Sunday, September 23, 2012

Library Learning Patch - Children Discovering Nature

We entered a cucumber from our garden in the  Red River County Fair. Guess what? We won 2nd place - a red ribbon. Hurray for the children!!!
Our winning cucumber!

Maybe next year we will enter more items--and win a blue ribbon!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Books...

Cascade, Massachusetts, 1935.
Desdemona Hart Spaulding, a talented young artist who studied in Paris, has sacrificed her dreams of working in New York City to put a roof over her newly bankrupt and ailing father's head. Two months later he has died and Dez is bound by the promises she has made to her father, her husband, and her town. Dez is stifled by her marriage to kind but conservative Asa, who is impatient to start a family, and her ambitions are fading. She also stands to lose her father's legacy, the Cascade Shakespeare Theatre, as Massachusetts decides whether to flood Cascade to create a new reservoir for Boston.
Amid this turmoil arrives Jacob Solomon, a fellow artist and kindred spirit for whom Dez feels an immediate and strong attraction. As their relationship reaches a pivotal moment, a man is found dead and the town points its collective finger at Jacob, a Jewish outsider. When unexpected acclaim and a chance to recapture her lost dreams of life in New York City arise, Dez must make an impossible choice.

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.
Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. Harold Fry is determined to walk six hundred miles from Kingsbridge to the hospice in Berwickupon-Tweed because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie Hennessy will live.
Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest along the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him--allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.
And there is unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.

More new releases...
Burrows, by Reavis Z. Wortham
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
The Good Dream, by Donna VanLiere
Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes
May The Road Rise Up To Meet You, by Peter Troy
Robert Parker's: Fool Me Twice, by Michael Brandman
The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian
The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D., by Nichole Bernier
Wife 22, by Melanie Gideon

Friday, September 7, 2012

Brown Bag Book Club

At the September meeting of the Brown Bag Book Club, in addition to discussing our current books, we discussed some of our favorite classics.

What is a classic?  The answer to this question could vary greatly upon who you ask or what list you consult.  For sure, we are not the first to ask it.

In 1850 Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804–1869) stated his answer to the question “What is a Classic?”:
“The idea of a classic implies something that has continuance and consistence, and which produces unity and tradition, fashions and transmits itself, and endures…. 
 In 1920, Fannie M. Clark, a teacher at the Rozelle School in East Cleveland, Ohio, consulted a group of eighth-graders when she asked them the question: “What do you understand by the classics in literature?” Two of the answers Clark received were “Classics are books your fathers give you and you keep them to give to your children” and “Classics are those great pieces of literature considered worthy to be studied in English classes of high school or college”. 
In the 1980s Italo Calvino said in his essay “Why Read the Classics?” that “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”  [1]

It would be safe to say that a classic would be a book that could outlast the time in which it was written. 
Just as there are a plethora of opinions on the subject, so is there a wealth of lists which you could consult. Here are just a few:

While the debate and the lists go on and on, here is a list of some favorites mentioned at this month's meeting:

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
Little Women, by Louis May Alcott
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
Home from the Hill, by William Humphrey
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

For a list of more contemporary books we have discussed, see the Shelfari list in the left column of this website.
The Brown Bag Book Club is an informal group that meets at the library on the first Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon.  There is no assigned reading list.  You can come anytime and not be behind.
Next meeting: October 3, 2012.