Fire.

rose under fire book cover.jpgPerhaps you might want to spend your time under the sun reading one of the newest releases in 2014.  Here are a few suggestions for you:  The Invention of Wings , The Visionist, Hollow City, Still Life With Bread Crumbs, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Summer House With a Swimming Pool, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

Whether you are stretched out on some beautiful beach or just in your favorite hammock in the back yard, with a few minutes to spare, happy summer and happy reading.

Book covers courtesy of Easicat.

Jul 14


Posted on July 14, 2014 at 7:51 AM by Craig Jacobson

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Independence Day has come and gone here in America, but the U.S. isn’t the only country with a history of rebellion. Check out these other revolutions – good and bad, successful and failed.

Cover 01 - In Darkness Nick Lake.jpgThe most famous slave uprising in history is probably the Third Servile War – memorialized on film in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, but unquestionably the most successful slave uprising in history is the Haitian Slave Revolt. The only slave uprising in history that resulted in a new, lasting state, the Haitian revolution had effects that linger to this day – including prompting Napoleon to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States of America. Nick Lake’s In Darknessweaves this historical tumult together with a more recent upset – Haiti’s 2010 earthquake – in a story told by a boy trapped in the wreckage of a hospital.

BoxersSaints.pngThe Boxer Rebellion was a fight not against China’s Qing Dynasty – the nominal rulers of the country – but against the control exerted on China by foreigners from Japan and European countries alike. Preferential treatment given to foreigners and a fear that China would be split into several countries under control of foreign powers, plus a long drought and subsequent famine led to the two-year uprising captured in Gene Luen Yang’s pair of graphic novels, Boxers & Saints.

In the Time of the Butterflies.jpgCloser to home, Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez relates the story of a family in the Dominican Republic as they fight to escape the bloody, oppressive rule of dictator General Rafael Trujillo. In Trujillo’s 31 years in power, thousands of people were murdered, including the Mirabal sisters – known as Las Mariposas – who inspired the book and movie In the Time of the Butterflies.

Persepolis.jpgWitness the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Shah’s overthrow through the eyes of a young girl whose family tries to survive the violent regime change and the war with Iran that follows in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Satrapi doesn’t flinch in showing the faults of both sides, the changing nature of the revolution, or her family’s struggles to adjust to a changing world.

Climbing the Stairs.jpgA revolution doesn’t need to be waged with guns and weapons – as India’s protests against the British Raj proved in the 1940s. Set against this decades-long struggle, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Vekatraman tells the story of traditionalism versus modernization in India. When her father is bludgeoned and suffers brain damage during a protest, Vidya and her family must move in with her traditionalist grandfather. Once promised a college education, she is now expected to wait on the men and is destined to be married off as soon as possible. But upstairs, her grandfather has a library and with it - perhaps - comes a taste of freedom.

Still feeling rebellious? The Taiping Rebellion, led by a man claiming to be Christ’s brother, greatly weakened China’s Qing Dynasty, leaving it open to the foreign invasions that sparked the Boxer Rebellion. Arminius, a German trained by the Roman Army, fought to preserve his homeland at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest and in doing so, established the German border at the Rhine River – a border which persists to this day, some 2000 years later. The Arab Spring uprisings began in late 2010 and have enjoyed varying degrees of success in different countries; technology, social media, and persistent news coverage have made it one of the most extensively documented uprisings in history – until the next great revolution comes.

All images provided courtesy of Easicat and the Eastern Shores Library System

Jun 23

Let’s Celebrate Independence Day!

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document fourth of july.jpgAs we inch our way closer to July 4th, celebrate the birth of our nation by stopping into Frank L. Weyenberg Library for some great reading material on what makes the day so special.

Are you interested in learning more about Francis Scott Key, the writer of our national anthem? What So Proudly We Hail: Francis Scott Key, a Life by Marc Leepson details the life of the man who not only wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is now celebrating its 200th Anniversary, but also his work as advisor to Andrew Jackson and how his influence and leadership shaped the American Colonization Society. It is truly a fascinating read.

One of the strongest symbols of America’s freedom is New York City’s Statue of Liberty. Have you ever wondered what went into the building of this regal lady? What’s the real story? Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell takes a unique look at the truth and the myths behind our lady liberty and what helped to make her who she is today. Her history is detailed like never before making this book one not to be missed.

So much fun comes with the 4th of July from the delicious food to the always exciting fireworks. Why not consider trying out some new recipes for your holiday celebration? A book that will no doubt make your cookout stand apart from the rest is Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 step-by-step recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations. Not only are her recipe ideas quick and easy but they are also cost-effective. This book’s down home charm and wonderful ideas will have your family’s stomach’s growling in no time.

Looking for some children’s books about the holiday that are both educational and fun? Here are just a few to consider checking out: My Fourth of July by Lorraine Harrison, Independence Day by Ann Heinrichs, Hurray for the Fourth of July by Wendy Watson, and Hats off to the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert.

How about entertaining craft idea for the kids? Well, Kathy Ross has just the ticket. In her book, Star-Spangled Crafts, kids can make everything from a popping firecracker puppet to a newspaper Uncle Sam. Kids and adults alike are sure to love the simple yet unique craft ideas displayed throughout Ross’s gem of a book.

Also, don’t forget to bring the kids in for the Library’s special storytime, America the Beautiful, on July 5th at 11:00 am in Tolzman Room. Fun is sure to be had by all! No registration is required, just a smiling face.

Independence Day is an important day for all of us, a day in which we stop to appreciate the many freedoms that we have come to cherish throughout our nation’s history. Stop in at the library if you get the chance and check out some great new reading material and be sure to enjoy this wonderful day with family and friends! We look forward to seeing you!

*Book Covers provided via EasiCat.