Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oprah has chosen again!

Oprah is going interactive with her latest Book Club selection, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Life's Purposes! Not only is she encouraging America (the world even!) to read the book, but she and the author are going to be teaching an online class together on Monday nights 9/8 c for ten weeks beginning March 3, 2008! Visit her website for more information about this exciting web event.
From Amazon:
Book Description Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity. Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to this potentially dire situation. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one. In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are—which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are—and learn to live and breathe freely. About the AuthorEckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace. Tolle travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.
About the Author Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace. Tolle travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.

Tolle's earlier book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, remains a moving force in best-selling nonfiction (sale ranked #17 at Amazon!) and A New Earth is sure to follow in its footsteps. Wednesday saw its sale rank move from #85,822 to #96 in about four hours. It currently ranks at #91 in sales.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reel Good Books!

...and there is definitely a pun intended with that title :)

Cinematical reports that Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island is coming to the big screen in 2009. Production is scheduled to begin in March and they are changing the name to Asheville after the asylum in the book.

Via Amazon:
From Publishers Weekly Know this: Lehane's new novel, his first since the highly praised and bestselling Mystic River, carries an ending so shocking yet so faithful to what has come before, that it will go down as one of the most aesthetically right resolutions ever written. But as anyone who has read him knows, Lehane, despite his mastery of the mechanics of suspense, is about much more than twists; here, he's in pursuit of the nature of self-knowledge and self-deception, and the ways in which both can be warped by violence and evil. In summer 1954, two U.S. marshals, protagonist Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island, not far from Boston, to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from the prison/hospital for the criminally insane that dominates the island. The marshals' digging gets them nowhere fast as they learn of Rachel's apparently miraculous escape past locked doors and myriad guards, and as they encounter roadblocks and lies strewn across their path-most notably by the hospital's chief physician, the enigmatic J. Cawley-and pick up hints of illegal brain surgery performed at the hospital. Then, as a major hurricane bears down on the island, inciting a riot among the insane and cutting off all access to the mainland, they begin to fear for their lives. All of the characters-particularly Teddy, haunted by the tragic death of his wife-are wonderful creations, but no more wonderful than the spot-on dialogue with which Lehane brings them to life and the marvelous prose that enriches the narrative. There are mysteries within mysteries in this novel, some as obvious as the numerical codes that the missing patient leaves behind and which Teddy, a code breaker in WWII, must solve; some as deep as the most profound fears of the human heart. There is no mystery, however, about how good this book is; like Mystic River, it's a tour de force.

This book elicited a huge rush of popularity a few years ago and Lehane's books in general continue to enjoy a healthy fanbase. We have reordered copies several times in the past few years as faithful readers flat-out read them into oblivion. If you like a suspenseful, well-crafted tale with elements of mystery and intrigue, come on in and see what's on the shelf!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Although I am a librarian, ashamedly I had never heard of Laura Lippman. I say ashamedly because I literally DeVoUrEd this book! I have even recommended it to our library's book group to read for next month. It's one of those books you can't get out of your head. I keep turning the puzzle pieces over in my mind. The premise? A car wreck in Baltimore sends a woman running from the scene. When the police stop her to question her about the incident, she claims to be one of two missing sisters who disappeared from a local mall 30 years before. Lippman has truly crafted a fine mystery. You are never quite sure what to believe, up until the very end. The story is full of twists and turns, fully realized characters, and great plot. I felt like she really got into the mind of someone who (maybe?) had disappeared for many years, someone who had been abused severely. You will have to read it to understand, but the main character's personality was so fascinating!I am very eager to read another Lippman title!
Katie M.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Presidential Primaries

The GovGab blog posted today about the upcoming presidential primaries for the rest of the country! Alabama is slated to vote
February 5th
so if you need to register to vote or change any information on your voter registration, come into the library TODAY for a mail-in voter registration form!

For more information about all things VOTE, visit's voter registration webpage.

Happy Voting!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nebula Awards Long List Announced

The Nebula Awards long list was announced today by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). You are sure to find something you will enjoy on this list, but will your favorite win? Stay tuned for the winners, which will be announced later this year!

Ragamuffin, by Tobias Buckell

The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon

Species Imperative #3: Regeneration, by Julie E. Czerneda

Vellum: The Book of All Hours, by Hal Duncan

The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman

The New Moon's Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson

Mainspring, by Jay Lake

Odyssey, by Jack McDevitt

The Outback Stars, by Sandra McDonald

Strange Robby, by Selina Rosen

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

Rollback, by Robert J. Sawyer

Blindsight, by Peter Watts

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

For the safety of our staff and patrons, the library will be closing at 12:00pm today, Saturday January 19, 2008! We hope to resume normal hours, weather permitting, tomorrow Sunday January 20, 2008.

Now, go out and play!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In which it is imparted to the reading public that a certain author's works are being shown on television, and in which it is imparted that ...

As you may know, PBS is currently in the midst of a veritable Jane Austen extravaganza. Beginning this month, PBS will feature all of Jane Austen's six novels on their award winning series "Masterpiece Theater."
We were sent a package of very nice bookmarks from PBS and have created a display on the second floor with Austen's books, DVDs, audio and these bookmarks. Please come by and take a look!
Oh, and if you are interested, here's the quote. It's a good one:
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
-Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Need A Break?

If you need a wee break from the winter doldrums, we have it here at the library! Our Brown Bag Series will feature a film on the islands of the Caribbean. I felt that we needed to take a break from our usual films and go on a little vacation. Especially since it is around 40 degrees today and we are expected to get cold rain (not snow, oh no, because that would be too fun and nice and cozy, no ... just a cold, miserable rain ... sigh.). SO ... if you are interested in joining others in our community for a nice film on a faraway (warm) place, come by the library today around noon. We'll put out coffee and snacks and start the film at 12:30.
Hope to see you later today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Reading List

The Reading List is a new award given by the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) which is a division of The American Library Association (ALA). RUSA happens to be responsible for the Notable Books List which we blogged about here. Since genre fiction is not eligible for the Notable Books List, RUSA has created a genre fiction list, called The Reading List. Here are the the winners for this brand new award:

The Second Objective by Mark Frost Hyperion

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Historical Fiction
The Religion by Tim Willocks

The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Science Fiction
In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan

Women’s Fiction
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Come by the library and pick up one of these great titles!

Happy Reading


Monday, January 14, 2008

American Library Association's Notable Books List

The Notable Books List was released from ALA today at the annual Midwinter Meeting.
Take a look:

Englander, Nathan - The Ministry of Special Cases
Holthe, Tess Uriza - The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes
Jones, Lloyd - Mister Pip
McEwan, Ian - On Chesil Beach
Malouf, David - Complete Stories
Pettersen, Per - Out Stealing Horses
Trevor, William - Cheating at Canasta

Ackerman, Diane - The Zookeeper’s Wife
Angier, Natalie - The Canon
Ayres, Ian - Super Crunchers
Godwin, Peter - When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
Groopman, Jerome - How Doctors Think
Howell, Georgina - Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations
Isaacson, Walter - Einstein: His Life and Universe
Kingsolver, Barbara - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Margonelli, Lisa - Oil on the Brain
Weisman, Alan - The World Without Us

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Drought Info from the U.S. Government

There was a great article posted yesterday on GovGab about drought conditions in the United States as well as tips on conserving water. I know this topic is already at the forefront of thoughts, but new tips and strategies should always be welcome. Head on over to the U.S. Government's blog, GovGab, using the link above and see what YOU can do to help out!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Year Neuroscience

I have claimed loud and often that I am not a reader of nonfiction and it has been brought to my attention that this is not completely true. Apparently, I like narrative nonfiction (a.k.a. “creative nonfiction”; a.k.a. “literary nonfiction”) which Wikipedia defines as:

Creative nonfiction (sometimes known as literary nonfiction) is a type of writing which uses literary skills in the writing of nonfiction. A work of creative nonfiction, if well-written, is factually true and artistically elegant. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which should also contain accurate information, but is not primarily written in service to its craft.

I don’t like every narrative nonfiction work I come across but all of the ones I’ve enjoyed were/are narrative nonfiction. In other words, if all plags are plogs and all plogs are tregs, are all plags definitely tregs?

But I digress. The last few nonfiction books I’ve been really excited about were Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (2006 National Book Award winner for nonfiction) and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (This book is so SMOKIN’ HOT right now that the 31 books in our library system have 72 holds waiting and the 5 audiobooks in the system have 12 holds. I field at least 4-5 questions per day about this title.) This is only a teensy bit of tooting my own horn for my good-book-sniffing-out talent and a whole lot of go-out-and-get-a-copy-for-yourself-and-see suggestion. On with the show!

I discovered this book by way of the library’s subscription to Seed, a science & culture magazine. I looked up their website, liked what I saw, and subscribed to their RSS feed. The blog site for Seed Magazine is called ScienceBlogs and has dozens of different topic sections. Among those, I stumbled across Jonah Lehrer’s blog, The Frontal Cortex, and enjoyed it thoroughly. That is also where I discovered he was about to publish his first book and there this tale ends but the book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, is just beginning its rise in popularity. In just over 200 pages, Lehrer shares A LOT of neuroscience that is surprisingly easy to follow due to the arrangement of the book as a series of eight vignettes. The eight people included in the book are Walt Whitman, George Eliot, Auguste Escoffier, Marcel Proust, Paul C├ęzanne, Igor Stravinsky, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf. Lehrer looks at each person’s work and shows how they anticipated modern neuroscience. My favorite chapters: Whitman and his intuitive use of self and feeling; Escoffier’s understanding of the human palate and the then-unknown umami (the Japanese word for “tasty”); and Marcel Proust’s grasp of ephemeral memory.

I wavered over reading this book because I liked the author and had enjoyed his blog posts but could not imagine neuroscience being an interesting topic. His easy writing style and use of analogies and anecdotes kept all but the most lofty talk of brain anatomy and neural pathways both palatable and accessible (a.k.a. I felt REALLY smart when I finished the book and could sort of converse about it). I told the library’s book group members about it at their meeting yesterday and many of them were pretty excited about it too! So, long story still long, learn about neuroscience this year by reading Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 3, 2008

And So It Begins...

Happy New Year faithful library patrons! I wish you a happy, prosperous 2008 filled with great books full of action, adventure, romance, personal growth, and illuminating revelations no matter if they are scientific or fictional! Click here to check out USA Today's sneak peak at the hot new titles due out this winter!

Happy Reading!